Healthwatch Cambridgeshire and Healthwatch Peterborough – local champions for people who use Health and Social Care services – want to hear how changes to services during Covid-19 have affected you and your loved ones. By taking part in their latest survey, you will be helping our local NHS and social care system ensure everyone gets high quality and safe support.
Many health and social care services have had to adapt in order to continue supporting people whilst keeping them safe from Covid-19, and it is important to share your experiences so that any needed improvements can be made.
Healthwatch Cambridgeshire and Healthwatch Peterborough have worked with local authorities and the NHS and used the feedback of local people to develop and launch a new online survey exploring experiences during the coronavirus crisis. This survey aims to find out about people’s experiences of health, social care, and community support throughout the pandemic in order to help local authorities and the NHS understand how people have been affected.
The survey only takes 10 minutes to complete and all respondents remain completely anonymous.
Help us by taking the survey at www.healthwatchcambridgeshire.co.uk/coronavirus-yourviews or www.healthwatchpeterborough.co.uk/coronavirus-yourviews.
If you need a paper questionnaire, please contact Healthwatch on 0330 355 1285 or text 0752 0635 176.
Sensory service finds new ways to provide support
The Cambridgeshire County Council Sensory Service Team is continuing to provide vital support to sensory impaired people throughout the pandemic. Due to the nature of the work, staff often work in close proximity with the service users, but because of social distancing rules, they have had to make some changes.
Alongside other prevention and early intervention teams, sensory services work with people with sensory impairments, such as those who are deaf, deafblind, hard of hearing, severely sight impaired and sight impaired. Normally, qualified visual impairment rehabilitation workers would visit service users in their home and help them gain skills and independence or assist them with daily tasks. This can include things such as helping them change duvets or learning cooking skills.
However, because of the pandemic, staff are unable to carry out their work as they usually would. Instead, the team has been looking at new ways to complete rehab and work with people. This includes setting up calls and video calls and talking them through daily tasks.
Below is one example of changes we have made, accompanied by feedback from a service user.
Nic Poole, rehabilitation worker at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “I had been working with one of our service users, Sue, for many weeks, teaching her how to use a long cane in the community and building her skills within the home, when Covid-19 struck. She had continued to receive regular calls from us as she was on the vulnerable persons list, but I decided to see if we could get her using Zoom, which we managed.
“This enabled me to read some of her correspondence which she had been unable to access and then discussed trying kitchen skills the following week. I set up a makeshift kitchen in my home office with good lighting and contrasting coloured equipment to enable her to use her residual vision to see a demonstration before trying herself. Sue set up the camera in her kitchen so I could clearly see what she was doing whilst she was following verbal instructions. This was a great success.”
Though this method would not be suitable for many people, it worked well for Sue, who wanted to share the feedback below:
“Hi Nic, thanks for continuing my training on Zoom. It was easy to access via your email and once you had gone through the options on my device, easy to navigate. Though for many reasons it doesn’t match up to having you with me in person, I was able to increase my kitchen skills and have you check them after your demonstration. It’s really helping to keep my spirits up whilst in isolation. Really appreciate that. Thanks again. ”
Cambridgeshire charity receives the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service
March Amateur Boxing Club has been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.
Established 70 years ago, March Amateur Boxing Club provides boxing training, general fitness and a gym for adults and children aged eight upwards. The club achieves remarkable results with little funding, relying entirely on the goodwill of volunteers who are clearly committed to not only the club but also the success of its individual members.
The club has 10 coach volunteers, who come from a variety of backgrounds and have gained All England Boxing coaching accreditation at their own expense. Overall it has around 250 active members, of which around 150 attend in any week.
The Cambridgeshire winners are one of 230 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of nominations and awards has increased year on year since the awards were introduced in 2002, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life better for those around them.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. Winners are announced each year on 2 June – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation. Award winners this year are wonderfully diverse, and include volunteers helping people overcome mental health problems through sport, volunteers who use music and groups who help the homeless.
Representatives of March Amateur Boxing Club will receive the award from Julie Spence, OBE QPM, Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, later in the year.
More information on the Award can be found at https://www.gov.uk/queens-award-for-voluntary-service – any group of two or more people that has participated in voluntary work for more than three years can be nominated for the award. Full details on how to nominate are available at http://qavs.direct.gov.uk/ and nominations for the 2021 awards close on 25 September 2020.
Keep Active with Oaks
Simple strength and balance exercises twice a week are proven to keep you stronger for longer, helping you to to enjoy the great things you like doing when life begins to return to normal.
Peterborough City Council and Cambridgeshire County Council are encouraging people to keep active at home, so they’ll be able to keep doing the things they enjoy – for longer.
Judith Maughan, 70, who lives in Bury near Ramsey and is currently waiting for a knee replacement, has been doing the Keep Active with Oaks classes every day during lockdown via Facebook.
Judith said: “I have a good laugh and I work hard. I used to go to keep-fit years ago and every class was the same, so it was boring, but with Lou every class is brilliant.
“I use a walking stick at the moment, and can only walk so far, so exercising at home is the perfect solution for me and Lou is fantastic. She manages to cheer me up with her new routines every day.
“If anyone is thinking about taking part, but hesitating, I say go for it. I wish I’d started doing this years ago. Go at your own pace. Listen to your body – and go for it!”
You can join a class or find out more via the Keep Active With Oaks Facebook page.
Watch Judith take on a Seated Beginners Class here: https://youtu.be/dOfbeUCTom8.
National Special Weekend
This weekend is #NationalSpecialsWeekend and Cambridgeshire Police is saying thank you to all those people who dedicate their spare time to helping police Cambridgeshire.
Many have regular careers but still find the time to help fight crime and keep people safe in their local communities. And they have been supporting their regular colleagues on the front line since the current Covid-19 crisis began.
Last month they worked 635 shifts and a total of more than 5,000 hours.
Being a Special brings with it professional training and the opportunity to gain unique skills and experience that can be used in all walks of life.
If you want to join them, find out more here https://www.cambs.police.uk/apply/Jobs/Job-types/Special-constable