In the Loop: Spring 2022

In the Loop - Hunts Forum Member News

Welcome to the Spring 2022 edition of our In the Loop members’ newsletter, where we focus on the work of new members who are joining us at Hunts Forum. Please take a while to learn about these organisations as they introduce themselves. Each one is a possible partner, collaborator and inspiration.

Our monthly News Forum newsletter now includes all the latest news from our members and the wider VCSE, as well as training, events and funding updates. If you haven’t already signed up to receive our News Forum newsletter then you can do so here. These are published on the third Thursday of the month. If you have something you would like to be included in either In the Loop or News Forum, please do get in touch.


We have a bumper issue for you this month so why not grab yourself a cup of tea and have a read through to find out more about 4 brilliant organisations working across our area:


FESt (Festival Events St Ives)

Arthur Rank Hospice Charity

Little Miracles Charity




FESt (Festival Events St Ives) are a small group of volunteers who have presented over 200 successful events in St Ives since forming in 2009 which has been recognised by winning the Community Award for the town.  Our aim is to hold a regular programme of free events, and to do so we rely on sponsorship from our St Ives Town Council and local businesses, along with donations. Whilst we are a small committee of nine, we appreciate our large number of supporters who can be called on to staff our events, whether as marshalls or erecting gazebos etc. We also support other events where such as the Illuminated Boat Parade and the Snowman Festival held in the town.

Of course it has not been easy in the past 3 years due to the COVID 19 pandemic and we have not been able to hold a full programme of events since 2019. So we are excited for a busy 2022!


The FESt committee with their St Ives Community Award for 2019



FESt have held a variety of events in the past which have now become our annual popular varied programme of family events. Our Picnic in the Park in Warner’s Park St Ives is now in its seventh successful year and always attracts a large, relaxed family crowd. For 2022 it will be held on 19th June.

When Huntingdon District Council could no longer afford to run the ever popular Music on the Waits concerts, FESt took them on, and so now run the free Sunday afternoon concerts by the river throughout July and August – with music to suit all tastes – brass bands are particularly popular!

Then at the end of the year we organise Santa’s arrival by ‘snowboat’ at the Quay in St Ives before he parades to our own, uniquely designed free Grotto in the Corn Exchange. He’s there for 3 weekends in December meeting over 600 children, all of whom receive a gift – an age relevant book.  Free.

Santa’s arrival by snowboat. Credit Alan Bennnett of Media Imaging Solutions

In addition, in December, we also present ARTSFESt – our very popular annual art and photography exhibition, also hosted in the St Ives Corn Exchange.

So that’s what we do, and we are very pleased to have joined Hunts Forum.  We will appreciate the advice and expertise that this will bring, since it seems to be more onerous for small volunteer groups like us to run events, particularly to keep them safe for everyone.  New supporters are always welcome.

Gilly Jackson for Festival Events St Ives (FESt)


Arthur Rank Hospice Charity

Making Every Moment Count: supporting people with a life-limiting illness, caring for people and their loved ones at the end of life. This is the purpose of the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity, providing services throughout Cambridgeshire. 


How do we do this?

Through a wide range of services (you can find more detail on our website): 

Our Alan Hudson Day Treatment Centre in Wisbech provides day treatments, a Living Well Service and community support through Hospice at Home and a clinical nurse specialist.

Our Hospice at Home service, based throughout the county, provides care for people at the end of life where home is their preferred place of care.

Our Community Team of Clinical Nurse Specialists provides specialist end of life care for people in their own homes.*

The Palliative Care Hub (111 Option 3) provides out of hours telephone advice, support, signposting and referral for anyone in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough concerned about someone with a life-limiting illness or who is end of life.

We can provide in-patient care for 21 people, for those requiring symptom and pain control before returning home and those who are end of life.

Living Well supports people diagnosed with a life limiting illness through a range of programmes and support.

Psychological, emotional and spiritual support is provided pre and post bereavement for patients and their loved ones by our Patient and Family Support Team.**

We also provide a Lymphoedema service, complementary therapy, a service to support young people and their families manage the change from being supported by children’s palliative care to adult services and hold activity sessions in Arthur’s Shed.

You are very welcome to come and enjoy freshly cooked food and delicious cakes in our Bistro. 

We provide care and support for over 4000 people each year. Our multi-disciplinary team of 250 colleagues is supported by over 500 fantastic volunteers who support in all aspects of our work. It’s my privilege to lead this amazing organisation  

This year we celebrate our 40th anniversary, look out for opportunities to engage – please sign up to our newsletter or read about our Sponsor a Nurse appeal 

If you would like to visit and find out more, we hold regular Open Days throughout the year. We would love to show you round and share more of what we do, explore opportunities for working together. 

*For people registered with a GP practice in Cambridge City, South and East.
**For people registered with a GP in Cambridge City, South and East.

Hello All, we are Little Miracles!

Little Miracles supports and improves the lives of families that have children with additional needs, disabilities and life limiting conditions; from pre-birth where symptoms are expressed up to 25 years old. Little Miracles provides families with advice, support and care whilst giving the children a place to play, laugh and create friendships. Our activities and Family Support Team provide a lifeline to families and children, doing all we can to reduce the isolation they may feel in their journey and get them the support that they need.


Our Story

Hi, I’m Michelle and I founded Little Miracles back in 2010.I live with my husband Paul and our three children and live a normal, happy family life. However my experience isn’t what I dreamt my normal, happy family life would be…

My son Oliver was born severely disabled. During my pregnancy, the doctors told me that he was in a state “incompatible with life” and we were made to think the kindest thing for Oliver would be to terminate his life. As a family we decided that for however long Oliver was to live he would know he was loved.

Once he was born I quickly had to adjust to my new normal. Looking after Oliver was hard, but it was the isolation that was crippling. My friends and family could not relate to what I was going through and my support and social circles completely broke down. I felt totally alone, however my story is far from unique ; 7% of children in the UK are born with a disability – there are over 1,000,000 families like mine , each with their own ambitions, struggles and stories to tell.

Today we have grown to be a comprehensive support network, our services are free forever and thanks to the local community and BBC’s DIY SOS  we operate from The Spinney – a beautiful, fit for purpose play centre (see image below) and now operate across 8 other sites.


What We Provide; Our Services are Free. Forever:

  • Counselling and Bereavement Support
  • Sensory and Behavioural Support
  • Family Support
  • Advocacy
  • Workshops and Courses
  • Play Schemes
  • Trips
  • Youth Clubs
  • Low- Cost Holidays
  • Sensory Shop
  • Social Media


What We Have Achieved So Far

  • 13,022 Children attended an activity with our childcare team
  • 2268 Parents and carers received emotional support
  • 73,404 hours of support provided
  • Over 200 families received Behaviour Support
  • Over 150 families received Bereavement Counselling
  • Over 500 families received Benefits Advice
  • Over 1000 people accessed counselling


Let’s Work Together!

Little Miracles rely on volunteers to help with everything we do. From fundraising, to delivering sessions, giving advice, providing support, administration, cleaning, and maintenance… the list goes on! Therefore, your help and support is vital to us, we are always incredibly grateful for volunteers who can help, in whatever way they can.

To become a volunteer for Little Miracles, give us a call, pop in to your local group or email us:

Call Us:  01733 262226

Email Us:


Find Us On Facebook:



Neotists is a community of creative professionals in the St Neots and Huntingdon area, founded in 2015 initially to bring designers, artists, illustrators and photographers together to kick-start a dormant creative community in St Neots. Seven years on the group has an established reputation for creative action, is a registered CIC with a team of directors and has over 300 members from a huge range of creative sectors. Each member is offered the opportunity of a public listing to help them promote their work. Many of our members have done just that and you can see the listings on our website: Many of our members have full-time jobs and creativity is something they do outside work. We welcome creatives from all disciplines and backgrounds and believe creativity is not a 9-5, it’s a vocation, a calling and part of your personality.



For a little context about St Neots and how our organisation fits with the wider area — St Neots is the largest town in Cambridgeshire, and with the new housing developments to the east of the town, is set to grow to over 50,000 in the next ten years. We believe creativity is integral to the growth and prosperity of a town and that a vibrant creative community can provide opportunities and innovation for residents, businesses, and visitors. We work with non-profit organisations, local government, schools, businesses, creative professionals and the public to provide opportunities for local creatives to meet, share ideas, collaborate on projects and run workshops and events for the community. We support the creative community with networking opportunities, advice, marketing support and commissions. In the long term, our plan is to provide studio and office space, thereby strengthening the local economy, safeguarding jobs and enhancing the overall prosperity of the creative sector and the wider St Neots community.


Neotists provide opportunities for creative people to collaborate and form new partnerships in a welcoming and supportive environment. We think this will encourage young people and newcomers to the area to see a positive future in the town, with viable job opportunities and a stimulating environment in which to live, work and have fun. Over the last seven years, we have delivered and supported others in delivering, a wide range of cultural events and learning opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds.


Alongside our events programmes, we have commissioned various indoor and outdoor art projects — from a community mural that spans the inside of the 47-metre walkway of the bridge that crosses the railway at St Neots train station — to a light-touch approach to adding creativity to the town by painting columns under the main town bridge. You can see more of our projects on our website:


You can also visit our website to find our social links, read articles from our members get in touch and much more: