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.
Update 5 January 2021: we are now in national lockdown until further notice
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 Coronavirus pandemic 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. Elsewhere on this website you will find 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.
STAY HOME – PROTECT THE NHS – SAVE LIVES
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.
LEAP – the Local Energy Advice Partnership – is a free-of-charge service offering advice to help you save money and keep your home warm and cosy. You may be eligible for the service if you have a low income / receive tax credits / receive housing benefit / receive an income- or disability-related benefit / have a long-term illness or disability. Call us now (Freefone) on 0800 060 7567 to book your appointment, or apply online at www.applyforleap.org.uk
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 UPDATED
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 is open as usual and continues to deliver groceries locally Monday to Saturday. Call 01548 580371 to place your order and they will ring back to take payment details. You can also order and collect: ring the doorbell at the far right outside of the shop when you arrive and your order will be brought out to you.
The Bear and Blacksmith continues to provide meals to take away, including Sunday lunch, and will deliver to your door: view the menu online at www.thebearandblacksmith.com or ring 01548 581171 for more details. They also have a new butchery and can supply meat and veg boxes: call 01548 521177, or visit email@example.com.
The Tradesman's Arms is offering a takeaway service Wednesdays to Saturdays between 6 and 8pm, and Sunday lunchtimes from 12 to 4pm, for collection or delivery. Menus are available at www.thetradesmansarms.com; orders can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, or phoned through to 01548 580996 / 07860 313780. Please leave a name and contact number.
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 at St Michael's church has regrettably had to cease until further notice. 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.
All church services at Chillington Methodist Chapel have been cancelled for the present but a link to our zoom services is available from the minister, Rachel Mitchel, email@example.com. The chapel remains open for private prayer on Thursdays from 10:30am until 12:00 noon; there will no no social interaction, only peace, reflection, and prayers.
Please send edits, updates, or additions to firstname.lastname@example.org