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Campaign to attract children's social workers

Image for We Love Social Workers campaign. To most people, 'challenge' means problem. In children's social care, it really does mean 'opportunity'.
Image for We Love Social Workers campaign. Try to tell yourself that turning her life around isn't the most important thing you could do with yours.

We have launched a campaign to encourage more children’s social workers to consider working for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

It forms part of the wider We Love Social Workers recruitment drive launched earlier this year which has been successful in recruiting more than 30 social workers.

The hard-hitting campaign is based on in-depth discussions with our social workers who shared their experiences of working for Cambridgeshire County Council and what attracted them to work as a children’s social worker.

For more information about social work in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough please see www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/welovesocialworkers

Free-of-charge Dial-a-Ride during closure of Mill Road Bridge

Mill Road Bridge in Cambridge is closed to all motor vehicles from Monday 1 July for Govia Thameslink (GTR) to carry out expansion work. The work is expected to be complete by Monday 26 August. Read more about the work here.

For the duration of the road closure, bus operator Stagecoach will be operating regular shuttle services from the bridge to key exchange points for onward connections. For more detailed information and the full timetable please visit the Stagecoach website: www.stagecoachbus.com/promos-and-offers/east/mill-road-closure.

GTR has also made arrangements with Cambridge Dial-a-Ride scheme to assist residents free-of-charge who would otherwise find it difficult to use the revised public transport provisions. Dial-a-Ride operates a door-to-door service and, for the duration of the bridge closure, this will be available to residents who are unable to use the revised bus service and will be adversely affected by the closure.

Residents in Romsey and Petersfield can apply for Dial-a-Ride membership now by phone on 01223 506 335 or online at www.cambridgedialaride.org.uk.

Govia Thameslink have agreed to fund the costs of this service, including registration fee. 

School breaks new ground - Highfield Ely Academy

School and community leaders came together to mark the official start of building works for the new purpose-built special education needs facilities at Highfield Ely Academy with a groundbreaking ceremony.

The special school, which is part of The Active Learning Trust, is the first school in the county to provide specialist and dedicated support and facilities for students with special educational needs aged from 2 through to 25.

Find out more about the dedicated wing being created for younger children, improved facilities for staff and the new hydrotherapy pool, sports hall and fitness suite.

The facilities are expected to be completed during the summer term of 2020, ready for the academy to start using by September 2020.

Celebration time for Cambridgeshire County Council

Image of Cambridgeshire County Council staff at MJ Achievement Awards 2019.

Cambridgeshire County Council was a finalist in both the Digital Transformation and the Rising Star categories in the MJ Local Government Achievement Awards.

The ceremony at the Hilton Hotel in Park Lane, London was attended by a Cambridgeshire County Council team. Unfortunately we didn’t take home a prize but being shortlisted in two categories for these prestigious awards is no mean feat in a very competitive field.

Our work to reshape our online experience, processes and communications to make significant improvements for residents was shortlisted for a Digital Transformation Award.

Through thorough research, piloting new technology, cross-council communications campaigns and clearer and better information we have delivered improved outcomes for residents. This includes supporting people to remain independent so that we can reduce the number of avoidable calls handled by our contact centre to give us more time to dedicate to support those who cannot access digital solutions.

Our National Citizenship Service (NCS) Programme Co-ordinator Natalie Taylor was shortlisted for the Rising Star Award.

Natalie leads our National Citizens Service programme for young people in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Natalie worked tirelessly to gain the trust, support and full engagement from each special school, their staff and students and their parents.

Award for Enabling Digital Delivery

Our Connecting Cambridgeshire programme has won a national award for its innovative ‘barrier busting’ service set up to support the rollout of fibre broadband and better mobile coverage across the county.

The Enabling Digital Delivery (EDD) service was Highly Commended for the Connected Britain ‘Barrier Removal Award’ for its proactive approach to resolving issues that can hold up the delivery of digital infrastructure.

Launched last year, the EDD team has rapidly established itself as the first point of contact for network providers and telecoms operators, and its work is already making an impact.

To find out more, visit: https://www.connectingcambridgeshire.co.uk/enabling-digital-delivery/.

Mike Stevens from Connecting Cambridgeshire team collects award.

Mike Stevens from Connecting Cambridgeshire team collects award.

Connecting Cambridgeshire - progress so far

The Connecting Cambridgeshire superfast broadband rollout has now reached over 126,000 homes and businesses, and is aiming to cover over 99% of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough in the next two years.

Remaining premises (estimated to be less than 4,000 across the county) will have a range of options to secure fast internet access including the Government’s Gigabit Vouchers and Better Broadband Schemes, and Openreach’s Community Fibre Partnerships.

The new Rural Gigabit Voucher Scheme will help eligible business and residents in some of the hardest-to-reach rural areas get additional funding towards the cost of installing gigabit-capable broadband as part of a group project. 

Rural premises with broadband speeds of less than 30Mbps can pool vouchers worth up to £3,500 for each small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), and up to £1,500 per residential premise to support the cost of installing new gigabit-capable connections – via a local supplier. Use the postcode search to check if you are eligible, and choose from a list of local suppliers who can guide you through the process.

The scheme builds upon the existing Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme which more than 100 Cambridgeshire and Peterborough businesses and nearby residents have already applied for to install gigabit-capable full fibre. Find out more at www.gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk.

Game changing digital connectivity

Game changing digital connectivity is being delivered to benefit homes and businesses across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

Our ambitious programme funded with £5.6m from Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, together with Government grants and commercial investment, is on track to significantly improve broadband, mobile, and public wifi connectivity over the next four years.

One year on from the launch of the Digital Connectivity Strategy for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough 2018-2022, the Connecting Cambridgeshire programme, led by Cambridgeshire County Council, has reported on progress and forthcoming delivery plans.

The Digital Connectivity Review 2018-2019 published online on 9 July gives an overview of work underway to improve coverage across the region. Highlights include:

  • Providing free public access Wifi for market towns –Fenland market town centres are being rolled out this summer including Wisbech, Chatteris, March and Whittlesey, with plans to cover towns in Huntingdonshire and East Cambridgeshire market towns by the end of 2019.
  • Upgrading over 100 public sector buildings with full fibre, which is gigabit capable, as part of an extended target to reach 30% of the county with full fibre by 2022 - ahead of the Government’s national targets.
  • Rolling out superfast broadband to another 5,300 homes and businesses in rural areas using the latest Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) technology to increase the 97% already achieved to reach over 99% of the county in the next two years.
  • Improving mobile coverage by working with Ofcom and mobile operators to identify 4G ‘notspot’ areas, particularly new housing developments, business parks, market towns and transport hubs, and looking ahead to 5G.
  • Barrier busting to extend mobile and fibre networks using public sector assets and attracting commercial investment through the award-winning Enabling Digital Delivery (EDD) service.
  • Delivering leading edge Council policy to include fibre ducting in all new transport infrastructure schemes as part of the forthcoming Local Transport Plan.

The Recyclables Summer Challenge - Space for Change

Image of recyclable characters in space scene. #spaceforchange - 8 July to 20 September 2019.

The Recyclables Summer Challenge is an exciting competition celebrating the power of imagination and encouraging everyone to reduce and recycle as much as they can. Taking place over the summer, the competition is open to Cambridgeshire children who have just finished Years 3, 4 and 5.

As part of the scheme, local children will create stories of how everyday recycling can be transformed into something new. The more fabulous the better! The winning story will get made into a video by professional animators with the help of its author and their whole class. There is also a prize for a whole class visit to the Waste Management Park in Waterbeach.

The competition runs from 8 July to 20 September 2019. To find out more, please visit www.recap.co.uk/spaceforchange.

Also over the last year, the Education Centre at the Amey Waste Management Park engaged with over 6,500 Cambridgeshire residents from schools and community groups through site visits, outreach work and attending events. Almost half of these were pupils across 33 schools all of whom had either a site visit to Waterbeach or an outreach visit.

To book a visit, contact 01223 815 490 or email [email protected].

Read It Again!

Over 5,000 children from 25 primary schools across Cambridgeshire took part in the voting for the 2019 Read It Again! Children’s Picture Book Award – and voted sacred ‘Mini Rabbit Not Lost’ by John Bond as their winner. 

Now in its 14th year, “Read it Again!” is an award for a debut picture book where words and pictures are the work of one individual. It is organised by Cambridgeshire Libraries and judged solely by children in Cambridgeshire schools. The aim is to promote and encourage exciting new talent in the world of children’s books and give children the opportunity to enjoy some of the best new picture books. 

Previous “Read it Again!” winners include Nicola Senior, Matty Long, Emily Gravett, Tim Hopgood, Chris Haughton and Marta Altes, and many have gone on to receive international acclaim for their work.

Cover image of 'Mini Rabbit Not Lost' by John Bond, winner of Read It Again 2019.

Check the full list of shortlisted 2019 titles, short videos from their authors and previous winners on our Read It Again webpage

All of the titles, as well as previous winners, are available to borrow for free and read again from all Cambridgeshire Libraries. One lucky participating school, The Roundhouse in St Neots, has been selected to receive a visit by the winning author and arrangements will be made shortly.

For further information about the Read it Again! Award, please contact [email protected]

Comberton school dig visit to Cambridge Castle

Comberton Village College students visit CCC's Historic Environment Team.

Comberton Village College students visit CCC's Historic Environment Team.

CCC’s Historic Environment Team hosted a visit by Comberton Village College to Shire Hall.

The visit took place over two days and comprised three sessions on the history of the Castle site as part of their Year 10 GCSE History requirement. It is the third time Comberton VC has visited the site and working closely with teachers we have now established a set of sessions looking at the archaeological evidence, the records evidence and the physical remains from the site.

Despite the dreadful weather, the children were bursting with numerous questions during interactions and showed great interest in the history of the castle and the historical records they were shown. We are also starting to receive positive responses back from the previous two years including high grades based in part on the knowledge and hands-on experience the children received on their visit.

County gets share of £22m to tackle serious violence

Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite has announced that Cambridgeshire and Peterborough are set to get nearly £400,000 to support young people from getting involved in knife crime.

Following a successful partnership bid for Home Office funding with the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Youth Offending Service, the money worth £384,431 will fund a team of specialist workers who will support young people with complex needs who are at significant risk of criminal exploitation and youth violence.

The Home Office is making up to £22 million available through its Early Intervention Youth Fund over 12 months to Police and Crime Commissioners across the country to prevent and tackle serious youth violence and child exploitation.

Don’t forget to visit our news pagelike us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to keep up-to-date with the latest announcements. 

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