Cambridge Aid has been helping people in and around Cambridge since 1880.
One hundred and forty years later, the charity still provides food, clothing, and schooling to some of the worst-off individuals and families in our community. Sadly, Cambridge regularly tops the list of the UK’s most unequal cities – its outward signs of wealth and comfort mask the fact that many live on the breadline, often in unimaginable poverty.
We have just published our first ever newsletter and hope to send them out regularly throughout the year. We want to be transparent and to raise awareness of our work. We believe that Cambridge Aid is an extraordinary charity, and we want donors and supporters to see where their money is being spent, along with case studies, examples of the people we help, trends we are spotting in applications, changes we are making and more background information about the people behind the charity.
Cambridge Aid is part of a highly effective safety net for people experiencing financial crisis. We collaborate with other organisations, responding rapidly with financial grants that can offer immediate help for those who are struggling. Our grants make a real, practical difference, pulling people back from the edge and giving them, we hope, a little breathing space to get back on their feet.
We believe that it’s wrong and unacceptable for such poverty to exist in Cambridge in the 21st century. The harsh truth is that any of us could find ourselves in financial crisis (I have personally seen applications from neighbours and friends from primary school). We never know who we are going to help, and Cambridge Aid doesn’t judge – we’re here for everyone.
I’ve been a trustee since 2016 and recently I took on the role of Chair. It’s an incredible privilege to work with a small team of volunteer trustees and helpers who all put in amazing work. Recently we’ve refreshed the charity’s website and social media presence and have updated the grant-making process to make it more accessible online. This allowed our work to continue throughout the pandemic and had the benefit of reducing the time taken to process applications and deliver grants. All trustees and volunteers give up their own time for Cambridge Aid. And because no one receives any financial reward for their efforts, our running costs are less than 1%. So, for every £1 donated to us, over 99p goes directly to helping someone or a family in need.
Finally, I want to say a big thank-you to all donors who have generously entrusted us with their money. Without you and your support, we simply wouldn’t exist and we wouldn’t be able to help people who are struggling to live day to day in and around Cambridge.
Kind regards and very best wishes for 2022!
Chair – Cambridge Aid