CCF News Archive

2019

Winter Crisis fund tackles fuel poverty in Cambridgeshire

The Hopkins Homes Winter Crisis fund was established to respond to the growing number of people across Cambridgeshire who are in fuel poverty, defined as those who are struggling financially and therefore having to make the choice between heating their homes or feeding their families. A staggering 11.5% of Cambridge households were fuel poor in the latest government statistics, making Cambridge the 6th worst of 47 local authorities in the East of England. The fund provided grants of up to £300 to cover heating costs, purchase warm clothing for children, or provide flooring for their homes.

A total of 84 recipients received £21,000 worth of grants, spread across the three districts of South Cambridgeshire, East Cambridgeshire, and Huntingdonshire. Despite being one of the wealthiest areas of the county and the UK, around half of the applications received were for residents of South Cambridgeshire. 39 grants were to provide carpets, many for those on a low income who had moved into social housing which had no flooring. The impact of health issues and trauma on recipients’ ability to afford heating for their homes was a common challenge facing grant recipients. Disabilities, mental health issues, bereavement, domestic violence, and terminal illnesses all affected their financial situations and their wellbeing.

Individuals in need were referred by local charities, such as housing associations and Citizens Advice Bureaux, who assessed their needs and provided other support from counselling to energy saving advice. The fund was set up by Hopkins Homes, a family-run housing developer operating throughout the Eastern region, and is managed by Cambridgeshire Community Foundation, a Cambridge-based charity connecting local donors to local charitable projects.

Cambridgeshire Community Foundation, CEO Michael O’Toole said: “It’s estimated that in localised areas of East Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire and South Cambridgeshire the percentage of households in fuel poverty reaches levels ranging from 16% to 22.8% which is up to double the national average, a statistic I find quite shocking. Since the Hopkins Winter Crisis Fund was launched, we’ve received applications from across the county and the requests for help rise as the weather turned colder. It is great to be working with Hopkins Homes in helping people overcome the impact of fuel poverty.”

Joshua Hopkins of the Hopkins Charitable Fund said: “We work closely with local community foundations to ensure our donations reach those most in need. During this work the foundations highlighted the additional pressures faced in winter by vulnerable people as the colder weather exacerbates so many physical and mental wellbeing issues. Even in affluent areas such as South Cambridgeshire there are still many who struggle to pay their bills or heat their homes. I’ve been very moved by the stories of the people who have been helped this winter and hope that grants from our Winter Crisis Fund will have gone some way to improving the wellbeing of those households.”

 

Cambridgeshire Charity vote winners announced

Following a close race with over 1,400 votes, the winners of the £10,000 Hopkins Homes Cambridgeshire Charity Vote have been revealed.

The top prize of £7,000 went to Blue Smile, a Cambridge-based charity that provides specialist counselling and therapy for vulnerable children. The runners-up were Red Balloon, who support young people who are no longer in school due to bullying or other trauma, and Wintercomfort, a day centre for the homeless.

Representatives from the charities, CCF, and Hopkins Homes attended the launch event at Blue Smile's premises in Cambridge on the 26th of March. 

 

CCF User Forum

On 14th March, a number of grant recipients met with CCF representatives to share their feedback on current grant processes and how these could be improved.

This presentation outlines the two advice sessions on 'How to Submit a Good Application' and 'How to Submit High Quality Monitoring' as well as the results of our recent online survey.

If you would like to attend a User Forum in the future, please email us at info@cambscf.org.uk.

 

Amey Community Fund Grants

Grants from the Amey Community Fund are open for applications, with a 17th June deadline for Expressions of Interest.

If you're looking for £10,000 to £100,000 to improve your park or other local amenity, to restore your church or historical building, or towards conservation of a specific habitat, take a look at our fund page for Amey here. There you can find eligibility criteria including geographical location, extensive guidance notes, and a map of previously funded projects.

Ely Outdoor Sports Association recently received £32,500 for Ely City Hockey Club to replace their astroturf pitch, which was becoming unplayable after 23 years of wear. The opening ceremony for the new pitch was attended by Team GB hockey player Helen Richardson-Walsh MBE and Ely mayor Cllr Mike Rouse.

You can read more about the new pitch in this article from the Ely Standard.

 

Sport for all at the Powerhouse Games

The Powerhouse Games is an inclusive sport event run by Cambridge-based charity Power2Inspire. Supported by a grant from the John Stewart Memorial Fund, the event makes sport inclusive for all with events from sitting volleyball to visually-impaired football. The video below features members of Cambridge University Rugby who helped facilitate the event alongside CCF Trustee Catherine Stewart.

Video credit: University of Cambridge Sport.