COVID-19 Community Update

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

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People across the region invited to celebrate VE Day @ Home
This Friday (8 May), marks the 75th anniversary of one of the most important and historic days in modern times – Victory in Europe (VE) Day – which brought an end to the Second World War in Europe and a return to peace.

With social distancing still part of our everyday lives, and events cancelled across the country, Cambridgeshire County and Peterborough City Councils were keen to ensure VE Day celebrations could still be upheld – this time in the comfort and safety of your own home.

In preparation for the event, Cllr Mac McGuire, Chairman of Cambridgeshire County Council and Armed Forces Covenant Board, shared with us his memories of serving in the Armed Forces, as well as his own personal experience of VE Day as a young boy. View his video on YouTube.

In the meantime, why not decorate your house, dress in red white and blue, or put some posters in your windows. There are plenty of ideas and resources here.

At 3pm on Friday you are invited to join a ‘virtual service’, with music, memories and speeches celebrating the occasions and paying tribute to the entire Second World War generation from British, Commonwealth and Allied Forces, to evacuees and those who served on the home front.

You will be able to watch the hour long event here, or you can listen live by tuning in to Cambridge 105 radio.

A virtual service to mark VE Day will be held by Peterborough Cathedral, led by the Dean Christopher Dalliston and Canon Ian Black, the Vicar of Peterborough.

The service will be broadcast as a live stream from 3pm on the Cathedral’s Facebook page and also as a video via the Cathedral’s website.

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Virtual council meetings to begin in Peterborough
Group leaders have agreed a protocol to allow virtual formal meetings to take place at Peterborough City Council during the remainder of the Covid-19 emergency.

Council meetings will now be conducted using the Zoom software platform. They will be livestreamed on the council’s YouTube channel for members of the public and the media to watch – with the exception of confidential items – which will be discussed in private as usual.

Public questions can be submitted in written form for all Full Council meetings and will be published on the council’s website prior to the meeting taking place. Meetings will be recorded to allow people to watch them afterwards if they can’t log on during the event itself.

This protocol will allow the council to continue to conduct the vast majority of its democratic decisions remotely, while adhering to the Government’s social distancing guidelines -and follows legislation which came into force on 4 April.

A review of decisions has been prepared for the next three months and the urgency of each decision will be marked as either high, medium or low – only decisions marked as high or medium will be taken to council meetings. This document does not include monitoring or information items, as these will be circulated to councillors via email.

Training is now taking place with councillors to help them get used to the new system and the first meeting will be Cabinet at 2pm on Monday 11 May.

A similar process started at Cambridgeshire County Council at the end of last month.

Council meetings in Cambridgeshire are also handled by Cambridge City Council, East Cambridgeshire District Council, South Cambridgeshire District Council, Fenland District Council and Huntingdonshire District Council and they will run their own system for meetings. Please contact them for their details.

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Huge thanks to volunteers supporting care leavers and vulnerable young people
Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council have given their thanks to volunteers who have been supporting vulnerable young people during the Coronavirus outbreak.

After an earlier appeal, the Corporate Parenting team received donations of food, toiletries, baby products, nappies, cleaning products and more. The donations have been used to make hampers filled with the relief supplies for care leavers during isolation. Since lockdown measures were introduced, the team has distributed 71 hampers and been able to supply all essential items requested.

The team has also put in place measures to:

· Ensure all children and care leavers living in privately rented accommodation are safe and can afford their rent, and have access to food parcels.

· All care leavers returning from university are living in safe and suitable accommodation, or able to continue studies where necessary.

· Identify any young people who are living in semi-independent accommodation that might be at risk of homelessness if placements close.

Lou Williams, Service Director for Children & Safeguarding for Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council, said: “I’d like to thank everyone that has helped our young people so far.”

Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council have been given a £3,000 grant from Cambridgeshire Community Foundation to continue this service over the coming weeks. A further £5,000 grant has been handed to the two councils to provide laptops and pre-loaded memory sticks to enable young people to access technology.

Councillor Simon Bywater, Chairman of the Children and Young Peoples Committee at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “I’d like to thank everyone who donated and the Corporate Parenting team for everything they are doing to make life a little easier for others.”

Councillor Lynne Ayres, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Education, Skills and the University at Peterborough City Council, said: “It’s fantastic to see people donating and making such a difference during this difficult time.

“The hampers are a brilliant way to provide support to care leavers and I’m very thankful to our teams who have made it happen.”

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Peterborough councillor raises more than £2,100 with 26-hour music marathon
Last week Peterborough City councillor Asif Shaheed took part in the 2.6 challenge, a campaign launched to support struggling UK charities.

His DJ session has now live-streamed on Facebook and he has so far raised £2,126 for SHINE (Spina bifida, Hydrocephalus, Information, Networking, Equality) which provides specialist support for people living with spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus as well as to families, carers and professional care staff.

The Covid-19 crisis has seen charities having to reduce and stop services during a time when vulnerable people need them the most as well as the cancellation of thousands of fundraising events, potentially costing UK charities billions. With the help of those like Councillor Shaheed, many charities will still be able to utilise the benefits of fundraising, allowing them to continue supporting those in need during this crisis.

If you would like to help Councillor Shaheed raise funds for SHINE, you can still donate at his Just Giving page.

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Local school shows its support for hard-working NHS Staff
Staff and pupils at the Harbour School, Wilburton wanted to recognise the hard work and incredible effort being shown by staff working at the Addenbrooks Intensive Care Unit.

Keen to ensure those on the frontline could keep their spirits and energy levels up, pupils and staff in attendance at the school have donated a box of goodies with various food items and a number of hand-painted rainbows.

Lise Sudgen, headteacher at the school for boys from 5-16 years who have an Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP), said: “This is a difficult time for everyone, but I’m really proud that our boys took the time to think about our incredibly hardworking NHS staff. They wanted to show that we are all thinking about them and we care. Our own staff here at Harbour have been brilliant too and were only too keen to help. We hope it cheers up their day.”

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Month-long reading challenge launched in Peterborough’
Youngsters in Peterborough currently learning at home have been given a reading challenge to enjoy this month.

Peterborough Celebrates Reading has launched a 31-day reading challenge to be carried out throughout May, aiming to improve a child’s literacy skills.

Each day sees a literary based challenge; from reading under the covers with a torch to writing a book review, reading to someone you live with to writing your own story set in Peterborough.

The Peterborough Celebrates Reading initiative is a year-long celebration that began last summer, organised by Peterborough City Council, The National Literacy Trust, Vivacity and City College Peterborough.

It’s not too late to catch up, find out what you have been missing and see today’s challenge on their Facebook page or jump straight to the challenge here.

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How have changes in health and care affected you?
Healthwatch Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, the independent champion for people using health and care services in our area, is calling for people to share how they have been affected by changes in health and care services due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Public feedback is essential as it highlights how the local NHS and care services are managing. By feeding back people’s experiences to those running the healthcare system, local people should be better protected.

Some residents have already reported difficulty getting their medication from pharmacies, which has since been fed back.

With so many temporary changes to health and care, it can seem unclear how and where to get help. However, the Healthwatch Information Service, which is free for anybody to contact, can help point people in the right direction and explain what their options are.

Call Healthwatch Cambridgeshire and Peterborough on 0330 355 1285, text 0752 0635 176 or visit their website.

Sandie Smith is the Healthwatch Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CEO. Click here to watch her YouTube vlog.

Reopening of Household Recycling Centres

Re-opening of Household Recycling Centres
Cambridgeshire County Council is working with its partner Amey to put plans in place to re-open the County’s Household Recycling Centres from Monday 11 May.
It is the Council’s intention to open all nine of its sites.
The plans will make sure that visits to the HRC are safe for residents as well as for employees – with measures in place to ensure social distancing on site. The plans have been prepared jointly with Public Health England.
Each of the nine HRCs in the county also has a detailed traffic management plan, drawn up in partnership with Skanska and in consultation with Cambridgeshire Constabulary, to limit the impact on roads around each site.
Local Government secretary Robert Jenrick ‘s statements over the weekend gave councils in England and Wales the green light to plan site openings as part of a gradual easing government lockdown measures.
Further details will be provided later in the week about what each Cambridgeshire site will receive, however some of the key conditions of opening will include:
A limit to vehicle numbers on site – in the same way as limits on customers in supermarkets
No more than two adults to be allowed to unload any one vehicle
No staff assistance to unload vehicles
No vans or trailers that require a permit
It is advised that journeys to the Household Recycling Centres should only be undertaken if waste or recycling cannot be stored at home without causing risk of injury to health or harm.
People who must continue to stay away from these sites are those who are or have anyone in their household, suffering from Covid-19 symptoms, or have been diagnosed as having the virus.

ENDS

Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council both agreed to close their sites on 24 March in response to Government guidance on essential travel. All other authorities in the region also closed their sites and over 90% nationally have done so.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Strategic Co-ordinating Group update COVID-19

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough continues to see a moderate decline in new infections, there continues to be good intensive care capacity in our hospitals and capacity to transfer people, when they no longer need hospital treatment, safely into the community. Referrals of other illnesses into primary care are returning to near normal.

The Strategic Coordination Group is clear that while some limited lifting of restrictions are beginning to be made or planned for, it continues to be imperative to keep the rate of COVID-19 infection down – and that adherence to government messages is what is allowing health and social care services to manage the emergency locally.

All organisations are asked to continue to promote the stay at home, social distancing and hygiene messages as this remains the best defence we have against the virus spreading.

VE Day celebrations ‘at home’ are to be supported and promoted by all organisations for the coming weekend – as there are concerns that the bank holiday, good weather and restrictions lifted on some DIY/Gardening outlets could undo the good work we have all done so far.

Information is released today about the opening of Household Recycling Centres from May 11 – but this information will stress that these are for essential trips only to dispose of waste which cannot be collected by doorstep collections and which otherwise might cause harm or hazard to householders. Strict traffic control measures around the sites are also being planned.

Cambridgeshire Constabulary has confirmed that while it is in the ‘top half of the bottom end’ of the league table for forces issuing fixed penalty notices for people breaking social distancing measures, it did issue a further eight fines over the past weekend. The Chief Constable has confirmed the Force will continue to issue fixed penalty notices – although it will rely most heavily on the ‘Educate, Engage, Explain’ part of its Four E strategy, before it reaches ‘Enforce’.

Work is underway to contact around 6,000 local people who government believes should be on the shielded list locally and have been contacted by letter, but have not registered. All of these people will receive information first containing a password to be used by staff and volunteers from the district and city hubs who will then be making personal contact to make sure all of these people are safe and being supported. No contacts from the volunteer hubs will be asking for money to undertake tasks, and all will carry identification which can be checked.

The Warn and Inform group of public sector communications leads will continue to highlight the difference between these activities and scam calls to vulnerable people by fraudsters attempting to gain money for non-existent shopping trips or provision of other services. False claims online of specific faith groups failing to adhere to social distancing measures across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough which are being picked up will also be dealt with as and when they are seen.

Preparations are underway to manage contact tracing initiatives which we are expecting to be nationally led, but locally implemented, following trials that are happening in different parts of the UK now.

Gillian Beasley and Jan Thomas – Joint Chairs of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough SCG.

COVID-19 Information Update

Refuse Collections
There will be no changes to scheduled bin collections this week as our crews will be working on May Bank Holiday Friday. Please advise residents to leave bins or sacks out on their normal collection day. Collection days can be checked here.

Household Recycling Centres (HRCs)
Cambridgeshire County Council has shared a press release today outlining plans with their partner Amey to re-open the County’s HRCs from Monday 11 May 2020, following decision to close sites on 24 March 2020. Plans include; a limit to vehicle numbers on sites – in the same way as limits on customers entering supermarkets, no more than two adults unloading any one vehicle, no staff assistance to unload vehicles, no vans or trailers that require a permit. The guidance will be that visiting the facilities should be for essential reasons, including that the stored materials are part of a safety risk at home and it is important to stress this point so as to discourage non-essential travel. Full details are on their website.

NHS Updates
For latest updates on case numbers please check on this page.
Locally – by Upper Tier Local Authority
Peterborough – 223 confirmed cases
Cambridgeshire – 718 confirmed cases

GP Bank Holiday Opening Hours
On Friday 8 May, GP practices should be open as usual to help residents with all of their health needs. Full details to be confirmed.

Pharmacy Bank Holiday Opening Hours.
On Friday 8 May, local pharmacies should be open from 2pm to 5pm. There may be some slight local variance in these opening hours. Opening hours of local pharmacies are online HERE

Testing or Swabbing for COVID-19
Testing or swabbing is an important part of the COVID-19 plans to ensure that people can return to work as quickly as it is safe to do so and take the appropriate actions if they test.
For all of the latest information about who is eligible to access a testing, and how to book a test at one of the national testing facilities located in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough please visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested. There are two drive through sites within the District but please note, all tests must be booked in advance and tests at One Leisure St Neots finish at 4pm daily.

Now we’re talking – coming together in isolation
Organisations across the county have joined forces to launch a wellbeing campaign and additional mental health support for people during the coronavirus outbreak.

‘Now We’re Talking’, encourages people to get talking to combat loneliness whilst self-isolating, and to seek help if they are struggling with their mental health.

The campaign, led by the local authority, NHS and third sector also directs people to increased mental health support available including:

Lifeline Plus – a mental health and wellbeing helpline for people aged 18 and over living in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, is available Monday-Friday between 9am and 2pm via freephone 0808 808 2121. The line will support people to manage their wellbeing, provide self-help advice or signpost to other organisations for particular concerns.
7 days a week, between 2pm and 11pm the same number is Lifeline, managed by Lifecraft who provide support for those in mental health distress: 0808 808 2121.

Qwell – an online wellbeing support, including educational and self-help articles and peer-to-peer support via forums. Adults are also able to receive help from qualified counsellors via drop-in or scheduled online chat sessions. www.qwell.io
Keep Your Head – this website brings together all the mental health support available across the county – www.keep-your-head.com/now
Call 111 in a mental health crisis, if you, or someone you are worried about, is at risk of harm, the NHS First Response Services can help people of any age, at any time of day or night. Call 111 and select option 2.
Supporting People with Learning Disabilities During the COVID-19 Outbreak
People with learning disabilities face considerable health inequalities and this has the potential to be exacerbated during the COVID-19 outbreak. Here are a selection of resources that are widely available for people with learning disabilities, their families, their carers, and other supporting professionals, (click on the underlined words to follow the links):

Accessible resources are available on a wide range of issues, including:

symptoms and how to stay safe (Photosymbols)
wordless stories to help with planning, lockdown, and bereavement (Books Beyond Words)
shielding and protecting people who are extremely vulnerable (Public Health England)
why it is important to keep a safe distance from people (Public Health England)
COVID-19 hospital passports (Learning Disability England)
Resources to support families and carers:

Guides, top tips and ideas (Learning Disability Professional Senate)
Directory of support services in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough
Emergency planning (Dimensions)
Comprehensive, reliable and regularly updated sources of information and resources can be found at the Learning Disabilities Health Network and Learning Disability England.

Infant feeding help and advice during COVID-19
There are lots of places for help and advice on breastfeeding during this difficult time. This is to support people who have been discharged from our maternity services.
We have a new page on our website with information about all the breastfeeding support available at the moment.
From Facebook chats, to texting for support, virtual support groups, to telephone helplines, we support to suit all needs. https://www.cambridgeshireandpeterboroughccg.nhs.uk/your-health-and-services/better-births/coronavirus-advice-and-guidance-for-pregnant-and-postnatal-women/infant-feeding-help-and-advice-during-covid-19/

Advice re bonfires

As there’s been an increase in the number of bonfires in the parish recently Council feels it is timely to publicise the advice from Huntingdonshire District Council.
Please click on the link below.

https://www.huntingdonshire.gov.uk/media/1235/advice-to-householders-garden-
bonfires.pdf

COVID-10 Parish Update Supporting Mental Health

Parish & Town Council and Resident Association updates

Now we’re talking – coming together in isolation
Organisations across the county have joined forces to launch a wellbeing campaign and additional mental health support for people during the coronavirus outbreak.

‘Now We’re Talking’, encourages people to get talking to combat loneliness whilst self-isolating, and to seek help if they are struggling with their mental health.

The campaign, led by the local authority, NHS and third sector also directs people to increased mental health support available including:

Lifeline Plus – a mental health and wellbeing helpline for people aged 18 and over living in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, is available Monday-Friday between 9am and 2pm via freephone 0808 808 2121. The line will support people to manage their wellbeing, provide self-help advice or signpost to other organisations for particular concerns.
7 days a week, between 2pm and 11pm the same number is Lifeline, managed by Lifecraft who provide support for those in mental health distress: 0808 808 2121.
Qwell – an online wellbeing support, including educational and self-help articles and peer-to-peer support via forums. Adults are also able to receive help from qualified counsellors via drop-in or scheduled online chat sessions. www.qwell.io
Keep Your Head – this website brings together all the mental health support available across the county – www.keep-your-head.com/now
Search for #nowweretalking on Twitter and Facebook.

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Mobile library helps distribute food to rough sleepers in Cambridge
Cambridgeshire Mobile Library staff are maintaining their strong community spirit during Covid-19 by helping with the distribution of food and other essentials to rough sleepers in Cambridge.

Thanks to their highly effective teamwork, mobile library staff are distributing around 55 meals daily along with toiletries, clothes, books, magazines and jigsaws as requested. This is part of a wider network of organisations who have risen to the challenge of providing for the homeless in the city.

The service had initially offered its helpful staff and fleet of three mobiles to support local foodbanks in their efforts to deliver food to those in need.

Staff were then approached by agencies in Cambridge to support a joint venture aiming to deliver hot meals to rough sleepers housed in temporary accommodation during the lockdown.

Meals are freshly prepared by volunteers from the Wintercomfort day centre and Sally Ann’s charity and other local church groups. They are then loaded onto the Mobile Library for delivery to three hotels providing rough sleepers with temporary accommodation.

Meals include curry and rice, baked potatoes with chilli con carne, sausage casserole as well as sausages mash and gravy. Rough sleepers also get a bag with sandwiches, crisps, chocolate, yogurt and cereal to last them the rest of the day.

Library staff are able to adhere to social distancing guidance whilst at the hotels by wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including plastic aprons, gloves and face masks. A team of volunteers remain inside the vehicle and distribute the meals from the back, while another volunteer stays outside to check the names of meal recipients, note who has received food and record any other welfare-related queries, which are then fed back daily.

For updates and information about digital services offered by your local library, visit:

Cambridgeshire: https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/libraries-leisure-culture/libraries/library-news
Peterborough: https://vivacity.org/libraries-archives/online-library-services/

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School helps ensure ‘the sew’ can go on for frontline workers
Keen to play their part in supporting our critical frontline workers, staff at Queen Katherine Academy in Peterborough have been the latest to put their skills to good use by creating some much-needed PPE.

Teachers combined the old with the new, with Mr Shirley using modern machinery and technology to create face visors, while Mrs Shirley showed her handwork with a good old-fashioned sewing machine to produce cotton facemasks and scrub bags.

The pair have now produced over 80 individual masks, bags and visors, which have been distributed to palliative care nurses, a GP surgery and local pharmacy.

If you’d like to be involved in similar community projects, please contact your local hub:

Cambridge City Hub
Fenland District Hub
East Cambs District Hub
Hunts District Hub
South Cambs District Hub
Peterborough City Hub
To contact the countywide hub visit www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/coronavirus or www.peterborough.gov.uk/coronavirus

It can also be contacted Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm, and Saturdays 9am to 1pm on 0345 045 5219

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You can keep up-to-date with any changes to our services on our websites:

Peterborough – https://www.peterborough.gov.uk/healthcare/public-health/coronavirus/disruption-to-council-services
Cambridgeshire – https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/coronavirus/disruption-to-council-services
Our advice and latest information on Coronavirus can be found on both websites – www.peterborough.gov.uk/coronavirus and www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/coronavirus

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Sharing Parish Updates
You are welcome to share this Parish Update by forwarding the email to people in your community, who can also subscribe to receive updates from Cambridgeshire County Council by registering and selecting ‘Parish and District Updates’ from the list under Covid-19. We are asking City councillors to forward this update to their local residents associations.

Contact:

parishesCV@cambridgeshire.gov.uk

CCC and PCC