We support local people in crisis
Cambridge Aid is a registered charity (No. 204327). We help local people in crisis by giving them average grants of £150 to get the essentials they need the most.
We issue grants, usually within three days of receiving an application. We work with a network of over 40 charities and local council teams who act as sponsors, including:
- Cambridge & District Citizens Advice
- Cambridge and Cambridgeshire Social Services
- Jimmy’s Cambridge
- Women’s Resources Centre
- Mental Health Foundation Trusts
- The Red Hen Project.
Our rapid practical grants form part of the support provided by our partner organisations in helping the most vulnerable reduce the hardship they face. We were one of Cambridge City Mayor Cllr Mark Ashton’s Charities in 2022-23.
You can view our Annual Reports and Accounts here.
Cambridge Aid in Numbers
Approx. Relief Provided in 2022
of all Donations go to Those in Need
Average grant we give
of all donations go to those in Cambridge who desperately need help
of grant recipients experience some form of mental health difficulty
of grant recipients have experienced some form of domestic abuse
of grants go towards providing children with clothes & shoes
Cambridge is the UK’s Most Unequal City. Help us Make a Difference.
Cambridge was named the most unequal city in the UK in 2018 by the Centre for Cities Think Tank. The difference in life expectancy between Cambridge’s richest and poorest areas is about ten years. The cost-of-living crisis means the most vulnerable and deprived struggle to meet the cost of their basic essentials.
We are a small charity with a group of unpaid trustees and volunteers who believe strongly in compassion, acting in a non-judgmental way and providing rapid support to those in need. Our trustees carefully scrutinise every request sent to Cambridge Aid. Most requests receive positive responses, and we also make many suggestions for additional sources of help.
In 2022, total grants made were £144,332 – 3% ahead of the record set in 2021 and 36% ahead of the pre-Covid record of 2019. Through our aid, we empower individuals, help them to retain their dignity, and remind them that their community cares about them. Around half of our aid benefits children, and many recipients are single parents. Over 50% of grants are to individuals or families affected by mental health issues and just under 25% by domestic violence.
We fund the purchase of cookers, freezers and washing machines – the most commonly requested items. The next biggest items are food, everyday household essentials, and clothing for children and adults. We give plenty of help to people moving home – for example, the street homeless moving into pods or other unfurnished flats, women fleeing domestic abuse, and young adults who may not have anyone else to turn to.
We anticipate receiving more requests for help from those deep in debt and more requests for support with gas and electricity bills, food costs and rising inflation. People are struggling with the cost of living and we need your support to help us to continue giving these grants.
Together, we offer hope and dignity to the people in our community.
“I want to say a huge big thank you to Cambridge Aid for all the funds you have given the families and individuals through the year.
It has made such a difference to many families – not just for the essentials, and I can’t tell you how often people have been in tears as the gesture is so poignant for them. The money will definitely make such a difference to the families this year.“
– Financial Inclusion Officer
Cambridge City Council
“Our recipient is very grateful for the help received, she can now start a new life in a new home. She is so happy to have doors again and a safe, clean home. Thank you.“
The Red Hen Project
Great St. Mary’s Church, Cambridge
In providing funding for Debt Relief Orders, they enable us to give our clients a new start; to be able to live again, free from the fear (and often shame) of unmanageable debt.“
Cambridge Money Advice Centre
Produced by Joe Cook & Abdullah Shah for Varsity. Archival footage: the British Council & Richard Wexler Statistics: Cambridge City Council & The Guardian