Latest Plymouth news, events and COVID-19 updates

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Plymouth nE

15 October 2021

covid rates

Caution urged as city's COVID-19 rates rise

As COVID-19 cases in Plymouth continue to rise, the best way to minimise the risk of you or your loved ones getting the virus is to remain vigilant at all times.

Coronavirus remains a serious health risk as the rising number of patients in hospital shows.

We are facing a challenging winter but we can help ourselves and those around us by taking up the COVID-19 booster and flu vaccine, if eligible.

Getting vaccinated against both viruses will not only help keep us safe but will also help protect the NHS from potential strain this winter.

One in three people with the virus don’t have any symptoms, so taking a lateral flow test a couple of times a week will help reduce the risk of you passing the virus on to others.

Keeping air flowing when in confined indoor spaces also reduces the risk to yourself and others, while wearing a face covering in shops and busy public spaces is a minor inconvenience compared to the impact that contracting coronavirus can have.

If you are not yet vaccinated, you can book a vaccine online or visit one the walk-in sessions available around the city.

Raising the Green Flags for city parks

central park

Seven Plymouth parks have once again been awarded Green Flag status under a national scheme that recognises well managed green spaces.

Central Park, Devonport Park, Tothill Park, Ham Woods, West Hoe Park, The Hoe and Freedom Fields have all retained their Green Flag status.

To meet the Green Flag Award standard the judges are looking for green spaces to be healthy welcoming places that are safe and secure, clean, well-maintained and sustainable.

Green Flag status is testament to the hard work and dedication of the staff and volunteers that make our parks places that everyone can enjoy, especially after a hugely challenging 18 month period. During this time we have seen our green spaces play a vital role for people as places to relax, exercise, stay healthy and meet friends and family safely.

Book your tickets for Songlines premiere


You can book now to be one of the first to see the European premiere of The National Museum of Australia’s award-winning Songlines: Tracking the Seven Sisters exhibition, which opens at The Box on 21 October.

Visitors will be able to experience ancient stories from the world’s oldest continuing culture, told through more than 300 paintings and objects by over 100 different artists.

The exhibition, which has been entirely conceived and curated by a team of First Australians, includes ceramics, paintings, sculpture, installation and film. It takes you on an epic journey that crosses three states, three deserts and some 500,000 square kilometres.

Find out more

Sounding out your ideas on National Marine Park

Plymouth Sound

We are looking for people with bags of ideas who want to get involved in something that could change lives – the Plymouth Sound National Marine Park.

The call out comes ahead of a year of excitement, free activities and conversations with the people of Plymouth to shape the park, which was awarded a Heritage Horizon Award of £9.6 million from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The year of Sound Talking will begin at the start of 2022 with a free weekend at the National Marine Aquarium to get the conversation going. 

A National Marine Park festival with free events for everyone to try getting in, on and under the water, is on the cards and we will be working with marine sports clubs to spotlight their activities.

A marine park roadshow will also visit neighbourhoods in which Plymouth Sound is often out of sight and mind.

Read more

Help for families to prevent holiday hunger


If your children are eligible for free school meals, your family could receive support in covering the cost of meals during school holidays until Easter next year.

We have secured a total of £2.2 million from the Government’s Household Support Grant (HSG) to help support vulnerable households during the winter months with food and fuel costs.

Part of this funding will be used to provide families entitled to Free School Meals (FSM) with vouchers to cover the October half term, Christmas school holidays, February half term and Easter school holidays.

Food e-voucher codes will be sent to city schools for them to distribute to all families on their FSM registers for the October half-term. Each code can be used once to redeem vouchers to the value of £15 per child per week at various supermarkets.

Youth offenders make an art of tackling graffiti

union street art

Plymouth’s Union Street has got a splash of colour thanks to the work of local artists and a group of young people who are working with the Youth Offending Team.

The project came about after complaints about graffiti on the boarded areas of Union Street. Initially the Youth Offending Team was asked to paint over the graffiti but it would always quickly return.

To try and make a lasting difference in the area, the team worked with Plymouth Artists Together to frame and erect pieces of artwork.

Since the artwork has been installed the unsightly graffiti has not returned and the project has been expanded to other locations in the city.

The work was carried out by a group of young people who are continuing to make amends for the crimes they have committed by taking part in a community reparation project.

Watch this short video and hear from one of the young people involved in the project. 

Celebrating the role of foster care families

foster care

We are celebrating Sons and Daughters Month, the annual campaign to recognise the contribution made by the children of foster carers.

The sons and daughters of foster carers are an integral part of a fostering household and for most of them, their relationships with fostered children have many positive aspects, including companionship, friendship and a sense of self-worth in sharing their homes and themselves with children who need them.

Jack and Lewis, whose parents have fostered for years, said: “We love being part of a fostering family. We have loved being part of watching young people grow and still feel appreciated by the ones that have left us but still call them our foster brothers and sisters.”

There are currently 502 children and young people in care in Plymouth and there is an ongoing campaign to recruit more foster carers.

Full training and support is given to foster carers and allowances are paid that reflect the real cost of looking after a child.

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Library sets new mission to help the Findalots

findalot crop

Our libraries team is sending Plymouth children on a new mission to guide the Findalot aliens on a journey of discovery through the library.

There are challenges along the way and the aim is help the inquisitive aliens grow stronger before they return to their home planet.

The mission is open to four to 11 year olds and all those taking part will receive a special Findalots library card and activity journal.

Those embarking on the mission need to read four books each month to receive a sticker and there are more rewards for those who complete a special challenge.                                                                

You can sign up at any Plymouth library from Monday 25 October.

Find out more