Queen Edith’s news 2020 vol.04: April

Thursday 30 April

  • Arthur Rank Hospice Charity has announced that its fundraising Star Shine Walk will still take place this year …as a ‘virtual event’! Instead of the 10-mile walk on 23 May, participants are invited to get themselves sponsored to walk the equivalent 20,000 steps at any time between 23 May and 6 June. Why not give it a go? You can find out more details about the event here.
  • For those of you after hanging basket plants, shrubs/perennials or climbing plants, a reminder that “the Plant Man from the Sunday Trumpington car boot sale”, Sam Moralee, is open for orders at his Pinewood Nurseries website. You can order by email or telephone and he will deliver.
  • We’ve had a message from a lady working on ambulances at Addenbrooke’s asking if anyone who is not high risk can offer lodging for two nights a week, after her late shifts. She will use the ambulance station’s shower and kitchen. If you think you can help, please email Sam Davies here.
  • Did you know that if you have a TV with an ‘HDMI’ input (which means virtually any TV today), you can turn it into an internet-enabled computer for just £65? Cambs Youth Panel have a brilliant project going, supplying these Raspberry Pi-based ‘homework computers’, which you can read about on their website. If you’re a little better off, and just like the idea of adding a computer to your TV, why not buy one and make them a donation for their excellent community work at the same time?
  • Finally, it’s the month of May tomorrow, and Action For Happiness has produced this nice ‘Meaningful May’ calendar with an action for every day. One for all the family.

Wednesday 29 April

  • If you’re watching out for each other locally, it’s possible that you could become concerned about a neighbour’s welfare. What would you do? Cambridgeshire Constabulary has published this note which is worth reading to be prepared for such an eventuality.
  • St John’s Church on Hills Road is now signed-up to ‘Dial a Sermon’, which means that each weekend its Sunday sermon is available to listen to by telephone: the number to ring is 01223 643887. The church continues to offer a weekly worship video, daily ‘Thought’ as well as children’s materials, on the ‘Church at Home’ section of its website.
  • A reminder of Michael Fincham’s weekly delivery to the Cambridge City Foodbank on Fridays at 11am. Donations can be placed in the back of his car on the drive at 60 Glebe Road before that time. Here’s what they need!
  • This year’s Early May Bank Holiday (which is next week!) was pushed back to the Friday from the normal Monday, to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day. While most planned commemorative events have been cancelled, alternative ones have replaced them. There are lots of ways you can get involved at this government website. The Mayor of Cambridge, Cllr Gerri Bird, and her counterpart from Cambridge’s twin city of Heidelberg in Germany, are linking up for a virtual service to be broadcast on community radio station Cambridge 105 from 2.55pm.
  • A resident who is self-isolating needs some fencing repairs so their dog can exercise safely in the garden. We are looking for a neighbour with practical skills who can assess and carry out this work safely (the resident can pay for any materials necessary). If this sounds like you, please get in contact with Sam Davies.
  • Finally, joining in with the effort to make medical ‘scrubs’ has become something of a national craze! Addenbrooke’s now has a page with instructions on how to make them, and where they should be sent. Here are some elegant examples from Siva, one of our local volunteers. Brilliant.

Tuesday 28 April

  • Cambridge City Council has joined Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue in asking residents not to light garden bonfires. Rosy Moore, a city councillor, says: “Lighting bonfires as a means of burning waste can cause serious damage to your health and that of your neighbours, some of whom may have pre-existing health conditions leaving them even more vulnerable during the Coronavirus crisis. I urge residents to refrain from having bonfires and ask that we all exercise kindness and consideration.” More on the subject from the council here.
  • Another local restaurant has reopened for takeaway and delivery: Five Guys at Cambridge Leisure. It’s open from 11am to 9pm seven days a week, and customers can use Click & Collect or Deliveroo.
  • Cambridge City Council is resuming its bulky waste collection service (furniture, white goods, etc). Collections cost £30 for up to three items and £25 per item for hazardous waste. Find out more about the service and arrange a collection here. All Household Recycling Centres are still closed.
  • Chef Mark Poynton’s MJP@Home has released this week’s menu for delivery on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Dishes are now being sent out from the Green Dragon at Chesterton rather than Cambridge Cookery, so Queen Edith’s residents will presumably opt for the free delivery rather than collection!
  • Finally, a nice touch from the County Council’s highways team – this ‘road art’ has appeared on Hills Road

Monday 27 April

  • Green Bins will be collected at the start of May (i.e. next week or the week after, depending on when your collection would normally be due). No further collections are being guaranteed at the moment, but the councils sound hopeful they’ll happen. Full announcement here and check when your Green Bin is due to be emptied here.
  • It’s perhaps unsurprising that more people than usual are organising will writing, Lasting Power of Attorney, protecting homes and even pre-paying funeral plans. In normal times, we’re fortunate that specialist, family-run provider Inheritance Legal Services has its head office just around the corner in Cherry Hinton Road, but even with the office closed temporarily, the company tells us it has experienced a significant rise in enquiries. The team are working through telephone or video chat to provide advice and all their usual low cost, fixed fee services. Find out more here.
  • Local postie Becks Thoday’s fancy-dress deliveries have now raised way over £2000, and you can hear a radio interview with her on Cambridge 105 tomorrow (Tuesday) after 1pm. Fantastic effort!
  • Those of you who are interested in local environmental data might be interested in these charts from Cambridge University showing the impact of the lockdown on traffic. The data shows that both truck and van traffic has risen to above 50% of its late-February peak, while cycle, car and pedestrian traffic is around 30–40% of its previous peak.
  • We’ve now topped 1100 readers of this email, which is great news, but that probably means it’s still only getting to about 1 in 4 local residents. So have a think if there’s anyone locally whose email you know, and forward this to them with a note saying they can join the circulation by clicking this link.

Friday 24 April

  • Much-loved local café and bistro Cambridge Cookery re-opens tomorrow, Saturday 25th April, for takeaway service. The cafe will be open from 9am to 1pm both days this weekend, then from Wednesdays through to Sundays. They tell us: “We will offer a take-out service of freshly baked bread, pastries, sandwiches, salads and coffee, and we have plenty of space for socially distanced queueing on our large terrace and lawn. We look forward to welcoming you back!”
  • Other local takeaway food businesses available this weekend include fishnchicknCherry Box pizzaMaharani Take AwayPalkee and Cyprus Kebab House on Cherry Hinton Road; Gattuso’s Trattoria on Hills Road; Pizza 1899 and Bella Italia at Cambridge Leisure; and the Peking Restaurant in Homerton Street.
  • Cherry Hinton Road based auctioneer Cheffins is running an auction of some quite extraordinary donated items, in aid of Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust. One of the lots in the auction, which ends tonight, has already attracted a bid of over £3,000. What could it be? Check out the items and bids here.
  • Local resident Alex Elbro has a spare sewing machine and would be happy to lend it to anyone who wants to sew scrubs or masks or even if someone fancies borrowing it for a hobby while we’re in lockdown. Email Alex here.
  • Anyone on low income who is pregnant or has very young children may qualify for the NHS Healthy Start scheme, which offers weekly vouchers for basic foods. Find out who qualifies here.
  • If you’re wondering what to do this weekend, and you’ve heard conflicting advice in the media about whether you can drive or not, there’s a good explanation from Which? here. In summary, it is acceptable to drive somewhere to exercise, provided that you keep driving distances as short as possible (certainly spending less time driving than exercising!) – but please consider if it’s really necessary. More car journeys means more breakdowns and accidents, neither of which anyone wants or needs at the moment.
  • We’ll be back on Sunday with the weekly roundup. Have a very happy weekend everyone.

Thursday 23 April

  • We’ve heard that residents of one street in Queen Edith’s have clubbed together to buy a bulk load of potting compost …84 bags! The large order helped everyone to secure a discounted price, and it was only a week from order confirmation to delivery. A pretty good deal for those wanting to grow their own while spending more time at home. The compost came from (relatively local) business Field Compost, as mentioned in the Nightingale Community Garden review of peat free gardening. Field Compost have been very accommodating and are willing to drop bags off at several houses along the street.
  • Click It Local is a great new initiative enabling people to buy products from a range of specialist local retailers from a single website, with orders received before 2pm are delivered the same day. What’s more, your order will come on Zedify’s delivery bicycles. Retailers being supported at launch include Small and Green (houseplants), The Cambridge Cheese Company and The Brew Project (coffee beans).
  • Chef Mark Poynton’s popular MJP@Home gourmet meals service is taking orders for Friday (tomorrow) and Saturday. Its warm-up-at-home dishes are individually priced, or 3 courses are just £18.50. The food will keep in the refrigerator for up to four days, and is also freezable (instructions are provided). Home delivery or pick up from Cambridge Cookery. Details and the new menu are here.
  • Many of us aren’t using our cars as much as usual, and one of our closest new car dealerships, Steven Eagell Lexus, has sent customers tips on ensuring their cars remains in good condition. The dealership largely quotes the AA Guidance on How to maintain your car when not driving regularly, which apply to any make of vehicle. Don’t ignore your car for weeks, or it may not start when you need it.
  • A reminder that the Queen Edith’s Community Forum Coronavirus information and advice page is a great place to start for links to government and NHS guidelines, relevant council information and services, local volunteering schemes, faith groups, health services and much more. No need to spend ages searching on Google for answers that may not even be there!

Wednesday 22 April

  • DH Thomas Eye Care on Hills Road, our local optometrists and dispensing opticians, says that it can handle queries by email remotely at info@dhthomas.co.uk. There’s a strictly emergency telephone number on the practice website.
  • Local resident Michael Fincham is continuing his weekly delivery to the Cambridge City Foodbank on Fridays at 11am. Donations can be placed in the back of his car on the drive at 60 Glebe Road before that time. Here’s what they need!
  • Both Sainsbury’s and the Co-op now have volunteer shopping cards available for those doing shopping for friends or neighbours where money transfers might be awkward. The cards are like gift cards; they can be ordered online and sent to you or whoever needs them, then given to the person doing the shopping to use in-store instead of cash. Sainsbury’s offers them from £5 to £250 here and we’ll provide details of the Co-op card when we can confirm them.
  • Thanks to everyone who donated material for making medical scrubs to Cavendish Avenue – there’s now enough donated to this particular source.
  • Our ‘Happy To Help’ neighbourhood assistance scheme continues to get a steady stream of requests. If you have somewhere suitable to put a poster (especially if you live in a block of flats), you can download and print our A4 posters or A3 (2 x A4) posters here.

Tuesday 21 April

  • Local resident Becks Thoday from the Royal Mail is doing her postal delivery in fancy dress for a while “to hopefully put a smile on people’s faces”, and would like us all to give her the thumbs up if we spot her. And to show our appreciation, may we suggest everyone makes a small donation to her fundraiser for Addenbrookes Charitable Trust?
  • Advance information that Cambridge Cookery Café will be reopening from this weekend for a takeaway service of fresh bread, pastries, coffee and more. Great news – watch this space at the end of the week for confirmed details!
  • Facebook users might like to follow the City Council’s new ‘Cambridge Virtual Community Centre’, which offers ideas and information for older people, advice and opportunities for parents and carers, ideas and activities for the young, and things to see and do online.
  • Many children already have a Chromebook computer for school and are doing a fantastic job of moving to online learning. Local councillor Colin McGerty now has a small stock of old laptop computers that have been repurposed as Chromebooks. Although anyone in receipt of benefits will qualify for the government scheme for free laptops and routers via the county council and schools, this offer has no strings attached and is available immediately to anyone who feels their child’s education would benefit. Email Colin for details. If you have an unused laptop you think would work as a low powered Chromebook, here’s how to convert it, or you can email Colin to donate it or swap it for one already set up.
  • Deliciously Guilt Free is a local specialist baker supplying low carb snacks using all-natural ingredients that are low in sugar. Shipping is £3.55 or free over £30. Yummy!

Monday 20 April

  • JustPark, a national service where homeowners rent out driveway space, is arranging free parking for NHS staff and critical care workers. There appear to be spaces available in Queen Edith’s for those who might need them (or who would just prefer the safety of a driveway), so it might be worth passing on the information if you know anyone who might benefit. If you want to offer your driveway or parking space for free, especially if you’re in walking distance of the hospitals, you can do so here.
  • A request from local medical scrubs makers: if anyone has any old sheets or duvet covers or the like, that would be suitable for sewing scrubs, could they leave them outside number 59 Cavendish Avenue? They need to be able to be washed at 60 degrees, so polycotton is ideal.
  • We’re reliably informed that our friends at Balzano’s Delicatessen on Cherry Hinton Road have strong white bread flour and yeast in stock, both of which can be in short supply. The flour is sold in 2kg bags, which staff will make up for you on request.
  • Finally, here are the current opening hours for our local supermarkets:
    – Co-op Cherry Hinton Road (Adkins Corner)  Mon to Sat 6am to 9pm; Sun 10am to 4pm
    – Express General Store (Wulfstan Way): Mon to Sat 9am to 7pm; Sun 10am to 5pm
    – Co-op The Marque (Hills Road): 7am to 10pm, seven days a week
    – Sainsbury’s Local (Cambridge Leisure): 7am to 11pm, seven days a week
    – Tesco Express (Cambridge Leisure): 6am to 10pm, seven days a week

Friday 17 April

  • A reminder that our Coronavirus (COVID-19) information and advice page is a good source of local public information. In the “Local health services” section we’ve added a link to a new Which? guide to what to do if you have a health problem (GP, dentist or optician) that isn’t related to COVID-19. Help is still available and you shouldn’t avoid seeking it.
  • It’s lovely to be able to report more businesses re-opening than those which are closing. The latest we’ve heard about is Cherry Box Pizza on Cherry Hinton Road, which appears to be taking online orders for delivery and collection from 5pm. More at their website here.
  • Yesterday we mentioned the ScrubHub initiative to make ‘scrubs’ (medical clothing) for those on the front line. We’ve now been directed to a Cambridge group which is primarily co-ordinated on Facebook. The group’s co-ordinator says they have a large financial donation, and pre-cut scrubs on their way (very soon) from an industrial pattern cutter, so if you have the sewing skills (and especially an overlocker) and want to help, find out more by joining the Facebook group here. Alternatively, email us and we’ll pass on your contact details.
  • The Queen Edith’s Community Forum has access to a set of litter grabbers and some waste bags, so if anyone feels like using these on their daily exercise, we’d be more than happy to lend them. Let us know by email.
  • Cambridgeshire Constabulary reminds us that it has a live web chat facility on its website, which is ideal for reporting less urgent concerns. Click the little green chat button on the force’s website to get in touch. There’s still a lot of confusion about what is meant by the ‘reasonable excuse’ to leave home under the current regulations, and the best guide we’ve seen is this one for police officers from the National Police Chiefs Council. It’s worth a read.
  • This September’s local Open Eco Homes days have had to be cancelled, but the initiative has set up a free online seminar for those interested in retrofitting their home to make it energy-efficient, sustainable and comfortable. This will take place next Wednesday, April 22, at 7:30pm. More information at the Open Eco Homes website.
  • In a slight change to our publishing schedule, from now on we’ll be publishing this Daily News email only on weekdays, but there’ll be a weekly roundup issue on Sundays, in case you missed anything. We hope this works for everyone! Have a good weekend.

Thursday 16 April

  • Handy with a sewing machine? ScrubHub is a national initiative to make ‘scrubs’ (medical clothing) for those on the front line. The essential requirements are a cutting table (or space to cut the fabric), pattern skills to trace up the patterns, and a sewing machine with an overlocker, although groups of people are combining resources. Royal Papworth Hospital on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus is welcoming the project and finished scrubs can be dropped off at the south entrance of the hospital. There’s a Facebook ScrubHub group based elsewhere in the county, but we suspect that’s what’s really needed is for some people to set up our own project here. The hospital says: “Please do encourage any friends or family who are handy with a sewing machine to help out. There is no restriction on colour or design of the material.” If you’d like to co-ordinate our own initiative here, let us know and we’ll be happy to publicise it. Here’s some background:
    – Volunteers stitch together to make scrubs for NHS (article from The Guardian on Monday);
    – Complete project background including all the requirements.
  • Having mentioned Screwfix yesterday, we’ve been reminded that Toolstation – also on Clifton Road Estate – is open for business too. Both suppliers are recommending using their home delivery service, but are taking orders online for store collection if necessary. Browse Toolstation’s wide range of building, electrical and plumbing products here.
  • Another newsagent now offering home deliveries of newspapers and magazines is Megha Traders, next to The Coffee House at Wulfstan Way Shops. Owner Prakash tells us the store can deliver anywhere in the southern and eastern parts of Queen Edith’s, including Ninewells, Worts Causeway and the Nightingale Avenue, Queen Edith’s Way and Wulfstan Way areas. It also stocks greetings cards, all sorts of supplies and hardware, and is open from 8am to 1pm Monday to Saturday, and 8am to 11.30am on Sundays. Telephone 07897 133570 for more information.
  • Go Glass on Cherry Hinton Road says that for anyone who has been concerned about securing broken windows or greenhouse panels, next week they will launch a click and collect service for cut-to-size glass with online ordering. If you have a requirement for glass, call them on 01223 211041 to arrange for safe collection from the store, starting on Monday.
  • A project at the University of Cambridge is collecting data to inform the diagnosis of COVID-19 by developing machine learning algorithms, based primarily on the sounds of people’s voices, breathing and coughing. You can ‘volunteer your voice’, whatever your state of health, simply by recording yourself here. We just did it, and it took 2 minutes.
  • Finally, one of Addenbrooke’s artists, Anita Klein, has created four colouring sheets for us all to ‘spread a bit of joy’ by making them into greetings cards for loved ones. You can find them here and here.

Wednesday 15 April

  • If you have home or garden hardware requirements, Screwfix on Clifton Road Industrial Estate remains open, 8am to 5pm Monday to Saturday and 9am to 4pm Sunday. Note that the store is running a ‘Click and Collect’ service only, so if you want to collect (rather than have items delivered), you’ll need to order online first and wait for the “Your order is ready” text message. You can see the full range of products here.
  • Cambridge Building Society in Cherry Hinton High Street is open on a Friday and Saturday from 10am – 2pm. If you are self-isolating you can request a form and nominate a trusted person. If you have a current account you can arrange for payments to be made by calling 0345 601 3344.
  • Lloyds Bank in Cherry Hinton Road is still opening between 10am and 2pm on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, for withdrawing cash over the counter, paying in cash or cheques, and help with financial support. Tel. 0345 602 1997.
  • “Coronavirus – a book for children” is now available to read free online. Illustrated by Axel Scheffler, this lovely book is suitable for a wide age range, and we suspect many adults will learn something from reading it too. Find it here.
  • Our regular update on local pharmacy opening times:
    – Numark Pharmacy on Cherry Hinton Road is open 7am to 8pm on Monday to Friday, 7am to 7pm on Saturday and 9am to 5pm on Sunday (Tel. 01223 517073)
    – Boots on Cherry Hinton Road is open 10am to 12pm and 2pm to 4pm Monday to Friday, and 10am to 2pm Saturday (Tel. 01223 247567)
    – Kay’s Chemist at Wulfstan Way Shops is open 9am to 1pm and 2pm to 4.30pm Monday to Friday (4pm Weds), and 9am to 1pm Saturday (Tel. 01223 242687)
  • Finally, can you help keep our neighbourhood’s new trees healthy? If you live near to a recently planted tree (one that is still supported by a tree stake) please can you give it a good drink of water once or twice a week whilst you are taking your routine walk? There’s a lot more information on what to do here, including (at the bottom of the page) a map of where the young trees are. Is there one near you?

Tuesday 14 April

  • Anna Riddoch, Clinical Director at Cambridge Veterinary Group on Cherry Hinton Road, has been in touch to say that where capacity allows, they are opening up what services they offer beyond urgent and emergency care, to the most at risk groups. You can read more here.
  • There are many worthy causes appealing for funds at the moment, but most people’s thoughts are turning to our local hospital. You can donate directly to Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust here through anything from a regular direct debit to a one-off text message. Your donation will aid the well-being of staff through this difficult time, provide vital equipment needed to support the Intensive Care Unit and much more. Please do consider it.
  • Those of us taking a local walk as our daily exercise might like to take a look at the ‘Know Your Place’ Tree Walk put together by the Friends of Rock Road Library last year. Pick up the trail directly in a large part of Queen Edith’s – print out the map here and the walk notes here. There’s also a table of 52 different trees to be seen here.
  • The ADC Theatre in the city may have had to postpone its Easter season, but it is launching a season of ‘digital student theatre’. There are plays, musicals, sketch shows, improv and more, all free to watch online from later this month. No tickets required, just visit the website at the time of the performance. Full details here.

Monday 13 April

  • Many residents are as close to Cherry Hinton village centre as they are to the amenities of Queen Edith’s. If that’s you, we’d recommend signing up to the weekly community newsletter from Cherry Hinton residents – just add your email address in the box. You can also read their latest printed newsletter here.
  • A reminder that city bin collections will be two days later this week, and one day later next week. Full schedule here. Blue or grey bin? Check here.
  • The nearest butcher for most residents is the relatively new Malloy’s Craft Butchery near the railway station. Click here to see the Facebook Live announcement from the weekend where Mike Malloy reveals that from tomorrow, the shop will be the first butcher’s outside London to sell through the Deliveroo service. This means that any of us can get top-quality meat deliveries in under an hour. You can view the Deliveroo offering in advance here.
  • Continuing with our search for plants and garden supplies, readers report mail-order success with all of the following in the past week (but be prepared for a long wait!):
    • Pinewood Nurseries, Fulbourn or Great Chesterford (call or email)
    • Suttons Seeds
    • Thompson & Morgan
    • Primrose.co.uk
  • This of you who follow planning applications will be interested to know that a massive set of plans for ‘Netherhall Gardens’ (a.k.a. ‘GB1’) has been published on the council website. This is the second half of the 400-home+ developments coming to Worts Causeway. You can find the documents here. We’d recommend starting with the Design & Access statement, which is in several parts (“DAS Part 1” onwards).
  • Meditation can help deal with challenges at times like these, and Inner Space in the city centre is now running Raja Yoga courses online. More information here.
  • So many local businesses are doing great things for the community in the current crisis that we couldn’t possibly list them all. However, the Queen Edith’s Community Forum does hope to record their efforts eventually, so watch this space. Here’s a typical example of generosity from The Marque Co-op.
  • Cherry Hinton Mini Market newsagents on Cherry Hinton Road tell us they can deliver to anywhere in Queen Edith’s, which presumably includes areas such as Ninewells, where residents had reported not being able to get newspapers delivered. The owners say they will deliver free of charge to the elderly and vulnerable, and payments can be made remotely by bank transfer or cheque. The shop is open from 6.00am to 12noon and the telephone number is 01223 247598.
  • The Gog Farm Shop remains open and is operating ‘contactless drive-through’ if you’re passing. We’re told the system works well! Opening times are Mon to Sat: 9am – 6pm. More details here.
  • Cambridge Cookery is running a lovely daily cookery blog called What’s For Supper. Or follow on Facebook here.

Thursday 9 April

  • With this week being the holiest time of the year for the Christian church, our local Anglican churches are working hard to reach out online. St John The Evangelist in Hills Road has a range of material for every day which you can find here, including a Good Friday Stations of the Cross video service with Revd James Shakespeare, accompanied by music from St John’s choir and various artworks. St James church in Wulfstan Way is broadcasting primarily through its Facebook page, where it will have a 6am Early Easter Day morning live-streamed service. For details of other online services, please contact the Revd Steven Rothwell by email here.
  • You may also be interested in the Liturgy of the Lord’s Supper broadcast live from Ely Cathedral online tonight at 7pm, available for all to watch.
  • Thanks to everyone who suggested local sources for buying garden plants online. We’ve been going through the names, but most aren’t set up to deliver around here, or don’t seem to have the capacity to take orders – some are clearly struggling with demand. Oasis Nursery in Willingham says it will deliver this far away, but is likely to charge up to £15 to do so; the best information is on its Facebook page. It may be worth monitoring the currently-closed Harvey & Son website for changes, although it looks like it’s collection only, from Harston or Little Shelford. Coton Orchard Garden Centre is offering an informal service where you email or call with your requirements – we can’t confirm when or if delivery is available here, or the cost, but it’s worth enquiring. If anyone knows of any better options which they can demonstrate are working, we’d be happy to hear about them.
  • Because of the Easter break, council bin collections will be two days later from tomorrow, so – for example – if your collection is normally on a Monday, it’ll be on a Wednesday. The week after will be one day later. Full schedule here. You can check what colour bin it is each week here.
  • Boots on Cherry Hinton Road (01223 247567) is open 2pm to 5pm on Friday, 10am to 2pm on Saturday, and 2pm to 5pm on Monday.
  • Kay’s Chemist at Wulfstan Way Shops (01223 242687) is open 2pm to 5pm on Friday, 9am to 1pm on Saturday, and 2pm to 5pm on Monday. Next week it will be open 9am to 1pm and 2pm to 4.30pm.
  • Please call Numark Pharmacy on Cherry Hinton Road (01223 517073) to confirm its opening hours.
  • Although some councils have asked residents to not light bonfires for air quality reasons during the current crisis, there’s been no such official request here that we can find. However, Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service has at least asked residents to not have bonfires simply to avoid the possibility of unnecessary calls on the service. This will ensure that crews are able to respond where they’re most in need.
  • With the holiday weekend coming up, it might be worth acquainting yourself with the government guidelines on leaving the house. There has been a recent change to allow more flexibility for those with specific health conditions that may require them to leave the home more frequently to maintain their health – including if it involves travel beyond the local area. Cambridge City Council has also laid out some specific guidelines here.
  • Have a very happy Easter weekend everyone. We may take a few days off unless there’s any urgent news, but we’ll be back on Monday at the latest. If you need any help with tasks that our local community volunteers can handle, our ‘Happy To Help’ telephone line is open for requests 24/7, and we’ll aim to get back to you within 24 hours. More details via the big red button below.
  • And remember – as New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern says – the Easter Bunny is an essential worker, even if it is “a bit difficult at the moment perhaps for the bunny to get everywhere.”

Wednesday 8 April

  • Thanks for all the suggestions about local plant nurseries that may deliver. We’re working our way through the list and will publish a list in the next few days.
  • Cat owners should feel reassured that they can let their cats out of the house, following clarified guidance from The British Veterinary Association. There’s a full statement from the BVA here. Local vet Anna Riddoch from Cambridge Veterinary Group tells us: “Although there is a lot of hype and many headlines flying around the media, it is important to remember at this stage that there is no robust evidence that our pets can catch or pass on COVID-19. Please continue to ensure robust hygiene measures after handling an outdoor cat, and avoid contact with other people’s pets when out and about.”
  • Many local residents are supporters of the fantastic Arthur Rank Hospice Charity, based out by the Babraham Road Park & Ride, the southernmost point of Queen Edith’s. We featured it in our most recent Queen Edith’s magazine. The pandemic is having a devastating impact on the charity’s ability to fundraise to sustain its vital services this year, with forecasts estimating a loss of £700,000 over the next six months. If you’re considering supporting local charities at this time, this would be a very good one to choose. More details here.
  • South Cambs MP Anthony Browne is holding a Facebook Live Q&A tomorrow afternoon (Thursday). You can book a reminder to watch here, as well as pre-submit questions.
  • Local resident Michael Fincham is once again taking food donations to the Cambridge Foodbank, and welcomes contributions at 60 Glebe Road before 11am on Friday. A list of their ‘most needed’ items can be found here.
  • Here’s a brilliant volunteering opportunity. Makespace, the community workshop in the city, is assembling thousands of face visors for medical staff, as reported in this Cambridgeshire Live story. They now need more volunteers for shifts in the production line. No skills are needed (they will train you up!) and you don’t need to be Makespace members. You’ll need to complete two forms: this general volunteering one and then this one for the visor project (which asks you to confirm you’ve filled in the first one!). The technical background to the visor design is here if you want to read about it.
  • Finally, some updates on our local Royal Mail and Post Office facilities, correct as of this afternoon. Our two local convenience stores running post offices in their premises are doing an amazing job staying open seven days a week, so please support them for general supplies as well as post office services:
  • Cherry Hinton Road Local Store, near The Rock pub, is open 8am to 9pm, seven days a week, but the Post Office counter there is only open 9am to 1pm, Monday to Friday.
  • Essentialz store, on Hills Road opposite Cambridge Leisure, is open 7am to 7pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm at weekends, with the post office counter available from the store opening time until 6pm, seven days a week.
  • Local mailbox collections vary wildly, so please see the notices on your nearest box for details. Some only have one collection a day, first thing in the morning. The mailbox outside Cherry Hinton Road Local Store has a collection as late as 5:15pm, but the latest collection time is the mailbox at the Cambridge Delivery Office, on the Clifton Road estate behind Cambridge Leisure. Conflicting notices posted there state the last collection times as being 6:15pm and 7pm Monday to Friday, 1:45pm and 2pm Saturday, so we’d suggest going by the earlier time to be on the safe side. The office there is now only open from 7am to 11am, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Tuesday 7 April

  • Cambridge City Council has closed the car park at Byron’s Pool local nature reserve to dissuade people from driving there and congregating near the entrance. The reserve remains open for exercise to people arriving on foot or bicycle.
  • Cambridgeshire Constabulary wants people to know that dialling 55 after dialling 999 will alert police operators that you are in need of assistance but cannot talk. This may be information worth passing on – there are full details here. Always pass on information like this as a link so that recipients can verify its authenticity.
  • The police are also urging members of the public to report breaches of the Coronavirus restrictions online. There’s a lot of good information on their newly-created information page.
  • The Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority is recommending small and medium sized companies to check if they qualify for its ‘Covid-19 Capital Grant Scheme’ offering grants from £2,000 to £150,000. More information here. Meanwhile, the City Council has begun issuing the grants provided for smaller businesses in the expanded retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. Details here.
  • With the weather being so nice, many people are working in their gardens. A reader has asked if anyone knows of local plant businesses that are offering deliveries and which we can support? Let us know at hello@queen-ediths.info.
  • Finally, why not create some artwork for your front window? The NHS Million poster project has teamed up with artists from around the UK to bring us lots of poster designs to print and colour in at home.

Monday 6 April

  • Neighbourhood Watch has published a special edition of its newsletter, which you can see here. It draws attention to the number of scams that have arisen as unscrupulous people take advantage of the crisis, and points us towards Friends Against Scams, a National Trading Standards Scams Team initiative, to learn more. You can find out where your local neighbourhood watch scheme is here (there are around a dozen in the Queen Edith’s area) and join the scheme or message your local co-ordinator.
  • There’s a message from the Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire Constabulary, Nick Dean, thanking residents and reporting that: “We haven’t issued any fines and that I think is a real positive story and a thank you to the communities in Cambridgeshire who have been adhering to the new legislation.” You can read the message in full here.
  • Local resident Craig Bennett, former CEO of Friends of the Earth and the new CEO of The Wildlife Trusts, was due to talk to us all at the Queen Edith’s Community Forum’s general meeting in March. Sadly, we had to cancel the event because of the health crisis, but there’s an interview with him in the i which you might find interesting. It’ll keep us going until we’re able to reschedule the event, at least!
  • Here’s a wonderful story of community generosity. You may have read in this email about local resident Neil Bharadwa’s Cambridge Fruit Company and the overnight success of its home delivery fruit and vegetable boxes. Right from the start though, customers and friends around the world have also been ordering boxes and asking the company to deliver them to NHS staff and The Red Hen Project, which Neil has been doing gladly – you can see a social media thread with loads of photographs of many recent donations here. Do take a look!

Sunday 5 April

  • A rare but very welcome re-opening to tell you about today: let’s hope it’s the first of many. Popular Cherry Hinton Road comfort food takeaway fishnchickn, next to The Rock pub, is back from Tuesday for those who can order online. Here are the details:
    – Home delivery will be available through JustEatDeliveroo or UberEats
    – Collection from the store will be available but ONLY for orders made through the fishnchickn app, available for Apple or Android smartphones (once downloaded, select the Cambridge store to order)
    The shop will be open on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday- 4-9pm, and Friday and Saturday 12-9pm. Closed Sunday and Monday.
  • A reminder that if you saw something in one of these nightly emails but have misplaced it, they’re all archived on our website here. This is issue 20!
  • Our regular notice that if you’re self-isolating or vulnerable, please feel free to call our “Happy To Help” volunteers. We can find someone to pick up shopping or prescriptions, walk your dog or provide remote IT help. We’re also happy to ring you (or others) just to check you’re OK. Details are here.
  • If you’d like to let others know about the scheme, just print out our leaflet and let a friend or neighbour have it …or print out our A4 poster and put it somewhere suitable.

Saturday 4 April

  • Both of our local Anglican parish churches have released readings, reflections and simple forms of liturgy for Palm Sunday. You can find these at the churches’ websites:
    St James, Wulfstan Way
    St John The Evangelist, Hills Road
  • A short update on the local restaurants still open for home delivery: slightly reduced in number from last weekend, but why not treat yourself today? The Food Standards Agency says that the risk from food is low and that “there is no reason to avoid having ready-to-eat food delivered if it has been prepared and handled properly”.
  • For Pizza and Italian food, local favourite 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, the Peking Restaurant in Homerton Street is still doing deliveries through Just Eat, if you fancy a treat. Opening hours are 12noon to 2pm and 6pm to 10pm. 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, also with ordering on its own website. Both are excellent.
  • For burgers, chicken and kebabs, look no further than 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.
  • Also don’t forget to take a look at this week’s gourmet ‘heat at home’ meal menu from Mark Poynton’s MJP@Home, operating out of Cambridge Cookery. Meals can be stored in your fridge for up to 4 days or the meals can even be frozen. Order 24 hours or more in advance via email – more details here.

Friday 3 April

  • In addition to our mention of the new opening hours at Numark Pharmacy on Cherry Hinton Road (7am to 8pm on Monday to Friday, 7am to 7pm on Saturday and 9am to 5pm on Sunday), a reminder that Boots further down Cherry Hinton Road is open 10am to 12pm and 2pm to 4pm Monday to Saturday, and Kay’s Chemist at Wulfstan Way Shops is open 10am to 12pm and 2pm to 4pm Monday to Friday, and 9am to 1pm Saturday. At busy times, do expect to queue outside and observe the normal social distancing.
    – Numark Pharmacy 01223 517073
    – Boots 01223 247567
    – Kay’s Chemist 01223 242687
  • Live video exercise classes are working really well for many people. Popular local yoga teacher Anna Youngs has organised a selection of four-week online yoga courses starting in the week beginning April 21st. Each course costs £20 for 4 weeks, and include Stretch and Strengthen yoga, Rest and Relax yoga, and Energizing yoga. More information and online booking here.
  • Cambridgeshire County Council has published a huge online resource to provide local communities, organisations and services with coronavirus campaign materials. Please share these posters, videos, audio clips, and social media messages. And while we’re here, a reminder to never forward on social media advice which comes from unattributed sources. If there’s important news, it will not come from your aunt’s neighbour’s son who “works in the army”.

Thursday 2 April

  • Please feel free to let friends and neighbours know about our “Happy To Help” scheme. We have created some print-at home-notes and an A4 poster, whichever you feel is most useful.
    See our How To Ask For Help Leaflets
    See our How To Ask For Help Poster
  • There are now slightly reduced opening hours at Numark Pharmacy on Cherry Hinton Road, although it must still have the longest hours of any pharmacy around: 7am to 8pm on Monday to Friday, 7am to 7pm on Saturday and 9am to 5pm on Sunday.The pharmacy is on the corner of Rock Road.
  • The good folks at Cambridge Wine Merchants on Cherry Hinton Road have some terrific offers on, and will deliver locally for orders over £50. There are cases of wine as well as a lot of spirits and beers, at 20–30% off. More here.
  • Local resident Michael Fincham will be driving over to the Cambridge City food bank warehouse on Friday morning with donations. If anyone has any to add he is very happy to take them: drop them off before 11am tomorrow (Friday) at 60 Glebe Road. The list of items most wanted is here, and if you’d like to make a financial donation to this brilliant charity, you can do so here.
  • Bin collections in this area will be later than usual during the Easter period and after the Early May Bank Holiday. More details here.
  • The Babraham Road Park & Ride bus service is operating to a reduced timetable from today: half-hourly at the start and end of the day, and hourly in-between. Service 13 is also on a revised timetable, and the Trumpington Park and Ride has been suspended. More here.
  • On a more tranquil note, there’s now a webcam set up at Kettle’s Yard House, refreshing every 8 seconds. If you think it doesn’t change much with each update, that’s rather the point. Stay safe, everyone.

Wednesday 1 April

  • A reminder that requests for help can now be made to our “Happy To Help” scheme. Our volunteers across the area 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. Full details of how to ask for help can be found here.
  • Missing having a decent restaurant meal? Chef Mark Poynton’s rather wonderful MJP@Home delivery service will be running every day for the next week, starting tomorrow. The operation is based just around the corner at Cambridge Cookery, off Hills Road. Here’s your chance to get reasonably-riced gourmet meals delivered cold for you to warm up – they can be stored for four days in the fridge or even frozen! Details are at MJP@Home’s website here.
  • The Cambridge zero-waste business Full Circle Shop will deliver to our area on Mondays if orders are placed by 10am on Sunday (longer lead time for some items). The company offers a great range of sustainably sourced, mostly organic wholefoods (cereals, pasta, pulses, nuts and loads more) plus ethical toiletries, even chocolate! Delivery charges are low or even free.
  • If you like to donate items to the EACH Charity Shop on Cherry Hinton Road, they’re asking us to hang on to items until they re-open. Don’t ever leave anything outside the shop, please, as it can’t be used and it can cost the charity to dispose of it. The charity has an understandable funding crisis, as featured on the front of this week’s Cambridge Independent, and there’s an appeal from the chief executive here.
  • We’ve had a request from a local resident which we’re hoping a kind soul will be able to meet: “My wife and I are NHS doctors and we had to change nursery to our child as our regular one shut, even to key workers. I need to cycle there, and as the new nursery is quite far, I need a bike trailer suitable for a 14-month-old. We’re struggling to find time to go to a shop, even if one is open. I would be happy to have any used one, borrowed or sold to me.” If you can help, please email Chris at the Queen Edith’s Community Forum with your contact details and we’ll pass them on.