Cambridgeshire County Council update 23rd April 2020

Look out for ‘Highlights from the Hubs’

We’re getting some great feedback about the work of the Hubs, so we’re launching a new weekly e-newsletter starting tomorrow (Friday 24 April) to share positive news stories and case studies from countywide and city/district hubs.

‘Highlights from the Hubs’ will be emailed out every Friday to an extensive mailing list including Members, MPs, local councils, residents associations, and community networks, who can then share it with their own contacts.

The Parish and Town Council and Residents Association Update e-bulletin will continue to be issued daily Monday – Thursday to share key Covid-19 messages and useful information from all agencies involved.

Numbers of vulnerable children attending our schools above national average

Education, Children, Social Care and Health services across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough have been working together tirelessly with schools to ensure those children who are deemed vulnerable are able to attend a school or early years setting when this is in their best interests – with attendance across our region higher than the national average.

This week, England’s Child Commissioner, Anne Longfield told the BBC the national picture was worrying, with data showing only around 5% of children deemed vulnerable were actually attending schools – meaning they are ‘at home, potentially with a cocktail of risks.’ She went on to say; “So often these children are quite invisible at home and not in the place which is best at keeping them safe – school.”

Social Care and Education Leaders across Cambridgeshire County and Peterborough City Council’s acted early, working with School Heads and Trust Leaders to identify those children who would most benefit from continuing to attend school, many of whom will have a social worker and/or have complex disabilities. Schools and other services have worked with parents to ensure attendance and schools have kept their doors open. Around 10% more schools than the national average have been open including nearly 50% of schools open on Good Friday and Easter Monday. Our proportion of vulnerable children attending during this time was around 12% higher than the national reported position.

This ongoing work has seen attendance in our region exceed the national average, with data collected over the Easter period showing more schools open across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, and more vulnerable pupils present than in many other parts of the country as a relative proportion of our school population.

However, engagement with families continues, in a push to make sure those who should be attending school have a place available for them.

The Government criteria for vulnerable children is available on its website.

Dr Liz Robin vlog about mental health

Dr Liz Robin, Director of Public Health for Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council, talks about how the stay at home measures have changed nearly all of our daily routines, and offers advice on where to look for help to cope with the effect this has on our mental health.

Watch today’s video blog here

PE and Physical Activity help for children – and parents!

It is so important that children stay active at this challenging time. Without the routine of regular physical activity at school, children are at a greater risk of developing poor habits which can have a detrimental effect on their physical and mental health.

Ian Roberts, our Special Adviser for PE & School Sports, has developed a PE @ Home online pack, with a range of activities and resources to support families in providing PE at home. Ian said ‘the activities involve very little equipment or kit. They are quick and easy to set up, so everyone can get up and running (in some cases literally!) and start burning off some energy quickly. You can learn in your lunchtime, and make the most of the good weather’. The Physical Education @ Home pack is available here.

Communities in Brampton and Hinchingbrooke come together to help vulnerable residents

The communities in Brampton and Hinchingbrooke have come together to support their most vulnerable residents during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Brampton Village Hub was set up in 2016 to coordinate and develop several community activities including supporting vulnerable residents in Brampton. When the Covid-19 crisis started, the Village Hub as well as a flood of new volunteers via Facebook set up the Brampton Community Support Network (BCSN), backed by parish council endorsement and funding.

The Hub run a helpdesk and are specifically aiming to aid vulnerable and elderly people that are self-isolating in Brampton and have recently expanded to cover Hinchingbrooke.

Armed with over 65 volunteers, they are working together to support vulnerable people with:

  • Food shopping
  • Prescription collections
  • Online book, jigsaw or game orders for residents with no internet access
  • Regular newsletters with the most up to date support and information
  • Or just a friendly voice on the phone

Vulnerable residents in Brampton and Hinchingbrooke can ring the helpline services on 01480 272981, Monday to Friday between 9am to 5pm.

Peterborough Islamic centre doing its bit for the community

Members of the Husaini Islamic Centre (HIC) have joined the effort to support members of the community who need help and support – including producing online sermons.

The HIC is providing crucial services with the help of a strong team of volunteers who are in regular contact with those deemed vulnerable, whether that is due to age or illness, to ensure that their needs are met.

This team of dedicated multi-lingual volunteers undertakes many activities to reach all members of the local community, from organising food shopping and prescription deliveries to those who cannot access them otherwise, offering someone to talk to for people experiencing loneliness, and delivering PPE to those who require it.

The Husaini Islamic Centre has also created a fantastic ‘broadcast team’ using state of the art technology to produce sermons, lectures and prayers to be streamed into our homes. They also host weekly quizzes for families to enjoy, keeping everyone at home entertained, as well as providing people with the appropriate technology to access these online benefits.

The Muslim festival of Ramadan starts today and will be continuing until Saturday, 23 May.