Community May 2020




Your Community is here for you -

especially in these challenging times

May 2020

Find out how and where to get help

Information and advice about public services

Community stories -

Celebrating how we have been pulling together


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Pictured: The Wish Tree in Fordham – find out what else is happening there and across our district inside.

Welcome to Community,

a newsletter from East

Cambs Together.

We are a group of community and public sector

partners collaborating in these challenging times. In this

edition we’re shining a light on communities who have

come together to support each other during the

Covid-19 pandemic. From checking in on neighbours,

providing essential support, to helping raise the spirits of

residents, we have lots of heart warming stories for you

to enjoy.

Talking about raising spirits of residents, did you spot

Captain America in Little Thetford? He had heard how

well behaved the children had been, dug into his

Captain America pockets to purchase Easter eggs and

shared them with the village. Several children in the

village dressed as their

favourite superhero to

make him feel at home.

We’re positive this isn't

the only superhero

hanging out in East





It’s not an easy time for families.

Young people want to see their

friends, and homeschooling is a

challenge. The youth group

ThePORT based in Littleport have

been finding ways to help

families and young people to

stay safe and supported by:

● Encouraging young people

to stay home and sharing the

importance of hand washing

through their Facebook page.

● Making contact with young

people from ThePort who

struggle with their mental health

and well-being, letting people

know phone support is available.

● Providing support to parents

who were struggling with

homeschooling along with craft

activities being distributed to

entertain young people, whilst

parents are home-working.

Friendships made in Sutton

Since lockdown Sutton

Timebank have supported 58

households with everyday

tasks, they’ve also set up the

Timebank phone buddy system,

where people are calling

isolated residents for a chat,

and a number of new

friendships have been made.

Sutton has seen a resident

selling plants from a

wheelbarrow outside her home

with proceeds going to charity,

and the drummer from the local

tribute band ‘Iron Fist ’has been

entertaining residents from his

front garden.



During these uncertain times

simple tasks such as

popping to the shops for a pint of

milk, the daily paper, or picking

up a prescription is not possible

for a lot of people. Over one

hundred volunteers from

Fordham Timebank have

stepped up to this challenge to

provide essential support to

vulnerable residents, here's a

few examples of how:

● Delivering daily newspapers

to the shielding residents to

keep them connected.

● Setting up the Covid Assist -

Temporary Foodbank for people

in the village who need a little

help with the basic food items

during difficult financial times.

● They’ve kept the community

baking by sourcing a large

bag of self raising flour - villagers

were able to head to the British

Legion to collect flour.



As your local GP practices, we are facing our most

significant challenge in the history of the NHS.

Please be reassured that all the changes we have

made to how we deliver your care are to keep you and our staff as

safe and well as possible, in line with government advice. Key

changes are explained below. They may vary between practices

but it gives you a good idea of what to expect, recognising that this

may change again as the epidemic progresses.


More phone and video consultations. We have reduced face-toface

consultations in surgeries and at home, including residential

and nursing homes, and are introducing video consultations. Your

primary way of reaching your GP is now AskMyGP.


Reduced services. If we have cancelled an appointment with you,

it’s because we are re-focusing our teams to help those who may

have contracted Covid-19, and/or to minimise the risk of spread of



Prescription changes. The demand for repeat prescriptions has

increased by about 50% since the government announced the

strict self-isolation guidance. This is putting immense pressure on our

dispensaries and pharmacies. Please don’t order your repeats early

or stock-pile medication. Request them no more than 10 days before

you are due to run out. We can only issue 1 months’ worth of



Government guidelines. The best ways to protect yourself and your

family are to follow the government guidelines on social distancing

applicable to everyone in the UK, self-isolation if someone in your

household develops symptoms, and good personal hygiene.

Our Social Prescribing Link Workers are able to contact older and

vulnerable people to check they have what they need. We are

based at the following Surgeries:

Staploe Medical Centre - Val Antell 01353 624121

Burwell Medical Centre - Jenni Milburn 01638 741234

Haddenham Medical Centre - Jenni Milburn 01353 740205

St. Mary’s Surgery, Ely - Pearl Charalambos 01353 663434

Cathedral Medical Centre, Ely - Sarah Porter 01353 669923

St. George’s Medical Centre, Littleport - Pearl and Sarah 01353 864100

If you are concerned about a member of your local community who

could be isolated, you can ring the Social Prescriber based at their

local Surgery.

Where to go

for support

Try locally first

You can find details of your local community

support in East Cambs throughout this

newsletter. The help that has been offered

varies, but some examples of the support that

has been offered include shopping, running

errands and friendly phone calls. There is a list

of local support groups on the back of this

newsletter for you to be able to cut out and


For the most up-to-date list you can check

the East Cambs District Council website:



hose taking a walk around the small woodland

hidden away in Coveney are unlikely to meet

another soul, but since the lockdown began signs of

children’s imagination are everywhere. There are faces

on the trees, rainbows chalked on the branches, fairy

houses and dens of sticks. Little signs from Coveney’s

youngest residents that community spirit continues

regardless of these strange times.




in need


uvEly is working in partnership with

Lighthouse and volunteers are packing

food boxes using surplus supermarket

donations, along with support from

FareShare. These food packages are

delivered each week to over 130 families

in our community who are isolated and in

need of a little help.




Little Thetford have been

providing support to their

vulnerable residents by volunteers

making weekly contact.

When they were contacted

via the village Facebook

page by a family who lived

150 miles away who were

concerned over the wellbeing

of their elderly

mother. The family was able

to talk to the volunteer who

could share the ongoing

support their mum was receiving.

The family was extremely

grateful and it put

their mind at rest.




icken's support network was

created by Amy Reeves and

Kate Wakefield with over 35

dedicated volunteers supporting

vulnerable residents.

A weekly fruit and veg delivery

service has been set up, and

managed by Amy and Kate, and

delivered by G&M's, a family run

business from Soham and

receives over 30 repeat orders

every week. Amy says:

"The residents of Wicken really

appreciate their weekly delivery

of fresh fruit and veg, the quality

of the produce is great and

people order every week."



AAA Motorcycle

Training Ltd are

offering a totally free

prescription collection

and delivery service

throughout Cambridgeshire

and into other bordering

counties. To organise use of

this service simply ring or

text Sam or Lori on

07384746025. Alternatively

you can email us on:




he Shade and Weatheralls schools in

Soham have been collaborating with

community organisations to celebrate VE

day. Over 30 children have written letters to

local older residents and in return they will

send their own letter to the children sharing

memories of VE day and post war


Many of the residents are

shielding, and are

delighted to be taking

part, engaging with

children and sharing

their memories and

experiences. Some

residents at Soham

Lodge are not only

taking part in the letter

writing, but also making a

film of their memories which they will share

with the children. A wonderful way to

commemorate VE day whilst creating a

piece of social history.

Want to Join in? Here’s how


The ‘My Dear New Friend’ project encourages children to write

letters to people living in care homes, it is supported by the National

Literacy Trust and you can find out more about it on their website –

We learnt about this project just as we went to press. Already a few

Support Groups have said they would like to facilitate letter

exchange in their own communities – if you live in Fordham or

Soham then please get in touch with Fordham Timebank or Soham

Handy Helpers (details listed on back pages) and in Littleport

contact Joanne Coe by email Age doesn’t

matter …we know people across the life spectrum would love to rekindle

the lost art of letter writing!

Our schools remain open for

vulnerable and keyworker children


ur Local Authority Education teams have been

working tirelessly with our primary and

secondary school leaders to ensure they can stay

open, and provide a safe and welcome learning

environment for our most vulnerable children and

those of our key workers. The result of this means we now have

considerably more children attending than the national average.

Schools were planning for this long before the lockdown was

enforced, so they are there for you now if you need them.

We have also been working with the Department of Education to

ensure families eligible for Free School Meals are still provided for,

whether children are at home or in school. We are helping promote

a Government voucher scheme, worth £3 per day for every eligible

child. These vouchers can be spent in a number of supermarkets,

such as Aldi, Morrisons and Sainsburys. Parents should contact their

school directly to find out more. The Government understand

people’s financial circumstances may have changed due to the

lockdown – so more families may now be eligible for free school


To help those with children at home, our team have produced the

amazing Home Learning Hub. This is full of ideas, activities,

challenges and tasks on a wide range of subjects from Maths and

English, to PE and Outdoor Learning. I would encourage you to have

a look. It’s proving to be very popular with parents who are

teaching their children at home.




ll library charges


suspended and the

due dates of items will

be extended until at

least the end of the

Government advised

lockdown for shielded

Individuals. Join the

library to read or listen

to books and use our

online resources:


g o v . u k / r e s i d e n t s /

l i b r a r i e s - l e i s u r e -




project to support people across

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough who

are carers to friends and family has seen

hundreds of people contacted to enquire

whether they need support.

Family carers are currently delivering unprecedented

levels of essential care and support

to people with care needs in the community

who are impacted by the pandemic.

Cambridgeshire County and Peterborough

City Council staff have contacted 1,557

family carers known to adult social care, to

check that they are coping, provide preventative

advice and connect them to

sources of support where this is needed.

If you are a carer and you would like to talk

to us about the support on offer, please call

the countywide hub on 0345 045 5219.




afterpreviousstatement(4 th april2020)


e have been very pleased with the general East Cambs

community for observing social distancing and abiding

by the Government ‘stay at home’ message. Our officers have

continued to conduct high visibility patrols particularly around

Supermarkets and Chemists as well as our villages. It’s a large

area you may not always see them, but they are out and


There has been some hate crime and hurtful comments

mainly instigated by social media – in a closed group setting.

We have taken steps to deal with it.

A number of crooks have been locked up. With the quieter

roads it isn’t as easy for people to get up to criminal activity

and keep a low profile. Officers are encouraged to stop and

engage with motorists and this has resulted in several people

being caught and arrested for criminal matters as well as


Additionally with our quieter roads some motorists seem to

think they can speed through our villages, we have been

doing a number of randomised speed checks with our Laser

calibrated speed gun. A number of motorists are now facing

the consequences… to shed tears when caught won’t mean

you are let off!

A very small number of people have received fines for not

observing the ‘stay at home message’, including for having

house parties and also coming to our area to go fishing.

The Constabulary has enabled on-line reporting for suspected

government advice breaches which can be found at


Finally, we take the opportunity to thank East Cambs residents

for supporting the emergency workers. It’s often a difficult and

taxing job and we are very grateful for public kindness

expressed by people’s comments and feedback.




Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service

is working hard to ensure there are crews of

firefighters ready to respond to emergencies. Residents

are, however, urged to stay fire safe while they isolate

in their homes, as many fires we attend can often be

avoided by following safety advice or people being

more careful.

It is really important that residents take care while

isolating and make sure they don’t put themselves at

risk. Small things like not having bonfires to clear

garden waste and making sure any smoking materials

are disposed of properly can all help prevent an

unnecessary fire, as well as thinking twice before

lighting candles.

One really simple thing people can do to protect their

families and their home is to ensure they have working

smoke alarms. They will alert you to a fire and give you

precious minutes to escape to safety. You should have

at least one on every floor and test them regularly.

Not only are we ready to respond to emergencies, but

our staff are also joining the local community hub to

provide support to residents who are shielding. We are

also providing support to the ambulance service by

providing staff to drive ambulances, deliver medicines

and to take vulnerable people to medical


More fire safety information, including activities to keep

children entertained, can be found on our website

Housing & Community


Your Housing & Community Advice Service is here to provide free,

unbiased confidential advice to members of the public in the East




We want to listen we want to help


Help at home with essential

shopping and our well being

phone line services

01353659639 or call 01954 211 919




Offering a support service to any

potential volunteers or community

groups that need help, advice or

guidance with procedures or


If you need any information or help

please ring me on 07971176124 or


Do you need help getting the support

and information you need at this difficult

time? Our information service can tell

you what is available locally. And let

you know your options.



Need help with

a problem?

Our friendly

team at

Citizens Advice

is here to help


West Suffolk

Rural Cambs



Support your community

There are so many vulnerable people in our

communities and we must keep up our

awareness of how we can recognise and

support them.

Thank you for making your Community your Business


t’s important we keep talking,

now more than ever. If

days seem tough and you

feel low, LifelinePlus can help.

Can you offer help?

Do you need help?

East Cambridgeshire Hub

The East Cambridgeshire Hub provides local support for our residents and will respond

to individual offers of help or request for support. It will also connect with

and support mutual aid and other community-led iniaves. Parish councils and

community groups in many areas are also offering direct support, and can also be

contacted for help.

Call: 01353 66 55 55

Open: Mon-Thurs 08:45-17:00 / Fri 08:45-16:30




If you believe you should be shielded and are at high risk, and

you do not have support from family, friends or neighbours,

please call the Countywide Hub.

The support network is now in place and everyday hundreds of

people are being supported to access food, medicines and

other support. The Countywide Hub is focused on supporting

residents who have been identified as shielding and being of the

highest risk.

To contact the countywide hub


It can also be contacted Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm,

and Saturdays 9am to 1pm on 0345 045 5219

Useful contacts and

support groups in

your area.

If the support group near you do not have a telephone number Call

East Cambs District Council and they will put you in touch with them.

01353 66 55 55



Ashley Parish Support Group 01638 731 043

Bottisham general support 07572 892 227

Bottisham and Lode shopping


Brinkley/Burrough Green 07715 574 296

Burwell Day centre (meals on

wheels) 01638 743 363

Burwell Help Scheme

Cheveley Parish and Support

Group 01638 780 835

Chippenham Helping Hands 07585 963 756

07852 549 654 (9am - 11.30am)

01638 614 331 (9.30am - 7pm)

Coveney (inc Ward Hill) Village

Hall Support Group 07890 988 443

Dullingham Volunteer Network

01638 507 997

Ely Mutual Aid

Mon - Fri

9am - 12noon 07818580 209/07704 156 867

12noon - 5pm 07719 980 502

Sat & Sun leave a message: 07704 156 867

Ely Community Response

Lighthouse Centre

01353 662 228


Elt St Etheldreda Church Support


01353 662 759 - 07763 800 565

Ely Stour green Mutual Aid Group

07900 195 136

Fordham Timebank 07395 941 522

Haddenham Support Group

Isleham Parish & Volunteer Group 07831 168 899

Kennett Support

Little Downham & Pymoor Mutual


07850 521 590



Little Thetford Parish & Friendship

Group 07795 200 447

Littleport Support Group

Lode/Longmead Mutual Aid

Mepal Parish & Support Group

Reach Parish Council & Support


Snailwell Parish Council 07527 777 942

Soham Town Council & Soham Handy


Stetchworth Support 01638 780 835

Stretham Parish Council & Womens


07812 243 732

07842 499 377

01353 723 472 (weekdays 9am-1pm)

Sutton Timebank 07595 736 664

Swaffham Bulbeck Support Response

Swaffham Prior Parish Support

Wicken Support Group

Wilburton Isolation Support Group

01223 813 556

07825 787 896

07961 737 020

Witcham Parish and Support Group 07933 547 290

Witchford Parish & Support Group 07933 547 290

Wentworth Support

01353 778 684

Westley Waterless 07970 582 184


If you have concerns about an adult with care and support needs

please do use our usual route: Cambridgeshire County Council

0345 045 5202



If you are a Community Leader interested in getting involved with

East Cambs Together please email:


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