Sources Of Funding For Community Groups – Sarah Bellow

So, you’ve a great idea and need a bit of funding to get started but don’t know where to look?

Depending on the amount you need, your local Parish Council would be a good first contact. There are many small local charities that have funding for individual villages or areas.

For larger sums, try your District Council.

For example, in South Cambs there are Community Chest Grants available to voluntary and community groups wishing to improve the quality of life, you can find out more on their website under the community chest grants page.

Meanwhile East Cambridgeshire District Council have a range of grants available for community projects,  there’s more information on the website which you can view by following this link.

Cambridgeshire County Council welcomes applications to the Innovate & Cultivate Fund to set up community projects find out more by visiting their website here.

Here at Care Network we are always happy to help you find funds for your group or idea, do give us a call.

Community Car Schemes – May Update – Care Network Cambridgeshire

This year Sue Beel, Sarah Bellow and Mirella Teague are undertaking an evidence based research project to identify sustainability threats and support needs for community car schemes (CCSs) to ensure those who depend on them can continue to access this vital transport service. Many CCSs were established over thirty years ago, by village residents who wanted to provide lifts, to get to social events and the local GP, for example, to others living in their community.

Over the last few years, the annual survey completed by the CCSs has recorded an increase in demand in general, along with more requests for hospital journeys sometimes at the detriment of social journeys. By undertaking the research, we have the opportunity to evidence the service provided and over the next two years, we can put measures in place to ensure the continuation and sustainability of their valuable work. We will also be sharing our findings with Community Care Schemes to support them in fundraising activities, campaigning messages for recognition from District and County Council’s as well as developing further umbrella support from Care Network.

We have just sent out a questionnaire that we are asking coordinators to respond to, the data from this will be used to design the interview schedule for the forthcoming focus groups that we would like to arrange. If you have any questions please contact Sarah Bellow directly.

Community Navigators – May Update – Care Network Cambridgeshire

Our dedicated admin volunteers continue to support our Community Navigator Coordinators with district mapping exercises and updating local information and resources.  Several have now embarked on outreach and promotional activities at key community venues and events, including Volunteer for Cambridge, Golden Age Fairs and the LGSS Carers Training launch.

If you’d like to get involved, please get in touch with your coordinator!

Next quarter we are looking to work with local groups to support them to share information in their communities. Do you know someone who might be interested in information-sharing training and ongoing support from our Community Navigator team?

We would like your help to recruit more volunteers to support our work.

Do you have a friend you think would enjoy volunteering?

Perhaps they are approaching retirement and considering options, or have a little free time they’d like to use to make an impact in their community?

If you can “Refer A Friend” please get in touch.

We can arrange an informal chat about current opportunities at Care Network.


Volunteer Update – May 2019 – Care Network Cambridgeshire

We have just appointed Azanda Sithole as our new volunteer lead following Christina’s departure. Azanda will be  joining us early in June. In the interim, if you have any queries then please do not hesitate to contact Cheryl or Isobel via email or phone.

Lorraine and Corrina will be contacting volunteers who are due refresher training, which will be held at our Chatteris office on Thursday 4th July. If you would like to attend please feel free to contact them directly via email. You can email Lorraine here and Corrina here.

On the 6th June, Care Network  will be recognising, thanking and celebrating you and the amazing difference you make to the lives of local people during Volunteers’ Week. We will behaving tea and a talk from one of the rangers  at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust at Hundred Foot Bank, Welney, Nr. Wisbech, PE14 9TN.   The event will run from 2pm to 4pm.

If you would like to join us please let us know  or call  01954 211919

Membership of Care Network Cambridgeshire – With Cheryl Lowe

At our Annual General Meeting in October 2018 Care Network Cambridgeshire formalised the terms of membership of the organisation.

There are now 4 classes of membership:

1. Volunteers who are active and have provided services for a minimum of 6 months
2. Transport groups e.g. community car schemes
3. Social groups – any social group active within their community that is providing activities for or support to local people
4. Home support e.g. good neighbour schemes or community wardens that support people in their own homes

Care Network Cambridgeshire will provide the following to our members:

• Free or ‘at cost’ training
• Support and advice
• Advice on funding applications
• 4 newsletters a year updating on the charity’s activities
• Email updates
• Use of the meeting room at the Hardwick Head Office – at a rate of £5 per hour
•  Low cost photocopying, current charges are:  2p a sheet for black and white,  5p a sheet for colour
•  Invitations to social and networking events

In order to provide you with relevant support and advice, our only request is that our members complete our annual survey and attend one training or support event per year.

If you are not currently a member of CNC and would like to become one, please contact:

CEO Update – Care Network Cambridgeshire


I am very pleased to bring you news that our Care Network Newsletter is back, to subscribe please email us directly, or call the office.

I am sorry that this has not been circulated for a while, but we have been busy working away in the background, improving our communications methods and techniques and we are now ready to share these with you.

Other changes that have been going on within Care Network, including changes in staff structure by introducing a middle management tier of Senior Coordinators, who provide line management as well as front-line service delivery. We were extremely pleased to achieve our Investing in Volunteers Accreditation in October of 2018, a recognition of the way that we work with our wonderful volunteers.

Two new pilots have been launched; Connected Communities encourages local communities and individuals to set up micro enterprises, circles of support and groups to meet the identified needs of their communities, in the areas of St Ives and Soham. It delivers a new approach of how social care, help and support can be provided within communities. Whilst Open Arms,working across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough,encourages and develops  community action to tackle loneliness and improve feelings of happiness and well-being in Older People.

So here’s to the future, including our newsletter which we will be sending out 4 times a year. If you have anything that you would like us to include in our newsletter, please contact: and we will see what we can do.

I hope that you enjoy reading this new look newsletter and finding out a bit more about what we are up to.

As always we would love to hear your ideas and feedback on anything CNC related,

Susie Willis,

CEO of Care Network Cambridgeshire




Help at Home – May Update

Our committed team of volunteers continue to offer services such as shopping, befriending, helping to build confidence and supporting people to regain independence and further to support more people where there are more complex social situations involved and where we have worked closely with health and social care professionals to help return people to their level of independence at home.

Over the past year we have received over 2000 referrals with a large number of those going on to receive volunteer support.

Our flexible approach to volunteering has recently seen a flurry of interested people wanting to support local communities and as a result we will be running another volunteers training session in July.  Well-being training is available to all our volunteers.

With support from our amazing team of volunteers, our service continues to help people to be confident and independent again.

Would you like to volunteer with the Help at Home team? Please see our Volunteers page for more details or contact us directly.

Would You Like To Support Funding To Come Into Fenland?

Groups who received grants from the Healthy Fenland Project (HFP) told us last year that they felt it would be more appropriate for the assessment panel to be comprised of local residents.

We have set-up this new funding panel and are now ready to go but we need local people to be part of the assessment panel.

If you are a Fenland resident that has benefited from HFP Funding, or your community group has evolved thanks to HFP funding and you could join us for 2 hours a month to review the applications then we would love your help.

Please contact  Julie Jeffryes HFP Project Manager to ask for more details or get involved.

Networking Events For Community Car Scheme

If you are involved in the Community Car Scheme as a volunteer or you would like to know more about the Community Car Scheme and how you can get involved please feel free to attend one of the following networking events. You will need to book in advance so our coordinators now to expect you.

Please make a note of these dates in your diary so that you or any of your coordinators can attend our networking events:

  • Tuesday 4th June at Hardwick 1.30 – 2.30
  • Wednesday 17thJune at Caresco in Sawtry from 2 – 4
  • Wednesday 17th July at South Fens, Chatteris from 2pm – 3.30
  • Thursday 25th July at Hardwick   10:30-11:30
  • Wednesday 25th  September at Hardwick   10:30-11:30
  • Monday 30th September at Caresco, Sawtry 2 – 3.30pm
  • Wednesday 30th October at South Fens, Chatteris from 2 – 3.30
  • Thursday 28th  November at Hardwick   10:30-11:30
  • Monday 20th January 2020 at Hardwick   13:30-14:30
  • Monday 20th January at Caresco, Sawtry 2 – 3.30
  • Wednesday 29th January at South Fens, Chatteris 2 – 3.30
  • Tuesday 17th March at Hardwick   13:30-14:30

We aim for each event to be a two way process and ask that you let us know if there are any specific information or discussion points that you would like us to add to the agenda. In the past this has included: Papworth move to Addenbrooke’s), mileage charged by schemes / expense returns & HMRC, wheel chair adapted vehicles, aids (eg: for higher vehicles), other car aids /equipment.

If you would like to reserve a place please select your geographical location and email the right person;

Community Car Scheme South or Community Car Scheme Hunts and Fenland


Meet Our New Trustee Margaret

I’ve always lived in Cambridgeshire, training as an SRN at Old Addenbrooke’s Hospital, and worked as a staff nurse and sister at the new Addenbrooke’s and Papworth.

I married in 1965 and gave up nursing when my elder daughter was born, But I became a carer with three small children.  Once the children were all at school,   I completed my District Nurse and practical work training.

I was a District Nursing Sister in Cambridge when Care Network started, and with all the changes in health and social care since then I realise how important Care Network is in providing volunteers to help older, isolated and vulnerable people maintain their independence.  Thus I hope that my experience may be valuable to Care Network Cambridgeshire as a Trustee

In 1990 I left district Nursing, obtained teaching qualifications and became the Tutor for NVQ Care Programmes based at Cambridge Regional College but working for Cambridge Health Authority.

I was a Trustee of Carers Trust from 1998 to 2014, chairman for the last 3 years.  I have looked after my own parents, my in-laws and neighbours.  Today I am a Carer Ambassador for Carers Trust, volunteer as a flower arranger and Dementia Champion at Arthur Rank House.

I am an active member of the community. I go to the gym and play tennis and am a member of a local Church & the WI. I am pleased to be a trustee of Care Network Cambridgeshire and look forward to seeing what the future brings.