The Outlook Fund: Helping disadvantaged children in Cambridgeshire

The Outlook Fund is a new charitable venture working to improve the lives of Cambridgeshire children that face difficulty and disadvantage, with a focus on the more than 400 Looked After Children.

Outlook Fund money will be used to pay for those extra activities and projects that can help disadvantaged children widen their experience, gain self confidence, and succeed at school.

All the money raised will be applied to a permanent interest-earning endowment fund, which will be administered by the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation, Registered Charity No.1103314.


At any one time about 60,000 children in England are in the care of their Local Authority, having been removed from their families for their own protection. They are known as children in care or looked after children. They enter care for many reasons, including neglect, parental alcohol or drug abuse, physical and emotional abuse, mental health problems, and disability.

About two thirds of looked after children live with foster carers. The next largest group are in children's homes, hostels, lodgings, or residential schools. A few are still at home but under supervision. Most foster parents are not paid a salary; they receive allowances for the child and in some cases extra funding for children with special needs.

Risking failure

Children come into care in tragic circumstances. Sadly, statistics show that they face great difficulties in their lives thereafter. Fewer than 10% of children in care achieve five A-C GCSE grades, compared to half of all young people. One reason for this is that a third of looked after children have a Statement of Special Educational Need compared with 3% of the general population. In Cambridgeshire 65% are in education or employment at 19, compared to 86% of all 19 year olds. Most tragically, whereas children in care represent less than 5% of all children, almost 40% of prisoners under 21 were in care as children.

Children in care and those who have been in care have to face the challenges of a difficult family upbringing, leaving their family, and a sometimes unstable existence once in care. This may involve a number of changes of foster parent and of school.

Achieving success

It is a huge credit to the looked after children that many of them triumph over these formidable difficulties to build happy and successful lives. The Outlook Fund is focused on helping more of them to do that.

How the Outlook Fund can help

The Outlook Fund works to improve the lives of Cambridgeshire children that face difficulty and disadvantage, with a focus on the more than 400 looked after children. 

Outlook Fund money will be used to pay for those extra activities and projects that can help these children widen their experience, gain self confidence, and succeed at school.

It is not the objective of the Outlook Fund to duplicate the funding responsibilities of the County Council in meeting the physical and emotional needs of looked after children or other disadvantaged children. The Fund will provide additional positive opportunities and experiences for looked after children, and other disadvantaged children such as young carers, over and above the core responsibilities of the County Council.

Examples of ways in which Outlook Fund money could be spent include:

- Activities of the Just Us Groups. These Groups, run by looked after children with help from County Council staff and volunteers, hold monthly meetings in Cambridge, Huntingdon, March, St.Neots, and Wisbech. They also organise events, expeditions, and other projects.

- Improvements to the website of the Just Us Groups (www.avoice4us.com) to reach more looked after children.

- Organising participation in the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme and the Gateway Award, in which looked after children and other disadvantaged children are under-represented.

- Organising fun days, day trips and cultural experiences for looked after children and for other disadvantaged children.

- and many more things, small in themselves, which taken together could improve the lives and life chances of disadvantaged children in Cambridgeshire.

A long term approach

The Outlook Fund has adopted a long term approach to fund raising. All money raised will be applied to a permanent interest-earning endowment fund, administered by the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation.

The CCF is a registered charity which works with companies, individuals, national and local government, to make grants to local voluntary and community groups.

The Outlook Fund endowment will be administered under standard CCF arrangements. These provide for 5% of the endowment to be applied to projects each year, with an additional 1% being deducted annually from the fund to cover CCF administrative costs. The investment return on the Fund in the long term will aim to ensure that the capital value is at least protected, if not grown.

Fund raising targets

The long term aspiration of the Outlook Fund is to raise an endowment of 600,000, which would produce 30,000 a year for activities and projects.

To date just over 519,000 has been raised, through the generosity of individuals, companies, and trusts. For the current list of donors, please click on the Donors button to the left.

Please act now

The Outlook Fund provides a great opportunity for local people and organisations to make a real difference to the lives of some of the most disadvantaged children in our community.

For information on how to donate, please click on the green How to Donate button on the left.

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The Outlook Fund works to improve the lives of Cambridgeshire children facing difficulty and disadvantage, with a focus on the more than 400 looked after children.
The Outlook Fund is administered by the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation.



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