The Parish of Stokenham, bounded by the black line on the map, covers the whole of the southern half of Start Bay, from Slapton Sands to Start Point and on to Lannacombe Beach. It encompasses the villages of Torcross, Beesands, Hallsands, Kellaton, Kernborough, Dunstone, Beeson and Chillington, as well as Stokenham itself, covers an area of some 20.6 square kilometres, and has a population of approximately 2,000.
The seven larger settlements and many smaller hamlets and farms are connected by miles of narrow country lanes, byways, bridleways and footpaths. The main arterial route in and out of the parish is the A379, which runs north to Dartmouth and west to Kingsbridge. This route is serviced by the First Western National Bus Company, with connections available to Plymouth (change for Derriford Hospital), Salcombe, Dartmouth, Totnes (our nearest main line railway station) and Exeter. The parish also enjoys the service of The Coleridge Bus, a community bus providing weekly runs from outlying areas to Kingsbridge. There are airports at Plymouth and Exeter.
After something of a lull during the summer months, we find ourselves in Tier 2, "High Alert". Even here in the South Hams, with some of the lowest rates of infection in the country, the virus has been spreading. The science tells us that in order to bring the numbers down we need to severely limit our contact with persons outside our immediate household. This is particularly important in a parish like ours, where a significant number of residents fall into the “vulnerable” category.
Your Parish Council is continually on the lookout for ways to support those in our community who need extra help. We have been heartened by the way the community has pulled together through the crisis up to now. And with encouraging news of a vaccine on the horizon, it is all the more important that we maintain our vigilance through the upcoming winter months, and that we all keep an eye out for neighbours and others who may need our assistance. A visit or even a phone-call can be a lifesaver for someone who is isolating and perhaps struggling to cope. Local shops and supermarket delivery services are doing a great job at keeping the community supplied, but if you know of anyone who is elderly or vulnerable and having to self-isolate, and who consequently needs assistance with shopping or other deliveries, let us know and we will try to find volunteers who can help.
Various sources of help and advice are available to those who need it, and we have listed some of these below. Where possible we have included phone numbers as well as website addresses. If the details provided do not help then please phone the parish council number – 01548 581185 – and we will try to assist. The Parish Council website at www.stokenham-pc.gov.uk is a useful resource: it contains the names and contacts of parish councillors, any of whom can be contacted by phone or email, along with news and information updates from local government and the voluntary sector.
Best wishes to all for now through to the New Year!
Stay alert, keep well, and where possible Wash Your Hands, Cover your Face and Make Space.
Stokenham Parish Council
A definitive set of maps showing the names and locations of all houses and roads within the parish has been produced by a kindly band of volunteers. These are available in downloadable form on the Parish Council website and can be used by carers, emergency services and delivery drivers to locate properties more easily. They can be viewed and printed out at www.stokenham-pc.gov.uk. Click on the Community tab along the top and then go down to "Maps."
Kingsbridge Foodbank provides emergency food relief for individuals and families in crisis and experiencing financial hardship, email@example.com Tel: 07593 881633
Devon Coronavirus Emergency Helpline Call 0345 155 1011 if you have received an NHS extremely vulnerable letter, registered for support on the government website but have not received a food delivery, or you need other help because you are isolated. Open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.
Devon in Sight provides practical help, advice and support services for people who are Blind or Partially Sighted, their family, carers, friends, or anybody who is affected by sight loss. Call 01392 876666, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Thursday.
South Hams District Council has a COVID-19 Welfare Support Fund. This can provide small emergency payments to help those in financial difficulties as a result of the pandemic with basic essentials, including items such as sanitary products or nappies, or electricity key and gas card top-ups. Use on the application form online or call 01803 861407.
If you are on a low income and are required by law to self-isolate because you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 you may be eligible for a support payment of £500, administered by South Hams District Council. Call 01803 861407, apply online at southhams.gov.uk, or contact your local District Councillor Julian Brazil on 07970 971140.
Citizens Advice is a first port of call for those with money worries. If you are struggling with rent, mortgage or other bills because of coronavirus, Citizens Advice can usually help. They will put you in touch with your creditors and help arrange repayments by installment, payment plans, or even a payment holiday. Call 0800 144 8848, or WhatsApp 07497 758779, or visit southhamscab.org.uk
Samaritans will lend an ear to any concerns. Call them on 116 123 (free of charge)
SHOUT offers a 24/7 text service on 85258 for mental wellbeing issues (free of charge)
Devon Carers have produced a recognised alert card so that contact can be made with their 24-hour helpline to advise of a vulnerable person who might need help. If you are incapacitated, the emergency services, or any other person with you, can phone the number on the front of the Alert Card and activate the service. To apply for this card, go to www.devoncarers.org.uk/how-do-I-apply
Kingsbridge and Saltstone Caring offers a free befriending service to the lonely and isolated of all ages, providing companionship and support to those who need it. Referrals can be made by statutory authorities, but frequently come from a concerned neighbour, friend, or relative. Sometimes a person refers themselves. All a referrer needs to do is complete a referral form. When KASC receive this, they normally contact the potential client and arrange to visit, to assess the client’s needs in more detail. They do not make a formal charge for their service, but instead ask for a donation to help with costs. This could be a contribution towards volunteers’ travelling expenses, although of course they accept donations of all sizes. Call 01548 854588 for more information.
Would you like to volunteer?
Kingsbridge and Saltstone Caring is busier than ever – phoning clients for a friendly chat, delivering weekly lunches with Kingsbridge Rugby Club, and shopping for those unable to get out. Whether you would like to help on an occasional basis or have time for a more regular commitment, we would love to hear from you. For an informal chat give us a ring on 01548 854588.
AN UPDATE FROM CHILLINGTON HEALTH CENTRE
Residents should be reassured that that we are very much still open, and have been throughout the pandemic. We have had to adapt to a new way of working and indeed living in order to keep our community safe and healthy.We are getting a high number of calls, requests and queries, and so we may take longer than usual to respond, and there may be longer waits to book appointments. Please visit our website for self-care information and advice:https://www.chillingtonsurgery.co.uk/
One of the major changes for all of us has been the national roll-out of‘triage first’ contact with GP practices. This means that we need to gather certain information before giving an appointment with a member of the practice – very different from how we used to work!
There are two ways that we do this. First, by using an online consultation method – practices in Devon have been asked to use eConsult, which you can access and get information about on the front page of our website. Although the eConsult model has its limitations, it is a national program that is constantly being evaluated and tweaked, and so will continually adapt and improve. The pandemic may have massively fast-forwarded its implementation nationally but we understand that as a way of interacting with general practice it is here to stay! Many patients have told us it is more convenient as it gives them the flexibility to decide when to complete an eConsult and they have the opportunity to think about what they need from us in advance. We have found it very useful in the Practice, particularly in terms of gathering information in advance of a discussion, making far better use of any subsequent appointment time. From the information given, we are often able to signpost to other sources of help and support, and use other members of the practice team where a GP or nurse appointment is not needed.
The second triage option is to talk to a trained receptionist. The receptionist will need to gather information in the same way, either by asking you targeted questions or by asking you (or helping you) to complete an eConsult.
During lockdown we have had to make significant changes to the way the Dispensary works, and we continue to react and adapt to national and local needs. We are doing the best we can, and thank everyone for their continuing forbearance.
Our next major challenge will be the Covid-19 mass vaccination programme. The exact delivery methodology is still evolving but from what we know so far, the nature of the vaccine and the large numbers that need to be vaccinated mean that we are unlikely to be able to use the flu clinic-type model. When the time comes for patients to be vaccinated, they will be contacted, possibly by a national programme. Please keep an eye on the practice website for any updates on this, and keep us updated with any changes in your contact details, mobile number, or email address.
A number of support services are available from NHS Volunteer Responders.
You are eligible for support if:
You have ever been advised to shield by a health professional.
You are vulnerable for another reason (for instance, due to disability or pregnancy), or are aged over 70, or you have a long-term condition such as Parkinson's or epilepsy, or are vulnerable due to a mental health condition.
You have caring responsibilities.
You are self-isolating because you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or have symptoms, or you’ve been in contact with someone who has.
You have been instructed to self-isolate by the Test and Trace service, because you’ve been near someone infected.
You are self-isolating ahead of planned hospital care.
You have been instructed to self-isolate following entry into the country.
What kind of help is available?
NHS Volunteers can help with various day-to-day tasks that might have become more difficult during the pandemic. Services include:
Community Response Volunteers on hand to help with shopping for food and essential items, and to collect and deliver prescriptions from the pharmacy.
Check-in and Chat provides a friendly chat for those coping with isolation and other mental issues.
Check-in and Chat Plus is a phone service provided by volunteers who are shielding, offering a friendly voice to those who are also shielding.
If you, or someone you know, would like to register for support from any of these groups please call 0808 196 3646 (8 a.m. to 8 p.m., 7 days a week). https://nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk/services
A big thank you to all our volunteers, and also to everyone else helping out within our community.
WARNING AGAINST FRAUDSTERS
Everyone needs to stay alert to fraudulent operators who play on people’s vulnerability or loneliness during these times. Scams currently doing the rounds include bogus tree surgeons cold-calling to advise homeowners and landowners that works are needed on trees on their property, sometimes mentioning Ash dieback as the cause; and bogus ‘green waste’ collectors offering to take your garden waste away for a fee, and then fly-tipping it or burning it in fields. The simplest way to avoid being caught out by one of these scams is to refuse any offers of work made by cold-callers. Always ask for official identification, and take the registration number of any vehicles at the scene.
Telephone and email fraud is also on the rise, as unscrupulous individuals take advantage of the situation to try to part people from their money and possessions. Beware of any unusual phone calls or emails purporting to be from the NHS or other public bodies, especially any that request personal information. Ignore any request for information that sounds intrusive, suspicious, or just plain wrong. Simply put the phone down, or delete the email. Report any unlawful activity confidentially to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
USEFUL EVERY DAY – COUNCIL “REPORT IT” PAGES
Devon County Council website www.devon.gov.uk has a "Report a Problem" page. The various things that can be reported include potholes, flooding and drains, faulty streetlights, overgrown vegetation, parking issues, manholes, trip hazards, fallen trees, right of way obstructions and debris, ice, signs, bridges/walls, traffic lights, grit bins. If you make a report through this site it is logged and you receive a report reference. Also you will get feedback and can send photographs and you can describe where the issue is exactly and can provide better details. If you do not have a photograph you can just "Continue" and do not have to have one.
South Hams District Council website www.southhams.gov.uk also has a Report It page so you can advise of missed bin collections, dog fouling issues, noise, planning breaches, and abandoned vehicles and fly tipping.
If you are in receipt of any benefits you can also get assistance on the District Council website with pest problems such as rats, wasps, etc.
LOCAL GROCERY SHOPPING, HOME DELIVERY
Stokeley Farm Shop continues to deliver groceries to local residents and is now doing Sunday dinner takeaway. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Lauren on 01548 581605 if you would like them to get the roast ready for you.
Chillington Post Office and Stores continue to deliver groceries locally. Call 01548 580371 to place your order (Monday to Friday) and they will ring back with payment details. You can also order and collect, ring the doorbell at the far right outside of the shop when you arrive and they will bring it out to you. Normal opening hours.
The Bear and Blacksmith continues to provide meals to take away, including Sunday lunch, and will deliver to your door. They also have a new butchery and can supply meat and veg boxes from email@example.com. See their menu online at www.thebearandblacksmith.com or ring 01548 581171 or 07483 929532 for more details.
Sticky Fingers bake pasties, pies and cakes daily, shop in Fairfield Meadow (beside the surgery) is open Mon to Sat, or ring 07966 761117 to order and avoid disappointment.
RELIGIOUS WORSHIP STOKENHAM AND BEESANDS
Public Worship in church has regrettably had to cease until 2 December 2020. In the interim you are invited to join Fr Michael via Zoom on Wednesdays at 10.00 a.m. for Morning Prayer and Bible Study; and at 8.00 p.m. for Night Prayer (Compline). To participate you will need to have installed the Zoom app on your device and to have registered with Zoom (https://zoom.us/) prior to the service. No service booklet is required as it will be shared with you online. The service consists of psalms, readings and prayers, and lasts about 15 minutes, followed by a short Bible Study and chat, finishing in no more than 40 minutes. The meeting ID is 560-019-2609 and the password is 1HBHiQ.
UPDATED 28 May 2020
Your Parish Council is aware that the current situation is causing great difficulties for many in our community. We will be using this website to publicize community initiatives aimed at helping those for whom the crisis might present particular challenges. If you know of anyone who is having to self-isolate and as a result needs assistance with shopping we can put them in touch with volunteers who can help. See "Your Parish Council" for Councillors' names and contact details. The list below will be updated regularly and added to as required: please send edits or additions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
FOOD SHOPPING, HOME DELIVERY
Stokeley Farm Shop is offering a grocery delivery service to local residents, and reminds customers that they can add beer from The Taphouse to their orders. Call 01548 581605 or email email@example.com
Chillington Post Office and Store is offering a free local grocery delivery service to those in need. Call 01548 580371 for more details.
Britannia Shellfish Ltd is supplying the following local retail outlets with freshly frozen vac-packed fish and shellfish: Stokeley Farm Shop (see above); Springfield Farm Shop, East Charlton, 01548 521523; Slapton Community Shop, 07938 743543.
Dartmouth Dairy is offering a £10-veg-box delivery service, with one box donated for every 20 bought. Visit firstname.lastname@example.org.
COOKED FOOD, MEALS-TO-GO
The Church House Inn, Stokenham, is offering a takeaway menu every Friday evening, with orders taken by phone on 07497 766114 on Wednesday and Thursday.
The Bear & Blacksmith in Chillington is offering free local delivery on a selection of meals, either ready-to-eat or ready-to-cook, also fresh meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, and basic groceries. Call 01548 581171 for more details.
KINGSBRIDGE FOOD BANK CONTACTS
Gerrie Messer 07759 683567
Paula 07746 937514
A MESSAGE FROM CITIZENS ADVICE
In light of the Coronavirus outbreak we have taken the decision to suspend our face-to-face services. We are not currently offering advice to the public from our offices or outreach, and apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. Our staff and volunteers continue to work behind the scenes, however, and are able to offer support in the following ways:
Adviceline: 03444 111 444 (Monday to Friday, 9am - 4pm)
Email: www.southhamscab.org.uk From the ‘Contact us’ page select ‘Email’ and click ‘Use our online form’
WhatsApp: 07497 758779
Self Help: www.citizensadvice.org.uk
Letter: Citizens Advice, Follaton House, Plymouth Road, Totnes TQ9 5NE
Our paid staff and volunteers are doing all they can to keep our service operational. However we expect that you may experience a delay before your enquiry is responded to. We apologise for this and hope you will bear with us during these unprecedented times.
To all our patients: We would like to thank you for your forbearance, support and, indeed, cheerfulness in these unprecedented times. We greatly appreciate how your interactions with us have had to change over a very short time and with little notice.Thank you for adapting and for helping us to be here for you.
Please be reassured that we are doing absolutely everything we can to keep us all safe and well.
We would also like to say a massive thank you to all the community organisations and volunteers who have come together so quickly to help support us and you. This is truly a team effort and we have all been humbled by your efforts. Thank You!
We stay at work for you; please stay at home for us.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer and supporting the NHS at this time, please download the GoodSam app and find out what you can do to help our local community.
A MESSAGE FROM NORTON BROOK MEDICAL CENTRE
Thank you for your support by following the stay at home and social distancing advice. We have made a few changes to how patients access medical care, but we are still here for you when you need us!
At the moment, we are not pre-booking appointments with GPs and our front door is locked. Please call the practice on the day that you wish to talk to us. We are managing most issues over the phone where possible, instead of seeing patients face to face - this is both to protect you and the staff at the surgery. We may offer you a video consultation where necessary if you have a smart phone, which involves being sent a link by text message which then connects you to the doctor with very good video quality. Your phone must have an internet connection and a camera for this to work. If the doctor feels you need to be seen face to face, an appointment will be offered (or a visit if absolutely necessary). If you need to come in, we will ask you to wait in your car, not the waiting room, and will call you in when the doctor or nurse is ready. You will be greeted at the door by the doctor or nurse wearing PPE, and will be given a mask and escorted into the consulting room. You should not have any contact with any common surfaces or anyone else.
Our nurses are still looking after patients too, but where possible this will be done by telephone. We have allocated specific times, usually in the mornings, where we can see highly vulnerable shielded patients. By coming in to see our nurses for your necessary treatments you are helping to ease the pressure on the district nursing team.
We have maintained high standards of infection control and have not had a suspected case of Covid-19 entering the building. Anyone with potential Covid-19 has been seen in the car park with appropriate precautions. We consider the surgery to be a clean site and the risk of contracting Covid-19 in the practice is extremely low.
With best wishes
South Hams Area Wellbeing (SHAW)
EMERGENCY PRESCRIPTION DELIVERY SERVICE
It is important that we look after each other at this time, so please look out for your neighbours, especially the elderly or vulnerable. Those who are unable to collect their prescriptions in person can ring 01548 580371 and we will arrange delivery of their medicines. Please allow plenty of notice for this service as there is a weekly or fortnightly delivery schedule to the surgery pharmacy. Those registered with surgeries further afield should contact their own doctor in the first instance.
COUNCIL TAX PAYMENT
If the current situation is causing you hardship and you are having difficulty paying your council tax, please get in touch with South Hams District Council via the website https://www.southhams.gov.uk or call them: 01803 861234.
TESTING FOR ESSENTIAL WORKERS
Testing is now available for essential workers: please see the following link https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKDEVONCC...
Due to the reduction of bus services across the county, Devon County Council are trialling an on-demand subsidised taxi service for key workers accessing employment only. This service is intended to replace those journeys which were previously made by bus – a subsidised flat fare will be charged. Requests can only be made by email and should be sent to email@example.com. Please include the following information in your email: Name, address, key worker status, employer/payroll ref, journey requirements (pick up/drop off). We will aim to respond to all requests as soon as possible during normal office hours – journeys should be booked 48 hours in advance of travel.
If you're stuck at home and unable to get out with the dog, we can help: call our volunteer centre – 01548 580371 – and we will put you in touch with someone who will take your pooch for a paddle, and who can also do small errands, such as take letters or cards to the post office.
Unscrupulous individuals may take advantage of the extraordinary situation to try to part people from their money and possessions. Please beware of any unusual phone calls or emails purporting to be from the NHS or other public bodies, especially any that request personal information. Ignore any request for information that sounds intrusive, suspicious, or just plain wrong. Simply put the phone down, or delete the mail.