How can we help?

Support Cambridgeshire is a partnership of three trusted community based organisations within Cambridgeshire.

As such, we are committed to supporting, advising and guiding any voluntary or community based organisation that works or operates across the 5 county districts.

Development workers within the partnership can advise on a range of support needs which include:

  • Finding relevant and appropriate funding geared to your needs or goals
  • Reviewing and assisting with potential funding applications
  • Advising on constitutions, governing documents, policies, protocols, DBS check processes and YOUR procedures
  • Providing information and support on establishing a community group, or running and managing a community facility such as a village hall or community centre.

If you are a community group or organisation based in Huntingdonshire, then contact Angela Haylock by clicking here:

If you area  community group or organisation based in Cambridge, South Cambridgeshire, East Cambridgeshire or Fenland then click here: 

Support Cambridgeshire partners are also committed to providing 12 free training courses between now and September 2017, 4 of which are volunteering related (how to recruit, retain and manage volunteers). Visit our training pages to see what’s on offer. These pages are regularly updated as the programme changes and develops.

Support Cambridgeshire will also be providing 10 free Network events between now and September 2017 on a wide range of different and topical subjects. Visit our latest events page here.

In addition, Support Cambridgeshire will be delivering 2 funding fairs between now and September 2017. This is a fantastic opportunity to meet potential funding organisations directly and pose your questions. Keep checking the latest events page for dates and locations.

Support Cambridgeshire now has a designated jobs and opportunities page, so if you want to advertise volunteer or paid staff roles then contact Support cambridgeshire.

Support Cambridgeshire posts news items regularly. If you have something to say about your organisation and what it does, we will happily post this on your behalf.



Glimmers of returning public trust in charities

The Third Sector Magazine comments on returning public trust for charities.

In their latest report, Donating Trends,  the head-line statement appears to be that whilst things are far from perfect, perceptions of the sector are improving.

Harris Interactive (on behalf of Third Sector)  surveyed over 2,000 people between the 20th and the 27th March 2017.

On the issue of public trust, 39% of respondents said they considered charities to be highly trustworthy, compared with 9% who considered them untrustworthy.

20% of respondents scored charities 8 out of 10 for trustworthiness, and charities scored considerably higher than both the media and the government.

12% of those aged 55 or over considered charities untrustworthy, compared to 6% of those aged 16-24.

48% of respondents said they trusted charities to spend their money wisely, compared with 29% who said they distrusted charities to do so.

60% of respondents said that whilst they had read the negative coverage of charities over the past 2 years, this had not altered their view of charities.

27% said they now held more negative opinions.

Respondents were also asked to select which issue would reduce their trust in charities.

44% said high levels of executive pay.

39% said being pressured to donate.

34% said the negative effect of door to door fundraising.

The full report is available to purchase from trends

Dragon’s Apprentices raise over 1,000 for local Cambridgeshire charities

Last Thursday evening Cambridge Council for Voluntary Service (CCVS), one partner of Support Cambridgeshire hosted an awards ceremony for the Cambridgeshire heat of the 2017 Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge, a business programme for students in Year 12.  The event took place at The Cambridge Junction, and was attended by Councillor Benstead, the Mayor of Cambridge and Councillor Townsend, the Mayor of St Ives Town Council.

All the teams came up with brilliant fundraising activities from selling hand-made items and running a quiz night to bake offs and discos to raise money for their chosen charities.  They developed their activities as business ideas with the support of a business mentors from the local Cambridge branch of professional services firm, Deloitte.

The three teams of Year 12 pupils went on to compete for a series of awards and were judged by a panel of Super Dragons of local business people to win the Dragon trophy for overall winner in Cambridgeshire.

The overall prize was taken by Team Empire from St Ivo school in St Ives, who raised £861 for their chosen charity, Centre 33.  Team Kozy from St Mary’s School Cambridge won the prize for innovation and raised £246 for their chosen charity Blue Smile.   Team 7 marketeers won the prize for Best Display and Presentation and raised £386 for their charity, Friends of the Rosie.

Team Empire will now qualify to compete with 50 other teams from elsewhere in UK for The Dragons’ Master Prize competition.

The Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge is an annual business programme for students in Year 12 started in 2009 by the Centre for Voluntary Service St Albans.

Julie Farrow, Acting Chief Executive of CCVS and lead CEO of Support Cambridgeshire said:

‘This is an exciting new opportunity for everyone and brought together young people, business and local good causes. As a ‘super dragon’ it was very difficult to choose the overall winner as all the young people had such good ideas.’

Paul Schofield, Senior Partner of Deloitte in Cambridge who gave the key note speech and whose company provided the Dragon mentors: Devon Leaver, Andrew Harper and Pierre Fabry said

‘We are proud to support Dragon’s Apprentice which is consistent with our ethos of encouraging young talent and supporting the wider Cambridgeshire community.’

Why we want to work with business

Support Cambridgeshire wants to work with business, small and large.


  • We understand that business has a major part to play in local communities.
  • We recognise the skills and abilities that business has in abundance.
  • We hope that some businesses might want to give back to their communities through supporting local voluntary groups.


We recognise that some companies, particularly new or small business have very little time or financial resource. Why would they, after all their trying to build a company from the ground -up.

We further understand that larger companies (with a clear Corporate and Social Responsibility Policy) might wish to align themselves to a National Charity, where the opportunity for team challenges are greatly increased.


There is a middle route offered by Support Cambridgeshire which uses the skill and knowledge that business has in a simple non – complex way.


  • An IT company providing a simple written guidance note on making the best use of your organisation’s computer system, which we can design into a PDF toolkit for downloading by over 600 community groups across Cambridgeshire.
  • A Marketing company providing a document about how best to make use of your organisations USP, or how best to advertise voluntary services?
  • A Health and Safety Consultancy offering 1 or 2 free Organisational Health and Safety checks to community groups per year.
  • The offer of office space for community meetings, Organisational AGMS or networking events.
  • A company offering a free 2 hour training session on Data Protection,  Equality of Opportunity or Fundraising and Sales.

Simple but effective ways to help community groups develop and grow.

And what does a business get in return?

  • The certain knowledge that your help has enabled community organisations to build and develop.
  • Flexible commitment – give us much or as little time as you want.
  • Using your staff skills to help them grow in confidence.
  • Your organisational profile with your logo on our website.
  • Invites to peer learning and network events.
  • The use of Support Cambridgeshire’s bespoke logo on your advertising and marketing materials.

Interested or want to know more?



Be a Voluntary Sector Representative

Support Cambridgeshire recognises that voice and influence is vital in representing the voluntary sector.

Why is voice and influence so important?

  • It enables seldom heard groups to state their case.
  • It ensures that the sector has a place at the highest tables.
  • It enables voluntary groups to enter into meaningful discussions with stakeholders on all aspects of service delivery.

How to do you gain voice and influence?

Voice and influence is best gained through Representation.

Support Cambridgeshire has just designed a new training course specifically around the issues of Voluntary Sector Representation (or VSR). Participants from the first session in April noted:

A very good training session, well delivered with lots of practical examples on how to represent the sector.  

Excellent tips on how to deal with difficult situations when representing the sector.

It was a great opportunity to meet other voluntary sector representatives.

The facilitator was friendly, approachable and knowledgeable of the voluntary sector.

A professional and well organised course.

Support Cambridgeshire wants to run this course across the 5 districts of the County, but needs participants. If you are interested in learning more about how to represent the sector (as distinct from representing your own organisation), then please contact Support Cambridgeshire in the first instance. We can talk you through the course preview to ensure its right for you.

Course content includes:
What is Representation?
What is involvement?
Supporting Representation through evidence?
How to deal with difficult aspects of representation when the voluntary sector has no voice or perceived value?
Roles and Responsibilities?

A Voluntary Sector Representative Role Description is available to view here:  

The Code of Conduct is available to view here:

The types of Stakeholder Meetings you can involve yourself in are listed below (this is not an exhaustive list but simple provides some examples):

Community Hubs:

This meeting discusses the importance of community space and focusses on one point of contact for communities within their neighbourhoods.

The Health and Well-being Board

This overarching board investigates health and well-being issues across Cambridgeshire.

The Learning and Skills Board

This overarching board examines issues and barriers for job creation, how to bring people closer to the job market and analyses skill and learning requirements.

The Making Assets Count Programme Board

This board analyses the use of public assets (such as buildings, open space and places used by communities to ensure they are used in the most effective and worthwhile manner.

The Parish Council Liaison Group

This meeting discusses the development of the Town and Parish Council network, a vital strand in local service delivery within communities.

The Cambridgeshire Children’s Trust

The Cambridgeshire Children’s Trust is a partnership which brings together all organisations that work with children, young people and families in a shared commitment to improving children’s lives and life chances, through working collaboratively or collectively to achieve improvements.

The Trust Board provides leadership to the partners across Cambridgeshire and works to understand the needs of children in order to provide strategic direction to those providing or commissioning services so resources are targeted to meet needs more effectively.

The Early Help Hub

An exciting new approach to children’s social care and early help for children and families, the Early Help Hub is effectively a one stop shop for accessing child social care services (a one front door approach). Support Cambridgeshire has been invited to the steering group for this project, and will be involved in the co-design of systems and policies.

Cambridgeshire & Peterborough LSCB Joint Training, Development and Workforce Strategic Group

This strategic group examines child protection training and related issues in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

Huntingdonshire Community Safety Partnership 

A partnership that examines ways of delivering safer communities across Huntingdonshire.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Safeguarding Adults Training Sub – Group

This Sub – Group examines training needs, latest protocols and policies around the safeguarding of adults.

Huntingdonshire Community Learning Partnership

This partnership examines ways in which community learning and skills accreditation can aid access to job-markets and employ-ability.

SupportCambridgeshire 4 Communities is here

Support Cambridgeshire has just invested in a new initiative called SupportCambridgeshire 4 Communities.

Support Cambridgeshire 4 Communities  is a self-service funding portal which any community organisation or Town or Parish Council can access free of charge.

Organisations can browse or search for funding based on a number of differing criteria, including subject matter or amount.

When first browsing or searching, organisations will be required to register, and upon activation of the link can then undertake unlimited funding searches.

Help and advice is available via a separate menu – and Support Cambridgeshire has listed a series of frequently asked questions here

If any organisation requires support or training in using SupportCambridgeshire 4 Communities please contact Support Cambridgeshire.  




Navigate the world of social investment

Navigate the world of social investment with Good Finance.

Good finance is a new website specifically designed to help community and voluntary organisations navigate the often complex world of social investment.

It was designed by charities & social enterprises and developed in collaboration with Locality, Big Society Capital, Access, Government and other key sector partners.

The new website provides organisations with useful information, guidance and advice on such subjects as:

  • Understanding the world of social investment.
  • Understanding the requirements of social investment (the 6 key stages of preparation).
  • Sources of investment from a directory of investors and advisors.
  • Educational content, resources, guidance notes and case studies.
  • Interactive tools to help organisations decide whether social investment is appropriate to their circumstances.
  • Understanding social impact and whats required in its evaluation.

Support Cambridgeshire works with a number of development partners who have skills. knowledge and expertise in the field of social investment.

Please contact Support Cambridgeshire if you require further information.

The town and parish council development work continues to gain momentum

As part of Support Cambridgeshire a ‘How to Set up a Timebank’ Workshop was held at the CHS Group in Histon on the 3rd April 2017.

A Timebank is an exciting way for people to come together and exchange knowledge, help and skills. For every hour given, that hour is banked by the Timebank Coordinator and then withdrawn when the member needs it.

This was the first event organised as part of the project and was well attended with 17 delegates representing 12 Parish Councils, South Cambridgeshire District Council and some voluntary organisations. The afternoon comprised power-point presentations and case studies from the Cambourne Timebank Coordinator.

The feedback from the event was very positive and there has been a significant amount of follow up information sent out to attendees: Hopefully we will see more Timebanks set up across the County as a result of this workshop.  For further information on setting up a Timebank please contact Gerry Cano, CHS Group Cambridge or visit

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