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.


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.


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.”


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.


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.”


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.


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.

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