CCF News

Cambridgeshire Charity Vote now open!

Voting has just opened for the Cambridgeshire Charity Vote, with a shortlist of Cambridgeshire-based charities that are in the running to receive a share of £10,000. The vote, run by the Hopkins Charitable Fund, will award £7,000 to the top charity and £2,000 and £1,000 to second and third place respectively.

CCF manages two funds for Hopkins Homes - the Hopkins Homes Building Communities Fund funds projects addressing homelessness, deprivation and supporting vulnerable people, and the Hopkins Homes Winter Crisis Fund provides small grants for individuals to cover their heating costs as well as larger grants for organisations supporting the vulnerable over winter.

Cast your vote here!


Breakthroughs for Cambridge Street Aid

February was a big month for Cambridge Street Aid, which offers grants of up to £750 to homeless individuals to help them get off and stay off the streets. The programme is run by CCF in partnership with Cambridge City Council.

Street Aid recently awarded its 150th grant, which was given to a man looking for work in the construction industry, to pay for a health and safety course and qualification. To date, Street Aid has given out nearly £50,000 in grants to individuals.

Michael O'Toole, CEO of Cambridgeshire Community Foundation, gave an interview on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire's weekday breakfast programme about the benefits of the programme for people who want to donate to homeless people but have concerns about where their money will go. You can listen to the interview online here (from 36:50).

Finally, a new contactless donation point for Street Aid was unveiled inside the Grand Arcade Shopping Centre with a launch event on Friday 22nd February. This is the latest contactless donation point to be installed and builds on the success of others at Co-Op stores around the city, at the City Council customer service centre at Mandela House, and at The Guildhall.

Cambridge Street Aid is funded by donations from the public, turning small change into real change. You can read more about Street Aid here.


Cottenham Theatre Workshop supports Cambridge Street Aid

Cambridgeshire Community Foundation is one of two local charities which have received generous support from Cottenham Theatre Workshop's production of Worzel Gummidge.

The Theatre were inspired by the story of a homeless and hungry scarecrow to raise money for those in similar situations in Cambridgeshire. Raffles held at each of the five performances of Worzel Gummidge raised a fantastic £318, split between CCF's Cambridge Street Aid fund and Cottenham Foodbank.

Grants Officer Beth Emmanuel received the donation of £159 from Cottenham Theatre Workshop which could provide shoes, a coat, a suit or bike for someone getting back on their feet.

You can find out more on Cottenham Theatre Workshop's website here.


Fine Art Sale Preview Event

CCF is delighted to announce that one of our Donors, local Auctioneers Cheffins, is hosting a fine art preview event on our behalf on Tuesday 27th November. Complimentary catalogues will be available and bids can be registered on the night for the Fine Art Sale to be held on 28th / 29th November 2018.

At 7pm there will be a talk by Cheffins’ Auctioneer Martin Millard on some of the most fascinating lots going under the hammer in this sale followed by talks from two community projects recently funded by CCF.

This is a great opportunity to preview this fabulous sale and find out more about CCF.

This event is by invitation only. If you would like to keep up to date with and receive invitations for our events please join our invitation list here     


Chariots Of Fire Relay Will Help Young People

Dr Andrew Harter CBE, the High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire, this week introduced  Michael O’Toole, one of the UK’s most experienced social enterprise champions, to a relay race that will make a real difference to local young people.

Mr O’Toole recently took up his new role as Chief Executive of the Cambridge Community Foundation, the official charity selected by the organisers of the famous Chariots of Fire race which takes place on Sunday 16th September. It is one of the county’s most popular annual fundraising events, organised by Hewitsons Charitable Trust.

Teams of six are sponsored by family, colleagues and friends to run a 1.6-mile relay around the historic heart of Cambridge and the Colleges. Last year 340 local businesses took part, raising £63,140 for Alzheimer’s Research UK.  

In 2018 the beneficiary will be the High Sheriff Award Scheme which gives grants via CCF to encourage young people to take part in local activities that benefit others, such as volunteering that develops life skills and confidence.

“Many of those the Scheme can help face real difficulties because of poor mental health, bereavement, long-term illness or disability. Others may have limited support and opportunities to develop and flourish because of low aspirations or very limited income level of their families,” Mr O’Toole explained. “The grants it awards can be life-changing.

A bonus this year comes from a national initiative being run by community foundations: a fund called #iwill will match up to £30,000 for projects that encourage youth social involvement. This means that the first  £30,000 raised by Chariots of Fire will become £60,000 for the High Sheriff’s Fund to allocate.  

Dr Harter and his wife Lily Bacon, Deputy Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, are co-founders of the technology company RealVNC, which has a leading corporate social responsibility programme. Both regard volunteering and community engagement as essential to developing skills and improving self esteem amongst young people facing disadvantage.  

The money raised by Chariots of Fire will provide charitable groups throughout the county  with the funding, resources and support needed to engage young volunteers,” says Dr Harter. “This is why Lily and I support the race and the charity.”

Mr O’Toole who joined CCF from Mentor UK, which works to protect children and young people from the harm caused by drugs and alcohol, has 15 years experience in the charity sector and has been a volunteer with a range of community groups.

“By identifying local needs and inspiring philanthropy CCF can make a lasting difference across Cambridgeshire,” he says. “I am looking forward to taking part in the relay, seeing people of all ages making an effort in the interests of helping others. ”

To find out more about the Chariots of Fire event and enter a team visit the website.

Click here to create your own Justgiving fundraising page for this year's official Chariots of Fire Charity.


In his year in office, the High Sheriff takes on personal responsibility for charitable fundraising. The High Sheriff’s Award Scheme is one of more than 60 funds managed by CCF on behalf of individuals, corporates, local and national government, enabling donors to support local charitable projects.

The annual Chariots of Fire event started in 1992 and has raised over £1million for local and regional charities.