Healthwatch Cambridgeshire Publishes its Initial COVID-19 Research

The first findings from Healthwatch Cambridgeshire and Healthwatch Peterborough’s Covid-19 survey into local people’s experiences of health, care and support during the pandemic have been published.

They show overwhelming support for health and care professionals and other keyworkers across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

However, people have also expressed concerns about cancelled services and procedures during Covid-19 – and are worried about how these delays will affect their illness and prognosis. And they show that people want better communication to let them know what is happening with their care.

The local health and care champion found that one in three people had put off seeking help for their health, and that three out of four people’s mental health or wellbeing was affected in some way.

Click here for more information on the initial briefing.

The survey is still running and a full report will be published in the early autumn. Healthwatch wants to hear from as many people as possible – particularly those who have been most affected by changes to services as a result of the pandemic. What you say will go back to local service providers and planners to help them protect everyone’s health and wellbeing now and in the future. Please click here to take the survey. You can also call Healthwatch on 0330 355 1285 to ask for a paper copy or do it over the phone if that’s better for you.

Hunts Forum Celebrates Small Charity Week

We mark Small Charity Week 2020 by highlighting the work of two of our member organisations.

Small Charity Week is a national celebration of small charities and the huge positive impact they have on our communities. At Hunts Forum, much of our work is focused on these organisations, from helping new charities get up and running to supporting existing ones through difficult times and ongoing challenges. We’re immensely proud to be able to support them in the tremendous work they do. This week we’re taking the opportunity to highlight two of our member organisations, The Sun Network and Centre 33.

A huge thanks to all the small charities across Huntingdonshire and beyond… keep up the good work!


The Sun NetworkThe SUN Network is a small team of five who ensure that the voice of people who need mental health or substance misuse services is heard and amplified and that services and commissioners are listening. The intention is to influence and shape services to ensure that the best possible service is being received by those who need it, when they need it across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

The SUN Network Team – Vickie, Charlotte, Anne, KC & Lois

The team does this by gathering feedback, completing evaluations on mental health and drug and alcohol services, supporting people to attend strategic meetings, working alongside people to share their story through blogs and vlogs, having people with lived experience co-produce, and co-deliver training and many other ways such as surveys, workshops and one-off projects.

It is really important that the lived experience voice is heard, as it really does influence changes for the better. There have been local services developed or changed based on the feedback they have received from local people.

The SUN Network can also signpost to services, as sometimes people don’t know what or who is out there to support them.

Contact them on WhatsApp/Text 07712 358172 or email to find out what is available for you, or to offer your experiences and feedback of mental health or drug and alcohol support services.

Find more information at or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.


Centre 33 supports young people across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough with their emotional needs and practical issues. They are specialists in mental health, caring responsibilities, housing and money, sexual health, education and employment. All of their services are free and confidential. Last year the team worked closely with 2,500 young people.

Young people can come to them about anything that is on their minds and they will listen and help.

Visit for more information or find them on Facebook or Twitter.


Coronavirus Funds

The charity sector has a vital role to play in responding to the Covid-19 crisis. Below is our guide to funding projects to support people in need, plus funds to keep your organisation afloat at this difficult time.

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Funding News

[updated 26 May 2020]

Coronavirus Support Fund for Charities Now Open

The UK Government’s new £200m fund for charities responding to COVID-19 is managed by the National Lottery Community Fund, and is part of the £750m funding that was announced in April. It is aimed primarily at small to medium organisations in England, and has two key objectives:

  • To increase community support to vulnerable people affected by the COVID-19 crisis, through the work of civil society organisations.
  • To reduce temporary closures of essential charities and social enterprises, ensuring services for vulnerable people impacted by COVID-19 have the financial resources to operate, and so reduce the burden on public services.

Grants will allow organisations to meet service costs, where they are experiencing increased demand and/or short-term income disruption. Grants will also allow organisations to refocus services to address more immediate beneficiary needs in light of COVID-19. (more)

Emergency Grants for Previous Recipients of National Lottery Heritage Fund Grants

Past and current recipients of funding from National Lottery Heritage Fund can apply for emergency funding of £50,000 to £250,000 to cover essential costs for up to four months. This is in addition to previously announced applications for £3,000 to £50,000, both of which are open until 30 June 2020. (more)

Resourcing Racial Justice Fund

This new fund offers grants of £5,000 to £50,000 to organisations and individuals working to redress the impact of COVID-19 and beyond on those who identify as people of colour (POC). Among the eligible expenditure is support for people of colour led organisations that are at risk of closure because of COVID-19 and the impending recession. (more)

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Food Charities Grant Fund

Front-line food aid charities (or groups of charities) in England can apply for up to £100,000 to help to continue to provide food to the vulnerable. Eligible applicants must be unable to meet an increased demand for food, have the capacity to distribute all of the food purchased under this grant by 9 August 2020 and be receiving food from the FareShare charity. Beneficiaries must be either unable to afford food or have moved into temporary accommodation as a result of COVID-19, and not to provide food for clinically vulnerable people, who are being supported separately by the government. (more)

Morrison’s COVID-19 Homeless Support Fund

This fund offers grants of up to £10,000 to registered charities working directly with homeless people during COVID-19. Applications are assessed weekly until the £0.5m fund is depleted. (more)

£750m Government Support for UK Charity Sector

On 8 April Rishi Sunak, chancellor of the exchequer, announced that the Government will provide £750 million to frontline charities across the UK so that they can continue their services to those in need during the coronavirus crisis.

£360m will be allocated directly by central government to large charities such as hospices, St Johns Ambulance, Citizens Advice and victim’s and vulnerable children’s charities. A further £370m will be directed to small- and medium-sized charities.

A transcript of the speech is available here. Read Hunts Forum’s response here.

Refocusing Lottery Funding

Prior to the Chancellor’s announcement on 8 April 2020 (see above), The National Lottery Community Fund announced that it has turned its focus to responding to the coronavirus crisis. In a press release dated 27 March, it explained that “all funding decisions for the next six months (up to £300m…) will be devoted to addressing the current crisis.” It also states that the turnaround for applications will be much faster than before. In order to do this, it will prioritise “existing grant holders and applicants using the following criteria:

Activities specifically geared to supporting communities through this crisis
Helping organisations overcome any liquidity issues caused by COVID-19.”

The press release also states, “This is not new money, but it will be faster money and we know that we must act quickly and with confidence.” As such, organisations considering applications for other purposes may want to delay their application and/or contact TNL Community Fund before submitting.

Charitable Funders “Stand with the Sector”

Hundreds of UK funders have signed a joint statement, committing to being supportive and flexible about existing funding throughout the outbreak. If your organisation is unable to deliver services for which you are being funded, need to delay or want to adapt your activities to respond to coronavirus, the statement serves as a reassurance that these funders are sympathetic. When you are ready, contact your existing funder to discuss the best way forward.

0% Commission on Crowdfunder Campaigns has waived its usual 3% commission on campaigns to fundraise via online donations. Current campaigns in Cambridgeshire include raising £24,000 for Hamerton Zoo Park, £5,000 for Soham’s South Angle Farm and £750 for Fenland Light Railway, all of which are struggling due to lost income during lockdown.


Funding for Organisations Responding to Covid-19

Cambridgeshire Coronavirus Community Fund

Grants of £1,000 to £5,000 for constituted community organisations throughout Cambridgeshire (including Peterborough), who are supporting isolated older and vulnerable people through the Covid-19 crisis. Projects must either:

  • Support ongoing needs of people, to ensure that their well-being is maintained,
  • Reduce isolation and vulnerability during any isolation period
  • Help people remain safely connected with the outside world

UPDATED: HDC Community Chest Grant Scheme 2020/21

Grants of up to £1,000 for community organisations working in Huntingdonshire to to help those who have been or have the potential to be negatively affected by Covid-19, specifically focusing on one or more of the following:

  • Vulnerable residents
  • Mental health and well-being
  • Financial hardship
  • Education and home schooling

Successful applicants will be required to work with the relevant Recognised Organisation to ensure that the project achieves the best possible outcomes

The National Lottery Community Fund

Please see the above News report regarding the refocusing of TNL Community Fund’s operations for the next six months.

UPDATED: Youth Endowment Fund – COVID-19 Grant Round

Grants of at least £25,000 (with no maximum, average expected to be £50,000) for organisations supporting young people aged 10-14 at risk of youth violence, particularly while social distancing and stay-at-home measures have seen access to schools restricted and the provision of youth services dramatically reduced. Eligible organisations must have a track record of delivery to young people through provision that is specifically designed to improve outcomes and prevent youth violence.

Coronavirus Mental Health Response Fund

Grants of £5,000 to £100,000 to registered charities, CICs, CIOs and limited companies with track record of delivering services for people with, or at risk of developing, mental health problems, in order for them to respond to an anticipated increase in need as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Morrisons Foundation – COVID-19 Homeless Support Fund

Grants of up to £10,000 for registered charities working directly with homeless people during the coronavirus outbreak to ensure help gets to those who need it most. Eligible expenditure includes outreach and support for rough sleepers, provision of essentials, delivery of services in hostels and shelters, information and advice.


Rapid Action by the Fore and Trusts Fund (‘‘RAFT’’) will provide grants for high-quality, well-managed small charities and social enterprises with great leadership doing vital work in their communities. The £1m pot will be open to the first 500 applicants from 22 April until 6 May 2020.

Clothworkers’ Emergency Capital Programme

Grants of up to £5,000 for registered charities, CICs, exempt charities and special schools for the purchase of essential capital items required to adapt or increase a charity’s services in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Yorkshire Building Society – Coronavirus Response Fund

Grants of £250 to £2,000 for registered charities helping local communities (with a maximum income of £100,000) to cope with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Grants can be used for a variety of purposes including activities for people who are self-isolating, supplies for foodbanks, small captical costs and loss of income for charities providing support for vulnerable groups.

Tesco Bags of Help COVID-19 Communities Fund

Grants of up to £500 to support a wide range of non-profit organisations who are supporting vulnerable groups during the coronavirus crisis. Due to demand some areas as closed for applications (including Cambridge as of 23 April).

Norrsken Foundation: Action Against Corona

Grants of up to €1m for projects or startups around the world helping in the fight against the coronavirus. It funds efforts supporting victims of the virus, improving the health care system or otherwise helping the “billions of people whose lives are, or will be, affected” around the world. This news story is a useful primer.

And there’s more…

There are many more new funds set up to respond to Coronavirus. Please check out the following websites for more suggestions and links:

Funding for Organisations Struggling Financially as a Result of Covid-19

Charitable Funding

National Lottery Heritage Fund – Heritage Emergency Fund

Grants of £3,000 to £50,000 to current or previous recipients of a grant directly from the Heritage Lottery, in order to support the immediate actions required to stabilise operations and manage unforeseen risks. Applications are being accepted from Wednesday 15 April 2020 to 30 June 2020.

Arts Council England

This fund, which directs National Lottery funding to arts and cultural institutions and projects, is “making £160 million of emergency funding available for those organisations and individuals who will need it during this crisis, and we have also changed the funding requirements for individuals and organisations currently in receipt of our funding, to help alleviate pressure on them as best we can.” The fund is divided into £90m for “National Portfolio Organisations”, £50m for other organisations and £20m for “creative practitioners and cultural workers”

Sport England Community Emergency Fund

Grants of £300 to £10,000 to help community sport and physical activity organisations who are experiencing short term financial hardship or the ceasing of operations due to the coronavirus crisis. It doesn’t cover new activities or events, capital works or costs already covered by government funding. Costs must be incurred from 1 March to 31 July 2020.

Yorkshire Building Society – Coronavirus Response Fund

Grants of £250 to £2,000 for registered charities helping local communities (with a maximum income of £100,000) to cope with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Grants can be used for a variety of purposes including loss of income for charities providing support for vulnerable groups.

Youth Music Emergency Fund

Grants of up to £10,000 for music-making organisations whose primary activity is inclusive music-making with children and young people, and who are affected by coronavirus. Funding can help with cashflow, maintaining or adapting services, and supporting children and young people through the crisis. Core and staff costs, equipment and training are all acceptable expenditure.

Government Support

Job Retention (furlough) scheme

The well-publicised furlough scheme allows employers to put certain employees on temporary leave due to coronavirus.

The government will cover salaries up to 80% and £2,500 a month.

UPDATED: It runs from 1 March 2020 and has been extended to run until October 2020. Any entity with a UK payroll can apply, including charities. It is not intended for public sector or other organisations where staff costs are covered by public funding, although the guidance does allow exceptions.

Statutory Sick Pay

The government will pay for 14 days of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for organisations that employ less than 250 staff.

COVID-19 Capital Grant Scheme

The Capital Grant Scheme provides a flexible capital subsidy to help Registered Limited Companies (including charitable companies) create or protect jobs. It is open to Small to Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the Cambridge and Peterborough Combined Authority area. Eligible projects are those which involve the outright purchase of capital equipment (up to 80% for grants from £2,000 to £49,000, up to 50% for grants from £50,000 to £150,000). Applicants must be able to demonstrate how the purchase of grant funded equipment will protect and/or generate new jobs, with one job per £25,000 of funding.

Financial support for retail, hospitality and leisure sectors (including village halls)

One-off Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants (RHLG) are available for businesses in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector including community buildings (but not church halls or halls run by town and parish councils unless the council is the sole trustee of a charitable hall). Premises with a rateable value up to £15,000 are eligible to receive £10,000. Premises with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000 can access £25,000. Contact your district council for more information and to apply.

Expanded Business Rate Relief

Most village and community halls should also be eligible for 100% business rate relief in 2020/21 through the Expanded Retail Discount, which is available to places of public assembly. All local authorities are working on issuing revised bills showing the correct relief entitlement, there is no need to make a claim.

Small business grant funding

The government will provide additional Small Business Grant Scheme funding via local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBBR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief. This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs.

Eligible businesses should receive a letter from their district council. Please visit your council’s website or call them for more information.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

A loan rather than a grant – up to £5m is available to businesses with an annual turnover of up to £45 million. The government will also make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees. The scheme is delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the government-owned British Business Bank.


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Visit our Coronavirus Portal

Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Together Against Coronavirus

Cambridgeshire/Peterborough Together Against Coronavirus is helping people stay connected during self-isolation, particularly those at risk of feeling lonely. To find out more click here.

Please share your ideas and tips for how you are beating loneliness or supporting people in your community. Whether it’s offering to deliver food supplies or pick up prescriptions, or regular phone calls checking on someone’s wellbeing, there are lots of ways we can all keep an eye on people, without the need to make physical contact.

So what can you do to help?

  • Share your stories of what you are doing to help people on your social media pages using the hashtags #ReachOut #PeterboroughTogether or #CambridgeshireTogether
  • Share your tips on beating loneliness
  • Download the campaign poster and other visuals to use on your social media pages or in your window to show what you are doing to help people in your neighbourhood
  • Help us remind people about the importance of staying at home

Your stories will help us to remind people that help is at hand.

Information from Cambs County Council regarding Coronavirus

Written on Friday 13th March 2020

Dear colleagues, community leaders and volunteers

We understand that coronavirus is generating a great deal of concern. While for many people it will be a mild illness, for older people and those with underlying health conditions it can be a more serious illness and we all need to work together to protect these more vulnerable members of our communities. To help stop the spread of coronavirus we’ve created a campaign web page from which you can download a range of materials to share (posters, images, social media posts etc. including posters translated into a range of languages). These encourage people to do the most simple and effective thing that can stop the spread of the virus, which is regularly washing your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.

To view the page and to download, click here

Today the Government also announced an update on its approach, asking people to stay at home for 7 days if they have either a high temperature or a new continuous cough. This update can be viewed here.

My regards

Dr Liz Robin
Director of Public Health
Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council

No Labels: Exploring the Benefits of Inclusive Volunteering

This year’s annual Connecting Communities conference will take place on 24 June at the Corn Exchange in St Ives, where we will be exploring the topic of inclusive volunteering. How can the voluntary and community sector can reach out and engage a wider and more diverse range of volunteers? How this can benefit our organisations, the sector and our communities?

We’d like to see equality of opportunity for all people to volunteer in ways that are right for them, with the support and encouragement that each person needs to make volunteering possible. To help make this possible, we’d like to to invite people from the voluntary sector to share their knowledge and experience.

We’ll be taking bookings for attendees soon, but in the meantime we’d love to hear from people who would be willing and happy to share their knowledge, experiences and solutions with others. Do you have experience working with volunteers often excluded from volunteering and from people who may have experienced exclusion or difficulty in volunteering? If so, please get in touch with Keith at or call 07809 214895.

Free Link To Our Funding Search Engine

The Self-Funding Portal provided by Hunts Forum and partners under the Support Cambridgeshire banner has passed the half-million mark in funds raised by Cambridgeshire community organisations.

Over the past 12 months, the Portal has been visited on 5,860 occasions with 506 new registered organisations using the search facility and 650 repeat visitors. The top 5 search areas continue to be Youth engagement, Older people, Education, Disability and Volunteering.

Anyone can create a free account and perform their own searches to find funders for their organisation, project type, area of work and various other criteria. Simply click here to start your journey. You can use the Portal repeatedly without cost: All we ask is that when you receive an electronic questionnaire about how good or bad the site is you provide your honest opinion. This feedback helps us to improve the site, making it easier for more groups or organisations to use the service.

Here is what some users have said this year:

SC4C is incredibly easy to navigate. Its a really useful resource for community organisations.

We raised 50K off the back of a SC4C search: Its so simple and easy to use.

I use SC4C every week when searching for funds. If you use it in conjunction with the funding alerts it really does help.

If you need some help registering then please contact and put Funding Portal in your title line.