Covid Update – follow guidelines for Mothers’ Day

Covid-19 update – 11 March 2021

Dear volunteer coordinators and parish councillors


With Mother’s Day on Sunday, the County Council will be reminding anyone planning to mark the day to do so safely and within the current ‘Stay Home’ guidelines. I’m sure everyone is already aware, but the case rates are not yet as low as we would hope so we need to make further progress with reducing the case rate before restrictions are further eased at the end of the month. Please do share social media posts from the County or our social channels over the weekend to help share this message.


We know that the pandemic has added a disproportionate burden onto women but, with everyone receiving this email having voluntarily taken on additional activities to support others during the year, I would like to wish you all a restful weekend and hope you have a chance to take some time for yourselves.

Community briefing webinar: Monday 15 March, 6pm to 7pm

Community Groups and Parish Councils have been sent an invitation to our next session. As before, the session will be chaired by Liz Watts and we will be presenting current Covid information and stats relating to our district. We also have some presentations around ‘Long Covid’, reopening facilities safely, and an update on work happening as we start moving into a recovery phase. As always there will be plenty of opportunity to ask questions. We look forward to seeing you there.

Vaccines for people over the age of 56

The National Booking Service is now open to all those aged 56+. Book a Covid-19 vaccination now via or by calling 119 for those who aren’t online.

Vaccine transport update

A number of community transport schemes and taxi firms are available to support people with transport to their Covid-19 vaccination appointments. For residents needing help they can access details online or by calling 0345 045 5219 from Monday to Friday, between 9am and 5pm. The call operator will run people through the form to identify transport options available locally. All transport providers are DBS checked and most require a minimum 24 hours’ notice for bookings. 

Census 2021: Scam reminder for our communities

Ahead of Census Day (Sunday 21 March), Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Against Scams Partnership advised that it may be useful to know more about the Census to help prevent scams:

  • This is the first ‘digital Census’, with most people being asked to complete the census online (help is available for those who need it)
  • The Census team will not call households for information about their census, unless they have made an appointment with the Census Contact Centre, or they have raised a query or made a complaint. There will be no cold calls.
  • If people complete the census form online, there will be no home visits by Census Officers.
  • If people don’t complete their form, Census Officers may visit people’s homes to offer help to complete it. They will carry official identification cards with a photograph and the officer’s name. They will never ask to enter the property.
  • Census Officers will never ask for national insurance numbers, passwords, bank account details, or credit or debit card numbers.

Figuring out our next steps towards recovery

The Women Thrive Fund

The Rosa and Smallwood Trust helps to strengthen specialist women’s organisations so they can meet the needs of the women and girls they work with. Rosa has opened a new fund offering grants of up to £40,000 to not-for-profit organisations (£15,000 for organisations with a turnover up to £200,000) to support women and girls to overcome the barriers they face due to the pandemic. Its two themes are financial resilience and mental health and wellbeing. The deadline is 25 March 2021, with ‘how to apply’ webinars on various dates beforehand.

Innovate and Cultivate Fund

The next deadline to apply to the Innovate & Cultivate Fund is 1 May 2021. The aim of the fund is to support initiatives that strengthen communities and reduce pressure on County Council services. Applications are invited in the areas of adult social care and children’s services, and 1-2-1 pre-application advice is available on 18 and 23 March, and must be pre-booked.

The fund is open to voluntary, community and social enterprise sector organisations and public sector organisations. The 1 May funding round is for ‘Cultivate’ grant applications (£2,000 to £15,000) for projects that build community support networks for vulnerable people. The ‘Innovate’ funding stream (£15,000 to £50,000) is suspended until further notice.

Cultivate Project Ideas

Do you want to do something for your community but need some inspiration to start a project? The County Council has developed application guidance for three new Cultivate project ideas: Mobile Warden Schemes, Community Youth Worker and Digital Inclusion Projects. Funded projects could help people to remain independent and active within their community, encourage volunteering and complement more costly Council services. Applications for Timebanks, Good Neighbour Schemes, Dementia-Friendly Communities and Men’s Sheds continue to be invited.


You can read more about these initiatives and obtain guidance as to how to apply for a start-up grant, or apply via the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation (CCF) website.

Communities Can Conference – 24 March

The National Lottery Community Fund event will bring together learning and insights gained over the past year with key funders, looking at the challenges faced during the pandemic and the lessons that have been learned. The event will explore the positive takeaways from the past year and how they can be implemented to ensure funders are fit for the future. The panellists will discuss their role in enabling communities to build back better, from small grant funding to sharing insights and advocating for change. Further details and registration can be found here.

Best wishes

Bill Handley

Lead Cabinet Member for Community Resilience, Health & Wellbeing

South Cambridgeshire District Council