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Cambridge City Council

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Network of local support being put in place for residents in response to coronavirus outbreak

News release from 27/03/2020

CAMBRIDGE City Council is working with voluntary organisations and mutual aid groups to establish support for people in the community during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Within hours of the calls for social distancing, COVID-19 mutual aid groups were springing up across Cambridge to coordinate volunteers and many households in the city will have already received a message from a neighbour offering help.

Since then, the council and local groups have been working together to set up a network of ‘clusters’, bringing together lead councillors, voluntary organisations and mutual aid groups in each ward, working together to coordinate support.

Contact details for each cluster group will be published on the council’s website before 5pm on Monday 30 March at: www.cambridge.gov.uk/coronavirus-help-for-communities

The council has given these groups funding to help set up communication with residents in their wards.

If you want to volunteer with your local group, you are encouraged to contact them directly.

A food distribution network is also being set up for people who are now facing financial hardship and struggling to feed themselves and their families with more information to be given early next week.

Cllr Anna Smith, Executive Councillor for Communities, said: “The response from the community in Cambridge has been absolutely amazing.

“Individuals, businesses and existing groups have come forward in huge numbers and have already provided so much support for those in need.

“I want to thank every single person who has done this. I know how many people are, and will be, grateful to this incredible response in the coming weeks.

“It’s not too late to volunteer, whether to support our local groups, to offer to prepare food or to help the NHS. If you can volunteer, whilst keeping yourself and your loved ones safe, please do so.

“I cannot express my thanks strongly enough for all our heroes during this time. Our volunteers, our ward based groups, our businesses, our council staff, and all our city’s key workers, including NHS staff. Thank you for what you are doing.”

Cllr Smith added: “I also want to take this opportunity to remind everyone in the city to follow the advice on hygiene, staying at home as much as possible and following social distancing on necessary trips outside.

“By doing this, we are all helping our friends, neighbours and loved ones, supporting our NHS, and saving lives.”