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Devon Communities Together is the operating name of the Community Council of Devon. Registered Charity No: 1074047. VAT Reg No: 942 0496 27. Company Limited by Guarantee No: 3694095. 73 & 74 Basepoint Business Centre, Yeoford Way Exeter, EX2 8LB. LOVE Devon magazine is printed by Exe Valley Design & Print, Exeter. Tel: 01392 426464 www.exeprint.co.uk The contents of LOVE Devon do not necessarily represent the views of the publisher or Devon Communities Together.































ADVERTISE: If you would like to advertise in LOVE Devon please contact our marketing department Tel: 01392 248919 Email: marketing@ devoncommunities.org.uk CONTRIBUTE: We welcome all contributions to LOVE Devon but we regret we cannot guarantee a publication and we reserve the right to edit for reasons of space and style. Email: marketing@ devoncommunities.org.uk President: John Lee OBE Chair: Nigel Arnold Acting Chief Executive: Nora Corkery CONTACT:

01392 248919 info@devoncommunities.org.uk www.devoncommunities.org.uk @DevComsTogether @LOVEDevon /devoncommunitiestogether /LoveDevon2016 @DevCommsTogether @Loving_Devon


Welcome to the 4th Annual edition of our LOVE Devon magazine. I am sure you will agree with me that Devon is a special place to live, work and visit. At DCT, we have a special focus on Devon’s communities and I hope you will enjoy reading about some of the amazing individuals, businesses and community initiatives that keep our county vibrant and thriving, and give Devon its unique character. As the rural community council for Devon, we have a special care for those individuals and communities for whom living in Devon can be a challenge – low wages, high cost of housing, loss of local services such as public transport and banks, and a growing older population are some of the challenges we face in Devon. All of us have faced further challenges this spring because of the Covid-19 pandemic. DCT has been working hard to support local community-led emergency response initiatives and we will continue to do so. We are proud to have supported Devon’s communities to rally to help their more vulnerable members.

LOVE Devon was created to give people who love and care about Devon the opportunity to give something back. You can help us to help Devon’s communities recover and rebuild from the impact of Covid-19 by becoming a Friend of LOVE Devon through giving a regular donation (see p.5), or volunteering your time in many ways. We will miss meeting you all during the summer shows, fairs and community events we would normally visit, but until we can meet again, please do access our services and follow our activities through our website www.devoncommunities.org.uk and follow us on social media … Nora Corkery, Acting Chief Executive, Devon

WIN! DELICIOUS DEVON IN A BOOK We are delighted to team up with our friends at Food DCT NEEDS YOU! Drink Devon to offer you the chance to win a copy of The

Book, food IfDevon you’reCook inspired bywhich what celebrates you read inthe thisamazing magazine andand drinkyou on could our doorstep. Packed inspirational recipes think spare some timefull to of support the work we from a wide selection of Devon foodie businesses includ’re throughout Devon, love to ingdoing over in 20communities from fantastic Food Drink Devonwe’d members. •To Events Support Team Volunteers enter, please email your name and contact telephone •number Community-based Project Volunteers to marketing@devoncommunities.org.uk or write •to LOVE DevonDEVON SeniorCOMPETITION, Voice Strategic and Focus Group ToDevon Communities •gether, Office Administrative Basepoint BusinessSupport Centre,Volunteers Exeter EX2 8LB. • Fundraising Volunteers The competition closes on 31 August 2020. One winner will be chosen at •random Rural Housing Enablement Team Volunteers and notified after this date. No cash alternative. Participants' •dataMember DCT with Board Trustees will not beofshared any of third party and will be stored in accordance with our data policy for the purposes of the comperirion only.



LOVE DEVON LIKE WE DO? Your donations will help us put #DevonFirst and #RebuildDevon At the time of going to print, Devon is beginning to navigate a slow and cautious route out of lockdown, and Devon Communities Together is working hard on a number of different fronts to support our communities through these challenging times. Funds are stretched and resources are set to get tighter as the recession deepens. Yet the need for our support has never been greater. By donating to LOVE Devon you will be helping our team of community project workers to make a real difference to people all over our wonderful county. We’ll be supporting older and vulnerable people who are struggling more than ever with isolation and loneliness, or who are worried about physically reintegrating into their communities. We’ll be working with village halls as they reopen their doors and try to adjust to new ways of operating to remain at the heart of their communities. We’ll be working with young people as they face challenges around unemployment and new ways of working. We’ll be supporting communities to develop and adapt their community emergency plans and increase their resilience ... With your support we can do this AND MORE. Together we can help to #RebuildDevon

Set up a regular donation and receive a Friend of LOVE Devon welcome pack, including a reusable shopping bag! ONLINE

You canand set up one-off or regular donations via our The career of jockey LOVE Devon ambassador Bryony As little as £3 per month could at make huge Frost soared towebsite. new heights after her performance thea2019 difference! Cheltenham National Huntwww.devoncommunities.org.uk/donate Racing Festival, where she became first female jockey to win a Group One race over fences at jump racing’s iconic ELECTRONIC showpiece event,BANKING on her “best friend” Frodon.


To donate via BACS or Standing Order,

“With growing please careeruse demands now itdetails: is more important to the following me than ever that I still get back to the home comforts of Mum and Dad’s, see family Number: 20387010 Sortwonderful Code: 20 30 47 Reference: and friends andAccount reinvigorate myself in Devon’s environment. I am proud to LoveDevon yourfor surname represent a charity that isfollowed doing soby much the people and communities that I have grown up in, which face some real challenges.

CHEQUE “I am always taken aback at the generosity and spirit of those involved in the LOVE Please make cheques payable to: Devon Communities Together and send Devon events and I hope many others are inspired to join my family and friends and get them to the address on page.2 behind this wonderful charity, which does so much to support the people and places we


THE FUTURE OF DEVON FARMING Devon YFC is led by young people, for young people, and its 38 clubs provide members aged 10 to 26 with a unique opportunity to develop skills, work with their local community, travel abroad, take part in competitions and enjoy a dynamic social life.


e chatted to Rosie Bennett (Honiton YFC member and the current Devon YFC Junior Vice Chairman) and Vicki Gilbert (Cheriton & Tedburn YFC member, Haldon Group YFC Chairman and current Devon YFC Vice Travel Chairman) to find out more about life inside Devon YFC...

When did you join and what made you want to join? (R) I joined Honiton YFC in September 2008. I had been excited to join from a young age as many of my cousins were involved and I could see how much fun they were having. I also wanted to be able to take part in competitions, especially all the craft and baking entries at Honiton and Devon County Show. (V) I joined Cheriton & Tedburn in 2007 - I was about to turn 13. My Dad has been a member for as long as he was able and he was always talking about the fun he had, skills he learnt and friends he made. I was really very shy so it took some persuasion but once I attended my first meeting I never looked back! What would you say has been your best experience with the club, to date? (V) I have been so lucky and through YFC have had an immeasurable amount of experiences; performing at Blackpool Winter Gardens, travelling to Estonia and gaining friends from across the globe to name but a few. However, my absolutely best experience within YFC would have to be in 2014, I was club chairman and we competed in the National Finals of

the Entertainments Competition. We had members of all ages taking part and I just remember feeling so proud of each and every member for getting up there and giving it a go! Has being involved in Young Farmers had a positive impact on life outside of the club? (R) Yes without a doubt. Young Farmers has given me the confidence to try new things and meet new people, and this has been particularly beneficial in my professional life as an accountant. Young Farmers has also given us the opportunity to help the local community, especially in more recent times. As a member I have been helping some local villagers with shopping and prescriptions. I have also started a weekly quiz for my work colleagues which is an idea taken from Young Farmers. What skills have you developed by being involved? (R) I feel like there are too many to list, but the main skills I have developed are public speaking, organisational skills and most definitely confidence, which have benefited me every day. Young Farmers has also given me an opportunity to learn skills that are not conventional, these being flower arranging, sugar craft, butter and junket making to name a few. (V) Some of the most invaluable skills I have gained from YFC are transferable ones. Not many adults are comfortable in an interview or a presentation or on stage or even chairing or taking minutes of a meeting. The impact it’s had on my confidence is incredible - most members now can’t remember me when I first joined and therefore probably won’t believe how shy I used to be. I have competed in both Junior & Senior Member of the Year

(interview), every public speaking competition (presentation), every performing arts competition (stage) and I’ve been chairman of both my club (2013/14) and group (2019/20) during which I’ve taken minutes. So when I’m applying for jobs not only am I comfortable in the interview but I can also say with complete honesty that I can chair meetings, give presentations and take minutes - all skills employers want, but struggle to find. I truly believe that YFC members make incredible employees as we are learning so many skills before even leaving school - we then continue to practise and develop these for years to come. How has DYFC supported you during Covid-19? (R) DFYFC has been extremely prevalent on social media, which has meant that we have still had lots of tasks and competitions to focus on, I am especially excited about giving the stock judging competition a go. This has been great as it has meant I still feel a sense of community during these troubled times. (V) YFC has been so helpful to me during these times - the National Federation is running a programme of events, the Devon Federation having amazing opportunities such as a Virtual Livestock Show and the Virtual Stock Judging but also regular

Online County meetings. We’re always discussing new ways to keep all of our members connected and engaged. At a Haldon Group level we’ve launched Haldon Helps which is a central list of villages where our members are. If a person needs an errand running then all they need to do is contact the Haldon Facebook page and we’ll put them in touch with their closest member. There are also quizzes, scavenger hunts and other games. At every single level there are group chats - every member is invited to be a part of something. Mental Health is so important to be aware of and rural isolation is being intensified at the moment - we’re doing all we can to keep everyone connected and I still somehow don’t seem to have enough hours in the day same as before all of this! I’m very grateful to my YFC family for reminding me how loved I am. Finally, if one of our readers is thinking of joining, what would you say to persuade them? (R) If you want to make friends and get opportunities no other organisation can provide - give it a go! Young Farmers really can change your life. (V) If anyone is even thinking about becoming a member my first impulse would be to say do it! There truly is something for everyone from sports to performing arts, from stock to singing, from public speaking to skills for life and from international travel to networking!

“Mental Health is so important to be aware of and rural isolation is being intensified at the moment - we’re doing all we can to keep everyone connected”

CORONAVIRUS: COMMUNITIES The Covid-19 pandemic has undoubtedly bought with it hugely challenging times for people all over Devon. DCT has been working with communities throughout the county to provide advice and support in a huge variety of ways. However, among the anxiety and uncertainty we’ve found inspiring stories of communities coming together to look after their most vulnerable, to support their local economies and to keep community life going …

Georgeham and Croyde Caring Community Group Ali Green-Price, joint coordinator of the Georgeham and Croyde Caring Community Group shares her experience of how these communities have come together to respond to the pandemic. Following a conversation with a friend about how it would be good to get people together to look out for each other as the Coronavirus appeared on our radar the Georgeham & Croyde Caring Community Group was launched and we had our firstand only- meeting on the 18th March. This Group was thrown together very quickly to meet a need and this has enabled us to act responsively and at speed to help at a time of great uncertainty and need. The lack of ‘red-tape’ has been a great help! Our first task was to identify those who needed help in the community and to let people know what we could offer help with, so the area was leafleted with our Bridgeruleand Village Hall intentions contact details. We had an amazing response from local people who wanted to help and now have over 100 registered volunteers with a wide variety of skills. Every member on the register has agreed to the Group guidelines and has received information about safeguarding. We are fortunate to have the help and support of local First Responders and the Parish Council. We set-up WhatsApp Groups for the two Villages and combined the two hamlets together and we use these to communicate between the volunteers and ‘post’ the jobs as they come in if applicable. This has proved a remarkably effective system!

Georgeham Post Office © Copyright Rod Allday and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

It became clear early on that being able to shop locally was vital for some members of the community, as online slots are difficult to get and not suitable for everyone. Both Post Offices stepped up to the task and are now retailing fresh produce as well as staples, and are providing a delivery service for those selfisolating. Both shops are assisted by volunteers with these deliveries…getting a daily paper was one of the first requests I had! As time has progressed it has become evident that it is not just the elderly and self-isolating who are going to need help & support and we have now established a Food parcel service for those in need. There is a donation box at each Village Store as well as an account for the Group at each so that people can donate money to buy goods from the local store, thus helping to support them too. A link has been made with the local school as we felt they would know where help may be needed, and 7 families have been identified to have a weekly food box so far. These boxes will be collected using a number system to maintain anonymity. A Grant from Fullabrook CIC has enabled us to offer a mileage allowance to volunteers and to cover some of the costs that will be incurred. Times have been - and will continue to be – very hard for some, but the community is doing what it can to help each other out- and we are all lifted by knowing that people care – and will do whatever they can to get through it together.

S TOGETHER Ottery St Mary Volunteer Dean Stewart explains how The Ottery Community Volunteers came into existence early on in the Covid19 pandemic as it became increasingly clear that the community would experience a never before seen event. We were facing members of our community being very sick or worse, and even the best case scenario had people locked up in their houses for weeks. So we resolved to form a group, at that point not really knowing what we were going to do, or how. We advertised locally for volunteers and very soon had around 400 people wanting to help. At first we sent everyone scurrying around town, but then quickly realised that we were forming a cohort of potential super spreaders. We had to move to phase 2 which meant setting up a central command centre where we devised a leaner, more targeted operation. One of the few external groups to help was Devon Communities Together who

Stock photo, reproduced under Creative Commons licesnce.

provided advice and support and helped us to win a grant from Devon County Council which ensures that we can keep delivering food, medicine and more without worrying about how we pay for the protective equipment for our volunteers, the software we use to coordinate everything, the printing of leaets and brochures and the background checks we are running on all of our volunteers.

DCT’S CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE In March 2020, Devon Communities Together and Devon County Council worked quickly to form a partnership in order to provide an effective, community-focused package of Covid-19 support, including a dedicated helpline and information sharing programme, including a regular e-bulletin and online resource: www. devoncommunities.org.uk/coronavirusinformation. At the time of publication we have already dealt with nearly 400 calls and email enquiries from community buildings, town and parish councils, community groups, and community response groups looking to access

support for themselves or members of their community. Each call has helped resolve an issue or provided guidance, from connecting vulnerable individuals with local support, to advising village hall committees on governance issues and helping community groups manage spontaneous volunteers. Throughout this time we have been uncovering lots of interesting revelations about how communities are responding during the global crisis and the impact it has had on them. This intelligence is reported on a weekly basis to the Devon Pandemic Management Committee and will be used by DCT to enable us to better direct our support services as the siutation develops.

NET ZERO DEVON As the wide reaching impact of climate change is increasingly accepted, the goal of being carbon neutral (reaching ‘net zero’ carbon emissions) has been set by authorities around the world. The UK’s official target is 2050 and Devon has set its own target of being carbon neutral by 2050 at the latest, with Plymouth and Exeter aiming for 2030.

The challenge to reach this goal is huge and requires logistical changes across all sectors of society, which are hard to imagine. Devon Communities Together is proud to be a part of Devon County Council’s Net Zero Task Force, which is seeking to create an action plan to help create the necessary transitions. DCT is able to work alongside business; waste management; transport; energy and agricultural experts to specifically represent rural voices and local community approaches. The Task Force held a public call for evidence, which received over 893 submissions from community organisations, local and parish councils, local interest groups and passionate individuals. A series of evidence hearings of industry experts was also held. Together, these submissions are helping the Task Force to understand which actions are most urgent and effective; which are contentious; and how to implement them to create a positive vision for Devon’s future. Although much change will be determined by policies at a national level, Devon as a county has many particular issues to considered, including: Many of its homes being of historical character and therefore difficult to retrofit with insulation. Its rural nature, meaning a high reliance on cars. Many livelihoods dependent on farming practices, which may have to change. The Task Force is working to publish its action plan this year, but uncertainty from the Corona Virus Pandemic has affected when a citizens assembly can be held. This citizens assembly is acknowledged as an essential part of the process, to further hear the deliberative voices of the public. Beyond the role of the council and national policies, we know it is the work already happening in communities across Devon which will continue to move the changes forward – and DCT is currently working to scale up the support it can offer in communities around Devon. Keep an eye on our website for further details ... Resources to support individuals and communities move to action, as well as summaries of expert and public submissions of evidence and action ideas, can all be found at:


SOUTH WEST CONNECTED COMMUNITY MAPS PUTTING PEOPLE & COMMUNITIES FIRST Due to Coronavirus among many other reasons, many people feel isolated and are struggling to find the support they need. When searching online there are often too many clicks to get to relevant information and information can be out of date or incorrect. At the same time many charities and organisations are short of vital volunteers and will need support in the coming months but potential volunteers might not know where to start looking for opportunities. To tackle this challenge, Devon based, award winning social enterprise If Everyone Cares CIC (IEC), founded by Jaki King, has launched seven Devon area-based connected community maps in partnership with Recovery Devon and Devon Communities Together. IEC developed the area-based maps, which are connected to its UK-wide platform, aDoddle.org, with the aim of working with charities, community groups and organisations to create a resource that helps both potential volunteers and those who need support to discover local organisations. Jaki says: “We had only planned to launch 12 area-based maps in 2020, one in each of the 12 UK regions. However, due to the pandemic, we decided to ‘fast-track’ their launch to help support people, organisations and communities. The maps are still in their infancy but will be here long after Covid-19 and the many emergency directories are gone. All information is added by the charities and organisations themselves.” The maps will ... - Pin-point local charities, community projects/groups & resources

- Connect those who need help to those who provide it - Help anyone experiencing isolation to find local groups to connect with others - Signpost people who want to help - to projects that need their support - Enable charities to highlight their services and volunteering opportunities - Clearly show the age of information via a unique ‘Traffic Light’ system - Make it ‘aDoddle’ to find, connect, give, collaborate and support - FREE to use 24/7 Create a free profile! We now need YOUR HELP to raise awareness and encourage charities and organisations to create a free profile. Our research has shown there are five key things people want to know: who they help, how they help, the difference they make, the help they need and how to contact them to either access to help, offer to volunteering or give a donation. By working together we can ‘Connect Communities - One Click at a Time’. South-West.CommunityMap.info Jaki King: 07540567564 jaki@IfEveryoneCares.org DEVON COMMUNITIES TOGETHER | LOVE DEVON | 11

STAYING SOCIAL WHILST SOCIALLY DISTANT Devon Highlights started across Devon in 2019 as a series of place-based groups for those aged 55+ at risk of isolation and loneliness. DCT project manager Annabelle Murray tells LOVE Devon how the project has been adapted to ensure that social distancing doesn't have to mean socially isolated.


CT's Devon Highlights project is now more relevant than ever! Since Covid-19 everyone has some sense of what it is to be isolated and lonely. Perhaps it will create a deeper empathy and more practical assistance for those people in Devon who have been struggling with the realities of isolation and loneliness before the pandemic hit, and will continue to struggle with these realities after Covid 19 is over. Devon Highlights is here to help do just that – show empathy and give practical support. Since March 2020 we have been forced to deliver our project remotely and, despite the abrupt change of direction (kindly agreed to by our funders, The National Lottery Community Fund), it has turned out to be no bad thing, with new participants joining every week. We are still working closely with our key locations in Devon – Teignmouth, Exmouth, Chulmleigh, Holsworthy, Totnes and Paignton – but now anyone 55+ in Devon can participate, no matter where they live. We are operating a 121-call service, and for those that have some digital skills and access to broadband, we are running weekly Zoom

group meetings. It has been wonderful to see people adapt their participation in the group via digital technologies and still desire to make connections with other people even though this method might be new and intimidating. There is a great sense of achievement for many that they have successfully navigated a new skill and for others the ability to share their knowledge and dexterity.

"It has been wonderful to see people adapt their participation in the group via digital technologies and still desire to make connections with other people" For the Devon Highlights team at DCT we really value the time when we talk with participants on the phone too – sharing experiences, over a cuppa. All this is making for a very interesting and rewarding connection with people. We get to see people’s unique individuality and yet we can all embrace openly our need to be part of community and to engage with others. We don’t necessarily talk about isolation and loneliness, but we do help to reduce it as we engage with one another. For more informtion about 121 calls and Zoom groups, visit https://www. devoncommunities.org.uk/projects/devonhighlights or call 01392 218919

#VoicingLoneliness sound archive Our anonymous sound archive, #VoicingLoneliness, on the other hand, is about addressing these realities. We

Participants at one of our place-based Devon Highlights group. All groups have now moved online

are inviting everyone in Devon to take part in #VoicingLoneliness and tell their story by sending in their recorded answers to a few simple questions. You might say ‘well I don't feel lonely or isolated’ but we would say still tell your story, because by sharing our voices we can collectively start to have more open dialogue around these emotive realities that are affecting so many people in Devon. We are starting to get voice recordings coming through from whole family units recorded as part of their Covid-19 keep-busy-plan! We'd love individuals of all ages to take part in this historic archive at an unprecedented time in Devon history. We want to show the diverse ways that loneliness and isolation is felt and manifested in different communities throughout the county. For more information on #VoicingLoneliness, visit www. devoncommunities.org.uk/news/voicingloneliness-sound-archive or add our WhatsApp number 07984001566 and send us a message. We'll help you do the rest!


ere we get to know Stuart, who sadly experienced loneliness due to the loss of his wife. The face to face group and 1-2-1 telephone calls have allowed Stuart to socialise with his community and

share stories and experiences, during a difficult time. Stuart started attending sessions two months after his wife passed away. His daughters, living in another county, encouraged him to join the Highlights groups. He is a popular and social man, but it was his wife who really knew everyone in town. Her loss was clearly devastating and present for him, but he would continue with a positive phrase and cheerful demeanour. One session, several weeks after Stuart joined the group, we asked everyone to bring along their favourite poems or pieces of writing. One woman read ‘Warning’ by Jenny Joseph, advising that: “When I am an old woman I shall wear purple, With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me. And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves”. Stuart produced a small worn poetry book and declared it was his wife’s favourite book, reading us a few selected poems with a wry smile. Stuart kept joining us most weeks, teaching the rest of the group whist and sharing stories of losing a cow milking contest in Kenya. During Covid-19 DCT staff phone him every week and, as with all of us at this time, there are Model slow days and good days – but he especially likes seeing his neighbours on Thursdays, clapping the NHS.




Did you know that Devon Communities Together's almost 60 years of expertise is accessible to other businesses, bodies and charities through our Catalyst consultancy service? Our professional team is committed to supporting commercial, public and third sector organisations all over Devon to create positive change in their communities. As part of our consultancy team we're proud to work with a growing network of registered associates who are available to lend their specialist knowledge to our work. Here we meet just a small selection of our DCT associates...


icola Gurr, who is also a DCT Trustee, is a management consultant, undertaking varied assignments such as writing tenders, undertaking investigations, training for areas such as risk management and leadership and project management. Clients are mainly small private companies and charities who are working with the NHS, local authorities or others in the care setting.

Nicola trained as a Nurse at The London Hospital, Whitechapel and specialised in theatre nursing, before leaving nursing to take a History Degree (MA at Edinburgh University) and a Masters in the History of Medicine (MPhil at Glasgow University). Soon after completing her degrees, Nicola came back into the NHS as a Management Trainee, after which she started her management career, allowing her to combine

her clinical and managerial experiences to good effect. Responsibilities have included leading contract and performance management; rolling out large, county-wide transformation projects; undertaking internal investigations; and leading CCG teams in ensuring Providers enact their CQC recovery plans. She has led multi-disciplinary teams that have included clinicians (including GPs, consultants, nurses and pharmacists), public health professionals and commissioners.


ale Hall has a profound interest in promoting positive social mobility, having escaped a poor education in Salford by being fostered for 10 years with various families in Devon. Here, he got a new start via the ‘excellent new secondary modern school in Ashburton’; gradually he caught up and moved to Newton Abbot grammar school at 16. In 1988 Dale founded ORS (Opinion Research Services) as a social research interface between Swansea University and the public and charity sectors. ORS left the university in 2000 and now has a UK-wide reputation for its research in health, housing, local government and emergency services. Dale is now Chair rather than Managing Director, but still enjoys conducting focus group and forums. Recently, Dale has been involved in complex, controversial consultations about replacing two-tier local government with unitary councils.


an Eatherley is an Exeter-based naturalist, writer, environmental consultant and occasional film-maker.

Skilled in technical research and communication, he has a deep understanding of environmental and sustainability issues with a grounding in both natural and social sciences. His specialisms range from waste prevention, recycling and the circular economy to biodiversity and ecology.

Although he conducts assignments for major national and international clients (e.g. Defra, European Commission, Greenpeace, the United Nations Environment (l-r) Richard James, Moran, Leigh Colema Programme, Scottish Natural Heritage and Zero Waste Scotland), DanAdam is proud of his work with Devon organisations. These include Devon Communities Together, the Devon Local Nature Partnership, technology firm Fishtek Marine in Totnes, and the University of Exeter Business School, where he is a Senior Research Fellow. Dan has a low boredom threshold so is also the author of non-fiction books! These include Invasive Aliens: Plants and Animals from over there that are over here (William Collins, 2019), recently named ‘A Book of the Year’ by The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Times and Waterstones. Dan has also written on science and the environment for a number of high profile publications. Previously, Dan (who is a zoologist originally) travelled worldwide, making natural history television programmes for the BBC, National Geographic and others. Among his proudest achievements is working as an assistant producer on two David Attenborough series, Life of Mammals and Planet Earth.


design consistently within decision making.

Jo is currently a freelance planning consultant working, with Neighbourhood Plan groups, developers and not for profit organisations seeking to embed high quality

She is an associate working with Creating Excellence and Design Midlands, as their Planning and Learning Manager, and is currently promoting the ‘National Design Guide’ and ‘Councillor Design Companion’ on behalf of MHCLG. Jo has worked with a diverse range of stakeholders on challenging topics.

o Widdecombe believes that planning and good design can make a positive difference to peoples’ lives and appreciates that all stakeholders in planning can deliver change. Together, possibilities for how we live, work, play and contribute to our communities can be reimagined.

"I don’t consider myself a subject matter expert in any one particular aspect, but someone who is curious and capable of creating situations where people can develop their own understanding of planning and placemaking. I believe in working with the power of communities and individuals to deliver the right development in the right place."


ohn Gorman has lead major change programmes for Devon and Cornwall Police, developed the business strategy for Babcock in Devonport and designed a change programme for the Met Office. He has also managed and mentored small companies, helping them to develop their true potential, and has provided support to charities and voluntary organisations. In some cases this has involved deep strategic change, in others it has involved finding and removing blockers to performance or resolving a crisis. Having lived in Torquay for most of his life, John appreciates both the advantages and challenges of living and working in Devon. He enjoys working with people to solve their problems and get the same enjoyment from living and working here as he does.


ue set up her own communications business in 1997 and has since worked with a variety of major organisations throughout the UK to help improve their business, including specialist coaching and training in communications, business growth and creativity. Sue’s passion is in exploring the benefits of positive psychology and emotional well-being, and she is a regular keynote speaker on the benefits of laughter, creativity and Positive Psychology. She is an NLP Master Practitioner and Trainer; a DiSC Practitioner and trainer; and a member of the British Psychological Society for Test-Users, ANLP and the Careers Development Institute. Sue trained with the Institute for Cultural Affairs in facilitation skills and workshops. As an International Laughter Ambassador, and Laughter Yoga teacher, she trains Laughter Yoga leaders and works using laughter and mindfulness as a positive force for health, personal change and growth in numerous environments including local government, corporates, businesses and schools. Sue also works for one of HRH Prince Charles’ charities training homeless people to be jobready, socially-skilled and motivated, and for Pluss/Positive People, to help people deal with their additional needs.


ucie Hartley has worked for over 30 years in the health and social care field, in statutory and third sector organisations. Currently she works as a freelance coach and consultant.

and communities. She also has experience in business development, competitive tendering and organisational design.

Until May 2019 Lucie was Chief Executive of EDP Drug and Alcohol Services, an Exeter-based charity. Her areas of interest are coaching, leadership development and collaborative, valuebased working models within and across organisations

"I’m very happy to become an Associate of Devon Communities Together (DCT). "The charity does amazing work, which is close to my

heart and goes back to my roots, as I started my career as a volunteer and then a community development worker. "The Pandemic situation we are in has really demonstrated the power of communities in Devon and I’m keen to be involved in work which gives more recognition to this and resources opportunities for the coproduction of solutions to the issues we face."

Create positive change with professional support and expertise from Catalyst consultancy. We’re here to help Devon emerge from Covid-19 and begin to rebuild. Speak to our team today about your challenges. . Fundraising Strategies

. Design & Facilitation of Partnership Forums

. Feasibility Studies

. Design Led Initiatives

. Stakeholder Consultation

. Rural Housing Services

. Governance & Legal Structures

. Community Land Trusts

. Community Owned Assets

. Neighbourhood Planning & Localism Powers

. Positive Community Engagement

. Sustainability Initiatives

For an initial free consultation call 01392 248919 or email info@devoncommunities.org.uk

BRIXHAM HAS ITS SAY Community buildings play a hugely important part of community life and Brixham Town Council was keen to engage with the local community to investigate the feasiblility of different options to regenerate its much-loved Town Hall. The Council commissioned Devon Communities Together to undertake a programme of community engagement to understand what they value about the town hall now, how they use the town hall at present, and how they would like to see the town hall regenerated for the benefit of the community. This was a great opportunity for people to engage with genuine community consultation at a stage where their input really could make a difference. As well as creating a community survey, our team spent a lot of time in Brixham from January to March 2020, to raise awareness in the community of the opportunity to have their say. Community Project Advisor Martin Rich gives us a glimpse into a 'day in the life' of a community engagement worker on a damp January day in Brixham...


We had our eye-catching gazebo set-up and underway well before the street closed to traffic at 10:00. The early morning shoppers were attracted by ‘something going on’ and were curious about our presence. Many were willing to give a few minutes to listen to us and to comment on the project. A number had read in the local newspaper about the opportunity to contribute to the consultation and were keen to take away a survey, often asking for extra copies for friends and family. Even out-of-season, fish and chips is good in Brixham and a lunchtime walk around the harbour revealed a surprising number of visitors in the town! We did a drop-off of surveys to the town businesses and received a number of comments about the difference a vibrant Town Hall could make to the local economy by engaging both tourists and residents.


Our final tour was to include the library and the several community drop-in centres. Meeting many older Brixham residents, we were regaled with stories of how the market, the theatre and the dance-hall had played an important part in their growing-up, courtship and social life. The Town Hall is a landmark building for Brixhamites in many senses. We also ran two community engagement events in the Town Hall in March, designed to allow people to drop in, ask questions, and think creatively about the future of the Town Hall. Activities were designed to help people to think about the layout of the building and how it would impact the future of the town. Taking a design led thinking approach, activities ranged from giant interactive floorplans to envisioning future newspaper headlines. Our staff really enjoyed meeting members of the Brixham community, hearing some wonderful stories about how the Town Hall and its services enrich their community, and explore with them the future potential for the Town Hall. Having submitted a final report to Brixham’s Town Hall Regeneration Working Group, we look forward to seeing how this project progresses to benefit the community of Brixham.

EMPOWERING DEVON'S YOUNG PEOPLE There are young people across Devon, Torbay and Plymouth who, for a wide range of reasons, are NEET – Not in Education, Employment or Training. Empowering Enterprise is a partnership of organisations that exists to deliver a unique project for 18— 24 yearolds living in these areas who are NEET. The project is managed by Petroc and funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund.


mpowering Enterprise has worked with over 600 of the most socially excluded young people in Devon, Torbay and Plymouth who are furthest from the labour market, to develop their employability and life skills, as well as cultivate confidence within them to progress or return to job searching, employment, education or training. Over the past three years, Empowering Enterprise has been delivered by partners such as Battling On, Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, Eat That Frog, Groundwork South, I Can Do That!, Inspiring Arts, Open Doors International Language School, Whizz-Kidz and Young Devon. Mentors from these organisations work closely with participants, to carry out a bespoke personal development plan, addressing their talents, aspirations and barriers, in order to propel them forward to a bright future.

One shining example is Poppy, a carer for her Grandmother, who engaged with the project to tackle her social anxiety, grow in confidence and explore potential next steps. Poppy undertook one-to-one mentoring, group sessions and socials, volunteering at Newton Abbot’s Community Fridge, planning and delivering a Film Club for other participants, a sponsored cycle ride, and much more! After leaving the project, Poppy successfully undertook paid training through Marks & Spencer’s ‘Get Into Retail’ scheme. Poppy’s story demonstrates how individual lives, communities, support services, businesses and youth organisations are all positively impacted by the work that Empowering Enterprise does.

y Popp

The latest figures show that over 250 of our young people have moved into education, training or employment and many more have improved their confidence, mental health, employability and life skills. DCT is a support partner for Empowering Enterprise and leads on the project’s impact measurement and reporting, and has also supported the partnership with community and employer engagement. A huge thank you and well done is due to Petroc and the whole partnership, for the incredible work that they have been doing. Most of all, well done to all those young people that have chosen to engage with this fantastic opportunity and have taken another step forward in their exciting journeys. Visit: www.empoweringenterprise.org.uk.


"It's been a really interesting and challenging exercise..." "It's been really interesting to watch people grow in the group, in confidence..." In January and February 2020, DCT ran Ilfracombe workshops in Ilfracombe, North Devon, to better understand, and create solutions for, the challenges of people living with or affected by disabilities. Workshops were organised with Devon County Council’s Adult Social Care Teams and One Ilfracombe, which is deeply embedded in its community and does brilliant work bringing all of Ilfracombe’s services, businesses, schools and residents together. DCT facilitated workshops where people with disabilities, carers, care services and community groups could talk and work with each other to explore the challenges they are facing, which were: the limitations of existing transport options; signposting and knowledge

sharing; and suitable access to activities for different age groups. Although it was a challenge to manage so many voices from different parts of the system, we enjoyed facilitating many rich conversations and generating positive ideas. For example, in a response to the issue of transport, a potential new bus route was mapped which combats the physical challenges of those isolated by Ilfracombe’s hilly geography, but with conditions created so that the bus does not, for example, cause anxiety for those with autism. You can enjoy highlights from our workshops here: https://youtu.be/pD6_fuTHKBQ DEVON COMMUNITIES TOGETHER | LOVE DEVON | 19


E n hance Social Enterprise Network


DCT has been leading the development of The Enhance Social Enterprise Network, working with partners to bring together hundreds of enterprises and entrepreneurs across the region to collectively boost this growing sector of the economy. What is a social enterprise? Social enterprises are businesses that set out to create positive social change. Like traditional businesses they aim to make a profit but it’s what they do with their profit that sets them apart: reinvesting or donating it to create positive social change. Social enterprises are in our communities, on our smart phones and on our high streets – from coffee shops and cinemas, to pubs and leisure centres, banks and bus companies. Famous examples include Big Issue, Divine Chocolate and the Eden Project.

The Enhance Social Enterprise Network is designed as a catalyst for network development of Social Enterprises across the South West (Devon, Exeter, Torbay, Plymouth and Somerset), bringing them together to facilitate a healthy ecosystem for businesses to flourish. Join us! There are a host of member benefits and lots of opportunities to connect and learn within this supportive new community. Not sure if you qualify to be a member? If you’re a commercial organisation but do socially conscious things with your profits, then you probably do! Visit our website for membership information and to find your local social enterprises on our live map.


Personal Alarm Watch (PAW) is a fantastic example of

Adapting to Covid-19: a social enterprise in action – providing an important

product designed to create positive social change, whilst remaining commercially savvy and spotting opportunities to grow... In April 2020 PAW launched the UK’s first emergency alarm system designed to be used while people are selfisolating. Older and more vulnerable people can access an alarm without requiring installation by a technician or family member, reducing the risk of infection.

The alarm itself looks like a watch but has the ability to make an emergency call to a 24/7 monitoring team. Beyond the pandemic, older people can get help wherever they go because the device can be used anywhere in the country. Co-Founder Ewan Marshall said: “While I lived with my grandparents, I experienced how bad technology can be for older people and wanted to design something that could really help them keep their independence. We are delighted to have launched an emergency alarm which ensures no contact is needed to set it up, helping elderly people be as safe as possible while we fight coronavirus.” Devon Communities Together has led on the development of The Enhance Social Enterprise Network, which is a partnership with Devon County Council and social enterprise networks across the HoTSW LEP: DCT, Plymouth Social Enterprise Network, Essence of Exeter, Local Spark: Torbay, and the Community Council of Somerset (Smart Communities Ltd). The Heart of the South West Enhance Social Enterprise Programme is receiving funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural & Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

A SPOT OF INADVERTANT TOR-BAGGING... Sue Viccars, editor of Dartmoor Magazine and author of numerous walking books, shares a summery experience on the moor. I can’t really call myself a ‘bagger’. I remember once standing on the summit of Ben Hope (Scotland’s most northerly Munro) and being asked how many Munros I’d done, and I couldn’t answer. I could maybe get up to thirty, but that’s not what it’s about for me. I will happily revisit a hill more than once: every time is different, depending on the weather, the company, my mood. Bagging the tors of Dartmoor is tricky, in that there is no definitive list. And when is a tor not a tor? More than 150 of these granite outcrops are marked on the OS Explorer map, but there are more than seven hundred tors and rocks waiting to be ‘bagged’ (see www. torsofdartmoor.co.uk). But last summer I did ‘bag’ three new (and very special) ones. Every year a bunch of us gets together to do some ‘big’ walking (e.g. Perambulation of the Dartmoor Forest boundary). Last summer we stayed at Dewerstone Cottage, tucked away in woodland above the River Meavy. Our first day dawned wet and misty. We had a good and long day out, but saw nothing – and got soaked! So seeing the sun glimpsing through the trees the following morning was a real tonic. We wound our way towards the moor via Bickleigh Vale and the wonderfully named Hollowgreep, then crossed Shaugh Moor to reach the trig point on Saddlesborough. We skirted old china clay works and tramped

through damp valley mire to cross the Blacka Brook clapper. A gentle ascent through the remains of old farms and field boundaries took us to the ridge between Great and Little Trowlesworthy tors. The views north take in Sheepstor, with Leather Tor and Sharpitor beyond. We spotted a Dartmoor curiosity, too: an unused base for a flagpole that was destined for Devonport sometime in the 19th century and never quite made it. From there we headed across the open expanse of Lee Moor, populated by large numbers of sheep, cattle and ponies, with stunning views across upper Plym valley to the prehistoric landscape of Drizzlecombe and Ditsworthy Warren House (think War Horse – the film). Next stop Hentor (new tor No 3). Frequent instances of ‘warren’ and ‘pillow mounds’ on the OS map reveal that there were once rabbit farms here (at one time there were said to be as many as eighteen across the moor). We descended tranquil Shavercombe, then followed the River Plym back to Cadover Bridge. Revived by ice cream we headed along the pipe track to Shaugh Bridge, passing the magnificent Dewerstone Rocks. So a brilliant day out: 14 miles and three new tors ‘ticked off’. And what different conditions from the previous day! But then – isn’t that all part of Dartmoor’s charm?


SAVING DEVON'S TREESCAPES Devon's treescapes are stunning and crucial habitats for so much wildlife. But they have been in decline for many decades and are now facing a new threat from ash dieback; which is estimated to kill at least 90% of Devon’s ash trees in the coming years. It will affect everyone, but everyone can be part of the solution. A new initiative called Saving Devon’s Treescapes has started work this year to tackle the problems facing Devon’s treescapes. The project is led by Devon Wildlife Trust on behalf of the Devon Ash Dieback Resilience Forum and is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, as well as other funders. Saving Devon’s Treescapes aims to provide hope and action in the face of the alarming changes that are already affecting our precious treescapes. The project has secured tremendous support from a wide range of partner organisations. Together with help from local communities, farms and businesses we’ll plant and nurture over 250,000 trees outside of woodlands. The project will enable people to plant free trees, care for and celebrate our treasured treescapes, supporting local action for wildlife and climate change. The project will also be setting up community tree nurseries and developing citizen science projects to help monitor the health of Devon’s Treescapes. For more information please visit www.devonwildlifetrust.org/saving-devons-treescapes

Devon Oil Collective Affordable warmth for homes, community buildings & rural businesses


In partnership with Affinity, part of England’s largest farming cooperative, we work to get you the best prices.

JOIN DEVON OIL COLLECTIVE TO SAVE ON THE COSTS OF YOUR OIL HEATING Call us on 01392 248919 or email: info@devoncommunities.org.uk

DEVON COMMUNITIES TOGETHER MEMBERSHIP Join us today - support our charity’s work and receive a number of exclusive benefits ... We're here to help communities as Devon emerges from the Coronavirus pandemic and begins to rebuild. Join us and be a part of the recovery. • •

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Get the latest updates from our network, PLUS: FOR VILLAGE HALLS/COMMUNITY BUILDINGS: publications and e-newsletters • Free listing on Devon Village Halls Join the debate! We are frequently webpage - national exposure showing your consulted on rural issues and regularly facilities report on the needs of rural communities • Access to a community buildings loan Save on advertising in our LOVE Devon scheme magazine • Hallmark quality assurance scheme & support with accreditation Advice on: Community engagement • Peer support from a local network of Community projects Social & community buildings community enterprise Funding • Discounts on Information sheets & toolkits insurance and other commercial Model documents & templates


on courses from the Devon Community Learning Academy

JOIN TODAY Call 01392 248919 for an application pack or apply online at www.devoncommunities.org.uk

ONLINE TRAINING FROM DEVON COMMUNITY LEARNING ACADEMY Social distancing does not have to mean your training plans get put on hold! Visit Devon Community Learning Academy for a variety of accessible online learning modules, webinars and virtual networking.


We’re planning an exciting new programme of in-person training for when it’s safe to resume. Watch this space!

Discounts and FREE training available!

www.devoncommunities.org.uk/courses or findTOGETHER us on Eventbrite! DEVON COMMUNITIES | LOVE DEVON |


Do you want to?... Become a healthier weight? Cut down on alcohol? Be more active? Quit Smoking?

OneSmallStep are still here and can help. 01392 908 139 onesmallstep.org.uk

Profile for Devon Communities Together

LOVE Devon Magazine 2020  

Inspiring stories from around Devon's communities bought to you by Devon Communities Together

LOVE Devon Magazine 2020  

Inspiring stories from around Devon's communities bought to you by Devon Communities Together


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