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Community spirit thrives in Cambridge amid coronavirus pandemic - positive stories of charitable efforts

The charitable spirit of Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire communities is coming to the fore during these difficult times.

The coronavirus pandemic is placing stress, pressure and huge demands on so many walks of life - none more so than the NHS.

But shows of kindness and goodwill have also been in plentiful supply.

It can sometimes be tough to see past the news headlines each day, but so much effort is being put in across the community to either say thanks to the key workers or to support the most vulnerable in society.

We want to help say thank you to all those who are going the extra yard to support the frontline staff by providing either financial or food donations, and shine a light on all of their contributions.

The Rotary Club of Cambridge

More than £7,600 has been donated to the Cambridge Aid charity by The Rotary Club of Cambridge, with the money raised in just six weeks.

Cambridge Aid, which has been operating locally for many decades, gives money to the most needy, and in the current situation they have been swamped by cries for help.

Paul Ray, Cambridge Aid honorary treasurer, said: “We are very, very grateful for this extra support from Rotary. We are working hard to keep making grants to those that need them in Cambridge and surrounding villages.

“We are having to overcome many practical difficulties of the lockdown with help from other charities.

“It is inspiring to have the backing of Rotarians with the certainty that many people will need more not less help in the months to come.”

Cambridge Aid chair, Nicola Longdon, said: “We are beyond grateful to Rotary for its support as we struggle to deal with the effects of the pandemic on the city’s poorest people.

“Once again Rotary has stepped in at a time of crisis when there is fear for the future and genuine hardship. The Rotary Club members show us just what an extraordinary force for good it is in our community.”

It Takes A City Cambridge

Cambridgeshire County Council's mobile library has been repurposed during the coronavirus pandemic.

It is now helping to distribute food to rough sleepers being housed in Cambridge, seven days a week.

Bourn Golf & Country Club

Members have been getting in the charity swing of things to raise money for Magpas.

The 'At Home' Chipping Challenge saw golfers demonstrate their innovation by using a wide range of household devices to take part, including one who chipped a toilet roll into an outdoor toilet!

The home-based golf challenge saw them raise £1,400.

The McLachlans

The Cambridge family decided to jump for the NHS to raise funds for Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust over Easter.

Whether it be using a skipping rope, a trampoline in the back garden or hopping around the kitchen, they were springing into action.

Cambridge Sewa Day

Cambridge Sewa Day make a donation to Royal Papworth Hospital clinical project manager Colin Glen. Picture: Yogish/Cambridge Sewa Day (33402910)
Cambridge Sewa Day make a donation to Royal Papworth Hospital clinical project manager Colin Glen. Picture: Yogish/Cambridge Sewa Day (33402910)

The team collected donations of Easter eggs from local families, and a very generous donation from Cambourne Morrions.

The chocolates were delivered to The Darwin Centre for Young People at Fulbourn Hospital, Ferrars Hall Care Home in Huntingdon and 800 were sent to staff at the Royal Papworth Hospital.

The Cambridge Sewa Day team wanted to show their appreciation for all the hard work being undertaken.

Orwell Football Club

Members of Orwell Football Club have decided to raise money for the Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust.

They will do so by running 1,500 miles as a club during April, with the public asked to sponsor them with money going to the ACT.


An idea that has picked up traction from the Cambridgeshire County League football teams.

The idea is for people to use their daily work-out to raise money for the NHS.

Jamie Campbell has created a justgiving page and is urging people to Run 5k 4 The NHS.

Having completed the 5K, runners are asked to tweet a picture of themselves and use the hashtag #RUN5K4THENHS, with the money going to the Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust.

Isle of Ely Rowing Club

Members of Isle of Ely Rowing Club have been showing their support for Addenbrooke's Hospital.

During the Easter weekend, they are being asked to raise money through sponsorship by doing a marathon distance within their household on an indoor rowing machine, usually called an erg.

Food donations to Addenbrooke's

Companies throughout the region - big and small - have been showing support to key workers and NHS staff at Addenbrooke's with regular donations.

Coffee, hand creams, lip balm, fruit and veg, Easter eggs are just a few of the donations made as a show of thanks for everything that is being done.

Excelcare Holdings Care

Volunteers have been helping produce facemasks for staff at Excelcare Holdings.

With a huge demand on personal protective equipment (PPE), a contingency plan was put in place to ask staff if anyone could help.

Pearl Ewing, the regional lifestyle and wellbeing lead for Excelcare in Cambridgeshire, which has several homes in Cambridge, asked her sister Hazel and niece Rowena to help.

Between them, they made more than 50 masks and will be making more now they have more elastic.

When the masks have been handed into the care homes they will then go to the regional office to be shared amongst the 10 contingency boxes for the Cambridgeshire homes.

For more information or to offer further help, email Pearl Ewing at pearl.ewing@excelcareholdings.com

Facemasks for Excelcare Holdings. Picture: Pearl Ewing (33402787)
Facemasks for Excelcare Holdings. Picture: Pearl Ewing (33402787)

Share your positive stories of community action with us by emailing newsdesk@iliffemedia.co.uk - and don’t forget to share your pictures of life in lockdown with us.

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