Tag Archive for: Warm hubs

Fenland Community Living Rooms – Want to be part of these new community spaces?

After being successful with a ‘Know You Neighbourhood‘ funding application, Cambridgeshire ACRE is delighted to be able to support town and parish councils, village hall committees, church communities, local charities and other community groups to establish a network of Community Living Rooms in Fenland this autumn. These must run from publicly accessible community buildings, such as community centres, village halls, churches and their halls, older peoples’ day centres, youth centres and community libraries.

They are very similar to Warm Hubs, but the name ‘Warm Hubs’ has been changed to reflect community feedback and to ensure that the diverse needs of all visitors are considered. Cambridgeshire ACRE believes visitors will largely attend their local Community Living Room for companionship and to make social connections. However, loneliness is a complex issue, and attendees elsewhere have also been found to be experiencing poor health, with many having specific vulnerabilities, frailty, disability or poor mental health.

Cambridgeshire ACRE expects Community Living Rooms to reflect the needs of each community, so some might evolve out of groups that already meet, for example, you may already be holding a community café or coffee morning or breakfast club; some might be arranged around other activities such as a playgroup or older people’s / friendship club and others might be completely new in their set-up as a Community Living Room.

To become established, they need your community to identify a team of a minimum 3 volunteers and a publicly accessible community venue that can offer a warm and safe place where local people can expect a friendly and inclusive welcome.

Cambridgeshire ACRE’s offer to help you get your Community Living Room’s doors open includes:


  • A supported volunteering programme that will help you establish and run a Community Living Room that reflects the needs of your own community. Cambs ACRE will check building suitability; provide volunteers with training; give support with safeguarding and health & safety policies; and supply materials to promote your Community Living Room and its value to your community. There will also be monthly networking events so you can share ideas and experiences with others across Fenland.
  • A grant for two years to allow for building rental, heating, refreshments and any additional specialist equipment that might be needed to make your Community Living Room successful.
  • A team of ‘Village Agents’ who will be available at a parish level to provide help, support and solutions for the health and social care needs of those who might visit your Community Living Room.
  • Being part of a UK Government-funded project which will provide learning to others regarding approaches to supporting community loneliness and volunteering across the UK.

Would you like to know more?

Cambridgeshire ACRE invite you to join us for a short online event on Thursday 14 September 2023 at 6pm where they will present more information on Community Living Rooms; the support you will receive from us if you take part; and answer any questions you might have. Please register to attend by clicking on the button below and completing the online form

Register to attend here


Expressing an interest in taking part

After the online event, they will invite you to express an interest if you wish to explore this opportunity further. You are welcome to complete an Expression of Interest form now, if you wish – please just click on the button below to access. Cambs ACRE will be in touch to discuss the establishment of a Community Living Room in your community after next Thursday’s event.

Complete Expression of Intrest Form Here


Not in Fenland? Cambridgeshire ACRE can also support Community Hubs in East and South Cambs. For more information about this or any of the above please contact Alison Brown alison.brown@cambsacre.org.uk 

South Cambs. District Council Community Chest Grant/Cost of Living Crisis/April ’23

Grants available: up to £2,000 (ringfenced total sum of £20,000)

Deadline to apply: Expanded criteria until April 2023

Who is the funding for? To support projects to help residents deal with the cost of living crisis for voluntary and community sector groups, charities and public sector bodies wishing to further improve quality of life locally. Parish and Town Councils of any size can also now bid.

District: South Cambridgeshire.

Link: Community Chest Grant Funds

About: The Council’s Community Chest grant fund criteria has been expanded to support projects to help residents deal with the cost of living crisis. Parish Councils of any size and Community groups can apply for up to £2,000 until April 2023.

The Council’s Community Chest fund provides grants to voluntary and community sector groups, charities and public sector bodies wishing to further improve quality of life locally.

At the meeting of the Council’s Grants Advisory Committee on Friday 28 October, Councillors unanimously recommended that the Community Chest criteria were expanded to allow bids that include contributions for any project that has a positive impact for communities related to the cost-of-living crisis. The change also mean it will support ongoing costs, including staffing, as well as one-off purchases as it had previously. Those amendments have now been confirmed by the Lead Cabinet Member for Resources.

Parish and Town Councils of any size can also now bid for Community Chest grants linked to the cost of living crisis. Previously, Parish and Town Councils were not able to bid for Community Chest funds apart from those linked to creating a Community-Led Plan or Biodiversity grants, unless they had fewer than 160 registered electors in their areas.

A ringfenced total sum of £20,000 has been made available for these new Community Chest grant applications relating to the cost of living crisis. This funding has been provided by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Integrated Care System, to ensure support is co-ordinated effectively and directed at those in need locally this winter.

It is anticipated that this new grant funding could go towards projects such as the setting up or running of lunch clubs to provide low-cost meals for those in need, or establishing or building the capacity of food hubs, food banks or community fridges. However, given the limited funds available, the scheme is not able to be used to purchase food or subsidise the cost of the food distributed.

The amended criteria for the Community Chest will be in place until April 2023.