Possibilities are endless with Innovate and Cultivate Fund

Organisations with great ideas for improving the lives of people in Cambridgeshire, are invited to find out more about our Innovate and Cultivate Fund – worth of up to one million pounds.

Cambridgeshire County Council are looking to invest more in local community projects that help to deliver our priorities for children, families, waste services, vulnerable adults, and older people.

Advice Sessions will be held on Thursday 8 February to support potential applicants to develop their project ideas.

Changing Lives Project - Nordic Walking Session


Large and small pots of funding are available for local community groups in Cambridgeshire. Applicants can bid for funding ranging from £2,000 - £10,000 for small grants and up to £50,000 for large grants.

The fund has so far awarded over £205,600 between nine groups. The last round of successful applicants included:

  • £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

Somersham Parish Council’s Changing Lives project was awarded funding to develop activities to improve the quality of life for local residents with neurological conditions including dementia, stroke and Parkinson’s. Their work improves the mental and physical wellbeing of people using the service. One resident who has benefited from this project is Pearl, who has been living with Parkinson’s Disease for 17 years. She attended a taster day for the Changing Lives project and decided to sign up for the weekly Nordic Walking classes.

Sadly Pearl’s husband passed away that same week and through contacts made at the Taster Day, Pearl and her family were able to access the help they needed. The walking sessions provided her with regular exercise and enabled her to meet new people.

Nordic Walking Instructor, Sam Godfrey said, “When Pearl first joined the sessions she appeared to find the social aspect of the session quite daunting. After a few weeks of building her strength I observed a change in her confidence within the group and she now regularly stays for tea and coffee. My observation of Pearl is she has grown so much in confidence and strength.”

Pearl’s daughter Tracy wrote to the project and said, “I wanted you to know that it's not just been about ‘getting out of the house’ to go to Nordic Walking, but that it’s had a much wider and deeper impact on our lives.”

Cambridgeshire County Council’s Chairman of the Communities and Partnership Committee, Councillor Steve Criswell said, “We’re looking for more ground-breaking projects like Changing Lives that make a difference in our communities. With the fund returning for its next round of applications I would like to encourage local groups to come forward with ideas and take advantage of our advice sessions, where we can help support you on your journey to making a positive impact on people’s lives.”

The deadlines for the next round of applications are:

  • Large Grants: Friday 9 March 2018
  • Small Grants: Tuesday 1 May 2018

For further information and application forms go to the Innovate and Cultivate website:

To book an appointment for our Advice Sessions register here:


Names used in this news article have been changed to protect vulnerable people.