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Great Torrington Town Council

Think twice before leaving home, vaccine scam warning, COVID-19 fund launched to help communities

In this update:

  • Think twice before leaving home
  • Vaccine scam warning
  • COVID-19 Fund launched to help communities
  • Support for children and young people not in school 
  • Have yourself a #BrewMonday
Stay Home Save Lives banner

Advice to “think twice” before leaving home

Devon’s Director of Public Health, Steve Brown, has called on us all to be extra vigilant in following the Government’s COVID-19 lockdown rules, and to “think twice” before we leave our homes.

This follows a stark warning from the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, that the next few weeks will be “the worst” of the pandemic for the NHS, and that the UK will go through the “most dangerous time” in the weeks before the vaccination rollout has an impact. 

Steve Brown said:

“I completely understand how difficult this dreadful situation is for so many people in Devon, but please, I am urging you to help stop the spread of coronavirus by staying at home and to think twice before leaving your homes.

“Every time you leave your home you risk coming into contact with an infected person or touching a surface, door handle or petrol pump which may be contaminated. Any one of these interactions could be a crucial link in the chain of transmission which could lead to someone becoming seriously ill or dying from COVID-19.

“Traffic flow figures indicate that more people are moving around the county during this lockdown and while there are times when we all need to make essential journeys for childcare, work, medical appointments and food, we also need to consider if other journeys are essential.

“And while it’s really important to take daily exercise in the fresh air for physical and mental wellbeing, please stay as close to home as possible – ideally start and finish your exercise at your front door – and if you meet another person from another household to join you on your exercise, make sure you stay two metres apart at all times.”

A vaccine being administered

New Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine being given to first patients in Devon

The new Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine was given to the first people in Devon last week, with thousands more doses expected to be administered in the coming days and weeks.

Unlike the Pfizer vaccine, the first to be approved, the Oxford vaccine does not need to be stored at ultra-low temperatures and is much easier to move, making it more straight forward for the NHS in Devon to vaccinate people in care homes.

The vaccine has been trialled at selected hospitals nationwide for surveillance purposes before being sent out to hundreds of community-based local vaccination services across the country.

In Devon, the first batches of the Oxford vaccination were received by some of the county’s GP-led local vaccination centres on 7 January and were given to priority groups, including care home residents, from 8 January. Other local centres will receive the vaccine in coming days.

Deliveries of the Pfizer vaccination continue, with thousands of doses also being given each day across the county.

For information on public and community transport options to access the vaccination sites across Devon please visit Travel Devon’s website.

Mobile phone with a blurred background

Public warned about vaccine scam 

Trading Standards is warning the public to be on their guard following reports that fraudsters are sending out fake texts offering a COVID-19 vaccine in an attempt to steal bank details.

The text offers a link to what police call an “extremely convincing” fake NHS website.

Once on the website people are asked to input their bank details to register for a vaccine.

The scam message reads; ‘we have identified that you are eligible to apply for your vaccine’ and then prompts you to click on a link for further information or to ‘apply’ for the vaccine.

If you receive a text or email that asks you to click on a link or for you to provide information, such as your name, credit card or bank details, delete it immediately.

Remember, the NHS will never ask for your payment details.

Lady in supermarket, shopping with a mask on

Devon to launch community testing programme

Devon County Council is working with partners to ensure that rapid ’30 minute’ community testing for people without COVID-19 symptoms will soon be available across Devon.

It follows the Government announcement on January 10 that it is expanding asymptomatic community testing across the UK.

Approximately one in three people who have coronavirus do not display symptoms.

Community testing will help to find individuals who have COVID-19 but do not have symptoms and may inadvertently be spreading the virus so need to isolate.

A positive or negative result will not remove the need to follow existing COVID measures socially and in the workplace.

Organisations and employers who have staff and workers who would be eligible for testing are encouraged to register their details. Further information and updates are available on the Devon County Council website.

A child learning on their laptop

Support for children and young people not in school 

Laptops and data

The Department for Education (DfE) is providing additional laptops and tablets to support children who do not already have access to a device for remote learning.

Parents, carers and pupils cannot apply directly for laptops and tablets but they can contact their school who can request one on their behalf. The offer is to children considered to be vulnerable or disadvantaged, so please speak to your school about eligibility for a device. Secondary schools have already been invited by the Government to order laptops and tablets, and primary schools will be invited to order them over coming weeks, starting in the most disadvantaged areas in England.

The DfE is also providing support for pupils who have no internet access or who cannot afford increased data charges. Again, you can talk to your school, early help or social worker about how to access this support. Further information on this scheme is available.

School meals 

The Government has said it is going to provide extra funding to support schools to provide food parcels or meals to children who are eligible for free school meals. 

Where schools cannot offer food parcels or use local solutions, a national voucher scheme will be in place so that eligible children, who meet the qualification criteria due to low income, can access free school meals while they are remotely learning from home. 

Further details on the national voucher scheme.

In Devon, schools are working with their catering providers so that meals continue to be available to any eligible pupils still attending school – including all infants and those receiving benefits-related free school meals – as well as to eligible pupils who are now learning from home. 

Exams 

GCSEs and A and AS Level exams will not go ahead this summer, the Education Secretary has confirmed. Instead, there will be some form of teacher-assessed grading. The details of how that will happen are not yet finalised.   

Students studying for vocational and technical qualifications should hear from their schools or colleges about their January exams and assessments. 

Attendance update

Student attendance in schools is currently about 26 per cent in primary schools and 10 per cent in secondary schools, which includes both local authority schools and academies. There are about 93,000 children in school in Devon, approximately 56,000 in primaries and 37,000 in secondaries.

Devon County Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Schools, James McInnes, said:

”Heads and school staff are working really hard to ensure that children are able to learn, whether that’s in the classroom or virtually.

“The coronavirus crisis has worsened considerably since Christmas and guidelines are having to change to take account of that so our schools are coping with regularly changing advice.

“But many heads and teachers are innovating with real flair. Some schools in Devon are streaming live classroom lessons to children at home and others are recording lessons so that families can make use of them at a time which is convenient to them. That’s particularly helpful if parents are working at home and only have limited devices.

“I know combining classroom learning with virtual learning is adding to teachers’ workload, but I’m glad to see more children actually coming to school than in the last lockdown. It means parents are confident that we’ve done all we can to make schools safe and it’s good for children’s mental health and wellbeing, as well as their learning, to be with their friends.”

A food delivery

COVID-19 Fund launched to help communities 

Devon County Council has launched its third round of COVID-19 funding to help provide valuable financial support to organisations working in communities that have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

The scheme sees grants of up to £700 available.

The funding aims to help voluntary and community groups to tackle the social and economic impacts of the virus outbreak and help those who are most vulnerable in their communities. The funding can be used to address issues such as:

  • Safe deliveries of essential goods and services to people who are isolating or vulnerable, for example food and medicine.
  • Supporting people to access online information and services.
  • Starting virtual support groups to help people who are isolated to stay connected and to improve mental health and wellbeing.
Post it notes stuck on a laptop

Devon Start Up Programme for Social Entrepreneurs

A new, free support programme has been launched in Devon to help those who are unemployed or at risk of losing their jobs and considering starting their own social enterprise.

Devon County Council and The School for Social Entrepreneurs – Dartington are working together on the Social Entrepreneurs Start Up Programme which aims to provide local people with the skills, confidence and support they need to establish a social enterprise and make a difference to their local communities.

Participants in the online learning initiative, which is made up of 10 weekday sessions spread over eight weeks, will have the chance to learn from experts and existing entrepreneurs. These experts teach resilience, and create a supportive network of people who understand the challenges they are facing.

Man using his mobile phone

Listening Ear – wellbeing support for Devon businesses

Running a business is stressful at the best of times. Running a business during a pandemic is even harder. Listening Ear is a new service for Devon businesses that offers people a safe space to chat about those challenges on the telephone.

The new Listening Ear service is run by Devon Communities Together and is a place for you to share your feelings and experiences about running a business in these uncertain times.

Listening Ear is not there to offer business advice; they provide a friendly, impartial listening ear so you can talk about whatever you feel you need to. Experienced volunteers will provide a supportive ear and will also be able to signpost you to other services if you need them. 

Your wellbeing is important to both your health and your work life. Talking to a Listening Ear volunteer is a way for you to prioritise your wellbeing.

Book your Listening Ear appointment. Or if you would like to learn more about the service, please contact info@devoncommunities.org.uk or call 01392 248919. 

Cartoon images of people doing activities as part of five ways to stay positive during lockdown

BBC shares five ways to stay positive during lockdown

The BBC is helping to lift people’s spirits by sharing hints and tips for staying positive during the third national lockdown.

The new lockdown in England and similar restrictions across Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are adding to the gloom of winter – a season that can be tough for many people even in normal times.

However, the country’s leading mental health experts say there are things that many of us can do to give ourselves a lift.

They advise us to keep moving, stop over-thinking, set ourselves a new target, talk things over with a friend, family member or colleague (virtually or at a social distance) and to do things badly, as opposed to never at all.

Olivia Remes of Cambridge University says:

“Our inner voice of criticism continually stops us from doing worthwhile things. Jump straight into action. Do things and accept that they might initially be done badly. When you do that, most of the time the results are actually not that bad – and they’re almost always better than doing nothing.”

Read more about the ways you can stay positive during lockdown.

Brew Monday

Have yourself a #BrewMonday

Blue Monday is the name given to supposedly the ‘most depressing day of the year’. In previous years, this might have been because of finances being stretched after the Christmas period, or maybe motivation was dwindling because of the shorter days and darker evenings. 

This year’s Blue Monday (18 January) is even more significant because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. To help turn the day on its head and into something positive, Samaritans is hosting Brew Monday, which will kick off on 18 January and encourage us all to get together over a warming virtual cuppa.    

Reach out to a friend, family member or colleague for a virtual cuppa and a chat. It doesn’t have to be a Monday or a cup of tea, just taking time to really listen to another person could help them work through what’s on their mind. ​ 

Because now more than ever, sharing a cuppa is more than a drink – it’s about reaching out, checking in and staying connected. 

For more information on Samaritans Brew Monday visit the Samaritans website and follow the conversation online by following #BrewMonday

Have your say on the Interim Devon Carbon Plan

And finally, some non-COVID related news… have your say on the Carbon Plan  

The Devon Climate Emergency project aims to create a resilient net-zero carbon Devon – where people and nature thrive.  

In response to the climate emergency, a range of local public, private and voluntary organisations have put together a plan for our county to reach net-zero emissions.  

The suggested plan includes improving air quality through electrification of vehicles, home insulation, encouraging healthier lifestyles, availability of green space and much more.  

Implementing this plan will require collaboration between all corners of our community, and so we are keen to hear what you think. The draft plan is available now for you to have your say on our net-zero future

Every action counts

The latest national advice on coronavirus (COVID-19) is available on the
Government website and NHS website.

You can find local guidance and information about the impacts on our services on the Devon County Council website.

Census 2021

On Sunday 21st March, the census is coming! The census is a unique survey that happens every 10 years and gives a snapshot of all the people in England and Wales. The information collected is vitally important for government and local authorities as it  helps them plan services such as healthcare, education, public transport, libraries and support services. The data informs other official statistics, and contributes to policy decisions such as local government funding allocations. Filling in the census is crucial to shaping communities over the next 10 years. 

Councils have been asked to help spread the word in their communities, to help ensure that as many people as possible take part. The census website has plenty of information about the census, how to prepare and how data will be kept safe. There are also a wide range of downloadable resources that you can use to support the census in your community including social media materials, leaflets and presentations. 

New national lockdown announced, vaccination programme gathers pace, Getting outside safely during COVID-19

In this update:

  • New national lockdown announced
  • The vaccination programme gathers pace
  • Top-up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses 
  • Looking after ourselves physically and mentally 
  • Guidance for people identified as being clinically extremely vulnerable 
  • Getting outside safely during COVID-19
Stay at Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives

New national lockdown announced 

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has announced a national lockdown in response to rising case numbers of coronavirus across the UK. 

In short, that means that you should stay at home as much as possible and only leave your house for essential reasons, such as shopping for food and drink and other essential items; working, if it’s not possible for you to work from home; exercise; to seek medical assistance; and to escape domestic abuse. 

Steve Brown, Director of Public Health Devon, said

“Devon residents have done well over the Christmas and New Year period to help prevent the sharp rise in positive cases that many other parts of the country are currently experiencing. While case numbers here in Devon are relatively low compared to many parts of the country, we are still seeing cases rise. 

“The new strain of coronavirus is exceptionally good at spreading between people, which is why the government is imposing new national restrictions requiring everyone to stay at home as much as possible and to minimise their time with others, except those in their immediate household or bubble. 

“I ask everyone to pull together and to follow the new national lockdown restrictions, the details of which we will learn more about over the next day or so. 

“Please, stay at home and only go out when you need to, and minimise your contact with other people. If you must be outside, please continue to follow social distancing rules, wear a face covering in public places, and wash your hands properly and regularly.”

Working from home

Devon County Council Leader’s pledge on lockdown 

Devon County Council stands ready to help those who are most badly affected by the latest lockdown, council Leader John Hart has declared

And he appealed to everyone in the county to abide by the rules and defeat the latest virulent strain of the virus. 

Mr Hart said the arrangements that had been made during the first two lockdowns were already in place to support the vulnerable and elderly. 

Team Devon was set up as a partnership between the county, district councils and other organisations to determine which group could best help people quickly and effectively. 

He said: 

“I know so many people have already been badly affected by this terrible virus and the measures we’ve had to take to try to control it. 

“Grandparents haven’t seen their grandchildren, families have had to balance working at home with helping to care for their children and those children have missed out on learning and seeing their friends at school. 

“And now we are asking them to make those sacrifices all over again. So I want to be clear that we stand ready to do all we can to help those most badly affected by this lockdown, as we did in the two lockdowns last year. 

“At least this time we can see some light at the end of the tunnel with the vaccination programme, which I hope the government will ensure is rolled out at speed.” 

Older woman on the phone

Guidance for people identified as being clinically extremely vulnerable 

We have updated our webpages with guidance for people identified as being clinically extremely vulnerable

The lockdown advice is for people to stay at home as much as possible. If you are identified as being clinically extremely vulnerable, that means that you should not attend work, school, college or university, and that you should limit the time you spend outside of your home. 

That includes not going to the shops. Our webpages have information to help you while you are shielding, including support for shopping, accessing health services, and advice for people who are currently employed.

Hecter Delbridge of North Molton at North Devon District Hospital, has the Pfizer vaccine.

The vaccination programme gathers pace

Thousands of people in Devon are being vaccinated against COVID-19 every day as the biggest vaccination programme in the history of the NHS gathers pace.

All four of the county’s main hospitals, in Plymouth, Exeter, Torquay and Barnstaple, are now offering the vaccination to inpatients in priority groups, as well as frontline staff.

In addition, GP practices are working in groups to set up local vaccination centres. Across the county, 16 centres are now in operation, serving 104 surgeries, with more starting soon to cover the remaining parts of the county and ensure all eligible people are offered the vaccine.

Large-scale vaccination centres serving wide areas are also planned and more details will follow shortly.

The rollout of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in Devon will take place as soon as possible, with some practices due to give it to local people towards the end of this week.

Unlike the Pfizer vaccine, the first to be licenced, the Oxford vaccine does not need to be stored at ultra-low temperatures and is much less complicated to move, making it easier to use in care homes and vaccine people who are housebound.

Care home residents and staff were set as the highest priority group by the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation. In addition to the Oxford vaccine, local vaccination services are being issued with small packs of Pfizer jabs which can be used in care homes.

In the meantime, there are four main things that people in Devon can do to help the NHS give the vaccine to as many local people as possible:

  1. Please choose the right service for your needs as GPs are now managing extra pressures from the vaccine programme. Consider self-care for minor illnesses and injuries; pharmacists for illnesses like diarrhoea, earache, painful cough, sticky eye, teething and rashes; and local minor injury services. You will still get a face-to-face appointment at your local practice if your GP thinks you need one, and you should only go to hospital A&E departments in an emergency.
  2. Attend all appointments, whether it is for a vaccine, to see your GP or at hospital, unless you are personally contacted by your provider and told otherwise.
  3. Follow government rules – the vaccines are a wonderful development, but we are not out of the woods yet. Remember ‘Hands Face Space’ and act as if you have COVID, even after you’ve been vaccinated
  4. Don’t make things harder for the NHS by calling your local hospital or GP practice about getting the vaccine – the NHS will contact you when it’s your turn.

For more information visit the Together for Devon website.

A school gate

Schools to stay open for vulnerable children and children of key workers 

Schools, colleges, special schools, and alternative provision in Devon will remain open during lockdown for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers.  

While there continues to be a low risk that children will be severely affected by COVID-19, the government recognises that schools must be included in the restrictions in order to have the best chance of getting the virus under control. 

Early Years provision will remain open during lockdown for all children so families should not see a change in their pattern of attendance. This includes Childminders, Nurseries, Pre-Schools, Maintained Nursery Schools and School Nurseries.    

For all other school-aged children, from Wednesday 6 January all primary schools, secondary schools and colleges will move to remote learning. 

All children who are entitled to free school meals will still be able to receive them, even if they are not attending school and are at home. 

However, the way this service is provided may vary and parents and guardians are advised to contact their school for more details.

BBC presenter

BBC to put lessons on TV during lockdown

The BBC is helping children keep up with their studies during the latest lockdown, by broadcasting lessons on BBC Two and CBBC, as well as online.

Schools are open only to children of key workers and vulnerable children, with most children now continuing their learning remotely from home.

The BBC will show curriculum-based programmes on TV from Monday.

They will include three hours of primary school programming every weekday on CBBC, and at least two hours for secondary pupils on BBC Two.

During the first lockdown, lessons were available in iPlayer, red button and online, but not on regular TV channels.

The move comes amid concerns that low-income families may struggle to afford data packages for their children to take part in online learning.

Library interior

Temporary closure of libraries 

Devon’s libraries will be temporarily closed from today, following the implementation of the latest lockdown. 

As well as temporarily closing the buildings, Libraries Unlimited is also suspending its Devon Mobile Library service and Home Library Service in Devon and Books on Wheels in Torbay. 

If you are currently borrowing a book, CD or DVD from your local library, you can keep hold of them until the libraries re-open and loans have been extended to Monday 29 March. 

To find out more about the temporary closure of libraries in Devon and Torbay, please visit the Libraries Unlimited webpages

table and chairs on the pavement outside a cafe

Top-up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses 

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, announced this week one-off top-up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property to help businesses through to Spring. 

A £594 million discretionary fund has also been made available to support impacted businesses. 

The grants are expected to benefit more than 600,000 business properties, worth £4 billion in total across the UK. 

Further funding is being made available to support businesses not eligible for the grants, that might be affected by the restrictions. 

The Leader of Devon County Council, Cllr Hart said he welcomed the Chancellor’s new package of aid for the hospitality industry. 

“I have been calling for the government to provide specific help for hospitality businesses which are so vital to Devon and the South West but we need to see all the details. Many of these small businesses are already on their knees and they may need more support,” he said. 

Every Mind Matters

Looking after ourselves physically and mentally 

As we adjust again to staying at home more, and minimising our contacts outside of the home, it’s important that we remember to take care of our minds as well as our bodies. 

It’s perfectly normal to feel anxious or worried right now, whether that’s about our own health or that of family members or friends.  If you live alone, you may be feeling an even greater sense of isolation or loneliness.   

Staying at home is difficult, but you are helping to protect yourself and others by doing so. 

Every Mind Matters has some helpful information online to support us through this time, whether that’s regarding concerns you may have about your finances, or ensuring that you or others have the supplies or support you need, or staying connected with others. 

Take a moment to look at the advice it provides. We are all in this together, and it’s important that we take time to look after ourselves mentally, as well as physically. 

Bowerman's nose

Getting outside safely during COVID-19 

We’ve covered this before, but as we’re back in similar circumstances, we’re running it again. 

We must stay at home as much as possible. That’s the new norm. But being outside is also so important for our physical and mental wellbeing. So how do we ensure that we do that safely?

Ordnance Survey launched a brilliant thing last year, and they’ve updated it this week.  It’s a guide to getting outside safely during coronavirus, and right now, during lockdown. 

The outdoors is still open, and we’re all being encouraged to get outside and stay local for our physical and mental health. 

Just type in the location you’re interested in, (eg Devon) and then choose what outdoor activity you’re interested in, (eg walking), and it gives you the latest advice for walking in Devon – what’s permitted, what’s not, and helpful suggestions along the way. 

The key is in knowing how to minimise risk to yourself and others when outside.  Remember, you are allowed outdoor exercise, but choose less busy places to go, and follow the guidance – social distancing, wear your face covering in enclosed spaces, and wash your hands well as soon as you’re back indoors. 

The latest national advice on coronavirus (COVID-19) is available on the
Government website and NHS website.

You can find local guidance and information about the impacts on our services on the Devon County Council website.

Temporary prohibition of through traffic – Borough Road

Please see amended notice regarding the Borough Road School Street Trial per the link below:-

We contacted Devon County Council for clarification regarding this, please see Cllr Andrew Saywell’s response below:-

“The original Notice has been amended to add the timings of the closures as per the TTRO’s for the other School Streets so that its clear it’s not all day and to add Matthew McDonald’s contact details as he is the DCC Officer for the scheme, so if anyone has any questions they can call him.

DCC spoke to the school today and Bluecoats will wait until the school fully reopens to all pupils before starting the School Street but at least the TTRO is in place ready for when they start.

The timing of the lockdown hasn’t helped and like all schools Bluecoats are busy with Covid remote learning arrangements so we DCC will now send the letter to the residents by Royal Mail on Bluecoats behalf, and they will let the parents know about the trial. DCC aim to have the letters posted tomorrow.

Matthew prepared some Q&A’s below which you may wish to use if publicising this any further.

What are School Streets?

A School Street is where a road outside a school temporarily closes to motor vehicles at specific times of day. This opens streets to families on foot, cycle or scooter at school drop off and pick up times.

Why School Streets?

School Streets help to give families the space they need to get to school safely. To improve road safety and to maintain social distancing that is needed to restrict the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

By making a safer, cleaner, more pleasant environment, School Streets also increases the likelihood that children will walk or cycle to school instead of by car.

Fewer car trips to and from school will help to improve air quality, encourage more exercise, reduce congestion at peak times and reduce road traffic collisions.

How will School Streets support physical distancing?

School Streets create safe space outside a school. Removing through traffic and parents’ cars creates space to allow for social distancing. This would prevent parents and children having to gather in confined spaces at the school gates.

This makes it easier for children and their families to travel by foot, cycle or scooter to school. A road free from vehicles could typically gain an extra seven metre wide space for pedestrians.

How will School Streets work?

Specific streets around the participating schools will temporarily become pedestrian and cycle only zones at set times in the morning and afternoon.

Motor vehicles will not be allowed to enter the section of street during the times of operation, except for in certain circumstances set out below.

The road will be closed using a combination of cones and expandable barriers placed across the road closure point. The street closure will be marshalled by school staff and  volunteers.

Why have we not been consulted about the School Streets?

These School Streets schemes are being implemented as emergency measures to enable social distancing and help families travel to school safely.

Depending on the type of Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) used, and because the UK government has relaxed TRO regulations as part of its Covid-19 response, local authorities are able to implement road closures quickly and flexibly.

This does not mean consultation will not take place. Children, parents, residents and local businesses will be able to have their say on how the scheme might develop, what might be changed and whether it becomes permanent.

As a parent/carer taking my child to school, can I drive into the School Street?

During the restricted times, you will not be allowed to enter the School Street in a vehicle, unless you have a valid access need. For example if you:

Are a Blue Badge holder (or your child is)

Have a permit to park issued by the school.

Are a resident of the School Street.

Work in a business premises on the School Street.

You will still be able to walk, cycle or scoot to school. If that’s not an option for you, you will be able to drive and park nearby and walk the final section. Some schools may have set up a Park and Stride scheme to make this even easier.

What about visitors to the school or residents on the street?

We are asking visitors to try and time their arrivals and departures outside of the closure times to make more space for physical distancing as children and their families arrive at or leave school.

During the restricted times, we will ask visitors to park further away unless they are blue badge holders.

However, if a visitor is already in the School Street area before the restriction start time, they can leave the street at any time.

Who will still be able to access the street?

The temporary access restrictions will not apply to:

– Residents who live on the street

– Blue Badge holders

– Emergency services

– Parents or carers with an exemption (provided by the school on a case by case basis)

– Doctors and care visitors to residents in the street

– Business owners with premises in the street

– Business, school staff, or others accessing on-premises parking

– Contracted school transport

– Businesses making deliveries

– Tradespeople doing work to a home on the street.

However, we ask any drivers permitted to enter the scheme to try to time their arrivals and departures outside of the closure times. This will reduce the number of vehicles on the street while families are arriving at or leaving school.

***

I hope that is helpful. Lastly, please be assured that if the scheme does not work we can always stop it before the end of the TTRO”.

Cllr Andrew Saywell, andrew.saywell@devon.gov.uk

Rural Funding Digest – January 2021

Please see below a selection of current funding opportunities

→ Download a printable version of the Funding Digest here

National Lottery Heritage Fund

The National Lottery Heritage Fund has resumed accepting project funding and loan applications under a series of programmes including the following.

National Lottery Grants for Heritage (grants of £3,000 to £10,000 and £10,000 to £100,000): Resilience and inclusion project funding to support organisations working with heritage to adapt and respond to the changing environment they are now operating in. Open to projects that:

  • Support organisations working with heritage to adapt and recover in the continuing coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, or
  • Are focused on inclusion, led by and/or engaging diverse groups typically under-represented in heritage.

Heritage Recovery and Resilience Loans (loans of £50,000 to £250,000): Heritage Recovery and Resilience Loans are designed to help fund activities and costs that will develop and restart your organisation’s income generating potential. Loans offer fixed 0% interest rate, no fees for arrangement or early repayment, optional 12-month repayment holiday, repayment period is up to 5 years. The deadline for applications is 14 February 2021.

Culture Recovery Fund for heritage, second round (grants of £10,000 to £3 million): Supporting organisations struggling under the pressures of coronavirus (COVID-19) to make the transition towards full reopening. Funds are being distributed with Historic England on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). Open for applications from 7 – 26 January 2021.

Digital Skills for Heritage: Funding is available to innovative organisations that can help support digital development in the heritage sector. A total fund of £1.4m is open to applications until 15 January 2021.

Funding | The National Lottery Heritage Fund


Awards for All, Reaching Communities and Partnerships – The National Lottery Community Fund

The National Lottery Community Fund is open to all applications that meet their criteria, including support during COVID-19. With the COVID-19 pandemic still with us, they’ll continue to support people and communities most adversely impacted by COVID-19. They can support you to:

  • continue to deliver activity, whether you’re supporting your existing users, responding to the immediate crisis or undertaking recovery activity
  • change and adapt, becoming more resilient in order to respond to new and future challenges.

In order to support communities to thrive, they aim to:

  • build strong relationships in and across communities
  • improve the places and spaces that matter to communities
  • help more people to reach their potential, by supporting them at the earliest possible stage.

The Awards for All programme can provide between £300 and £10,000 for up to one year. The Reaching Communities programme offers larger amounts of funding (over £10,000) for up to 5 years. The Partnerships programme also offers a larger amount of funding (over £10,000) for organisations that work together with a shared set of goals to help their community thrive – whether that’s a community living in the same area, or people with similar interests or life experiences.

https://www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/funding/covid-19/learn-about-applying-for-emergency-funding-in-england


Local Connections Fund – The National Lottery Community Fund

The Local Connections Fund is a new £4 million fund to help charities and community groups in England that are working to reduce loneliness by helping them build connections across their communities.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and The National Lottery Community Fund are investing £2 million each. This will be used to fund hundreds of ‘microgrants’ between £300 and £2,500, so small, local organisations (with an annual income of £50,000 or less) can bring people and communities together.

The Local Connections Fund will be split into two equal rounds of funding. DCMS will provide the first £2 million round of funding – which will be distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund. This first round will be open for applications on 5 January 2021 and close on 26 January 2021. Successful applicants for this round of funding must have spent the money and finished their project by 31 March 2021.

The second round of funding will be provided by The National Lottery Community Fund and will launch in the summer of 2021.

Local Connections Fund | The National Lottery Community Fund (tnlcommunityfund.org.uk)


Community Business Renewal scheme – Power to Change

Power to Change has launched the Community Business Renewal Initiative, a package of support for community businesses, in response to the covid-19 crisis. The support package contains a number of elements including:

  • Community Business Renewal Fund. This £3 million fund provides unrestricted grants of between £10,000 and £20,000. Round two of this fund opens at 10am on Tuesday 12 January and closes at 4pm on Tuesday 19 January. Round three of the fund opens at 10am on Tuesday 2 March and closes at 4pm on Tuesday 9 March.
  • Powering Up. Powering Up is a tailored support package designed to increase community business leaders’ knowledge, to provide wellbeing support and to build peer relationships to boost recovery across the sector. Powering Up re-opens for applications on Monday 18 January to Monday 1 February.
  • Community Shares ReBoost Fund. This aims to support community businesses to raise community shares capital that can support their recovery, pivot or expand the business in response to Covid-19. The ReBoost fund provides grant funding (£3 – £5k) and matched equity investment (typically up to £25k).

You can find more details on all elements of the Community Business Renewal scheme on the Power to Change website.

Community Business Renewal Initiative – Power to Change


Carbon Emissions Reduction Fund – Energy Saving Trust

Ofgem Energy Industry Voluntary Redress Scheme launched its new Carbon Emissions Reduction Fund in December. The fund will support charity initiatives that reduce the climate change impact associated with energy use.

Managed and delivered by Energy Saving Trust, the Energy Redress Scheme collects voluntary payments from energy companies that may have breached rules to compensate the effects on energy consumers that may have been affected. In line with Ofgem’s strategic approach, this fund looks to meet the challenge of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The first round of the Carbon Emissions Reduction Fund contains £1 million and is open to charities in England, Scotland and Wales. The Carbon Emissions Reduction Fund aims to benefit all domestic energy consumers, not only those in vulnerable situations. The fund awards grants between £50,000 and £500,000 to projects that meet the following criteria:

  • demonstrate measurable and lasting reductions in the carbon intensity of energy end use and accelerate the transition to net zero carbon
  • show a realistic prospect of delivering broadly replicable benefits to existing and/or future energy consumers
  • proved to be efficiently managed throughout the project.

The closing date for applications is 11 February 2021. Charities that are registered with the Energy Redress Scheme and have passed the due diligence process are eligible for application.  Those interested in applying are encouraged to register by Thursday 14 January 2021.

New Carbon Emissions Reduction Fund Available | Energy Redress scheme


Changing Futures Programme – Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government

At the 2019 Spending Review, the government announced a new Shared Outcomes Fund to test innovative ways of bringing together the public sector to address cross-cutting issues and drive the modernisation of public services.

£46 million of this Fund has been committed for the Changing Futures Programme to improve the way that systems and services work to support individuals experiencing multiple disadvantage – including a combination of homelessness, substance misuse, poor mental health, domestic abuse, and contact with the criminal justice system.

A prospectus was published in December which invites expressions of interest from areas that would like to be involved. Areas selected from this process will then be invited to develop a more detailed delivery plan in partnership with the central programme team. Selected areas will be part of a national community, sharing emerging and positive practice.

The deadline for expressions of interest is 21 January 2021.

Changing Futures: changing systems to support adults experiencing multiple disadvantage – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


Resilience & Recovery Loan Fund – Social Investment Business

The Resilience & Recovery Loan Fund (RRLF) is a new fund for social enterprises and charities that are improving people’s lives across the UK who are experiencing disruption to their normal business model as a result of COVID-19. It has been established to make an existing government scheme (the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS – see below) more easily accessible to charities and social enterprises.

RRLF closes to new applications on 31 January 2021.  Applicants will be considered on a first come first served basis and the closing date of the fund is subject to constant review.

Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund (sibgroup.org.uk)


Coronavirus Zoo Animals Fund – Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

The deadline for applications to the UK Government’s £100 million Zoo Animals Fund has been extended until the 29th January 2021. The fund provides grants of up to £730,0000 to zoos and aquariums which need additional support in caring for their animals and essential maintenance following a drop in income caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Funding will also support rehoming costs in the event that zoos need to downsize or potentially close, and is open to those zoos which have already received support through the £14 million Zoo Support Fund. The scheme will run until the end of March 2021.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Apply for the Zoo Animals Fund – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


Green Homes Grant Scheme – Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

The Green Homes Grant Scheme has been extended and now runs to March 2022. The government will provide a voucher worth up to £5,000 or £10,000 to help cover the cost of making energy efficient improvements to your home. Improvements could include insulating your home to reduce your energy use or installing low-carbon heating to lower the amount of carbon dioxide your home produces.

The government will provide a voucher that covers two-thirds of the cost of qualifying energy efficiency or low carbon heating improvements to your home. The maximum value of the voucher is £5,000.

If you are on a low income and receive certain benefits, you can receive a voucher covering all of the cost of the improvements. The maximum value of the voucher is £10,000.

To apply for the voucher, you must either:

  • own your home (including park homeowners, long-leaseholders and shared ownership)
  • be a private or social landlord

https://greenhomesgrant.campaign.gov.uk/


Covid Winter Grant Scheme – Department for Work & Pensions

On Sunday 8 November 2020, the government announced a package of extra targeted financial support for those in need over the winter period. This includes the £170 million COVID Winter Grant Scheme, made available in early December 2020 and covers the period until the end of March 2021.

DWP will provide the grant scheme funding to county councils and unitary authorities who will administer the scheme and provide direct assistance to support families with children, other vulnerable households and individuals. The grant will be used to support those most in need across England with the cost of food, energy and water bills and other associated costs.

COVID Winter Grant Scheme – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


Return to Play Fund – Sport England

There are three parts to this new fund. Two have been adapted from pre-coronavirus funds, with one extended, and all three will now focus on supporting a safe return to play.

  • Return to Play: Small Grants – makes awards of between £300 and £10,000, from a total pot of £10m, to help sport and activity groups, clubs and organisations respond to the immediate challenges of returning to play in a coronavirus-safe way. Following national restrictions in November, it also offers up to £2,000 awards towards the running costs of organisations supporting the most deprived communities.
  • Return to Play: Community Asset Fund – makes awards of between £10,001 to £50,000, from a pot of £5m, to help local sports clubs and organisations adapt and open important places and spaces to help their local community return to play safely.
  • Return to Play: Active Together – is a crowdfunding initiative that can match fund, up to £10,000, successful Crowdfunder campaigns from a pot of £1.5m. The partnership with Crowdfunder also includes advice, guidance and training to help create a successful campaign.

https://www.sportengland.org/how-we-can-help/coronavirus/funding-innovation-and-flexibility


Surplus with Purpose Fund – FareShare

Businesses could be eligible for £50,000 funding to help them reduce their food waste.

The Surplus With Purpose fund is open to companies seeking to unlock new or hard to reach surplus (or ‘waste’) food, as well as those that haven’t previously worked with FareShare.

Businesses could be eligible for up to £50,000 worth of funding (greater sums can be negotiated where appropriate for high volumes of surplus food).

FareShare will safely divert edible surplus food via their UK-wide network of almost 11,000 frontline charities and community groups.

More information for businesses interested is available on the scheme’s website

https://fareshare.org.uk/giving-food/


Apprentice incentive payments – HM Government

When you hire new apprentices between 1 August 2020 and 31 March 2021, you can apply for extra funding to give your organisation a boost. If you take on new apprentices between 1 February 2021 and 31 March 2021, you can apply from 1 February 2021 to 30 April 2021

For apprentices aged:

  • 16 to 24, you’ll receive £2,000
  • 25 and over, you’ll receive £1,500

The payment is in addition to the existing £1,000 you’ll already get for taking on an apprentice who is:

  • aged 16 to 18 years old
  • under 25 and has an education, health and care plan or has been in the care of their local authority

An incentive payment for hiring a new apprentice is different to the apprenticeship levy, and you can spend it on anything to support your organisation’s costs. For example, you could spend it on facilities, uniforms, your apprentice’s travel or their salary. You will not need to pay it back.

https://engage.apprenticeships.gov.uk/incentives.html


National Lottery Project Grants – Arts Council England

The Arts Council has reopened this fund with a budget of £59.8 million available until April 2021. They have prioritised reopening this programme to help fund independent organisations, creative practitioners and freelancers as quickly as possible.

Grants of between £1000 and £100,000 are available.

https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/projectgrants


Transforming Places through Heritage Grants – Architectural Heritage Fund

This programme supports projects that will contribute to the transformation of high streets and town centres in England helping them become thriving places, strengthening local communities and encouraging local economies to prosper.  It is part of a wider initiative to revive heritage high streets in England, alongside Historic England’s High Street Heritage Action Zones.

This programme is for individual heritage buildings in, or transferring to, community ownership. They will support charities and social enterprises to develop projects with the potential to bring new life to high streets by creating alternative uses for redundant or underused historic buildings in town centres.

A range of grants are available:

  • Project Viability Grants: up to £15,000, for early viability and feasibility work, open now for applications.
  • Project Development Grants: up to £100,000, for capital project development costs, open now for applications.
  • Crowdfunding Challenge Grants: up to £25,000, to match fund crowdfunding campaigns, open now for applications.
  • Community Shares Booster Grants: supporting community share offers with development grants and matched investment.

http://ahfund.org.uk/england


Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme – Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport

Gigabit-capable broadband connections offer the fastest and most reliable speeds available, and the Government “is committed to a vision of a digitally connected Britain.”

Homes and businesses in rural areas of the UK may be eligible for funding towards the cost of installing gigabit-capable broadband when part of a group scheme.

Rural premises with broadband speeds of less than 100Mbps can use vouchers worth £1,500 per home and up to £3,500 for each small to medium-sized business (SME) to support the cost of installing new fast and reliable connections.

More information is available via the website.

https://gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk/


Grant schemes for electric vehicle charging infrastructure – Office for Low Emission Vehicles

The government offers grants to support the wider use of electric and hybrid vehicles via the Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV). This includes:

  • The Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) provides grant funding of up to 75% towards the cost of installing electric vehicle chargepoints at domestic properties across the UK.
  • The Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) is a voucher-based scheme that provides support towards the up-front costs of the purchase and installation of electric vehicle charge-points, for eligible businesses, charities and public sector organisations.
  • The On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme (ORCS) provides grant funding for local authorities towards the cost of installing on-street residential chargepoints for plug-in electric vehicles.

For more information visit the website below.

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/government-grants-for-low-emission-vehicles


Covid-19 Emergency Fund – Seafarers UK

Seafarers UK is a leading provider of grants to maritime charities and charitable maritime projects, working to help serving and ex-serving seafarers and their families who are experiencing hardship.

Under the Covid-19 Emergency Fund, applications are welcomed from organisations delivering services to seafarers and their families. The following list provides some of the reasons why you may want to make a grant application to the Emergency Fund:

  • Individual hardship
  • New service
  • Additional operating costs
  • Loss of organisational income
  • Liquidity or cash flow issues
  • Risk of organisational or service closure

https://www.seafarers.uk/helping-you/grant-funding/


Financial support for businesses during coronavirus – Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and Public Health England

You can find out more details about the government’s support for businesses through this website:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/financial-support-for-businesses-during-coronavirus-covid-19


Neighbourhood Planning Grant Funding – Locality

You can apply for three types of grant funding if you are preparing a Neighbourhood Plan:

  • Basic Grant Funding: All groups undertaking a neighbourhood plan are eligible to apply for up to £10,000 in basic grant. As well as applying for a basic grant, you can also apply for technical support (provided you meet the eligibility criteria) to help you with your neighbourhood plan.
  • Additional Grant Funding: Groups meeting the eligibility criteria are able to apply for additional grant of up to £8,000 (in addition to the basic grant). This will take the total amount of grant available to you to £18,000.
  • Affordable Housing for Sale Grant Funding: This is a new element to the programme, and it is running as a pilot scheme. The pilot began in 2019-20 and will continue in 2020-21. If you are wishing to bring forward affordable housing for sale you may be eligible for further grant funding of up to £10,000 to help develop these ideas.

All grants are now open.

https://neighbourhoodplanning.org/about/grant-funding/#affordablehousing


Rural Community Energy Fund – Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

The Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF) is a £10 million programme which supports rural communities in England to develop renewable energy projects, which provide economic and social benefits to the community.

RCEF provides support to rural communities in 2 stages:

  • stage 1: grants of up to £40,000 for a feasibility study for a renewable energy project
  • stage 2: grants of up to £100,000 for business development and planning of feasible schemes

RCEF is being run by 5 regional Local Energy Hubs. If you would like to register your interest for the scheme, or would like further information, please contact the relevant hub for your area.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/rural-community-energy-fund


Cornerstone, Gateway & Foundation Grants – National Churches Trust

The National Churches Trust has three grant programmes currently open:

  • Cornerstone grants. The Cornerstone Grant Programme offers grants of between £10,000 and £50,000 towards the cost of urgent structural repair projects costed at more than £100,000 including VAT. The Trust will also consider projects that introduce kitchens and accessible toilets to enable increased community use, costed at more than £30,000 including VAT. Grants will never exceed 50% of the project cost. The next deadline for applications is 1 March 2021.
  • Gateway grants. The Gateway Grant Programme offers grants of between £3,000 and £10,000 towards project development and investigative work up to RIBA planning stage 1, to support churches preparing for a major project, and in developing their project to the point at which they can approach a major grant funder. Grants will never exceed 50% of the project costs for this phase. The next deadline for applications is 21 January 2021.
  • Foundation grants. The Foundation Grant Programme will offer grants of between £500 and £5,000 towards urgent maintenance works and small repairs identified as high priority within a recent Quinquennial Inspection or Survey Report. Also, small investigative works and surveys. Project costs should not exceed £10,000. Applications can be submitted and decisions will take place on a rolling basis from January 2021.
  • Preventative maintenance micro grants. If the cost of booking maintenance services is a problem, the National Churches Trust, with its partner the Pilgrim Trust, can offer grants towards the cost of a building’s maintenance services. You could receive up to 50% of the cost of works (excl. VAT) up to a maximum grant of £500. The cost of your service must not exceed £1,000 (excl VAT).

http://www.nationalchurchestrust.org/our-grants


Energy Redress Scheme – Energy Saving Trust

Energy Saving Trust has been appointed by Ofgem to distribute payments from energy companies who may have breached rules. The funds can pay for anything from making a home more energy efficient, to providing advice that helps consumers keep on top of their bills.

Energy Saving Trust has developed an open application process for charities seeking funding from the Energy Redress Scheme. Successful projects will be selected with input from an independent panel of experts and could cover a range of locations across England, Scotland and Wales.

The amount of funding available through the scheme varies throughout the year and will be reviewed on a quarterly basis in October, January, April and July. Eligible charities that have registered interest in the scheme will be notified when funds become available.

The minimum grant that can be requested is £20,000 and the maximum amount is the lesser of £2 million or the total value of the current fund.

The scheme can fund projects lasting up to two years, can fund 100 per cent of the project cost and can cover revenue and capital measures.

https://energyredress.org.uk/apply-funding


Comic Relief Community Fund (England) – Groundwork UK

The Comic Relief Community Fund (England) is offering grants to grassroots community organisations with an income of less than £250,000.

There are two types of grants available to organisations whose work delivers on one of Comic Relief’s four strategic themes:

  • Children Survive & Thrive: projects that support children under the age of 11 to reach their potential and have the best start in life.
  • Fighting for Gender Justice: projects that improve equality for women, girls and the LBTQI+ community and initiatives that help people affected by domestic violence, abuse or exploitation due to their gender.
  • A Safe Place to Be: projects that support people who are rebuilding their lives because of homelessness or forced migration.
  • Mental Health Matters: projects that support good mental health in communities, improve access to support and tackle stigma and discrimination.

Funding is available to help you develop your organisation through a Capacity Building Grant (up to £1000).

Administration of the local funding is being managed by community charity, Groundwork, which specialises in transforming communities and the local environment for the better.

https://www.groundwork.org.uk/national-grants/comic-relief-community-grants/


Veterans’ Foundation grants

Many armed forces charities struggle to raise sufficient funding to support serving and former members of the British Armed Forces’ and sometimes their dependants who are in need. The Veterans’ Foundation has been created to establish a new and nationwide source of funding to help these charities.  It acquires its funds through the Veterans’ Lottery and donations.

The trustees of the Veterans’ Foundation will disburse funds to Armed Forces charities and charitable activities.

They will support projects that:

  • Reduce homelessness
  • Increase employment
  • Provide welfare and medical support
  • Increase confidence and social integration
  • Reduce dependence on drugs and alcohol
  • Support other charitable activities that may be needed

You can apply for grants of any sum up to a maximum of £30K. Trustees will also consider a bid for a spread grant, i.e. £30K as £10K for each of the next three years. Please note that the trustees are likely to award more small grants than large grants. They will consider a range of factors including the service or item being applied for, the number of beneficiaries, the importance of the grant to the applicant charity and the needs of the beneficiaries.

https://www.veteransfoundation.org.uk/


Church Conservation Grants – Morris Fund

Grants between £500 and £5000 are awarded to churches, chapels and other places of worship in the United Kingdom for the conservation of decorative features and monuments, but not for structural repairs.

Grants will be awarded to support smaller programmes of work concerned with the conservation of decorative or non-structural features such as:

  • stained glass windows
  • sculpture
  • furniture
  • internal monuments and tombs
  • wall paintings

The decorative feature, monument, etc must date from no later than 1896 (the year of William Morris’s death). The next deadline for applications is 31 March 2021.

https://www.sal.org.uk/grants/morris-fund-conservation-grants/


Heritage Impact Fund – Architectural Heritage Fund

The HIF offers tailored finance for charities, social enterprises and community businesses across the UK to develop sustainable heritage at the very heart of vibrant local economies.

Loans from £25,000 to £500,000 are available for up to three years with tailored terms and both flexible and incentivised interest rates for impactful projects. These could include both capital and interest repayment holidays.

HIF supports applicants across the UK who are undertaking a capital project or are looking to build upon or scale-up an existing enterprise.

The HIF is a joint initiative with contributions from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Historic England, Historic Environment Scotland, Cadw and the Architectural Heritage Fund.

http://ahfund.org.uk/hif


First Steps Enterprise Fund – Asda Foundation

First Steps Enterprise Fund (FSEF) is a £300,000 pilot fund to support community organisations. The Social Investment Business manage this fund on behalf of the Asda Foundation.

Funding is available for community organisations (charities and social enterprises) based in England that are looking to take on their first loan to help them grow and become more sustainable. Particular preference is given to organisations that work in the following areas:

  • Older people
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Employment for young people

Funding packages of up to £30,000 are available (90% loan and 10% grant). The loan element is charged at 5% (fixed) to be repaid over a period of 4 years with an optional capital holiday for the first year. Up to £50,000 is available for exceptional cases.

https://www.sibgroup.org.uk/firststeps


Emergency Essentials Programme – BBC Children in Need

Family Fund Business Services are working in collaboration with BBC Children in Need to deliver the Emergency Essentials programme supporting children and young people living with severe poverty as well as additional pressures such as domestic violence, disability or poor health in the family.

The programme can deliver or fund critical items such as:

  • Gas or electric cookers
  • Essential household items
  • Furniture and kitchen equipment
  • Children’s beds and bedding
  • Washing machines
  • Fridges and freezers
  • Baby equipment
  • Clothing in exceptional or emergency situations.

Applications must be completed by a registered referrer who is part of an organisation that is supporting the family or young person and capable of assessing their needs.

https://www.familyfundservices.co.uk/emergency-essentials/


HS2 Community and Business Funds – Groundwork UK

Two funds are available to local communities to help with the disruption that will be caused by the construction of Phase one of HS2 between London and the West Midlands; the Community and Environment Fund and the Business and Local Economy Fund. The objective of these funds is to add benefit, over and above committed mitigation and statutory compensation, to communities and local economies along the route.

The administration of these funds is managed on behalf of HS2 Ltd by the charity Groundwork who will ensure both funds remain available for applications throughout the construction of Phase One.

https://www.groundwork.org.uk/Sites/hs2funds


BlueSpark Foundation grants

Schools, colleges and community groups in England can apply for grants to Blue Spark Foundation for a wide range of projects. The Foundation value academic, vocational, artistic and sporting endeavour in equal measure but are particularly keen to support projects which will help enhance the self-confidence, team working skills and future employability of children and young people.

Many grants will be under £2,000 and none are more than £5,000.

Projects which could be supported include drama, music, sport, art and design, debating, public speaking, academic education, vocational training, community projects, enterprise projects and educational excursions. This list is illustrative and not exclusive as to the types of project that the Foundation support.

http://bluesparkfoundation.org.uk/


Family Fund – The Family Fund Trust for families with severely disabled children

The Family Fund helps families across the UK who are raising a disabled or seriously ill child or young person aged 17 or under. You can apply to Family Fund subject to a number of criteria which include that you are the parent or carer of a disabled or seriously ill child or young person aged 17 or under and that you have evidence of entitlement to one of the following: Universal Credit, Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Incapacity Benefit, Employment Support Allowance, Housing Benefit and Pension Credit.

See the website for more details.

https://www.familyfund.org.uk/


Landfill Communities Fund – SUEZ Communities Trust

SUEZ Communities Trust (formerly SITA) provides funding awards of up to £50,000 to not-for-profit organisations to undertake work that is eligible under the Landfill Communities Fund (LCF). Applications are considered for three areas of work which qualify for funding through the LCF. These include:

  • Public Amenities
  • Historic Buildings, Structures or Sites
  • Biodiversity

Projects can be supported that make physical improvements at sites located in any of 100 funding zones around qualifying sites owned by SUEZ Recycling and Recovery UK.

http://www.suezcommunitiestrust.org.uk/


Help the Homeless grants

Help the Homeless makes grants to charitable organisations with the aim of helping homeless people return to the community and enabling them to resume a normal life. Grants are available to small and medium-sized charitable organisations to fund the capital costs of projects with grants of up to £5,000. The quarterly deadlines for grant applications each year are: 15 March, 15 June, 15 September and 15 December.

http://www.help-the-homeless.org.uk/


Grants to support repair and conservation of war memorials – War Memorials Trust

War Memorials Trust grants support repair and conservation works undertaken following best conservation practice. Almost all war memorials are eligible for support and custodians/owners can find information about eligibility and processes on the website.

Grants are available between 25% and 75% of eligible costs and are likely to be considered up to a maximum grant of £5,000 for non-freestanding war memorials while freestanding, non-beneficiary war memorials may be considered up to a maximum grant of £30,000. There is no minimum award. 

War Memorials Trust seeks to help all war memorial custodians, whatever the nature and size of their war memorial by facilitating repair and conservation projects. Details on current eligibility and deadline dates as well as how to apply can be found at the web address below.

http://www.warmemorials.org/grants/


Football Foundation grants

The Football Foundation provides grants for building or refurbishing grassroots facilities, such as changing rooms, 3G pitches, fencing, portable floodlights, pitch improvements and clubhouse refurbishment. The Fund is available to football clubs, schools, councils and local sports associations and gives grants for projects that:

  • Improve facilities for football and other sport in local communities.
  • Sustain or increase participation amongst children and adults, regardless of background age, or ability.
  • Help children and adults to develop their physical, mental, social and moral capacities through regular participation in sport.

Grants are available for between £10,000 and £500,000.

http://www.footballfoundation.org.uk/funding-schemes/premier-league-the-fa-facilities-fund/


Temporary Prohibition of Parking, Waiting, Loading & Unloading – New Road/part Calf Street

Please click link below for more information regarding the planned prohibition of parking, waiting, loading and unloading on New Road & part of Calf Street between Monday 18th January 2021 and Friday 22nd January 2021 to enable cleaning, jetting and surveying of the highway drainage system:-

Devon’s case numbers rise again, tightening of Christmas restrictions and a New Year message of hope

In this update:

  • Coronavirus case numbers in Devon rise again
  • A thank you to the people of Devon
  • New Year message of hope
  • Changes to Christmas restrictions
  • Secondary schools and colleges to receive rapid tests
  • New mental wellbeing services for Devon businesses
The picture in Devon this week 1026 confirmed cases

Rising case numbers likely to continue unless further restrictions are put in place

Devon has seen a 55 per cent increase in the number of cases of coronavirus over the last week. The highest case rate since the county’s previous peak mid-November.

And Steve Brown, Director of Public Health Devon (Designate), warns that the rise is likely to continue unless further restrictions are put in place.

He describes the new variant of the virus as a cause for concern because it is easily transmitted.  While there are some cases of the new strain in the South West, it is not the dominant strain in Devon at present.

Mr Brown said:

“We are keeping this closely monitored. 

“It is vital that whatever you are doing over the Christmas period, that you follow the government guidance.

“Obviously on Christmas day you’re able to form a Christmas bubble, which is bringing together a maximum of three households. But this relaxation in the restrictions is only for Christmas Day and it ends at midnight on the Friday 25 December.

“None of us can afford to lower our guard at all, so please act as though you may well have the virus.

“Remember to social distance, wash your hands regularly and wear face coverings when you are indoors in public spaces.”

Listen to Steve Brown’s update on coronavirus in Devon this week.

teacher stood by whiteboard

Devon’s Leader pays tribute to the thousands of workers on the front line

The Leader of Devon County Council and Chairman of the county’s Local Outbreak Engagement Board, Cllr John Hart says a huge thank you to the people of Devon and pledges to do everything he can to support Devon’s local businesses, especially those in the tourism and hospitality industries.

He said:

“I would like to thank all Devon residents, and particularly pay tribute to the thousands of keyworkers on the frontline – our wonderful NHS staff, care workers and our teachers –  for their incredible resilience this year, and their commitment to each other to get through this pandemic.

“I know from talking to local people just how difficult this year has been for so many individuals and families, struggling to keep themselves safe while overcoming financial and psychological challenges.

“People are already doing so much, and it is asking a lot when things look so bleak, but I urge everyone to keep up that resolve and determination over the Christmas period and into the New Year.

“The roll-out of vaccines should provide us all with hope but realistically it won’t be until the spring that this begins to have a significant impact.

“I also pay tribute to our local businesses for their remarkable efforts to adapt, keep their customers safe and stay afloat.

“I remain deeply concerned about the toll that all this is taking on many businesses and the impact that continued restrictions are having on our Devon economy, especially for those in the tourism and hospitality sectors.

“I am very aware how difficult a year it has been for them, and sadly this now looks set to continue for some time. Many of our local hospitality businesses are really struggling, and unless there is more help from the government, many of these businesses may simply not survive. 

“We will continue to work together as ‘Team Devon’ with District Councils, business leaders and our MPs to find ways to ensure that there is as much help and support as possible for those worst affected as we move into 2021.”

rainbow over rough seas

A New Year message of hope from Public Health Devon and NHS Devon

Steve Brown, Director of Public Health Devon (Designate) and Dr Rob Dyer, Medical Director of NHS Devon, give a New Year message of hope for the future.

In a joint address, the two look back at the year from early images of coronavirus in Wuhan, and its march across Europe, through to it becoming part of all of our daily lives in Devon.

They talk about the winter pressures on the NHS, and the impact that coronavirus is having on current services. They also talk about the vaccine and hopes for the future.

They remind us to ‘take care, and think of others’ this Christmas. 

“We have come so far. Let’s now prepare for the coming few months, so we can get through them together and look ahead to a happier, healthier year ahead.”

Read their New Year message in full on our News Centre

Enjoy Christmas at home

Tightening of restrictions and Christmas bubbles

At the weekend the Prime Minister gave a statement on a new, more easily transmissible variant of coronavirus, tougher restrictions for parts of England with a new ‘Tier 4: Stay at Home Alert Level’ and changes to guidance for everyone for the Christmas period.

If you missed it, you can catch up with the full announcement on the government’s website. 

Those in Tier 4 areas in England cannot meet other people indoors unless they live with them or they are part of their support bubble and they cannot form a Christmas bubble.

You can make a Christmas bubble with two other households if you live in Tier 1, 2 or 3 for one day only on Christmas Day (Friday 25 December), but it should not include anyone who lives in Tier 4.

The government has said you should consider carefully the risks of travelling at all and if you live in an area with a high prevalence of the virus you should avoid travelling to lower prevalence areas where possible.

It is vital that we each take personal responsibility this Christmas to limit the spread of the virus and protect our loved ones, particularly if they are vulnerable

The safest way to celebrate Christmas this year is with your household or existing support bubble in your home. If you do form a Christmas bubble with people you don’t normally live with, try to keep it as small as possible because the more people you see, the more likely it is that you will catch or spread coronavirus. 

One in three people who have coronavirus have no symptoms and will be spreading it without realising it, so you should think very carefully about the risks and only form a Christmas bubble if you feel you absolutely need to.

Wherever possible, discuss alternatives to meeting up in person, and if you do meet people you do not live with, it is important to do so outdoors where possible, or to make sure that any indoor venue has good ventilation (for example by opening windows so that fresh air can enter).

There are different rules on making a Christmas bubble if you live in ScotlandWales and Northern Ireland.

There’s full updated guidance about Christmas bubbles on the government website.

You can also find out more about what you can and can’t do in each local restriction tier on the government’s website.

hands on a ruler

Secondary schools and colleges to receive rapid tests

From January, the government is making rapid coronavirus testing kits available to secondary schools and colleges in England, as well as special schools and alternative provision. 

These are the tests that provide results in about 30 minutes. 

It’s optional for schools, so some may decide not to do it, but some schools will choose to have the tests. 

Their purpose is to quickly identify whether a pupil or staff member has coronavirus, and therefore avoid unnecessary periods of self-isolation and absence from school. 

For example, where pupils are currently asked to self-isolate because they’ve been in close contact with a positive case, these tests would confirm whether those contacts have caught the virus. If they were negative, they would not need to self-isolate and would be able to still attend school. 

The testing is optional – it would require parents’ or carers’ consent before a child receives the test. 

Devon’s Head of Education and Learning, Dawn Stabb, has written an open letter to parents and carers explaining what we know so far about the government’s roll out of the tests to schools and colleges, and what it might mean to families with pupils returning in the New Year.

Schools that decide to have the test kits have a lot of work to do to prepare over Christmas to be ready for January. The government has said that secondary schools can put in place an additional non-pupil day, and most schools will do this on Monday 4 January. We support this decision as testing offers the opportunity for fewer students having to self-isolate. 

We understand that the government’s plan is to roll out rapid testing to primary schools in the spring. 

Devon Communities Together Listening Ear

New mental wellbeing services for Devon businesses

A Devon charity is launching a pilot ‘Listening Ear’ service to provide a safe space for local business owners to chat about the challenges of running a business during a pandemic.

We’ve worked with Devon Communities Together to develop the service for business owners to have somebody to talk to about their general stresses and concerns, especially if they would rather not talk to their family and friends about these issues.

From the New Year, business owners who feel they would benefit from having someone to talk to will be able to register with Listening Ear and access the benefits of a conversation with a friendly, experienced volunteer, who will also be able to signpost to other services if needed.

It’s not business advice, it’s about having someone friendly, impartial and supportive to talk to about whatever you feel you need, and to be signposted to other services if you need them.

Several volunteers have been recruited already, but a high demand for the service is anticipated, so if you have experience in running a business, providing professional services for businesses, or are an experienced coach, mentor or counsellor, Devon Communities Together would love to hear from you.

Please email info@devoncommunities.org.uk or call 01392 248919 if you would like to find out more about becoming a Listening Ear volunteer or feel you could benefit from talking to one of their volunteers. The office will be closed from Thursday 24 December until Monday 4 January but messages will be responded to as soon as possible in the New Year.

social media

Help share translated advice to non-English speakers

Community influencers and leaders who speak languages other than English are being encouraged to use social media to share the latest coronavirus advice within their communities.

We have produced information about how to stop the spread of coronavirus in a range of community languages aimed at residents who may not speak English fluently and struggle to access the latest guidance.

The languages available include Arabic, Bengali, Bulgarian, Chinese (simplified), Farsi (Persian), Hungarian, Kurdish (Sorani), Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Tamil, Thai, Turkish, Urdu, Vietnamese and Tagalog.

The guidance includes social distancing, hygiene, face coverings, what to do if you have COVID-19, how to book a test and support for self-isolating.

You can find the translated resources on our website.


Got symptoms then book a test and self isolate

Self-isolating and testing for coronavirus

Coronavirus won’t stop just because it’s Christmas, so the rules around self-isolating and testing won’t stop either. 

If you develop any of the symptoms of coronavirus (high temperature, new continuous cough, loss or change in sense of smell or taste), you must follow the government guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection.

This includes booking a free NHS swab test immediately to check if you have it, and self-isolating until you get the results.

You should also make sure you are familiar with how the NHS Test and Trace service works if you test positive for coronavirus or have had close contact with someone who has tested positive.

The NHS Test and Trace service will be open every day over Christmas and the New Year, providing and processing tests for those who need them and tracing contacts of positive cases.

open sign

Christmas opening times

Lots of public services remain open over the festive period, although operating times may be reduced.

You can find our Customer Service Centre’s Christmas opening hours on our website.

There’s also information about our social care services over Christmas.

If you need to contact your GP practice please check their online services. You can book appointments, request sick notes and order repeat prescriptions and download the NHS App. You can also save time and consult with your GP practice online via their website. Alternatively, you can phone them.

If you need think you need to go to A&E, call 111 first or click www.111.nhs.uk. Clinicians will advise you on where to go, or what to do next, and can book a time to attend a service – such as a hospital, pharmacy or GP practice – where appropriate.

Many minor illnesses and injuries like coughs, colds, grazes, small cuts or a sore throat can be treated at home or in holiday accommodation. Be prepared for common health problems by keeping a well-stocked medicine cabinet.

Pharmacists advise and treat illnesses like hay fever, diarrhoea, earache, painful cough, sticky eye, teething and rashes. By visiting your pharmacy, you can avoid an unnecessary trip to your GP or A&E and save time. Find your nearest pharmacy online and check their opening arrangements over Christmas and New Year.

Government banner wash hands, cover face, make space

The latest national advice on coronavirus (COVID-19) is available on the
Government website and NHS website.

You can find local guidance and information about the impacts on our services on the Devon County Council website.

Please forward this email to anyone you think would find it useful and encourage them to sign up.