Get Ready for Winter from South Hams District Council

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January 2023

Get Ready for Winter

snowy robin

South Hams District Council wants you to stay safe and warm this winter.

As we enter the coldest months of the year, issues like illnesses, flooding and power cuts can cause unexpected problems. This newsletter provides advice on tackling some of the more likely problems to arise this winter.

There's other information that could prove helpful too; parents of pre-teens can join upcoming online talks for advice on tackling those difficult conversations. If you are still looking to get your COVID-19 vaccination, have a look if there is a walk-in clinic near you.

We also have important information about changes at this year's local elections in May, as photo ID is now required.

If you are looking to start a social enterprise, take a look at Devon Get Started for learning and support or for your current business, why not get a wellbeing check from Wellbeing Works?

Winter illnesses

NHS advice illness sneeze cough stay home unwell

As the weather continues to get colder, cases of winter illnesses like Covid-19, flu and norovirus are rising in the South West. Everyone can play their part to help to prevent the spread of these illnesses.

With children returning to school, the UKHSA have released advice on how to minimise the spread. Read more here.

If your child is unwell or has a fever, they must stay home from school or nursery. Adults should also stay at home when unwell.

All primary school children can get a free flu vaccination. Many other groups are also eligible. Please consider getting yourself and your children vaccinated to help prevent the spread. Find out whether you can get yours for free at the NHS website.

If you are unsure, check your child's symptoms using the NHS Handi App. The app will advise you on the best treatment and advice for the most common illnesses.

Power Cuts

Call 105 Power Cut

As we get deeper into the winter, it's important to be prepared for power cuts that could happen as a result of unpredictable weather and severe storms.

Visit the Energy Networks Association here for information on what to do if you experience a power cut.

It's worth considering what you would do during a power cut before it happens; ie. call 105 to report the power outage to your network operator.

Check in with anyone that might be vulnerable, such as your neighbours.

Make sure your friends and family know what to do in during a power cut too.

Know what to do in case of flooding

rain flood

Us Brits are used to a bit of rain, but when the downpours gets heavier, it's important to be aware of what to do if it floods in your area. Please visit the National Flood Forum for advice on how to prepare for a flood and what to do in an emergency.

You can keep up to date on flood warnings by signing up for flood alerts from the Environment Agency.

Make sure you have the correct insurance cover and find out how to turn off your gas, electricity and water supplies to keep your house safe.

Create an action plan and put together an emergency flood kit - this should include a battery powered radio and a first aid kit.

Take a look at our website to find links to our partners for more information.

Keep yourself safe while keeping warm

wood burner with sock and feet fire

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service have released advice on protecting yourself from chimney fires, following a rise in the number of incidents.

Make sure that you have your chimney swept regularly. Only burn wood that has properly dried out. DO NOT use petrol or paraffin to light your fire - only use kindling and firelighters.

Use a fireguard to avoid sparks catching on flammable materials, such as carpets. Remember to always put fires out before leaving the house or going to bed.

Visit the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service website for more advice.

Warm Spaces

Woman holding a cup of coffee

Struggling with the heating bills? Consider visiting a warm space this winter to fight off the cold.

Our Warm Spaces page contains information about warm spaces that we know about in South Hams and West Devon.

Please check with the venue for opening times and details. We try to keep this information as up-to-date as we are able, but specific opening times and days are subject to change.

Travel safe

Car in snow


In cold weather it's important to take extra precautions when travelling, as winter weather can make driving conditions unpredictable.

Please leave extra time for your journey, to accommodate for any disruptions. Reduce your speed and leave more space between you and the driver in front.

Follow @DevonAlert and listen to your local radio for travel updates before travelling. National Highways has some good advice on travelling in bad weather.

If you need check your vehicle before heading out this winter, Highways England have produced a series of handy videos to take you through some basic vehicle checks.

Walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinics

Vaccination Regret

If you are still looking to get your COVID-19 vaccination, there are plenty of walk-in appointments available in and around our district in the coming week.

To find out if your eligible, visit


  • Ivybridge Leisure Centre
    Thursday 26 January
    10 a.m to 3 p.m


  • Dartmouth Baptist Church
    Thursday 26 January
    11 a.m to 5 p.m


  • Plymouth Community Homes
    Wednesday 25 January
    9 a.m to 1 p.m
  • Elm CC
    Wednesday 25 January
    10 a.m to 4 p.m
  • The Beacon
    Friday 27 January
    11 a.m to 5 p.m

Let's Talk Pre-Teens

Let's Talk

The South Devon and Dartmoor Community Safety Partnership have been working with a wide range of partners to produce a toolkit to support parents of pre-teens (9-12 year olds).

FREE online sessions through the Let’s Talk programme for parents and carers of pre-teens are available this month. 

The Let’s Talk programme is designed to increase parent and carers' knowledge around the key risks facing young people, while giving simple tools and techniques to help them support their child.

Tickets are free and available at Let's Talk Pre-Teens on Eventbrite.

The next session will take place on Tuesday 31 January.

The topics covered will be as follows:

  • Physical risks
  • Safety planning
  • Mental health
  • Self-care

Voter ID

Voter ID

You may have heard about important changes taking place in the upcoming local elections. This year they are being held on Thursday 4 May, for all wards in South Hams.

Voter ID

The main difference for voters is that you will have to show photo ID when voting at a polling station - postal votes are unaffected.

Which forms of ID can I use to vote?

You can use any of the following:

  • Passport
  • Driving licence (including provisional licence)
  • Blue badge
  • Certain concessionary travel cards
  • Identity card with PASS mark (Proof of Age Standards Scheme)
  • Biometric Immigration document
  • Defence identity card
  • Certain national identity cards

If you don’t already have an accepted form of photo ID, or you’re not sure whether your photo ID still looks like you, you can apply for a free voter ID document, known as a Voter Authority Certificate.

Don't forget to register to vote if you haven't already.

Devon Get Started

Devon Get Started

Got an idea for a business, but not sure where to start?

Devon Get Started offers practical learning and support to help you to turn your idea into a real-life project or social enterprise (a business that trades for a social purpose).

Fully funded by Devon County Council, the programme provides practical and personalised support that will help you to build confidence, learn how to identify resources, and how to avoid common mistakes when starting your own business.

The support is provided through a blend of workshops, networking events, peer support activities, and 1-2-1 support.

Applications for Programme 6 are open! To apply, please complete this short form.

For more information about the programme, please visit

Wellbeing Works

Wellbeing works

Book a Wellbeing Check-in for you and your business!

Wellbeing Works offers an exciting opportunity for Devon-based businesses (excluding Plymouth and Torbay), employees, and individuals to benefit from the tools, techniques, and inspiration we need to prioritise and develop our wellbeing and resilience.

Through a 1-2-1 Wellbeing Check-In (online and in-person), Wellbeing Works can help you to take time out of your day to prioritise your wellbeing, and to:

  • Take stock of your wellbeing and share your challenges
  • Feel inspired to take positive steps towards greater wellbeing
  • Be signposted to resources and support for your wellbeing journey

Book your wellbeing check-in here, or call 01392 248919.

If you would like Wellbeing Works to run a wellbeing session for your business or group, please contact


Are you looking for a flexible role in a supportive and open culture? Click the button below for our current vacancies.

Look out for our upcoming seasonal roles, which will be announced shortly.

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