New staff appointments

Over the last three months HICOM has been recruiting for two part roles including one new position namely Histon & Impington Dementia Support worker.

HICOM is pleased to advise that Margaret Reed Roberts has been appointed, Margaret is an Impington resident and a social worker by profession. Margaret looks forward to starting on 5th November and adds ‘ I am thrilled to be joining HICOM and to have the opportunity to support people living with memory loss and dementia, and their families, through outreach and new initiatives. I look forward to helping Histon and Impington to become a Dementia Friendly Community.’

The new role has been funded by donations from the Feast, Red Lion Beer Festival and Histon & Impington Town Charity.

Paul Seekings is to become the new Village Older Peoples worker and will replace Jean Newman who is retiring at the end of November. Paul explains “I have been working with HICOM as Transport Coordinator for the last two and a half years. I am very much looking forward to expanding my role to provide further support for the older people of the villages and helping them access useful services”.

Both Margaret and Paul will work with Jean in November and their full contact details will be provided in December.

The HICOM village wellbeing team will now consist of the existing Sefanit Inquai the Village Mental Mental Wellbeing worker together with Margaret and Paul.

Neil Davies – HICOM Trustee 17th October

Mental Wellbeing Project

As we approach the end of 2017 we reflect on the almost full year of the project, the recent disappointing news that Annabell Webb the village Mental Wellbeing Champion has decided to step down from the role and plans for 2018 to slightly reshape the focus of the project and learn from experiences from 2017.

Annabell has decided to leave because of her increased private client work and the broad extent of the role in its present form. Without doubt Annabell has had a positive impact on our community since her appointment in March 2017, as we reflect on the positives much of this is due to Annabell’s hard work and these include;

  • Regular drop ins at St Andrews Centre Café and village schools and those who have attended have benefitted from the signposting advice provided
  • Small group sessions  at the Infants and Junior Schools for children needing support
  • Successful launch of a toolkit for village youth groups
  • Signposting and support provided for individual village residents
  • Successful Village Mental Wellbeing week in October
  • Extensive networking to increase profile of mental wellbeing in the community

The support of the project funders in helping make the project happen is much appreciated and the funders include Histon & Impington Parish Council, Histon & Impington Feast, Friends of the Rec, Pors Land Charity, SCDC, Chivers Baterson Charity, Comic Relief through CCF and St Andrews Church Histon.

As we look plan for 2018 the three core project objectives continue;

  • Increase mental wellbeing awareness and break down barriers
  • Assist with early intervention and prevention
  • Provide signposting and advocate for support services

 There will be two main parts of the project

  • A village mental wellbeing champion focusing but not solely on children, young people and families with increased personal role support and a partnership with a counselling provider when required for those who need
  • Broader community involvement to increase support to Champion and more generally to residents. This will include organising a Mental Health First Aid course in March, regular talks on the subject at schools and in the community, regular Mindfulness sessions, helping increase awareness in the workplace and linking in with exercise.

Full information on the new job role will be available from the dedicated village mental wellbeing website from Monday 15th January.

If you would like to become involved on the community side of the project please contact Chris Cox (


Mental Wellbeing Champion for Histon and Impington

New role to engage with the community to improve mental wellbeing throughout the villages

Histon and Impington will have a Mental Wellbeing Champion from April. Annabell Webb has been appointed for an initial 2 year contract to increase mental wellbeing awareness and break down barriers in the villages. She will help with early intervention and prevention, working with the community and existing providers to develop, deliver and coordinate a range of activities and groups in the villages to promote mental wellbeing for all ages.

Annabell Webb said “This is such an exciting opportunity. I can’t wait to get started to help people improve their mental wellbeing and tackle the stigma associated with mental health.”

Community concern about the number of young people suffering from mental health issues provided the impetus for the creation of the Village Mental Health Forum in May 2015. The Forum organised the first Village Mental Wellbeing Week in April 2016. During the week a survey identified the need to increase activity and for a focal point for people of all ages who may have mental health concerns.

James Blandford-Baker, Chair of the Forum, said “Having Annabell as the champion will make a big difference in the way our community deals with mental health issues. She will be working closely with the current forum stakeholders including doctors, schools, churches, youth and family workers, who will be essential to the success of the project”

The champion has been recruited by Histon & Impington Community (HICOM) a village based charity that operates the village community minibus and supports older people through the Village Older Person’s Co-ordinator. Don Kelly, Chair of HICOM, said “Mental wellbeing is an increasingly important issue for our community and I am delighted that Annabell will be helping HICOM to expand into this much needed area”

Funding of the role has been secured from a wide variety of sources. Histon & Impington Parish Council has led the funding and grants have been received from Comic Relief Communities Charity programme, a charitable fund managed by Cambridgeshire Community Foundation, and the Batterson-Chivers Foundation. Support has been received from South Cambs District Council towards initial training needs. St Andrew’s Church, Histon will support the role for the next two years, plus Histon & Impington Feast and Friends of Histon & Impington Recreation and Poor’s Land Charity have each donated.

Neil Davies who has driven the initiative over the last year concludes “the positive response from the funders has been overwhelming, but fundraising to make the role sustainable in the longer term needs to continue”.

For more information contact:

Chris Cox – Trustee of HICOM
07906 767391



Histon & Impington Community Ltd, also known as HICOM, is a village based registered charity whose principal objective is the general community wellbeing of residents of all ages in the villages of Histon and Impington and neighbouring communities.

The charity currently works to meet this general objective through the provision and operation of Histon and Impington Community’s minibus since 1998. Engagement and employment of the Village Older Person’s Co-ordinator and assistant to support the needs of older village residents since 2011. Working towards increasing awareness and understanding of mental health wellbeing in the community through the appointment of the Mental Wellbeing Champion.


About the Histon and Impington Mental Wellbeing Forum

The Forum includes representatives of all village schools, school governors, village churches, villages children’s centre, children and youth workers, parish and district councillors and those involved locally with older residents. It has met on a regular basis, initially to prepare for the awareness week and now to work with the Mental Wellbeing Champion.

The initiative grew out of a conversation between Neil Davies and James Blandford-Baker in early spring 2015 when both became aware of tragic and challenging stories affecting young people in our community. As for so many in our villages, these stories affected us personally. With the reduction in statutory support and treatment for people of all ages with mental health conditions, as well as the stigma that is still associated with them, the Histon and Impington Mental Health Forum came together to see what could be done at a local level.