Tag Archive for: Event

Volunteer Passport event launch in response to conference

Following on from the Connecting Communities Conference 2022, and the Vision for Volunteering event. Support Cambridgeshire partners are excited to bring you Volunteering: Do we need Passports or Passporting? An interactive and informative event where community groups and charities can explore the ideas surrounding the concept of volunteer passports and passporting between volunteer roles.

This event will start with a presentation from Gethyn Williams, who will bring you the theory behind this idea, most recently popularised by a government paper, Levelling up our Communities, which Danny Kruger MP wrote in September 2020 for the (former) Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. Here he will talk through both the concepts of ‘Passports’ (usually used to provide recognition or validation of a volunteer’s activity) and ‘Passporting’ (common systems and processes used by organisations, collaborating around volunteering, designed to make volunteering more efficient for hosts and more streamlined for volunteers themselves) covering the challenges and opportunities of each.

Following this, there will be the opportunity for questions for the audience, with a discussion around the ideas and the possibility of this happening within Cambridgeshire.


Click the button below to sign up

Click here to book

Wellbeing Hub comes to WISBECH

Recovery Collage East (RCE) Wellbeing Hub is excited to be expanding to Wisbech! We will be launching a new support program which has been designed to help people gain the skills and confidence they need to be able to take control of their own wellbeing and build personal action plans to help them gain momentum towards taking the next step in their lives. This could be towards work, education and training, volunteering, or even something else.


We are due to launch our first group in January and are now taking registrations. We are running some online ‘Find Out More’ sessions where you can meet some of our team and find out more about what’s involved in the program, you will also have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the wellbeing hub or the courses.


Interested…? Curious…? Then, if you are in the Wisbech area or work with anyone in the town, come along to meet us and find out more!


Sessions times are: Mon 6th Dec @ 7-8pm, Tues 7th Dec @ 3-4pm and Fri 10th Dec @ 11-12am. Please contact our co-ordinator to sign up, or, to register for the program: robert.hornett@cpft.nhs.uk


Councillors tells us their views

Back in early July, Support Fenland met with some of the Fenland District Councillors to update them on the project and hear their views on what their communities need.

By Victoria Hopkins

In this meeting we shared with them the themes that had emerged from our engagement sessions earlier in the year, which you can read about in more detail on our previous blog posts, and then we talked to them about their hopes for the voluntary sector in their areas.

We discussed what make a good community, and how it was driven by having a variety of social activities. However, it was about more than just the social aspect of the group, it was about how they become hubs within the community, where individuals can find out about other groups within their community who might be able to help with other issues. It was also important that there was physical infrastructure to allow people to have the space to come together, whether that is parish halls or a play area.

It was also important to have local groups where members of the community can support each other. This has become particularly relevant with the Covid-19 pandemic and the transport difficulties in Fenland.

The challenges the groups were facing were focused on the lack of volunteers and funding. Many groups are relying on the same volunteers to deliver activities. There can be a lot of bureaucracy involved, especially around groups which work with children, which can put other volunteers off joining activities, and there can be a large time burden. When it comes to funding, the traditional fundraising opportunities have all been cancelled due to Covid-19, whilst at the same time groups are seeing increased costs, especially relating to speakers.

We wrapped up the session with a discussion on the ways that the councillors thought that we could help.

Help groups to find new volunteers, including rethinking their volunteering offer to include more flexible, shorter terms and local activities.

Explore ways to reduce bureaucracy to make it easier for groups in Fenland to operate.

Finding a way to coordinate volunteers across different organisations, and to deliver the services needed for the communities.

Explore other barriers to volunteering and support groups to overcome those issues.

Helping businesses to understand the benefits of employee volunteering.

Encouraging groups to apply for local funding opportunities to help reduce the shortfall from traditional community fundraising activities.

A huge thank you to all of the councillors who gave up their evening to talk to us about their communities. The input that they gave has helped to further shape our proposed work in Fenland over the next 6 months.

Firstly, there will be a big focus on volunteering. We are meeting with our infrastructure colleagues in Norfolk to understand the work that they are doing on volunteering passports, and whether they help to remove bureaucracy for small groups. We will report back on this, along with the national work that is being looked at in this area. Our September Fenland Networking event is all about volunteers, and the great work that is already happening which can be built upon. In November there will a workshop for groups in Fenland on how to gain recognition within their communities, to build relationships and secure volunteers and funding in the future.  We are also discussing potential volunteer fairs for Fenland, whether they are face to face, online or hybrid events, early in the new year to tap into those who are looking to start the new year by supporting their community.

At each of our Fenland networking events we have an update on funding where we discuss upcoming funding opportunities with different grant bodies. We know that groups in Fenland aren’t making as many applications as groups in other districts, so in November we’ll be working to understand what these barriers are, and then working with both the funders and the groups to start to overcome these barriers. CCVS & Hunts Forum also regularly run workshops on different aspects of funding, including making good funding applications and crowdfunding which Fenland groups are encouraged to attend.

When it comes to businesses, Hunts Forum & Support Cambridgeshire are running events in October & November which are focusing on how groups can engage with businesses more effectively. Whether that is by securing funding or volunteers, these workshops will focus on creating a business engagement strategy and practical steps to take. Details of both events can be found on the Support Cambridgeshire website

Vic will continue to be available to any group who would like support on any aspect of running their group. Appointments can be made using an online booking system on Tuesdays & Thursdays. Vic is also available every other Thursday evening for those who need support outside of our usual working hours.

We’ll be back again with another blog post in October, where we’ll update you on our networking events so far, and our training plans for the remainder of the year. Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletters to keep up to date with everything that’s happening with Support Fenland, as well as the rest of our work across Cambridgeshire.


Training around wellbeing of staff


Many people find it challenging to talk about mental health at work. Frontline staff may feel embarrassed about their suffering, while managers may not know what to say. Unfortunately, this can contribute to a vicious cycle as no one talks about it and the stigma and isolation grow.

In this workshop series, managers and supervisors will discover how to notice suffering in their team and start conversations safely. Through a straightforward four-step process, attendees will learn how to :

  1. Notice suffering in their colleagues
  2. Identify and overcome the barriers to engaging team members
  3. Cultivate empathy for their distress
  4. Respond appropriately and effectively to alleviate their concerns

There are two sessions in the series, of two hours duration each.

  • Session One: How to notice suffering in the workplace and start conversations with your staff.
  • Session Two: How to overcome barriers to compassion, build empathy and alleviate suffering.

Upon registering for Session 1, delegates will automatically receive an invite for Session 2 in that series. The series of workshops will run twice each month:

Wed 15th Sept 2-4 pm (Session 1); Wed 29th Sept 2-4 pm (Session 2) FULL

Fri 24th Sept 10-12 pm (Session 1); Fri 1st October 10-12 pm (Session 2) FULL

Wed 13th Oct 6-8 pm (Session 1); Wed 20th Oct 6-8 pm (Session 2) *evening sessions FULL

Fri 15th Oct 10-12 pm (Session 1); Fri 22nd Oct 10-12 pm (Session 2) FULL

Wed 10th November 2-4 pm (Session 1); Wed 24th Nov 2-4 pm (Session 2) FULL

Fri 19th November 10-12 pm (Session 1); Fri 26th Nov10-12 pm (Session 2) FULL


More training will be offered to check availability of this please  CLICK HERE


Please regularly check the Staff Support Hub website for more information about the Hub and for details of upcoming similar sessions.


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Connecting Communities 2021

It’s that time again for the annual Connecting Communities conference, a time to bring a range of good practices and thoughts together to talk about volunteering across the county.

This year’s theme is Volunteer Management and how the voluntary and community sector can move forwards from the past year. The event is hosted online, and as with last year’s conference, each day we will be taking on a different format and theme.

Redesigning Recruitment

Tuesday 8 June // 10:00 – 11:30 am // Zoom Webinar

The first day will revolve around Redesigning Recruitment, looking at how organisations have taken the traditional format and mixed it up a little. We have speakers from The British Red Cross, Arthur Rank Hospice Charity and FoodCycle Cambridge.

To Book: connectingcommunities2021day1.eventbrite.co.uk

Reviewing Retention

Wednesday 9 June // 10:00 – 11:30 am // Zoom Meeting

On Wednesday, we will be welcoming Rob Jackson, a well respected expert on volunteer management, to talk to us about Reviewing Retention in our organisation. This event will be a presentation followed by breakout rooms with questions and reflections from Rob.

To Book: connectingcommunities2021day2.eventbrite.co.uk

Re-examining Volunteering

Thursday 10 June // 1:00- 2:30 pm // Zoom Webinar

Finally, we end the conference on Thursday with a general panel hot topic discussion. We welcome Laura Hamilton, a Volunteer Management Consultant, who will chair a panel of local voluntary and third sector speakers, discussing the topic, Can we make volunteering a realistic option for everyone?

To Book: connectingcommunities2021day3.eventbrite.co.uk

The three-day event hopes to bring ideas, thoughts and even more good practice to Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, giving those working with volunteers the confidence to face the challenges following the pandemic. We are excited for you to join us.

Support Fenland: Reflecting on our Public Event

By Victoria Hopkins

This week was another busy week for the Support Fenland project, as we hosted another of our engagement events.

On Wednesday evening we met with people from community groups and organisations from across the district. We wanted to start with a huge thank you to you all for giving up your evening to join us. It was great to have such an engaging discussion on the challenges that you are facing, and how we can help you over the next year of our project.

As you might remember from last week’s post, we have been running a series of events with individuals and organisations from the community. They have a much clearer understanding of and insight into Fenland-specific issues. These insights are important for us to consider as we plan our next phase of support.

At this week’s event (the third in our series) we had funders, council officers and staff and volunteers from charitable organisations. (And some were wearing many hats!)

We talked in depth about the challenges of Covid on our organisations. It has stopped our fundraising efforts, prevented us from meeting face to face and, for some organisations, meeting at all. We talked about the concerns of both our volunteers and the people who come to use our services at being back in the room together. We talked about the challenges of engaging with our communities – how we can use social media to help, but that it can be time consuming and difficult to get right. How to get more money is another big challenge. It is difficult to know who we can go to for funding. Once we know where to go, the processes for funding bids are often complex. To tap into larger funds our organisational structures mean that we are putting all the burden on to the larger groups to be the lead, and they are becoming ever more stretched as a result.

Despite all the challenges we talked about, there was a sense of positivity in the room. More money is being made available in Fenland to help communities recover from Covid. There are more partnership opportunities, if we can create the time and money within organisations to be able to lead them. The groups are beginning to link together to share their best practice and resources and are hoping to be able to do more in the future.

The final part of this week’s session was a discussion about how those attending wanted to be involved in the project over the next 12 months. More opportunities to talk to both CCVS & Hunts Forum and other groups within the community was a big focus. Helping each other to grow our presence on social media to share the good that we are doing was another. Finally, specific help with financial planning and grant funding applications would be welcomed.

We started with a thank you, and we are ending with one too. The amount of support in the room is incredible to see. As well as learning how we at CCVS and Hunts Forum can help, we have also seen a lot of offers of support between groups, and new relationships are being built. Knowing that we are helping to build that long-term support network reassures us that we are on the right track.

From everything that we have heard, we are starting to see emerging themes, and we have one more event still to go. Soon we will start pulling all the thoughts together and planning phase 2 of the project, where we start to deliver Fenland-specific support.

If you would like to keep up to date with those plans, then please follow this blog, as well as our social media accounts.

Facebook.com/huntsforum  Twitter.com/huntsforum
Facebook.com/cambscvs   Twitter.com/CambridgeCVS

Our notes from the meeting are captured on the graphics below – click them to view full-screen.

Connecting Communities: Festival of Ideas

UPDATE: These events have now taken place – you can watch them at your leisure here.



This year Hunts Forum and Support Cambridgeshire are taking their annual Connecting Communities Conference online with a Festival of Ideas. Starting on 22 June 2020, there will be four one-hour events throughout the week to explore volunteer retention during and after COVID-19.

We are excited to have several wonderful speakers who will look at a range of questions and ideas. Rob Jackson is the co-author of The Complete Volunteer Management Handbook and From The Top Down, both of which are used by Directory of Social Change in their training. Benita Matofska is a world-renowned speaker, change-maker and author of Generation Share, a ground-breaking book containing the world’s first collection of inspiring stories of the change-makers building a new economy. Kelly Holliday is the Sporting Events Manager at Alzheimer’s Research UK, and has years of experience in stewardship and volunteer management.

You are welcome to attend all the events or just sign up to the ones which take your fancy. Each event will take on a slightly different format, with a mixture of conversations, presentations and training.

These events are funded by Huntingdonshire District Council and Cambridgeshire County Council, and open to anyone who works or volunteers for non-profit organisations in Cambridgeshire or Peterborough. Some events will have a limit on attendee numbers; you will be sent a unique link to the event. As numbers are limited , we ask no more than two delegates from each organisation attend this event.

Throughout the event you will be encouraged to Tweet using the hashtag #CCFestivalofIdeas


A Conversation with Rob Jackson

Monday 22 June – 10-11am

Book Now (Eventbrite)

Kat Shepherdson, Deputy CEO at Hunts Forum, speaks with Rob Jackson (RJC Biog) about his ideas and thoughts on what COVID -19 means for volunteer management and recruitment moving forward. Are there lessons we can learn? What did this influx of volunteers tell us about the public attitude to volunteering? How do we keep those who are going back to work engaged in our organisations? Rob will explore these questions and more.

A Presentation by Benita Matafska

Tuesday 23 June, 1-2pm

Book Now (Eventbrite)

Benita Matafska talks through her ideas and thoughts about the concept of a sharing economy and how this can be applied to the current world we live in.

Stewardship and Fundraising

Wednesday 24 June, 1-2pm

Book Now (Eventbrite)

Kelly Holiday shares her experiences of managing Alzheimer’s UK’s relationships with people who fundraise for the charity via sporting events. She will draw on this to explore how smaller organisations can turn newly recruited volunteers into long-term supporters.

How do we Keep this Community Spirit Alive?

Thursday 25th June, 10-11am

Book Now (Eventbrite)

Staff from CCVS and Hunts Forum invite organisations to discuss their views around the Power to Change Report, Local Heroes: How to sustain community spirit beyond Covid-19. What are the common threads between the report and the other presentations and discussions at our Festival of Ideas? How can organisations apply these ideas?

Join us at our Connecting Communities Conference 2019

Hunts Forum and Support Cambridgeshire invite you to our Connecting Communities Conference on the 20th June 2019.

Join us to CareDare and Share as we create a community response to tackling loneliness and isolation in our communities.

Loneliness is a growing problem in our society, and it’s increasingly recognised as being closely linked to physical and mental health issues. The government is starting to take this matter seriously, but the voluntary sector can play a key role too. We often have better local knowledge than statutory agencies; we know our communities because we are a part of them.

For more information on the event and how to book a Free Space click here:

A number of workshops will be run throughout the day.

UPDATE: AgeUK set to run our Finding Workshop 

Andrew Morris and Beverly Young Young from AgeUK Cambridgeshire and Peterborough will be facilitating the workshop of Finding (how to identify and reach out to potential volunteers who may be isolated or lonely).

Andy Morris has recently started his career in the charity sector following a career change in 2018. He spent 14 years working for Cambridgeshire Constabulary as a Police officer undertaking various roles. Andy now has the unique challenge of Chief Operating Officer for AgeUk Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

His key skills are in project management, operational and contingency planning, business development and Risk analysis. Andy has a successful history of working constructively with a range of internal and external stakeholders to plan and implement strategies, achieving results, and identifying ways to develop and improve services and productivity.

Some key achievements are the development and delivery of the police service volunteer programme, and most recently, the project lead in creating a unique volunteer steward programme with major event locations in the county.

Beverley Young has held a variety of volunteer roles in the charity sector for over 20 years and as a result has a personal understanding of the needs and motivations of volunteers. Beverley has worked for Age UK Cambridgeshire and Peterborough for 8 years, and has delivered front line services, co-ordinated and managed volunteer recruitment, induction and training. Whilst partnership manager, Beverley delivered a number of local projects working collaboratively and currently manages communications and campaigns at Age UK Cambridgeshire and Peterborough strategically influencing stakeholders.

Book today and get your free space.

Food 4 Thought (with a slice of orange)

Join Support Cambridgeshire for a FREE 2 hour session with internationally renowned public speaker and Amazon top 10 best- selling author:

The Speaker with the Orange Tie (AKA Steve Beckles – Ebusua)


As a run up to National Volunteer Week (taking place between the 1st and the 7th June 2019) listen to Steve’s views on Leadership and how that can be translated into volunteers and the world of volunteering.

It’s sure to be a fun packed and thought provoking 2 hours (apparently Steve brings the Juice) – starting with a light buffet lunch between 1pm and 1.30pm.

Steve takes the stage at 1.30pm through to 3.30pm – so hang on to your hats..!!

This event has only 15 spaces left only so book early to guarantee a place – contact russell@huntsforum.org.uk

See Steve in action: http://www.thespeakerwiththeorangetie.com/steve-in-action/

Steve is brought to you through funding from Huntingdonshire District Council and Cambridgeshire County Council under the Support Cambridgeshire programme.

Food 4 Thought with a Slice of Orange:

22 May 2019

1pm to 3.30pm

Location: Wood Green Animal Shelter (The Margaret Young Room)

Kings Bush Farm Godmanchester PE29 2HN


Village Halls Week

Village Halls Week runs from the 22nd to the 28th January 2019. Its an event aimed at celebrating the role played by village halls in our local communities.

Locally, Cambridgeshire ACRE will be facilitating a programme of events to demonstrate the role played by village halls and Trustees across Cambridgeshire.

They will be looking at themed areas throughout the week, highlighting different aspects of why village halls are so important to our local communities.

For more information on both the launch event and other activities taking place throughout the week simply click here:

This years launch event will be taking place on Tuesday 22nd January at Little Thetford Village Hall. The event will have a national and local focus which features the history of village halls and community buildings in Cambridgeshire over the last 90 years. To book a space to the launch event click here: