Funing Week – A great success

Between the 14th and 16th of March, Support Cambridgeshire hosted the first Funding Week in partnership with Communities Matters.

The event took place over three days. On Tuesday and Wednesday, there were several national funders discussing their funds. The event ended on Thursday with a Cambridgeshire centre day with speakers who fund Cambridgeshire groups. This included the districts and more local and significant funders such as Cambridgeshire Community Foundation.

The event received much positive feedback, so we are excited to announce we will hold it again next year.

Below you can see a snapshot of the feedback received. Or you can CLICK HERE to download the infographic.


Heritage Fund deadline is extended for Dynamic Collections Campaign

Museums (accredited and non-accredited), archives, historic libraries and community organisations which hold collections across the UK now have until 24 April 2023 to apply for up to £250,000 in Lottery funding to help build resilience in the heritage sector.

Dynamic Collections is designed to address long-term challenges in the sector, many of which have been made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund launched the Dynamic Collections campaign a year ago with the goals of:

  • Supporting heritage organisations to make collections more relevant to a wider range of people.
  • Involving the public in the development, management and interpretation of collections.
  • Helping heritage organisations to act sustainably when developing their collections.

Collections help to bring to life the stories of people and communities across the UK.

There are three funding priorities for collections: engagement, re-interpretation and better collection management.

Please note the Heritage Fund application portals will be closed for upgrade work from 5pm on 29 March until 6 April 2023.

Although the campaign is coming to an end, the Heritage Fund’s new 10-year strategy ‘Heritage 2033’ will provide further opportunities for collections. Further details about the delivery plans of the £3.6 billion investment across the UK are expected in summer 2023.

The deadline for applications to the Dynamic Collections has been extended from 31 March 2023 to 24 April 2023.

Fore more information go to :

Our Heritage and Sports funding page’s have been updated

We are hard at work in the background, ensuring you have all the information you need.

Our team have recently been able to update our Sports & Recreation and Heritage pages on our Funding sources pages. This highlights a few ongoing funding sources with more extended time frames or rolling applications.

We also have many other topics under our Funding Sources and continue to update each one across the year.

Other funding information

Did you know that Support Cambridgeshire offers all Cambridgeshire organisations the opportunity to use their Support4Communties funding database, a comprehensive collection of funding pots which can be searched through under many filters? This is free to access HERE

We also have our Funding Blog, which offers groups information son local and short timeframe funding opportunities and news. This can be accessed HERE or you can sign up for our Funding Alert and those funds are sent to your inbox.


Health Alliance Group Update March 2023

Members from the Health Alliance group met again on Wednesday, 8th March. Due to COVID-related restrictions, the meeting was changed to online. Although the numbers were slightly down on previous meetings, all the members actively contributed a lot of feedback and gave a great representation on behalf of the voluntary sector.

Julie Farrow, CEO of Hunts Forum, again chaired the meeting. Julie gave an update on the ‘Action Log’, which is a log documenting all the actions that have risen from previous Health Alliance group meetings that need further investigation or action on behalf of the group.

It was noted that a good percentage of actions had been completed and archived.  However, more actions are added after each meeting – to read the latest update and find out the group’s current priorities, please email Debbie Drew, our Project Officer (Health)

Representative Boards update

Julie confirmed to the group that the ICB is currently reviewing their Governance regarding the VCSE sector representation at their different boards.   They asked for feedback from VCSE Representatives, which Julie has been able to collate and pass across, highlighting some of the frustrations the representatives have experienced to date.  An example of some of these issues include;

  • The agendas are too long.
  • The papers are hundreds of pages long with too much information to digest.
  • The structure of the boards can be difficult to understand.
  • A lot of the top decisions are already made prior to the meetings.

We continue to have a good number of Representatives feeding back regularly from attending the various ICB boards and committees.  We currently have representation on the following ICS boards & committees.

  • Local People Board
  • Quality, Performance and Finance Committee
  • Commissioning and Investment
  • Supply, Information and Planning Group (sub-group of Local People Board)
  • Health and Inequality Board
  • Improvement and Reform Committee
  • North Partnership
  • South Partnership
  • Children & Maternity Collaborative
  • Mental Health Collaborative

Full details of these reports can be seen on our Health Alliance webpage each month.  Click here to read the latest reports.

Integrated Neighbourhoods update

Debbie gave an update from the Integrated Neighbourhoods – she confirmed that both St Neots and A1 Huntingdon launched recently and are now in place.  They join Fenland, Fenland South and Wisbech Integrated Neighbourhoods.

Debbie updated the group with the great community initiatives & projects which continue to be run by Fenland and Wisbech INTs.

Julie updated the members on the progress of the three key projects and the task-and-finish groups which support them. The ICB funds these projects to help support the Health Alliance’s partnership development activities. These are:

Tackling Inequalities – the task and finish group created a project to look at the ‘ask’ from families within the Oxmoor and Wisbech area. The feedback from this project highlighted two immediate inequalities & needs.

    1. Digital Inequality – older people in Wisbech need technology support & training.
    2. Healthcare Inequality – families in Oxmoor experience a need for Health Visitors and are interested in understanding how to keep children safe.

A third area of inequality was discussed around mobility for the elderly, and a potential future project was signposted.  The project would include ‘chair-based yoga’ lessons.  A tutor has been identified, and the group is already established. Funding to cover an introduction 6-week course has been proposed.

Partnership Development – the task and finish group met recently discussed and agreed the following:

    1.  Frequency of meetings including widening it to other stakeholders – group discussed that while it would be useful to have stakeholders attend it should be by invitation relevant to agenda items. Discussion on potential for in person meeting with stakeholders twice a year
    2. Whilst meetings have been regular with good attendance, we have moved from reactive agenda items to a more structured approach and this was welcomed, it was agreed to leave room on each agenda for ad hoc discussions.
    3. Widening participation and encouraging smaller groups to attend – group discussed a developing a buddying process – large supporting small – similar to the CEO Network
    4. Group discussed the need for Secretariat resource with JF asking to prepare an ‘ask’

At this point in the meeting Julie outlined the secretariat resource ask

    • Programme Director – 14 hours per week = £20k
    • Project Officer – 21 hours per week = £20k
    • Communications – 7 hours per week = £5k
    • Data – 7 hours per month = £5k
    • Representation (refund for time spent at meetings) = £10k

The total ask was £60k which the ICS is supportive of this but had a couple of questions                       which were taken to the T&R Group but are also being brought here.

    1. We will need clarity on the areas of spend for the HA £60,000 with clear expected outcomes and deliverables for this investment, by 20th April
    2. That the funding is underpinned by the VCSE MOU and Strategy which outlines our ways of working, goals, ambitions, and indicators of success.
    3. That we have agreement for one VCSE organisation to hold the £60,000 funding for the Health Alliance on an interim basis before 14 March 2023. This is confirmed in writing to the ICS and this organisation invoices NHS Cambridgeshire & Peterborough before 14 March 2023 for £60,000.

Julie proposes if no one else is prepared to hold the funds that Hunts Forum continues with this function for the time being.

Those present voted to accept the proposal unanimously.

Securing Funding and External Investment – the task and finish group met recently and reported on the main points raised below;

    1. Funding has been secured to extend and expand the State of the Sector survey to include additional information on health activity and research on how well the VCSE sector is delivering on healthcare services.
    2. Julie will write a brief for an external fundraiser whose role will be to write a ‘fundraising strategy’ on how multiple organisations within the VCSE sector can collaborate and bid for additional funding together.

Potential 4th New project and task & finish group

Julie proposed that the group consider creating a new ‘task and finish’ group to investigate leading a ‘safeguarding’ training certification which can be accessed & recognised across all partners.

More details on how this might work to follow.

Strategic Goals

The meeting continued with Julie updating members on the progress of the second of four strategic goals, as mentioned in the VCSE strategy.

Goal 2 – Embed the VCSE sector as a respected and equal partner in the ICS

Although we have made a lot of inroads in achieving progress in Goal One, it is fair to say we haven’t been able to achieve the same level of progress in achieving our short objectives as highlighted in Goal 2 – Embedding the VCSE sector as a respected and equal partner in the ICS.

The following table shows the areas highlighted in amber and green where we have had success, specifically around representation, data collection and investment in building partnership structures.

However, it was flagged (in red) during the meeting that there were still key areas we still needed to address.  These included.

    • Setting up a training programme to offer confidence skills and encourage more members to become representatives.
    • Overcoming the technical barriers to develop the partnership between VCSE and Health & Social Care
    • Data and information sharing – finding new equal ways of accessing IT systems and data which support improved health and wellbeing.

Julie again reiterated that more participation from the VCSE sector is needed to join the Health Alliance and help raise the group’s profile. If anyone is interested in attending future meetings or knows of anyone else, please email to register.

Julie concluded the meeting by highlighting two funding opportunities which are about to be launched targeting the VCSE sector. These include;

    • Healthier Future Fund – £2m allocated for projects led by VCSE partners.
    • Tackling Prevention & Supporting Community Engagement – £1.2m allocated to the district council for working with Places and VCSE.

The next meeting is scheduled for 12th April between 9.30 am – 11.30 am online.

Clarion Futures Digital Grants/for digital exclusion/closes 5 April

Grants available: between £1,000 and £5,000

Applications close: 5 April

Who is the funding for: available to organisations seeking to deliver innovative, well designed projects that support Clarion residents and the wider community to address digital exclusion. The Fund is designed to support Clarion residents and the wider community to get online and stay online, and to use the internet as an everyday tool, safely and confidently


Is your organisation on The Big Help Out app?

On 20th March 2023, The Big Help Out app launched.

The Big Help Out is a campaign to showcase how volunteering benefits both communities and the people who take part. The long-term aim is to get more people volunteering who traditionally don’t consider it.

The campaign will encourage a national day of volunteering on Monday, 8th May 2023, the bank holiday of the coronation weekend.

The campaign was designed by the Shaping the Future with Volunteering and Together coalitions.

Groups are encouraged to use this day to promote a taster day of their volunteer roles and use this as a springboard to recruit more volunteers.

To find out more check out 

Funding Week 2023 Resources

Thank you to all those who attended any of the webinars throughout the three days. This year’s Funding Week has been a great success, and we look forward to repeating it next year.

You will find all the related information linked to the webinars on the 16th of March below. Those who attended the sessions on the 14th and 15th, Community Matters, will have emailed you the slides relating to those talks you attended.

Support Cambridgeshire would like to thank their partners Community Matters Yorkshire, who organised both national days (14th/15th) and those who supported them in delivering some really informative webinars. We would also like to thank those who participated in the first Cambridgeshire day (16th) as part of the event, and with a 99% voting to repeat the county day, we will start planning.


Thank you to those who filled out the polls. This has given us an idea of what worked and what we can tweak next time. Community Matters will be sending out a feedback form to those who attended the national days. However, if you wish to, as you here, you can also give feedback by clicking HERE.

Cambridgeshire Day Resources

Cambridge City Council 


Fenland District Council 

Clarion Futures 


Fenland District Council

Cambridgeshire Community Fund

Speaker: Viv Akinson (

One deadlines pa 1st August 2023:

Cambridge Community Foundation

East Cambridgeshire Council

National Lottery Community Fund

South Cambridgeshire District Council

The Evelyn Trust

Huntingdonshire District Council

VCS Rep Report : ICS Local People Board 24 Feb 2023

Meeting attended: Local People Board

VCS Representatives: Sharon Allen

Date of meeting: 24/02/2023

Summary of agenda items / key themes discussed:

Board Assurance Framework – the main focus of discussion was the implications of industrial action

Voluntary sector presentation –   click here

Unfortunately there was very low attendance at the meeting so this presentation and discussion has been deferred to the next meeting

Implications for the VCS


Please advise if the industrial action across NHS is impacting on services

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

Friday 28th  April,  (via Teams), Sharon will be attending

NCVO’s statement regarding the closure of The FSI

On the 15th March 2023 The FSI, a trusted organisation which has supported many charities and not-for-profits over the years, announced it would be closing. This comes only a year after The Small Charities Coalition closed its doors.

Many may know The FSI for the Small Charities Week campaign, which runs annually in June. NCVO highlight in their article that ‘We were already working to deliver the Small Charity Week campaign with The FSI this year and are actively talking to our civil society group partners about this.’

Support Cambridgeshire shares the sadness that another infrastructure organisation folds, just as the voluntary and community sector needs all the support it can get.

Click HERE to read the full article.

Health Inequalities Challenge Fund

Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Integrated Care System (ICS) has announced the launch of the Health Inequalities Challenge Prize 2023, following on from its inaugural year’s success. This year’s contenders will have a shot at winning up to £24,000 to fund their innovation initiative with support from the Integrated Care System and partner organisations to develop their projects.

The theme for this year’s Challenge Prize is personalised care giving local people more control over and say in their health and care services. Local organisations, as well as individual people, can apply for the Challenge Prize to make their exciting, personalised care idea a reality.

As the Challenge Prize is all about reducing health inequalities, applicants are encouraged to focus their projects on helping a specific group of people – whether that’s veterans, people with learning disabilities, or other communities who tend to face barriers when it comes to health and care.

Simon Howard, Head of Culture, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at Cambridgeshire & Peterborough ICS, said: “Last year’s Health Inequalities Challenge Prize was a great success. We’re excited to relaunch the Prize this year with a strong focus on new ideas that will empower people to lead the lives they want to live. It’s a great opportunity for local organisations to make improvements to people’s lives and reduce inequalities across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.”

Groups and organisations are invited to apply for the Challenge Prize by 1 May 2023. Twelve finalists will receive £4,000 to support their proposed solution. The winner of the Challenge Prize 2023 will then receive £20,000 to deliver their project.

Michael O’Toole, CEO of Cambridgeshire Community Foundation (CCF), said: “We are really proud to be partnering again with Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Integrated Care System on the Health Inequalities Challenge Prize 2023. The increased level of award up to a maximum £20,000 is a great opportunity for innovative ideas to support Personalised Care.

“The focus on the delivery of Personalised Care approaches means community-led projects will be supported to increase opportunities for people to have choice and control over the way their health and care is planned and delivered. Supporting Personalised Care is vitally import for our communities, so if you have a brilliant idea, then please do apply by 1 May 2023.”

Find out how to apply via the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation website. Applications closing on 1 May 2023.

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