Covid-19 Communities Update

Easing restrictions

Following the Prime Minister’s address on Monday 10th May regarding the further easing of national restrictions, you can read the latest guidance which details the new changes. As part of the changes from 17th May, updated guidance has been published on personal contact with friends and family which emphasises personal responsibility and replaces rules instructing people to stay 2 metres apart from anyone you don’t live with.

Vaccine update 

There is new guidance on which vaccine those under 40 should be offered. Everyone aged 39 and under should be offered an alternative vaccine to AstraZeneca, however those who have already had their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine without suffering any serious side effects should complete the course as planned. You will also have seen that 38 and 39 year-olds have now been invited to book their vaccination appointment. Further age brackets will also soon be invited to book.

International travel

The Transport Secretary, Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP, has published a Written Statement confirming that, from 17 May, the ‘Stay in the UK’ regulation will cease, and international travel will be allowed to restart, governed by a new traffic light system and demonstrating Covid-19 vaccination status. You will find an explanation of the traffic light system here: statement online.

Libraries closer to re-opening

Cambridgeshire libraries have not been able to hold physical events since March 2020 but, with the easing of restrictions next week, audiences will be welcomed back to selected libraries for Rhymetimes (aimed at adults with babies and toddlers). The events will be held in a Covid-secure manner when the libraries are closed; they will be ticket-only and with strict limits on capacity at each library.

A number of the county’s libraries will extend their opening hours, allowing customers to benefit from managed browsing and other library services. Study space will also be available where advertised on a first come, first served, basis. Computers will be available in 45-minute slots and will be for general use, rather than being limited to accessing public service websites as has been the case during lockdown. Booking is recommended for this as numbers are limited due to social distancing. Tickets for library events can be booked online where you can also find more information about library events and opening hours.

Arthur Rank Hospice Charity survey

The Arthur Rank Hospice Charity supports patients with life-limiting conditions and those at the end of life, and their loved ones. The Charity wants to hear from its community: patients, families and loved ones, supporters, volunteers, those who have worked with, and know of, the charity – to help plan for its future direction. A series of virtual events have been running since 5 May and further information and link to the survey can be found on the Charity’s website.

Community and voluntary sector training opportunities

Mark Freeman from CCVS, an organisation that supports the community and voluntary sector, joined the call last night. Mark mentioned some training that we also wanted to make sure you are aware of:


Tesco Community Grants

After a pause, the Tesco “Bags of Help” Programme is back as Tesco Community Grants. A wide range of non-profit organisations can apply at any time for a range of purposes and with a general focus on supporting children and families. Grants of £1,500, £1,000 or £500 are decided by customers by voting in store.

Persimmon Community Champions

60 donations of £1,000 are awarded per month to local community initiatives, to match money they have already raised themselves. There is no specific focus and groups can apply every month.

Social enterprise funding: financial resilience

A new, national programme is offering funding and specialist support for UK social entrepreneurs. They wish to help them develop bold ideas and sustainable solutions that will help build people’s financial resilience to life shocks, including (but not exclusive to) events that can impact entire communities, such as the pandemic or climate change. The programme will provide 10 social enterprises and 10 individuals with two years of support and a grant of £10,000 to £30,000. Apply by 1 June 2021.