Community grants awarded | News and events


Community grants awarded

Nine voluntary and community groups have been awarded a share of £125,000 to help tackle health and wellbeing challenges faced by local communities, as part of a grant initiative funded by NHS Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Integrated Care Board (ICB) and healthcare property investor and developer, Assura plc.

Coordinated by the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Voluntary Sector Network, this grant scheme set out to identify and fund projects to tackle health and wellbeing issues within local communities. Projects funded include Connected Lives who will run a Wellbeing Café Project in Trumpington to combat social challenges like isolation; Peterborough United Foundation to support pupils, particularly with special educational needs, who are moving from primary to secondary school, with mentoring and resilience building; and Home-Start Royston & South Cambridgeshire to expand its service to support more families struggling with post-natal depression, depression, social isolation, bereavement, domestic abuse or drug abuse.

Andréa Grosbois, Assistant Director of Community & Strategic Partnerships at NHS Cambridgeshire & Peterborough ICB, said: “Congratulations to those who successfully bid for a community grant. Putting money into local projects means more people can access additional health and wellbeing support that is right for them, in their own community.

"We were impressed by the creativity and innovative thinking evident in all the applications and are delighted to support these projects that will make a difference to the health and wellbeing of local communities."

Sandie Smith, Programme Director at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Voluntary Sector Network, said: "It has been an honour to review all the applications we received. It was a tough process, with the successful applicants showcasing how their projects will make a real difference to local people's lives. We thank all those who applied."

Karen Nolan, Assura Head of Social Impact, said: “Our community fund is one of our proudest achievements as a business. It has allowed us to help support vulnerable people in the communities near our buildings  for the last four years. We are delighted to be able to support projects that do such brilliant work in providing support to people who need it.”

The Assura Community Fund is managed by the Cheshire Community Foundation, to ensure such grants reach the heart of the local communities that need it the most.


Projects funded:

Cornerstone Care in Confidence - The project will add an extra day for a Development Lead, aiming to bridge the service gap in Cambridgeshire's rural areas for individuals lacking access to support due to their location.

Peterborough United Foundation - This initiative aims to smooth the transition for 40 pupils moving from primary to secondary school, focusing on resilience and mentoring, especially for those with additional needs. In collaboration with the YMCA, the project will provide ongoing support, starting before the end of the primary term and continuing into the new school year.

Safe Soulmates - The project provides tailored support to 15 housebound neurodivergent adults, aiming to reduce isolation by fostering confidence and community engagement through Safe Soulmates activities. Funding enables trained Social Facilitators to offer necessary individualised assistance, whether at home or in transit, to encourage participation and friendship development.

Wisbech Community Development Trust - In Cambridge's Waterlees ward, a series of walking football and low-impact exercise sessions are planned to combat rising obesity by providing accessible physical activities for all ages and fitness levels. The initiative aims to foster better health among residents who currently engage in minimal physical activity.

Connected Lives - The Wellbeing Café Project in Trumpington, Cambridgeshire, aims to combat social challenges like isolation and health issues by providing a weekly two-hour community space for support and connection. Through shared meals and mutual support, the initiative strives to enhance local wellbeing and alleviate the strain on existing services.

Home-Start Cambridgeshire - This initiative offers personalised, volunteer-led in-home support for families for eight weeks post-childbirth, along with specialised psychotherapy if needed. It aims to overcome common obstacles parents face in accessing services, such as transportation, childcare, and concerns about stigma.

Home-Start Royston & South Cambridgeshire - Broaden the Home-Visiting Support Service, providing early intervention to prevent family breakdowns among vulnerable groups facing challenges like depression and domestic abuse. The escalating cost-of-living crisis intensifies the demand for such support, with referrals coming from healthcare professionals and educational institutions.

Sew Positive - The project aims to enhance health and wellbeing for up to 100 individuals, tackling unemployment isolation and health disparities through creative engagement and purposeful activities. Partnering with local entities like the Botanic Gardens, it promotes outdoor inspiration for a sewing class and mental wellness, emphasizing recycled materials and upcycling.

The Red Hen Project - In response to seeing a rise in both the number and complexity of young people's mental health and educational needs referrals, it aims to enhance local support capacity, offering holistic one-to-one family assistance to foster household stability and better health outcomes for youth.

 NHS Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Integrated Care Board contributed £50,000 to the grant, with Assura sharing £75,000 from its national Assura Community Fund.

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