Innovate & Cultivate Fund
Cambridgeshire County Council is working hard to make Cambridgeshire a great place to call home, where people live independently and safely in strong communities that help and support each other. To realise the vision, the Council’s Corporate Strategy for 2019-21 prioritises three broad outcomes for the period:
1. A good quality of life for everyone
2. Thriving places for people to live
3. The best start for Cambridgeshire’s children
The Innovate & Cultivate Fund helps voluntary, community and social enterprise sector organisations to deliver projects that help to achieve these broad outcomes by addressing the needs of local residents.
The Innovate & Cultivate Fund aims to redirect Council funding from high cost front-line services, towards support and services that are delivered within, and by, local communities. The priority areas of service where funding applications are most welcome are Adult Social Care and Children & Families services (see Funding Priorities section for further details).
The Innovate and Cultivate Fund has two funding streams:
Cultivate - grants of £2,000-£19,000 aimed at encouraging local networks where people help themselves and each other. *New!* Increased grant size and new guidance for Cultivate ‘Seed’ Fund Projects. See below for details.
Innovate - larger grants of up to £50,000 for big projects with big ideas that demonstrate an innovative approach.
More information on the Innovate and Cultivate Fund, including eligibility and how to apply, is given below but two important points to note are that all projects must
- be either new, or build on an existing project in a new location or with new beneficiaries
- show that they will reduce pressure on council services and/or offer direct savings for the council.
Our key funding priorities are Adult Social Care and Children & Families services.
Key client groups supported:
- Older people
- Adults (18+) with: disabilities (learning disabilities and/or physical disabilities), sensory impairments, mental health needs
The Council is most interested in bids which are community-led. Bids should demonstrate how they will be sustainable in the longer-term after any initial grant funding ends.
All bids should reflect the approach to prevention and early intervention outlined in the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Adult Social Care Market Position Statement and should not duplicate current provision.
Three key themes:
1) Maintaining and maximising independence
Schemes or activities that have a focus on prevention and early intervention and which help people to maintain and maximise their independence.
Description of theme:
The Council is keen to see the development of new schemes, or expansion and development of existing projects which prevent adults and older people reaching crisis.
Some examples of what this may include are outlined below:
• Crisis prevention – schemes that help to identify people before they reach a crisis or support them afterwards, such as support following a stay in hospital, Parish Nursing projects, etc.
• Promoting the use of Technology Enabled Care (TEC) – schemes that promote the uptake and use of TEC solutions to support people with a disability or illness, or who are frail due to older age.
• Healthy living – schemes that support people to live healthy lifestyles. For example, this could include schemes around falls prevention or developing dementia-friendly communities, etc.
• Participation – schemes that help adults and older people to participate in activities that support health and wellbeing. This could include things such as peer support schemes (for example for carers).
2) Connecting to the local community and staying well
Schemes or activities that help adults, older people and carers stay independent, safe and well and connected to their community.
Description of theme
The Council is keen to see the development of new schemes, or expansion and development of existing projects that help adults, older people and carers to play an active part in their community and address any barriers that may stop them from doing this.
Some examples of what this may include are outlined below:
• Social isolation and loneliness – schemes that help people who may be experiencing loneliness and isolation due to disability or older age. This could include developing lunch clubs, social activities, or community groups such as Men’s Sheds.
• Good Neighbour Schemes – schemes that support people to live independently and safely in their own homes. This could include helping with shopping, picking up prescriptions, gardening, etc.
• Timebanks – schemes that allow local people to help each other by exchanging knowledge, help and skills. For example, a Timebank member can choose to give an hour of their time helping an older person get to the local shops and in return receive an hour back on any services which other Timebank members are offering, whether it be gardening, IT support or companionship.
• Employment – schemes that support adults with disabilities (for example, learning disabilities, those on the autistic spectrum, physical disabilities) or mental health needs into paid employment and/or enable them to remain in employment.
3) People having greater choice and control over how their care needs are met
Schemes or activities that help adults and older people to have greater choice and control over how their care needs are met. This could be people who pay for their own support (self-funders) as well as those whose care and support is funded by the Council.
Description of theme
The Council is keen to stimulate and support the development of a range of locally-based, small micro-providers, community schemes and social enterprises that can offer flexible and localised care and support (particularly home care) to residents.
* Locally delivered home care – community schemes that support adults or older people with care and support needs. This could include developing a local micro-enterprise or social enterprise that provides care and support at home including delivering personal care.
Additional information for these themes:
Under Children and families there are 4 key themes:
1) Building Connections between the Voluntary Sector and County Council services
Description of theme
In Cambridgeshire public services are beginning to operate to the Thrive framework. At its heart, Thrive describes public services wrapping around or layering on to support already available through family and friends’ networks and community based groups and organisations.
This theme is about building capacity in the voluntary and community sector to enable voluntary and community groups and organisations to more easily connect with statutory sector providers as part of a Team Around the Family when working with vulnerable families, or to enable statutory organisations to more easily connect with voluntary and community sector providers to provide an appropriate support package for a family which may avoid the family requiring support from statutory services at all.
Activities may include work to train and support Voluntary and Community organisations to work with statutory services, or work to build relationships and networks between local providers.
Additional key information
2) Supporting Emotional Well-being in high needs communities
Description of theme
The Council is keen to see the development of new, or expansion/development of existing provisions which support the emotional health and wellbeing of vulnerable children, young people and adults in high needs communities. Activities may include low level 1:1 or group self-esteem and confidence building, mentoring, coaching, be-friending, activities to promote positive friendships and relationships, coping with stress or difficult family circumstances.
Whilst support may be for children, young people or adults, the Council are particularly interested in bids which work with a Think Family approach, considering the needs of the whole family in order to make lasting and sustainable change.
The fund will not at this stage support activities which are specialist in nature or are intended to target and work with people with complex mental health issues.
Additional key information
3) Youth work in high needs communities
Description of theme
The County Council are keen to see the development of new, or expansion/development of existing provisions providing group based youth work for vulnerable young people in high needs communities. Any successful bidders must consider how to expand / develop use of volunteers as part of the provision to support ongoing sustainability.
The Council are most interested in seeing bids which are looking to create, sustain or develop regular provision for young people which enables a safe place for vulnerable young people to go on a regular basis.
All bids must consider how workers and volunteers will be trained and supported to connect and work in partnership with statutory services which may need to be, or are involved with the young people attending the youth provision or their families.
Additional key information
4) Community based family support activities in high needs communities
Description of theme
The County Council are keen to see the development of new, or expansion/development of existing provisions which provide community-based family support activities via regular groups or projects to vulnerable families in high needs communities. Activities may include support to families experiencing difficulties with children’s behaviour, housing issues, finance, social isolation or community issues.
The Council are particularly interested in bids which will take the opportunity to support people positively with healthy lifestyles and into employment.
Do you want to do something for your community but need some inspiration to start a project? We’ve compiled some ideas for you of successful schemes that can help people to remain independent and active within their community, encourage volunteering and complement more costly Council services. Cambridgeshire County Council particularly welcomes applications to the Innovate & Cultivate Fund to set up any of the following Cultivate projects:
Timebanks: This offers a way for people to help each other by exchanging skills. For example, a member can spend an hour helping an older person to the shops and in return spend that hour on help from other members, such as gardening or IT support. Co-ordinators match people’s skills, arrange exchanges and keep a record of all the members’ “banked” hours. Timebanks are open to everyone and work hard to engage more vulnerable members of the community which helps people make new connections. Further guidance on applying to start a Timebank can be found here, and you can watch this video. For an example of a timebank in Cambridgeshire, watch this video of Houghton & Wyton Time Bank:
Men’s Sheds: A ‘Shed’ is a place where people come together to make and mend whilst sharing skills and friendship. They typically attract older men, but many have younger members and women too and some are called Community Sheds. Sheds often get involved in community projects – restoring village features, helping maintain green spaces and building things for schools, libraries and individuals in need. Sheds can help people gain a renewed sense of purpose and belonging, reduce feelings of isolation and help people remain independent. Further guidance on applying to start a Men’s Shed can be found here, and you can watch this video. For an example of a Men's Shed in Cambridgeshire, watch this video of Ramsey's Men's Shed:
Good Neighbour Schemes: This is a group of local volunteers offering support to people in their community who may need a helping hand such as older people, people with disabilities, single parents and young mothers, or anyone who is ill or isolated. Volunteers help with simple tasks such as transport for appointments, running errands, household tasks and visiting people. Schemes encourage both participants and volunteers to play an active role in their community. Further guidance on applying to start a Good Neighbour Scheme can be found here. For an example of a Good Neighbour Scheme in Cambridgeshire, watch this video of Colne Caring Community:
Dementia-Friendly Communities: This is a place where people with dementia enjoy living, feel part of, are understood, respected and supported. Setting one up involves raising awareness through promotion and Dementia Friends training, and encouraging local organisations and businesses to take simple actions as part of their commitment to become more dementia-friendly. This takes various shapes and forms, including introducing rest benches or staff training, so that people with dementia can continue to live in the community they choose. Further guidance on applying for a grant to help you develop your Dementia-Friendly Community can be found here, and you can watch this video. For an example of a dementia-friendly community in Cambridgeshire, watch this video of St Ives Dementia Friendly Community:
Before you apply for funding, we recommend that you:
1. Talk to other members of your community to understand what already exists and which project is right for you and your community. If you have another idea, the fund is also open to any projects that reduce pressure on County Council services or offer direct savings for the council. You can also learn more about your community from the County Council’s Parish Profiles here.
2. Read the guidance for applicants that you can find here.
3. Talk to the following support organisations:
- Timebanks – Gerry Cano at the Timebanking Partnership on 07834 750 676 or email Gerry.Cano@chsgroup.org.uk
- Good Neighbour Schemes –Care Network Cambridgeshire on 01954 211919 or email@example.com
- Dementia-Friendly Communities – Fiona Wynde at Alzheimer’s Society on 07484 924563 or email Fiona.firstname.lastname@example.org
- Men’s Sheds – Laura Winkley at UK Men’s Sheds Association on 0300 772 9626 or email@example.com
The application form for the Innovate and Cultivate Fund invites applicants to demonstrate how they meet the criteria against which their project will be scored. The questions that need to be answered are listed below
(for each question, in no more than 300 words)
1. Please identify the main outcomes your project will aim to deliver and how your project will do this. How do you intend to measure these outcomes? (outcomes are the changes or difference your project will make to address identified needs).
2. Who are the direct beneficiaries of your project and which high cost Council services do they currently access, or are very likely to access in the future?
3. How will your project reduce the need for your beneficiaries to use Council services?
4. How does your project increase the capacity within communities and make people and communities more resilient?
5. With reference to any of your work to date, why can you be confident that your project and targets are credible and deliverable?
6. Please state whether you (or another organisation) are already delivering all or part of the project you propose. If you are already delivering, explain how your proposed project differs from current provision (e.g. different beneficiaries, different approach or in a different location).
7. Please tell us your plans for longer term sustainability. How do you see your project progressing after this funding comes to an end or do you see this as a one off project?
Click on headings below to find out more
The Innovate & Cultivate Fund is for:
- voluntary, community and social enterprise sector organisations, based in and outside of Cambridgeshire
- public sector bodies in Cambridgeshire, including District, Town and Parish Councils (excluding Cambridgeshire County Council)
All projects have to benefit the residents of Cambridgeshire.
The fund is not open to individuals, or for profit businesses. Project beneficiaries must be residents of Cambridgeshire and projects serving the residents of the Peterborough City Council local authority area are not eligible for funding.
Please note that unincorporated associations must be legally registered to apply for a grant if their income is above £5,000 or if the grant applied for will take their income over £5,000.
Cultivate grants (£2,000-£19,000)
Cultivate funding rounds are held quarterly. The application is a one-stage process that takes approximately 3 months from the application deadline to confirmation of award.
Cultivate grant applications are submitted by applicants using the online form accessed on this webpage (see left hand column). Applications will be considered by a Panel whose recommendations will go to an elected member committee for consideration.
Cultivate grants under £5,000 are usually made in a single upfront payment and grants of £5,001 to £19,000 are usually paid in two equal instalments, one upfront and one at the midway point.
Innovate grants (£19,001 to £50,000)
Innovate funding rounds are held twice a year. The application is a two-stage process that takes 5-6 months from the application deadline to confirmation of award.
Stage 1 – Innovate applications are submitted by applicants using the online form accessed on this webpage (see left hand column).
Stage 2 – Chosen proposals selected by a Stage 1 Panel will be invited to provide further information including a project plan, budget and activity plan. Applicants will then be invited to a Stage 2 Panel where applications will be assessed and applicants will be required to give a short presentation about their project. Recommendations on grants from the Stage 2 Panel will then go to an elected member committee for final consideration.
You can view and download the stage 2 Innovate application templates on Cambridgeshire Insight.
All applicants are required to submit the following documents with their application form:
- A signed copy of your organisation’s set of rules / terms of reference / constitution
- Bank paying in slip
- Your Equality Policy
- Your Safeguarding Policy (children and/or adults)
- Your organisation’s accounts for the past two financial years
- Names and addresses of three independent management committee members, with at least two cheque signatories identified.
You may also be requested to provide:
- Three different quotes for any capital items over £500
- Evidence of a long-term lease if you are applying for funding towards a building or land that your organisation does not own.
- If you are a Community Interest Company, we require your CIC 36 form (if you have registered as a CIC in the last 12 months), or your latest CIC 34 Annual Report (if you have been registered as a CIC for over 12 months)
If you have received a grant from Cambridgeshire Community Foundation in the last two years, you do not need to resubmit your documents unless there have been significant changes in your organisation. Further details may be found in step 2 of Cambridgeshire Community Foundation’s ‘How to apply’ guide.
Innovate grants are paid in quarterly instalments.
You can apply for up to two years of project funding. The maximum amount of funding you can apply for is £19,000 for Cultivate grants and £50,000 for Innovate grants.
All successful projects will be required to complete project monitoring forms with the support of a Service Lead County Council Officer. You will also be required to submit quarterly monitoring reports for the duration of your project.
Innovate monitoring forms can be downloaded here.
The Cultivate monitoring form can be downloaded here.
It is strongly recommended that applicants book to attend a pre-application advice session where you will have support and guidance on writing your application. However, the following resources may also help to ensure your application is supported by statistical data and useful information. A collection of useful local datasets and interactive reports are available on Cambridgeshire Insight.
- Local Ward Profiles
- Local Parish Profiles
- A selection of datasets on Adult Social Care Provision
- Other useful datasets relevant to the Fund
- A range of interactive maps and reports across a range of themes
Other useful sources of data and information include:
Public Health England Fingertips for a range of local public health profiles. These profiles are a rich source of indicators across a range of health and wellbeing themes.
Cambridgeshire County Council Finance and Performance Reports are provided by services and give details on their financial position and performance levels achieved for each month, accompanied by forecast outturn estimates. These reports can help applicants to understand the current spend on existing services.
Think Communities: The Think Communities partnership approach (2018) has been developed in collaboration with partners to create a shared vision, approach and priorities for building community resilience across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
A list of all funded projects is below. Case studies showing how the Innovate & Cultivate Fund is helping organisations to support Cambridgeshire residents can be found here.
The Cinnamon Network
‘Demand Reduction Partnerships – Cambridgeshire’
Awarded up to £17,800 to work with five churches across the county to run social action projects that support people in communities that need it the most.
Meadows Children and Family Wing
‘Freedom Forever Together’
Awarded up to £49,478 to support female victims of domestic abuse and their children through a range of 1-1 and group services.
Romsey Mill Trust
‘Trumpington Youth Development’
Awarded up to £49,062.25 to provide specialist support for isolated and disadvantaged young people in Trumpington to help them fulfill their potential.
Awarded up to £49,080 to provide one-to-one motivational support and coaching for disadvantaged and vulnerable adults to enhance their employability or eligibility for volunteering roles.
Huntingdon Town Council
‘Supporting Older People Oxmoor Friendship Group’
Awarded up to £50,000 to expand a friendship group for older people to incorporate healthy eating, exercise, health related issues, raising awareness on vital topics and decreasing social isolation, by working in partnership with other key organisations.
Thera East Anglia of Thera Trust
‘My Way - Supported Employment Project’
Awarded up to £41,945.87 to provide one-to-one coaching and support for people with learning disabilities to help them get into paid or voluntary employment.
The Prospects Trust
‘Prospects Trust Unwrapped & The Barn at LuvEly’
Awarded up to £50,000 to open a zero waste farm shop and seasonal food enterprise which people with additional needs will be trained to help run.
Royal Mencap Society
‘Employ Me Cambridgeshire’
Awarded up to £50,000 to provide supported employment for adults with a learning disability, learning difficulty or autism and help them in their journey towards and into paid work, or training and education programmes such as traineeships.
‘Pinpoint Champions Programme’
Awarded up to £47,099.88 to run a pilot project developing a network of school-based parent volunteers in order to engage families whose children have additional needs and prevent costly escalation of issues.
Carers Trust Cambridgeshire
‘Caring Communities in Later Life’
Awarded up to £49,999 to develop programmes at carer friendly community hubs and increase small group respite opportunities, particularly targeted at the over 80s.
Cambridge Housing Society Group
Awarded up to £49,984 to develop more Timebanks across the county, further integrate them with another Time Currency called Time Credits, and enable the Timebanks themselves to become more financially sustainable.
Little Miracles CIO
Awarded up to £35,000 to deliver services for families with disabled children across Cambridgeshire.
Somersham Parish Council
Awarded up to £25,000 to carry out activities to improve the quality of life for residents with neurological conditions.
Switch Now CIC
Awarded up to £10,500 to train, support and mentor young adults with learning difficulties to progress towards voluntary, paid or self-employment.
Cambridgeshire Deaf Association
Awarded up to £50,000 to hire a volunteer manager to develop a pool of volunteers who will provide support for people within the deaf community.
Care Network Cambridgeshire
Awarded up to £49,475 to support older people in their communities by helping communities and individuals to set up micro enterprises, circles of support, and groups to meet the identified needs of their communities, through research, promotion and support.
Age UK Cambridgeshire & Peterborough
Awarded up to £32,740 to support the set-up of a network of Friendship Clubs for older people in areas of Cambridgeshire where the provision of such services is limited.
The Resilience Group (Blue Smile, CFMS & Relate Cambridge)
‘Stronger Families – Building Resilience’
Awarded up to £31,055 to deliver the ‘Stronger Families – Building Resilience’ project, providing therapeutic support to disadvantaged local children and providing parenting wellbeing programmes.
Ely St. John’s Primary School
‘25 Year Anniversary Fund: Nurture Model’
Awarded up to £5,000 to develop the community’s ability to understand and respond to both pro-social and anti-social behaviours, through training and developing the school as a community resource.
Houghton & Wyton Time Bank
‘Houghton & Wyton Time Bank in the Community’
Awarded up to £10,000 to connect young people and old people through volunteering, to reduce isolation.
Holy Trinity Church, Hildersham PCC
‘Parish Nurse Plus’
Awarded up to £10,000 to appoint a community development worker to work alongside an existing Parish Nurse.
‘Love to Move’
Awarded up to £9999 to run the Love to Move seated exercise programme to help older people to improve their fitness of mind and body.
Godmanchester Town Council
Awarded up to £5,426 to launch a Time Bank in Godmanchester to bring people together to help one another.
South Cambridgeshire District Council
‘Through the Door project’
Awarded up to £10,000 to run a social prescribing service to help older people stay independent in their communities.
Stretham Youth Club
‘3159 Young At Heart’
Awarded up to £3,900 to run a community led drop-in and activities project for over 60s.
Cambridgeshire Police Shrievalty Trust
‘Supporting Vulnerable Families & Children’
Awarded up to £10,000 to run a pilot Bobby Scheme to support families and children who have been victims of crime to help them recover from the trauma.
East Leightonstone PCC
Awarded up to £10,000 to provide 2-3 additional youth cafes for young people to spend time after school and access pastoral support from trained volunteers.
Cambridge Women's Resource Centre
‘Birth as a medium 4 change’
Awarded up to £10,000 to identify and support 10 vulnerable mothers who might struggle to sustain a healthy pregnancy and prepare for a healthy relationship with their babies.
Cambridgeshire Hearing Help
‘Transforming our technology infrastructure to meet the demands of Cambridgeshire’s ageing population’
Awarded up to £4,680 to re-design the organisation’s technology infrastructure to meet ever-increasing demand and prevent older people's social care needs from escalating.
Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust
Awarded up to £7,500 to establish and coordinate a Timebank to reduce isolation, promote community resilience and enable residents to live well independently.
‘Focus on Older People’
Awarded up to £7,767 to provide benefits information, advice and support to older people to enable them to continue living independently.
Romsey Mill Trust
Awarded up to £9,903 to provide youth clubs for 140 children and young people with an autistic spectrum condition enabling them to meet others and develop social skills.
Cambridge City Council - Safer Communities Team
‘Mobile outreach support and information service’
Awarded up to £7,450 to provide a mobile outreach hub to provide support and information for people who are rough sleeping as an accessible way for people to engage with services.
Histon & Impington Community (HICOM)
‘Histon & Impington Worry Tree Café’
Awarded up to £2,800 to bring support and friendship to people experiencing mental health and other wellbeing issues through running a community café.
The Cambridgeshire Police Shrievalty Trust
‘Vulnerable Families Continued’
Awarded up to £10,000 to continue supporting and securing the homes of Domestic Abuse victims (mainly female) and their families.