Free eLearning opportunities

To celebrate their name change to VSL Learning, we have been informed that they are offering 500 FREE TRAINING PLACES for charities and VCSE’s!

Allowing free access to accredited GDPR, Cyber Security and Safeguarding e-learning courses for staff and volunteers.

Visit for course details and state Support Cambridgeshire when enquiring about the free spaces. 

If you missed the special offer then don’t worry, if you quote Support Cambridgeshire all groups get a discount on the standard rate. See our Training and Events page for more information on this option along with other ways to learn through Support Cambridgeshire.


Thrive Together Fund – Blended grant and loan to grow and diversify social enterprise

Grants available: Up to £150,000

District: England

Applications close: rolling

Who is the funding for: 

The Thrive Together funding programme offers up to £150,000 as a blended package of loan (75%) and grant (25%) to those looking to grow or diversify their business models bproviding funding to help strengthen operations, improve resilience, encourage growth, expand impact, and ensure long-term success. 

Link: Thrive Together Fund | Funding | Social Investment Business (


Small and medium sized charities and social enterprises based in and delivering impact in England, who are looking to grow or diversify their business models. 

Am I eligible?
  • Incorporated voluntary, community or social enterprise organisations*
  • Based in England and delivering social/ environmental impact in England
  • A minimum of two years’ operating activity
  • A minimum turnover of £100k in the last financial year
  • A viable borrowing proposal.

* Must be registered as a Charity, Community Interest Company or Community Benefit Society. If registered as any other legal entity, it must have a social object, asset lock and restriction on profit distribution (must distribute less than 50% of post-tax profits) written into its governing documents.

B&Q Foundation – Improving and developing community spaces- Deadline 30th Aug 2023

Grants available: Usually around £5,000

District:  UK wide

Applications close: Rolling

Who is the funding for:

For charities who are supporting people in need in the UK – those experiencing
homelessness, in financial hardship, impacted by health, disability, or other
disadvantage or distress.


Link: About | B&Q Foundation (


B&Q Foundation believe everyone needs a place to feel at home. So, they are looking to fund
projects to decorate, renovate, or create spaces where people can feel at home and
have a sense of belonging. This can be both indoor and outdoor.

Next deadline 30th August 2023 

VCSE Health Alliance – Update Bulletin – September 2023

September 2023

Cambridgeshire & Peterborough VCSE Health Alliance Bulletin 


Focus on workforce 

Every health and care organisation is struggling to find and keep workforce. The VCSE sector is no exception to this. The CEO Network has had many discussions on this topic and now, at its September meeting, the Health Alliance will be exploring how we can help organisations with these challenges. 

Sharon Allen, CEO at Arthur Rank Hospice Charity, is the Health Alliance rep on the ICB People’s Board and has been doing a great job working to get the voluntary sector voice heard in all things workforce. Sharon will introduce the session at the September meeting and we hope to have ICB experts coming along to aid discussions.     

Please do come along and share your thoughts, ideas and concerns. From 2pm to 4pm at The Hub, Cambourne. We look forward to seeing you there! 

Extending our reach 

We are always wanting new members and are working hard to extend the reach of the Health Alliance. We have looked at our current membership and would more representation amongst small community groups, faith groups and groups working in East Cambridgeshire. Groups and organisations specifically working with excluded communities are particularly welcome to help us build greater diversity. 

Building a collaborative network 

How often have you received information about a source of funding that has a ridiculously short turnaround time? To help the sector prepare for these opportunities, we will soon be circulating a project development form and asking for you to tell us about your proposal. We’ll make sure the form works for large and small organisations and ask for proposals that will encourage partnership and collaboration.  

Progress on developing our brand 

Work has started on gathering your views and ideas about our Health Alliance partnership and what it means to you. You will shortly be receiving a survey from PCVS asking for your feedback and how well you think we convey our vision and purpose. Please do take a few minutes to complete this; the findings will help the steering group develop the next stage. 

We are looking for people to join the steering group for this very exciting piece of work. If you are interested please email Sandie. There’ll also be an opportunity to ask questions at the September Health Alliance meeting.

Safeguarding update 

With thanks to the Local Safeguarding Board who are now supporting our work to develop guidance and policies. Also, thanks to Sallyann at Hunts Forum for taking this forward. We’ll make sure that the guidance is easy to follow and works for all of our VCSE partners. We’re keen to get more organisations to commit to supporting our Health Alliance safeguarding policy statement. Email Sandie if you would like to know more. 

Mental health community workers – Health and wellbeing network event   

The next Health and Wellbeing Network meeting is on 5th September online from 11am to 12pm. Claire Layton will be joining the meeting to tell us how the Mental Health Community Connectors are helping within their communities and what their role entails. Book your place here 

Our meetings  

Here are the dates of our future meetings, please do put them in your diary. We have tried to get a mix of times, locations and formats to help as many people as possible get involved. The September meeting will have a workforce focus and after that we are alternating themes with general Health Alliance business. If you would like to suggest a theme please contact 

  • 13th September 2-4 Focus on workforce    –  Cambourne Hub 
  • 18th October 9.30-11.30 Health Alliance business    –   Zoom 
  • 6th December 1-3pm Theme to confirm    –   Zoom 
  • 17th January 1-3 Health Alliance business   –  March Library 
  • 28th February 9.30-11.30 Theme to confirm  –   Zoom 
  • 17th April 1-3 Health Alliance business  –  Peterborough  
  • 22nd May 10-12 Theme to confirm  –  St Ives Corn Exchange 

More members please! 

And lastly, please do pass this newsletter onto your team and other groups and organisations who may not yet be Health Alliance members. Anyone wishing to join should email Debbie 


See here for more information about the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Health Alliance. Please note: We’re revamping our webpage to bring it up to date with current projects and resources. As ever, please do let us have your feedback.   

Motability / Community Transport Grants / March 2025

Grants available: £4000,000

Applications close: 31st Dec



Motability, through their Community Transport Grants, is awarding charities and organisations working in Community Transport sector grants of between £100,000 and £4 million until March 2025.

Through this grant programme, Motability aim to help charities and organisations to make an immediate impact for disabled people, by awarding funding to develop, expand and improve community transport options. Their focus for this programme is on:

  • Funding support for staff or volunteer training and costs
  • Funding to increase the number of vehicles available in the community to help organisations support disabled people
  • Funding local, regional, or national initiatives to increase awareness of community transport and influence its inclusion in transport strategy and policy
  • Funding to schemes, programmes and initiatives that already exist, and who provide best practice solutions, but need further support to remain operational or scale up the service they can provide to help more disabled people


Home Instead Grants / Older people / Ongoing

Grants available: Up to £1500

Applications close: Ongoing

Who is the funding for: Projects which prevent social isolation and loneliness



Home Instead Charities awards grants of up to £1,500 to small, local registered charities and up to £500 to grassroots organisations with projects that further the needs of our ageing adult population through well-being activities and programmes to prevent social isolation and loneliness.

Most of your group members must be over 55 years old or the project you are requesting funding for must benefit people aged over 55. Types of fundable projects include:

  • Regular weekly or monthly events and activities such as weekly cinema club, weekly knit and natter or Thursday lunch club
  • One off activities such as a day trip or a Christmas lunch
  • Activities such as yoga or a guest speaker for your group such as a local historian


Applications from groups, associations and charities that do not service the over 50s directly but the project they require funding for does, i.e. a local school wishes to hold a special afternoon tea for its local care home residents will also be considered.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund 2033 delivery plan: 2023–2026: Simplicity, flexibility and heritage projects rooted in communities

With the announcement of The National Lottery Fund strategy, Heritage 2033: the Chief Executive, Eilish McGuinness, wrote an article below reflecting the latest milestones.

With the publication last month of their first three-year delivery plan, they are moving closer to bringing their ambitious Heritage 2033 strategy to life and supporting projects of all sizes that connect people and communities to UK heritage.

From January next year, applications through their open programmes, National Lottery Grants for Heritage, will be centred around their simplified framework of four investment principles: saving heritage, protecting the environment, inclusion, access and participation, and organisational sustainability.

Investment Approach

In response to feedback from strategy surveys, public outreach, EDI research, and user surveys, the organisation is simplifying the application process to make it clearer and more proportional to funding requests. They’ll use their investment principles to guide decisions, asking applicants to demonstrate their alignment with these principles. This approach aims to foster innovative and community-rooted projects.

Heritage 2033’s vision is to preserve heritage for all, with plans to invest £1 billion over three years. While there will be a brief pause in applications for some programs from November during the transition, they encourage applicants to keep developing and submitting project ideas and reach out with any concerns.

Here For You

As they prepare to launch new funding processes, the organisation acknowledges the ongoing challenges faced by those involved in preserving the UK’s heritage. They remain dedicated to supporting efforts to safeguard, share, and celebrate the country’s diverse heritage.

This support includes open program project grants, with an encouragement to submit applications without delay to receive assistance during the transition period. Additionally, they offer support through their resilience and recovery program, having allocated £41.6 million since last August to strengthen heritage organisations. Furthermore, £33.5 million in grant increases has been provided over the past year to help heritage projects cope with rising costs.

The organisation is committed to offering ongoing support, aligning with the organisational sustainability principle within its investment framework. They pledge to remain flexible and responsive to crises throughout the implementation of their Heritage 2033 strategy.

Think Big

In response to the cost of living crisis, the organisation has adjusted the upper and lower limits of its grants. Since the maximum grant amount was raised to £10 million in May, they have received noteworthy expressions of interest and are currently collaborating with organisations to refine their project concepts.

While they acknowledge that not everyone can undertake large-scale heritage projects at this time, they encourage those with the capacity to realize ambitious visions for the sector to reach out and engage with them.

Thriving places

The next significant step in Heritage 2033 involves announcing the first batch of locations for targeted, long-term investment to enhance community pride and heritage engagement. They plan to support 20 such places during the strategy’s duration, with the first nine being revealed next month.

This place-focused initiative aims to empower these locations to form local partnerships, address longstanding heritage challenges, and attract wider investment. While the primary goal is addressing local needs, they hope the positive impact will inspire similar place-based projects, fostering collaborations and revitalizing areas with significant heritage and community needs.

Additionally, they are progressing with other strategic initiatives outlined in Heritage 2033, such as a landscape initiative aimed at supporting large-scale projects to rejuvenate landscapes, promote nature conservation, and enhance connectivity. Updates on these initiatives will be provided in the coming months.

Ahead, Together

Heritage 2033 represents a collaborative effort involving numerous contributors and partners deeply invested in heritage preservation. Feedback from the UK Heritage Pulse survey has been encouraging, indicating that Heritage 2033 aligns with the sector’s needs and priorities.

The organization remains eager to engage with and receive input from stakeholders, fostering continued collaboration to realize their shared vision for heritage in the years to come.

In the meantime, they encourage everyone to explore the UK’s rich heritage offerings this summer. They have curated a selection of notable openings and opportunities that cater to diverse interests, and they look forward to the possibility of meeting you at these events.

CCVS Photo Competition – Closes 29th September

We are delighted to announce that the CCVS photo competition is back for 2023!  

This year’s theme: Improving Lives 

The competition is open now until 4pm on Friday 29 September.

What’s in it for you? 

  • Cash prizes will be awarded to the organisations linked to the winning photographs.
  • An opportunity to showcase your organisation. We know the difference local charities and groups make to the community, but we want everyone to be able to see a snapshot of your valuable work in pictures.  Shortlisted entries will be displayed at a future CCVS event and we will also share media releases of the winning entries in our publications and with local media.


Judges Choice: £150 will be awarded to the organisation linked to the photo chosen as the winner by the judges.

People’s Choice: £150 will be awarded to the organisation linked to the photo which receives the highest number of votes in the people’s choice.

People’s Choice runner up: £75 will be awarded to the organisation linked to the photo which receives the second highest number of votes in the people’s choice.

The theme – Improving Lives – can encompass any part of what your organisation does, whether that’s photos of your team working in the office, your volunteers doing what they do best, (and improving their own lives as well as those who benefit), your organisation running an event, having contact with the people you support, looking after your green space or community building. Let your imagination run wild!

Anyone who is involved with a Cambridgeshire voluntary organisation, group or charity can take part – clients, volunteers, staff, trustees or supporters. So make sure you share the details of the competition with your teams and networks to encourage a variety of photos.

Images may be added to our photo library to use in our future marketing and communications, including our website, and social media channels.

How to enter:

Organisation and/or photographer to read conditions of entry 

Photographer to complete the entry form

Organisation to obtain signed consent from everyone who is identifiable in the photographs:

Consent form for adults over the age of 18

Consent form for children under the age of 18, or vulnerable adult 

Photo, completed entry form and signed consent forms where applicable to be emailed to: 

Any problems, contact: 

New £10m Community Energy Fund for England to Open in Early Autumn

New government funding will empower local communities across England to develop renewable energy projects that will benefit their local areas.

The Department for Energy, Security and Net Zero’s new £10 million Community Energy Fund will allow both urban and rural communities to develop clean energy projects in their area. Setting up local energy projects is expected to provide jobs and energy security.

The funding is for projects that are proposed, designed and owned by local people, such as small-scale wind farms, rooftop solar partnerships, battery storage, rural heat networks, electric vehicle charging points, and fuel poverty alleviation schemes.

As with the former Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF), the new Community Energy Fund will be delivered through Local Net Zero Hubs (partnerships between local authorities and local private sector businesses).

Commenting on the new fund, Minister for Nuclear and Networks Andrew Bowie said:

“[Local communities] will be able to drive forward innovative energy projects that will have a lasting positive impact, bringing costs down, building stronger communities, and securing clean energy for generations to come.

“Importantly, these energy projects could expand beyond local areas by attracting further investment from the private sector, in turn inspiring other communities to power their area with energy from England.”

The government announcement can be read on GOV.UK website.

The Community Energy Fund will open to applications in the early Autumn.

NEW! On-Demand training – Business Planning & What do trustees have to do?

Support Cambridgeshire partner CCVS has developed a new free training resource for anyone to access. This training is aimed at refreshing your knowledge and allow you to feel confident in the subject area. Below are two new sessions which have been recently added to the portal.


Business planning – Starting your own community group


This session introduces the idea of business planning to make sure you get the best possible result with the resources you have.


Why you need a business plan and what needs to go into one. There is title-by-title guidance on each section, so you truly understand how to build your plan, along with advice on policies and procedures and how to evaluate your performance.


10:21 minutes


What do Trustee have to do?


An introduction to the six primary duties of trustees aimed at those considering becoming a trustee, new trustees, those working with trustees and trustees looking to refresh their knowledge.


What defines a charity, and how can it be structured? The six primary duties of trustees as defined by the Charity Commission.


14.37 minutes


The Support Cambridgeshire On-Demand Training portal updates your knowledge of charity and community sector know-how. It is free to access whenever every you want. Fill in the form, press send, and you’ll be sent the link to browse at your leisure, don’t forget to save the link so you can return it as many times as you want!

Interested to learn? This click HERE


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