Posts

‘Vaxi Taxi’ scheme in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

Transport to your Covid-19 Vaccination appointment: ‘Vaxi Taxi’ Scheme

If you are struggling to get to and from your vaccine appointment, Cambridgeshire County Council have agreed to pay for your taxi journey.

Please ensure you have booked your appointment or if it is a walk-in clinic you know the date/time is correct at your nearest centre first before you book your transport.

All you need to do is to contact the relevant taxi service below within your area and give them a call to book your transport.  They will ask you to confirm details of the appointment when you book your journey.  Please note that you can make arrangements for them to drop you off and pick you up (but the return journey must start within 1 hour of your appointment time).  All children need to be accompanied by their parent/carer during the journey and at the vaccination site.

Visit the following Website COVID-19 vaccination – Cambridgeshire County Council

 

CAMBRIDGE CITY PETERBOROUGH HUNTINGDONSHIRE SOUTH CAMBS EAST CAMBS FENLAND
Cambs private Hire 01223971611 Uniqcars 07454331125 HUNTS TAXIS LTD 01480414500 Cambs private Hire 01223971611 Cambs private Hire 01223971611 Daddy Cabs Ltd 07752000550
MDS Executive chauffeurs ltd 079771 52004 Heer private hire 07872829297 Mohit Mohanan Nair 01480453085 MDS Executive chauffeurs ltd 079771 52004 JB Hire 07881228231 Uniqcars 07454331125
Uniqcars 07454331125 Uniqcars 07454331125 Uniqcars 07454331125 MDS Executive chauffeurs ltd 079771 52004 A2bTaxicabs 01353 66 10 10
A2bTaxicabs 01353 66 10 10 T365 private hire 01480 456548 505 Cars 01767650505 Burwell private hire 07876446962 Heer private hire 07872829297
Panther Taxis Ltd 01223 715715 GMC Travel 07946182477 079 Call a Cab (Cambourne & Surrounding areas only) 07922552222 Uniqcars 07454331125 The Private Hire Company +447860573604
A&B Taxis Ltd 01480 467846 Panther Taxis Ltd 01223 715715 Alan’s 07921482600
Fencabs Ltd 01353 669966
A2bTaxicabs 01353 66 10 10
Golden Eagle 07541994255
Ely Link Taxis 07429578474
Noble Cars 01353 699899

 

 

 

 

Volunteers needed for Vaccination Programme

The CCG continue to recruit volunteer staff to support the biggest and fastest vaccination programme in the history of the NHS. They have asked that the VCS share the below information with their communities.

 

There is an urgent need for volunteer stewards (RVS) and volunteer unregistered vaccinators (St Johns Ambulance) locally to support the vaccine programme.

Stewards

Stewards help and guide people at vaccination sites – this could be at a GP Vaccination Hub, a Large Scale Vaccination Centre, or at Pharmacy vaccination sites.

Anyone interested in volunteering for the steward role is asked to sign up via the Royal Voluntary Service website.  Volunteers are asked to commit to at least 2 shifts at a vaccination site each month. Shifts are up to 4 hours long.

Once registered (takes approx. 48 hours) volunteers will be notified of available shifts via text and email alerts.  Volunteers are then able to confirm which shifts they are able to do.

All vaccination sites (GP hubs, Vaccination Centres and Pharmacies) will advertise their available shifts through the Royal Voluntary Service website.

A DBS is not required for this role, although volunteers will be asked to declare any unspent convictions as part of the application process.

Unregistered vaccinators

Anyone interested in volunteering for the unregistered vaccinators is asked to complete the ‘expression of interest’ on the St Johns Ambulance website.  Unregistered vaccinators administer vaccines under clinical supervision – these roles require training and assessment.

Volunteers can sign up for both options if they choose to do so.

Omicron – VCS Gets Ready

Updated on 13/12/2021

A note from Julie Farrow, CEO at Hunts Forum. She recently was contacted by the CCG regarding government announcement and the support VCS can offer with the vaccine role out.

 

Dear Colleagues

Following the announcement yesterday of the increase in vaccinations required to stem the wave of Omicron, I writing to you to ask you to ‘be ready’ for a potential call to support the vaccination effort. 

WHAT CAN VCS DO?

Now

CCG has put a call out for volunteers via the national Volunteer Scheme for more volunteers: https://nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk/i-want-to-volunteer/volunteer-roles/steward-volunteer. Would you please promote this amongst your networks?

Moving forward

We are unsure if  the National Volunteer Scheme will meet demand.  It is prudent to ask VCS groups in Cambridgeshire to also think about what they can do to support either by signposting existing volunteers to NHS Responders or

  • Assessing your capacity to manage staff and volunteers
  • Identify staff and volunteers willing/able to help (marshalling, admin)
  • Identify staff and volunteers willing to become untrained vaccinators (need an enhanced DBS check and 2 days training)
  • Have your response ready – Yes we can help – No we don’t have capacity

Things are moving very quickly and there is genuine concern that health may come under pressure.

Please do watch out for more details as soon as I know more, I’ll be in touch.

Steward Volunteer (COVID-19 vaccinations)

Considering becoming a Steward Volunteer for NHS Volunteer Responders? Find out more about the responsibilities of the role and how to sign up.

Steward Volunteer (COVID-19 vaccinations)

Considering becoming a Steward Volunteer for NHS Volunteer Responders? Find out more about the responsibilities of the role and how to sign up.

 Take care

Julie

 

Opportunity for Voluntary & Community Groups in Fenland

Does your organisation have the skills, knowledge and experience of working with and supporting local marginalised communities?

Support Cambridgeshire is working in partnership with Cambridgeshire County Council to deliver crucial work supporting Fenland communities to recover as we move into and through the next stage of Covid recovery.

We are looking for VCSE partner organisations who know their communities well to reach out and engage with these communities in order to help them better protect themselves from the dangers of Covid-19, to increase vaccination take up and lower infection rates in communities where research has found these to be a concern.

Funds are available for organisations to employ/host Community Engagement Co-ordinators for one year who will perform a vital role in generating behaviour change of most vulnerable people and places by working with local community leaders to share relevant messages in an accessible way and to provide a voice to the Council, improving the council’s understanding of our communities.

This opportunity is for two Community Engagement Co-Ordinator roles. If you are interested in exploring being part of the solution to aid these communities to help themselves download the pack below and for more information and to take this further please contact Keith@huntsforum.org.uk 

All expressions of interest must be done by the 19th May. 

 

Pack 

Community Engagement Information Pack

Expression of Interest

Lessons from the Pandemic – report

In September 2020 Support Cambridgeshire was commissioned to carry out some research into how the voluntary sector and statutory partners have responded to Covid-19. As part of this we talked with:

  • 19 groups made up from a range of county-wide, small and newly formed community groups and charities;
  • representatives from six district/city Covid-response hubs and the county hub.

The resulting report paints a picture of an exceptional response to this extraordinary time. There has been innovation and collaboration on unprecedented scales, and also a need to tailor responses to local needs.

Read the report here.

Updated Guidance on Volunteering, Shielding and Furlough

Everything is moving fast since the announcement of the lockdown that came into force on 5 November 2020, and community organisations may be struggling to keep up. This quick primer should bring you up to speed on the key facts.

This article was published on 6 November 2020. We will strive to update it as new information becomes available.

Jump to:

The growing numbers of Covid-19 cases has lead to the reintroduction of tighter lockdown restrictions across England. The advice now is to stay at home and avoid meeting people you do not live with, except for specific purposes. Various businesses and venues are also closed.

Volunteering

One of the “specific purposes” where people are permitted to leave their home is for “work purposes, or to provide voluntary or charitable services, where you cannot do this from home.” (link here)

Elsewhere on the Gov.uk website (here) it gives more information about volunteering:

“While volunteering, you can meet in groups of any size from different households, indoors or outdoors. When meeting people from outside your household or support bubble, you should follow social distancing guidelines.”

The guidance goes to say that people can travel to volunteer or while volunteering, and restates rules about face coverings. It also lists ways to volunteer, with just four examples given:

  • shop for food and medicine (online, or in person)
  • deliver food and medicine
  • help with food banks and homeless services
  • work on a telephone support helpline

From this guidance, it is unclear whether this is an exhaustive list or just examples. Crucially, the guidance doesn’t state whether contact with other people while volunteering for other causes is currently permitted. However, the links to general volunteering opportunities such as Reach Volunteering imply that any form of formal volunteering meets the criteria.

Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) people

During the first lockdown in March-July 2020, people who are classed as clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) were instructed to shield. These are the people who are at the highest risk of become very unwell if they were to catch Covid-19 – the list of medical conditions can be found here. During March to July, shielding meant no contact with anyone outside of their own home, except for medical reasons.

This time (from 5 November), the rules aren’t quite as strict. CEV people who live alone can continue to be part of a support bubble with another household. However the government is still advising that they “stay at home as much as possible, except to go outdoors for exercise or to attend essential health appointments.” On that basis, demand for community shopping services is likely to increase for this group.

The guidance for CEV people goes on to say, “You may wish to meet up with one other person from outside your household or support bubble, for example, to exercise in an outdoor public place, but we suggest that you always try to do so as safely as possible.” This is the same rule as for the general public. However, it’s a different story for CEV people and work: “You are strongly advised to work from home. If you cannot work from home, you should not attend work for this period of restrictions.” People in this situation may be eligible for furlough (see below).

While these restrictions for CEV people aren’t as tough as in the first lockdown, it’s important to realise that the risks to their health are just as high. Community support groups may wish to consider how they can encourage these people to stay safe while still maintaining some kind of social contact.

Extension of Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Furlough)

On 30 October 2020, the day before the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS, also known as Furlough) was due to be replaced by the less generous Job Support Scheme, it was announced that CJRS would be extended through November for this latest lockdown period. On 5 November, there was a further announcement that CJRS would be extended to 31 March 2021.

The latest guidance is yet to be published, but as of 31 October, the guidance is that employees can be placed on full-time or part-time furlough, with the government paying a grant to the employer to cover 80% of salaries for the hours not worked, up to a monthly cap of £2,500. Employers have the option to top up salaries.

Previously CJRS was only available to people who had already been placed on furlough before 1 July 2020. The government’s CJRS page still states this rule, although BBC News reports that employees “must have been on the payroll by 30 October 2020. They do not need to have been furloughed before.” This is backed up by the guidance on this government page. We will update this page when the change to the rules is confirmed.

Measuring the Impact

As Covid-19 raced around the globe and overwhelmed our communities, the three organisations that form the Support Cambridgeshire partnership – like so many others – have had to make some big adjustments to respond to changing needs and practices. Our face-to-face events were all cancelled but people and organisations in the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector still needed our support.

Each partner has seen an increase in demand, as new organisations were set up in response to the pandemic, and existing ones needed additional support as their remit grew. The demand from the local communities they serve had shot up at the same time as many income streams dwindled or disappeared completely.

This infographic highlights the impact the Support Cambridgeshire partnership has made across the county. It looks at our six themes – Parish & Town Councils, Training, Voice and Representation, Community Building Support, Volunteering and Social Action, and Communication and Funding – and draws out some of the facts and figures of our work during the first six months of the pandemic (March to August 2020).

Coronavirus – Support Materials

Our round-up of resources for community and voluntary organisations

Advice for Community Groups

Community and voluntary organisations are on the front line supporting our local communities. COVID-19 is presenting big challenges, but also opportunities to step up and support these communities.

Hunt Forum has created a range of support materials that can be found here.  Some of this information is also available below as fact-sheets available to download in Microsoft Word format.

Factsheet 1 Financial-Losses-to-Charities

Factsheet 2 Use of volunteers

Factsheet 3 Community response

Factsheet 4 Checklist for volunteer groups

Factsheet 5 Information for those looking to volunteer during Covid-19

Factsheet 6 Example of a volunteer agreement

Factsheet 7 DBS

Factsheet 8 Lone working policy example

Factsheet 9 GDPR

Factsheet 10 Safeguarding and Example Policy

Factsheet 11 Telephone procedures

Factsheet 12 Volunteer guidelines for shopping and picking up prescriptions

Factsheet-13-Finance-information (updated 8 April 2020)

Factsheet 14 Finance systems and home working

Factsheet 16 Letter to prove volunteer activity

Factsheet 18 Volunteer Mental Health and Wellbeing

 

Support Cambridgeshire has created a range of videos to support individuals and groups to keep safe in this difficult time.

Safeguarding Advice

What to think about when using volunteers

Telephone Befriending Advice

Top Tips for Volunteers

Please share the videos throughout your communities.

Where to Find Funding

Funding is always an issue for community and voluntary organisations, and particularly at this time when demand may be higher than ever and some forms of funding have dried up.

Click here for Support Cambridgeshire’s round up of funding sources relating to Coronavirus, including government support, charitable funding for organisations facing financial challenges, plus funds for organisations on the front-line supporting communities through the pandemic.

 

Coronavirus – Funding

The charity sector has a vital role to play in responding to the Covid-19 crisis. Below is our guide to funding projects to support people in need, plus funds to keep your organisation afloat at this difficult time.

Funding News

£750m Government Support for UK Charity Sector

On 8 April Rishi Sunak, chancellor of the exchequer, announced that the Government will provide £750 million to frontline charities across the UK so that they can continue their services to those in need during the coronavirus crisis.

£360m will be allocated directly by central government to large charities such as hospices, St Johns Ambulance, Citizens Advice and victim’s and vulnerable children’s charities. A further £370m will be directed to small- and medium-sized charities.

A transcript of the speech is available here. Read Hunts Forum’s response here.

Refocusing Lottery Funding

Prior to the Chancellor’s announcement on 8 April 2020 (see above), The National Lottery Community Fund announced that it has turned its focus to responding to the coronavirus crisis. In a press release dated 27 March, it explained that “all funding decisions for the next six months (up to £300m…) will be devoted to addressing the current crisis.” It also states that the turnaround for applications will be much faster than before. In order to do this, it will prioritise “existing grant holders and applicants using the following criteria:

Activities specifically geared to supporting communities through this crisis
Helping organisations overcome any liquidity issues caused by COVID-19.”

The press release also states, “This is not new money, but it will be faster money and we know that we must act quickly and with confidence.” As such, organisations considering applications for other purposes may want to delay their application and/or contact TNL Community Fund before submitting.

Charitable Funders “Stand with the Sector”

Hundreds of UK funders have signed a joint statement, committing to being supportive and flexible about existing funding throughout the outbreak. If your organisation is unable to deliver services for which you are being funded, need to delay or want to adapt your activities to respond to coronavirus, the statement serves as a reassurance that these funders are sympathetic. When you are ready, contact your existing funder to discuss the best way forward.

0% Commission on Crowdfunder Campaigns

Crowdfunder.co.uk has waived its usual 3% commission on campaigns to fundraise via online donations. Current campaigns in Cambridgeshire include raising £24,000 for Hamerton Zoo Park, £5,000 for Soham’s South Angle Farm and £750 for Fenland Light Railway, all of which are struggling due to lost income during lockdown.

Funding for Organisations Responding to Covid-19

Cambridgeshire Coronavirus Community Fund

Grants of £1,000 to £5,000 for constituted community organisations throughout Cambridgeshire (including Peterborough), who are supporting isolated older and vulnerable people through the Covid-19 crisis. Projects must either:

  • Support ongoing needs of people, to ensure that their well-being is maintained,
  • Reduce isolation and vulnerability during any isolation period
  • Help people remain safely connected with the outside world

The National Lottery Community Fund

Please see the above News report regarding the refocusing of TNL Community Fund’s operations for the next six months.

Coronavirus Mental Health Response Fund

Grants of £5,000 to £100,000 to registered charities, CICs, CIOs and limited companies with track record of delivering services for people with, or at risk of developing, mental health problems, in order for them to respond to an anticipated increase in need as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Morrisons Foundation – COVID-19 Homeless Support Fund

Grants of up to £10,000 for registered charities working directly with homeless people during the coronavirus outbreak to ensure help gets to those who need it most. Eligible expenditure includes outreach and support for rough sleepers, provision of essentials, delivery of services in hostels and shelters, information and advice.

RAFT Fund

Rapid Action by the Fore and Trusts Fund (‘‘RAFT’’) will provide grants for high-quality, well-managed small charities and social enterprises with great leadership doing vital work in their communities. The £1m pot will be open to the first 500 applicants from 22 April until 6 May 2020.

Clothworkers’ Emergency Capital Programme

Grants of up to £5,000 for registered charities, CICs, exempt charities and special schools for the purchase of essential capital items required to adapt or increase a charity’s services in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Yorkshire Building Society – Coronavirus Response Fund

Grants of £250 to £2,000 for registered charities helping local communities (with a maximum income of £100,000) to cope with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Grants can be used for a variety of purposes including activities for people who are self-isolating, supplies for foodbanks, small captical costs and loss of income for charities providing support for vulnerable groups.

Tesco Bags of Help COVID-19 Communities Fund

Grants of up to £500 to support a wide range of non-profit organisations who are supporting vulnerable groups during the coronavirus crisis. Due to demand some areas as closed for applications (including Cambridge as of 23 April).

Norrsken Foundation: Action Against Corona

Grants of up to €1m for projects or startups around the world helping in the fight against the coronavirus. It funds efforts supporting victims of the virus, improving the health care system or otherwise helping the “billions of people whose lives are, or will be, affected” around the world. This news story is a useful primer.

And there’s more…

There are many more new funds set up to respond to Coronavirus. Please check out the following websites for more suggestions and links:

Funding for Organisations Struggling Financially as a Result of Covid-19

Charitable Funding

National Lottery Heritage Fund – Heritage Emergency Fund

Grants of £3,000 to £50,000 to current or previous recipients of a grant directly from the Heritage Lottery, in order to support the immediate actions required to stabilise operations and manage unforeseen risks. Applications are being accepted from Wednesday 15 April 2020 to 30 June 2020.

Arts Council England

This fund, which directs National Lottery funding to arts and cultural institutions and projects, is “making £160 million of emergency funding available for those organisations and individuals who will need it during this crisis, and we have also changed the funding requirements for individuals and organisations currently in receipt of our funding, to help alleviate pressure on them as best we can.” The fund is divided into £90m for “National Portfolio Organisations”, £50m for other organisations and £20m for “creative practitioners and cultural workers”

Sport England Community Emergency Fund

Grants of £300 to £10,000 to help community sport and physical activity organisations who are experiencing short term financial hardship or the ceasing of operations due to the coronavirus crisis. It doesn’t cover new activities or events, capital works or costs already covered by government funding. Costs must be incurred from 1 March to 31 July 2020.

Yorkshire Building Society – Coronavirus Response Fund

Grants of £250 to £2,000 for registered charities helping local communities (with a maximum income of £100,000) to cope with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Grants can be used for a variety of purposes including loss of income for charities providing support for vulnerable groups.

Youth Music Emergency Fund

Grants of up to £10,000 for music-making organisations whose primary activity is inclusive music-making with children and young people, and who are affected by coronavirus. Funding can help with cashflow, maintaining or adapting services, and supporting children and young people through the crisis. Core and staff costs, equipment and training are all acceptable expenditure.

Government Support

Job Retention (furlough) scheme

The well-publicised furlough scheme allows employers to put certain employees on temporary leave due to coronavirus.

The government will cover salaries up to 80% and £2,500 a month. It currently runs from 1 March 2020 for four months and may be extended. Any entity with a UK payroll can apply, including charities. It is not intended for public sector or other organisations where staff costs are covered by public funding, although the guidance does allow exceptions.

Statutory Sick Pay

The government will pay for 14 days of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for organisations that employ less than 250 staff.

COVID-19 Capital Grant Scheme

The Capital Grant Scheme provides a flexible capital subsidy to help Registered Limited Companies (including charitable companies) create or protect jobs. It is open to Small to Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the Cambridge and Peterborough Combined Authority area. Eligible projects are those which involve the outright purchase of capital equipment (up to 80% for grants from £2,000 to £49,000, up to 50% for grants from £50,000 to £150,000). Applicants must be able to demonstrate how the purchase of grant funded equipment will protect and/or generate new jobs, with one job per £25,000 of funding.

Financial support for retail, hospitality and leisure sectors (including village halls)

One-off Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants (RHLG) are available for businesses in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector including community buildings (but not church halls or halls run by town and parish councils unless the council is the sole trustee of a charitable hall). Premises with a rateable value up to £15,000 are eligible to receive £10,000. Premises with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000 can access £25,000. Contact your district council for more information and to apply.

Expanded Business Rate Relief

Most village and community halls should also be eligible for 100% business rate relief in 2020/21 through the Expanded Retail Discount, which is available to places of public assembly. All local authorities are working on issuing revised bills showing the correct relief entitlement, there is no need to make a claim.

Small business grant funding

The government will provide additional Small Business Grant Scheme funding via local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBBR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief. This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs.

Eligible businesses should receive a letter from their district council. Please visit your council’s website or call them for more information.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

A loan rather than a grant – up to £5m is available to businesses with an annual turnover of up to £45 million. The government will also make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees. The scheme is delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the government-owned British Business Bank.

Coronavirus – Where to Find Information

Resources from the Support Cambridgeshire Partners

The Hunts Forum Coronavirus Portal includes information and resources for organisations responding to the virus outbreak or struggling financially and operationally as a result of it, plus an archive of weekly updates.

CCVS‘s Covid-19 pages include advice for new community groups responding to the crisis, ways that volunteers can help, updates from other key organstions and information about business continuity planning.

Check out Cambridgeshire ACRE‘s blogs for Community Buildings and for Town and Parish Councils for the latest information and resources.

Countywide Coordination Hub

The Cambridgeshire Coordination Hub was launched to help those people in our communities who are at the highest risk and shielded during the Coronavirus outbreak. The hub will help ensure that services provided by key workers, such as care for the elderly, are able to continue through the redeployment of staff and the deployment of volunteers. It also co-ordinates the distribution of support to the most vulnerable shielded group, whether it is food, medicine or social aspects. In addition, it works closely with the district/city hubs to ensure all vulnerable people are supported.

Find out more about our Coordination Hub on the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough websites or call 0345 045 5219 (Mon-Fri 8am-6pm, Sat 9am-1pm).

Districts

Each district within Cambridgeshire has its own hotline or website to support residents.

East Cambridgeshire – email covid19@eastcambs.gov.uk or call 01353 665555 (Mon-Fri 9am-4pm)
South Cambridgeshire – www.scambs.gov.uk/coronavirus
Cambridge Citywww.cambridge.gov.uk/coronavirus-community-group-contact-details
Fenlandwww.fenland.gov.uk/coronavirus
Huntingdonshirewww.wearehuntingdonshire.org

Useful Links for Community Organisations

There’s a huge amount of information out there to help community groups meet the challenges of the Covid-19 outbreak. Here are a few websites that we hope you’ll find useful.

NCVO – a wide range of resources covering keeping people safe, contingency planning, involving volunteers and risk management

NAVCA – key news relevant to the sector from the National Association for Voluntary and Community Action

Charity Commission – useful advice to ensure that registered charities act safely and lawfully during the crisis

www.gov.uk/coronavirus – the best source for the latest official government guidance

Charity Bank – advice on funding, government support, business and legal support