East Cambs newsletter - 27 January 2021

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

east cambs logos
east cambs 4

27 January 2021

Welcome to our first newsletter!

hands image

Welcome to the first edition of East Cambs Local Community Newsletter. Our organisations have teamed up to share positive community news and opportunities. Following the amazing response to the call for volunteers to help at vaccination sites, we begin with an update from Ely Primary Care Networks.

Then we shine a spotlight on local volunteering opportunities. Could you help with any of these, or know someone who can? 

If enough people enjoy the newsletter, we’ll keep it going. Please do share this with your friends and neighbours and subscribe here to receive future copies.


Click here to subscribe.


Please note when you subscribe, your details will be shared with Ely Primary Care Networks, East Cambs District Council, Cambridgeshire County Council and East Cambs Parish & Community Forum, and used only for the purposes of this newsletter. Thank you.


Vaccination Update from Ely North and Ely South Primary Care Networks

After a whirlwind of a week we thought we'd share some key numbers of where we are up to on COVID-19 vaccinations in Ely North and Ely South Primary Care Networks (i.e. for patients registered at Cathedral Medical Centre, St George's Medical Centre, St Mary's Surgery, Burwell Surgery, Haddenham Surgery, and Staploe Medical Centre):

  • 9500 vaccines given so far - from 15th Dec 2020 to 24th Jan 2021
  • Cohort 1 (care homes): 100% of all our consenting care home residents have been vaccinated
  • Cohort 2 (Over 80s): all invited, and approx. 90% vaccinated. If you're over 80 and have not yet been vaccinated, expect a letter in the post, or give your surgery a call - we will make sure you're vaccinated if you want to be!
  • Cohort 3 (Over 75s): all invited, approx 83% vaccinated. 
  • Cohort 4 (Over 70 and clinical extremely vulnerable): all will be invited this week, approx 11% so far (started late last week).

We have achieved this amazing result through 21 clinic days and over 3,500 hours of effort, 1,000 of which were provided by our incredible army of 117 volunteers. Wow!

The numbers speak for themselves - this has been a herculean effort by literally everyone - and it continues to be! We simply would not be able to do this without the incredibly generous help of all the volunteers; or without the massive commitment of our staff who have worked so hard throughout this pandemic year. It continues to be a very special, heart-warming, and historic thing to be a part of, in it together, as a community, to get us all back to health and normality.

We know there are many more waiting in the wings who would like to help - and for that we are truly grateful. We are continuing to 'settle in' to how we run the clinics and will continue to work out how best to enable everyone who would like to take part to do so.

We also know there are many of you who are anxious to get your vaccine. We are doing our best to communicate as often as we can to keep you all updated, but as you'll have seen in the news things are changing very rapidly. Our priority is to ensure that we provide vaccination clinics as soon as we have certainty over vaccine deliveries. We're excited to say that we are expecting deliveries that should enable us to almost complete cohorts 1-4 in the next 7-10 days. The clinics are going live shortly, so if you're eligible, please look out for the SMS to book yourself in or wait for our call.

Meanwhile, it would help us enormously if you could please:

  • keep checking your practice website for more information
  • not call or visit your practice to enquire about getting your vaccination if you haven't yet heard from your practice. Please don't worry! You haven't been forgotten and you will get your vaccine as soon as possible.

Lastly - a reminder that we are here for you and your health as always. Under current lockdown rules it is better to contact us through Ask My GP or on the phone rather than coming in person, but please don't do nothing!

Volunteering Opportunities

age uk logo

Could you make Friendship Calls?

Age UK Cambridgeshire and Peterborough (AgeUKCAP) need volunteers to help with an increase in referrals of older people needing support to reduce loneliness and isolation.

Volunteers are needed to make a once a week friendship call to the same person they are ‘matched’ with.

Longer term there are also opportunities to make home visits and join the Sharing Time service. Also needed are volunteer shoppers, on an as and when required basis.

All volunteers need to be reference and DBS checked. Please contact volunteering@ageukcap.org.uk

volunteer driver

Could you be a Volunteer Driver?

Community car schemes across Cambridgeshire are looking for volunteers to drive people safely to their Covid-19 vaccination appointments, who would otherwise struggle to attend.

Volunteers will need their own transport and to follow Covid secure guidance. For more information, visit the Cambridgeshire County Council website.

Register your interest using this online form by Friday 29 January.

care network logo

Be a Care Network volunteer!

Help us make a difference in your community!

Are you over 18, have a passion for helping others, reliable and can spare a few hours to volunteer?

Care Network aims to support people connect to their

communities, offer practical and emotional support all while aiding independence.

Sound like you?? Then give us a call to learn more!

Please call Azanda on 01954 211919 for a chat and more information.

caring together logo

Could you help give a Carer living in your village or town a short break?

We are looking for people with a few hours to spare who would like to help someone who is looking after a family member or friend, to have a short break.  This might be going for a walk with a carer or the person they look after or having a cup of tea and a chat in the garden once a week.

No two breaks will look the same as no two carers and the people they look after are the same.

If you would like to volunteer to help give Carers in East Cambs a break please can you contact Claire.pleasants@caringtogether.org

Soham village college logo

Request for Volunteers at Soham Village College

Soham Village College will need all students to undertake COVID-19 lateral flow tests within a two week period once a return to school date has been agreed by the Government.  As you can imagine, this is an enormous task.  We would really appreciate the help of local people to enable this to happen within the required timescales. All volunteers will need to be DBS checked and training will be provided to all volunteers. This will be completed by Soham Village College. We are currently looking for 10 volunteers who have previous experience with children and young people to help with the roles of Test Assistant, Processor and Cleaner. Details of the roles are available here. If you would like to volunteer please can you email info@staploeeducationtrust.org.uk


Thank you so much,


Staff and Students, Soham Village College

healthwatch volunteer

Volunteering opportunities with Healthwatch Cambridgeshire

Would you like to help improve health and care services across the county – and make sure local people’s voices are heard?

We’re on the lookout for volunteers in East Cambridgeshire to help us capture people’s views about the services they use - such as GPs, hospitals, dentists, pharmacies, care homes and home care.


So, if you have a few hours to spare, do take a look at what we can offer you. Visit our Health Watch Cambridgeshire website to find out more.

You can work as many hours as you want – why not give our volunteer manager Heather Lord a call on 07885 911147 and have an informal chat?

ecst logo

Join the East Cambs Community Support Team (ECST)!

Granville Hawkes from Ely Volunteer Centre would like to share this message:

"We have seen over the last year the superb response from the community offering their time to volunteer to support the NHS, the mutual aid groups and now the vaccination effort relating to Cov19. The value of volunteers and volunteering has probably never been so high in the last 60 years, I want to build on all this positive energy so that we can continue to support the people of East Cambridgeshire well beyond the pandemic.

"The ECST will be a group of local people that are willing to volunteer a few times a year to support local initiatives whether that is a charitable event or a local litter pick. My initial target is to have a database of 100 people who can be contacted and are prepared to help when they can – this may be on a regular basis or a few times per year. I will stay in touch with a regular newsletter.

"If you would like to help me secure this as a legacy and something positive to come out of this awful time please email me at granville@vcaec.org.uk."

Community Updates

Talking FreEly – ‘Talking About Job Loss’ event

Talking FreELY is a community in East Cambridgeshire who are helping people to have normal everyday conversations about mental health.  They have teamed up with a number of businesses and organisations locally to bring the community of East Cambridgeshire a free to attend virtual event in February aimed at giving information and support to people and businesses who have or may be affected by job loss.  To keep up to date with announcements and for registration when it opens, please follow Talking FreELY on Facebook.

Join us on Zoom: February 24th between 10am and 12pm.

Further information coming soon!

talk freEly

diabetes type 2 graphic

Diabetes Type 2 Together – New Peer Support Group

Would you like to connect with other people living with diabetes? Then join a new friendly group, to learn more about diabetes and living with a long-term condition.

Diabetes UK are working with two Primary Care Networks in East Cambs including Health Coach Vandana Manocha to facilitate a new online Peer Support group in East Cambs and is seeking new participants.

Zoom Meetings will be held fortnightly, they are free to attend and begin 2.00 – 3.30pm on Wednesday 10th February.

If you are interested in joining and meeting to share experiences and support others, please contact: David.robinson@diabetes.org.uk  

community east cambs magazine

We hope you have enjoyed this first edition. If so - remember to subscribe!

This may be the first you have heard of the East Cambs Parish and Community Forum. This is a group of community partners who came together at the beginning of the pandemic – mutual aid groups, parish councils, charities, community organisations and public sector.  It is hosted by East Cambs District Council, Care Network and Cambs County Council. We meet monthly to share news and learning – our emphasis is on positive collaboration. You may have seen a copy of the one-off East Cambs Community Magazine which we produced in the first lock down. If your organisation is interested in joining the forum, please click the feedback button below to get in touch. And do the same if you have any ideas and feedback about this newsletter.