Queen Edith's Community Forum

Queen Edith’s news 2021 vol.01: January

Queen Edith’s News

Issue 118 • Friday 1 January 2021

Happy New Year!

All of us here at Queen Edith’s News and the Queen Edith’s Community Forum wish everyone a happy and healthy new year. Please stay safe and adhere to government guidelines.

Last chance to watch The Snow Queen

From the makers of Cambridge Junction’s Snow White and Beauty & the Beast, a special online adventure featuring music, storytelling, action and animation. Get involved and play along with the film using the accompanying downloadable activity pack –  but be quick, it ends after this weekend. Find out more here.

City centre market closed

The city centre market in Market Square has been temporarily closed by Cambridge City Council to avoid attracting people to the city centre. The council says that “In spite of the Tier 4 stay at home regulations, large crowds of people were seen gathering in and around the market square and also congregating in nearby areas such as King’s Parade.” The closure is temporary and will be kept under review. Full announcement here.

Latest Coronavirus news

We are under the government’s ‘Stay at Home’ (or ‘Tier 4’) restrictions. This means we should not leave our homes or gardens without a ‘reasonable excuse’. These include:

  • Work and volunteering
  • Essential shopping and food collection
  • Education and childcare
  • Visiting people in a support bubble
  • Providing informal childcare
  • Outdoor exercise and recreation
  • Medical reasons and compassionate visits
  • Communal worship and life events

In general, we must not meet socially with anyone from outside our homes, although we can exercise or visit a public outdoor place with one person from another household. We are not allowed to meet socially indoors with family or friends who are not part of our household or support bubble. Full government guidance – including travel information – can be found here.

‘COVID hero’ acknowledged by Cambridge News

Cambridge News and Amazon have been “recognising the work of ordinary people throughout the pandemic” in a recent series of articles on ‘COVID Heroes’ in the county. These include volunteers at St John’s Ambulance based at Addenbrooke’s, people who ran virtual fitness classes and many more. They were kind enough to include the Queen Edith’s Community Forum’s Sam Davies, and you can now read what they published here.

Car drivers required 

Community car schemes across Cambridgeshire are looking for volunteers to transport people without access to their own transport to their COVID-19 vaccination appointments. There has been high demand for these transport services and as the vaccination roll-out grows, there is an increasing need for more drivers to step forward and deliver this vital service. Cambridgeshire County Council has more information and a signup form.

A million steps to support Arthur Rank Hospice 

“Step a Million” is simple: you have 100 days from 11 January to walk 1 million steps! As we enter the new year, this is the perfect way to get 2021 started off on the right foot and support one of our local charities, Arthur Rank Hospice.More details here.

January sale at Geoff’s RNLI shop 

Local resident Geoff Heathcock’s RNLI Cambridge & District Branch shopreports a successful period up to Christmas, but if you didn’t get that calendar or diary you expected, call Geoff on 01223 244901. He has a few left, and they’re half price.

Do you know of a project that needs a grant? 

Sam Davies writes: Every year, Cambridge City Council offers ‘Area Committee grants’, funding for activities “which reduce social and/or economic inequality.” Queen Edith’s generally fares poorly in getting these, compared to adjoining wards. One way of changing this might be to put in a wider range of applications, so here at the Queen Edith’s Community Forum, we thought we’d co-ordinate ideas. What do you think? Have a read of the sort of thing the council will fund, and if you’ve got any ideas, let us know by email. We’ll put in the application in January, but we need your ideas for the activities and services that the area could do with.

Bin Collections

Bin collections next week will be at least one day later than usual, and normal collection days will not return until mid-January. In addition, green bincollections have moved to monthly for the winter. More details on the changes here and your personalised bin timetable can be found here. Please tell your immediate neighbours.

Food Hub open next Wednesday

The Queen Edith’s Community Food Hub offers free fresh and packaged food supplies and household goods for anyone experiencing hardship. It is notoperating this Saturday but will be re-opening on Saturday 9 January at its usual 10:30am to 12:30pm time.

We really appreciate any food donations, which can be dropped off the day before (see calendar above). The full list of what we need is here.

 

Queen Edith’s News

Issue 120 • Friday 15 January 2021

Window Wanderland is under way!

The ‘advent windows’ we had in so many streets last month were fantastic, and now Cambridge City Council is supporting ‘Window Wanderland’, a city-wide effort to put on front window or front garden displays. Once you’ve set up something, you can add your house to a map (see link). The event has already started, but runs right through next week and the following weekend, so there’s still time!

Queen Edith’s ‘Happy To Help’ volunteering service

The Queen Edith’s Community Forum’s ‘Happy To Help’ initiative has a team of 200 local residents ready to help anyone who needs it because of COVID-19 isolation. More details here. One of the most frequently-received requests is to get prescriptions picked up from local pharmacies, which we are happy to do. However, please note that we are a volunteer service run by your neighbours, and although we try to respond to requests within 24 hours, please don’t make last-minute, urgent requests.

Latest Coronavirus news

We are under the government’s ‘National Lockdown’ restrictions. This means we must stay at home, other than to work if this cannot be done from home, to shop for basic necessities, provide voluntary services, exercise once per day, seek medical assistance or attend education if eligible.

Help fight COVID-19 by aiding research using the COVID Symptom Study app for your smartphone. This just asks you to log your health daily, and is providing critical information nationally. If you previously signed up for the app and haven’t been logging lately, now’s the perfect time to come back!

Vaccinations news

NHS advice is that you should take the first opportunity to get your COVID-19 vaccination once you are offered. However, if the Vaccination Centre offered is inaccessible, you can choose to wait until your local surgery contacts you and invite you in. This may not be immediate, however. GPs are working through their patient lists in line with the national prioritisation guidance and they will contact you to invite you in. The NHS is working to offer vaccines to everyone in the top priority groups by the middle of February.

Panther Taxis is offering free* travel to vaccination centres for anyone without transport, who is vulnerable or who needs assistance. Partitioned vehicles will be used. When you’ve got your appointment, call 01223 715715 quoting ‘vaccine help’ and state the time and destination. Call the same number when your appointment is finished and you’ll be collected within 10 minutes of your call.
*Journeys up to £10 are free, which should cover anyone in Queen Edith’s.

Maggie’s Centre open

Our local Maggie’s Centre at the Addenbrooke’s site is open to support people with cancer at this difficult time, both remotely and in person. The latest update is here.

Community Inclusion and Engagement Survey 

Cambridge City Council is trying to find out more about the services you use and how you feel about Cambridge through a survey. This also focuses on the impact of COVID-19 on people’s lives. It does not ask for your name, address, or other details that will immediately identify who you are. Take part in the survey here.

Takeaway Food services 

Please make the effort to support the local restaurants and takeaways that are continuing to work during the lockdown. We need to keep them in business! Most will deliver, so why not have a ‘takeway night’ every week, if you can? Here’s a list of those which were open when we last looked (all on Cherry Hinton Road or Cambridge Leisure unless stated):

FISH and CHIPS

TAKEAWAY COFFEE, SNACKS, DELI FOOD

INDIAN

KEBABS

CARIBBEAN

CHINESE

BURGERS/AMERICAN

DESSERT SPECIALISTS

PIZZA and ITALIAN

Food Hub back on Saturdays

The Queen Edith’s Community Food Hub offers free fresh and packaged food supplies and household goods for anyone experiencing hardship. It is open this Saturday and every Saturday, at St James Church in Wulfstan Way from 10:30am to 12:30pm. More details here.

How to support the Food Hub financially
Financial donations for the Queen Edith’s Community Food Hub continue to be received, and we are most grateful. You can donate online or by bank transfer (see below), or by cheque. Please note that we’ve had some delays in banking cheques recently, so if you’ve supported us this way, please don’t think we’ve ignored your kind donation!

 

Queen Edith’s News

Issue 121 • Friday 22 January 2021

Local vaccinations are under way!

In a quite amazing feat of organisation at a community level, the NHS locally has begun to provide first vaccinations from Cornford House surgery. Over 500 people a day from priority groups in the south east of the city passed through the doors on Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and today (Friday). That’s one person a minute, all day long. Congratulations to the medical teams and administrators of the Cambridge City 4 Primary Care Network for their fantastic efforts. Thanks also to the dozens of our own volunteers from the Queen Edith’s Community Forum’s “Happy To Help” group, for providing most of the staff for ‘meeting and greeting’, car parking and post-vaccination welfare. It really is a great community moment.

Queen Edith’s magazine is being planned

We’re just putting together the first issue of Queen Edith’s magazine for 2021. The magazine is independent, and entirely funded by local advertising. If you have a small business, the magazine is by far the best way to reach over 5000 local homes, especially at the moment. Tell your favourite restaurant, estate agent, plumber or whatever! Bookings can be accepted until the end of next week, and there are discounts if you want to support us through all four issues this year. More information here.

What do you think is changing in Queen Edith’s?

At the start of last year, Sam Davies here at the Queen Edith’s Community Forum organised a survey to get a better understanding of what Queen Edith’s residents thought was good – and not so good – about our area. Nearly 250 of you responded and the full results were published in Queen Edith’s magazine. A lot has changed in the subsequent year and we’re interested to see if it’s had any impact on how you feel and what you’d like to see done next. Have a read of the article here, then email hello@queen-ediths.info and let us know what you think. We’ll publish your input in the next magazine.

Latest Coronavirus news

We are under the government’s ‘National Lockdown’ restrictions. This means we must stay at home, other than to work if this cannot be done from home, to shop for basic necessities, provide voluntary services, exercise once per day, seek medical assistance or attend education if eligible.

A reader reminds us that washing your hands remains an important part of staying safe. As we don’t have hospital-type elbow taps at home, rinse the tap handles with soap suds while washing your hands, not afterwards.

Vaccination news

NHS advice is that you should take the first opportunity to get your COVID-19 vaccination once you are offered. However, if the Vaccination Centre offered is inaccessible, you can choose to wait until your local surgery gets in touch to invite you in. This may not be immediate, however. GPs are working through their patient lists in line with the national prioritisation guidance and they will contact you. The NHS is working to offer vaccines to everyone in the top priority groups by the middle of February.

Panther Taxis is offering free* travel to vaccination centres for anyone without transport, who is vulnerable or who needs assistance. Partitioned vehicles will be used. When you’ve got your appointment, call 01223 715715 quoting ‘vaccine help’ and state the time and destination. Call the same number when your appointment is finished and you’ll be collected within 10 minutes of your call.
*Journeys up to £10 are free, which should cover anyone in Queen Edith’s.

  • Can you change your behaviour after receiving a single dose of the vaccine? “I would behave exactly as if I hadn’t had the vaccine yet,” says Danny Altmann, Professor of Immunology at Imperial College London. “I wouldn’t drop my guard at all or do anything differently.” Read the BBC article on the subject here.

Getting the most from the health service

Healthwatch is the independent champion for users of health and social care services. Its Cambridgeshire branch can help you find health or social care services around here, and let you know what your options are if you have a concern or want to complain about local services. There’s a lot more information on its website here.

Huge success from collecting Christmas Trees

Arthur Rank Hospice at the Shelford Road roundabout raised an astounding £54,000 by collecting over 2,900 trees from the local community at the start of the month. Some 160 volunteers took part in the collection, and the trees were chipped by Greenwood Tree Surgery and Michael Downs of Parsonage Farm. 90% of the money raised will go to the Hospice and the remainder to the Rotary Club of Cambridge. Read the full story here.

Sivakamy Mahalingham

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of local resident and our great friend Siva Mahalingham. An enthusiastic member of the Queen Edith’s community, Siva was one of the first local residents to volunteer for our ‘Happy To Help’ scheme, and insisted on delivering Queen Edith’s magazine to the Nightingale Avenue area despite admitting to us that it was a bit of a challenge! Those who came to the Nightingale Garden for the FunPalace Day and other events there will remember her amazing cooking, and we reported on the scrubs she was making for the NHS last April. Siva passed away peacefully in hospital last week after contracting COVID-19 before Christmas.
Our condolences to her family. We will miss her.

Dates for your diary

Here at the Queen Edith’s Community Forum we thought that while we’re under lockdown restrictions, some new local online events would be in order. So make a note in your diaries that on Thursday 4 February we hope to welcome Jeremy Lander for a talk on local history, and on Thursday 4 March Craig Bennett, CEO of The Wildlife Trusts. More details next week.

Robin Hood Junction improvements

Work has begun on preparing the much-needed upgrade to this important junction, normally used by around 20,000 vehicles per day including 1000 cyclists and 300 buses. Completing the upgrade will last for several months. More information here. Our friends at the Cherry Hinton Residents Association may have more frequent updates – you can sign up to their email newsletter at their website here. They also tell us that the play area at Cherry Hinton Hall will be closed from February 1st for approximately 8 weeks to allow for redevelopment.

Help shape the new Children’s Hospital

The amazing new Cambridge Children’s Hospital is being built. Find out more about it here. If you’re aged 14-25, the management would love you to join a team of young people helping to shape everything from the way it looks to how it provides care. As part of the Cambridge Children’s Network, you will not only help design a world-leading hospital, but also learn new skills to enhance your personal development and CV. There will be both volunteering opportunities and paid opportunities. If you’re a young person curious to find out more, register your interest here.

The Snow Queen returns

Cambridge Junction’s online family show The Snow Queen was such a hit that it’s being made available again until 21 February. The brand new production has been filmed especially to be watched in your home, and if you purchased a ticket for the December/January streaming you can watch again for no additional charge. Details here.

Takeaway paused at The Queen Edith

The Queen Edith pub has had to reduce its takeaway hours and will be closed tonight. There will be ‘surprise openings’ coming up however, including some ‘specials nights’. Follow the pub’s Facebook page for details.

Celebrate Burns Night with CWM

Monday night is Burns Night, and Cambridge Wine Merchants on Cherry Hinton Road is offering some cheeky in-store discounts on Scotch whisky this weekend to help celebrate. This includes 10% off the Spirit of Cambridge Islay Single Malt, now only £34.19. “Best consumed neat and with contemplation.”

Calling all allotment holders

Last summer Cambridge Sustainable Food asked growers to “Grow a Row” and support the local response to combat the growing food poverty during Covid-19. “Grow a Row” saw nearly 2 tonnes of fresh produce grown and donated by individuals, families and small community projects! They are asking the community once again to grow and share to help support the local Cambridge community. Our own Queen Edith’s Community Food Hub (see below) would be pleased to welcome such donations when the time comes. More details on the initiative here.

Egg boxes needed

The Food Hub (below) is in need of empty half-dozen sized egg boxes. If you have any, and are passing St James’ Church on Wulfstan Way, you can leave them on the doorstep. Thank you!

Food Hub open this Saturday

The Queen Edith’s Community Food Hub offers free fresh and packaged food supplies and household goods for anyone experiencing hardship. It is open this (and every) Saturday, at St James Church in Wulfstan Way from 10:30am to 12:30pm. More details here.

Thanks this week to Anglia Ruskin University for their generous donation, as well as to many local residents for their continued financial support. We are so grateful. You can donate online or by bank transfer (see below), or by cheque.

Queen Edith’s ‘Happy To Help’ volunteering service

The Queen Edith’s Community Forum’s ‘Happy To Help’ initiative has a team of 200 local residents ready to help anyone who needs it because of COVID-19 isolation. Frequently-received requests include collecting prescriptions from local pharmacies and shopping errands. However, please note that we are a volunteer service run by your neighbours, and although we try to respond to requests within 24 hours, please don’t make last-minute, urgent requests.

 

Queen Edith’s News

Issue 122 • Friday 29 January 2021

No parking in Red Cross Lane

Double yellow lines have at last gone down in the Red Cross Lane area. The RedCross Area Residents Association has complimented the County Council, writing: “Snow, rain and ice, cars blocking the roadside, cars idling alongside taxis, a short time scale, and demanding residents (was) a recipe for disaster. (But) the Council led the way (and) all the stops were pulled out, with emergency repairs authorised, organised and completed all in 2 days.”

Permanent Nightingale Avenue closure?

The Greater Cambridge Partnership recently held extensive update presentations for its A1307 “Cambridge South East Transport” scheme. This covers a wide area out to Haverhill, but also has several direct impacts in the south of Queen Edith’s. One presentation included a discussion (“for consultation”) of a proposed new arrangement at the Nightingale Avenue/Babraham Road/Red Cross Lane junction. This suggested that the Nightingale Avenue motor vehicle closure is made permanent, ignoring the experimental nature of the existing ‘modal filter’. Queen Edith’s Community Forum chair Sam Davies raised serious concerns about this during the session, particularly with reference to assurances previously given to local residents. Here are some links for more information:

Latest Coronavirus news

We are under the government’s ‘National Lockdown’ restrictions. This means we must stay at home, other than to work if this cannot be done from home, to shop for basic necessities, provide voluntary services, exercise once per day, seek medical assistance or attend education if eligible.

Vaccination news

GPs are working through their patient lists in line with the national prioritisation guidance and they will contact you. The priority groups are illustrated in this posterPanther Taxis is offering free travel to vaccination centres for anyone without transport, who is vulnerable or who needs assistance. More details here.

Thanks to the vaccination volunteers

Dr Cathy Bennet, Clinical Director of the Cambridge City 4 Primary Care Network, has written to volunteers who have helped to staff the reception, car parks and post vaccination care during the current vaccination programme at Cornford House Surgery. This is handling vaccinations for all the surgeries in this part of the city. Around 4,500 people have been vaccinated so far, and Dr Bennet says: “It really feels that there is now light at the end of the tunnel. We have had many warm words from our patients in the past week, but you volunteers have had the greatest praise! We couldn’t do it without you.” Thanks to everyone from our ‘Happy To Help’ volunteer network who has joined in.

Pop-up fruit stall idea looks to expand

Last summer, Hills Road resident Martin Roach wanted to support a local fruit farm in Bluntisham, so he set up a pop-up fruit stand in his front garden each Saturday. People came, rain or shine! The fruit was sold at the same price as the farm shop, so as not to undercut local tradespeople, and the profit was donated to our community food hub. Martin would like to extend this successful scheme in 2021 and is looking for volunteers in other parts of the city. We think that somewhere in the Wulfstan Way area would be great, for example. Martin is happy to provide advice and a helping hand, deliver the fruit and find ways to spread the word! More details at the Cambridge Sustainable Food website here.

Find out more about our local history

Next Thursday (4 February) the Queen Edith’s Community Forum is delighted to present a free online talk by Jeremy Lander on our local history. Don’t miss it! More details here.

Worts’ Causeway housing estate at Planning

The ‘GB1′ half of the new Worts’ Causeway housing developments is up for approval at the city council’s Planning Department meeting next Wednesday (3 February). The full background to the application can be seen here and the link to the broadcast of the meeting can be found here. The meeting starts at 10.00am and GB1 is the first item on the agenda.

Free online shows from the ADC Theatre

The ADC Theatre in the city is doing another season of online shows, available to watch for free. These include a Footlights Smoker next Tuesday (2 February) and The Backwards People next Wednesday (3 February). Full details here.

Protect against catalytic converter theft

Thefts of catalytic converters from cars continue, and there have been local incidents. As part of the exhaust system, catalytic converters are left exposed beneath most cars. This means thieves can simply slide under the car to remove them. The components are highly sought after by criminals as they contain valuable materials. SUVs are particularly at risk, as their raised ride height makes access beneath the car easier. Cambridgeshire Constabulary wrote this advice last year.

Support for pets and owners

Wood Green The Animals Charity has been in touch to remind us that it is here to help owners who are in need of advice and support with their pets. Services include health checking by video call, questions answered relating to pet behaviour, pet food assistance, equipment support, financial support towards veterinary costs, and advice with flea problems. Currently pet owners can also register for free bespoke pet packs, filled with ideas and supplies for all the family on how to keep their pets happy. More details here.
A note also that our local vets, Cambridge Veterinary Group on Cherry Hinton Road, remains open for pet illnesses and treatments for unwell animals. More details here.

Food Hub open this Saturday

The Queen Edith’s Community Food Hub offers free fresh and packaged food supplies and household goods for anyone experiencing hardship. It is open this (and every) Saturday, at St James Church in Wulfstan Way from 10:30am to 12:30pm.

Queen Edith’s ‘Happy To Help’ volunteering service

The Queen Edith’s Community Forum’s ‘Happy To Help’ initiative has a team of 200 local residents ready to help anyone who needs it because of COVID-19 isolation. Frequently-received requests include collecting prescriptions from local pharmacies and shopping errands. However, please note that we are a volunteer service run by your neighbours, and although we try to respond to requests within 24 hours, please don’t make last-minute, urgent requests.

Our ‘Happy To Help’ Web page
And finally… thanks to the reader who sent in this photo of the latest piece of ‘yarn bombing’ to appear locally, this time outside Rock Road Library. Wonderful.