Welcome to the November 2022 Cambridgeshire Matters newsletter

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Welcome to the November 2022 Cambridgeshire Matters newsletter

Welcome to the November edition of Cambridgeshire Matters, our monthly newsletter which aims to share good news, highlights and updates from across Cambridgeshire to help our network of district, city and community members stay informed.

Please enjoy this latest edition of Cambridgeshire Matters and find out about the great work which is taking place to support everyone in the county. Share this e-newsletter with your parish council colleagues and feel free to use any of the features in your own newsletter or social media.

Have your say on new constituency boundaries

Boundaries map

The Boundary Commission for England (BCE) is redrawing constituency boundaries in order to rebalance the number of electors represented by each MP, and a final consultation on proposed new constituencies is now open.

A new revised map of constituency proposals, which takes into account feedback sent in by the public on the initial proposals, has been published on the consultation website bcereviews.org.uk.

Send in your views before the closing date of 5 December to have your say on new parliamentary constituency boundaries.

Swaffham Prior 'retrofitted' in pioneering energy scheme

Swaffham Prior

Homes in Swaffham Prior have been connected to the first renewable heat network to be retrofitted into an existing community.

This groundbreaking scheme, which is being delivered by technical engineering and services partner, Bouygues Energies & Services, will enable the community to switch off oil and move onto zero-carbon heating.

The first homes that have been connected to this pioneering initiative in Swaffham Prior are currently receiving low carbon heat and hot water via an energy centre and heat network. They say they are delighted with the quality of the connection and level of heat.

For more information click here

Junior Travel Ambassadors promote road safety week 

As part of BRAKE National Road Safety Week, year 5 pupils who have been chosen as Junior Travel Ambassadors are promoting road safety messages to their school communities.

This year there are just under 200 Junior Travel Ambassadors (JTA) working in schools across the county.

The scheme, organised by Cambridgeshire County Council’s Road Safety team, aims to give pupils a voice and empowers them to make their own decisions about what they think needs to change in order to improve road safety for their school.

Find out more here


Starship robot

Delivery Robots now available to Cambridge residents

Food delivery robots have taken to the streets of Cambridge as part of a new pilot scheme by Starship Technologies, in partnership with the Co-op and enabled by Cambridgeshire County Council.

After receiving a thumbs-up from shoppers following the Cambourne pilot that started earlier this year, the decision was made by the Highways and Transport Committee to welcome the robots to the historic city streets of Cambridge.

The collaboration will be available to 12,200 households within the Cherry Hinton, Queen Edith, parts of Romsey and Coleridge areas of Cambridge. Orders can be made through the Starship food delivery app, which is available for download on iOS and Android, with groceries picked fresh in local Co-op stores on Perne Road and Cherry Hinton Road.

Cambridge residents can order their delivery to arrive in under an hour and watch the robot travel in real-time via an interactive map. Once the robot arrives, residents receive an alert and can meet and unlock it through the app.


Foster for us!


Why choose us?

• Local training and development
• Generous pay and benefits
• 24/7 support from a Supervising
Social Worker
• Local support groups and networking opportunities

You can make a real difference to the lives of a child or young person by becoming a Foster Carer for your local authority.

You must be over 21, have a spare bedroom, and be willing and able to provide a stable and loving environment in which a child or young person can thrive. If this is you please get in touch.

Flood Preparedness Webinar


A virtual webinar to provide advice and support to community flood groups and anyone interested in flooding is being run by Cambridgeshire County Council.

The Flood Preparedness Webinar will be held on Wednesday, 14 December at 6pm, and speakers will also give advice on how to prepare for periods of heavy rainfall.

Among those taking part in the webinar will be Communities Prepared, which will discuss what people can do as a community to prepare for flooding, Mary Long-Dhonau, who will highlight property flood resilience measures, and Whittlesey and Fenland councillor Dee Laws who will talk about the Delph Flood Warden Group, including what they have done to prepare for future flood events.”

Register your FREE place now and find out more

Updates from Think Communities

Cambridge - Cost of Living

county wide

Cost of Living Support Pop Ups

Our first cost of living support pop up event took place on 19th October, communities went away better informed and having had the support that they needed. One attendee said as he was leaving "This has been BRILLIANT”. He and his neighbour are planning to let all their friend and neighbours know about the other events. These events are ‘pop up’s’ at 8 different venues across the city, where organisations will be available to speak to people on the spot, and there will also be warm drinks and refreshments and children’s activity packs.

General Engagement

General engagement events are continuing and scheduled for upcoming months. Community Connectors have been attending holiday lunches, coffee mornings, clean up days, and food banks to promote support and funding opportunities to our communities. Including, the Household Support Fund, Cultivate Fund, CCF fund and district funding to name a few. Case study example - Parents' evening meeting (primary transition) at Netherhall School where Community Connector talked to parents about cost-of-living support pop ups, creative opps, mental health first aid, parenting support and county lines. 

Warm Spaces

Our Cambs City Think Communities team are supporting the development of Warm Spaces. Impact - helping community spaces with ideas for providing food from local businesses and charities, ideas for other funding to support their projects, linking in with the community centre delivery colleagues.

Refugee Community Sponsorship

The Refugee Community Sponsorship group have been approved for sponsor after joint working with Place Coordinator on planning and support for the family’s arrival.  Impact - Local group in Cambridge City are awaiting a refugee family to arrive, who they will host and settle/support into their new community.

Huntingdon - St Neots Man Cave


St Neots Man Cave launch and progress

St Neots Man Cave successfully launched in early October, with support from Clair and already has an influx of new members. Clair will be providing ongoing support in the running of the Man Cave over the next couple of months to support the sustainability of the project, with current and new members taking this over fully very soon.

Eden place extra care pilot project October update

After several successful events in September during October the project group (residents, staff at Eden Place, social prescribers, local groups, social care team and Think Communities) facilitated a spooky Halloween supper event where £38 was raised for the resident’s group and has gone towards a papercraft event happening during November. The first of our monthly joint working meetings have taken place – every month everyone involved in the pilot will be meeting to discuss upcoming plans, learning and ways to work together as affectively as possible.

Winter Warmers is back!

We are privileged to be facilitating the Winter Warmers Campaign again this year.  This is a wonderful initiative where local knitting, crocheting, and sewing groups will kindly get busy creating blankets and blanket squares for those who could benefit from them this winter and donate them through local libraries in Huntingdonshire. Local communications have started, and we hope to achieve outcomes as widely as possible by working with local warm hubs, CCC colleagues and community partners who can identify those in most need of blankets over the colder months.

Joint working to create a supportive, safe space for veterans in St Ives

Norris Museum, Think Communities, Armed Forces Covenant and RAF Benevolent Fund are coming together with mental health partners, social prescribers, and local groups to further strengthen the St Ives Reminiscence Group and ensure there is appropriate support for attendees and their carers who may need a helpful conversation within this safe space.

Warm Spaces in Huntingdonshire

Think Communities Huntingdonshire are working closely with our district colleagues to explore what warm spaces look like in Huntingdonshire.  This has included exploring potential training workshops/ supportive spaces, working closely with our libraries around cost-of-living events and contributing to a recent multi-agency winter planning event.

Fenland -  School Uniform Wardrobe


School Uniform Wardrobe

This month the Fenland Think Communities Team launched ‘School Uniform Wardrobe’ project in March and Chatteris. This will continue being an ongoing project, which will support families in need as well as save clothing items going to landfill. Good for the community and great for the planet.


Attended event in March co-working on the ‘EverySpace’ project. Engaged with attendees to get their thoughts and suggestions on what could library space be used for. Providing regular updates to our manager.                   

Household Support Fund

Delivered a presentation on Household Support Fund to Armed Forces Board. Following this, SSAFA have decided to join the trusted partners groups, which will allow their members to access support a lot easier and quicker.

Relaunching Children Centres

Attended relaunch events for the Children Centres across Fenland. Promoted HSF and were to help families in need of school uniforms.      

Took part in ‘Delivering services for Gypsy, Traveller and Roma communities. Connections were made and information was shared. Info about the event was shared with FDC Community Worker who oversees five sites across Fenland.


East Cambridgeshire - Cost of living and wellbeing

Cambs Think Communities

Virtual Health and Wellbeing Team

Chris has introduced this multi-disciplinary team to an online application which is now being populated with events and funding opportunities which are of shared interest.

The impact of this has led to Greater awareness of opportunities for cross system engagements. Interest in joining Health and Wellbeing group from organisations not currently in the group as they feel they'd benefit from this joint calendar.

Introduction of HAF to Ukraine Hub (Holiday Activities and Food programme)
Chris has connected HAF to the Ukraine hub, colleagues in ECDC, and the library service. This has led to:

• Libraries have offered use of computers to help digitally excluded use their HAF vouchers.
• ECDC colleague at Ukraine Hub is now aware of when vouchers will be distributed and can prompt and support guests to use them.

Menopause event
The team supported the Menopause event at the Lighthouse centre which was led by Integrated Neighbourhood colleagues. We supported with engaging partners and helping on the day. This was impactful due to the strong collaborative working method, with 350 women attending and great feedback.

Cost of living event
Chris and Cal supported the libraries service to deliver a Cost-of-Living Event. Their role was predominantly, engaging partners, promoting in communities, and making local organisations aware. They also helped facilitate conversations between organisations running stands at the event.

What did we learn?

  • Individuals valued the information and advice they received. Particularly those members of the community who came with a particular stall they wished to visit in mind (e.g., several came specifically to have a conversation about the Household Support Fund)
  • Feedback from stall holders the opportunity for networking was great and was an opportunity to learn of what other organisations do which they can then pass on to the people they engage with

  • Following a debrief the library plan to put on another event in January, and have ideas to engage a wider audience, including more targeted publicity through trusted partners (i.e., GP, DWP, Foodbank)

South Cambridgeshire - Cultivate Cambs

Think Communities South Cambridgeshire team have been working with our District colleagues on reviewing Cultivate Cambs applications, to input into how it can benefit the area. Cultivate Cambs focuses on creating a greener, fairer and more caring Cambridgeshire.

The impact of which means that we are able to give a community development and have input into the Cultivate Cambs officers review, ahead of the panel.

Working in collaboration with SCDC, ICS and Cambridgeshire Acre on the Warm hubs work ensuring that we feedback and support the work for it to happen. Warm hub venues have been established and started to open doors (please see below). This will impact and support many people who are struggling to heat their homes.

The team worked closely with SCDC, ICS and other partners to make the events happen, this started from an idea and formed into Wellbeing events that took place in October (half term week) over 3 different sites.

This allowed services to reach out to communities about healthy lifestyles, understanding what they love, would change and dislike about where they live. This event gave us the opportunity to promote and process Household Support Fund applications and have meaningful conversations with members of the community about where they live and if they would like something different, included discussing community groups being established.

The Think Communities South Cambs team have also been working closely with partners and Councillors to get the Melbourne underpass underway, a collaborative project plan is now in place and conversations are happening to get the timeframes of the work committed to. The work is moving at pace ensuring that the deliverables are met, and that funding does not expire.

County Wide - Armed Forces Covenant

County Wide

Armed Forces Covenant

Providing Armed Forces Covenant and Community awareness training to members of Sanctuary Housing at engagement sessions as part of Sanctuary’s Annual Conference. This was to numerous officers in front line roles and geographic areas.

Many were Cambridgeshire & Peterborough based officers and very few had an understanding of the Armed Forces Covenant & Community prior to the training, bringing the Armed Forces Community and the issues sometimes faced to the mindsets of frontline staff.

We provided information about the range of services that members of the Armed Forces Community can access and how this can sometimes provide more focused and suitable support whilst taking some of the burden away from traditional support mechanisms. This is in addition to informing of out of county officers that their local authority will have an AF Champion/Officer or both.

Cultivate Cambs

Our Innovate and Cultivate Fund has a new name - Cultivate Cambs. We are committed to creating a greener, fairer and more caring Cambridgeshire. Our Cultivate Cambs fund awards grants of £2,000 to £15,000 for initiatives that help to achieve this broad vision by supporting our residents to live independently, safe and well in thriving and inclusive communities.

Autumn funding round stats

  • 37 formal pre-application advice appointments held between July and September
  • 25 grant applications received
  • 13 of the 25 applicants sought pre-application advice on their project proposal
  • A further 7 applicants had previously sought advice on different project proposals or are current or previous grant recipients.
  • The remaining 5 applicants are first-time applicants who have never sought pre-application advice for any project proposal.