NEACO Community Grant Fund Open for Applications

Please be advised that the NEACO (The Network for East Anglian Collaborative Outreach)  community grant fund is now officially open for applications.

NEACO aims to help young people from East Anglia with little or no experience of university to explore the world of higher education. They work with students in years 9-13 who live in areas identified by the Government with low rates of progression to higher education.

The web-page for organisations to find out more and submit applications is:

Please note the funding deadlines of 16th April 2018.

NEACO are keen to offer support to those organisations and individuals who would like to submit a bid and they are holding a ‘Learn and Lunch’ to give people an introduction and insight into the project as well as to answer any questions they may have about the grant process itself.


Tuesday 27th March @ 12:30

Guild House, Oundle Road, Peterborough, PE2 9PW.

Lunch will be provided and ample free parking is available.

To book your space click

The Tricky World of Funding

We all know that funding is getting harder to achieve and maintain. We also know that funding authorities or agencies expect more for their money than ever before, and the funding world is becoming ever more competitive. So where does an organisation start..??

Stage 1 – Take  a look at our Funding Fact-sheets here

Stage 2 – Finding Funds: Take a look at our self-help funding portal. This portal enables you to browse or search in excess of 2,000 possible funds which are updated regularly.

Simply click here to register and start searching…!! Searching is free and unlimited.

Stage 3 – If you want more detailed support or help simply contact and we will connect you with a Development Worker who can take you through a Grant-Finder search (which has access to even more funds). The Development Worker can also offer advice and support on what your project might look like, what funding authorities are looking for and how best to construct your application form.

Stage 4 – Find that evidence: It can often be difficult to find that all important evidence to support your application. Take a look at Cambridgeshire Insight by clicking here.

Cambridgeshire Insight showcases local research and information from a host of partners across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. No registration is required and users can access a range of local data-sets and key information including population estimates, population forecasts, local housing completions, statistics on deprivation, the economy, crime and much more. Take a look today..!!

Stage 5 – You might need to demonstrate some of your outcomes or impacts. This can be a very difficult area to navigate so you might want to take a look at our Toolbox Guidance Note as a starter. Simply click here.

If you want to explore the area of Impact in more detail you can go straight to the NPC website (New Philanthropy Capital) by clicking here.

The diagnostics tools have been built with the input of both charities and social enterprises so you might find it useful in thinking about how you can best turn vision into reality.

If you require a bespoke session on impact management or how best to obtain funding get in touch ( and we will do our best to help and guide.

Finally, take a look at our training delivered through our partnership. Simply click here. 


People Powered

Recruiting and managing volunteers is a crucial part of what the community and voluntary sector does, but its never easy..!!

Latest statistics show that volunteering is down by 15%, so how can that trend be reversed.

Join Hunts Forum at their People Powered conference on Thursday 19 April, between 10am and 2pm at the St Ives Corn Exchange (Market Street St Ives PE27 5AD).

Workshops will cover:

  • Recruitment.
  • Micro-volunteering.
  • Supporting and protecting both volunteers and the organisation.
  • Rewarding volunteers and celebrating success.

The event is open to anyone who is involved in working with volunteers (whether you’re a staff member or volunteer yourself). Hunts Forum want to hear about your experiences and have open discussions to find solutions to common challenges. Places are limited so book now.

Please contact Living Sport on 01487 841559 or

Guest speakers and workshop leaders include:

Shaun Delaney 
Volunteering Development Manager, NCVO

Shaun oversees strategy for the development of volunteering and volunteer management good practice at the National Council For Voluntary Organisations (NCVO). Previously he spent five years as head of volunteering at Samaritans, leading the involvement of 20,000 volunteers across the UK and Republic of Ireland. Before that he was with Volunteer Centre Greenwich supporting 300+ member organisations to involve volunteers and Olympic/Paralympic-related programmes including Team London Ambassadors. He is currently a trustee and treasurer of Greater London Volunteering.

Lucy Bird
Coordinator, Somersham and Pidley Time Bank

Lucy has been employed by Somersham Parish Council to run the Time Bank since July 2012. With a background in chemistry and a career break to look after her three children, Lucy was on new territory taking on this role in community development. Using local knowledge and creating links with key organisations she has built the Time Bank into a thriving project, with over 130 individuals and 16 organisational members. She now supports the growth of Timebanking across Cambridgeshire and has developed a programme of local activities for older people and those affected by long-term health conditions.

Mark Strivens
Director, Cambridge Street Pastors

Cambridge Street Pastors patrol the streets in the city centre each Friday and Saturday night to help anyone in difficulty without judgement or discrimination. Part of a national organisation, The Ascension Trust, the Street Pastors aim to provide a listening ear, practical help and Christian concern for all people, whether upset or sick or just needing someone to talk to. Mark is the local director working with Trustees and volunteers; he is responsible for day to day operations, recruiting, training and equipping volunteers, overseeing the weekly patrols and working with partner agencies.

Keith Smith
Founder & Director, Ferry Project

Keith founded Ferry Project in 1999, a social enterprise and registered charity providing support and accommodation to homeless people. In 2010 Keith won Fenland business person of the year, in 2012 was voted Inspirational leader of the year by the Chartered Institute of Housing and in 2014 was the winner of the East of England Impact Awards from Business in the Community. Previously, Keith worked as a science teacher for 16 years in Wisbech, and trained and worked as a counsellor. He has been a board member for Social Enterprise East of England and a Chair of Governors. He is an Elder of the King’s Church in Wisbech.

Susie Willis
Chief Officer, Care Network Cambridgeshire

Susie joined Care Network in June 2017. Having been a carer for her grandmother who had Vascular Dementia, there were so many times she felt the system let them down. She saw the Chief Officer role as one way that she could prevent others going through a similar experience.

Previous areas of third sector employment include Head of Operations for Boxing Futures, a charity delivering sport for good, community rehabilitation programmes for young people aged 16-25 years. She helped the charity develop from a concept to becoming operationally live; delivering in London and Peterborough, culminating in winning international funding from the Movember Foundation to deliver a project to reduce male social isolation and the likelihood of suicidal feelings.


The People Powered conference is co-hosted by Living Sport and Hunts Forum, and funded by Huntingdonshire District Council.


Pride in Our Carers Awards 2018

Carers Trust Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and Norfolk is delighted to announce the launch of their Pride in Our Carers Awards 2018,  and would like to invite nominations in order to honour family carers and carer friendly professionals and organisations who go the extra mile.

For the third year running they are celebrating the fantastic work of countless unpaid carers of all ages in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.  This year nominations can also include Norfolk for the very first time.

The results will be announced at a ceremony in Peterborough on Wednesday, 13 June during national Carers Week 2018 (11-17 June).  This will be run in partnership with Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, Peterborough City Council and Cambridgeshire County Council.

Miriam Martin, CEO of Carers Trust Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and Norfolk said:

This is a fantastic opportunity for us to celebrate family carers of all ages, who have a dedicated caring role without receiving any recognition for what they do.  This is a chance for the community to show their appreciation for them, as well as acknowledge the carer friendly GP practices, health and social care professionals, teachers, community organisations and businesses that support family carers. Our first ever Pride in Our Carers Awards was held in 2016 and was a great success.  Anyone who was there or at the event in 2017 would have found it a very humbling and moving experience. We want these Awards to inspire individuals, organisations and business to find out more and understand how they can better support these unsung heroes.

The deadline for nominations is Monday 16th April 2018.  Nominations will be judged by an independent panel of family carers and professionals.

Who can I nominate?

The simple answer is any informal care givers of any age or community groups, organisations and businesses (or people in them) who have made a difference to family carers in their community.

The Awards particularly want to recognise organisations and individuals who are carer friendly and regularly lead by example in their support for carers.

What are the categories?

  • Family Carer of the Year.
  • Young Carer/Young Adult Carer of the Year.
  • Carer Friendly Employer of the Year.
  • Carer Friendly School/College of the Year.
  • Carer Friendly Social Care.
  • Carer Friendly Health Care.
  • Carer Friendly Voluntary Organisation.
  • Outstanding Contribution to Carers.
  • Special Recognition.

How do I nominate?

The easiest way to nominate is to go online to: or contact



GDPR – The end of the world as we know it?

That’s the question posed to Mike Holland, Account Director of OlsenMetrix Marketing in the latest edition of Connected – The Chamber of Commerce Magazine.

He states:

GDPR comes into force on the 25th May 2018 and will be enforced in the UK by the Information Commissioner’s Office.

GDPR is aimed at an organisation’s use of personal data. Anything which identifies an individual, or can be associated with an individual is deemed personal data.

For example, a business E-Mail address linked to an individual is personal data. He goes on:

Importantly, GDPR does not just cover E-Mails and Marketing. It covers all personal data that businesses and organisations handle. That includes items such as personnel records, CV’s and job applications, customer records, E-Mails and more. And it covers data not just on computers and IT systems but information held on paper, in filing cabinets, in card index systems or anywhere else, including your mobile phone.

It is however easy to overstate the impact of GDPR. This is not the end of the world as we know it. The new legislation is mostly going to restate what is already either law or best practice.

A number of myths have grown up around GDPR. One of the most common is that GDPR requires you to have permission to contact people before you do so: This is simply not true.

What is true is that if you have a list of people, for whatever purpose, whether it is held on computer or in a little black book – you will be covered by GDPR. You need to have assessments in place to justify your possession of that list and your use of it. You must also have systems and procedures in place to keep it secure.

However, you don’t necessarily need to have permission (legally known as informed consent) to contact the people on that list. For most organisations there are 3 legals bases on which data can be collected, stored and used in addition to informed consent: These are:

  • To perform a contractual obligation.
  • To fulfil legal obligations – for example the recording of accidents or demonstrating compliance with regulations.
  • To pursue legitimate interests.

With the latter, you need to conduct a legitimate interest assessment, showing why and how you plan to use the data. The assessment needs to balance the rights of the individual to privacy versus your need to breach that privacy by contacting them or holding data on them. The law says you have a legitimate interest in doing that if it is necessary for achieving your commercial or business interests.

GDPR gives people a wide range of rights to control your storage and use of their data. They are entitled to see all the data you hold on them, they are entitled in some circumstances to be forgotten, and they are entitled to object to automatic processing of their data (so the computer says no) will no longer be a permissible answer to an enquiry.

So Mike concludes:

GDPR will certainly provide some challenges. However, with good planning these are not insurmountable. It would though, be prudent to get some good advice on an individual basis to ensure that your systems and processes comply with the new law.

Extracts taken from Connected – The official monthly magazine for Chamber members Issue 65/April 2018.

If you require more help and advice about GDPR take a look at Support Cambridgeshire’s basic fact-sheet on the subject which can be found here: 

Further advice and guidance can be found at the ICO website by clicking here:

State of the Sector Survey 2018

The State of the Sector Survey for 2018 is now live and can be accessed here:

The survey provides a really important barometer on the state of the voluntary and community sector across Cambridgeshire, and we urge all community based organisations within the County, large or small, to take 10 minutes out from their day jobs to complete.

The more responses we receive, the better picture we have.

All returns will be entered into a prize draw for one of two Amazon Vouchers worth £25.00.

You can complete the survey online, or if you require a paper copy please contact Mark Freeman at Cambridge CVS at




The Power of a Time-bank

Time-banks are a way of bringing people and communities together.

Time-bank members give their time, skill or knowledge to others, and in return receive something they need or want.

No money changes hands – and with it people meet people and form new bonds.

If you have ever doubted the power of a Time-bank take a look at this story: It’s the story of Mary and Carla.

Mary got in touch with her local Time-bank to ask if they could arrange a visitor to spend time with her mother Sue.  Sue has dementia, she forgets what has been said, and so she repeats questions and statements frequently. She has mobility problems and spends much of her time sitting in her chair, and rarely leaves the house.

She has carers to help with washing and dressing. Her husband and her daughter care for her the rest of the time but she was getting lonely when her daughter and husband were working and she wanted someone to talk to.

Enter Carla:

Carla has been visiting Sue for an hour once every 2 weeks since October for a chat. Sue is very happy to see Carla and welcomes her in her native Arabic and says ‘you are the light of my eyes’. Mary is pleased that her mother is having company and variety in her routine. Sue remembers Carla’s name and that she is Hungarian. They talk about Sue’s children and grandchildren, music and how she used to teach, important therapy for someone who lives with dementia.

Carla states:

Working with the Time-bank in order to help people who genuinely need support, is one of the most enjoyable things I can imagine spending my free time with. Visiting Sue for just a bit of chit chat lights up her day and that lights up mine. I’m fortunate to have a community that is engaged with such a compassionate volunteer base.

Cambridgeshire has a vibrant Time-banking network. For more information on Time-banking, how it works and what’s involved click here:

Time-banks rely on the goodwill of people, organisations and communities to work. Click here to find out how you can help.

A new look for Cambridgeshire’s Child and Family Centres

Cambridgeshire County Council are launching a new approach to supporting Cambridgeshire families in April 2018.

The redesigned Child and Family Centres will better meet the needs of a growing and rural county with activities and events taking place in a range of new locations across the county and an extended focus on families with children of all ages.

The changes were agreed at full council in October 2017 following public consultation and will be discussed at the Children and Young People Committee meeting on Tuesday 13 March 2018.

Activities will be run from new communities at Northstowe and Clay Farm for the first time as well as outreach in other new locations across the county.

Adaptions have been approved to transform a youth centre at Scaldgate in Whittlesey into a new Child and Family Zone and a new space for families with children of all ages is planned for Sawtry.

Centres will create better links with and provide a base for other services including adult learning, health visiting, midwifery and social care.

Buildings that will no longer be operating as Children’s Centres will be used to boost childcare provision with up to 325 new places provided for under 5’s.
Changes will also allow much-needed school expansions to take place in Sawtry and Whittlesey.

Councillor Simon Bywater, Chairman of the Children and Young People Committee said:

I’m pleased to share more information about our new Child and Family Centres with families this week. We worked with staff, local families and young people to get their views on the new branding and updated What’s On information.

Work has been going on behind the scenes to ensure that the redesigned service is more responsive to the needs of our rapidly changing county whilst delivering the agreed savings target of £900,000 with no cuts to front-line delivery budgets.

We will continue to further develop the programme with additional activities, including more for older children and in new outreach locations, during the summer term.

What’s on Guides for each District can be seen here:

Railways are living memories, even model railways

According to evidence from The Alzheimer’s Society, over 800,000 people currently live with Dementia in the UK.

Triggering previous experiences is seen as an important way of connecting and engaging with those who have the condition.

With that in mind, let’s take you to March in Cambridgeshire…..

March has always been a railway town. The March and Railway Model Club hit on an idea of connecting model railways to the topical and ever present issue of Dementia.

The club have been thinking about model railways, layouts, trains and wagons as more than just that: After seeing an article in a national model railway magazine they decided they wanted to explore the possibility of running a project directly aimed at helping people who live with dementia.

The idea was simple: using a portable railway layout could they trigger important past memories in Dementia sufferers, and as a result improve their engagement and well-being.

They approached Support Cambridgeshire partner Cambridge CVS to help with creating a proposal that:

  • Evidenced the need.
  • Set out the objectives.
  • Described the outcomes.
  • Obtained funding.

The club had already received support from three model making companies who donated models, and a national model railway magazine who wanted to publish an article about the project. The club recognised the importance of working in partnership with others and they had already developed links with the Dementia Café in Wisbech run by Alzheimer’s Society and PHAB Wisbech.

Cambridge CVS helped the club obtain funding from sources, including the Healthy Fenland Fund and with this the club began to build their larger mobile layout.

After a successful first session at a Dementia Cafe, one Dementia carer said that she was now buying a model railway set for her husband as she has not seen him so animated and engaged for ages.

And interest in the club’s activities is growing. A group of Care Homes are now seeking the support of the club.

But with success comes pressure: The club is only small and in need of more members.

Take a look at their web-site:




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