The Cambridge give away over £12,000 to local groups and charities

6 September 2018 • Community

Last night The Cambridge Building Society gave away over £12,000 to the 15 worthy beneficiaries that made it to the final of this year’s Cash for the Community initiative. The local groups and charities were celebrated at a special event held at the Hotel Felix in Cambridge, where it was announced how much of the £12,000 pot each would receive.

The Cambridge teamed up with Cambridge News, for the seventh year in a row, to run the initiative which sees the amount of money donated to each group determined by the number of tokens collected from the paper.

This year 28 groups entered the competition, which was whittled down to the final 15 organisations after a vote by The Cambridge staff and a public vote on social media. Chief Operating Officer, Andy Lucas, hosted the celebration evening to reveal how much money each group would receive. The total amount shared added up to more than £12,000 as The Cambridge decided each group should receive a minimum of £250. Chief Executive Stephen Mitcham presented the cheques alongside Cambridge News editor David Bartlett.

Stephen commented on the initiative and said: “We’ve been delighted with the response this year; 16 tokens were printed in the Cambridge News over the course of three weeks and supporters collected nearly 6,200 tokens. We’ve had a huge variety of organisations from the local area enter and it’s been lovely to find out about the projects or equipment the money handed over will go towards. We really do hope it helps make a difference!”

David Bartlett, Editor of the Cambridge News said: “It was wonderful to be involved once again in this great project with The Cambridge. I am sure that the money being handed out to these 15 groups will be of great benefit to the community. Once again, a wide range of organisations have received funds – another indication of the excellent voluntary and charitable work going on in our community on a daily basis. I’d like to thank our readers for their support and The Cambridge for their generosity”.

The largest donation went towards Cambridgeshire Stroke Group, which received over £1,500.

This small charity is run entirely by volunteers for all stroke survivors in Cambridgeshire, to help provide a comprehensive support group for all those, of any age, who have had a stroke or similar injury. The group provides support and a lifeline to its members, helping to transform their lives and speed up recovery after a stroke by gaining independence, establishing new friendships and experiencing new activities. The aim of the group is to provide a meeting place in a friendly caring environment for people who have had a stroke and their families, carers and friends.

Maria Hamilton of Cambridge Stroke Group said “I am so delighted by the amount we have received, we never imagined we would receive such a large donation. 100% of any outside funding that the group receives goes directly towards its members and improving their lives and the services we offer. We would really like to reach as many people as possible but recognise that mobility can be an issue for some members and often transport to and from the group events is a key obstacle. With this donation we’ll be able to look into subsidising transport and also expand our programme of activities for our service users too”.

Another group which received a large donation was Cambridge City Ladies and Girls Football Club, which provides the local community with a football club that offers sporting opportunities for ladies and girls within the local area. The club receives no central funding or grants and is continually having to generate its own funds. The group took home £1,366 and this will help tremendously in providing the club with much needed equipment and where necessary, pitch hire.

The third largest slice of funding was donated to Camsight, which brings visually impaired children and families together and supports older people with sight loss to remain a valued part of their communities, ensuring they have the information, support and technology they need to remain independent.

Each of the 15 finalists received the following amounts:

Cambridges Stroke Group - £1,584

Cambridge City Ladies and Girls Football Club - £1,366

Camsight - £1,298

Little Miracles Ely - £1,136

Langdon House - £1,034

Spectrum - £981

Eddies - £791

Motor Neurone Disease Association Cambridgeshire Branch - £737

Cambridgeshire Lupus Group - £709

Time to Talk UK - £468

Centre 33 - £455

Home-Start Cambridgeshire - £450

Kidney Cancer UK - £403

STARS Children’s Bereavement Charity - £399

SERV Suffolk and Cambridgeshire - £250