Household Support Fund

The Household Support Fund is a  fund that aims to help those individuals struggling to pay for food, energy or other essential items this winter.

You can access this support directly through the County Council, or there is a network of local organisations (our ‘Trusted Partners’) who can help you access the support.

This is money the council has been awarded by HM Government to help those in need and most affected by the cost of living crisis to support them to resolve their financial issues. It is not charity.


You may make an application if you have not received support from the Fund since 24 November 2022.

We do not accept multiple applications to the Fund after that date. Making repeat applications will only cause delay in getting support to others in need.

If you live with a spouse or partner, you must make a joint application for your household, even if your spouse/partner is not applying. Your eligibility will depend on your partner’s income and savings, as well as your own.

You are eligible to access this support through the Household Support Fund if all the following apply to you (and your spouse/partner):

  • currently live in Cambridgeshire
  • have £16,000 or less in money, savings and investments
  • have income levels less than identified in the tables below.

If you are paid monthly the figures are before any tax due, though you should include all sources of income. This includes income from sources such as benefits, pensions, students or dependents grants and income from property or other investments.

Check here for more information and to make a referral :


Is your organiastion taking part in the Big Help Out?

The Coronation of His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Queen Consort will take place at Westminster Abbey on Saturday 6th May 2023. The Service will be conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury. As previously announced, the Service will reflect the Monarch’s role today and look towards the future while being rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry.

The Big Help Out will be held on Monday, 8th May 2023 and is being organised by The Together Coalition and a wide range of partners such as The Scouts, the Royal Voluntary Service and faith groups from across the United Kingdom. The Big Help Out will highlight the positive impact volunteering has on communities across the nation.

In tribute to His Majesty The King’s public service, The Big Help Out will encourage people to try volunteering for themselves and join the work being undertaken to support their local areas. The aim of The Big Help Out is to use volunteering to bring communities together and create a lasting volunteering legacy from the Coronation Weekend.

On March 20th, more is going to be revealed, but in the meantime, the Together Coalition are asking for volunteers involving organisations to get in contact and let them know of their opportunities.

So if your organisation thinks they can offer something on 8th May, such taster or an event which your need more volunteers for, log on and register your group.

National Lotter Awards For All – Now taking application for national events

Grants available: Between £300 and £10,000 for up to one year



Groups applying to the National Lottery Community Fund’s Awards for All programme in England can request funding for the following major events in 2023:

  • The Coronation of His Majesty the King on 6 May.
  • The Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool from 9 to 13 May, and the UK’s role hosting it on the behalf of Ukraine.
  • The 75th Anniversary of Windrush on 22 June, and the contribution the Windrush generation and their families have made to the UK.

This is in addition to the fund’s usual guidance, and all projects must:

  • Involve people and communities from the start.
  • Build on people’s strengths.
  • Be connected in their community.

Applications are accepted from constituted voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations and statutory bodies such as local authorities and community councils.

Grants of between £300 and £10,000 are available for up to one year.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

New funding added to Social Issues pages

We have been busy here updating and finding new funding sources for you, over the coming months will be updating our Funding Sources pages, and we have started with Social Issues.

We have added some more funding opportunities, plus checked the ones we already promoted are still open.

Check it out HERE

Change is here – learn how you can engage with health

Over the past year or so, Support Cambridgeshire has been heavily involved in integrating the VCS (Voluntary and Community sector) into the new Integrated Care System (ICS), the replacement to the CCG. As a result, we are excited to bring you some new pages to our website, which tell you how you can get involved and learn more about your voluntary or community group’s role in shaping your local area’s health and care services.

New ICS pages – the team here has been working hard to provide more information on the health changes. Currently, we have three pages, one around what the ICS is, our VCS Health Alliance and the Staff Support Hub. All of these are for your knowledge so you can integrate with the services and get your voice heard.

Voice Blogs– as part of the new work embedding VCS into this new system, several Voluntary and Community representatives attend high-level health meetings. Here you can read a summary of the meeting. If you have a question or want to add something to an agenda, go through the VCS rep; they represent the sector, so your voice matters.

In the future, we will need new representatives to attend these healthcare meetings. However, we can offer support and training to upskill you to do this effectively. So contact Support Cambridgeshire if you want to chat about this.

Health Alliance – One of the ways that support Cambridgeshire has created ladders up to the decision makers is through the Health Alliance, a meeting which allows the voices of the VCSE to get heard. Representatives from the boards attend along with a wide range of VCS reps, from small community groups to countywide providers. Are you interested to know more? Contact Debbie.

NCVO updates on banking issues faced by VCS

On the 18th of January, NCVO uploaded an article looking at the challenges of charity banking. A topic that both CCVS and Hunts Forum are to aware of. Both organisations have calls from groups highlighting how much harder it is for groups to take that leap from the unassociated informal groups into an associated group with a bank account. Let alone fund a free account, change signatures etc

The article sets the scene for the changes which have gone before and then updates on what NCVO, along with UK Finance, are doing and the challenges we all know you facing.

While the article does not tell us anything new, it does highlight that this issue is being spoken about, and hopefully actions will happen in time.

Click here to read the full article button

Green Space Network – Opens it’s doors to new members

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Parks Partnership and Support Cambridgeshire will be holding another Zoom Open Space Forum on February 22nd 10:00 am – 12.00 pm

The Open Space Forum connects volunteers, friends of groups, charities and parish councils with a shared interest in working together to develop, manage and maintain parks and open spaces. Meetings enable communication, and information sharing and news relating to parks and open spaces, volunteering, opportunities for collaboration, funding, local and national updates. Meetings may identify areas of common interest and need, and will provide learning opportunities, sharing good practice, mentoring and networking between groups. February’s Zoom meeting will have the focus of Parks for Health and Wellbeing as well as opportunities to share general ideas and information about parks and open spaces.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Parks Partnership are working in partnership with Support Cambridgeshire to facilitate and promote the open space forum.

The Vision for the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Parks Partnership is a joined-up and sustainable future for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough’s parks and public open space. The mission of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Parks Partnership (CP3) will be to realise the benefits of parks and green spaces for local communities and the environment by activating and animating these spaces. To achieve “Healthier Parks, Healthier Planet, Healthier People”

Support Cambridgeshire helps community groups and organisations to strengthen and grow, providing a range of advice, training and support. Part of this package of support that is offered are networking opportunities for example health and wellbeing, managing volunteers and fundraising.  Support Cambridgeshire have a wealth of experience, expertise and contacts and are a valuable partner in helping the Strategic Parks and Green Spaces Partnership achieve its aspirations around community resilience through promoting and supporting volunteering in parks and green spaces. To find out more or book a place please follow this link Open Spaces Forum – Support Cambridgeshire

VCS Rep Report : ICS Quality, Performance and Finance Committee 25/11/22

Meeting attended: Quality, Performance and Finance Committee

VCS Representatives: Rachel Talbot

Date of meeting: 25/11/2022

Summary of agenda items / key themes discussed:

Almost impossible to summarise 3 – 4-hour meeting with yet again 100s of pages of papers.

Seems that we are not doing to badly in our area compared with national in general but there is a problem with the support to children/people with mental health/learning disability. No surprise but the committee is taking the learning Disability Death review as a key issue to look at again. It seems that death rates are  high and partly to do with lack of understanding how to communicate – both to individuals and helping people with learning disabilities understand health issues – this was clearly demonstrated during Covid (I think HealthWatch are going to raise some sort of formal point about this. You can get more from Sandie)

Finance: Are underspent (now in “amber”) but mostly around not being able to recruit new staff although they have 8% more staff than last year. (I could not understand what was being said about them having rules to get authorisation for anything over £50k. Not sure if it holds things up. Seems a very small number for buying health things!)

Other issues (too many to put here – but in summary):

Diagnostics and unplanned care “deep dive” report – still seem to be delays beyond target (partly the impact of knock on of covid). Sandie asking for better comms to people/public to explain what the cause of the delays are

Health and well being for asylum seekers trying to get GP access (mostly P’boro)

Working together – Interface between Health and care sector – V short report (the rest of the reports were all very detailed and long!). Dr Katherine Rowe reported that they had had some stake holder meetings.

Occupancy rates at hospital V high and C Diff rates bad because they cannot get the cleaning staff

Implications for the VCS

Think that Healthwatch will be asking for help with feedback/case studies on experiences of people with mental health issues and primary care.


Need to think about the fact that Sandie Smith is leaving. Will her successor take over? She makes a big contribution.

I am not sure what I can add except listening and get depressed about the state of the system. It is a massive learning curve and V difficult understanding the lingo.

Date, time and venue of next meeting and name of the representative who will be attending

27-1-23 – Rachel Talbot

VCS Rep Report : C&P ICB Commissioning & Investment 16/11/22

Meeting attended: C&P ICB Commissioning & Investment Committee

VCS Representatives: Miriam Martin

Date of meeting: 16/11/2022

Summary of agenda items / key themes discussed:

  1. ICB board assurance framework was presented.  The framework details all the risks the ICB is managing currently.
  2. Hinchingbrooke hospital development – The proposal will come back to committee in February at the earliest. There is time as funding would be for 2025/26.
  3. Proposal for a new East of England Children’s hospital. This is the only region without access to a specialist hospital for children and young people. The proposal was unanimously supported, with plans to build it adjacent to the Rosie in Cambridge. The committee agreed that the ICB should write a letter of support. Capital costs around £409m with £100m being fundraised for (75% already underwritten). Issues to resolve include: needing to secure over £180m, it will require more staff and needing to be used as a regional asset across Cambs and Peterborough to reduce health inequalities.
  4. Homelessness and rough sleepers project – awarded funding to continue. Peterborough highest homelessness rate in England with life expectancy 30 years less than the general population. Funding includes GP support, 50% mobile bus running costs which will be delivered in May. It was agreed that this was only short term solution as the need is urgent. A more strategic approach needed going forward.
  5. Adult discharge fund – a number of projects under this banner were proposed for funding to make use of the additional winter funding announced by government. Funding supports discharge from hospital and adult social care. The proposals were supported but needed final sign off by the health and wellbeing board

Implications for the VCS

  • More pressures on workforce in the year’s ahead with the build of another new hospital.


  • None

Date, time and venue of next meeting and name of the representative who will be attending

7th February 11am – 1pm.  Miriam Martin expects to attend


Ged Curran                         –          Chair

Nicci Briggs                          –           CFO ICB

Martin Wheelhan               –           Representative of the chief of staff

Simon Barlow                      –           Representative of the chief of staff

Dr Gary Howsam               –           ICB Chief clinical improvement officer

Dr Fiona Head                    –           ICB Medical director

Louis Kamfer                        –           ICB Managing director strategic                                              commissioning

Dr Simon Hambling           –           ICB Primary medical services

Ellie Addison                        –           Healthwatch

Wanda Kerr                         –           Assistant director special projects

Sarah Hughes                     –           NEM ICB

VCS Rep Report : ICS Local People Board 25/11/22

Meeting attended: Local People Board

VCS Representatives: Sharon Allen

Date of meeting: 25/11/2022

Summary of agenda items / key themes discussed:

The Terms of Reference were signed off following feedback provided at the previous meeting.

An Action Plan was shared capturing the points from the substantive part of the previous meeting which focused on recruitment and retention

Seven KPIs have been suggested, focusing on: joiners by profession, time to recruit, turnover, length of time in role, use of bank and agency, vacancy rates and leaver data. I raised a question about how these can be made meaningful across the system when there is such divergence of systems within organisations and capacity to capture and report – this is being looked at.

A number of actions, some of which will sit with the Enabler (previously known as sub-groups) groups (Supply and Information, EDI etc) and some of which will remain at Board level. Some of these are very NHS focused, eg International Recruitment, others are more system wide.

The substantive discussion in this meeting was on the second priority area of System Leadership and Culture. The information pack provided detail on the differing ways elements of the system capture feedback from colleagues; the NHS completes an annual staff survey and comparator information can be provided on the main NHS providers in C&P. The Local Authority isn’t able to do this as most social care is provided in the independent sector. The Council does carry out pulse surveys, the most recent focus was on EDI. Arthur Rank Hospice Charity was asked to provide detail of our approach, we shared highlights from our most recent staff survey in respect of leadership and culture and aspects of our most recent CQC inspections in the domain of Well-Led. The Training Hub for GP’s reported on their approach and we were reminded of learning and development programmes available to system partners: Mary Seacole Programme, Springboard (personal development for women) Leading Beyond Boundaries and a proposed new programme: Above Difference. This will support the development of a cultural intelligence framework to support leaders and staff become more culturally aware through the use of personal analysis and economic modelling. We were also reminded of Michael West’s work on Compassionate Leadership and an NHS programme Civility Saves Lives which is being rolled out in February 2023 and hopefully will have opportunities for voluntary sector engagement.

Implications for the VCS

We should engage with the various programmes available (some ARHC colleagues have undertaken Leading Beyond Boundaries and find it incredibly valuable). Leadership and Development Opportunities will be launched on the website (we can also advertise vacancies on this website)

We should seek to engage with the ‘Stepping into my shoes’ programme which supports local leaders to work together, learn and share knowledge from across the system and create public services that are more integrated based on the needs of the local population.


No specific actions from this meeting.


Date, time and venue of next meeting and name of the representative who will be attending

Friday 13 January, 13.30  (via Teams), Sharon will be attending

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