Innovate & Cultivate Fund

The Innovate & Cultivate Fund is Cambridgeshire County Council’s 'up to £1 million fund' to help voluntary, community and social enterprise sector organisations realise their projects and ideas that help address the needs of local residents.

Previously known as the Cambridgeshire Communities Innovation Fund, the newly designed fund makes it easier to apply for small grants and focuses on council funding priorities – therefore enabling innovative ideas to grow into something inspiring and impactful.

The Innovate and Cultivate Fund has two funding streams:
Cultivate - small grants of £2,000-£10,000 aimed at encouraging local networks where people help themselves and each other
Innovate - larger grants of up to £50,000, for big projects with big ideas that demonstrate an innovative approach within one of the seven funding priorities for Cambridgeshire

Watch Innovate and Cultivate Fund short film

More information on the Innovate and Cultivate Fund, including eligibility and how to apply, is given below but three important points to note are that all projects must

  • be either new, or build on an existing project in a new location or with new beneficiaries
  • show that they will reduce pressure on council services and/or offer direct savings for the council.
  • focus on one (or more) of the seven key outcomes (see below) that are prioritised by Cambridgeshire County Council for Cambridgeshire residents.
Seven key outcomes for Cambridgeshire residents

Cambridgeshire County Council is working hard to make Cambridgeshire a great place to call home, where people live independently and safely in strong communities that help and support each other. To realise the Council's vision, there is focus on seven key outcomes for Cambridgeshire residents:

1. Older people live well independently.
2. People with disabilities live well independently.
3. Adults and children at risk of harm are kept safe.
4. Places that work with children help them to reach their potential.
5. The Cambridgeshire economy prospers to the benefit of all residents.
6. People live in a safe environment.
7. People lead a healthy lifestyle and stay healthy for longer.

The Innovate & Cultivate Fund will now focus on the key areas that will support this vision and will invest in initiatives that specifically help to achieve these outcomes.

Funding priorities

The Innovate and Cultivate Fund aims to redirect Council funding from high cost front-line services, towards support and services that are delivered within, and by, local communities.  

Priority areas of service where funding applications are most welcome are elaborated below.

A. Vulnerable adults and older people
Under Vulnerable adults and older people there are 3 key themes
 
1)  Maintaining and maximising independence:
Schemes or activities that have a focus on prevention and supporting older people, vulnerable adults (18+) who are affected by disability (learning disabilities, physical disabilities, sensory impairments and/or mental health) and/or their carers to maintain and maximise their independence.

Description of theme:
The County Council is keen to see the development of new schemes, or expansion and development of existing projects which prevent older and vulnerable adults reaching crisis.

The Council is most interested in bids which create, sustain or develop support for older and vulnerable adults within their own community. Bids should demonstrate how they will be sustainable after the initial funding round.

All bids should reflect the principles outlined in ‘Transforming Lives’ and support, enhance or fill a gap in current provision.
 
Some examples of what this may include are below:

PREVENTION:
• Crisis prevention - schemes that help to identify people before they reach a crisis or support them afterwards, such as support following a stay in hospital.
• Promoting the use of Assistive Technology (ATT) - schemes that promote the use and uptake of ATT solutions to support people with a disability or illness, or who are frail due to older age;
• Healthy living – schemes that support people to live healthy lifestyles. For example, this could include schemes around falls prevention or developing dementia friendly communities, etc.
• Employment – schemes that support people with disabilities (e.g. learning disabilities, autism, physical disabilities) into paid employment and/or enable them to remain in employment.
• Participation – schemes that help older and vulnerable adults to participate in activities that support health and wellbeing. This could include voice and representation activities, peer support schemes, etc.
• Community transport - schemes that enable older and vulnerable people to access local transport, where other transport is unavailable. This could include developing a community car scheme to help older and vulnerable people to hospital appointments, shopping or social activities.

Additional key information:
 
 
2) Connecting to the local community and staying well

Schemes or activities that help older people, vulnerable adults (18+) who are affected by disability (learning disabilities, physical disabilities, sensory impairments and/or mental health) and carers in Cambridgeshire stay independent, safe and well and connected to their community.

Description of theme
The County Council is keen to see the development of new schemes, or expansion and development of existing projects that help older and vulnerable adults to play an active part in their community and address any barriers that may preclude them from currently doing this.

The Council ismost interested in bids which create, sustain or develop support for older and vulnerable adults within their own community, and which outline how this provision will be sustainable in the longer term. For example, this may include the use of volunteers, etc.

All bids should reflect how they will adopt the principles outlined in ‘Transforming Lives’ and how the proposal will support, enhance or fill a gap in current provision.
 
Some examples of what this may include are outlined below:

COMMUNITY/ ACCESS:

• Isolation - schemes that help people who could be isolated due to disability or older age. This could include developing lunch clubs, social activities or community groups.
• Good neighbour schemes - schemes that support older and vulnerable members of the community to live safety in their own home. This could include helping with shopping, picking up prescriptions, gardening, etc.
• Community transport - schemes that enable older and vulnerable people to access local transport, where other transport is unavailable. This could include developing a community car scheme to help older and vulnerable people to hospital appointments, shopping or social activities.
 
 
Additional key information

3) People having greater choice and control over how their care needs are met

Schemes or activities that help older people, vulnerable adults (18+) who are affected by disability (learning disabilities, physical disabilities, sensory impairments and/or mental health) and carers in Cambridgeshire to have greater choice and control over how their care needs are met.

Description of theme
 
The County Council is keen to stimulate and support a range of community schemes, micro providers or social enterprises to deliver a more diverse range of options for people who use care and support services and in particular domiciliary care.

The Council want to stimulate a variety of different kinds of support that enable people to have choice and control over how they are supported. This could be available to people who pay for their own support (self-funders) as well as those whose care and support is funded by the Council.

SERVICE DEVELOPMENT:
Locally delivered home care - community schemes that support older or vulnerable people with care and support needs. This could include developing a micro enterprise or local social enterprise that provides care and support at home including delivering personal care.

Additional key information
 

Cost guidance for Vulnerable adults and older people

Innovate & Cultivate Fund ASC costings Jul 2018.docx.pdf (111.7 KiB)
B. Children and families

Under Children and families there are 4 key themes:


1) Building Connections between the Voluntary Sector and County Council services

Description of theme 
In Cambridgeshire public services are beginning to operate to the Thrive framework. At its heart, Thrive describes public services wrapping around or layering on to support already available through family and friends’ networks and community based groups and organisations.

This theme is about building capacity in the voluntary and community sector to enable voluntary and community groups and organisations to more easily connect with statutory sector providers as part of a Team Around the Family when working with vulnerable families, or to enable statutory organisations to more easily connect with voluntary and community sector providers to provide an appropriate support package for a family which may avoid the family requiring support from statutory services at all.

Activities may include work to train and support Voluntary and Community organisations to work with statutory services, or work to build relationships and networks between local providers.

 Additional key information

Cambridgeshire Early Help StrategyIntegrated Front Door

2) Supporting Emotional Well-being in high needs communities

Description of theme

The Council is keen to see the development of new, or expansion/development of existing provisions which support the emotional health and wellbeing of vulnerable children, young people and adults in high needs communities. Activities may include low level 1:1 or group self-esteem and confidence building, mentoring, coaching, be-friending, activities to promote positive friendships and relationships, coping with stress or difficult family circumstances.

Whilst support may be for children, young people or adults, the Council are particularly interested in bids which work with a Think Family approach, considering the needs of the whole family in order to make lasting and sustainable change.

The fund will not at this stage support activities which are specialist in nature or are intended to target and work with people with complex mental health issues.

Additional key information

Cambridgeshire Insight information

3) Youth work in high needs communities

Description of theme

The County Council are  keen to see the development of new, or expansion/development of existing provisions providing group based youth work for vulnerable young people in high needs communities. Any successful bidders must consider how to expand / develop use of volunteers as part of the provision to support ongoing sustainability.

The Council are most interested in seeing bids which are looking to create, sustain or develop regular provision for young people which enables a safe place for vulnerable young people to go on a regular basis.

All bids must consider how workers and volunteers will be trained and supported to connect and work in partnership with statutory services which may need to be, or are involved with the young people attending the youth provision or their families.

Additional key information

Cambridgeshire Insight information

4) Community based family support activities in high needs communities

Description of theme

The County Council are keen to see the development of new, or expansion/development of existing provisions which provide community-based family support activities via regular groups or projects to vulnerable families in high needs communities. Activities may include support to families experiencing difficulties with children’s behaviour, housing issues, finance, social isolation or community issues.

The Council are particularly interested in bids which will take the opportunity to support people positively with healthy lifestyles and into employment.

Assessment criteria

The application form for the Innovate and Cultivate Fund  invites applicants to demonstrate how they meet the criteria against which their project will be scored. The  questions that need to be answered are listed below 

Questions to be answered on the application form

(for each question, in no more than 300 words) 

1 Please identify which of the Councils target outcomes (see above) your project will help deliver for Cambridgeshire residents, and how your project will do this.

2 Who are the direct beneficiaries of your project and which specific high cost Council services do they currently access, or are very likely to access in the future. How many direct beneficiaries will your project support?

3 How will your proposed project reduce the need for your beneficiaries to use Council services?

4 With reference to any of your work to date, why can you be confident that your project and targets are credible and deliverable?

5 Please state whether you (or another organisation) are already delivering all or part of the project you propose; If you are already delivering, explain how your proposed project differs from current provision(eg different beneficiaries, different approach or in a different location?)

6 How does your project increase the capacity within communities and make people and communities more resilient?

More information

Click on headings below to find out more

Video explaining the county’s budget challenge

Click here to watch a video explaining the County’s budget challenge

Is my group  eligible to apply?

The Innovate & Cultivate Fund is for:
- voluntary, community and social enterprise sector organisations, based in and outside of Cambridgeshire
- public sector bodies in Cambridgeshire

All projects have to benefit the residents of Cambridgeshire.

The fund is not open to individuals, or for profit businesses. Project beneficiaries must be residents of Cambridgeshire and projects serving the residents of the Peterborough City Council local authority area are not eligible for funding.

How to apply

The application process has been simplified, especially for small grants of £2,000-£10,000.  

Small grant ( £2,000-£10,000) applications
There will be three rounds of small grant applications with deadlines in October and December 2017 and April 2018. The application is a one-step process.

Small grant applications are to be submitted by applicants using the online form accessed on this webpage (see left hand column). Applications will be considered by a Panel whose recommendations will go to an elected member committee for consideration.

Large grant (£10,001 to £50,000) applications
There will be two rounds of large grant applications with deadlines in October 2017 and March 2018. The application is a two-stage process.

Stage 1 – Large Grant applications are to be submitted by applicants using the online form accessed on this webpage (see left hand column).

Stage 2 – Chosen proposals selected by a Stage 1 Panel will be invited to provide further information including a logic model, a detailed budget and activity plan. Applicants will be offered assistance to source County Council data and information to complete their submission. Applicants will then be invited to a Stage 2 Panel where applications will be assessed and applicants will be required to give a short presentation about their project. Recommendations on grants from the Stage 2 Panel will then go to an elected member committee for consideration.

Can a request be for more than 1 year of funding?

Applications can be for up to two years of project funding 

Project monitoring forms

All successful projects will be required to complete project monitoring forms with the support of a Service Lead County Council Officer.

Information and Data Sets

It is strongly recommended that applicants book to attend a workshop where you will have support and guidance on writing your application. However, the following resources may also help you to ensure your application is supported by statistical data and useful information.
- A collection of useful data sets are available on Cambridgeshire Insights
- YouTube video guide to getting the most from Cambridgeshire Insights
The following documents offer a valuable insight into relevant County Council plans and strategies.
- Cambridgeshire County Council Business Plan 2017 to 2018
- Stronger Together: Cambridgeshire County Council’s Strategy for Building Resilient Communities
- Shaping our Future - Transforming Lives: A new strategic approach for Social Work and Social Care for Adults in Cambridgeshire

 

 

Recent Awards

Following the first round of applications, several successful projects have been awarded funding.  Details of the successful projects  are below.

Innovate Projects

Carers Trust Cambridgeshire - ‘Caring Communities in Later Life’

Awarded up to £49,999 to develop programmes at carer friendly community hubs and increase small group respite opportunities, particularly targeted at the over 80s.

Cambridge Housing Society Group - ‘Timebanking’

Awarded up to £49,984 to develop more Timebanks across the county, further integrate them with another Time Currency called Time Credits, and enable the Timebanks themselves to become more financially sustainable.

Little Miracles CIO

Awarded up to £35,000 to deliver services for families with disabled children across Cambridgeshire.

Somersham Parish Council - ‘Changing Lives’

Awarded up to £25,000 to carry out activities to improve the quality of life for residents with neurological conditions.

Switch Now CIC

Awarded up to £10,500 to train, support and mentor young adults with learning difficulties to progress towards voluntary, paid or self-employment.

Cambridgeshire Deaf Association - ‘Volunteer Manager’

Awarded up to £50,000 to hire a volunteer manager to develop a pool of volunteers who will provide support for people within the deaf community.

Care Network Cambridgeshire - ‘Connected Communities’

Awarded up to £49,475 to support older people in their communities by helping communities and individuals to set up micro enterprises, circles of support, and groups to meet the identified needs of their communities, through research, promotion and support.

Age UK Cambridgeshire & Peterborough - ‘Friendship Clubs’

Awarded up to £32,740 to support the set-up of a network of Friendship Clubs for older people in areas of Cambridgeshire where the provision of such services is limited.

The Resilience Group (Blue Smile, CFMS & Relate Cambridge) - ‘Stronger Families – Building Resilience’

Awarded up to £31,055 to deliver the ‘Stronger Families – Building Resilience’ project, providing therapeutic support to disadvantaged local children and providing parenting wellbeing programmes.

Cultivate projects

Ely St. John’s Primary School - ‘25 Year Anniversary Fund: Nurture Model’

Awarded up to £5,000 to develop the community’s ability to understand and respond to both pro-social and anti-social behaviours, through training and developing the school as a community

resource.

Houghton & Wyton Time Bank - ‘Houghton & Wyton Time Bank in the Community’

Awarded up to £10,000 to connect young people and old people through volunteering, to reduce isolation.

Holy Trinity Church, Hildersham PCC - ‘Parish Nurse Plus’

Awarded up to £10,000 to appoint a community development worker to work alongside an existing Parish Nurse.

British Gymnastics - ‘Love to Move’

Awarded up to £9999 to run the Love to Move seated exercise programme to help older people to improve their fitness of mind and body.

Godmanchester Town Council - ‘Godmanchester Timebank’

Awarded up to £5,426 to launch a Time Bank in Godmanchester to bring people together to help one another.

South Cambridgeshire District Council - ‘Through the Door project’

Awarded up to £10,000 to run a social prescribing service to help older people stay independent in their communities.

Stretham Youth Club - ‘3159 Young At Heart’

Awarded up to £3,900 to run a community led drop-in and activities project for over 60s.

Cambridgeshire Police Shrievalty Trust - ‘Supporting Vulnerable Families & Children’

Awarded up to £10,000 to run a pilot Bobby Scheme to support families and children who have been victims of crime to help them recover from the trauma.