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The latest information and guidance to support you and our communities

13 November 2020

What steps are you taking to maintain your wellbeing?

This week’s Covid vaccine news probably cheered us all up, providing some hope that a more normal Covid free lifestyle may not be too far away.

Although lockdown 2 is less restrictive than its predecessor, it's hard to stay positive when activities that we took for granted are not permitted and there are limited options for letting off steam, keeping fit or helping our children use up surplus energy!

workout@home image of a lady meditating at home on a wooden floor

Our leisure team is trying to help by launching workout@home – free, daily exercise classes in the comfort of your own home with some of our most popular instructors. Their aim is to help you stay fit and healthy and prevent weight gain during lockdown and give your mental health a boost too.

To take advantage, you will need to have an account with us but this is straightforward. You can do this by signing up online for a free non-member account or if you already have an account with us, you’re good to go!

Some of the classes you can enjoy are HIIT, Zumba,Yoga, Pilates,Army PT, Indoor Cycling, Kettlebells and many more. You can view the full daily timetable by downloading our leisure app.

Join next week's mindfulness challenge

There's a chance to look after your wellbeing and mental health during this second national lockdown as part of a 5-day Mindfulness Challenge.

Run by Learn Devon, the challenge will begin on Monday (16 November) and features a series of short videos that provide an opportunity to take 20 minutes a day, over five days, to ensure that mindfulness – training techniques for your mind and wellbeing – is part of your daily routine.

Paul-Beard-Learn-Devon-Tutor-mindfulness challenge

Each day will focus on a different technique to help with focus, concentration, relaxation, coping with anxiety and stress, as well as stretches for desk workers and more.

If you sign up for the Mindfulness Challenge you will receive an email each morning at 6am with a link to the day’s video which you can watch on-demand, in your own time. The email will also include further tips to improve wellbeing in your everyday life.

every mind matters mind quiz and plan

A mind  plan?

Don't forget the NHS Every Mind Matters initiative which helps you plot a way to maintain and improve  your mental health and wellbeing.

Click on the image and answer five questions based on how you have been feeling over the past couple of weeks and get top tips for action you can take and advice about further support.

Is lockdown drinking affecting your health?

This year has been a challenging and difficult time for us all, and has brought with it the temptation to turn to that extra glass of wine or two to ease our anxiety levels.  A recent survey by Alcohol Change UK has revealed that more than a quarter of the population say they have drunk more during lockdown. 

Are you concerned that you are drinking too much?  Is it having a negative effect on your health or your family?  Do you know what the safe limits advice is?

Worried about your own or someone else’s drinking?  Talk to your GP or find out about support options available on

Next week is Alcohol Awareness Week and this year, Alcohol Change UK is focusing on the issues around alcohol and mental health, highlighting the best ways to look after ourselves and those we love during a year of great change and uncertainty. 

Take a look at their fact sheets and find out whether the amount you drink could be damaging your wellbeing and if in doubt, contact your GP or seek advice.

Enjoy our great outdoors

For many people getting out in the fresh air, walking or cycling is a key element of maintaining our physical and mental wellbeing and in Teignbridge we are fortunate to have so many great places to enjoy the outdoors. 

Watch out next week for the start of a consultation on proposals for a multi-user Teign Estuary Trail route ahead of planning permission being sought next year.

environmental health officer out monitoring lockdown

Supporting local business and residents

Our environmental health team has been across the District this week helping people to understand and comply with the lockdown restrictions.

Their increased (socially distanced) presence builds on the advice they have been giving since lockdown was announced, as the team has answered questions and dealt with complaints from businesses and individuals.

So far they've resolved any issues through engagement, explanation and encouragement, without having to resort to fines or prohibition notices.

Whilst spot checking rules are being observed, they are also trying to guide local businesses moving to click and collect or delivery services to make it easy for residents to support local businesses by buying locally.

Dawlish black swan and cygnets

Black swans - testing revealed bird flu

Defra confirmed earlier this week that the black swans, including five cygnets that died in Dawlish were found to be infected with a strain of avian flu.

Following several similar outbreaks elsewhere in the country, Defra yesterday declared an Avian Influenza national prevention zone. Poultry keepers and members of the public should report dead wild birds to the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77 and keepers should report suspicion of disease to APHA on 03000 200 301.

Public Health England has advised that the H5N8 strain of the virus poses very little risk to public health.

Find out more

person using a lap top looking at a presentation on it which is being signed

New signing service launched for the deaf and hearing impaired

We’ve been making access to Teignbridge services easier and better – we can now offer ‘live’ sign language video interpretation for our hard of hearing customers.

How does it work? In the first instance, customers simply go online and connect with our partners, Sign Solutions. The customer signs what they require and an interpreter contacts us and facilitates the conversation between us using sign language. For anyone without internet access an appointment can be made through our Customer Support team by emailing

As part of setting this up for people needing to access Council services, we have been able to provide Newton Abbot Citizens Advice Bureau exactly the same service free of charge!

Cartoon like character looking at a screen - Be Aware of scams, HMRC will never contact you out of the blue offering a tax refund

HMRC tax scam warning

HMRC has issued a warning over a new text scam which says:  'due to the current COVID-19 pandemic you have a pending tax rebate’. HMRC says it would never contact an individual out of the blue in relation to a tax refund and recipients should not click on the link in the text to calculate their claim. Anything suspicious should be reported. .

Celebrate Diwali safely

Hindus across the world will be celebrating the festival of Diwali tomorrow (Saturday 14 November).  It symbolises the spiritual victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance.   Have a happy, safe, and blessed Diwali!

Community group funding available

Devon County Council has temporarily reopened the ‘COVID-19 Fund’ to support organisations working in communities affected by this second lockdown.

The money is aimed at helping voluntary and community groups tackle the social and economic impacts of this lockdown and help people who are most vulnerable.

Established not-for-profit voluntary and community groups and organisations, town and parish councils, charities or businesses, or a combination of these groups working together can apply. Grants will typically be between £300 and £700, although in exceptional circumstances offers of up to £1,000 may be made.

Go to DCC website for more details, including how to apply.

cheesy pizza slice

What do you think about banning online advertising of junk food?

The Government has launched a six-week consultation on proposals to ban online adverts for foods high in fat, sugar and salt as part of its drive to tackle obesity.

The consultation is seeking the views of the public and industry through a number of questions.

Teignbridge digital logo

Local Coronavirus advice and support

Teignbridge Coronavirus web pages: a range of information including the latest government advice, service changes, financial and community support and business help.

Covid helpline: it can help local residents who are feeling isolated, unable to access food or other services or even just not sure where to go for help or advice. Monday to Thursday, 8.30am - 5pm; Fridays, 8.30am - 4.30pm. Call 01626 215512 or email us.

Covid Hardship Fund: people struggling to make ends meet due to Covid-19 could be helped by our Hardship Fund to pay for basic necessities including household essentials, utility bills or travel costs.

Business support: the latest information and keep up to date on all Government Covid-19 support schemes 

Customer Support Team: contact them on 01626 361101 during office hours, Monday to Thursday 8.30am – 5pm and Friday 8.30am – 4.30pm or use use our website’s 'contact us' link.

Latest Government guidance

Different images illustrating key covid lockdown messages stay at home covid alert