Pboro City Council COVID-19 update

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: Thursday, 23 April 2020

Numbers of vulnerable children attending our schools above national average – but work doesn’t stop there – 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.

Jonathan Lewis, Director of Education for Cambridgeshire County and Peterborough City Councils, said: “Staying at home and being safe remains the key narrative but at this difficult time for families and for our staff, I really want to give a clear message that our schools remain open for those who need us most. School leaders were preparing for this situation before the lockdown began and while there’s no denying we are in unprecedented times, our forward planning has helped ensure schools now have robust procedures in place and are able and willing to support those children deemed vulnerable. Many of our schools are working together and supporting each other to make this happen. I want to thank headteachers and their staff for doing all they can to support their communities.”

Lou Williams, Director of Childrens Services and Safeguarding for Cambridgeshire County and Peterborough City Council’s added: “Our number one priority has always been to protect the wellbeing of all our children and to offer them an environment in which they are supported, free from risk and able to thrive. I know my team have been working extremely hard and continue to work with those parents of children who are deemed vulnerable, including school attendance when this is in the best interests of the children concerned.”

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

Bin collection crews in Peterborough say ‘thank you’ to residents (see pic) – Refuse collectors in Peterborough have published a photo on social media thanking all key workers working during the Covid-19 outbreak.

They also want to thank residents too for their cooperation and patience during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Crews have been blown away by the messages of support, drawings and waves from residents while they make their collections. They have also noticed that many are making a real effort to keep their waste to a minimum to help crews make their rounds on time during Covid-19. Our crews are performing an essential service during the outbreak and are doing everything they can to continue emptying Peterborough bins.

Residents are reminded that the garden waste collection service is for subscribed residents only. Please do not put your brown garden waste bin out for collection if you do not subscribe to the garden waste service and have a sticker on the bin, as it delays busy crews in having to check subscriber lists.

Ian Dean, refuse collector for Aragon Direct Services, said: “The vast majority of households in Peterborough have been brilliant. They have understood that all local authority refuse services are under pressure due to Coronavirus and have been making a real effort to keep their bins as light as possible and not to undertake vast clear-outs during this time.

“We’d like to thank everyone who has written messages of support, children who’ve drawn us pictures and residents who regularly wave to us from the window for all their support – it really does make our day.”

Waste collections in Cambridgeshire are handled by Cambridge City Council, East Cambridgeshire District Council, South Cambridgeshire District Council, Fenland District Council and Huntingdonshire District Council and you can see details about their waste collections on their websites.

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.

Peter Menczer, Chairman, Brampton Village Hub said: “In Brampton and Hinchingbrooke, we have around 3000 households that we have reached out to offering support.

“In the first three weeks, we have taken over 1,000 calls and helped over 850 people with food shops, prescription collections, informal contacts to put a smile on people’s faces and we are now increasing the range of services we offer.

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

“Each of our volunteers have a street area that they look after meaning if people need support they can contact their street volunteer directly.” Mr Menczer said.

Cllr Peter Downes, a Cambridgeshire County Councilllor and local member for Brampton said: “The existence of our Village Hub helped to coordinate the excellent community work that is happening Brampton and now in Hinchingbrooke in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

“The BCSN is now a Recognised Organisation and is working with the County and District councils to provide essential services in these difficult times.”

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.

Rizwan Rahemtulla, President of the Husaini Islamic Centre, said: “No-one could have predicted that this pandemic would affect us in such a way, whereby places of worship would have to close in order to protect all our communities from infection and of course to not over-stretch the NHS staff who are all doing a sterling job.

“However, we must always look for the positive; this pandemic has brought all of society closer together, has made us less selfish and urged us to look after each other regardless of any difference.

“I am very proud of my members who have come forward to volunteer their services to help those who need it during this difficult time.

“If you need our help, please get in touch by texting or phoning our dedicated helpline 07950 320984. We will do what we can – we are in this together and together we will be successful.”

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

Dr Liz Robin vlog – 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. Dr Liz Robin is available for down the line interviews about the current Covid-19 situation or the contents of today’s Vlog. Please contact the newsdesk to check availability.

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.

You can keep up-to-date with any changes to our services on our websites:

Our advice and latest information on Coronavirus can be found on both websites – and

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.

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