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Four projects that will help support vulnerable people and reduce demand for council services have secured funding from Cambridgeshire County Council.

The Communities and Partnership Committee on 21 December 2017 pledged funding to the first four projects under its new Innovate and Cultivate Fund. These are:

  • £5,000 for Ely St John’s Primary School to support children with behavioural difficulties
  • £10,000 for the Houghton & Wyton TimeBank
  • £9,999 for the British Gymnastics Association’s Love to Move project that helps older people, many of whom have dementia or Parkinson’s disease;
  • £10,000 for the Hildersham Parish Nurse Plus project

Chairman of the Communities and Partnership Committee, Councillor Steve Criswell said: "These four projects before us show the breadth of innovative and imaginative ideas that voluntary and community groups in Cambridgeshire are coming up with." 

The Innovate and Cultivate Fund is Cambridgeshire County Council's ‘up to £1 million fund’ to help community organisations, social enterprises and public sector bodies to address the needs of local residents. The fund has two streams:

  • Cultivate - small grants of £2,000 - £10,000 aimed at encouraging local networks where people help themselves and each other
  • Innovate - larger grants of up to £50,000 for big projects with big ideas that demonstrate an innovative approach within one of the seven funding priorities for Cambridgeshire

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
  • focus on one (or more) of Cambridgeshire County Council's seven key outcomes

Previously known as the Cambridgeshire Communities Innovation Fund, more than £170,000 has already been allocated from the fund, with successful applicants to date including a group supporting parents of children with disabilities and another which supports people with learning disabilities to move into employment.

One of the four projects successful in December 2017 was the Houghton and Wyton Time Bank, which applied for £10,000 to help elderly residents to avoid isolation and the mental health issues that are associated with loneliness. Formed in September 2016, the group works with all age groups to encourage volunteering and a shared ethos of caring for your neighbours.

Houghton and Wyton Time Bank co-ordinator Victoria Graham said: "This funding will enable the Time Bank to create new opportunities including developing a programme for younger members to train elderly members in computer skills and increase opportunities for isolated people to make friends, get out of the house, support each other and ask for help and support.

"The Time Bank works hard to support the elderly residents who make up 25% of the parish population. We now have 136 members who have exchanged 2,000 hours.  Support given includes lifts to hospital, friendship, support with form filling, help keeping elderly members in their homes longer and community support such as the Big British Spring Clean."

If you have a great idea that would benefit Cambridgeshire residents, then it is not too late to apply for funding with a new round of applications invited in the spring. The deadline for large grants is Friday 9 March 2018 and Tuesday 1 May 2018 for small grants. We will also be holding advice surgeries for potential applicants on Thursday 8 February 2018.

Find out more about the fund and how to apply

Read papers for the Communities and Partnership committee meeting from 21 December 2017.

Our Innovate and Cultivate film is available to watch below.

Innovate and Cultivate Film

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