Peacocks Meadow Secures Funding as it Provides a Safe Space for Local Residents

Some downtime during lockdown – plus Support Cambridgeshire’s Funding Alert emails – gave this community garden the impetus to go on a fundraising blitz.

Family Learning at Peacocks Meadow community garden

A local family in the Peacocks Pop-up Library

We recently received a lovely email from Deborah Curtis, in which she wrote, “I thought you might like to know that here in the Peacocks Meadow community garden in Littleport, we have achieved £18,000 in grant funding in three months, using your wonderful monthly funding lead newsletter! The funds will enable us to create a sensory garden and woodland play area for our diverse residents.” We were delighted and intrigued, so we got in touch with Deborah to find out more.

Peacocks Meadow is a community garden, tucked away beyond the car park on Limes Close in the centre of Littleport, East Cambridgeshire. It was originally farmland owned by the Peacock family, which was donated as allotments in the 1930s. It is currently owned by Sanctuary Housing, leased to Littleport Parish Council and managed by a community group called Friends of The Woodland Garden (Peacocks Meadow).

In 2017 they received a Facilities Improvement Grant from East Cambs District Council to turn it from a neglected space into a community garden. It’s been well used and looked after since then, but when COVID-19 hit, everything stopped. Funding opportunities dried up as funders raced to support pandemic relief projects.

That left committee member Deborah Curtis with some time on her hands to think about the garden’s future. She is on the mailing list to receive Support Cambridgeshire’s Funding Alert emails, which provide a round-up of the latest funding news plus on-going funders arranged by theme such as Education, Environment and Small Grants.

A weekend of inter-generational nature-based learning, thanks to a Family Learning Grant from Cambridgeshire Skills

This inspired Deb to fire off some funding applications in early 2021, hoping that some of them might be successful. The timing turned out to be fortunate. At the beginning of the pandemic, funders had focused on responding to people’s basic needs, but by 2021, there was much more of a focus on recovery.

“We’ve been astounded at how successful we’ve been,” said Deb, “because the target for many funders now is children – getting them outside, getting them active – and our garden is ideal for that.”

In just three months, she has had seven successful applications. They received £3,000 from the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Youth and Community Fund to engage young people in the creation of a sensory garden area for the benefit of adults and children with learning disabilities. There was £500 from East Cambs District Council’s Covid Recovery Fund for ground clearance and rubbish removal, £500 from Littleport Rotary for skip hire and ground clearance, £9,975 from Awards for All for the creation of a woodland play area, £1,000 from Persimmon Homes Community Champions fund for timber play equipment, £400 from Warburtons Family Grants for balance stones and a mini picnic table, and £900 from Sanctuary Housing for a living willow den. The latter included a certified landscape tutor, incorporating community learning in willow construction. Most recently, Deb secured £1,800 from Cambridgeshire Skills for nature-themed family learning workshops.

Funding has been secured for a sensory garden area, which should be ready to open in September

This impressive list is a testament to Deb’s hard work, but it also goes to show that funders often like to see an organisation or project that has a healthy amount of co-funding, along with a clear vision for how the funding will benefit local people.

Their socially distanced community event at Easter was a great success. Organised by The Port, a local youth club, it welcomed 250 people to the garden in a single day.

Deb sees the pandemic as a time when Peacocks Meadow really found its purpose. “In those months of lockdown, the visitors and volunteer engagement improved astronomically and people really took it to their hearts. We’ve created a safe space for people – people with disabilities, people with young children, older people. That discovery of the garden and the pleasure in it has continued as lockdown has eased.”

Deb has just been awarded Citizen of the Year by Littleport Parish Council – a fitting way to thank her for bringing so much happiness to the residents in her village.

Find out more about Peacock Meadow via the Facebook page.

Sign up for Funding Alert emails here.

The Portal Tops 300K

The Support Cambridgeshire self-funding Portal (SC4C) goes from strength to strength with local Cambridgeshire community organisations raising in excess of 300K by using its free self directing funding search potential (a 1164% increase on the previous year).

Over the past 12 months, the Portal has been visited on 5,860 occasions with 506 new registered organisation using the search facility and 650 repeat visitors.

The top 5 search areas continue to be Youth engagement, Older people, Education, Disability and Volunteering.

So our advice is to register and use the Portal: Simply click here to start your journey. You can use the Portal repeatedly without cost: All we ask is that when you receive an electronic  questionnaire about how good or bad the site is you provide your honest opinion. This feedback helps us to improve the site, making it easier for more groups or organisations to use the service.

Here is what some users have said this year:

SC4C is incredibly easy to navigate. Its a really useful resource for community organisations.

We raised 50K off the back of a SC4C search: Its so simple and easy to use.

I use SC4C every week when searching for funds. If you use it in conjunction with the funding alerts it really does help.

If you need some help registering then please contact and put SC4C in your title line.  

The Portal hits 190K

The Support Cambridgeshire self-funding portal has seen an increase in usage over the past 6 months, and with it organisations reporting funding success.

Since November 2018, 190K has been raised by local organisations who first started their funding search using Support Cambridgeshire 4 Communities (or SC4C).

The portal has over 2,400 funds to view, all of which are updated on a regular basis.

People and organisations can search for Free, and can use the portal an unlimited amount of times without being penalised.

So register today by clicking here:

If you wish to receive our monthly electronic and thematic funding alert, jam packed full of funding opportunities please contact

If you have identified a fund but require some support in developing your application, or require assistance with supporting documents then we have Development Workers who can assist. If you operate in Cambridge City, South Cambridgeshire or Fenland contact

If you operate in Huntingdonshire or East Cambridgeshire contact


Return of the Portal

Support Cambridgeshire 4 Communities (our self-funding Portal) has just helped Magpas Air Ambulance achieve £20,000 pounds worth of Funding from the Postcode Community Trust.

This will enable Magpas Air Ambulance to deliver their brand new training ‘Hearts Matter: Community CPR’.

There are approximately 30,000 out of hospital cardiac arrests attended to by medical professionals every year, of which only 40% of victims receive bystander CPR. For each minute that goes by without defibrillation, the chances of surviving an out of hospital cardiac arrest decreases by 10%. The current survival rate of cardiac arrests in the UK is 7-8%.

Recognising a cardiac arrest, calling 999 and administering CPR are crucial elements of the chain of survival. Bystander CPR has been shown to double a person’s chances of survival, while defibrillation within 3-5 minutes can increase survival rates to 50% – 70%.

Magpas Air Ambulance believe hearts matter, and the charity wants everyone to have the confidence and knowledge to intervene when someone is suffering a cardiac arrest, to provide them with CPR and to deploy a defibrillator in the vital minutes before the emergency services arrive.

To make this reality, with the help of the incredible grant from the Postcode Community Trust, they are launching their own community training session. Hearts Matter: Community CPR is available to schools, businesses and community groups across Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire – for free.

To find out more, or book a session, email  

Magpas Air Ambulance are looking to train over 1,000 individuals by January 2020.

A bit more about Magpas:

Magpas Air Ambulance is a charity which brings crucial lifesaving care by land and air to patients in life-threatening emergencies in the East of England and beyond, 24/7. Based in Cambridgeshire, Magpas have treated over 60,000 patients in the last 48 years and rely on generous donations from the public to continue saving lives.

The oldest emergency medical charity of its kind in the UK, Magpas Air Ambulance started life as a voluntary service in 1971 when two GPs took action to help victims of road accidents. Now, the Magpas Air Ambulance specialist medical team can offer procedures and treatments at the scene, like general anaesthetic, which are usually only available in hospital. This means the frontline care the team delivers doesn’t just save lives, it helps seriously ill and injured people return to a good quality of life.

In 2018, Magpas responded to 1,512 emergency calls, flew for 330 hours in total, performed 91 surgical procedures at the scene of life-threatening emergencies and brought critical care to 80 children.

Their website can be seen here:

A bit more about Support Cambridgeshire 4 Communities:

The self – funding portal sits at

Organisations can register and search for available funds, for Free and for an unlimited period. The portal holds 2,400 funds it total which are regularly updated and includes National, Regional and Local funding opportunities. Over 77,000 has been raised from organisations using the portal to date.

Sarah Green of Magpas said:

I always look through the funding alerts we receive from Support Cambridgeshire, and regularly check the self-funding portal. This fund was a match made in heaven, and I would advise any organisation to regularly trawl and browse the site as you never know what funds are available.