East Cambs Local Newsletter - May 2021

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

Subscribe here


east cambs logoseast cambs newsletter

Welcome to our Third Edition...

Welcome to Spring with all the ups and downs we expect from the weather! The last few months of 2021 have been a bit of a blur with lockdown easing and groups making plans for the next few months.  The Team here at East Cambs Local are looking forward to meeting more of you over the coming weeks!

Sutton Timebank Celebrates 1 Year!

Sutton Timebank aims to engage and bring together the community, creating social and practical support networks that build a happier and healthier community. Timebank members can support each other and the community by exchanging skills, ideas or practical help.

Throughout covid restrictions Timebank members have supported residents by shopping, collecting medicines and friendly phone calls. On 17th March Sutton Time Bank celebrated its 1st year. During this period 1712 hours were volunteered.

Timebanking is also a great way to meet new people and connect with others. The Timebank has been holding social events virtually such as coffee catch ups, Quiz night and we have even enjoyed a virtual Cheese and Wine evening. 

If you are interested in joining a Time Bank find your nearest Timebank

Sutton Timebank

Cambridgeshire Libraries - Open, Safe and Here For You

libraries logo

We’re Open!

Join us at Cambridgeshire Libraries! Our buildings are open, our mobile libraries are on the road and our online library services are available 24/7.

We’re Safe!

Cambridgeshire Libraries follows strict measures to ensure all our libraries are COVID-secure.

We’re Here for You!

Borrow books, use the internet, and find out important information. It’s free to join and our staff and volunteers are here to help. Find out more at link here or call us on 0345 045 5225.

Breaking News! Rhymetimes are back in Libraries from May 17th! Please see our website & social media for more information.

Social Prescribing and what it is?

St Georges medical centre

GPs and Clinicians refer patients to us for various non- medical reasons e.g. isolation, anxiety, depression and stress relating to work, finance, unemployment, housing, the pandemic etc. We aim to support people with whatever is not going right for them. We can simply find information for people, signpost or refer them to organisations. We can work 1:1 for a while, supporting people to make the changes they wish to in their lives related to improving health and wellbeing.  If you would like to know more please get in touch with your Surgery and either ask your GP or Receptionist or ask for us by name and we will call you back.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Val Antell – Staploe Medical Centre (Ely South PCN)

Sarah Porter – Cathedral Medical Centre, Ely and St.George’s Medical Centre Littleport

Pearl Charalambos – St. Mary’s Surgery Ely and St. Geroge’s Medical Centre, Littleport

Meet The East Cambs Local Team...

Wendy Bio Pic

Hi, I’m Wendy, Place Coordinator for East Cambridgeshire.  Whilst I’m employed by Cambridgeshire County Council, my role is all about working alongside our communities in partnership with others including; local councils, NHS, voluntary and community groups.  I love my job! For example, just recently I’ve been working with health colleagues and Caring Together on the Give Carers a Break project.  This project addresses a growing concern which we have been hearing from our communities.  People who - as part of their daily lives - provide care and support for family members, feeling exhausted.  The demands of the role being exacerbated by the pandemic.  Give Carers a Break invites volunteers to do what it says on the tin, and provide support for a few hours from time-to-time.  You will hear more about it from the new Coordinator Chloe in this newsletter.

My background is in community, advocacy and social care.  Outside of work I love walking, cooking and getting involved in my own community.  Here’s a pic from last week helping to build a mini children’s green amphitheatre in my local community (I’m the one in the middle!)

The Health and Happiness Event

H&H Day

The Health and Happiness event took place (digitally) on March 26th 2021, via a series of online events. These events could be watched live or as recordings later, with this year’s programme emphasising health and happiness activities that residents in their homes can undertake, including those who are vulnerable or may be shielding.

The day’s schedule included events from Cambridgeshire Libraries on phone buddies and computer assistance as well as a talk from Cambridgeshire Home Energy Support Service, part of Cambridgeshire ACRE.

There was a range of low-intensity exercise recordings to choose from while charity Age UK presented information on their visiting services designed to combat loneliness in elderly people.

Ian Cumming, a finalist from series 6 of The Great British Bake Off, also shared his expert knowledge on pastry making.

Here is the link to the YouTube playlist: link here

Carers Week 7th -13th June 2021 -Making Caring Visible and Valuable

Caring Together

There are approximately 9000 informal/unpaid carers in East Cambs. A carer is someone of any age who looks after a family member or friend who could not manage without their help.

Carers UK has identified that 3 out of 5 or 60% of us will be a carer in our lifetime. Most people do not see themselves as carers as they are looking after someone they love.

Carers in East Cambs have told us that they are struggling without a break and that Covid 19 lockdowns although necessary have made caring harder.

Carers Week is an opportunity to focus on making caring visible and valued in our communities and workplaces. What could you do?

Please contact Caring Together for ideas at email

caring together photo

Breaks for carers in East Cambridgeshire

Could you help to give a carer in your village or town a break?

Over the past year hundreds of amazing volunteers from across villages and towns in East Cambs have offered their time and energy to help neighbours and members of their community through difficult times. 

Caring Together would really like to build on this enthusiasm and would love to hear from people to give a couple of hours a week or a fortnight to support carers as a volunteer.

If you would like more details about this volunteer role contact Chloe Turner at email or on 07843 328637.


Ely Babybank

Babybank Logo

Ely Baby Bank launched in August 2020. We are two couples from a church house group, looking for a local outreach project. We help local families in need as well as freecycle any baby items up to 12 months. We get around 150 requests a month and with over 20 volunteers who help with sorting donations and local deliveries from our six sheds based in Fordham, it has evolved into an exciting project. We hope to develop into a summer café for families who can walk around the smallholding with goats, sheep and chickens when they browse the sheds. More info and contact details can be found on our Facebook page. Facebook link

Two to Tango!

Safe Soulmate

Safe Soulmates is a friendship and dating organisation that brings together adults with additional needs to help them find and nurture friendships and loving relationships

in a safe way, free from ‘mate crime’, sexual abuse and financial abuse.  Sadly such experiences are common for people with additional needs when searching for friendship and that special someone online and in real life. Safe Soulmates aims to provide a supportive environment for its members by hosting meet-ups (currently online and in physically distant, small bubbles outside) to help people safely connect with one another.  

Where there is a romantic spark, Safe Soulmates supports this to grow positively by chaperoning dates and offering tailored advice with the help of Dhiverse, a sexual health charity based in Cambridge.

Vicky - 07935866219 Christine - 07493542963 or email

Foodbank Film!

Ely Foodbank has been working hard during Covid.  The East Cambs Local team visited Bren from the Foodbank to hear about their fabulous partnership work, including Rural Outreach. We made this little film,  Click the link to take a look

email or 01353 468626


The Results Are In!

ecdc logo

The East Cambridgeshire COVID-19 Hub recently carried out a survey to learn more about the impacts of COVID-19 on residents over 60 years of age. The key findings of this survey showed that:

  • Positive impacts have included financial benefits, having more time to spend on personal interests, an improved sense of community and becoming more digitally confident.
  • The predominant negative impacts of COVID-19 have included a decline in physical health, loneliness and family/relationship issues.

The Hub will now formulate an action plan in response to the survey, aiming to address each issue that has been raised.

VCAEC – East Cambs Support Team

vcaec logo

Although we have been impacted by lockdown 3.0 our staff and volunteers are still available by telephone and on line. Hopefully, the office will fully reopen as the lockdown restrictions continue to ease in the coming weeks.

For this reason, we have been delayed in the development of our new website, but we have now commissioned a web designer, so work has started and as part of this we are still looking to recruit people who can spare a few days per year to volunteer on local projects as part of the East Cambridgeshire Support team. You will only be asked to volunteer a couple of times a year on local community projects, please contact me on Granville@vcaec.co.uk if you would like to be involved and join those that have already come forward.

Child & Family Centres in Ely, Littleport and Soham

child and family centre

Our Child and Family Centres offer groups, events, activities, courses and support for families with children aged 0-19, including:

  • Support groups for new parents
  • Drop-in play sessions in centres, community buildings and at outdoor venues
  • Virtual workshops for parents, e.g. challenging behaviour, toilet training, sleep, etc
  • Parenting courses and individual support from family workers
  • Parent led sessions and groups
  • Health services such as midwives and health visitor clinics

If you need support for you and your family, you can email us at  or give us a call on 01353 612770.