National Volunteers Week June 2019

Its National Volunteers Week between the 1st and the 7th June 2019, a week where Volunteers across the UK are recognised for the fantastic work they do.

Support Cambridgeshire is doing the same, so if you wish to recognise a volunteer you work with or support then please send russell@huntsforum a one side Page of A4 detailing who the volunteer is, what they do and why you think they deserve a special mention.

The aim is to highlight one volunteer per day throughout the week via our news items, social media and partner websites (which includes the NCVO national bulletin board).

All recognitions should be sent by Friday the 24th May 2019.

As a pre-cursor to National Volunteers Week why not join us for our FREE Leadership and Volunteering session on the 22nd May 2019, where international speaker and Amazon top 10 best selling author The Speaker with the Orange Tie takes the stage:

To complete the Volunteering context bag a space at our FREE conference on the 20th June 2019 in St Ives. The conference will examine how volunteering can impact on loneliness and isolation and gives delegates an opportunity to discuss innovation, best practice and eat cake..!!:



Whats a Men’s Shed……

Men’s sheds or community sheds are non-profit organisations that originated in Australia, set up to advise to and improve upon the overall health of all men.

However,  some sheds have expanded their remit to include anyone regardless of age or gender.

They normally operate on a local level in the community, promoting social interaction, reducing isolation and increasing levels of health and well-being.

In Australia there are currently over 900 sheds in existence, but the movement is also growing across the UK.

The UK Men’s Shed Association produced a report on the impacts of Men’s Sheds on people and communities and this report can be read here:

Men’s Sheds are now beginning to develop across Cambridgeshire and funding is available through the Innovate and Cultivate Fund if you wish to establish and develop a shed.

Fore more information on the Innovate and Cultivate Fund click here: 

If you want to learn more about the shed concept why not sign up for our FREE Connecting Communities Conference in 2019.

Kate Gordon, Shed Development Officer for UK Men’s Shed Association will be the keynote speaker at this event and will be on hand to answer any questions or queries you may have.


Charity Fundraising

We all know that Charity Fundraising is a big issue even for smaller community based organisations in Cambridgeshire.

Last year our State of the Sector Survey informed us that more organisations are looking towards individual or corporate donors to supplement their grants and contract work.

However, Fundraising is one of the largest regulated areas within the voluntary sector and many larger charities have fallen foul of regulation and law in recent months.

So if you are fundraising as an organisation make sure you seek advice on any aspect of fundraising you are unclear of – our fact-sheet might help so click here:

Failing that, book a 1-1 review session with one of our Development Workers: Simply contact in the first instance.

In addition, why not book a FREE space at our next two training sessions on Crowdfunding or events fundraising:

For Crowdfunding click here:

For events fundraising click here:

You can also seek advice from the Fundraising Regulator by clicking here:

Its a One stop shop

The work of Support Cambridgeshire partner Cambridge CVS ( or CCVS for short) is about far more than giving groups the confidence and skills to flourish or providing training. One of their key roles is to bring people together, and one of the most popular types is when they introduce groups to funders.

CCVS runs events throughout the year in various locations across the county creating opportunities for groups to meet with potential funders.

One of their regular events put three very different groups in contact with a well-known high street name.

The funder:

John Lewis & Partners shops run a charitable giving scheme called Community Matters located in their shops’ restaurants. Over the last year CCVS has developed increasingly close ties with Christine Shaw, community liaison coordinator at the John Lewis and Partners shop in Cambridge. CCVS has invited Christine to participate in events with other funders across the county. The funders we work with not only donate funds, but are hugely generous with their time coming out to venues across the region both daytime and evening.

As a result of one of these events two of their members, Steel Bones and the Cambridge Hard of Hearing Club have been selected for the funding scheme. As Christine explains,

I had a fantastic chance meeting with CCVS at a volunteers’ week event last year and we have worked together ever since to get the word out to local groups that John Lewis and Partners have funds and skills that we want to use to help our local communities. CCVS have created the opportunity for us to meet groups we didn’t know existed and who knew nothing about what we had to offer. As a result of the CCVS ‘Meeting the funders’ event in December I’ve identified 3 groups: Steel Bones, Cambridge Hard of Hearing Club and Cornerstone to feature in our Community Matters Scheme in our Cambridge store.

Every three months we select three community groups who will be awarded a share of £3000, the percentage received is dependent on the number of tokens each group is awarded by customers. In addition to the token scheme I’m in discussion with the groups to see how else our partners can get involved to help.”

Cambridge Hard of Hearing Club:

The Club is a well-established community group for people with hearing loss. The group arranges speech to text facilities so that the members can read dialogue on a big screen in real time and take part in live talks and debates, something their hearing impairment normally prevents. Hearing Club members are mostly people whose hearing has become impaired in later life so that they are unable to lip read or understand sign language and can struggle with hearing aids. Hearing loss can be hugely isolating and can impact on people’s mental well-being.

Club chair Peter Teich said:

We heard about the Meeting the funders event through the monthly newsletter we receive from CCVS and they suggested I talk to John Lewis. I filled in the Community Matters form immediately and we’re now participating in their scheme this February to April. The funding will go a long way to paying for the equipment we need and will make a huge difference to our members.

Steel Bones:

Steel Bones is a more recently established charity set up to support individuals and their families across the region and beyond, who have become amputees in a non-military context. Steel Bones provides one to one advice, social events, signposting, and lobbies on behalf of families who are often left traumatised by their experiences. They help families address a sense of isolation and the emotional and economic hardship that can follow this life changing event.

 Emma Joy-Staines Co-Founder of Steel Bones:

CCVS enable the smallest of charities, like ourselves to feel confident in approaching the big name funders thorough their training and one to one support. CCVS made sure I felt confident to attend their Funders event and was ready to ask the right questions to help us get the best support.

We met several funders at the event including John Lewis, who are offering funding through their Community Matters scheme. John Lewis are also looking to collaborate with us on a styling event for our amputees and their families which will boost our families’ morale and self-esteem no end and there are a number of other ideas in the pipeline. It simply would not have been possible without CCVS.

CCVS have been hugely helpful supporting us with our funding strategy in general and with their support we made applications to several other funders, fingers crossed!”

Cornerstone Pregnancy Advice Centre:

Cornerstone Pregnancy Advice Centre offer support to women in Huntingdonshire facing unplanned pregnancies to give them the time, space and non-directive information so they can fully informed choices. Cornerstone offer on-going support whatever decision women make. The women Cornerstone support are often anxious, distressed and confused and the charity works to offer support to find the right outcome for them.

Helen Turley Centre Manager said:

Thanks to CCVS we able to build a relationship with John Lewis which will make a real difference to the women we work with. As well as the Community Matters Scheme John Lewis are looking to support us with other fundraising events later in the year.”

The complete package of support:

CCVS know how difficult it can be to make the right connections, and how crucial this can be. The old adage “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is true in all forms of fundraising.

CCVS and other partners under the Support Cambridgeshire umbrella run events that enable funders and groups to meet up, to speak together in person, and to better understand one another.

Its a form of One stop shop.

Our latest Training Offer

Support Cambridgeshire run a series of formal training events and informal network sessions throughout the year.

In addition, Support Cambridgeshire advertises useful or informative training from other organisations, some of which may or may not be chargeable.

Our latest Training and events flyer can be viewed here:

More information on each course or event (and whether a fee applies) can be viewed here:

Hunts Forum or Cambridge CVS members can generally access all courses or events Free of charge by virtue of their membership (unless otherwise indicated).

Organisations which do not have a membership can access Support Cambridgeshire courses Free of Charge (look for our multi coloured stem cell logo) or information contained within each listing.

If you wish to discuss any aspect of our training please feel free to contact us on 01480 420601.

Innovate and Cultivate Seed Projects

Do you want to do something for your community but need some inspiration to start a project?

Cambridge County Council have compiled some ideas that can help people to remain independent and active within their community, encourage volunteering and complement more costly Council services.

Cambridgeshire County Council particularly welcomes applications to the Innovate & Cultivate Fund to set up any of the following ‘Cultivate’ projects:

Time-banks: Time-banks offer a way for people to help each other by exchanging skills. For example, a member can spend an hour helping an older person to the shops and in return spend that hour on help from other members, such as gardening or IT support. Co-ordinators match people’s skills, arrange exchanges and keep a record of all the members’ “banked” hours. Time-banks are open to everyone and work hard to engage more vulnerable members of the community which helps people make new connections. Further guidance on applying to start a Time-bank can be found here, and you can watch this video.

Men’s Sheds: A ‘Shed’ is a place where people come together to make and mend whilst sharing skills and friendship. They typically attract older men, but many have younger members and women too and some are called Community Sheds. Sheds often get involved in community projects such as restoring village features, helping maintain green spaces and building things for schools, libraries and individuals in need. Sheds can help people gain a renewed sense of purpose and belonging, reduce feelings of isolation and help people remain independent. Further guidance on applying to start a Men’s Shed can be found here, and you can watch this video.

Good Neighbour Schemes: This is a group of local volunteers offering support to people in their community who may need a helping hand such as older people, people with disabilities, single parents and young mothers, or anyone who is ill or isolated. Volunteers help with simple tasks such as transport for appointments, running errands, household tasks and visiting people. Schemes encourage both participants and volunteers to play an active role in their community. Further guidance on applying to start a Good Neighbour Scheme can be found here.

Dementia-Friendly Communities: This is a place where people with dementia enjoy living, feel part of, are understood, respected and supported. Setting one up involves raising awareness through promotion and Dementia Friends training, and encouraging local organisations and businesses to take simple actions as part of their commitment to become more dementia-friendly, such as introducing rest benches or staff training to help everyone understand dementia, so that people with dementia can continue to live in the community they choose. Further guidance on applying for a grant to help you develop your dementia-friendly community can be found here, and you can watch this video.


Before you apply for funding, the County Council recommend that you:

Talk to other members of your community to understand what already exists and which project is right for you and your community. If you have another idea, the fund is also open to any projects that reduce pressure on County Council services or offer direct savings for the council. You can also learn more about your community from the County Council’s Parish Profiles.

Read the guidance for applicants that you can find here.

Talk to the following support organisations:

There is more information on data sets which will help to inform your ideas and examine potential costs. These can be found here:

Information on these schemes can also be sound at the Cambridge Community Foundation website: Simply click here:





14 attend the Funding Masterclass

Support Cambridgeshire is committed to running a number of small network sessions which focus on themes of importance to community based groups.

The latest took place in Over on the 27th February 2019 on the subject of Funding.

We all know that finding funding is consistently a challenge for community organisations within the voluntary sector, and this event looked at the challenge in making applications and the tools and resources which might help.

First up was Alan Turner, the Development worker for Cambridge CVS who spoke about Funding applications, what research is required, how best to present your facts and how to avoid making common mistakes which can lead to an application being rejected.

It’s a sad fact of life that 71% of applications submitted are rejected, so any competitive advantage an organisation can gain is important.

Alan’s presentation can be found here.

Equally important are the tools and resources which help organisations gain intelligent data to support their applications. All Funders bar none love evidence, and Jack Ossel from Cambridgeshire County Council gave a live demonstration of Cambridgeshire Insights, a platform which provides a huge range of vital information on health, housing and deprivation at Ward level and below.

Jack’s presentation can be found here:

Russell Rolph gave a short demonstration of SC4C – the self funding portal which organisations can register and use for free. Packed with over 2,400 potential funds, its a must for any organisation looking to deliver activities or projects. The portal has already delivered 57,000 in funding over the past 12 months. To visit the portal click here:

Last up was Keith Johnson, the Development Worker at Hunts Forum. Keith spoke about the importance of 1-1 Development sessions with Development Workers, not just for funding but for any issues surrounding Governance, Training, Advice or Support.

Keith’s presentation notes can be viewed here:

Contact or if you wish to book a 1-1 Development session.

Photo caption: Alan in full swing at the Funding Masterclass.

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