CCF News

Surviving Winter Appeal for Cambridgeshire Launches

In partnership with Cambridge News, Cambridgeshire Live, Citizens Advice, Cambridge Aid, CHS Group and Cambridge City Foodbank, we are pleased to announce that our Surviving Winter Appeal is now live!

Find out more and donate to this year's appeals - thank you so much for your generous support!

The UK has the sixth-worst long-term rate of excess winter deaths in Europe with the highest levels of fuel poverty in the UK are in the East of England. Shockingly, 9% of households in Cambridgeshire go cold over winter. That increases for Peterborough to 11.4% and to 12.3% for Cambridge. That makes Cambridge the 6th worst of over 50 local authorities in the East of England!  Over 33,000 households in Cambridgeshire are fuel poor.

The majority of those affected most severely by the cold weather are vulnerable older people, many of whom are housebound with their suffering hidden from view. With your support, we want to be able to allow hundreds of households right across Cambridgeshire to be warm this winter. Our partners will also help 100’s of people with other issues affecting them including support with debt issues, energy tariffs, home heating and insulation improvements and increasing numbers of people experiencing loneliness and isolation.

This fund will support people across Cambridgeshire including vulnerable people of all ages, most particularly older people, children and individuals suffering poor physical or mental health.

We need your help to reduce the terrible impact of fuel poverty. Fuel poverty leads to:

  • Excess winter deaths - about 100 people die over winter because of fuel poverty
  • Deterioration in physical health & mental health
  • Social isolation
  • Truancy, anti-social behaviour & negative effects on education attainment in children

For example, children in cold homes are more twice as likely to suffer respiratory problems than children in warm home!

Everyone in Cambridgeshire over 65 receives a non-means-tested Winter Fuel Payment. If you don't need it, please donate an equivalent or part of it to the Surviving Winter Appeal, so that it can be given to others facing a hard winter living in fuel poverty. We would also be very grateful for any donations, of any amount from people of all ages who simply want to support our appeal.

“It simply doesn’t feel right that thousands of people, especially older people, children and the vulnerable will go cold this winter. I’m determined that we do something to help. Our Surviving Winter Appeal can help keep people warm in their homes. This is so important, it’s not just an issue of comfort this is about life or death for some! Please help if you can.” Michael O’Toole, Chief Executive, Cambridgeshire Community Foundation

Ways to donate


Visit our Surviving Winter Just Giving page to donate online.


Send a cheque payable to Cambridgeshire Community Foundation, please include a note indicating that it is for the Surviving Winter Appeal.  

Our address is:

Hangar One
The Airport
Newmarket Road
Cambridge CB5 8TG

Bank Transfer or Standing Order

Email to get information on sending a bank transfer or set up a standing order.

Gift Aid

As a Registered Charity 1103314 we are able to increase the value of your gift by 25% if you confirm you are able to make your donation under "Gift Aid" and provide us with your name and address. Please download and complete a Gift Aid Form from our Surviving Winter Appeal page




Chris Parkhouse DL appointed as Trustee of Cambridgeshire Community Foundation

Cambridgeshire Community Foundation and Deyton Bell today announce that Deyton Bell Managing Director Chris Parkhouse DL has been appointed as a Trustee of Cambridgeshire Community Foundation.

Michael O’Toole, CEO of Cambridgeshire Community Foundation said, "I am so pleased Chris has joined the board of Trustees. This year we celebrate our 15th year and we have achieved quite a lot over 15 years! We’ve made over £15,000,000 worth of grants supporting local community groups and charities, who change lives in so many ways. Our board have been instrumental in helping us to achieve this.

However, we must do much more! We must inspire and grow philanthropy to help more people facing significant disadvantages and barriers. I know Chis’ expertise will help us to grow our impact significantly so that we can support many more people and communities across our amazing county.”

Chris will act as a Trustee in a pro bono capacity and will continue to lead Deyton Bell and engage in other activities which include acting as Senior Visiting Fellow of Anglia Ruskin University, Fellow of the Institute of Directors, Fellow of The Institute of Sales & Marketing Management, Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts, Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Management Consultants, and British Rowing Umpire.

Chris Parkhouse DL said, “This is a hugely exciting time for me and I am delighted to be joining CCF as a Trustee. I hope that in some small way my knowledge, skill and experience can help CCF. I am looking forward to working alongside the other Trustees to support Michael and his team.’


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