Newsletter (Apr 2013)

Termly Update

Changes from April 2013

Following our article back in October 2012 about the necessity to increase the fee charged to villages, our programme of visits is set to change from April 2013.

Unfortunately 6 villages were unable to afford or chose not to hire our services from 1st April 2013. However, we have received bookings from enough villages to secure a nearly full termly programme of visits for one of our buses. This means that from 15 April 2013 (after the school holidays the weekly schedule will look like this:

Mondays 4pm - Eversdens

Mondays 7pm - Oakington

Tuesdays 4pm - Burwell

Tuesdays 7pm - Soham

Tuesdays 7pm - Orwell (building based)

Wednesdays 4pm - Haslingfield

Wednesdays 7pm - Comberton

Thursdays 4pm - Traveller site

Thursdays 7pm - Free

Fridays 4pm - Benwick

Fridays 7pm - Littleport

The villages we will no longer be providing the youth bus too are:

Elsworth - no other youth clubs

Willingham - two youth clubs now running at the Baptist Church on Weds and Thurs

Caldecote - we are working with a newly formed youth committee to help start a building based youth club in September

Fen Drayton - no other youth clubs

Papworth - new youth club about to start

Bar Hill - no other youth clubs

Although it is disappointing that the current financial climate means we are providing less facilities it is promising that we have enough interest to enable one bus to continue. The other bus is in need of a new engine and once quotes have been received the Management Committee will be making the decision whether to go ahead and put into to storage or to get rid of the bus.

A Night on the Buses shown at AGM

Back in October 2012 we held our AGM at which the following video was shown. It gives an idea of what a night on our youth buses might look like if you were to pop in.

Also at the AGM, two new trustees were appointed:

Susannah Harris - experience in Community Development both at district council and with own business and link with Connections Bus Project going back many years.

Andrew Smith - experience with cadets and careers advice in Suffolk

a night on the youth buses

Weekly Attendance

The initial peak in attendance with the new intake in September remained until the dark nights and cold weather slowed things down. We were then hit with ice and snow, and unreliability problems in January and February. At the end of February services were reduced to just one bus due to engine failure. However average attendance is at each session is being maintained at around the 20 mark.

Needs and Vision Survey

Prelimary Results

In March 2013, the charity carried out an online survey of Staff, Parish Councils, County Council, Police and other Voluntary Organisations to help ascertain the needs of young people in Cambridgeshire and how this might effect the vision and aims of the project. The initial results have been received which are to be discussed at the next Management Committee meeting (10 April) and we thought you might be interested in seeing these.

24 individuals completed the survey identifying the highest unmet needs as Social/Recreational Facilities, Advice of Risk-taking Behaviour and Advocacy and Mentoring. When asked which groups of young people were most needy, both the Rurally Isolated and New Communities featured.

When asked what role the charity might play in meeting needs the responses were along similar themes of open-access, drop-in services (the following is a pictoral representation of the words used, the large the font the more time that word appeared).

Here are a few quotes from all the responses received:

  • "the needs of young people in Rural Communities should be where CBP focuses efforts" - voluntary organisation
  • "I feel it should be open-access drop in style where issues are mainly dealt with as raised by the young person" - staff
  • "Now that the county has moved to targeted services the voluntary sector is in the best position to provide much of the Youth Offer in terms of open access provision" - county council
  • "Well placed to deliver open access universal activity at a time when this type of provision has been cut." - voluntary organisation
  • "Continue to provide open access youth provision in isolated rural communities where other organisations such as CCC have withdrawn from universal provision" - county council
  • "The use of a bus is a effective way of accessing young people in rural communities and market towns where there are not many opportunities for positive activity." - voluntary organisation

Initial Conclusions by Project Manager

  • The charity needs to continue doing more of the same
  • A method to monitor young people's progress would be beneficial
  • Rurally Isolated and New communities are key areas for work
  • Open-access provision is valuable and needed in Cambridgeshire
  • Advice and support are important and needed as part of our service


Ten local police officers are raising money for us by cycling Coast to Coast (170 miles) in one day.

Sgt. Paul Rogerson and his colleagues will be attempting the feat in June this year and would welcome your encouragement and support.

Any words of encouragement or donations can be made via our Coast-to-Coast page, where we will also be keeping you up to date with their progress.

The Connections Bus Project

Online Donation

via our website, credit card donations can be made with a facility for us to claim Gift Aid.


Sent to the address at below. Gift Aid can be claimed, please indicate if you wish us to do this and include full name and address.

Online Shopping

Next time you make a purchase online, go through our commission site SpendandRaise. It will cost you no more and we will receive commission for the project (anything from 3% to 10%).

eBay for Charity

Donate a percentage or all of the selling price when you sell via eBay to us. Follow the instructions on and look for our project.