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June 2022 Cambridgeshire Matters newsletter


Welcome to the June 2022 Cambridgeshire Matters newsletter.

Welcome to the latest edition of Cambridgeshire Matters, our monthly newsletter which aims to share good news, highlights and updates from across Cambridgeshire to help our network of district, city and community members stay informed.

It’s June and our great British summer has finally arrived! Obviously, we have to accept a few rainy days in between the sunshine, but predominantly the weather is fine and people are enjoying getting out and about.

Please enjoy this latest edition of Cambridgeshire Matters and find out about the great work which is taking place to support everyone in the county. Share this e-newsletter with your parish council colleagues and feel free to use any of the features in your own newsletter or social media.


 

Struggling pensioners can get help from Household Support Fund

Cambridgeshire pensioners struggling with the rising cost of living can apply for support from the Household Support Fund thanks to a partnership between Cambridgeshire County Council and Age UK Cambridgeshire and Peterborough (Age UK CAP).

Anyone reaching pensionable age by 30 September 2022 who lives in the county council area can apply for support. Financial support can be provided within a few days as well as help to find longer-term support to maximise and manage their finances.

Those seeking support should apply to Age UK CAP on 01223 221929 or emailhsf@ageukcap.org.uk

Councillor Tom Sanderson, Chair of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Communities, Social Mobility and Inclusion Committee, said: “The rapidly rising cost of living is understandably a source of considerable anxiety to many – especially coming so soon after the pandemic and its effect on the economy and household budgets.

“We are using the Household Support Fund to try and make sure that those most in need in our county receive support. If you know a pensioner who might benefit, please encourage them to apply.”

More information can be found at www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/household-support-fund

 

Quintessential summer’s day in Cambridgeshire

Newmarket Racecourse was buzzing with excitement when HRH's The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Cambridgeshire Day.

The day showcased the very best from Cambridgeshire business, charity, community and public sectors.

The aim of the day was to inspire future generations with a display of innovation, ambition, commitment and passion, to encourage them to be the best they can be and connect them with opportunities to help them.



 

Census information reveals interesting data about our region's population

Cambridgeshire has seen one of the UK’s biggest population increases over the past ten years, data just published from the 2021 Census shows.

Overall the number of people living in the county rose by more than 57,000 in the last decade to 678,600. This 9.2% rise is higher than the East of England average, in a national picture which saw the East grow faster than any part of the UK.

The figures confirm the County Council’s contention that previous Office of National Statistics figures – on which the government bases its grant allocations – under-estimated the size of the county’s population.

Included within the Cambridgeshire Census figures is an overall 26% rise in the number of Cambridgeshire people aged 65+ - against an 18.6% national average rise – with a high percentage increase of people in the 70 to 74 age band in all districts.

“I am pleased that so many people continue to want to live and work in Cambridgeshire. I am proud of our county’s record in leading on vaccine development. improving healthcare and in developing new technologies allowing greener living,” said Cllr Lucy Nethsingha, Leader of Cambridgeshire County Council.

“Cambridgeshire offers some great examples of how new innovation can help not just the UK but the world to a future where we can live well and not wreck the planet, but we need government to recognise and support that vision – including recognising the costs of the necessary infrastructure needed for a county our size.

“We must make sure we can support our county’s potential, particularly for a growing population of older people living in more rural areas, by providing the necessary services that will make Cambridgeshire fairer, greener and more caring.” To view the full ONS data click here.



 

Royal accolade for Cambridgeshire volunteers

Three groups of dedicated volunteers based in Cambridgeshire have just been awarded The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.


These are CARESCO – a dedicated community based charity in Sawtry, Library at Home Services – bringing the library to people’s homes, enhancing lives, social interaction and well being and PARCA – Peterborough Asylum and Refugee Community Association, a multicultural organisation that works tirelessly to champion social inclusion within society.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award a local voluntary group can receive in the UK and is equivalent to an MBE.

Winning a Queen's Award for Voluntary Service is a great accolade and it’s brilliant that the County has three organisations providing life enhancing services to our citizens winning an award in this very pertinent Platinum Jubilee year.


 

Jubilee joy in Fenland

Hot Pots Community Café in March was kept busy this month creating afternoon teas especially for the Jubilee.

The popular café provides work experience and training for adults with learning disabilities and scores very highly for its yummy cakes and treats.

Hot Pots hosted two afternoon teas. First was for a group at Age UK in their café, followed by an afternoon tea at March Cricket Club.

The sweet delights knocked people for six and they were bowled over by the delicious treats on offer.

Finally, they prepared 46 takeaway afternoon tea boxes for the Trinity Church in March for its Jubilee Celebration.

Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to ensure the Jubilee celebrations were a scrumptious treat for all.


 

Cambridgeshire loves libraries!

We are so proud of our library service and how it is right at the heart of our communities across the county.

Each library has its own personality and offers a diverse range of activities and events.

Please find below a snapshot of activities that are taking place in our libraries – I’m sure you will agree there is much innovation, creativity and engagement taking place.

We are incredibly lucky as a county to have such a thriving service.


 

Huntingdon Library making more space for young people

When things started re-opening after the pandemic, staff at Huntingdon Library quickly realised that its dedicated area for teenagers no longer fitted the needs of young people.

Good news - our library apprentice has decided to use her final project to change things. The new young adult area, that will be officially launched on Wednesday 6 July at 4pm, will be bigger, more comfortable, offer more privacy, and will feature more relevant titles for young adults, using #BookTok. New services and features suggested by our local young adults will also be launched.


Young people that want to share their thoughts on the library space can do so by completing a survey that can be accessed by scanning a QR code or asking for a paper copy at Huntingdon Library. The survey is open to young people aged 12-24 or youth workers and parents.

Huntingdon Library is always open to new suggestions. Ideas include a content creation space for TikTok or Instagram, drawing board, board games area and a recurring board game club, and a young adult reading group.

Some young people have also suggested CV writing and life skills courses. By completing the survey, young people can vote on these ideas or indeed suggest their own.

Watch this space for how this innovative project develops and good luck to all involved.



 

Jessie the Jubilee library bike – our local celebrity

Over the Jubilee weekend, Jessie took part in her own Tour De Cambridgeshire visiting libraries in the region.

Jessie, the electric cargo bike, is easy to spot as she is adorned in Jubilee bunting in royal purple colours. Jessie joins a new troop of book bikes with Bessie the book bike also provided by Cambridgeshire County Council.

Quite the story, Jessie was saved by council library staff after she was left unused.

Receiving the royal treatment, library staff spent weeks lovingly transforming Jessie into the perfect Jubilee book bike. After a little hard work and some tender loving care, she is fit for a Queen.

Jessie has a partner in crime, Bessie, and both glorious girls are touring the county over the summer.

Staff are encouraging us all to take a selfie to share on social media and let your friends know you have met a Book Bike – Jubilee Jessie even has regal dressing up costumes on board. Fingers crossed a royal selfie may appear!


 

Life in Cambridgeshire through the eyes of young refugees

A poignant exhibition charting life in Cambridgeshire through the eyes of refugee children and young people who have moved to the UK took place in Cambridge.

As part of Refugee Week 2022 and in partnership with the Cambridgeshire Virtual Schools team, Cambridge Central Library curated photographs, poems and artwork from refugees who have arrived in Cambridgeshire, leaving their homes and loved ones behind.

The pieces carry incredible poignancy and tell people's stories of building new lives from scratch.

The theme of Refugee Week was healing, and the exhibition showed how we can all learn from refugees about holding onto hope when going on seems impossible – as well as how art, creativity and our communities can help people to heal from difficult experiences.


 

New heritage centre for our region

A new Heritage Centre for Northstowe and Longstanton will showcase discoveries made during the archaeological works from the A14 upgrade and Northstowe New Town project.

The centre, which is scheduled to open in the autumn, will be adjacent to the new regional offices of Homes England and will feature local collections, especially those relating to RAF Oakington as most of Northstowe is built on the site of the former air base.

The project is a joint collaboration between Homes England, Cambridgeshire County Council, National Highways and Longstanton & District Heritage Society and will benefit residents of Northstowe, Longstanton, Oakington & Westwick and surrounding areas.

Designed as a venue for school visits, on-site archaeological activities and major heritage presentations, the Heritage Centre will have a distinct identity, influenced by local architecture and heritage, as well as the history of Northstowe and the surrounding area.

The centre will feature finds and information from the ancient Romans to the present day, including remains from the Roman town at Northstowe, the Anglo-Saxon villages along the A14 and evidence of woolly rhinoceros. It will also house a flexible display area plus an outdoor space for activities and groups.



 

Summer holiday scheme announced for children in receipt of free school meals


We are living through very challenging times right now and the county council is committed to reducing hardship and helping all those in need.

As part of this, fun entertaining experiences and a nutritious lunch are being made available in the summer holidays for children and young people of families receiving income-related free school meals.

Additionally, Cambridgeshire is funding free access to Ukrainian and other refugee families. The sessions will also include a variety of exciting activities or sports and the opportunity to socialise with other children. Any child or young person receiving income-related free school meals is eligible for the programme.

Eligible children can attend a holiday scheme free for up to 64 hours over the summer holidays. Further information can be found at www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/haf and Early Years & Childcare | Peterborough Information Network


 

Flooding updates

Flooding is an issue in our region given a quarter of the East of England lies below sea level and additionally we are one of the driest regions in the UK. Prevention and education are key for our communities.

Cambridgeshire County Council’s Community Flood Action Programme has recently received a £14,000 grant from the Local Resilience Forum.

The money is to be used for local flood action groups, such as those in St Ives and Alconbury, to enhance their community flood kits and thus their resilience to flooding.

Flood kits contain a combination of products which are ideal for residents to respond quickly and effectively to flooding in their community. Each flood group is eligible to receive £500 which can be used to purchase additional PPE or tools through the scheme.

If you are interested in setting up your own flood action group, then take a look here or email CFAP@cambridgeshire.gov.uk



 

Hilton residents invited to learn about flood resilience at free community event

Residents of Hilton and the surrounding areas are being invited to a special Flood Resilience Day on Saturday 23 July.

The event is being hosted by Cambridgeshire County Council, offering expert advice to households and businesses in the area which have previously experienced flooding. A special 'Floodmobile' vehicle, which contains samples of over 50 practical flood protection measures, will be on site for visitors to explore.

The event is an opportunity for people to come and learn what can be done to help make their properties resilient against flooding. The event is taking place on Saturday 23 July at Hilton Village Hall Car Park (Grove End, Hilton, Huntingdon, PE28 9PF) from 10am to 4pm.


 

Be aware of courier fraud

Courier fraud is predominantly a telephone crime, where the victim receives a call from someone who they believe to be in a position of authority such as a police officer or bank official.

A courier is then sent to the victim to collect cash or items as arranged. It is a scam with the sole purpose of stealing money by a number of methods including the purchase of goods.

Here are some examples they might use: Bank card expiry - Fraudsters claim to be from the victim’s bank and say their card is no longer valid. They ask for the pin number and then send a “courier” to collect the card before using it for fraudulent purposes.

Purchasing high end items - The suspects pretend to be police officers and ask the victim to help with an undercover operation by purchasing expensive items like watches, jewellery, and gold. Once the item is purchased, the fraudster will send a courier to collect the items.

Counterfeit cash/bank investigation - A person claiming to be a police or banking official informs the victim that they are required to help with a banking corruption investigation. The victim is told to withdraw a large amount of money and the cash is picked up later by a courier to “check for fingerprints or to identify counterfeit bank notes”.

Computer takeover - The fraudster telephones the victim, purporting to be from their internet service provider, saying that they have had an issue with their internet connectivity and they are due compensation. The victim is persuaded to download a remote access application, giving the suspects access to their home computers. The fraudster persuades the victim into thinking that they have been paid too much compensation, whereby the victim is then made to withdraw cash to pay the money back, which is later collected by a courier.

Things to look out for: Courier fraud usually starts with an unsolicited telephone call to the victim. Typically, the suspect will pose as a bank official or police officer but could also pose as a computer or utility engineer.

Courier fraudsters will usually request that the victim purchases high value items such as watches and gold bullions, withdraws cash, or provides a bank card for collection all of which will be collected by a courier.

Fraudsters will instruct victims to not tell any family or friends about what they are doing. When carrying out courier fraud, criminals will request the victim hangs up the phone to ring their bank for confirmation while keeping the line open. The suspect then purports to be bank official and provides false confirmation.

Fraudsters will also make arrangements for a courier meet the victim to collect the item they have purchased.


 

A greener, fairer and more caring Cambridgeshire


At the time of writing this edition, County Councillors were discussing further ways to work more closely with communities across our county to support its vision for a ‘greener, fairer and more caring Cambridgeshire' – including establishing new projects.

Although many of Cambridgeshire County Council's services are already delivered directly to individuals and families, a key aim is to make sure that more council services are controlled and accessed at a very local grassroots level.

Examples of where the Council does this already are highlighted – such as working on approaches to food poverty and the Household Support Fund, and the Homes for Ukraine programme where much work has been in and with the community and district councils, and Community Flood groups - which the council supports to produce flood risk action plans, with intelligence, grants, and access to resources.

Among a number of projects being recommended include looking at local highways improvements, further work on Library transformation, working on waste and recycling and broadening the work of an East Cambs focused care concept ‘Care Together’. To read more please click here.


 

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