Our projects

Help Through Crisis

Help through Crisis is a £33 million National Lottery funded programme set up by the National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK. It supports 69 partnerships across England which help people who are experiencing or at risk of hardship crisis, to overcome the difficulties they are facing and to plan for their futures. The partnerships bring together small voluntary groups and established charities to work together locally and offer people advice, advocacy and support which matches their personal circumstances.

In May 2016 we were successful in securing a 5 year Help Through Crisis Fund Big Lottery grant. The grant is to support people experiencing crisis. The grant will help us to support clients to access other services that they need in order to manage their long-term issues, and begin to gain the skills needed to better manage their lives in future. We are working with a number of local partners.

Examples of crises:

Be under threat of homelessness

Have a sustained negative household budget

Have suffered a close family bereavement

Have just lost their job

Be facing a cut in income due to loss of benefits

Personal Budgeting Support for Universal Credit claimants

Universal Credit Full Service was introduced into Cambridge on 17th October 2018. We are helping people to budget on the new benefit by taking referrals for people based in Cambridge City or South Cambridgeshire. You can also come and visit us directly (self-refer).

Under Universal Credit people will be paid money for different bills under one monthly sum. This goes to one household member. Currently, people get different benefits at different times, and different people in a household can claim them. Universal Credit is going to signify a big adjustment for some households to manage their money.

Additionally, you will have to wait at least 5 weeks before receiving Universal Credit after you have made a claim. We want to help people to budget during this time and avoid getting into significant debt.

For more information on Universal Credit go to the Citizens Advice website.

For online information on managing your money go to Online Information -> Managing your Money

Advice on Prescription

It has been shown that good advice can improve health outcomes, which can save the NHS a lot of money. Good advice can help to improve people's living conditions, which can have positive effects on physical health (e.g. by helping people to obtain suitable accommodation or repairs to their property). People feel reduced stress once issues have been resolved or they find a way forward with a problem. This can improve mental health outcomes and reduce anxiety and depression. This, in turn, can remove barriers to engaging in healthy behaviours such as giving up smoking and exercising more.

Because of this, we have worked with Cambridge City Council and the Evelyn Trust to set up an outreach advice service at East Barnwell Medical Centre (in the Abbey ward). It is important to provide outreach for people suffering with health issues, as they are less likely to travel to our local office for help because they may not be well enough.

Our Outreach Advice service at East Barnwell has been running since May 2015. It has become a busy and effective service that has seen some extremely positive outcomes for patients. Most clients have been referred for our support by their GPs and there have also been a large number of self-referrals. The most common enquiry areas that we have helped with have been housing and debt.

The service has become so successful that we have been able to open outreach services at four more medical centres. These are:

Nuffield Road Medical Centre

Arbury Road Surgery

Longstanton Branch Surgery

Willingham Medical Practice

Energy Advice Programme

This project is active from 1st October to 30th March only.

We are providing one-to-one energy advice to help clients with reviewing energy tariffs, dealing with fuel bills, fuel debts and energy efficiency improvements.

The Energy Advice Programme has been created through a nationwide partnership between Citizens Advice and major energy companies.

For more information, visit the Citizens Advice website.