The Government has offered up to £30 million, through the Know Your Neighbourhood Fund, to create volunteering opportunities and increase connections across the country.

Cambridgeshire Community Foundation is delighted to be distributing grants from the Know Your Neighbourhood Fund in Fenland, to support initiatives that can help to boost volunteering and tackle loneliness, helping participants improve their mental and physical wellbeing, develop new skills and form social connections.

Over £1.3 million will be available in grants for Fenland. Non-profit organisations working to increase volunteering and reduce loneliness in Fenland are encouraged to apply for a grant by Tuesday 30 May 2023, for projects starting from July 2023. For more information and to make an application, please visit the fund page.

The first round of funding in early 2023 has already helped a variety of charitable causes to make an impact in Fenland.

Cambridge Community Arts received over £18,000 to expand the Creative Fenland project, which engages socially isolated people through arts and crafts activities designed for mental wellbeing. The project has involved initial outreach, development of a volunteer network and the delivery of three creative courses and a workshop. To date, the project has recruited 11 new volunteers and course participants have reported feeling less isolated and with an improved sense of wellbeing.

Rosmini Centre Wisbech also received over £18,000 to provide a Lunch Club, Friendship Group and Conversational English Language Group to address food poverty, reduce social isolation and engage volunteers, particularly those from migrant communities. The project has been a success, with 27 new volunteers recruited in just 3 months and 207 members of the local community directly benefiting from the project.

Michael O’Toole, CEO at Cambridgeshire Community Foundation, commented,

“I am delighted that Cambridgeshire Community Foundation is delivering the Know Your Neighbourhood Fund for Fenland. Fenland is an incredible part of our county with a strong community spirit and pride in its heritage. However, we also know that the region faces some challenges, including health inequalities, when compared to the rest of Cambridgeshire. The Know Your Neighbourhood Fund will support local community projects that build skills, wellbeing and community networks.”

Find out more on the Know Your Neighbourhood Fund.