First groups receive Community Fund boost from The Cambridge

28 May 2021 • Community

A charitable housing association, and a specialist accommodation service for homeless people have become the first local groups to receive a funding boost through The Cambridge Building Society Community Fund.

The Fund is the third initiative announced under ‘Making The Difference’, the Society’s commitment to finding new ways to help people have a home, and to work with the community to support those who offer services for shelter and housing.

Homeless accommodation service, Cambridge Cyrenians have received a grant of £10,000 to ensure twenty five people who were previously homeless or at risk of homelessness are able to move-on successfully from their supported accommodation service, by securing them with items and furnishings required for moving into permanent accommodation.

Charitable housing association, CHS Group have received a grant of £6,983 to support thirty women with homelessness and mental health issues, to enable them to get on in life and thrive. This will include a community support programme that offers group activities, peer support and one to one sessions.

Shanice Jones, Communications, Volunteer and Resident Activities Manager at Cambridge Cyrenians adds, “We would like to send our sincerest thanks to The Cambridge Building Society who kindly selected us for a grant to assist those moving on from homelessness. Oftentimes when a property becomes available, it is lacking the bare necessities such as furnishings, carpets and wall-coverings, and these can sometimes be difficult to source second hand. The funding we’re thrilled to receive is going to be used to make homes feel homely and inviting, rather than empty, thus giving those leaving our service the best chance at success in their independence”. 

Maggie Bending, Community Support Manager at CHS Group comments, “We are thrilled that our application to The Cambridge Building Society Community Fund was approved, and to receive a grant from a local company like The Cambridge is a huge boost for us. This additional funding means that our support service for women living in the community with have mental health needs and more, can continue for the rest of this year. COVID has added an additional challenge for many of the women we support, and it’s proved to be particularly hard in terms of the impact on their physical and mental wellbeing. We’ve had to adapt the type of support we provide and the ways we provide it. Working within the constraints of our existing budget has been very difficult, but this has enabled us to do so much more thoroughly and effectively. It hasn’t gone unnoticed among the women we support, and they’re already voicing their appreciation of the additional support. This grant is really helping make a difference, thank you”.

Peter Burrows, Chief Executive Officer at The Cambridge said, “We are delighted to see The Cambridge Building Society Community Fund issue its first round of grants. Cambridge Cyrenians and CHS Group are two local charitable groups that are committed to helping vulnerable people with their shelter and housing needs, and both causes are very close to our heart. The impact this additional funding is going to have on the lives of our local people really highlights why Making The Difference is vitally important to everyone at The Cambridge".

The Cambridge launched its charitable initiative with initial funding from the Society of £500,000, through its participation in the Dormant Assets Scheme. The Fund can be accessed via a twice yearly grant application programme, whereby amounts of up to £10,000 will be awarded to charities, community groups and organisations operating within a 15 mile radius of The Cambridge’s branch and store network.

The Summer application deadline has now passed and applicants will receive a response by the end of September 2021. Winter applications will open on 2nd August 2021.

For more information about The Fund, and how to apply visit the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation today.