CCF News

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.



Michael O'Toole becomes CCF's new CEO

Kate Nation and members of Turtle Dove Cambridge receiving their certificate from Richard Pemberton, High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire

Michael O’Toole, one of the UK’s most experienced social enterprise champions, has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation, only the second in its history. He replaces Jane Darlington who was responsible for setting up CCF in 2004.

Michael says "I am thrilled to be joining the CCF team. I want to build upon CCF’s strong foundations and the incredible work of Jane Darlington to link our many community organisations with the fantastic generosity of donors to improve the quality of life for the more vulnerable, and those people facing the greatest challenges in Cambridgeshire."

Michael was the UK’s first Crown Representative for the voluntary sector (2012-14), a Cabinet Office role created by the government to open up more public-sector funding opportunities for the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector.

A graduate in Business, Finance & Law, his early career was in marketing and business development. In 2010, he become Chief Executive of 3SC, an innovative consortium aiming to increase opportunities for the smaller charities and community groups to deliver public services.

He has 16 years’ experience working in the charity sector and as a volunteer has been a primary school governor, chair of Home-Start Herts, a trustee of PTA-UK, and a grants advisor to the Big Lottery Fund. He was also part of Lord Young’s commission to review the impact of the Social Value Act.

Father of four, Michael joins CCF from Mentor UK which works to protect children and young people from the harm caused by drugs and alcohol. As CEO there for four years, one important achievement was to persuade the Home Office in 2017 to focus the National Drugs Strategy on prevention and early intervention.

The announcement of Michael’s appointment was made by Simon Humphrey, Chair of CCF’s Board of Trustees. "Michael is passionate about our aims to identify local needs and inspire philanthropy," he said. "With him leading CCF, we have a great opportunity over the next 12 months and beyond to make a lasting difference all across Cambridgeshire."

Michael will take up the role at the end of June.


Simon Humphrey presented with award by HRH The Prince of Wales

Kate Nation and members of Turtle Dove Cambridge receiving their certificate from Richard Pemberton, High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire

Simon Humphrey, Senior Manager Corporate Responsibility at technology specialists Arm in Cambridge and CCF Chair of Trustees, has won a top award at a high profile National Awards Event in London this week.

Simon was presented with the Industrial Cadet Changemaker award by HRH The Prince of Wales at the Industrial Cadet Awards, held on 7th March at IET London: Savoy Place. The Changemaker Award is given to the individual who has made a significant and impactful difference to support the success of the Industrial Cadets initiative. The Award was supported by the IET and the lead sponsor for the event was the GFG Foundation.

Simon also promotes change through a wide range of voluntary roles locally and nationally, including being a panel member at Engineering UK and a Board member at EDT.

In 2017 Simon designed and delivered Arm's first Industrial Cadet accredited work experience programme, a programme that will be rolled-out globally. He also oversaw formal mentor training, delivered by EDT to more than 20 Arm employees, now being supported to mentor on IC programmes for the first time, joining over 130 employees who have done so before them.

Simon is, of course, delighted to be receive the award, saying

“My role at Arm provides me the opportunity and insights to appreciate the impact that effective interventions into educational experiences that we as a business, and through my involvement, I, could have for young people. Knowing that a difference can be made and being able to leverage that by connecting with the Industrial Cadets accreditation process was something I saw as a brilliant opportunity. I consider that by ensuring a high-quality programme of activity, Industrial Cadets accreditation can be transformative.

 “The potential to scale this is exciting. I strongly believe that a national, indeed, international standard to recognise young people’s achievements in STEM learning linked and aligned with curriculum learning objectives is vital. I want to see that any young person irrespective of background, culture, geography or gender has an equal opportunity to access inspirational, programme based, experiences that leave them with a tangible certified currency that they can take forward into their next phase of learning.”


High Sheriff’s awards ceremony

Kate Nation and members of Turtle Dove Cambridge receiving their certificate from Richard Pemberton, High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire

The High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire, Richard Pemberton, hosted his awards ceremony recognising the work of charitable groups supporting children and young people on 14 November 2017.

In Cambridgeshire, the High Sheriff’s awards scheme was established more than 15 years ago. It recognises achievement, and awards grants to projects involving young people in positive activities, which benefit their communities. During the 2017/18 term of office, 20 groups have been awarded grants by the High Sheriff.

Simon Humphrey, Chair of Cambridgeshire Community Foundation, welcomed grant recipients, donors, and volunteers alike, thanking them for their attendance and contribution to the community. He went on to introduce the High Sheriff, Richard Pemberton, who then presented each group with a certificate to commemorate their award.