Cambs Coronavirus Blog

Follow the latest news and developments on Coronavirus COVID-19 from here in Cambridgeshire.

Click here for the latest NHS Coronavirus health advice

 

Drive-in Cinema Coming To Cambridge 

A drive-in cinema is coming to a Park & Ride site in Cambridge this month, promising to “bring a modern twist to the classic drive in movie”, while creating a socially distanced and safe cinema experience.
 
Presented by Cambridge Film Projects, 16 movies will be screened between 20th – 31st August at Trumpington Park & Ride car park. Featuring films including Rocketman, Little Women, Call Me By Your Name, 2001: A Space Odyssey and more, the events will have something for everyone.
 
Vice-Chairman of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Highways and Transport committee, Cllr Mark Howell, said: “I’m very pleased that one of our Park & Ride sites is being used as a drive-in cinema this month. It will provide a safe and easy way for everyone to go out and enjoy some entertainment while continuing to socially distance. I’ll be going and I’ll see you there.”

 

Schemes To Support Cycling And Walking During COVID-19 To Be Rolled Out 

Schemes to make it easier and safer for people to cycle and walk around Greater Cambridge to support the recovery from Covid-19 will soon be rolled out.
 
The Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) will implement a number of measures in August to make it easier for people to travel around on foot or bike during social distancing.
 
These experimental schemes - which include the closure of some through roads to cars and the extension of the busgate at Silver Street to 24 hours a day, seven days a week - have been developed with Cambridgeshire County Council.
 
Cllr Roger Hickford, Chair of the Greater Cambridge Partnership, said:
 
“Supporting more people to walk and cycle has been identified as vital to the national recovery from Covid-19 - and local authorities across the country are working hard to make walking and cycling easier and safer while observing social distancing.
 
“Bringing forward trial schemes means they can be installed quickly to support people during the pandemic, while also giving people the chance to try them out and tell us what they think before any decisions are taken about which, if any, to make permanent.
 
“These measures work with the county council’s schemes and will not only support people and businesses in the short-term, but will also provide a strong foundation to help create a step-change in the way people travel sustainably in Greater Cambridge.”
 
The GCP is also talking to businesses about how it can support them through the recovery period, including considering additional cycle parking, improving access to ebikes and cargo bikes, and working with businesses to develop a pilot for deliveries and freight in the city centre.
 
Work will soon begin delivering Experimental Traffic Regulation Orders (ETROs) which become operational from 12th August:
 
- Carlyle Road: a point closure to prevent through traffic movements
- Luard Road: a point closure to prevent through traffic movements
- Newtown Area: various point closures to prevent through traffic movements combined with a reversal of the one-way flow in Norwich Street
- Nightingale Avenue: a point closure to prevent through traffic movements
- Storey’s Way: closure of the existing width restriction to all motor vehicles

The following experimental order comes into effect from 24th August:
 
- Silver Street, Cambridge: extending the bus gate restriction to operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
 
These ETROs enable the GCP to deliver these schemes quickly to support the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. Alongside these measures, Cambridgeshire County Council is bringing forward similar measures to promote cycling and walking in towns across the county.
 
Cllr Mark Howells, Vice-chair of the Highways & Transport Committee at Cambridgeshire County Council, said:
 
“We’re keen to ensure that our county makes a sustainable, green recovery from lockdown. Cambridgeshire County Council and the Greater Cambridge Partnership are acting quickly to put these cycling and walking schemes in place during these extraordinary times.
 
“Alongside Cambridge projects, a range of schemes will be delivered by mid-August across market towns including Ely, Huntingdon and St Ives to make it easier than ever before for people to travel by bike.”  
 
A period of formal public consultation will begin later in the year and people will be able to provide feedback from the day the measures become operational. The trial period can last for a maximum of 18 months before decisions need to be made on whether or not to keep the changes or revert back.
 

More Libraries Across Cambridgeshire To Re-open To The Public Next Week 

Earlier this month the council started a phased re-opening of library services in line with the government’s latest health and safety guidelines.

The council’s nine major libraries; Cambridge Central, Huntingdon, St Ives, St Neots, Bar Hill, Cambourne, Ely, March, Wisbech opened to the public on July 6 - for opening times visit here.

From Monday 3rd August, the next phase of re-opening will get underway with the following libraries opening to the public: Arbury Court, Barnwell Road, Buckden, Burwell, Chatteris, Cherry Hinton, Clay Farm, Comberton, Cottenham, Great Shelford, Linton, Littleport, Milton Road, Ramsey, Rock Road, Papworth, Sawtry, Soham, Warboys, Whittlesey, Willingham and Yaxley.

The opening hours at these libraries have temporarily changed. They will be open to customers for two sessions a week – full details here.

To help people access the books they want, the council has introduced a new service called ‘Select and Collect’. Customers can choose titles according to their preferences (e.g. genre, fiction, non-fiction, talking books, children’s books etc.) and then collect them from any of the open libraries.

To order a book using Select and Collect visit here or call the Customer Service Centre on 0345 045 5225. Customers will be notified when their books are ready to collect.

To help maintain a safe environment inside and out of library buildings, customers are required to maintain social distancing whilst in queues outside entrances and once inside, must stick within guided floor markings. Ordered books are handed over at designated collection points and customers can not browse titles on the shelves.

Library meeting rooms will remain closed and events and activities will not resume until it is safe to do so. Mobile library services will also remain closed until further notice. Public access IT facilities are available by appointment only, with a limit of one 45 minute appointment per day per customers.

Other libraries will be opened in a phased approach, with larger libraries opening by the end of August in time for the start of the school term and smaller libraries opening by the end of September, subject to the Covid-19 R rate reducing,

Online Pilates In Place Of Visually Impaired Football During Lockd 

A ‘Stay Active’ campaign to encourage people with disabilities to move more and try new ways of being active, whether at home or when going outside for exercise, launched this week.
 
Many of us have found ourselves spending increased amounts of time at home and sitting down more than usual since the coronavirus pandemic started. Lockdown has made it hard for people to be as active as normal and people with a disability may have felt even more isolated, and been less active, during this time.
 
However the Stay Active campaign raises awareness of the many ways people with a disability can continue to enjoy an active lifestyle during lockdown, by adapting activities or a change in sporting routines.
 
Protecting residents’ physical and mental health is one of Cambridgeshire County Council’s highest priorities since the outbreak of COVID-19.
 
Stay Active is reaching out to support people with a disability, to keep them safe and well, and encourage them to be active during this time by finding out what works for them. The campaign ties in the Activity Alliance ‘at home’ programme - a charity working to make active lives possible with a vision that disabled people are active for life.
 
Living Sport, the Active Partnership for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has a dedicated web page with links and advice to inspire people to adapt their current activities and sports to maintain their physical activity or find new opportunities to keep moving whilst in and around the house.
 
Taking part in any form of physical activity can help to manage complications by improving muscle stamina and strength, helping control joint swelling, and reducing stress and pain.  Regular physical activity can also help to reduce high blood pressure, manage weight and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and various cancers – all conditions that can increase susceptibility to COVID-19.
 
It is also good for our mental health. Regular physical activity reduces the risk of depression, cognitive decline and helps to lift our overall feelings. Being active also helps to give days a routine and can be a way to stay in contact with family and friends. It may be surprising how much the benefits of trying something new can help improve day to day routines.

Cambridgeshire resident Mark Evans, 38, has been getting active in a new and different way since lockdown. Mark, who is registered as visually impaired, does weights at home and normally participates in visually impaired football. When the rules about social distancing and exercise came into force though, Mark decided to give online Pilates a try:

 

Libraries Re-opening In Cambridgeshire Proves Popular 

Libraries across Cambridgeshire have re-opened to the public and the council’s new ‘Select and Collect’ system, allowing customers to order titles, is already proving popular.
 
Last week the council started a phased re-opening of library services in line with the government’s latest health and safety guidelines.
 
The council’s nine major libraries; Cambridge Central, Huntingdon, St Ives, St Neots, Bar Hill, Cambourne, Ely, March, Wisbech are now open to the public - for opening times visit here.
 
To help people access the books they want, the council has introduced a new service called ‘Select and Collect’. Customers can choose titles according to their preferences (e.g. genre, fiction, non-fiction, talking books, children’s books etc.) and then collect them from any of the open libraries.
 
More than 240 Select and Collect orders were made during the first week of re-opening, along with 437 reservations and a steady number of orders continuing.
 
To help maintain a safe environment inside and out of library buildings, a number of service changes have been made. Customers are required to maintain social distancing whilst in queues outside entrances and once inside, must stick within guided floor markings.
 
Ordered books are handed over at designated collection points and customers cannot browse titles on the shelves.

The council plans to open all remaining libraries from 3 August for two days per week and will continue to review the situation.
 
Library meeting rooms will remain closed and events and activities will not resume until it is safe to do so. Mobile library services will also remain closed until further notice.
 
Public access IT facilities are available by appointment only, with a limit of one 45 minute appointment per day per customers.
 
To order a book using Select and Collect visit here or call the Customer Service Centre on 0345 045 5225. Customers will be notified when their books are ready to collect. Reservations will be reintroduced from June 29 to allow customers to request individual titles.

 

Cambridgeshire Music Invites Everyone To Just Sing This Summer 

Are you looking for opportunities to inspire young people across the county to make music and have some fun this summer? Cambridgeshire Music is inviting people across Cambridgeshire and beyond to Just Sing – a free project that’s designed to make everyone smile this summer.
 
Just Sing is an original song – written by Cambridgeshire Music’s Head of Singing and Curriculum, Alex Bowen. It’s a fun and upbeat number all about the joy of singing and it’s suitable for primary and secondary children alike, including children with special educational needs. 

Whether at school or at home, Cambridgeshire Music – in partnership with Norfolk Music Hub – would love to see as many people as possible getting involved in Just Sing, regardless of age or musical ability. There will be fun new resources released every week to keep everyone inspired – whether in the classroom or the living room.
 
You don’t need to be a great singer to take part. Cambridgeshire Music is inviting people to get involved in any way they like to bring the song to life – from making a video to recording themselves singing to creating some artwork. Contributions will be a shared on social media for all to enjoy with the hashtag #JustSing2020
 
Find out how to get involved here.

 

Leader's Vlog 

Councillor Steve Count, leader of Cambridgeshire County Council has recorded a new vlogs for residents across Cambridgeshire:

 

Changes for The Shielded Community From Monday

From Monday  (6th July) people who are shielding will be able to meet in groups of up to six people from outside their household as long as they are outdoors and social distancing.  
 
People who live alone (or are a lone adult with dependent children under 18), will also be able to form a support bubble with another household. 
 
At all times people should maintain social distancing and should not share items such as cups and plates. 
 
The changes were announced by the Government last week, along with the pausing of the shielding programme from 1 August.  The Countywide hub is here to support members of our shielded community at this time and want to reassure that help is available to begin the initial transition from shielding starting July 6th.
 
Dr Liz Robin, Director of Public Health for Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council, said: “It is really important that even with the gradual relaxing of the guidance for people who are shielding, that they continue to keep a safe 2m distance from anyone not in their household. Also, try not to share items such as cups and plates if you are attending a barbecue. Cases of the virus have reduced but it is still really important at this time for people who are shielding to exercise caution and follow the rules.” 
 
The Countywide Coordination Hub is supporting members of the shielded community and is supporting people to transition out of shielding if they need it.

If you need support and you don't have friends, family or neighbours to help you, please visit the Cambridgeshire website or call 0345 045 5219.
 

Cambs Outbreak Control Plan Launched 

As part of the Government’s national strategy to manage and control the pandemic, every area in England needs to develop its own Local Outbreak Control Plan for COVID-19. 
 
In Cambridgeshire and Peterborough our plan - launched this week - builds on tried and tested existing plans for controlling other infectious diseases like tuberculosis.  
 
It relies on working closely with our local communities to reduce the risk of people contracting the disease in the first place by following clear public health messages, but if they do to establish systems so new cases can be identified quickly and reduce the likelihood of them spreading.
 
Where clusters of new COVID-19 cases arise our plan will make sure that we identify them swiftly, and working with Public Health England Health Protection Team, put measures in place to control them, so we can support the continued lifting of lockdown restrictions and the continued return to normal life.
 
You can see the plan and lots of other helpful information explaining the ‘test and trace’ process on the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough websites.

 

Cambs Schools Step Up Plans To Welcome Back All Year Groups 

Education Leads across Cambridgeshire County are continuing their work with primary and secondary schools and academy trusts, following the government’s announcement that all year groups should be set to return in September.
 
The region’s schools, the majority of which are currently open to selected year groups having successfully implemented their social ‘bubbles’, will need to adapt their plans to cater for more children, now that social distancing has been downgraded from a safe distance of two metres to a minimum of one. 
 
Guidance from the Department of Education is expected with the next few weeks, but schools are already making plans and working through detailed risk assessments, ensuring pupils can return to environments where every aspect of their safety and wellbeing has been fully considered.
 
Jonathan Lewis, Director of Education for Cambridgeshire County and Peterborough City Council’s, said: “Throughout the whole lockdown period we have consistently had more schools open for vulnerable and keyworker children than the national average, and we are currently catering for as many Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 children as we can safely manage."
 

Cambs Library Services Set To Re-open 

Book lovers can now order titles and collect them from libraries in Cambridgeshire from next week.
 
Following government guidance, Cambridgeshire County Council is starting a phased re-opening of library services from Monday 6 July, in line with the latest health and safety guidelines.
 
The council’s nine major libraries; Cambridge Central, Huntingdon, St Ives, St Neots, Bar Hill, Cambourne, Ely, March, Wisbech will be re-opening from next week - for opening times visit here.
 
In order to maintain a safe environment, a number of service changes have been made. Customers will be required to maintain social distancing outside library entrances and once inside the buildings, will not be able to browse titles.
 
To help people access the books they want, the council is introducing a new service called ‘Select and Collect’. Customers can choose titles according to their preferences (e.g. genre, fiction, non-fiction, talking books, children’s books etc.) and then collect them from libraries. 
 
To order a book using Select and Collect visit here or call the Customer Service Centre on 0345 045 5225. Customers will be notified when their books are ready to collect. Reservations will be reintroduced from June 29 to allow customers to request individual titles.

The council plans opening all remaining libraries from 3 August for two days per week and will continue to review the situation.
 
Library meeting rooms will remain closed and events and activities will not resume until it is safe to do so. Mobile library services will also remain closed until further notice.
 
Public access IT facilities will be available by appointment only, with a limit of one 45 minute appointment per day per customers. The council’s archives service is also re-opening
 

Wedding Ceremonies Update 

Last week, the government announced that wedding ceremonies can take place from July 4 onwards in England.
 
We understand that many people in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough want to get married or have a civil partnership and are working to contact couples who had previously arranged ceremonies.
 
In Cambridgeshire, the registration services team are prioritising couples who were due to have their ceremony during lockdown, between 24 March and July 3. These couples have already been contacted via email.
 
Bookings for ceremonies in Cambridgeshire in 2022 can be made online here
 

Parking Enforcement Returns To Cambridge

From this week (Monday 29 June), parking restrictions in Cambridge will return to normal. 
 
At the start of the lockdown in March, Cambridgeshire County Council in partnership with Cambridge City Council, worked together to suspend parking enforcement in Cambridge. By relaxing the rules, the aim was to help critical workers – largely the only ones out and about - park where ever they needed to.
 
Now, as lockdown is gradually eased, our town, villages and cities are opening up again. There are more people getting out and about, so all parking restrictions in Cambridge will go back to how they operated previously,  helping the City economy to recover.
 
This doesn’t affect the free parking permit scheme for the critical care workers who can still park their vehicles in all Resident Permit Parking Areas and on-street Pay and Display bays in Cambridge City, whilst carrying out essential duties, without having to worry about cost or time restrictions. For more information on this visit the Cambridgeshire County Council website
 
 

Stagecoach Service Changes In Cambridge As Park & Ride Return

From this Sunday, 28 June, there will be some further timetable changes to some of Stagecoach’s Cambridge services. This includes the re-introduction of our Milton Park and Ride service and increased frequencies on various other services. The changes are part of a gradual reintroduction of services across the county. For more information, visit the Stagecoach website.

 

Booking system introduced at three household recycling centres

Visitors to three household recycling centres in Cambridgeshire will need to book a slot to access the sites from next week.  This is in addition to a booking system for all sites that was recently introduced for vans and trailers requiring e-permits.
 
From Monday, 22 June, you will only be able to visit Bluntisham, Alconbury and Thriplow household recycling centres is you have pre-booked a slot. The booking system will open tomorrow (17 June). This measure is being introduced to reduce traffic congestion, speed up entry times and reduce the risk of collisions around the sites.

Residents should only make essential visits to Household Recycling Centres if it is not possible to store waste safely at home or dispose of it through kerbside or bulky waste collections.  

Sites are provided for the use of Cambridgeshire residents only, and all users should be prepared to show proof of address on arrival.

You can book your slot online but if you can’t access the website, you can phone 0345 045 5207 for help.

Hola to Cambridgeshire Music's second Online Orchestra

More than 100 young musicians contributed to  Cambridgeshire Music’s second Online Orchestra challenge – La Bamba.

The organisation was absolutely bowled over by the enthusiasm of musicians across the county and beyond,  ho contributed to the toe-tapping Mexican performance, which has already been viewed 1,300 times online.

 
Every orchestral instrument was represented in the final performance – from harps to bassoons and from marimbas to ukuleles. Also, some great contributions on less well-known instruments – from a Chinese two-stringed erhu to a stylophone and even kazoos.

 

User Friendly guide to Test and Trace launched

Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council has published a user friendly guide to the way the new NHS Test and Trace system will work locally, on behalf of the Health Protection Committee
 
The guide which will be updated regularly, can be found on the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough council websites.
 

Outpatients and visitors to wear face coverings

From Monday (15 June) all outpatients and visitors at Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie Hospitals will be required to wear a face covering when inside the hospital premises.

In addition, all clinical and non-clinical staff will also be required to wear a medical grade mask.

The measures affect all hospitals across England and have been brought in by the Government to protect patients and staff based on evidence that:

-    people who work in a hospital environment are more likely to catch coronavirus whether they work in a clinical setting or not.
-    face coverings can help reduce the risk of transmission if you are suffering from coronavirus including those who are not showing symptoms.
Face coverings should cover the mouth and nose while allowing the wearer to breathe comfortably and can be as simple as a scarf or bandanna that ties behind the head to give a snug fit.

Last month, the Government set out advice for people on how to make their own face coverings easily at home, using scarves or other textile items

If anyone arrives at the hospitals without a face covering, a medical grade face mask will be provided in emergencies.

These can be collected everyday from the following hospital entrances:
•    Addenbrooke’s main entrance (06.00 - 22.00)
•    Rosie main entrance (06.00 - 20.00)
•    ATC (06.00 - 20.00)
•    Outpatients (08:00 – 18:00)
•    Medical grade face masks will continue to be handed out to each patient who comes into Accident and Emergency.

Patients who are shielding, and have been provided with a surgical facemask for their appointments, should ensure these are worn. Where not already provided, patients should wear a face covering and they will be offered a medical grade face mask on arrival at their clinic.
Patients and visitors should wash their hands or use hand sanitiser before putting their face covering on and after taking it off.
It is important that, wherever possible, people don’t touch their face covering when wearing it to avoid hand to mask transmission of the virus.
Non medical, or cloth face masks are only effective when used alongside other preventative measures such as:
•    Social distancing – keeping two metres apart
•    Regular hand washing
•    Avoiding touching your face
•    Respiratory hygiene – using a disposable tissue if you sneeze, or coughing into your elbow
•    Cleaning surfaces regularly

The expectation is that all patients will wear a face covering, or a face mask, with the exception of pre-school children, older children who are distressed, people with learning disability and people with clinical reasons not to wear a mask.

Medical grade face masks should be safely disposed of in the bins provided at the main entrances. 
Liam Brennan, deputy medical director for Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH), said: “These measures are being brought in to hospitals all over England as a means of protecting patients, staff and visitors.

“From Monday, everyone inside the hospital will be required to wear a mask or face covering.
“We are asking that you plan in advance and bring a face covering with you whenever possible, but if you do not have one available when you come to hospital, please see a member of staff on arrival and we will provide you with one. 

“We appreciate not everyone will find it easy to wear a mask, but we would encourage everyone to show their support for these measures, as they are designed to keep us safe from this devastating disease.”

The face mask policy will be in place at the hospital until further notice.

 

Cambridgeshire birth registrations to resume

Cambridgeshire County Council registration services team is set to re start birth registrations from next week, in a way which meets coronavirus restrictions and keeps parents, their young babies and registration staff safe.
 
Since birth registration services were suspended by the Government on the 23rd March, an estimated 1,600 births have occurred across Cambridgeshire, all needing to be registered.
 
From this Friday (June 5), parents will be able to call the Council’s Contact Centre on 0345 045 1363 to arrange a birth registration appointment. Opening hours are 8am – 6pm, Monday to Friday and 9am - 1pm on Saturday. Initially all bookings will have to be made by phone (no on-line option at this stage). All appointments must be booked in advance with dedicated time slots – to ensure social distancing and hygiene measures can be assured for everyone who attends.
  
Services will start at all four locations across Cambridgeshire – Cambridge, Huntingdon, Ely and March. A one way service will be in place throughout the buildings. Staff will not be operating from the Wisbech office at this time.
 
More details can be found on Cambridgeshire County Council’s website 

Preparations underway for better walking and cycling options in Cambridgeshire

As the nation gets ready for a return to a ‘new normal’ due to Covid-19, the Government has advised members of the public to walk and cycle wherever possible, rather than relying on cars and public transport.
 
Since the Government announcement easing the nation’s lockdown restrictions, working closely with the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, both Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council have spent time preparing for both permanent and temporary measures – some of which could be put in place within the next two weeks. 
 
These measures aim to make walking and cycling a default option, by making it as easy as possible to make short trips. Both councils have been working with organisations such as Camcycle and Sustrans. 
 
In Cambridgeshire there will be three waves of improvements planned as follows, including:
 
Next two weeks
 
- Shelford Road to the Waitrose junction - removal of bus lane and widening of cycle lanes
- Chesterton Road – removal of centre line and addition of a cycle lane
- Milton High Street – removal of centre line and addition of a cycle lane
- Girton Road – removal of centre line and addition of a cycle lane
- Kings Hedges Road – removal of a centre line and addition of a cycle lane
 
By early June
 
- Trumpington Road – on carriageway cycle lane and removal of bus lane and parking
- Trumpington Street to Kings Parade – potential on carriageway cycle lane
 
By mid-June
 
- One-way system in place on Mill Road.
 
In addition, the council is working with the Greater Cambridge Partnership to see if it can move ahead with the temporary closure of Luard Road and Grange Road in Cambridge.

Councillor Ian Bates, chair of highways and transport at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “Our transport team has been carefully considering this for some time, as we know from looking at other countries that walking and cycling is key in getting our county moving again during Covid-19.
 
“We’ve been working closely with partners including Camcycle to identify temporary changes we can make quickly to our existing network which will help residents to rely less on cars and public transport and instead, walk and cycle over the coming months.”

 

Chocolate eggs spread joy at children’s ward

Easter may now be a distant memory, but a chocolate company has brought smiles to the faces of people across the county by donating 5,000 Easter eggs.

Nestle International got in touch to say that it had a large number of chocolate eggs that it wanted to donate to good causes. Nestle agreed to provide 5,000 eggs, which have been given to front line staff working across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
This week some of the eggs were donated to the children’s ward at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, particularly those with terminal illnesses or undergoing cancer treatment. 

Some of these children have limited access to their relatives because of the infection risks posed. 

The large chocolate eggs were delivered to the hospital office of Dr Suzanna Watson, paediatric neuropsychologist (also a member of the Red Cross psycho-social team) who spread the word to the senior nurses. Distribution to the children’s ward began and apparently the supply didn't last the hour! 

Isleham Cricket Club assists the community

Although we have seen the suspension of team sports due to Covid-19, Isleham Cricket Club have still been working as a team to support their local community.  
 
Last week, Isleham Cricket Club took over a phone box to provide food to those currently in need in the community. Shelves were fitted, by members of the club to hold the items donated by residents; with the lower shelves designated to gifts for children, such as books and quizzes. 
 
Inside the phone box residents are also leaving non-perishable goods free for anyone in need to collect, with a volunteer a day visiting to maintain its stock. The phone box has allowed people to help others as well as receive anything they may need, whilst observing social distancing and keeping each other safe. Any extra items are donated to the local foodbank. 
 
Since opening last week, the phone box has been largely popular, illustrating a great example of how communities can continue to work as a team during this time to support the wider community in safe and creative ways. 

Road projects across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

Crews across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough have been continuing to carry out safety critical work and essential highways maintenance.
 
A review has taken place across both councils to see which road work schemes could re-start, following that assessment, given the current low volumes of traffic and working with our contractors, it has been agreed work on a large number of road projects will start again.
 
Any work is being carried out in accordance with government health and safety measures, with workforces practising social distancing.
 
In Cambridgeshire the aim is to get the majority of schemes re-started by the end of this week. For example, in Cambridgeshire, Fenton Road, Little Stukeley, Isleham and Eastrea Road resurfacing, drainage work and footway sealing as well as Fendon Road/Dutch Style roundabout will start again.

 
Free online courses to support local people during pandemic

Cambridgeshire Skills, an adult and community learning service, is offering free online opportunities to help people get back on their feet. For a limited period, they are offering their online courses, such as ‘employability boot camp, improve your English, maths, computer skills, garden design, food safety, Italian and more free to everyone.
 
Tanya Meadows, Head of Service at Cambridgeshire Skills – part of the adult education service at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “We are changing our delivery style to meet the needs of the local communities during the current pandemic. We’re launching new exciting online opportunities, which our tutors have been working hard to provide the resources they need online and will be there to support and guide the learner every step of the way. We will have a wide variety of courses available and for those who are less confident with digital skills we have created simple guides to help you get online."
 
Cllr Steve Criswell, Chair of the Communities and Partnership Committee at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “I am delighted to see such innovation in our adult skills delivery to create online provision which will help to assist the county recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.  These free courses will help people get back into work and support economic and social wellbeing.”
 
If you would like to improve your knowledge, help build your confidence for a new job or interested in learning a new skill. Check out how Cambridgeshire Skills can help you, visit their website for more information or email cambsals@cambridgeshire.gov.uk

 

Monday 11th May Update

Following the announcement yesterday (Sunday) from the Prime Minister, Cambridgeshire County Council leader Cllr Steve Count hasrecorded a video message saying while we wait for guidance there is no dramatic change.
 

 

Appeal For Foster Carers In Cambridgeshire To Transform Lives

Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council are supporting this year’s Foster Care Fortnight campaign to help raise awareness about how the dedication and commitment of foster carer’s changes lives.
 
Foster Care Fortnight runs from the 11th -24th May and is the UK’s largest foster care awareness raising campaign, it aims to show the positive impact foster care has on children’s and young people’s lives.
 
Foster carers accomplish incredible things every day, even in the face of a global crisis that has affected every one of us and impacted all aspects of our society. Despite the practical and emotional challenges that the coronavirus is bringing, foster carers continue to provide day-to-day support, love and stability to children and young people who can’t live with their birth families. They support children and young people’s education, health, and social wellbeing, and also help to maintain the children’s relationship with the people who are important to them but who they cannot currently see in person.
 
Both Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council are keen to hear from people who can care for sibling groups of brothers and sisters, children with additional needs and teenagers.
 
Carers receive payments and allowances to help cover their time and expenses, as well as advice and guidance so they are supported every step of the way.
 
For for more information, visit the website or email fostering@cambridgeshire.gov.uk or call 0800 052 0078.
 

Wellbeing plan launched as part of ‘Now We’re Talking’ mental health campaign

Organisations across Cambridgeshire have come together to launch the campaign to get people talking and beat loneliness while self-isolating during the coronavirus outbreak.
 
Led by the local authority, NHS and third sector, the campaign helps people find where they can get increased mental health support.
 
The idea of the wellbeing plan is to help people get creative and think about things they can do that are good for their mental wellbeing.
 
A video to accompany the plan has been produced:

 

Youth services supporting The Kite Trust to help more young people

Youth services supported The Kite Trust to obtain a grant for £5,000 from the Office of the Police and Crime Commission for Cambridgeshire to help upgrade its IT setup and continue to provide effective remote support services.  
 
The Kite Trust promotes the health, well-being, and inclusion of LGBTQ+ young people across Cambridgeshire; raising awareness, supporting, and educating communities.
 
During lockdown the charity has been struggling to meet the demand for its services so far, as young people’s needs have changed and developed and because staff do not have the equipment they needed to work most effectively from home.
 
The charity has seen a 45% increase in the number of young people getting in touch with its services, up to 170 young people since the lockdown began. It's also nearly tripled the amount of time youth workers are spending supporting young people (184% increase) as their needs have changed and increased.
 
 

You can keep up to date with Cambridgeshire public services during Coronavirus here: https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/coronavirus/disruption-to-council-services
 
 

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