Skip to main content

Local Offer COVID-19 - Information

image of corona virus molecules

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

This page includes lots of useful information about resources and support available during the Coronavirus pandemic.

You can also find more information on the SEN and Inclusion Services COVID-19 page.

National announcement regarding school closures

Letter to Parents - 4 March 2021

Family Voice and Pinpoint, our Parent Carer Forums, Local Authority services, SENDIASS and Peterborough SEND Partnership are all committed to doing their best for our children and young people during this pandemic.

On 4 March 2021 they issued this letter. 

Letter from Minister Ford 14 January 2021

Vicky Ford MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families, has send a letter to children and young people with SEND, their families, and those who work to support them.

You can read the letter here.

Letter to Parents - 11 January 2021

Family Voice and Pinpoint, our Parent Carer Forums, Local Authority services, the Clinical Commissioning Group, SENDIASS and the Department for Education are all committed to doing their best for our children and young people during this pandemic.

On 11 January 2021 they issued this letter

A message from Toni Bailey - Assistant Director SEND / Inclusion
Peterborough and Cambridgeshire

Following the national announcement regarding school closures, we are liaising with our school leaders and the Department for Education (DfE) to help us understand the impact of the new measures for of our education providers and settings . We are waiting for confirmed guidance from the DfE to be provided and as soon as it is, we will be able to provide further information. In the meantime, we are working in co-operation with schools, social care , health and all partners within the Local Authority to ensure that the safety of our children, young people and families remains paramount.

In the interim period, we have advised all schools and settings to contact parents of vulnerable children and discuss with you on an individual basis what your expectations and preferences are. Rest assured that your view is incredibly important to us. Schools have been asked to provide on-site education for our most vulnerable children and young people and those children who have one parent-carer who works as a critical worker. The Local Authority is supporting an approach that allows as many vulnerable children as possible to be supported with on-site education, as far as it is safe to do so, bearing in mind the individual staffing and capacity arrangements of the school.

Please bear with us; we are working hard together to get this right.

Further updates will be published on these pages.

Thank you for your understanding in these very difficult times; we can get through this together.

Government Guidance

COVID-19 hub

Peterborough City Council has in place a COVID-19 co-ordination hub to provide targeted support for those most at risk during the coronavirus outbreak.

The hub has a specific focus on providing access to food, medicines and other supplies, as well as co-ordinating adequate staff and resource capacity to meet demand in critical service areas, such as the NHS and social care. Find out more at:

SEN and Inclusion Services COVID-19 Support

COVID-19 vaccine

You can find out more on the council's website

Support for carers having difficulty attending your appointment to have your Coronavirus vaccination

If you are a carer in Peterborough who has challenges attending your appointment to have your Coronavirus vaccination please contact Caring Together on 0345 241 0954 or email them on

A form to request support is available.

Council for Disabled Children advice on COVID-19 vaccines

The Council for Disabled Children have published some useful advice on COVID-19 vaccines.  Read more on their website.

NHS COVID-19 vaccination information

View the NHS COVID-19 vaccination information web page

Public Health England - What to expect after your COVID-19 vaccination

Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild and short-term, and not everyone gets them. Even if you do have symptoms after the first dose, you still need to have the second dose. The Public Health England - What to expect after your COVID-19 vaccination webpage gives more information

NHS Vaccine Information Video

NHS England have produced a video aimed at autistic people and people with learning disabilities. 

This video uses language which is easy to understand and may help answer some of the questions you might have about the vaccine. 

Caring for Someone

Coronavirus - Information for carers

If you're providing unpaid care for a family member or friend, we recognise that you might be worried about the effects of COVID-19 on both you and the person you're caring for.

We're keen to support you if you are providing unpaid care for family or friends who, due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction, cannot cope without your support.

It is important to us that you get the help and support you need during these unprecedented times - for example, someone to help with your shoppping or housdehold chores, someone to talk to if things get too much or how to manage if you or the person you're caring for develop COVID-19 symptoms.

If we can help in any way, please complete the 'I Need Help' form.

I am a carer, how will you know to contact me to have my vaccination? 

To be eligible as a carer, you need to either be in receipt of a Carer’s Allowance, and/or be the sole or primary carer of an elderly or disabled person who is at increased risk of COVID-19 mortality and therefore clinically vulnerable. 

Please contact your GP if you are a carer and have not been offered the vaccine yet.

Please note: you will need to be aged 16 or over for the PfizerBioNTech vaccine, or 18 or over for the OxfordAstraZeneca vaccine, to receive a vaccination. 

Unpaid carers 

Unpaid carers are identified as a priority group and are now eligible to receive the vaccine. 

In line with the national guidance, eligibility for adult carers is for those who are: 

  eligible for carer’s allowance, or those who are the sole or primary carer of an elderly or disabled person who is at increased risk of COVID-19 mortality and therefore clinically vulnerable.” 

Those clinically vulnerable to COVID include: 

  • children with severe neuro-disabilities 

  • those who are designated Clinically Extremely vulnerable (CEV) 

  • adults who have underlying health conditions who make them more vulnerable to COVID 

  • those who need care because of advanced age. 


  • Someone who cares for a person who is vulnerable to COVID, provides close personal care or is the sole or primary carer. 

  • An adult family member or friend providing daily face-to-face care to a person who, because of their advanced age, requires support but is still living in their own home. 

  • A person caring for an adult with Down’s Syndrome. 

  • A parent/foster parent caring for a young person who is receiving Personal Independence Payments (PIP) because of a severe neuro-disability. 

  • Any adult providing supplementary unpaid care to an older person who is self-funding their own care package, for example through a domiciliary care agency. 

  • Two siblings who equally share and provide 24-hour care to an older person with dementia in addition to their own family and work commitments. If either sibling was to fall ill, the other would not be able to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the older person. Both siblings would be considered the primary carer. 

Carers known to Government and local health and care services are already being contacted to book an appointment. 

Carers who are not known to health and care services and therefore have not been contacted directly to arrange a vaccination appointment, now have a route to check if they are eligible and apply for a vaccination appointment. 

You can check your eligibility via the National Booking Service at, or by ringing 119, to complete a short application process to determine if they are eligible to book a vaccination appointment.  

Caring Together support for carers to access COVID-19 vaccinations

Caring Together appreciate how important it is that people looking after a family member or friend get the coronavirus vaccination. They also know it can be very difficult for carers and those they care for to be able to go to appointments, for a range of reasons. This could be due to transport, needing someone to look after the person they care for or any other reason.

If you are a carer in Norfolk, Cambridgeshire or Peterborough who has challenges attending your appointment to have your coronavirus vaccination please contact Caring Together on 0345 241 0954 or email them on

A form to request support is available.

COVID-19 Back to Education Bursary Fund

This grant programme is made possible thanks to funding from the United Grand Lodge of England, administered through the Masonic Charitable Foundation and the Provincial Grand Lodges of Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk Freemasons. 

Caring Together aim to provide swift support to young carers and young adult carers, helping to reduce the impact that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had on their education and to support their successful transition back into education post-lockdown. 

There is a limited amaount of of money available and decisions on applications will be made fortnightly on a Monday starting from Monday 28 September while funds are still available. Decisions will be based on what will make the most difference to the young carer or young adult carer given the money available. 

Key information

Young carers and young adult carers from Cambridgeshire, Peterborough, Norfolk and Suffolk can apply for small grants to help to reduce the impact that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had on their education and to support their successful transition back into education post-lockdown. 

Examples of eligible items and activities include, but are not limited to: 

  • Purchase of tablets/laptops and data to support young carer to continue with virtual learning if they don’t have suitable access to a device. 
  • Additional tutoring to enable them to catch up with missed work. 
  • Compulsory school/college materials. 
  • Educational transport costs where the family’s finances have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • School uniform. 
  • PPE that is required to attend school/college. 

For further information access the website here.

Hope Programme course

Caring Together have partnered with Hope For The Community CIC on running another online Hope Programme course to support adult carers aged 18+ (including young adult carers, parent carers and adult sibling carers) in Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and Norfolk, starting on 22nd February 2021.

The Hope Programme is a free 6-week online group self-management programme for carers to help them cope with life during and after lockdown - to help them feel more in control and more resilient.

View sign up and more information

Council for Disabled Children (CDC) COVID-19 Support and Guidance

The situation with COVID-19 (coronavirus) is rapidly changing. CDC are following government advice on how to stay healthy and safe during this time. and have gathered a list of resources and guidance about coronavirus to share with parent carers, children and young people and education, health and social care practitioners.  

You can view all this information on their webpage

The Council for Disabled Children have published some useful advice on COVID-19 vaccines.  Read more on their website.

British Sign Language - Coronavirus Updates

SignHealth is committed to making sure coronavirus information is available in British Sign Language.

Their content is updated daily.

visit their web page by clicking here

Family Voice Peterborough

COVID-19 update

Family Voice are running a helpline daily (Monday to Friday) from 12 noon to 3pm, for any parent carers who need advice or signposting, or simply someone to talk to about what they are going through.  

You can call on 07780 586 475 

You can also email for advice and signposting on: 

Here is a poster which you can download detailing this information. 

The Goldhay Centre, although closed to the public, is now being run as an emergency hub to provide support to Peterborough residents. Parent/carers can email Family Voice if they need help getting basic food supplies and will be provided with parcels of support. You can find out more on the Family Voice Fare Share poster. 

Things to do at home

This pdf document that you can download here, has been produced by one of Family Voice trustees in her role of family support worker for Barnardo’s.

Easy Read documents

You can find lots of easy read information on the Local Offer for Young People coronavirus page.

Supporting a person with a learning disability to wear a face mask

This video is for family members or carers of people with learning disabilities to help them understand why wearing a face mask is important, how to find a face mask that suits the person they support and how to help them  get used to wearing it.

Staying Safe

Safeguarding is everyone's business

Please see the latest advice and guidance here

Be aware of coronavirus email scams

Security experts say a spike in email scams linked to coronavirus is the worst they have seen in years.

Cyber-criminals are targeting individuals as well as industries, including aerospace, transport, manufacturing, hospitality, healthcare and insurance.

Phishing emails written in English, French, Italian, Japanese, and Turkish languages have been found.

The BBC has tracked five of the campaigns. You can look at the BBC article by following this link

The Guardian has identified that vulnerable older people are being targeted with a range of coronavirus scams. To read the article follow this link.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Against Scams Partnership (CAPASP) is a partnership of public, private and voluntary sector organisations committed to working to stop scams.  Find their latest information on coronavirus here.

Security experts say a spike in email scams linked to coronavirus is the worst they have seen in years.

Cyber-criminals are targeting individuals as well as industries, including aerospace, transport, manufacturing, hospitality, healthcare and insurance.

Phishing emails written in English, French, Italian, Japanese, and Turkish languages have been found.

The BBC has tracked five of the campaigns. You can look at the BBC article by following this link

Fire safety in the home

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service have lots of helpful information about how you can keep safe from fire whilst you stay at home.  Find out more on their website.

Resources for Parents/Carers/Children and Young People

These resources are taken from a wide range of external sources that parents/ carers/ children and young people may find helpful. 

Webinars to help people keep informed and in touch during the Covid-19 outbreak

Learning Disabilities is hosting a series of webinars to help people keep informed and in touch during the Covid-19 outbreak. 

View more information about the webinars

Talking about Coronavirus

Talking to children and young people about coronavirus

MENCAP Easy Read information on coronavirus

Cosy Time - explaining to young children about self isolating

My story about Pandemics and the coronavirus

Coronavirus information for young children

Things to do at home during social distancing

In this useful document you can find lots of resources for parent carers and children.

Coronavirus - a book for children

Axel Scheffler (the Gruffalo illustrator) has illustrated a digital book for primary school age children, free for anyone to read on screen or print out, about the coronavirus and the measures taken to control it. Published by Nosy Crow, and written by staff within the company, the book has had expert input: Professor Graham Medley of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine acted as a consultant, and the company also had advice from two head teachers and a child psychologist.

The book answers key questions in simple language appropriate for 5 to 9 year olds:

You can download a copy of the book here

Early Help


Highlights from the Hub and SEND Update newsletters

Mental Health Advice

The coronavirus pandemic means that life is changing for all of us for a while.

Organisations across Peterborough have joined forces to launch a wellbeing campaign to help people during the coronavius outbreak. 

"Now We're Talking" encourages people to get help if they are struggling with their mental health. The campaign highlights and directs people to the increased support available including:

Lifeline Plus - a mental health and wellbeing helpline for people aged 18 and over living in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is available Monday-Friday between 9am-2pm via freephone 0808 808 2121.

Lifecraft - who support those in mental distress are operate a helpline between 2pm-11pm and can be reached using the same freephone number as Lifeline on 0808 808 2121.

Qwell - offers online wellbeing support, including educational and self help articles and peer to peer forums. For more information see their website

Keep Your Head-  this website brings together all the mental health support available across the county.

The website suggests 10 ways you can help improve your mental health and wellbeing if you are worried or anxious about the coronavirus. Find further information here.

Find some additional resources and where to access services below:

Emotional Health and Wellbeing Services - C19 Mental Health Reources

Emotional Health and Wellbeing Services - C19 Parents Mental Health Resources

Emotional Health and Wellbeing Services - C19 Schools Mental Health Resources

Test and Trace

User Friendly guide to Test and Trace in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

Peterborough City Council and Cambridgeshire County Council have published a user friendly guide to the way the new NHS Test and Trace system will work locally, on behalf of the Health Protection Committee.

The guide which will be updated regularly, can be found here

Peterborough City Council now have a contract tracing service which will include following up on people who have tested positive for COVID-19. 

Council officers will initially make contact by phone, text or email asking people to call a local number.  Anyone who is concerned by being contacted can call the council or local community hub to check the identity of the tracer on 01733 747474.

You can read nore information about the service here. Further information about test and trace along with outbreak control management can be found by clicking on this link.

Family Fund - Helping Disabled Children

Grants for families raising disabled children available from Family Fund

The DfE has provided a further £10 million to the Family Fund which is a UK-wide charity that provides grants for essential items to families on low incomes raising disabled or seriously ill children.

Families can apply for grants for a wide variety of items that they feel could help their disabled child and ease some of the everyday pressures they face. These can include kitchen appliances, computers and tablets, furniture, family breaks and day trips, sensory toys, clothing and bedding, and more. Family Fund cannot consider requests where a statutory agency has assessed a need and have a responsibility to provide the item.

Families who have previously received a grant from Family Fund before 1 April 2020 and whose circumstances have not changed can re-apply for further funding.


The end of lockdown? The last six months in the lives of families raising disabled children - UK Findings - September 2020

The aim of the research is:

To understand how the coronavirus outbreak is affecting families raising disabled or seriously ill children in the UK.

To understand the concerns and needs of families raising disabled or seriously ill children in UK resulting from the coronavirus outbreak.

Click on this link to read the full 'The end of lockdown? The last six months in the lives of families raising disabled children - UK Findings - September 2020' report.

Elective Home Education

All you need to know about home-schooling and elective home education (EHE)

Elective Home Education (EHE)

Elective Home Education (EHE) is when a parent chooses not to send their child to school full-time but assumes responsibility for making sure their child receives a full-time education other than at school. Some children are electively home educated from age 5 and may never attend school. In other cases, a child may be removed from their school’s roll for EHE.

Educating children at home works well when it is a positive choice and carried out with proper regard for the needs of the child. In many cases, elective home education is appropriate, well-delivered and involves considerable sacrifice on the part of parents.

What is the difference between Elective Home Education (EHE) and Home schooling?

During the period when schools were closed to all but vulnerable children and children of key workers, most pupils were educated at home. This is known as home-schooling. While being home-schooled, children remained on their school roll and received a combination of support from schools, online learning resources and other resources parents may have provided themselves. Home schooling in this instance is different to elective home education, which is where parents choose not to send their child to school full-time on a long term basis.

Thinking about EHE?

If you think EHE might be in the best interests of your child, the Government expects your LA to coordinate a meeting with you involving your child’s school and social workers where appropriate. We strongly recommend you meet with your LA to consider whether EHE is appropriate for your family and your child before you decide whether to withdraw them from their school’s roll.

Where a pupil is withdrawn from school for EHE, there is no obligation for the school to keep that place open. If the parent wishes to return their child to school, they may not be able to return to the same school.

Once a child is educated at home, LAs will begin making enquiries as to how suitable the education being provided is. Failure to satisfy the enquiry may result in you being issued with a School Attendance Order and / or the court may make an Education Supervision Order.

What next?

Parents should visit and read the Gov.UK EHE guidance for parents.

Click on this link to go to the GOV.UK Elective home education web page.

Learning Disabilities Annual Health Checks

A Guide to Health Checks and Coronavirus 

For Commissioners, GPs and Specialist Health Professionals 

What the Guidance says: 

  • GPs should continue to offer annual health checks to people with learning disabilities 
  • The health check should be offered on a face to face basis if it is safe to do so 

  • Where this is not possible, the health check could be conducted remotely, with as much of the physical review completed as is practicable in these circumstances 

For further information see the COVID-19 Primary Care Bulletin date 18 May 2020: 

Practical things to consider: 

Who is a priority for a health check? 

For example: 

  •  People who missed their health check in 2019/20 
  • Those that are currently overdue 

  • Those with multiple comorbidities or who have had recent admissions 

 Preparing for the appointment: 

  •  Can parts of the health check be done prior to the appointment? 
  • Will the appointment be face to face or done remotely? 

  • How best to prepare for the appointment 

Ensuring you’ve been understood 

  • What information will people with learning disabilities and supporters need about the new way of doing things? 
  • Assessing mental capacity if using technology 

  • Agree the health check action plan and how to take this forward 

Staying Healthy

Vivacity at home - At home exercises for everyone

These 'on demand' video fitness classes are available for you to paricipate in whenever you wish. They are all free.

Online on demand fitness class videos

The 3 free sessions below will be of particular interest for children & families

Discover Change4Life's great Disney themed games and activities that will get the whole family moving and having fun with these 1o minute shakeips 

10 minute Disney shakeups

'This Girl Can'  have partnered up with Disney to create some great dance-along videos to keep you and the kids active and entertained at home.

Family Disney workouts

Les Mills' BORN TO MOVE has teamed up with Marvel to create an exercise routine that inspires millions of children to get active and fall in love with fitness.

Les Mills move like the Avengers

Autism and ADHD Advisory Teaching Service Newsletters (Local Offer)

Current editions of our half-termly newsletters:

Cosy Crew - The half-termly newsletter for primary aged children with Autism

Easter issue dated 24 March 2021

New Year issue dated 10 February 2021

Christmas Issue dated 16 December 2020

Autumn Issue dated 21 October 2020

I'm a parent, get me out of here - The half-termly newsletter for parent/carers of children/young people with Autism

Easter issue dated 24 March 2021

New Year issue dated 10 February 2021

Christmas issue dated 16 December 2020

Autumn issue dated 21 October 2020

The Lift Up - The half-termly newsletter for young people with Autism

Easter issue dated 24 March 2021

New Year issue dated 10 February 2021

Christmas Issue dated 16 December 2020 

Autumn Issue dated 21 October 2020

View archived editions by clicking on the links below.

Ken Stimpson Community School - specialist hub provision

Welbourne Primary Academy - ASD Resources

Home Schooling

There is lots of home schooling support on BBC Bitesize.

You can also find lots of support on Cambridgeshire Learn Together.

Winter grant scheme

Extension of the Winter Grant Scheme 25 March 2021

The government has announced an extension of the Winter Grant Scheme to provide additional support to Peterborough families until the end of the Easter holiday.

Peterborough will receive £259,000 in government funding to support those in need of support at this difficult time.

Winter Grant Scheme

Peterborough City Council is working with other organisations to support many people whose lives have become more difficult because of COVID-19.

The Winter grant scheme is available to support families and individuals experiencing immediate financial hardship with access to food and essential supplies over the Christmas holidays and beyond.

This support is being offered in two ways;

  • Direct food voucher scheme
  • Additional support for vulnerable families and individuals

Further information, including how to apply for further support, can be found on our Winter Support webpage and our Coordination Hub webpage.