Cambridgeshire County Council update 30th April 2020

Published: 01 May 2020

Further support for children affected by domestic abuse

Cambridgeshire County Council is delighted to have been awarded Home Office funding to support children affected by domestic abuse.

A total of £3.1 million nationally will go to specialist services for children who have both been directly and indirectly affected by domestic abuse.  This will include one-to-one and group counselling sessions to improve the mental health of children affected and early intervention schemes.

The funding comes at a crucial time as the Covid-19 lockdown has seen increased calls to national domestic abuse helplines and also an increase in children calling specialist helplines about abuse at home.

Just over £400K funding will be coming to Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to ensure a number of much needed services are delivered including trauma based therapy for children who have experienced domestic abuse, dedicated children’s workers in refuges and support to help women and children remain safely in their homes.

The Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Partnership website ( has all the local contacts for anyone living with or experiencing domestic abuse to use, along with information for friends and family of victims as well as information for professionals.
Dr Liz Robin vlog about the NHS being open for business

Dr Liz Robin’s, Director of Public Health for Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council, has released another video blog which has been shared on our YouTube and social media channels.  She talks about the NHS still being open for business, and advises that we should still seek urgent medical attention and treatment from GPs and Emergency Departments when we need it - as not doing so can pose a long term risk to our health, both mental and physical.

Watch today's vlog on YouTube.
Keeping everyone connected

The Covid-19 outbreak has made us all more reliant on phone networks and internet services to keep in touch, which is why they are designated as ‘critical’ services by the Government.  It’s vital that people can keep connected especially at a time when we are being asked to stay at home and practise social distancing.

Mobile phones or landlines are particularly essential for vulnerable people who are self-isolating, and those without internet access, to get food, medicines and other support they need. Many people are also facing financial uncertainty and the more vulnerable members of our communities may need a bit of extra help.

The UK’s major mobile and internet service providers have responded to this by offering a range of support for all their customers, including concessions for NHS frontline workers, the most vulnerable and people in financial hardship due to the Covid-19 situation.

Connecting Cambridgeshire, the digital connectivity programme led by Cambridgeshire County Council, is working with telecoms operators to improve broadband and mobile coverage across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, and has put together a Quick Guide to help available from the mobile networks which is summarised below.

Help for everyone to stay connected:

  • All phone users can get free access to all NHS UK online websites with data allowances unaffected, and free calls to NHS 111 and the Non-Emergency 101 service to the Police
  • NHS frontline staff, who are existing customers, can get mobile data access, voice calls and texts at no extra cost when using their personal mobiles for work
  • Vulnerable patients can get generous data allowances to use their mobile phones for video consultations with doctors and health staff
  • People finding it difficult to pay their phone bill as a result of Covid-19 can get support if they inform their provider
  • Vulnerable people – such as those who are Shielded - can get generous mobile and landline packages to ensure they remain connected, including data boosts at low prices and free calls from their landline or mobile, whether on contract or ‘pay as you go’.
  • All providers will remove all data allowance caps on all current fixed broadband services.
    Vulnerable customers or those self-isolating will receive alternative methods of communication where possible if priority repairs to fixed broadband and landlines cannot be carried out.

Visit the Connecting Cambridgeshire Getting Superfast webpage to check if you can get superfast broadband, and follow the steps to upgrade, or find out about the options available if you can’t get it yet.
St Neots school encourage pupils to ‘reach for the stars’

With the majority of our school-aged children currently learning at home, schools across the region have been thinking up ways of staying in touch and keeping the spirits up.

Staff at Crosshall Junior School, St Neots, wanted to let pupils know they are missing them lots, and to remain ambitious, resilient and kind, while they stay home and stay safe.

Not content with just creating a photo collage to spell out a message, which was no mean feat in itself, the staff went one step further by recreating an old S-Club 7 favourite, encouraging children to ‘follow that rainbow, and reach for the stars’.

While the video is already proving popular online, talk over a greatest hits medley are unfortunately only rumours at this stage.

You can view the video on YouTube.
Isleham volunteers host virtual quiz

Isleham’s extremely active volunteer group is not just focused on supporting the most vulnerable members of their community.  Besides daily prescription runs, shopping, gardening and regular phone calls to people living on their own, they are working to keep the whole community’s brains active too.

Each Tuesday evening they run a quiz night hosted by local County Councillor Mark Goldsack.  The family-friendly quiz is open to all in Isleham and has already helped to bring together new neighbours and friends - virtually.

The quiz starts at 7:30pm each Tuesday and consists of 100 questions ranging from general knowledge to a celebrity faces round.

The community quiz is set to continue throughout the lockdown period and is hoping for more village participants as the weeks unfold.