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Housing and money advice surgery

A housing and money advice surgery for people living in and around the Sawston area has a new home.

South Cambridgeshire District Council’s fortnightly drop-in advice sessions will now be based at John Huntingdon’s Charity headquarters on Sawston High Street – with local people being reminded that there is no need to book an appointment, just turn up on the day.

Running from 10am to 1pm every other Thursday, a team of council housing and benefits officers are on hand to give free and confidential advice on financial worries, problems with neighbours, benefit applications, rent and council tax payments plus a range of housing issues.

Cllr Simon Edwards, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s cabinet member for finance, said: “We’re here to give help and advice to any resident who needs it, whatever your circumstances. With financial or housing problems in particular, the earlier you come to us, the more options we and other agencies have to help you. The venue has private areas for discussions and the information we are given is absolutely confidential. “Whether you’ve lost your job, are struggling to meet rent or mortgage payments, or just finding it tough to make ends meet, our specialists can talk you through the options and support available to you.”

Jill Hayden, manager at John Huntingdon’s Charity, said: “We’re very pleased to be hosting the Council’s advice surgery. We already work closely with them locally on housing issues, plus offer other services that can help people, such as our foodbank and Citizen’s Advice sessions on Friday mornings. If you need help or support in the area, we’re here for you.”

Surgeries run from 10am to 1pm. For future dates, look out for posters, follow the Council’s ‘South Cambridgeshire’ Facebook page or visit

John Huntingdon’s Charity can be found at 189 High Street, Sawston, Cambridge, CB22 3HJ. Buses stop just outside and parking is also available.

New JHC chair

We’re delighted that JHC Trustee David Baslington has agreed to serve as our next Chair. A Sawston resident for over 20 years, David has a fantastic track record of supporting our local community and the JHC team. He’s just the right person to help steer the charity’s direction and ambitions into the future.


JHC welcomes its new chair – David Baslington

“I am delighted to be selected by my fellow Trustees to serve as the next charity Chair. John Huntingdon’s Charity does a great job in serving the needs of the local community and I look forward to the challenge of helping to steer its direction and focus into the future.

My wife Diane and I have lived in Sawston for just over 20 years and our two boys, now grown up and living away, attended local schools. I currently work as the Administrator of a Christian charity based in Coton following a 30 year career in the NHS, 12 years of which were based in the Oncology Centre at Addenbrooke’s.

John Huntingdon’s Charity came to my attention early on in our time here and I was impressed by its commitment to help those in need, either with housing, benefits advice or grants towards personal or organisation needs. So I was delighted to be asked to serve, first as a Trustee, and even more so now as its Chair.

These days Sawston’s community faces many challenges with both wealth and great poverty existing side by side. National changes in the support and benefit structure have created a lot of anxiety and confusion locally and the need for social housing is probably greater than ever. JHC always seizes the opportunity to help whenever it can and the positive comments we receive from clients suggest we are hitting the spot.

However, we always wish we could do more.

The resources available to the charity today are based on the good management and foresight of previous Trustees and the hard work of the JHC team. So, without compromising assistance for present needs, our current Trustees have a responsibility to continue this tradition by ensuring our sustainability.

The move to our new offices is part of this strategy, giving our team more space to assist clients with advice, stay ahead of contemporary issues and ensure we can provide more housing locally. For example, our move will make four new properties available to those for whom buying or, indeed, renting on the commercial market is beyond their means. Looking ahead, we hope to provide even more housing within the local plan proposals for Sawston.

To learn more about JHC please visit and our Facebook page, and sign up for our newsletter which comes out 3-4 times a year. If, either as an individual or organisation, you wish to speak with one of the staff or Trustees then please contact our office on 01223 492492, particularly if you are in need. The first step to turning around a seemingly impossible situation could simply be asking for our help.”

David Baslington, Summer 2016

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