Monthly Update – Communities Service – Strategy and Partnerships Cambridgeshire County Council

Please find below some information you may wish to share and investigate further to help support your community groups and service users. There are a number of external funding opportunities as well so please do take a look.

I will aim to email regularly with useful information and will of course be in touch as and when I see information that may be relevant to you.  Please do get in touch with the team via this email should you have any questions or would like some support with setting up a group or have an idea or activities you would like to share.

  • A little reminder about the Community Reach Fund:  Community Reach Fund – Cambridgeshire County Council for new projects for up to £1000 and an enabler for up to £500 for existing projects requiring a boost. (for areas qualifying for S106 and the Kickstart fund please get in touch as well).
  • Library at Home in South Cambs – a series of drop in information sessions to promote the Library at Home offering at five South Cambs libraries in March and April – dates and times as follows:
  • Sawston – Wednesday 13th March 11.30am-1pm
  • Linton – Tuesday 19th March 1pm-2.30pm
  • Great Shelford – Tuesday 26th March 11am-12.30pm
  • Histon – Thursday 28th March 10.30am-12pm
  • Bar Hill – Wednesday 10th April 10.30am-12pm

George, Project Support Officer for Plunkett UK – a funding opportunity in your area. 

  • Plunkett UK has received funding from Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority to support communities in the area’s market towns and rural hinterlands to save assets which are at risk of closure, or which have already closed, or to bring new services to their locale.

Plunkett supports people in rural areas to set up and run a wide range of businesses which are genuinely owned by local communities, whereby members have equal and democratic control. They represent community businesses throughout the UK, from shops and pubs through to woodlands, farms, and fisheries.

Funding from the Combined Authority has enabled Plunkett to offer community groups exploring community business as a way to address their communities’ needs, free packages of business support covering everything from financial planning to governance, plus feasibility grants of up to £5,000 and capital grants of up to £45,000.

Business support and grants will be available until March 2025 and can be accessed by contacting Plunkett on 01993 630 022 or emailing

More information can be found here:

  • George Ogier (He/Him)
  • Project Support Officer
  • Plunkett UK, The Quadrangle, Woodstock, Oxfordshire OX20 1LH
  • Tel: 01993 630022  |  Direct: 01993 630250
  • Small Grants for Summer Playschemes (UK) Grants of between £500 and £1,000 will soon be available to registered charities across the UK to fund summer playschemes for children between the ages of 5-16 years. The funding is available to registered charities, CICs, CIOs or exempt charities with an annual income of less than £100,000. If the applicant is not a registered charity, then a registered charity may apply on the scheme’s behalf. Charities can apply for funding to run playschemes for a minimum of two weeks, ten full days or twenty half days during the summer holidays. Priority will be given to small, local schemes involving a large number of children, especially those with disabilities or from disadvantaged backgrounds. The funding is being made available through the Woodward Charitable Trust’s Summer Playscheme which will be open to applications from the 26th February 2024 until the 5th April 2024. Useful Links: Guidelines Back to Table of Contents
  • Grants of up to £7,500 for Projects Tackling Loneliness Amongst Older People (England, Scotland and Wales) Grants of up to £7,500 are available to grassroots charitable organisations such as registered charities, community groups, and community interest companies for projects that tackle loneliness amongst older people in England, Scotland and Wales. The McCarthy Stone Foundation’s Community Grants Programme will support the delivery of befriending and other 1-1 direct support services that are designed to reduce levels of loneliness and social isolation experienced by people aged over 65. The funding is only available to organisations providing direct person centred interventions e.g., Befriending to address loneliness. This funding does not cover connector or infrastructure services, such as Citizens Advice or Community Transport. The funding will support the core and project costs of smaller organisations with annual incomes under £250,000 working in deprived areas. To help ensure an equitable allocation of funds and to help with the selection of grant applicants, the Foundation has taken the decision this year to adopt a place-based approach. Funding will be prioritised to organisations able to demonstrate they are working in specified locations across our six grant-award regions. Details of the specified locations are in the Guidance Document. The deadline for applications is 5pm on the 16th March 2024. Useful Links: Guidance Back to Table of Contents
  • New Fund Launched to Promote Mental Health through Nature (England, Scotland and Wales) The Peoples Health Trust has launched a new Nature for Health grants programme aimed at supporting local community initiatives that promote health and wellbeing through nature-based activities. The funding is available to local community organisations in specific areas across England, Scotland, and Wales. Further information on these regions is available in the programme guidance (link below) Eligible organisations can apply for grants of £20,000 to £40,000 for activities lasting 2 years. Applicants are asked to secure match funding of at least 25% of the grant value. Funded activity should focus on working with people who are experiencing mental health problems (for example anxiety, panic attacks, depression, loneliness) and: • Are experiencing socio-economic disadvantage; • Are experiencing marginalisation and discrimination (for example, people from racialised communities, LGBTQ+ people, disabled people, excluded young people and those struggling to attend school (aged 11-18) • Or are otherwise less likely to access support (for example, men of all ages). Introduced in response to the growing recognition of the positive impact of nature on mental and physical health, the grant seeks to address health inequalities and promote the wellbeing and mental resilience of individuals and communities. The closing date for stage 1 applications is 1pm on the 20th March 2024. Applicants successful at this stage will have until 1pm on the 1st May 2024. Useful Links: Programme Guidance Back to Table of Contents
  • British Gas Energy Trust Re-opens its Individuals and Families Fund (England, Wales & Scotland) Individuals and families will be able to apply for grants of up to £2,000 to clear domestic gas and electricity debts. The Individual and Families Fund, administered by the British Gas Energy Trust, will provide eligible customers with a grant to clear outstanding arrears with their energy supplier. Any British Gas and non-British Gas customer in England, Wales and Scotland who has sought money or debt advice, and not received a grant from the Trust in the past 2 years, is eligible to apply for the support. However, customers of Boost, Eon, Eon Next, EDF, Scottish Power, Ovo, Octopus, SSE and Utility should apply to their own respective funds. Applicants with energy arrears over £2,000 will not be eligible to apply. The fund will be open to applications from the 4th December 2023 until 4pm on the 8th March 2024, but may close earlier if all funding has been allocated. Back to Table of Contents
  • £7.5 Million in Funding for Sports Clubs Crowdfunding Campaigns (England) £7.5 million of National Lottery funding is available to support clubs and community organisations to set up and run their own crowdfunding campaigns to help improve their sustainability. Sport England’s Active Together Fund is a crowdfunding initiative that can match fund successful Crowdfunder campaigns by up to £10,000. • To be eligible to apply, organisations must be: • local sports clubs • charities, community, voluntary and social enterprise sector organisations that deliver sport and/or physical activity in their local community • town or parish councils delivering activity within their community • education establishments that provide access for their whole community The initiative will support organisations impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the emerging energy, cost of living or other local crises, to cover additional costs such as: • facility refurbishments, maintenance or improvements • adapting facilities to ensure a safe return to play • running new activity to meet demand, post-pandemic, helping the community to recover • unforeseen events continuing to impact on finances – fire, theft, vandalism or adverse weather • the emerging energy crisis – changing facilities to lower energy consumption Applications can be made at any time. Useful Links: Guidance Back to Table of Contents
  • Funding Available for Youth-led Nature Projects (UK) Grants of £500 are available for youth-led projects that celebrate UK native wildflowers, plants and fungi in exciting and engaging ways. The funding is made available to individuals and groups of young people through Grow Wild’s Youth Grants programme to support young people to deliver a wide range of creative projects that will inspire communities and help people connect to each other and nature. Grants can be used for anything project-related, from basic materials and equipment to resources or training. Young people aged 14 to 25 can apply directly as an individual or as a group of up to 6 people, but will need to nominate a youth, community or education-focused organisation to support them with their project. Successful projects can be started in May and must be completed by the end of October 2024. The deadline for applications is 3pm on the 19th March 2024. Useful Links: Guidance for Applicants Back to Table of Contents

Final thing to share is a fundraiser request from HOPE CIC as they wish to purchase an electric vehicle to assist with their Mobile food project.

Please take a look and support if you can, this will benefit many communities and residents.