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.
The Coronavirus pandemic has put medical centres, dispensaries and pharmacies under great pressure and led to staff shortages and difficulty in obtaining medicines and essential supplies. Doctors, nurses and other staff have been working tirelessly throughout, giving up weekends and bank holidays to ensure their patients get the best treatment they can offer.
While the majority appreciate and are grateful for these efforts, unfortunately a minority have resorted to abusive and threatening behaviour towards health centre personnel. This has led to staff being frightened and demoralised, eventually reaching the point where some are leaving the profession altogether, putting even more pressure on the staff that remain.
NHS personnel who put their own health at risk to help their patients should get the respect they deserve. There are no circumstances under which they should have to tolerate threats and abuse. Let us do what we can to help that happen.