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Covering core costs for local children’s charities

Carol Boston, co-founder of Cambridge Children’s Charity Week, explaining the importance of raising money for core costs at the inaugural CCCW awards evening. Photos courtesy of Kamal Masih

Carol Boston tells the story of the inception of Cambridge Children’s Charity Week (CCCW), which raises money for a notoriously underfunded area of local charities... CCCW is an annual fundraising event that first ran in 2016. Most funds managed by Cambridgeshire Community Foundation (CCF) start with a pot of money donated by an organisation or an individual. In the case of the CCCW fund, the pot started out empty. It all began in late 2015 when I was on secondment from Lloyds Banking Group, working with Business in the Community (BITC), the Prince’s Responsible Business Network, which builds connections between the private, public and voluntary sectors. I met Carrie Herbert MBE, who is the founder of local children’s charity Red Balloon (www., as part of my fact-finding around the needs of local charities and voluntary organisations. Carrie told me her charity, like others had a need for ongoing financial support. Red Balloon, a school for severely bullied children, needs building costs, lighting, and salaries paid. Its core running costs are essential, but fundraising for them is notoriously difficult. Carrie observed that many local fundraising initiatives in Cambridge are for larger national charities, and wondered why Cambridge

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didn’t offer more support for its own smaller local charities. She asked if I would I like to join forces with her and CCF to do something about it. The idea for CCCW was conceived, and the rest, as they say, is history. My time working with BITC across Cambridge highlighted three themes that CCCW aims to address. First is that small local charities are often overlooked because they are not big enough to reach out and have a voice. Second, a lot of funding is project-based, so many charities find fundraising for core costs difficult. And third, while Cambridge is a successful city focused on large-scale global change, it risks missing some of the challenges on its own doorstep. The goal of CCCW is to raise money to support the core costs of the city’s many charities and voluntary groups that help local children and young people. People living, studying or working in the city are invited to get involved and raise money. Fundraising is welcome at any time, although our focus is on the first full week of June each year. Last year was just the start. It has been hard work, but we have been touched by the support of a variety of businesses, colleges, universities, schools, churches and individuals. Some fantastic fundraising initiatives took place. Domino Printing Sciences Plc

made a donation for every customer survey completed; the first CCCW cake, made by Cristine’s Pâtisserie, was raffled by Cheffins; St Johns College School held a summer fête; and St Augustine’s Church raised money for us. People do what works for them, and this fund exists purely due to their collective efforts. We made our first awards on 7 February this year. Fifteen local charities received £500 each towards their core running costs. Recipients included: The Red Hen Project (www.redhenproject. com), which supports local families who, due to deprivation or other difficulties find it hard to engage with education and their local community; You Can Bike Too (, an allability cycle project led by people with learning differences or other disabilities; and Little Bookworms (www.facebook. com/romseybookworms), a community library for young children and their parents or carers. Our vision for 2017 and beyond is simple. We want the CCCW fund to cover the annual core costs of local children’s charities and groups each year, letting them focus on delivering their services to those who need them. CCCW 2017 takes place from the 3rd 11th June. If you want to get involved, email For more information about CCCW, visit

Ruth Brannan and Angela Sanford from You Can Bike Too, recipients of a CCCW award, with Jane Darlington, Chief Excecutive of CCF

THE FORUM / Apr-Jun 2017 / 27

Profile for Marion Carey

THE FORUM Apr-Jun 2017  

The magazine of Cambridgeshire Community Foundation.

THE FORUM Apr-Jun 2017  

The magazine of Cambridgeshire Community Foundation.