Blue Smile tops Hopkins Homes’ Cambridgeshire Charity Vote and wins £7,000 prize

Blue Smile has been named the winner of the Hopkins Homes Cambridgeshire charity vote and has received the top donation of £7,000.

The campaign received almost 1500 votes from Cambridgeshire residents who chose their favourite charity from a shortlist of six. A £10,000 donation from Hopkins Homes will be shared between the three charities who received the most votes. The vote is part of the £500,000 Hopkins Charitable Fund launched in 2017.


The fund will see the developer donate half a million pounds to charities and causes throughout Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Norfolk over five years.

Deanne Swain, Fundraising, Communications and Events Manager at Blue Smile, said: “We are delighted to have won the public vote, the other shortlisted charities do great work locally too, so we were very moved by the number of votes we received.

“The support we provide in schools helps children overcome emotional difficulties and stresses, allowing them to fulfil their full potential at school and teaching them resilience for issues they may face later in life. The £7,000 will help Blue Smile subsidise our service to cash-strapped schools to ensure provision remains affordable and accessible to those who most need it.”

Blue Smile sends teams of therapists and mentoring counsellors into its partner schools one day each week to support between 15 and 18 pupils as well as parents, carers and teachers. This support helps children with emotional difficulties or stresses that are restricting them from fulfilling their full potential at school and teaches them resilience for issues they may face in later life.



Deanne continued: “We are very grateful to Hopkins Homes for including us in the vote and we very much appreciated the opportunity to further raise awareness of our work across Cambridgeshire.”

Wintercomfort and Red Balloon Learner Centre Cambridge, came second and third in the vote and will receive donations of £2,000 and £1,000 respectively. Additionally, Hopkins Homes will donate £250 to each of the three remaining charities in support of the excellent work they carry out across the region – Centre33, Home-Start Royston and South Cambridgeshire and Red2Green.

Joshua Hopkins, of the Hopkins Charitable Fund said: “It’s an honour to present the cheque to the top three charities. There was a fantastic level of local engagement with the vote. All six of the shortlisted charities offer such vital support and assistance to people across Cambridgeshire and we are proud that our donations will help them to continue their superb work.”

“Hopkins Homes is committed to building strong communities as well as providing much needed new homes across the region, we hope that the charities continue to thrive and we look forward to hearing more about the work they do.”

The shortlist for the vote was compiled with support from the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation. Michael O’Toole, CEO of the Cambridge Community Foundation said: “As our partnership with Hopkins Homes continues to evolve it has been wonderful to have a part to play in this year’s Cambridgeshire charity vote. It’s fantastic to see some incredibly important local organisations receive the funding they so desperately need, but also the promotional activity and social media surrounding this project that has helped to raise awareness about the important work of the voluntary sector in Cambridgeshire.”

Cambridgeshire charity vote shortlist

Blue Smile provides early mental-wellbeing intervention in schools for children aged 3-13 in Cambridgeshire, to help more resilient and happier children learn better and therefore helps to prevent adult mental health difficulties and associated behaviours.


How would Blue Smile spend the winning grant?

£7,000 would help Blue Smile to subsidise its service to cash-strapped schools to ensure provision remains affordable and accessible to those who most need it. Blue Smile sends teams of Therapists and Mentoring Counsellors into their Partner Schools one day each week to support between 15 and 18 pupils, as well as parents, carers and teachers. This support helps children with their emotional difficulties or stresses that are restricting them from fulfilling their full potential at school and teaches them resilience for issues they may face in later life.

Visit the Blue Smile website:

Centre 33 provides free and confidential support and information to young people, aged 8 – 25, across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

How would Centre 33 spend the winning grant?

£7,000 would allow Centre 33 to expand their successful Housing Advice service for young people beyond their Cambridge hub, to four other hubs across Cambridgeshire. This service provides support for young people affected by unsafe housing and youth homelessness, including particularly vulnerable groups such as those who have been in the care system, those living in poverty and those with mental health needs. In 2018, 145 young people were temporarily housed and helped to obtain secure housing for the future.

Visit the Centre 33 website:

Home-Start Royston and South Cambridgeshire (HSRSC) helps families with children cope with post-natal depression, bereavement, disability, domestic abuse and much more.

How would HSRSC spend the winning grant?

£7000 would allow HSRSC to provide weekly home visiting support to an additional six local families, for a period of up to nine months throughout Royston and South Cambridgeshire. This support includes volunteers building trusted relationships that enable them to provide emotional and practical support tailored to the family’s needs. Volunteers work with families in their own homes, helping them cope with the stresses of life and supporting them to develop the skills, time and strength they need to nurture their children. 

Visit the Home-Start Royston and South Cambridgeshire website:

Red Balloon Learner Centre Cambridge provides a safe, welcoming environment for bullied and traumatised children and young people to recover and re-engage with education. 

How would Red Balloon spend the winning grant?

£7,000 would allow Red Balloon to refurbish the kitchen at its centre in Cambridge. Each student attending the centre is given a bespoke timetable, offering them the chance to cook, learn new skills, play musical instruments and more. Red Balloon offers a safe and comfortable environment for the children to regain self-confidence and skills that will enable them to return to mainstream education or move into employment or training.

Visit the Red Balloon website: 

Red2Green supports adults with mental health issues, learning disabilities and autism throughout East Cambridgeshire and help them achieve their goals in training, education, work, friendship and fun.

How would Red2Green spend the winning grant?

£7000 would help Red2Green fund a range of activities and allow the charity to continue to provide support to many vulnerable adults. This involves organising fun days out, supporting academic and work related difficulties, providing an environment for friendships to flourish and ensuring everyone they help is supported with all the difficulties they may face. This makes a huge difference to these adult's lives, allowing them to experience things that otherwise wouldn't be possible. 

Visit the Red2Green website:

Wintercomfort runs the only day care centre in Cambridge for the homeless and vulnerably housed. The centre is open seven days a week and offers many services to individuals 

including one-to-one support. 

How would Wintercomfort spend the winning grant?

£7000 would allow Wintercomfort to support its vital welfare service which includes providing cooked breakfasts, hot showers, a clothing bank and laundry service and much more to the rough sleeping and vulnerably housed individuals of Cambridge. The service currently supports an average of 135 people a week. The charity offers vital welfare services, learning and development, volunteering and employment opportunities. They also have enterprises which help individuals 

gain important vocational skills. 

Visit the Winter Comfort wesbite: 

Hopkins Homes, Melton Park House, Melton, Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP12 1TJ
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