Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council communications team will be providing a daily media update with a round-up of any changes to council services arising from the Coronavirus. Please note – all information is correct at the time of publishing.
UPDATE: Monday, 27 April 2020
Now we’re talking – coming together in isolation – Organisations across the county have joined forces to launch a wellbeing campaign and additional mental health support for people during the coronavirus outbreak.
‘Now We’re Talking’, encourages people to get talking to combat loneliness whilst self-isolating, and to seek help if they are struggling with their mental health.
The campaign, led by the local authority, NHS and third sector also directs people to increased mental health support available including:
· Lifeline Plus – a mental health and wellbeing helpline for people aged 18 and over living in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, is available Monday-Friday between 9am and 2pm via freephone 0808 808 2121. The line will support people to manage their wellbeing, provide self-help advice or signpost to other organisations for particular concerns.
· 7 days a week – between 2pm and 11pm the same number is Lifeline, managed by Lifecraft who provide support for those in mental health distress: 0808 808 2121.
· Qwell – an online wellbeing support, including educational and self-help articles and peer-to-peer support via forums. Adults are also able to receive help from qualified counsellors via drop-in or scheduled online chat sessions. www.qwell.io
· Keep Your Head – this website brings together all the mental health support available across the county – www.keep-your-head.com/now
Dr Liz Robin, Director of Public Health at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “Local people are making a huge contribution by following the government’s instruction to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. But we recognise these measures mean that nearly all of us will have made changes to our daily routines, and many of us may be experiencing uncertainty, anxiety, or stress.
“Maintaining our mental health and wellbeing is incredibly important, especially at times like this. So taking time to call a friend or family member, and talking about the way that we feel, and some of the things that we may be worried about will help”.
Aly Anderson, CEO of Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and South Lincolnshire Mind, adds: “Recognising the power of talking, charities and services have partnered to develop a new helpline during coronavirus. We will provide a listening ear for people to share how they are feeling or issues they are facing right now. We will support people to manage their wellbeing, learn self-help skills or to access other support for particular concerns; such as bereavement, employment or those that are caring for others.”
Tracy Dowling, Chief Executive at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This is a challenging time for everyone, and this campaign highlights how we can all look after our mental health and each other. CPFT continues to provide specialist mental health support for those who require further help. In the current climate we’ve had to adapt our services and are already offering video consultations rather than face-to-face appointments where appropriate. We have also increased the support in our crisis services to ensure people who need urgent help can access it quickly.”
Mobile library helps distribute food to rough sleepers in Cambridge – Cambridgeshire Mobile Library staff are maintaining their strong community spirit during Covid-19 by helping with the distribution of food and other essentials to rough sleepers in Cambridge.
Thanks to their highly effective teamwork, mobile library staff are distributing around 55 meals daily along with toiletries, clothes, books, magazines and jigsaws as requested. This is part of a wider network of organisations who have risen to the challenge of providing for the homeless in the city.
The service had initially offered its helpful staff and fleet of three mobiles to support local foodbanks in their efforts to deliver food to those in need.
Staff were then approached by agencies in Cambridge to support a joint venture aiming to deliver hot meals to rough sleepers housed in temporary accommodation during the lockdown.
Meals are freshly prepared by volunteers from the Wintercomfort day centre and Sally Ann’s charity and other local church groups. They are then loaded onto the Mobile Library for delivery to three hotels providing rough sleepers with temporary accommodation.
Meals include curry and rice, baked potatoes with chilli con carne, sausage casserole as well as sausages mash and gravy. Rough sleepers also get a bag with sandwiches, crisps, chocolate, yogurt and cereal to last them the rest of the day.
Library staff are able to adhere to social distancing guidance whilst at the hotels by wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including plastic aprons, gloves and face masks. A team of volunteers remain inside the vehicle and distribute the meals from the back, while another volunteer stays outside to check the names of meal recipients, note who has received food and record any other welfare-related queries, which are then fed back daily.
Councillor Steve Criswell, chairman of the communities and partnership committee at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “This is yet another fantastic example of a service working with others to help those in need during these difficult times. It’s really heart-warming to see and I would like to thank those involved for their sterling efforts. We are proud of everyone who is doing their bit and are committed to helping communities as much as possible.”
Lots of activities have also been going on in Peterborough to deliver wrap-around services for rough sleepers currently being housed in accommodation due to Covid-19. These include meals, GP support, prescriptions, mental health advice and drug and alcohol addiction services have also been delivered by the Safer Off the Streets partnership in Peterborough. An update on these will be coming later on this week.
School helps ensure ‘the sew’ can go on for frontline workers (see pic) – Keen to play their part in supporting our critical frontline workers, staff at Queen Katherine Academy in Peterborough have been the latest to put their skills to good use by creating some much-needed PPE.
Teachers combined the old with the new, with Mr Shirley using modern machinery and technology to create face visors, while Mrs Shirley showed her handwork with a good old-fashioned sewing machine to produce cotton facemasks and scrub bags.
The pair have now produced over 80 individual masks, bags and visors, which have been distributed to palliative care nurses, a GP surgery and local pharmacy.
Mrs Shirley, Subject Leader for Textiles at the school said: “As Design Technology and Textiles teachers we also seek to use design and manufacturing to find solutions to problems where we can. We are so pleased to be able to put this into practice and use our experience and materials to produce equipment that will help up those workers on the frontline who are doing such a fantastic job.”
You can keep up-to-date with any changes to our services on our websites:
- Peterborough – https://www.peterborough.gov.uk/healthcare/public-health/coronavirus/disruption-to-council-services
- Cambridgeshire – https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/coronavirus/disruption-to-council-services
Coronavirus: what you need to do
- Stay at home
- Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home)
- Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
- Wash your hands as soon as you get home
Anyone can spread the virus!
Full guidance on staying at home and away from others can be found here.