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The latest information and guidance to support you and our communities

Help stop the spread this bank holiday as Covid cases rise and NHS under pressure

With Covid case numbers rising in the South West and now among the highest in the country,  Devon Public Health is asking people to help stop the spread and reduce demand on busy NHS services this bank holiday weekend.

HM Government. Let's keep life moving.  Fresh air, testing, Face coverings, App, Handwashing

Public Health offer tips to help reduce the virus

High Covid case rates across Devon and Cornwall are a reminder of the importance of doing everything we can to limit the spread of the virus.

Public Health have offered some tips to help us keep ourselves and everyone else safe:

  • Limit social contacts to stop the virus spreading
  • Meet others outside, because that’s safer than meeting inside
  • Wear face coverings when indoors in public places
  • Wash your hands properly and regularly
  • Get your vaccinations as soon as you're offered them
  • Self-isolate if told to do so by NHS Test and Trace
  • Self-isolate and arrange a PCR test if you show any symptoms of having the virus – a high temperature, new and continuous cough, or change of your usual sense of taste or smell

Regular lateral flow tests will also help prevent spreading the virus to family, friends and colleagues.

Evidence shows that people who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 are less likely too pass the virus on to others


NHS plea - help us to help you

The NHS in Devon is under extreme pressure due to high demand for services and the number of staff and patients affected by Covid-19.

As a result, people are facing longer waits in emergency departments, planned procedures are being postponed and doctors surgeries are coping with high demand from patients.

The growing pressure stems from higher numbers of Covid inpatients resulting in fewer beds for other patients; fewer staff due to some  having to self isolate; and patients using emergency departments when they don't need to.

The NHS is asking the public to help by using the right service for their needs and doing their bit to reduce the spread of Covid-19.  

Here's how you can help:

  • Only go to A&E for genuine life threatening emergencies or serious injuries
  • Use your local pharmacist if you have a minor problem such as an insect bites or ear ache
  • Check the HANDi paediatric app for advice on common childhood illnesses
  • Use NHS 111 if you need advice or medical treatment quickly and can’t wait to see your GP.
nhs 111

artist impression of cycle way

Have your say on new walking and cycling plans

Help us improve plans that will provide better transport links for people to walk and cycle around the district.

We're working with Devon County Council on a month-long public consultation which launches next Wednesday (1 September) on our 'Heart of Teignbridge Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan' (LCWIP).

The plan relates to the Garden Communities programme, which aims to revitalise Newton Abbot and Kingsteignton and shape future facilities for local communities.

Through the consultation we will identify gaps in the existing active travel network across the Heart of Teignbridge, and decide how we will invest in future walking and cycling routes over the next 10-20 years. This consultation gives you the opportunity to have your say on whether you feel the LCWIP will help you and your community travel more sustainably.

The LCWIP document and online survey will be available on Devon County Council’s website from next Wednesday.  You can ask for a paper copy too. 

Two online events will enable you to find out more and discuss these plans:

  • Consultation webinar: 14 September & 22 September, 5pm – 7pm
  • Virtual ‘drop-in’ consultation: 21 September, 4pm – 6pm

For more information and to register for an event, please visit Devon County Council’s website or email the project team:

The consultation will close on 1 October 2021.

Deadline for anyone entering a care home for work or volunteering to be vaccinated

Lifeguard NPLQ course

Kickstart your career in leisure with our NPLQ course

The RLSS UK National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ) is the most awarded lifeguard qualification in the United Kingdom and Ireland that complies with the industry guidance contained within the HSE publication ‘Managing Health and Safety in Swimming Pools’.

On successful completion of the course, you will be fully qualified to work as a Pool Lifeguard.

The RLSS UK NPLQ is not just a qualification - it can be a stepping stone to a career within the leisure industry.

Our next NPLQ course runs for five days, 8.00am - 6.00pm from Tuesday 31 August to Friday 3 September and then from 9.30am - 11.30am on Saturday 4 September when an assessment will take place.

The course will take place at Newton Abbot Leisure Centre and cost £240 - this includes all course materials. Full payment will be required at the time of booking. The NPLQ course duration is 36 hours. The course comprises physical training and theoretical classroom work, followed by a practical in-water and out of water assessment on pool rescue, first aid, CPR and lifesaving skills.

Training and assessment for the NPLQ is in three sections and all must be successfully passed to attain the NPLQ. 

You can book online or for more information download the Teignbridge Leisure app or visit the website. 

Less than two weeks to wait until the Tour returns

Tour of Britain Devon stage masthead

Cycling enthusiasts, towns and villages along the route are getting ready for the UK's biggest free to watch spectator sports event, when The Tour of Britain comes to Devon on Monday 6 September.

Starting in Sherford and crossing the finish line in Exeter, the cyclists face a beautiful but challenging 115 mile route across the South Hams and Dartmoor National Park. It will pass through Torcross at 12.40pm and Moretonhampstead at 14.57.

Over the past ten Devon stages, the race has brought in more than £41m to the Devon economy and showcased the county to a global media audience.

You can check out the full Devon schedule on the Devon Tour of Britain website and DCC has published a spectators' guide.

Tour of Britain Devon stage route

Lifeguard viewing beach.  Pic Credit RNLI/Nathan Williams

RNLI bank holiday safety warning

With warm weather forecast, the RNLI is urging those visiting the coast over the bank holiday weekend to take care and be aware of the dangers in and around the sea.

The risk is highlighted through figures from last year's equivalent bank holiday weekend when the RNLI assisted more than 600 people with lifeboats launching 157 times, while RNLI lifeguards dealt with with 314 incidents and aided 406 people.

Gareth Morrison, Head of Water Safety for the RNLI said: "As the school summer holidays are nearing the end, we’re urging people not to become complacent about the dangers of the sea and coastal areas and to follow our simple safety advice.

"RNLI lifeguards are still operating on more than 240 beaches. If you are heading to the coast, please choose a lifeguarded beach, where possible, and swim between the red and yellow flags."

The key RNLI safety advice is:

  • Visit a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags
  • If you get into trouble Float to Live – lie on your back and relax, resisting the urge to thrash about
  • Call 999 in an emergency and ask for the Coastguard

You can find online your nearest RNLI lifeguarded beach and beach safety advice.

Photograph Credit:  RNLI/Nathan Williams

Reconnect Rebuild Recover Community Fund

Devon Communities Together is reminding local groups that small grants are being offered by Devon County Council to help communities in Devon revitalise their facilities and activities following COVID-19.

Up to £1,000 grants are available from the Reconnect Rebuild Recover Community Fund for smaller projects and between £1,000 and £3,000 for larger projects with an application deadline of 31 March 2022.

The fund is intended to help projects such as recommencing community support groups, social activities that help people to reconnect, community transport services, support for health and wellbeing and helping people to develop skills through volunteering.

Voluntary and community organisations, town and parish councils, charities and social enterprises can apply. Non-constituted groups, individuals and small businesses cannot apply directly but an eligible organisation can apply on their behalf.

CO2 warning triangles

Increasing enjoyment through being more sustainable

A new international study, Energy Research and Social Science 60, Happier with Less? suggests that people involved in community carbon-saving projects have lower-than-average carbon footprints and are also more satisfied with their lifestyles.

The research says that community projects for example support their members in reducing carbon footprints by sharing of knowledge, skills and practices; providing psychological support and making sustainable practices the norm within the group and beyond.

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