Insider Fraud and Cyber Crime

Here’s a stunning statistic according to a recently published Government report: The overall cost to the UK economy from cyber crime is £27 billion per year.

The charity sector is not immune, particularly smaller charities with less infrastructure and technical support.

Guidance on how best to avoid these potential threats is provided by clicking here:

And if that wasn’t enough to worry about, The Charity Commission has recently issued an alert from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (or the NFIB), highlighting the insider threat from fraudsters and cyber criminals. The alert identifies that over 50% of organisations have suffered an insider threat attack in the previous year. Insider fraud is committed by someone involved within your charity, whether a trustee, an employee or volunteer. The Commission warns that charities are as vulnerable to insider threats as the private or public sector.

The NFIB warns that insider fraud poses a greater threat than external fraud due to knowledge of sensitive information and access to an organisation’s systems and inner workings. You can read more on this story here, and you can find the Charity Commission’s guidance to protecting your organisation from fraud here.

Be a Cycling Superhero

This September, Camcycle will launch the Cambridge Festival of Cycling.  This month-long festival will celebrate the joy of cycling in Cambridge, the cycling capital of the UK. Share your cycling experiences, learn new things and share in their vision for more, better and safer cycling in and around Cambridge for all ages and abilities. Most events are free and all are welcome.

You do not need to be a Camcycle member and you don’t need to be someone that already cycles. Their event timetable is growing every day with over 20 events planned with more to come.

Camcycle will also be conducting the Cambridge Cycling Survey to find out more about Cambridge resident’s cycling experiences.

To make this huge celebration of the city’s cycling culture a success, Camcycle need an amazing team of volunteers.

If you think you’re a cycling superhero with skills from cake-baking to photography, do get involved and share your enthusiasm.

The list of volunteer roles on offer include:

  • Ride marshals
  • First Aiders
  • Planners and organisers
  • Volunteers to talk about cycling with the Camcycle stall bike
  • Ticket sellers for their film, ‘Why we Cycle’
  • Social media volunteers
  • Photographers
  • Ushers
  • Refreshment stand volunteers
  • Article writers
  • Ride leaders
  • Videographers
  • Cake bakers
  • Cargo bike riders
  • General volunteers.

If you think you can help support the Festival of Cycling, please get in touch with Camcycle at with the subject heading ‘Festival Volunteering’.

They would love to hear from YOU.


Volunteers required – Cancer Research

Cancer Research are desperately short of volunteers to help at the start and finish and also (most importantly) on the course route for the Shine Night Walk on Saturday 15th September 2018.  Volunteers would need to report for briefing around 18:00 and should be finished by around 22:30 at the latest.  All volunteers will receive a CRUK t-shirt and refreshments during the event.

If you would like to volunteer then please register at

or simply email




Annual State of the Sector Survey 2018

The Annual State of the Sector Survey for 2018 is now available to view.

The survey informs infrastructure organisations like Support Cambridgeshire of the challenges, trends and patterns taking place across the voluntary sector in Cambridgeshire.

So, what are the headlines from 2018?

  • The voluntary sector is generally thriving, with many confident about their funding for the future.
  • The sector is still relatively small in terms of annual turnover (per Annum).
  • Whilst Statutory Grants are still vital, many organisations are diversifying their income portfolio, raising finance from individual donors or through event fundraising.
  • Support Cambridgeshire representation is highly valued, and provides a voice for the sector as a whole.
  • Organisations wish to assist in producing and defining County priorities, but engagement with statutory stakeholders ranges from good to not good at all.
  • Survey respondents welcomed the opportunity to partake in a new CEO network and a Commissioning Forum.

The full report can be viewed here:


Local Infrastructure and Civil Society

This week saw the launch of the Government’s highly anticipated Civil Society Strategy: Building a Future that Works for Everyone. Support Cambridgeshire contributed to the consultation in two ways; as part of a regional focus group and separately with our own comments.

Encouragingly the strategy made explicit reference to the importance of local infrastructure so we are naturally delighted. It also referenced a renewed commitment to Compact and the principles of partnership working all of which is positive.

Below is a selection of some of the Strategy’s key take-outs with relevance to local infrastructure.

Strengthening local infrastructure:

  • The strategy makes explicit reference to the important role of local infrastructure in strengthening civil society by supporting and representing VCSE groups.  We are pleased to see clear acknowledgement from Government that operational and strategic support (such as networking, information and advice, knowledge and skills and collaboration) is as vital to the survival of VCSE organisations as they are to commercial business. (Page 77).
  • We are also pleased to see that the Strategy sets out a clear commitment by Government to strengthen and increase work in partnership with the VCSE sector, and it’s very encouraging that now Government proposes to renew the principles of the VCSE Compact (Page 16) which suggests commitment to increased joint-working with our sector on policy and programme design.
  • Declining resources have had a long-term, detrimental effect on infrastructure support. Whilst the Strategy does not make overt reference to the financial landscape that local infrastructure has had to endure, it does express a commitment to developing a sector-led approach to further strengthening infrastructure support. (Page 77 – 78).  Interestingly, whilst government makes a clear commitment to engage with our sector, details on where practical and financial resources will come from are missing.

Community- led initiatives, inclusive communities and place based social action:

The strategy sets out an intention to give people more control over the future of the communities they live in, with user-led, community-led services becoming more commonplace in the future.  It also outlines plans to reduce social, financial and digital exclusion Some of the key community led and ideas for place-based social action outlined in the strategy include:

  • An intention to fund training for 3,500 Community Organisers by 2020 (Page 36) and a commitment to reducing financial exclusion, working with the Big Lottery Fund to use £55 million from dormant accounts to fund a new, independent organisation which will work with partners across the private and VCSE (Page 16).   Plans to explore he potential of technology to address complex social issues such as rough sleeping, digital inclusion and healthy ageing are also mentioned.

Supporting Young People:

Key initiatives designed to support young people and strengthen their engagement in civil society include:

  • A plan for government to work with the Big Lottery Fund to use a £90m funding pot for the creation of a new body to provide support to young people with multiple barriers to employment.  Funding for the scheme will be sourced from dormant bank accounts. Alongside this, government pledges around 650,000 new opportunities for young people to get become active on local issues they care about (e.g. environmental action, education, health, loneliness, and sport).  This initiative is being created though the #iwill Fund, supported by the government and Big Lottery Fund alongside 20 new match-funding partners.  (Page 43)

Funding, Commissioning & Contracts:

In our parent organisations response to the Strategy Consultation, NAVCA set out the urgent need for improvements to public sector commissioning.  Government has pledged to address these in the strategy:

  • In our submission to Government, we outlined the need for sustainable, accessible, and diversified funding sources for VCSE organisations and we highlighted the essential role of grant funding.  The Government outlines a planned revival of grant-making, through “Grants 2.0” and the introduction of the Grants Functional Standard to support this, which will set out minimum grant standards for general grants (Page 111 – 112).
  • Using the Crown Representative for the VCSE sector to run an awareness campaign to encourage use of Contracts Finder and Mystery Shopper services to improve engagement in the commissioning and co-design, and to hold statutory organisations to account for poor practice in commissioning and contracting. Government also proposes to explore the flexibilities in contract law (to reserve some competitions to other social purpose vehicles, and an intention to strengthen the Social Value Act is also included (Page 112 – 115)
  • The strategy sets out Government’s intention to encourage collaborative commissioning; a framework for future for joint working across sectors and with communities improve the way that services are funded, created and delivered. Government announces it aims to do this by encouraging the national roll-out of Citizen Commissioners, where local people will be given support to make commissioning decisions on behalf of their communities. It also briefly mentions plans to include civil society representation on the Cabinet Office’s Strategic Supplier Group for public sector commissioning, as well as plans to explore how to support social and community-led organisations to form mutuals to deliver public services.  (Page 105 – 107)
  • Notably, and worrying there is no detail in the strategy of what Government will do to protect VCSE providers and local communities in the face of system failure (as seen recently in Northamptonshire, where financial and management failures by the County Council have led to the immediate withdrawal of agreed contracts resulting in the loss of local infrastructure support for the VCSE sector and huge risk to the viability, the VCSE organisations, local communities and civil society at large).

You can read and download the full Civil Society Strategy on the Government’s Gov.UK website.

Support Cambridgeshire will be using basis of the report at the launch the new Commissioning Forum which aims to break down barriers between Commissioning Unit and VCSE.


2018 Local Council Conference

We are pleased to announce that the 2018 Conference for Cambridgeshire Local Councils will be taking place on Friday 23 November 2018 in Huntingdon (at the Marriott Hotel, Kingfisher Way PE29 6FL).

Based on last year’s feedback, and thanks to sponsorship from the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority and Cambridgeshire County Council, this will now be a full day event from 9.30am to 3.45pm including lunch and opportunities for networking with other attendees. There will also be a marketplace of stalls offering useful information and services to local councils.

UPDATED The full programme for the event is now available here. It includes addresses from the Chief Executive of Cambridgeshire County Council, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Association of Local Councils and the Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, James Palmer, who will be talking about his ambitions for our rural villages and market towns. Delegates can also attend workshops on:

  • Market Town Masterplans: the Role of Local Councils
  • Realising the capabilities of parish councils
  • The role of Community Led Housing in Cambridgeshire’s rural communities
  • Community Engagement – Challenges and Opportunities
  • Be Prepared! How you can mobilise your community in an emergency
  • Undertaking a Neighbourhood Plan in your Parish
  • Improving collaborative working between Clerks and Councillors
  • Harnessing nature to power our future; Local Councils and renewable energy generation
  • Declining Public Transport: What are the options for Local Councils to relieve the impact?

This event will be useful to Councillors and Clerks from local councils, District and County Councillors and representatives from organisations that work with and support local councils across Cambridgeshire. Bookings are now open.

How to book

Details of the workshops are available here. Please click here to book a place and choose which workshops you wish to attend.

Bookings should be made by Friday 9 November 2018. Joining instructions will be sent to all delegates one week prior to the event.

Who is organising this conference?

This event is being organised by Support Cambridgeshire Partner Cambridgeshire ACRE in association with the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Association of Local Councils, the Society of Local Council Clerks Cambridgeshire branch, the County’s District Councils, Cambridgeshire County Council and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority.

Cambridgeshire ACRE are working together to deliver this conference as part of our continued commitment to building a stronger dialogue between all levels of local government.

Any enquiries should be addressed to Alison Brown at Cambridgeshire ACRE on 01353 865029 or




Community First consultation

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG has today launched the ‘Community First’ consultation on proposed changes to the provision of inpatient beds for people with a learning disability in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

People with a learning disability and/or autism have the right to the same opportunities as anyone else; to live satisfying and varied lives and to be treated with dignity and respect.

Like everyone else, people with a learning disability and/or autism should be able to expect to live in their own home or another place of care within their local community, to develop and maintain positive relationships, and to receive the support they need to be healthy, safe, and an active part in society.

The CCG’s aim is that hospital admissions for people with a learning disability should be a last resort, of high quality, integrated with community services, and focus on people’s recovery so that they can be discharged back to the community in a timely way.

To do this they are planning to redesign inpatient services and to invest in community and primary preventative services for people with a learning disability and/or autism.

They are seeking views on their proposals.

The consultation documents and details of how to respond can be found on their website at:

The consultation runs from Friday 10 August 2018 until 5pm on Friday 28 September 2018.


The Civil Society Strategy is launched

Earlier in the year Support Cambridgeshire was involved in consultations over the Governments new proposed Civil Society Strategy.

Today it’s been launched. It’s a massive document but what does it say about the community and voluntary sector?

Here are some snippets.

The social sector is the core of civil society. The government is keen to work alongside the social sector to build a future in which the sector can adapt and thrive, strengthen public trust, as well as find new ways to resource and deliver their work.

The government is determined that charities and social enterprises should be fully confident in their right to speak in public debates, and to have a strong role in shaping policy and speaking up on behalf of those they support.

The government will renew its commitment to the principles of the Compact. The Compact is a document that sets out a series of principles and commitments governing the relationship between the social sector and the government. We will also work with civil society, the Electoral Commission, and the Charity Commission to explore what non-legislative steps could strengthen civil society’s confidence in speaking out.

the government will convene a cross government group to work with civil society to establish the principles of effective involvement in the policymaking process, learning from the examples of good practice that already exist. We also recognise the strong demand from the social enterprise sector for a simpler relationship with the government. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport will establish a regular forum for social enterprises to coordinate relations with government.

On funding and financing, the government is working with the Charity Commission and UK Community Foundations to release at least £20 million over the next two years from inactive charitable trusts to help community organisations.

The government will explore how to encourage more collective giving, a form of charitable giving where groups of people pool their donations to create larger funds to tackle problems.

On leadership, we will work with civil society stakeholders and the Charity Commission to agree on joint action to open up trusteeship to people from different backgrounds.

There is increasing awareness that increased use of data and digital technology can make charities stronger and even better at what they do. But charities are taking time to adopt opportunities. The government has identified artificial intelligence and the data revolution as one of the four Grand Challenges facing the UK.  We will work with partners to explore how best to  use digital to build a stronger and even more effective social sector.


Whats a funding portal?

We all know that obtaining or maintaining funding streams in the voluntary sector is a real challenge, particularly in an ever competitive and crowded market-place.

Some organisations always require in-depth support in their search for funding, whilst others are able to take advantage of Support Cambridgeshire 4 Communities.

So what is Support Cambridgeshire 4 Communities?

It’s a self -funding portal which organisations can use at no cost. Packed with over 2,500 local, regional and national funding streams which are updated on a weekly basis.

Organisations can browse or perform more detailed searches based upon their particular needs and circumstances.

It’s easy to register, and be used time and time again.

Over the past 12 months, 8,500 searches have been undertaken through this portal, with over 300 groups regularly accessing the system.

And does it work?

Like most issues, Funding is complex, ever changing and difficult to obtain.

The portal is only the first stage of an organisations journey, but as  a resource its invaluable, and sometimes it bears fruit.

Lets take the case of Holywell-cum-Needingworth village hall.

Village hall trustees extended their existing kitchen into a further adjacent room in order to double its size.

New equipment was also purchased, including a kitchen range cooker, extractor, stainless steel work surface and a tall larder fridge.

They further added a new commercial under counter 3 minute dishwasher , together with a new double bowl kitchen sink and a new Tri-flow tap and filter assembly.

The trustees received a grant from WREN to the value of £8,652 (approximately 50% of the entire project cost).

Andy Killoran (one of the trustees) states:

I had already heard of WREN as we had already had a grant from them over two years previously.

However, I took the opportunity of going carefully through the self-funding portal to check out other grant funding opportunities before making a decision and in the end decided to use the link in the self-funding portal to access the WREN site.

I found the portal to be explanatory, easy to use and very helpful.

Little victories:

A number of organisations have also been successful in obtaining funding as a direct result of using the portal.

So try it and see if it works for you: simply click here.







Volunteers required

Cambridgeshire Hearing Help is looking for more volunteers able to commit to at least two hours per month providing community NHS hearing aid maintenance at one or more of its 43 community Hearing Help sessions. No experience is required, although good eyesight (with glasses) and reasonable dexterity is essential.

The charity has been running since 1978 (previously under the name of CAMTAD) and relies on a team of over one hundred and fifteen dedicated volunteers.

Its work is a lifeline for those who face barriers to accessing mainstream audiology services because they are older, frail, have other disabilities, or live in rural areas.

New volunteers can start at any time and will also need to complete a free two-day hearing loss and hearing aid maintenance training course.

The next course is running on Wednesday 26th and Thursday 27th September 2018 between 10am and 4pm at Abbey Meadows Community Centre, Abbey Meadows Primary School, Galfrid Road, Cambridge, CB5 8ND.

Parking is free and refreshments and lunch will be provided. To book your place please Tel: 01223 416141, Text: 07852 699196, or Email:

Amanda Morgan, Cambridgeshire Hearing Help’s Director, who herself uses an NHS hearing aid and cochlear implant, commented:

Providing NHS hearing aid maintenance in the community is a hugely rewarding volunteering role, and why many of our volunteers have served us for ten, twenty, and even thirty, years. The rewards include; putting a smile on somebody’s face because they can use their hearing aids again, and reducing their risk of suffering from loneliness, isolation, anxiety, depression and dementia. They also include being part of our passionate, caring, and supportive team of staff and volunteers, many of whom have shared experience of hearing loss.

Norman Hardy will be 81 this month and has volunteered for Cambridgeshire Hearing Help for over nine years. His hearing loss started at the age of five in WWII as a result of a V2 rocket bomb blast.

Norman says:

During the war a V2 rocket bomb landed across the road and the blast lifted me off the toilet seat and blew me through the bathroom door. From that day onwards I had ringing in the ears and a problem with my hearing, although I didn’t realise it at the time and often wondered why the teachers sat me at the front of the class when I was the tallest pupil. It was only when I was 16 and had my medical ready to go in to the forces that I was told I had a perforated eardrum. I consequently failed the medical and therefore became a printer’s apprentice, and, in those days, we weren’t provided with ear protectors in an environment that was so noisy we had to learn to lip-read to communicate with each other, so this further damaged my hearing.

I started wearing hearing aids at the age of 60, and they made such as difference. This resulted in my joining Cambridgeshire Hearing Help because I wanted to give back and help others with hearing loss. I love the volunteering because there is a great camaraderie within the team and huge appreciation for the work that we do, and it gives me the opportunity to tell people about assistive technology that could improve their hearing further, such as the Bluetooth streamer I use every day.  


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