Coronavirus: The essential daily briefing for Cambridgeshire - March 25
Cambridgeshire County Council has released its daily briefing with a round-up of any changes to its services.
The briefing for Wednesday, March 25, takes into account the latest government announcements.
Food and supplies donations
Staff at both Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council have been delivering emergency supply hampers to vulnerable young residents in need.
The corporate parenting teams delivered 12 hampers filled with food, toiletries, cleaning products, books and clothing. These went to young people in care and care leavers.
The county council said: “Thank you everyone who donated these items. If you or someone you know owns a restaurant, café or pub which is currently closed, we’re urging you not to throw out food or supplies.
“Instead you can donate it to us so we can deliver more hampers to those in need. Get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Cambridgeshire County Council is leading the establishment of an ‘economic recovery sub-group’ that has been set up as part of a Strategic Coordinating Group (SCG) looking at the impact of Covid-19.
Working with the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, the county council is driving forward the early set-up of this group to ensure businesses across Cambridgeshire are fully aware of the various financial support measures being made available by Government and that as many businesses as possible secure the support they are eligible to receive.
Families and schools
Schools and early years settings across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough remain open, as they continue to look after those children deemed to be vulnerable and those of critical workers.
Parents across both areas are listening to the advice set out by Government, with the number of children in attendance much lower than originally predicted.There are lots of resources on the council’s ‘learn together’ website to help parents who are keeping their children at home.
Jonathan Lewis, service director for education, said: “I want to say thank you to those parents who are following the advice of Government and keeping their children at home. You are playing a big part in helping relieve the pressures on the system, and allowing us to prioritise our resources where they are needed most.
“We are seeing children from critical worker families attending, but I want to reiterate that we will also provide for children who are supported by social care and who have safeguarding and welfare needs.
“We continue to work closely with the Department of Health, our teachers, practitioners and childminders, and have put measures in place to ensure the safety of those children and staff who are in attendance. We are in this together.”
The Government’s definition of critical workers and children who are vulnerable is available here.
Free school meal scam
The county council has received reports of parents and carers in receipt of free school meals being targeted by fraudsters. Parents and carers have reported receiving emails with messages such as “if your child is entitled to free school meals send your bank details to the school and they will help with funding while the school is closed”.
The email contains links for the parents to follow, these emails and links are fake. Do not give your bank details. If you think you have been targeted by a fraudster, do not reply to the email. Instead, contact your school directly.
The county council has identified 75 new volunteers and recruited 12 following a campaign to increase the number of people available to provide care to vulnerable people in their own homes.
The new volunteers had their first day of training yesterday (Wednesday, March 24). They will be providing personal or health care to vulnerable people in their own homes or in a care setting. This includes showering, giving medication and helping someone use the toilet.
Adrian Chapman, service director for communities and safety for Peterborough City Council and Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “We would like to thank the volunteers that have come forward so far to help us provide vital services, their contribution has already been inspiring.”
Councillor Steve Criswell, chairman of the communities and partnership committee at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “We’re grateful for the people who are coming forward in these challenging times, if you feel you can contribute, please get in touch and find out who you can help.”
Councillor Irene Walsh, cabinet member for communities at Peterborough City Council, added: “These volunteers are bringing in a range of skills and experience that will be essential to keep people safe and keep providing care and support so thank you.”
Road signs in Cambridgeshire
Following a request from the Department for Transport, the county council will be helping to give consistent and widespread messaging about the need for people to stay at home during the Covid-19 crisis by displaying messages on its road signs.
More by this authorGemma Gardner