Trustees achieving Hallmark accreditation

Congratulations to the trustees of Parson Drove Amenities Group on achieving Hallmark 1 accreditation.

Hallmark is a nationally recognised quality standard scheme for village halls and community facilities.

Cambridgeshire ACRE runs the scheme throughout the County and are pleased to announce the trustees at Parson Drove Village Hall have achieved Hallmark 1 accreditation. The visitors who carried out the accreditation inspection were impressed with the dedication of the trustees and the considerable amount of work they have completed over recent years to ensure their two facilities continue to be well used and loved by their local community.  The trustees have a clear vision for the future to continue to improve their facilities.

The benefits of the Hallmark scheme for village halls includes formal recognition that the community facility has embedded good practice and procedures, giving residents and hirers confidence that their valuable community venue is being well managed and run by the trustees. There are three levels to the Hallmark scheme and it is hoped the trustees of Parson Drove Village Hall will soon go on to achieve the next two levels.

Kirsten Bennett, Chief Executive of Cambridgeshire ACRE said: “I would like to congratulate the trustees and volunteers at Parson Drove Village Hall on their recent success with Hallmark 1. This accreditation is confirmation of the hard work and dedication of the management committee and supporters of the village hall. I wish them every success as they progress through the next two levels of the scheme.”

Alan Killingworth, Chair of the trustees, said: “I wish to thank all committee members for their support and confidence over the last 10 years.  It has been the continuity of commitment that has contributed towards the success of achieving this award. We look forward to applying for the next 2 stages of the Hallmark accreditation process.”

Innovate and Cultivate Fund – Now open

Cambridgeshire County Council are pleased to announce that applications for the the Innovate and Cultivate Fund are now open.

Previously known as the ‘Cambridgeshire Communities Innovation Fund’ – the County Council’s ‘up to £1 million’ fund for community organisations –has been refreshed and revamped following feedback to both simplify the process for applying for small grants, and to offer greater guidance on the Council’s priority funding areas.

The aim of the fund is to strengthen communities and reduce the need for County Council services, thus giving a return on investment.

Applications are being sought that will help to achieve the County Council’s seven priority outcomes for Cambridgeshire:

These are:

  1. Older people live well independently.
  2. People with disabilities live well independently.
  3. Adults and children at risk of harm are kept safe.
  4. Places that work with children help them to reach their potential.
  5. The Cambridgeshire economy prospers to the benefit of all residents.
  6. People live in a safe environment.
  7. People lead a healthy lifestyle and stay healthy for longer.

So how do you apply?

Council services that are inviting applications include adult social care, children and families services, and the waste service.

The fund is open to voluntary, community and social enterprise sector organisations based in and outside of Cambridgeshire, and public sector organisations in Cambridgeshire.

The Innovate and Cultivate Fund has been split into two funding streams: a ‘Cultivate’ stream for small grants of £2,000-£10,000 and an ‘Innovate’ stream for larger grants of up to £50,000.

A new round of funding opens in September and the deadline for applications is 26th October. Further information about the fund may be found on the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation website. Grant applications will be available to download in early September.

Workshop for applicants

A workshop for applicants will be held on 27th September, 2pm-4.15pm at St Ives Corn Exchange. You can book here.

If you have any queries please contact Cambridgeshire Community Foundation on 01223 410535 or email


The future of libraries in Cambridgeshire – further workshops announced

The County Council has recently started an informal discussion with library users and stakeholders on the future for libraries in Cambridgeshire through a series of workshops. The first round of events is drawing to a close but the conversation continues over the coming weeks with more workshop dates and venues in September and October.

The County is changing and the way people use the council’s services is changing too: The council wishes to take this opportunity to ensure their services are fit for the future and meet the needs of the community. They would like to hear your ideas and suggestions on how to sustain, improve and develop your libraries and the services they offer.

The council will use this discussion to inform their work over the coming months to define how libraries can achieve long-term sustainability and continue to thrive.

This new set of workshops is intended to offer as many opportunities to as many people as possible to get involved and will follow the same format as the August events.

Please join the council on any of the following dates:

  • Monday 25th September 10.00 – 12:30 The Eastrea Centre, 2 Roman Gardens (Coates Road), Eastrea, Whittlesey PE7 2BA
  • Tuesday 26th September 18:30 – 21:00 St Andrew’s Centre, School Hill, Histon CB24 9JE
  • Wednesday 27th September 13:30 – 16:00 The Priory Centre, Priory Lane, St Neots PE19 2BH
  • Thursday 28th September 12:30 – 15:00 The Ellesmere Centre, Ley Road, Stetchworth, Newmarket, CB8 9TS
  • Monday 2nd October 18:30 – 21:00 Cambridge Central Library, 7 Lion Yard, Cambridge CB2 3QD
  • Tuesday 3rd October 13:00 – 15:30 The Hub Meeting Room, High St, Cambourne CB23 6GW.

If you have already joined the council and given you views at one of the August events, there is no need for you to attend another one. But you are of course welcome to if you wish to take the conversation further. The council will also start to summarise the themes from these early discussions on their website and this will enable the conversations to develop over time.

If you are unable to attend but would like to have your say, you can email the council with questions or comments at

For details of the council’s conversations with the community and updates on their work on the strategy for Cambridgeshire’s Library Service, please check their website.

Village Hall demonstrates the value of training

The background:

Kirtling village hall sits in the village of Kirtling and Upend, approximately 3 miles south of Newmarket. The village consists of 165 housing units, with a population of approximately 400 residents. The village hall was built in 1995 and is a current Cambridgeshire ACRE member. The Trustees are aware of Support Cambridgeshire and what it aims to achieve (strengthening community organisations across Cambridgeshire).

The village hall faces a number of challenges. The first is a requirement for more Trustees to help and support the work of the hall, and provide it with more strategic direction. The village hall wants to remain at the centre of village life, but realises it needs to learn from others experiences in order to further develop this approach.


Through the Support Cambridgeshire partnership, Cambridgeshire ACRE ran a coffee morning come and learn on the subject of Fire Safety in Village Halls (May 2017). The Trustees see this type of networking as invaluable, as they often work alone and talking to others who run village halls and face similar challenges is vital.


The Trustees self- assessed their skills, knowledge and understanding of the subject area at 30% prior to training.
The Trustees self-assessed their skills, knowledge and understanding of the subject area at 75% post training completion.

The Impact Increase in skills and understanding was therefore 45%.

Training in practice:

The trustees have started to put some ideas into practice as a result of their learning: These include:

• Hazard identification.
• The requirement for Regular PAT Testing.
• Fire signage.
• Rules around the use of Fire Doors.
• Emergency Lighting in the event of a fire.

Supporting comments:

I go to as many of these events as I can. The opportunity to exchange information and work with peers is invaluable.
The Community Facilities Development Officer knows her job inside out and is a tremendous source of support.
We have received a fantastic level of support overall.

Adult social care in Cambridgeshire.

Support Cambridgeshire recently attended a networking event about Adult social care in Cambridgeshire. It was clear that the County faces a number of difficult challenges:

  • An increasingly ageing population.
  • People living longer with more complex needs.
  • Austerity in public sector resources.
  • Delivering a service in Adult social care which is sustainable in the long term.

The County has a vision which includes enabling people to live independently, supporting people in a way that works for them as individuals, recognising the strengths of individuals, communities and community organisations and working in partnership with service providers and the voluntary sector.

The new Neighbourhood Cares Pilot is coming to St Ives and Soham. Its effectively a case for change – a new way of looking at Adult Social Care, based upon the premise that when people require support that support is rooted in its local community and a reflection of local needs and circumstances. For more information on this pilot contact Louise Tranham. 

Sleeping out at Graffham

Its great to see young people doing things that support their local community or local good causes.

Recently, Support Cambridgeshire were fortunate enough to be invited as a Dragon, sitting on a panel and assessing Social Action Projects devised, implemented and delivered by young people, aged 16-17, as part of the National Citizenship Service.

The group we assessed consisted of 19 young people, who had clearly made the connection between mental health and homelessness.

Their plan was double headed – a sleep out at the Graffham Water Centre in Huntingdonshire scheduled for the 21st August 2017, followed by a music event on the 22nd or 23rd, all in support of MIND.

We found the group to be enthusiastic, committed and intuitive, and we have no doubt their plan will be a roaring success.

If you want to found out more about the National Citizenship Service contact Kim Jeffries on 07825 905848.

if you want to find out more about what the group are doing and why contact Jack on 07901 208978, Lewis on 07708 791940 or Daniel on 07704 761741.


The future of libraries in Cambridgeshire

Cambridgeshire County Council wished us to post the following message in relation to the proposed consultation on the future of libraries across Cambridgeshire.

Workshops on the future of libraries in Cambridgeshire

We recently invited you to a series of Workshops across the county to begin an informal discussion about the future of libraries in Cambridgeshire.

We are contacting you again to inform you that due to the Bank Holiday weekend, we have decided to change the time and venue of the workshop that was due to be held on Friday 25th August 18:30-21:00 at Cambridge Central Library

This workshop will now be held at the new time of 12.30 -15:00 at the Arbury Community Centre, Cambridge on Friday 25th August.

All other events remain unchanged:

  • Monday 21st August 18:30 – 21:00 Huntingdon Library, Princes Street, Huntingdon PE29 3PA
  • Tuesday 22nd August 18:30 – 21:00  Cambourne Sports and Social Club, The Pavilion, Brick Lane CB23 6FY
  • Wednesday 23rd August 18:30 – 21:00 March Library, City Rd, March PE15 9LT
  • Thursday 24th August 18:30 – 21:00 Ely Library, 6 The Cloisters, Ely CB7 4ZH

We apologise for any inconvenience this has caused.

Please could you RSVP to and let us know if you, or anybody you may be supporting to attend has any communication requirements that we can help to meet at these sessions by emailing


Can I get help with funding my project?

We all know that funding is getting harder to find, and the market in which the voluntary sector operates is becoming increasingly more competitive.

Support Cambridgeshire hosts a self-funding portal, which enables you to browse for funding an unlimited amount of times, based upon the the of organisation you think you are and the funding you are looking for.

Register and start searching for Free here:

What is SupportCambridgeshire 4 Communities?

This website allows voluntary and community organisations to search for potential funding opportunities relevant to the size and nature of their business.  It contains details of grants, loans, venture capital, awards and other funding suitable for community based projects.

Can I get help with finding a grant for our project?

Yes: Support Cambridgeshire manages a community funding website called SupportCambridgeshire 4 Communities, a one-stop shop for funding information.  It gives access to a database of thousands of grants, loans and other forms of financial assistance you can search for potential sources of funding for your project. Having used the portal to find potential forms of funding, further support is available from Support Cambridgeshire and its Development workers if required.

Simply contact

Who can use SupportCambridgeshire 4 Communities?

SupportCambridgeshire 4 Communities is available for to all organisations including community and voluntary groups, charities, town and parish councils, sport clubs, schools and social enterprises.

What happens when I register my details?

You will be added to the SupportCambridgeshire 4 Communities database and a confirmation email will be sent to you via the email address you provided when registering. The whole process only takes a few minutes to complete, and you are then free to make as many funding searches as you wish.

Where can I get help if I am having difficulties with the search questions?

If at any stage you need help with the questions when carrying out a grant search on the SupportCambridgeshire 4 Communities website, please go to the ‘Help and Advice’ section on the right hand side of the homepage and open up the ‘User Guide’.  This contains some useful hints and tips to use when searching for grants.

Trustees required – Living Sport

Do you have a passion for sport and active living?

A belief in its capacity to enhance and enrich at both an individual and community level?

Understand that sport can contribute positively across a range of social, community and health agendas?

Living Sport’s purpose is to inspire everyone to lead healthy lives by increasing and improving opportunities to be active and to participate in sport and physical activity.

Living Sport is looking for high performing individuals to become Trustees of Living Sport and are seeking at least two candidates:

  • With experience working with statutory organisations and in strategic partnerships, with strong networking and influencing skills
  • And/or to support our Audit and Assurance Committee encompassing financial planning especially in terms of diversification of the charity’s funding

They are actively seeking a diverse Board membership and particularly welcome applications from women with appropriate skills and experience.

This is an exciting opportunity to influence the way sport and physical activity is developed across Cambridgeshire & Peterborough – delivered to high quality and contributing to improving the health of our communities – whilst also developing the business of the charity.

For further information about the positions please contact Simon Fairhall, Chief Executive, Living Sport on 01487 849928 or  The closing date for applications is 21st August 2017 with interviews to be in the week beginning 28th August 2017.


The future of libraries in Cambridgeshire

Cambridgeshire County Council are holding a series of workshops on the future of library provision across the County.

They are invited people to attend to have their say, and help shape the future of provision.

The Government has recently published Libraries Deliver: Ambition for Public Libraries in England 2016 to 2021 which the Council will be using as their framework.

Workshops will be held on the following dates and times:

Monday the 21st August 2017 between 6.30pm and 9.00pm at Huntingdon Library, Princes Street, Huntingdon PE29 3PA.

Tuesday the 22nd August 2017 between 6.30pm and 9.00pm at Cambourne Sports and Social Club, The Pavilion, Brick Lane CB23 6FY.

Wednesday the 23rd August 2017 between 6.30pm and 9.00pm at March Library, City Road, March PE15 9LT.

Thursday the 24th August 2017 between 6.30pm and 9.00pm at Ely Library, 6 The Cloisters, Ely CB7 4ZH.

Friday the 25th August 2017 between 6.30pm and 9.00pm at Cambridge Central Library, 7 Lion Yard, Cambridge CB2 3QD.

These workshops are the start of a conversation. Further workshops will be run across the County in September 2017.

People can also E-mail their questions or comments to the Library Service. 

If you wish to attend any of these workshops contact the Library Service by Wednesday the 16th August 2017.





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