Queen Edith’s news 2020 vol.03: March

Tuesday 31 March

  • Today we’re launching the request side of our “Happy To Help” scheme. Our volunteers may be able to help you if you’re housebound and need assistance with collecting prescriptions, getting shopping, walking your dog, posting mail, providing IT advice or just need calling on the phone for a friendly chat. Please do not use our service for emergencies, for medical advice or information, or for support services provided by our local councils. The service works by you calling our dedicated telephone line and leaving us a message, then we get back to you. There are full details here.
  • Thank you to the many local people who’ve signed up to be volunteers. New additions to the team are still welcome! Use the link at the bottom to find out how.
  • For those of you south of Queen Edith’s Way, or in the Wulfstan Way area, the closest supermarket is probably Express Convenience Store at Wulfstan Way shops, next to Kays Chemists. Revised opening hours for the shop are now 9am to 7pm Monday to Saturday, and 10am to 5pm Sunday. The shop tells us it is fully stocked apart from the few items that are an issue everywhere. Home delivery is not currently available but the shop is happy to take orders and payments over the phone. Customers can then request a volunteer or a local taxi company to collect their shopping. Express Convenience Store can be contacted on 01223 242 449.
  • Cambridge Veterinary Group on Cherry Hinton Road is now running a closed-door, emergency service from 9am-5pm Monday-Friday, looking after urgent cases and offering video and telephone consults where appropriate. They are able to process prescriptions during this period which be posted or delivered locally by bike. If your pet is unwell do please contact them. The Practice advises that your day-to-day pet care should remain broadly the same as usual. For dogs who are being exercised less, consider mental stimulation games indoors. The government has advised hand-washing after interacting with any cat that goes outdoors. More details about looking after your pet here.
  • Local radio is coming into its own at the moment. An initiative called WaveLength is providing free radios to the most vulnerable over 70s “to help everyone feel part of their community.” If you would like to nominate someone to receive a radio, there’s an application form here. You will need to know something about the person’s circumstances and it’s helpful to be able to give some details about their National Insurance Number, Income and/or Pension Credit ID.
  • Tobias Bown, Assistant Head at The Perse Prep school, provides plenty of useful advice for parents and carers of primary school aged children in his blog on home learning.
  • Cambridge Cycle Co says that if you are a keyworker or have no other transport to get you to work and need a cycle repair or part please get in touch and they will do everything they can to help.
  • Panther Taxis are offering a shopping collection/delivery service through their app. More details on how to do it here, although we suggest you check with them the first time you use this service to ensure they serve your pickup destination – by telephone on 01223 715715 or via Facebook.

Monday 30 March

  • Thank you to everyone who has signed up to our “Happy To Help” volunteering scheme. The response has been amazing – we’ve got a wonderful community here. The appeal for volunteers is open permanently – the button below will take you to our form if you want to add your name.
  • The Cambridge Freecycle group has changed to only offer emergency supplies or food. It’s normally a good way of passing on unwanted items to people who’ll collect them, so as they say: “Please feel free to use this time to go through your cupboards to sort out no longer used items for when Freecycle is back in operation!”
  • Wandlebury Country Park and Coton Countryside Reserve remain open to pedestrians and cyclists only, to enable people to take their once-a-day outdoor exercise. The car park and toilets at Wandlebury are now closed, so please do not drive to the parks.
  • We hope to have some information about pet care tomorrow, but in the meantime, the Clinical Director of the Cambridge Veterinary Group on Cherry Hinton Road, Lucy Crosby, was on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire this morning talking about what the practice is doing. You can hear the chat here.
  • We’re normally trying to promote Queen Edith’s-based businesses in this newsletter, but for fruit and veg boxes we do need to go a little outside our area. Not far though!
  • A company which has launched a home delivery service and seen orders take off is the Cambridge Fruit Co. This company can also deliver boxes of meat from Andrews Butchers and cakes from Uppercrust Cakes, available alongside ordering a fruit and vegetable box, which you can do here. It’s a very simple online ordering process, and we’ve found the ‘Essential Box’ to be good quality and reasonable value. The meat and cake add-ons are a bonus opportunity!
  • Another option for fruit and vegetables is Fresh in a Box, a service by Hilary’s Wholesale, based on Coldham’s Lane. This offers the opportunity to buy fruit, vegetable or salad only boxes. More details here.
  • Cambridge Organic Food Company is not taking new direct customers but is looking to support those in greatest need. It has introduced a “Community Angels” scheme to identify people most in need of their service. Our local contact, if you’re interested, is Britt Kilian, who can be emailed here. The company website is here.

Sunday 29 March

  • Thank you to everyone who has signed up to our “Happy To Help” volunteering scheme. The response has been amazing – we’ve got a wonderful community here. The appeal for volunteers is open permanently.
  • Please continue to monitor these emails for details about how to request help. We need to get our systems in place and volunteers briefed before we can do this.
  • Just as an aside, we’ve found that the ‘spam filters’ in some email systems (such as GMail) have been working badly recently. We’d thoroughly recommend taking a look in  your ‘spam’ folder most days, and marking anything filed there by mistake as ‘not spam’ so it moves to your inbox.
  • Stagecoach bus timetables change tomorrow. This includes re-routing of the Citi 1 and Citi 2 services; Citi 2 will once again go through to Addenbrooke’s. See the revised timetables here.
  • We’ve done some research over the weekend to find the local takeaways that remain open. We were very impressed at the efforts being put in by these local businesses, and the hygiene considerations which seem to be in place. Do consider getting some meal deliveries and helping them to stay trading. This list may not be comprehensive, but give them a try. Pay for your food by card when ordering by phone or online, and delivery can be left on your doorstep, making the process completely contactless.
  • For Pizza and Italian food, Gattuso’s Sicilian Trattoria on Hills Road is offering deliveries through Just Eat; opening hours are 4pm to 9pm. Pizza 1899, the restaurant in a shipping container on the plaza at Cambridge Leisure, is open for collection as well as Deliveroo delivery from an impressive 11.30am to 9.30pm. And Bella Italia at Cambridge Leisure is also delivering via Deliveroo.
  • For Chinese food, Double Seven on Cherry Hinton Road was open for deliveries on Friday night but we’ve just seen a message on its website suggesting it’s now closed. Call 01223 245777 to check. However, Michael Kerr’s upmarket Peking Restaurant in Homerton Street is still doing deliveries through Just Eat, if you fancy a treat. Otherwise you may have to go a little further afield – try Deliveroo or Just Eat for ideas.
  • For Indian food, Maharani Take Away on Cherry Hinton Road is open 7 days a week from 5pm to 10pm, with ordering on its own website. The newer Palkee on Cherry Hinton Road is also open 7 days a week from 5pm to 9.30pm, with ordering on its own website.
  • For burgers, chicken and kebabs, the best bet is Cyprus Kebab House on Cherry Hinton Road. Open from 5pm to 9pm daily, it offers kebabs, burgers and pizzas with meal deals and family packs. Order via Just Eat or collect from the takeaway itself.

Saturday 28 March

  • We are today putting out a call for community volunteers to help others across Queen Edith’s. We have waited until now in order to let very local groups of neighbours establish themselves, and to find out what our local councils are expecting from individual communities.
  • Our area-wide initiative does not replace any of the excellent local self-help groups already set up, but we hope will build on these and fill in the gaps.
  • We will be matching volunteers with requests for help including:
    – Out-and-about services (shopping, dog walking and posting mail)
    – Stay-at-home services (telephone befriending, giving computer/internet help).
    If you’re interested in offering any of these, just click on the link below and complete our short form.
  • There will be no commitment, just whatever you’re able to do, whenever. The Queen Edith’s Community Forum is working with local medical practices, churches and other groups to support safe and supported volunteering.
  • We are also looking for a crucially important group of administrators who will listen to voicemail recordings made by those who need help and allocate the tasks. This is an at-home, computer-based job suitable for any age, and you can indicate your interest also using the link below.
  • We are not taking requests for help yet. We need to set up our volunteer network in advance. If you’re happy to collect some shopping for someone nearby, walk their dog or just call to check they’re OK, please sign upThank you.

Friday 27 March

  • We’re going to be launching our “Happy To Help” volunteering service this weekend. Ahead of this, can you help us increase the circulation of this newsletter? We’ll follow up this email in a minute with a simple email message that you can just forward to everyone you know who lives locally, in case they don’t already get this newsletter. Please help us to help the whole community!
  • Sadly, like many other festivals this summer, the Cambridge Folk Festival at the end of July has been cancelled.
  • Cambridge City Council has joined with Cambridgeshire County Council in temporarily suspending resident parking zones, which they say is ‘to assist essential deliveries and collections’. They will also make multi-storey car parks available free of charge from Monday 30 March to key workers and volunteers. The County Council has now decided to suspend parking enforcement across Cambridge during the crisis.
  • Panther Taxis’ mobile app now allows you to select ‘Grocery Pickup’ as your vehicle, so you can shop online, select the supermarket as the pickup point, and they’ll bring your shopping to you.
  • Cambridge City Council is asking residents to not take items to recycling points (such as textiles, shoes, batteries etc.) as these will not be emptied until further notice.

Thursday 26 March

  • Addenbrooke’s patients and their friends and relatives can call a helpline with questions about the hospital’s services during the COVID-19 outbreak. The helpline is open from 8.00am to 8.00pm Monday to Friday and messages can be passed on to patients in hospital without telephone access. Details here.
  • The new Red Cross Area Residents’ Association have created a weekly Community Star Award to celebrate people in their area who are making a contribution to community spirit. The first award goes to Frank Pinner, the Principal of the Bell Language School, for responding to RARA’s request and donating the school car park to staff working at the Biomedical Campus during the COVID-19 emergency. You can find out more about RARA here.
  • At Wulfstan Way shops, which has easy access and parking, there’s Express General Convenience Store, a small but busy supermarket, open 8am to 8pm Monday to Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sunday; and New Winfield Oriental Supermarket, selling Filipino, Chinese and other oriental goods. There’s also Kay’s Chemist which is currently open 10am to 12noon and 2pm to 4pm Monday to Friday, and 9am to 1pm Saturday.
  • Budgens at MRH Orchard service station is still open 24 hours and has a wide selection of groceries and other products.
  • The new Cherry Hinton Road Co-op at Adkins Corner is open from 6am to 10pm Monday to Saturday and 10am to 4pm Sunday.
  • In the city half of Cherry Hinton Road, many food stores, convenience stores and pharmacies remain open. Opening hours for the Boots Pharmacy are 10am to 12noon and 2pm to 4pm (we think that’s Monday to Saturday). Nearby Daily Store has a selection of groceries and is of course one of our newsagents (opening hours unknown). Around the Rock pub, we have Cherry Hinton Road Local Store, which has groceries and is one of our two Post Offices: this is open 7am to 10pm Monday to Sunday. Next door is local favourite Balzano’s delicatessen, which has a wonderful range of Italian themed groceries and its renowned bread; the shop is open from 8.30am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 4pm on Saturday. Over the road, Cambridge Wine Merchants is open 7 days a week and has some great offers on. Further up, Cherry Hinton Mini Market is our other newsagent and has a good grocery range – it’s currently open 6am to 12noon, and a couple of doors down, Numark Pharmacy retains its incredible opening hours of 7am to 11pm Monday to Friday, 7am to 7pm Saturday and 9am to 5pm Sunday. Over the road, Sparkles Convenience Store opposite remains open (opening hours unknown) with a range of grocery products including fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • Finally we get to Cambridge Leisure and Hills Road, where we have three supermarkets, but don’t forget there’s also Essentialz, which has a great range of groceries as well as being our other post office. The supermarkets all look pretty well stocked at the moment: Tesco is open from 6am to 10pm; Sainsbury’s appears to be still open from 7am to 11pm; and The Marque Co-op is open from 7am to 10pm.

Wednesday 25 March

  • We need to know what local businesses are doing, so that we can tell you. Can you help us? If you’re going out to a shop or will be in contact with any Queen Edith’s based business, we’ve created a note which you can print out at home and let them have. Download your copy here and help us help local services at this time. Or you can send them the flyer by email.
  • Addenbrooke’s Hospital has had to suspend all visits to patients, with a few exceptions. Read the full statement from CUH here.
  • The Inpatient Unit at the Arthur Rank Hospice is restricted to two visitors per patient, and they must be next of kin and close or immediate family only. More details here.
  • Sadly, The Coffee House in Wulfstan Way has now had to close. Ian and the team look forward to seeing us all again soon. Their message is here.
  • Those of you on Cherry Hinton Road and to the north of it now also have the help of the newly-formed Coleridge Community Forum. Keep in touch with what they’re doing here.
  • The team at the Taj Tandoori have decided “with a heavy heart” to close temporarily, including no longer offering takeaways. Their message is here.
  • Dr Shani Langdon and local resident Elinor Brown of Being Human Together are offering a live 8-week mindfulness course for parents, and it’s free. The introduction is next Tuesday 31 March at 8pm. Join in online then (via Zoom – it’s easy) for an introductory session and to find out more. Details of ‘Align For Parents’ can be found here.
  • Cambridge Cookery has had to close, but has these very special offers for when it re-opens.
  • Cyclists should note that although the Giant Store on Hills Road has closed for now, the group’s Cambridge Station store will reopen tomorrow with workshop services and provision of cycling essentials.

Tuesday 24 March

  • message from Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Addenbrooke’s and The Rosie clarifies that anyone with medical appointments should continue to attend unless contacted directly stating otherwise.
  • The Magog Trust has taken the decision to close the car park to Magog Down in order to reduce social interaction, but locals who are able to reach the site on foot may still visit for exercise, taking into account government advice on social distancing. More here.
  • The churches of St John The Evangelist and St James are both now closed to the public.
  • The Cambridge Online charity is looking for volunteers to join a new team providing phone and email support to people needing help with digital tasks. Details on how to volunteer can be found here (please be patient – we found the website very slow).
  • Local electricians DS Electrical are offering 24-hour essential emergency works. Contact them on 07830 349 199 or 07870 372 788. All precautions taken.
  • Our friends at Shortle ProClean say they can still help where needed for window, fascia and gutter cleaning. All precautions taken. More information here.
  • Treat yourself or the family to a proper gourmet meal! Acclaimed chef Mark Poynton has teamed up with Cambridge Cookery to offer a pickup or delivery service of amazing food on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. Three courses are just £18.50! Take a look at the menus for this weekend, and book ahead now.
  • Cambridge Print & Copy on the Clifton Road estate is still able to provide fast printing services, either for collection from the street, to be posted out via Royal Mail or delivered by cycle courier. Visit their website here and there’s details on what they can do for domestic and business customers.
  • The Marque Co-op has changed its opening hours to 7am to 8pm.
  • Barclays Bank on Cherry Hinton Road is currently closed. The bank’s 24-hour customer services is on 0345 734 5345.
  • Lloyds Bank on Cherry Hinton Road is open on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 9.30am to 4.30pm. You may want to check before visiting on 0345 602 1997.
  • Cherry Hinton Mini Market on Cherry Hinton Road is currently opening from 6am to 12 noon.
  • Popular fish and chip shop Fishnchickn on Cherry Hinton Road is closed until further notice.

Monday 23 March

Sunday 22 March

  • Rock Road Library is closing but the County Council library service “is working to create an alternative offer” – read this announcement if you’re a library user, and watch this space for updates.
  • Daily home newspaper deliveries are looking like an attractive option for many people and are operating as normal at the moment. Some national newspapers are now offering free delivery through a website called Deliver My Newspaper. This site will send you vouchers to give to your local newsagent* which will cover the delivery cost for typically 6 or 12 weeks. It’s very easy to use, and you can complete it for someone else. Then go to the website of the newspaper you chose (e.g. The Guardian) and subscribe to its print version – they’ll also send you vouchers for the period you choose. Note that you can do this as a ‘gift’ for someone, which might be useful if you’re doing this to help out someone who doesn’t want to do all this on the internet themselves. Then take both sets of vouchers, when you’ve got them, to the newsagent you chose when getting the delivery vouchers.
  • Sadly, after its free opening experiment on Saturday was overwhelmed, the Cambridge University Botanic Garden is having to close to avoid putting staff and visitors at risk. More information here.
  • Cambs Youth Panel is providing Google Chromebooks to school students in Cambridgeshire free of charge for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis. Click here for more details. If you’d like to support this initiative financially, there are also details on how to do so.
  • Don’t forget there’s more general information and an amazing set of resources on our Coronavirus (COVID-19) information and advice page, which is being updated constantly and may have new details since you last took a look.

* Note when selecting your newsagent that ‘ENGA GROUP LTD’ is Cherry Hinton Mini Market on Cherry Hinton Road, near Rock Road; and ‘MR GEORGE KUNJUMON’ is the Daily Store on the corner of Cowper Road.

Saturday 21 March

  • Both of our local Church of England churches have updates on their websites about current activities. Both are open at times for reflection and prayer: see details at the St James website and the St John The Evangelist website. In addition, St James church tells us: “We can’t hand out posies of flowers at church as we usually do on Mothering Sunday, so we will be leaving a bucket of flowers by the church notice board for children to take a posy to give to mothers or others who care for us.  Please only take one each!” St James’s is participating in a National Day of Prayer and Action by asking people to light a candle and place it in their window at 7pm on Sunday.
  • Please encourage friends and neighbours locally to get this email. If you live in a block of flats, would you be kind enough to click here to see our poster, print it out and put it somewhere that all residents can see it? If you cut the red dotted lines to leave tassels at the bottom, people can tear off the website address to take home.
  • You can sign up others to get our email, including less internet-savvy neighbours who read email but perhaps don’t want to fill in a web form. Just sign them up here and let them know they’ll get an email which they can click to confirm they want to receive it.
  • Rock Allotments remain open: please observe social distancing whilst working on plots. The Trading Centre will continue to remain open on Sundays 11-12 for as long as possible.
  • Cambridge Arts Theatre is closed until May.
  • With council Green Bin collections ceasing, people have been asking if there’s anything we can do with kitchen waste. Local blogger Cab Davison has written an article called Composting in a Crisis – Make Your Own Compost Heap which is a perfect project if you’ve got a bit of garden space and are looking for something to do. It’s also very entertaining. Have a read.

Friday 20 March

  • Cambridge University Botanic Garden is now open free of charge until further notice. Entrance is however only via the Brookside Gate on Trumpington Road.
  • Stagecoach buses will be working to revised timetables across Cambridgeshire from Monday week (30th March). The Citi 1 and Citi 2 will have their outbound access restored via Queen Edith’s Way, serving Addenbrooke’s.
  • Cambridge City Council customer reception points at Mandela House are now closed, except for pre-booked appointments.
  • Greater Anglia trains (Liverpool Street services) will be running to a revised timetable from Monday
  • Great Northern trains (Kings Cross services) will be running to a revised timetable from Monday
  • There’s a Neighbourhood Watch response to the public health situation here
  • Rock Road Library remains open but ‘Friends’ events have been suspended – more in their latest newsletter here.
  • Non-urgent housing repairs for council tenants have been suspended until further notice.
  • Police Community Safety Officers are reporting an increase in online and doorstep scams. This video is worth watching and circulating (YouTube). There’s also some good advice to read here.
  • Cambridge City Foodbank is expecting a surge in demand and is calling on the public to donate food in the supermarket collection bins around the city. It will operate at three locations in Cambridge. Visitors will still need to be referred by a professional agency. More here.
  • That’s TV West Anglia came to St John’s church and made this 4-minute news story (YouTube) on what we’re doing, with Revd James Shakespeare and our own Sam Davies.

Thursday 19 March

Wednesday 18 March

Tuesday 17 March