By Kathryn Shepherdson
Fenland will soon be given a say on how its small, local community groups are heard, represented and given the tools to grow and thrive.
Thanks to a grant awarded by Lloyds Bank Foundation, Support Cambridgeshire partners Hunts Forum and Cambridge Council for Voluntary Service (CCVS) will be able to work with charities and communities to support them to work with more local people..
The two partners have many years experience working with staff and volunteers from charities and community groups. By providing advice, training and support they help those involved gain the skills and confidence to raise more funds, reach more people and make a positive difference to local communities. Both organisations are also able to help more people to set up new groups, help communities get their voice heard and help groups come together to share their success and their top tips.
Currently, the only support for Fenland groups is limited as there is no dedicated Fenland funding. The Lloyds Bank Foundation grant will enable an expanded and strengthened offer in Fenland.
Mark Freeman, the CEO of CCVS, said “Over the years we have offered a service to local groups in Fenland, recently this has been less than we would have liked as the funding has not been there. This money will support us and Hunts Forum to work with more groups and more communities as we start to recover from the pandemic. We know that the people of Fenland are up for doing more and the response we have seen over the last year has shown that existing charities are up to the challenge of doing more and learning new tricks. We have a year to kickstart this work in a focused and meaningful way.”
The project will start with a conversation with existing groups, local people and other interested parties to find out what people would like to see change in the way charities and communities are supported. This will build on the experience both partners have in delivering work in the district and further afield, and will see more training and support as well as opportunities for people to come together.
The project will ensure Fenland’s charities and community groups always have the resources they need to build healthier, happier communities.
Julie Farrow, the CEO of Hunts Forum, said “We are really excited to have the opportunity to expand our work in Fenland, listening and learning from the local community will ensure the services we provide now and, in the future, will really meet their needs.