Background & History
Cambridge is projected to have one of the fastest growing populations in the country from 1999-2011, with more than 10% growth and is currently being projected as up to 40% over the next 20 years.
The older population aged 65 and over is expected to increase by 60% with the largest population increases in South Cambs and Huntingdonshire.
The county is predominantly rural with 74% of the population living in market towns and villages. The cities of Cambridge in the south and Peterborough, a Unitary Authority in the northwest, exert a strong cultural and economic influence over the surrounding rural areas, providing a range of services.
In 2001 4% of the county's population was recorded as being from a black/mixed minority ethnic community (and 5% from white non-British). Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Black Caribbean groups are disproportionately located in the most deprived areas of the county. Travellers form the single largest ethnic minority group - often experiencing poorer outcomes in terms of health, education and housing than the population as a whole. The county is also experiencing rapidly growing increases in migrant workers. Their needs vary but research shows rural migrants are often poorer and more vulnerable to exploitative living conditions which all have negative effects on mental health. Travellers make up nearly 1% of the Cambridgeshire population and have significantly worse health than average.
Cohesion1 and Social Capital2
Levels of cohesion in the county at 79.1% are consistent to national average of 79% but this masks disparity between districts. Cambridge City has the highest levels of cohesion in the country at 90.5% (with South Cambridgeshire not far behind ranking 6th nationally at 88.9%). However, Fenland District is 7th lowest nationally at 57.1%
Although a relatively prosperous county there are significant pockets of deprivation. According to the Index of Multiple Deprivation 2007 three key areas are in the north of the District of Fenland while other areas of concern are Huntingdon North, other parts of rural Fenland and North Cambridge.
Building on the pioneering work of the Millennium Arts Project (MAP) initiated in 2000 by the Friends of Fulbourn Hospital and the Community, Arts and Minds began work early in 2007 to extend MAP throughout Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Aiming to include people of all ages with all forms of mental illness and learning disabilities and to offer arts participation as a preventative as well as a rehabilitative experience. Since then, the charity has drawn valuable support from a number of influential patrons, established a Board of Directors with an impressive and diverse range of experience, built a vigorous network of partner organisations, appointed an Executive Director and has employed staff on a freelance basis to deliver 40 events involving 700 participants.