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All the fun of the Devon County Show and more this weekend!

Devon County Show

The Devon County Show is well underway, and we’re really enjoying meeting everyone who visits our stand. We’re in our usual place – Road 8, Stand 260, so if you’re there tomorrow, pop along! We have an exciting and varied mix of activities and things to see and do!

We are also with Royal Devon Healthcare who has an outreach COVID-19 vaccination unit on Road B, Stand 103. With coronavirus case numbers climbing, people who are currently eligible for their vaccination are being encouraged to visit while at the show. Vaccinations are available from 9.00am to 4:30pm to any eligible person over the age of five years old, including anyone unregistered to a GP practice. No need to book. Just come along.

People with tickets to the show are also reminded not to attend if they are feeling unwell or have symptoms of COVID-19.

The County Show isn’t the only big event happening near Exeter this weekend, there’s also Let’s Rock at Powderham Castle and the Teignmouth Air Show, so motorists are advised to plan ahead and expect slow moving traffic on all approaches to J30 and J31 of the M5, the Sandygate Roundabout and nearby routes including the A3052, A376, A379. Follow @DevonAlert on Twitter for the latest travel updates from our highways teams. 

Together 100+ million people are creating a world without plastic.

Single-use plastic isn’t fantastic!

Today marks the start of Plastic Free July – a global movement that encourages millions of people to be part of the solution to plastic pollution, so we can have cleaner streets, oceans, and beautiful communities.

Single-use plastics have a lifespan of a few minutes to hours but can take hundreds of years before they fully degrade, causing untold damage to our wildlife and environment.

Reducing the amount of plastic waste you produce is easier than you think. The smallest changes, such as taking your own cup or bottle with you to use when you’re out and about rather than buying a single-use one for your drink, can make a huge difference. 

Buying pre-packaged products can be convenient, but it creates a lot of plastic waste, so choosing loose fruit and veg in the supermarket, or visiting a local butchers, fishmonger or greengrocers where plastic packaging is less often used, can really help reduce this.

Better yet, download the Refill app and tap into a global network of places to reduce, reuse and refill. There are nearly 1,000 retailers in Devon listed on the app, including 560 in the Exeter area, and 150 in the North Devon area offering customers the option of reusing and refilling containers again and again with anything from coffee beans, rice and pasta to cereals, spices, cooking oil and even personal care items like soap or shampoo.

And when you go shopping, don’t forget your reusable bags. Keep a stash of them somewhere where you’ll remember them; like in the boot of your car or by your front door.

Feeding can be hard. Find out where to get support in Devon.

Feeding your baby can be hard

This week is National Breastfeeding Week, and this year the government’s UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is focussing on the part everyone has to play in helping parents to breastfeed.

Partners, families and friends and even the general public are vital in providing support to those who are breastfeeding, especially if things get difficult. 

Remember, it can take a while to feel confident about breastfeeding, but you’re not alone. There’s lots of support available in Devon, including peer support groups; health visiting teams; infant feeding clinics; feeding helplines and Latch and Attach appointments.

Every breastfeeding journey is unique, but remember you are not alone. Try to stay connected if you feel you need extra support.

For more information, please visit the Health for Under 5s website.

Cllr Rufus Gilbert with Made in Devon billboard

Growth of ‘shop local’ is a ‘huge opportunity’ for businesses

The results of a consumer survey, which reveals that 88 per cent of local people try to buy Devon-sourced goods whenever possible, presents a huge opportunity for local businesses.

We’re encouraging Devon’s businesses to sign up to our Made in Devon scheme to advertise that they are a trustworthy business supplying Devon-sourced products whenever possible, and that those claims have been vetted by trading standards. Membership is also available to Devon-based companies in other sectors including retail, arts, and services. 

And we want to encourage consumers to keep buying quality local products and services which we have in Devon, supporting local businesses to bring long-term, sustainable prosperity to the region and to help in the region’s economic recovery. 

Councillor Rufus Gilbert, our Cabinet Member for Economic Recovery and Skills, said:

“The benefits of supporting local are huge. It helps keep money in the community as local businesses have lower overheads like transportation, which, in turn is better for the environment. 

“It also helps avoid the supply issues that have been experienced by many national retailers.

“And if businesses can demonstrate that its goods are local it will give confidence to the consumer, and this will help ensure that Devon’s economy continues to recover following the pandemic.” 

For more information go to the Made in Devon website, or if you’re off to the County Show tomorrow, they’ll be there on Road 8, Stand 260.

Node Enterprise Centre

Node enterprise centre set to expand

Work is underway on the expansion of Node, the enterprise centre at Roundswell near Barnstaple.

We’re providing additional investment along with the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, and the European Regional Development Fund, to support the growth of the centre by creating an extra 537sq m of flexible office space.

Town Square Spaces Ltd (TownSq) operates the centre which opened in February 2021. Node supports Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), start-ups, freelancers and local workers in Barnstaple and the surrounding areas of North Devon and Torridge.

It currently has 37 offices, a coworking space for up to 50 people, a number of meeting rooms and an on-site coffee shop.

The aim is to open the second phase expansion next year to cope with growing demand.

Read the full story on the news page of our website.

Offer care and support

Free professional advice to help you work for yourself offering care and support to older or disabled people

We’re working with a national social enterprise called Community Catalysts to support the development of community micro-enterprises (under eight staff or volunteers) and self-employed Personal Assistants (PAs) who offer care to older and disabled people.

This work will take place over the next two years and will initially focus on the area covering Teignmouth, Dawlish, Starcross, Exminster, southern Exeter, across to Pathfinder village and as far as Tedburn St Mary.

The local representative for this project, Alex, can provide free coaching and mentoring to support people through the process of becoming a PA or starting a micro-enterprise. Alex can also work with people who are already established and may want help to expand or diversify the support they offer.

Experience in care is valuable, but not essential – what you need is a passion to make a difference in people’s lives.

There’s a free online even on Monday 11 July midday – 1pm or 6:30pm – 7:30pm. You can reserve your spot via the Eventbrite website.

Or if you can’t make the event, leave your details via the Community Catalysts website and Alex will be in touch

Any questions? Contact Alex by emailing or phoning 07741 260 674.

Multi-use games are in Newton Abbot

New Multi Use Games Area opens in Newton Abbot

A new Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) has opened at The Station youth centre in Wain Lane, Newton Abbot.

Young people attending the centre have been involved with its design and are excited about the opening.

Josh, 15, volunteers at the youth centre. He said:

“The MUGA is going to be extremely helpful for our youth centre as it creates a safe outdoor space where young people like myself are able to express themselves freely.

“It is an opportunity to build on teamwork and build confidence, and it will also encourage young people to develop new skills and enjoy new experiences while helping their physical and mental wellbeing.”

The previous games area was old and unusable, and the service needed the additional outdoor space, so we funded the new play area.

Read the full story on the news page of our website.

Plymouth and South Devon Freeport Outline Business Case cover

Plymouth and South Devon Freeport Outline Business Case approved by the Chancellor

Another significant milestone has been reached for the Plymouth and South Devon Freeport which has now received approval from the government for its Outline Business Case, along with two of its proposed tax sites.

A freeport in Plymouth and South Devon will create a zone designated by the Government with certain allowances to boost the economy. These allowances will include lower taxes and customs, such as favourable tariffs, VAT or duties.

This fantastic news for Plymouth and South Devon will result in the unlocking of millions of pounds worth of funding for the region. It will encourage a resurgence of economic activity with businesses more inclined to open in the area, creating thousands more jobs and bringing vast investment into the local community.

This is a huge boost for the whole South West region offering a host of opportunities for the future, whilst aiding faster local economic recovery following the difficulties of the past two years and the unprecedented challenges brought about by COVID-19.

Read the full story on the news page of our website.