Cambridge SCA Student Community Action

Annual Report
1st April 2022 – 31st March 2023 &

Review of Accounts 1st Jan 2022 – 31st Dec 2022


1. SCA Purpose
2. Our Values
3. Our Organisational Objectives
4. Management Structure
5. Steering Group Annual report
6. Trustee Report
7. Manager Report
8. Volunteering and Project officer report 9. Junior Treasurer report

SCA’s Purpose and Values


1. OurPurpose


Cambridge SCA exists to encourage the involvement of students in voluntary community work, providing essential services to disadvantaged groups within the community and giving students a valuable learning experience.

2. OurValues

∙ The equal rights of all individuals
∙ Belief in the value of practical activities that help to counter disadvantage within the community

∙ Cultural diversity and the two-way exchange of ideas between individuals from different cultures and socio-economic backgrounds.

3. OurOrganisationalObjectives
∙ Provide equal opportunities for all students to become involved in the organisation’s activities

∙ Provide a variety of volunteering opportunities to students by running a variety of projects
∙ Provide opportunities for students to become involved in the management of SCA and its projects

∙ Allow client group opportunities to guide the organisation towards providing the services that they require

∙ Work in partnership with other organisations 4. Management Structure

The Student Community Action Executive Committee consists of Steering Group members, elected annuallyfromstudentsattheUniversityofCambridgeandAngliaRuskinUniversity,and Senior Members who are appointed for 3 years. Election to the Steering Group takes place at our Annual General Meeting in March each year.

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Executive Committee

Composed of senior members co-opted for 3 years and student trustees elected annually.

Paul Taylor

Senior Treasurer, Exec member from 2002 – 2023

Dwight Patten

Trustee from March 2018 – 2023 (Renewed until 2024)

Patricia Burkitt

Trustee from March 2018 – 2023 (Renewed until 2024)

Frances Ballaster

Trustee from 2022

Alex De Lusignan

Trustee From January 2021

Sai Liang

Trustee from 2022

Steering Group 2022/23

Lauren Tucker


Mariia Ramazanova


Jing-Yuan Lee

Junior Treasurer


Publicity and Social Media

Karsa Ambikaibakan

Projects Officer

Lewis Francis

Recruitment Officer


Events Officer

Office Staff

Nicky Massey

Manager (since December 2022), 37 hours a week

Deimante Aleks

(Since November 2022) Volunteers and Projects Officer (From November), 30 Hours a week term time

5. Steering Group Annual Report

I have spent the last year being the President of SCA and it has been an absolutely wonderful year because of that. SCA could not have achieved the amazing things that it has without the Steering Group, so I would like to say a massive thank you to them. You have worked so hard, and have ensured the smooth running of so many fantastic events, I am very grateful to each and every one of you.

This year we said a very sad goodbye to our manager Caroline, and our projects and volunteering officer Rensa. Without your dedication and warm energies, SCA would not be in the strong position it is now. I would like to thank you both for your commitment, and for your ability to put a smile on the faces of the Steering Group, volunteers, and our clients. SCA will miss you both but you have left an amazing legacy! I would also like to thank Jo, a former trustee, who we also said goodbye to this year. Jo, you have devoted over two decades to SCA, and we will be eternally grateful for all of your support and guidance.

These sad goodbyes did lead us to meeting our new projects and volunteer officer Deima, who helped the Steering Group to organise a wonderful Christmas party and a huge Christmas present drive for our clients. We brought all of the children from Bounce to our new office for Christmas festivities, including crepe making, biscuit decorating, and a visit from Santa! The crepes were loved by our clients, which we have to thank our trustee Dwight for, who also came out to our Summer party where we punted, played sports and, of course, enjoyed crepes in the lovely Cambridge sun!

The Steering Group has had huge successes this year, especially at the Freshers Fair where we got an overwhelming number of new sign ups. Our publicity officer, Margaret, helped to design tote bags which we used as an

incentive to sign up at the Freshers Fair, but have since become extremely popular with our clients! Our volunteer numbers have only increased, with a huge push from our manager Nicky, and we continue to ensure our community is tight knit with volunteer socials held frequently.

Our social media presence has also increased greatly in this last year, with our social media pages and website getting a very stylish revamp. I also featured in a video created by Cambridge University about connections in Cambridge, which has been widely shared and viewed. This video allowed us to share insight into what it means to be a volunteer at SCA and how important it is to us to have time away from studying in our busy student lives.

I can’t wait to see what SCA and the new Steering Group do next. I have the utmost confidence in the people who are continuing on the Steering Group, and I know SCA is being left in the best hands. In the next year, SCA will continue to do what we do best – being a crucial hub for volunteering in Cambridge, with a fantastic network of volunteers who have built a strong, reliable community. SCA will hold more fundraising events, and there are even talks of SCA merch!

I would like to end my report with a very special thank you to my little sib and their family. You have all brought joy and light to my days in Cambridge, and you are the driving force behind my passion for SCA. Thank you.

Lauren Tucker President 2022/202

6. Trustees’ Report



This year has been a time of great change for Cambridge Student Community Action and we are immensely proud of how the charity and its members have risen to new challenges and grasped new opportunities.

Returning to some sort of ‘normality’ post-covid has made the need in our local community ever more apparent. As Trustees, we have been heartened to see the return of some of SCAs much-loved projects such as Betty’s Musical Group and are excited to see how the charity is evolving by trialling out new projects. It is encouraging to see that despite being founded in 1972 we are a charity that is so open to innovation. As always, we are incredibly grateful for the time, dedication and commitment of our employees, volunteers and Student Steering Group who continue to keep the needs of our clients at the forefront.

Since our last report we have recruited Nicky as our new Manager of SCA. We are relishing drawing upon the wealth of experience she has in community outreach in Cambridge and the new avenues this is opening to the charity. We have also warmly welcomed on board Deima as our new Volunteers and Projects Officer who has been working closely with our Project Leaders and Student Steering Group.

As Trustees we would like to extend our immense thanks to Caroline, our previous Manager, for her efforts in spearheading the charity over so many years. We truly would not be so resilient as an organisation were it not for her sterling work embedding SCA within the heart of the Cambridge community. Moreover, we wish Rensa, our previous Volunteers and Projects Officer, all the best for her new ventures and express our thanks for her work; particularly in supporting SCA with the transition to using a new database. This year has also seen some changes within the board of Trustees. We said a fond farewell to both Anthony and to Jo, both of whom have supported SCA tirelessly since joining the organisation as student volunteers. Lauren, Jing-Yuan and Maria have successfully served as full trustees of the charity alongside their roles on the steering group; the board wishes to thank them specifically for the dedication to the charity they have shown in their roles. I joined the board in May 2022 and we plan to recruit new Trustee members in coming months. The Trustees were greatly saddened to hear of the passing of Kirsty Wayland, our previous Chair of Trustees. Our thoughts are with Kirsty’s family at this difficult time and we are eternally grateful for the legacy Kirsty has left at SCA.

Finally, we would like to express our thanks to our funders and partners without whom we would not be able to do the work we are all so passionate about. I am filled with confidence that our dynamism will see SCA enter a fresh period of growth in the coming year. We are open and ready to learn how we can continue to better serve the Cambridge community.

Frances Ballaster Harriss- Trustee 2022

7. Manager’s Report
I took over from the amazing Caroline Ward as SCA manager from January 2023, though

I worked alongside Caroline for handover during December 2022.

Having worked within the community in Cambridge for many years in so many different ways, I have been very excited about working with SCA as its values and passion for positive change match my own. I have worked with Cambridge as a campaigner, community events member, charity fundraiser, councillor. I have worked with many charities in the past in different ways and I am myself a Trustee of Abbey People charity and Domestic abuse charity Landlark. My most recent role has been in management within the NHS.

2022 SCA was very much a charity that was “getting back to normal’ following the two previous pandemic years.

The Freshers week was well attended in October 2022 and we enrolled new student volunteers!

Big Sibs and Taskforce have restarted and the referrals for each are increasing although we are still under the pre-pandemic referral amounts. SCA are re-establishing connections with referring agents and creating new connections to increase referrals and also help many more families and children in the hope of reaching record breaking referral numbers.

We have also restarted projects such as Craft room, and Bettys musical events.
Our volunteers have also restarted Sandwiches for the Homeless which has proven very popular with our volunteers.

Our DBS service is continuing to grow and grow post pandemic and that is proving very useful for funding. Sadly we did not get any Children in Need funding this funding year which has left a funding gap. New sources of funding will mean SCA will be able to do much more vital work in Cambridge city and that is a 2023 financial year priority.

2023 is about a new start for SCA with a new manager, me! We are creating links with Cambridgeshire county council and city council to establish where the greatest need is for our student volunteers. We are also connecting to all the colleges in order to recruit new students of all ages.

We are also reconnecting post pandemic to partners across the city in order to be able to help them with their volunteering opportunities.

During 2023 we will also be looking at other ways to encourage non-student volunteers – in order to see if we can run our projects for longer periods of time in the future.

We have lots of ideas of other projects which we know our student volunteers will be very keen to be involved in, which we are all very excited about, creating new working partnerships with others across the city.

I could not have started this year with-out the support of the wonderful Steering Group and Trustees who have supported both Deima and myself as new members of staff navigating a well-established charity.

SCA is entering a very exciting time with new staff and I look forward to seeing the future of SCA grow.

8. Projects Report

I joined SCA in November 2022, working part time as the Volunteers and Projects Officer. There has been a lot of success in starting up the projects that stopped over Covid and extending our in-person volunteering. It is also fantastic that we do have a virtual volunteering project, Minecraft, as it gives the volunteers some options to have even if they cannot attend face-to-face. We have also been working on the new data management system, Salesforce, to input as much detail as possible about our clients and volunteers and to make it run as smoothly as possible.

Despite all the impacts of Covid in our Charity, and getting back into running all the projects and more this year, we have been involved in so much recruitment of volunteers. Especially at the Freshers, Re-Freshers and any online volunteering opportunities, like with CCVS, we have made sure to be there to advertise our charity and get new volunteers into our amazing opportunities that we do have going on.

Big Sibs

Volunteers are doing an excellent job with their Little Sibs, they are having so much fun and the volunteers are fantastic at taking their Little Sibs to Cinema, Zoo, football games and taking them out to the park. This work is really important as it helps a Little Sib get away from daily stress of their life and they can enjoy being a child. This project is one of our main 1-to-1 projects and has the most impact. The Big Sibs go and visit their Little Sib for about an hour every week and we have brilliant feedback from both volunteers and families. A limiting factor that we still have is that a number of Little Sibs

require a male volunteer, but male volunteers are looking for a less commitment volunteering project and shy away from being a Big Sib.

We also have referrals from the suburbs of Cambridge, which students find it difficult to travel too as they mostly walk or bike. The ultimate goal for a walking distance is about 20 minutes and same for biking too.


Taskforce is a fantastic project that is helping vulnerable adults and elderly as their life gets a bit more difficult to manage by themselves. Our volunteers go and help them out in their garden, with their shopping or even just taking them out of their home just for a chat and a coffee. This work is really beneficial and has a great impact on people when they have a volunteer they are looking forward to coming once a week to spend time with.

Christmas Party 2022 and Presents!

As is tradition, SCA had its present drive in December aiming to get a present to all our clients, and the siblings of our child clients. We were able to hand out around 70 presents kindly donated by our wonderful volunteers at our first Christmas party since the Pandemic began! There were loads of toys, books and arts supplies donated for our Big Sib Clients. There was some lovely hand cream and scarfs given to our elderly Taskforce clients.

It was so wonderful to have all of the clients back into the same room and we even had a special visit from Ms Clause herself! Lots of our volunteers attended to play games with the children and it was a real highlight of the year. Thank you to all our wonderful volunteers who made it possible!


WAY youth club

We have had another year of providing volunteers for Waterbeach and Landbeach Action for Youth, which is just a short journey outside of Cambridge. The youth club runs twice a week during the evening, and gives young people in the area the chance to take part in many different activities. In particular, our SCA volunteers supported the Summer HAF programme that supported many young people, including a large portion that were on Free School Meals and five who had been displaced due to the war in Ukraine. Our volunteers lead a “Ukrainian Day” with a very popular Ukrainian Quiz (shown in the photos above) and Ukrainian food to help combat homesickness in the young people who were affected by the war and to expand the cultural literacy and awareness of the rest of the group.

Our Recruitment Officer, Lewis, who attends the project every Wednesday says: “WAY is a wonderful project and a highlight of my week. It’s an opportunity to escape from the stresses of student life. It’s almost been a year since I started at the project and I’m really happy with the relationships that I have

managed to build with staff and Young People. I particularly enjoy playing Board Games and teaching them how to cook! Thank you SCA for pointing me towards this brilliant project.”

Image: Volunteers and children playing a quiz game called ‘Kahoot’


As always, Bounce – our Saturday club for under 11s – has been a major success! We have around 20 children who regularly attend and 20 students who offer varied degrees of support. This year we have done some really fun activities, such as a Bouncy Castle, a visit from the Princesses from Make A Smile, pancake making, cookie decorating, board games, arts and crafts, and lots of running around! We have continued to use St Andrew’s Community Centre in a venue that works well because it is easily accessible for both our clients and our beneficiaries.

This will sadly be my last year running Bounce. These last 5 years have been some of the best experiences of my life and SCA has really helped me grow from a student into a young professional. I’m excited to continue following SCA’s work and successes in the years to come.

However, I am handing over to an incredibly organized and capable group of volunteers who have successfully run the club with minimal supervision during Lent Term. The relationships that these volunteers have formed with our young people change their lives for the better and I hope that this continues for a long time to come!

Project Leader – Olivia Taylor – 2022/23

Craft Room

Craft Room is back! With hard work and dedicated time, we have managed to get Craft Room back up and running again. It gives disadvantaged children the chance to have some creative fun whilst enjoying the attention of SCA volunteers. Craft Room was one of our many projects that was badly disrupted during the Pandemic and we are delighted to see its return this year.

‘It is going really well so far. The kids all keep turning up which is the main thing, and everyone seems to be enjoying themselves and we all leave with a smile on our faces so we couldn’t ask for much more. We’ve had lots of nice comments from the kids. We’ve played lots of different games, built spaghetti and marshmallow towers, and done the makeup of most volunteers. I finished my last session looking like a real bird of paradise ’ -A wonderful volunteer said about Craft Room.

‘We generally start with a warm up game to get the kids active (granny on the bus, heads down thumbs up), which they always seem to enjoy. We’ve also used the parachute, there was a build a tower challenge with spaghetti and marshmallows. We also do makeup in the sessions as most of the kids are really interested in this.’ -Another wonderful volunteer said.


Minecraft Online

Founded to encourage more male volunteers to join in with SCA, the Minecraft server runs for an hour on Thursday evenings for young people and volunteers to play together. This project has experienced some challenging technical issues, nevertheless a small group of volunteers and beneficiaries play on the server in this low-commitment, relaxed voluntary opportunity.

‘It’s a new digital opportunity for those who might be more comfortable in an friendly online environment’ -Lewis Francis, Minecraft Project Leader 2022/2023

St. Matthews Homework help club

The Homework club at St. Matthew’s primary school is SCA’s new project starting from October 2022. With the kind support of our 23 volunteers,we have provided 15+ hour sessions to 20+ children. The homework handled during the sessions cover a lot of areas and topics: Mathematics, English, History, School Project etc. Volunteering at this mixed community school, our volunteers have supported children with various ages, ethnicities and language backgrounds, helping make Cambridge a more inclusive community for all.

-Yiwen, Project leader for St. Matthew’s Homework Club 2022/2023

Sandwiches for the Homeless

The Sandwiches for the Homeless project this term has been a rewarding experience for all involved. Weekly donations to the Food for Cambridgeshire’s Homeless Charity have gone smoothly, with a variety of sandwiches each week. Including the more standard ham, cheese or peanut butter sandwiches to the more exciting stilton and apple or smoked salmon and cream cheese. Every week

around ten or less volunteers make such sandwiches on a Wednesday afternoon in the Sidney Sussex Kitchens, using around five to six loaves every time. Organisation of the session including its location, the activity itself along with the clean up has gone smoothly each week and the enthusiasm of those involved is clear in these sessions! More tricky, however, is the organisation of obtaining the necessary ingredients every week. Although, with the help of the SCA and their ability to travel to obtain food from donation hubs this has become easier as the weeks have gone on. The hardest item to obtain is the bread loaves yet the volunteer spirit to give a little of their own funds as a donation to the cause to buy such loaves is both kind and helpful. We would like to express thanks to everyone who has helped the programme during Lent and look forward to coming back in the Easter term to have more sessions.

-Mary, Project Leader of Sandwiches for the Homeless.

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Betty’s Musical Group

Betty’s Musical group has been restarted, and now consists of a small but committed core of student musicians who meet weekly to rehearse mostly 50’s and 60’s music. They have recently performed for the first time at the Papworth Trust in Chesterton and plan to start regular performances in local care homes.

-Matthew, Project Leader of Betty’s Musical Group

Future projects

There are so many great opportunities and projects we would like to become more involved in and create many more exciting opportunities for our fantastic volunteers. We are currently in the process of making English Homework Help back up and running like before, and a Football project that would be brand new to help football girls attend weekly sessions.

CPR and AED training and volunteering

We have a good time learning the key skills to save a life! This training was run by the Air Ambulance of East Anglia and made a serious session really fun and made the volunteers laugh. We had 10 volunteers attend, but we can have more sessions for volunteers in the future again. In return for this training, we have been asked if volunteers can help her by going into schools and volunteering their time with her to educate children on how to save a life. Many of the volunteers are interested to help her at schools when she has some schools in Cambridge to teach!