Local Information on Coronavirus


Devon County Council – Covid-19 Update

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Friday 27 March 2020

We're working around the clock to ensure the most vulnerable people in Devon are cared for and essential services continue to reach our communities. 

The single most important thing we can all do to help fight the coronavirus outbreak is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives. Full guidance on staying at home and away from others can be found on the Government's website.

Things are changing on a daily basis but we are working to keep you informed through this email update, and our coronavirus (COVID-19) pages on our website which have all the latest information from the government, the NHS and from our community.

Please note that all of our sites and offices are closed to the public, except for necessary prearranged visits

In this update:

  • Advice about potential disruption to adult care services
  • Find out how to volunteer, and do it safely
  • Funding available to support community action
  • Highways teams working to keep roads safe for key workers
  • Active Devon's #StayInWorkOut advice
  • Update on broadband network build and maintenance


Advice if you receive care from one of our providers

carerThe potential spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) is likely to have an impact on our care providers’ staffing levels and ability to deliver care services to residents across Devon. We've published some information about how we're going to prioritise visits to the most vulnerable and the plans we're making to ensure that you are not at risk if your care is temporarily limited by staffing resources. We've also got some advice on what you can do to help us prepare.

How to volunteer and help safely

Elderly lady sat with hands in her lapMany of you have been volunteering to offer practical, emotional and social support to your neighbours, communities and the NHS, which is excellent, but you need to do so safely. The Government has published guidance on how to help safely – please read it. There's more information on our website about how to get involved in one of the many local initiatives that communities across Devon are putting together or sign up to become an NHS Volunteer Responder.

Support for self-employed people

Self-employed people are a vital part of Devon's economy, with self-employment rates here 4.1% above the national average. The Government has announced the Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) to support self-employed individuals, including members of partnerships, whose incomes have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. Full details can be found on the Government business support website.

Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp

The Government has launched its Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp. The free service is an automated ‘chatbot’ that will provide information on coronavirus prevention and symptoms, the latest number of cases in the UK, advice on staying at home, travel advice and myth busting. More information can be found on the Government website. WhatsApp logo

Keeping people safe and well

New health and care recruitment campaign

Care providers are under a lot of pressure right now and many are actively looking to recruit more staff. We are working with them to help boost their recruitment. Look out for our latest Proud to Care campaign launching on Monday. Visit the Proud to Care website for more information. 


Active Devon logo Being physically active is a really good way to maintain your physical and mental wellbeing as you adjust to the challenges of these difficult times. Whether you’re young or old, a first timer or a gym regular, doing it on your own or with your family, Active Devon has some great ideas for how you can keep active while you're staying at home to protect the NHS and save lives. Visit their #StayInWorkOut page for more information.

Domestic abuse support

Campaign graphic. Cartoon figues with words saying COVID-19 isolation may increase domestic abuse. Help is available.Sadly, as people continue to self-isolate, there is likely to be an increase in incidents of domestic abuse. We're working with partners across Devon and Cornwall to launch a new campaign to highlight how people can still access vital advice and support services online and over the phone during the coronavirus outbreak.


Funding to support community action

We've launched the COVID-19 Prompt Action Fund to help provide valuable funding to organisations working in communities that have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak. It can be used to help voluntary and community groups with issues like safely delivering food and medicine to vulnerable people, supporting people to access online information and services, and starting virtual support groups to help people stay connected. Find out more, including how to apply. 

Supporting your community

Your local councils are working together to help and support local people to get through this outbreak. We are committed to doing whatever is needed to help people and to support our communities to find ways to respond quickly. There's lots of advice on our website about setting up, registering and finding local community support groups including links to the local Council for Voluntary Service (CVS) and Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK.

Service updates

Highway repairs keeping roads safe for key workers

Plant machinery being used to resurface road Our highways teams have a critical role in keeping Devon's roads safe for emergency services and other key workers, as well as the delivery of food and supplies.

We've temporarily suspended planned highway maintenance work in order to focus on the repair of critical infrastructure, and continue to deliver essential safety repairs in order to maintain the local network.

Update on broadband network build and maintenance

Broadband suppliers are continuing with maintenance, repairs and building new infrastructure where it is safe to do so and resources allow, says Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS).

However, whilst the current social distancing restrictions are in place, CDS does not expect to see any work undertaken to connect homes to new infrastructure, should that require entry to the premises.

Fingers on a computer keyboard

Extra parking for hospital staff in Exeter

To ease parking pressures at hospital sites in Exeter as additional NHS staff are drafted in in response to coronavirus (COVID-19), We've opened up our car park at County Hall on Topsham Road to staff working at the nearby hospitals to use free of charge. Isca Academy and The Maynard School have also kindly made their car parks available.

Our Chief Executive, Phil Norrey, said: "Staff including doctors, nurses and everyone on the front line at the hospital are working around the clock, and are throwing all of their weight into this response.  If we can at the very least help them in getting to work, we will."

And finally...

Thousands of people opened their front doors at 8pm last night (Thursday 26 March) to show in solidarity their support for our nation's health workers.  Streets rang to the sound of applause.  Neighbours and friends shared the moment, respecting a safe distance from each other.  We’ve captured a few moments of it.

Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives banner

The latest national advice on coronavirus (COVID-19) is available on the
Government website and NHS website.

You can find local guidance and information about the impacts on our services on the Devon County Council website.

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Parish Council – Coronavirus (Covid 19) – Post 5

Some of this is a duplication of previous posts which is to ensure the relevant previous information remains easily accessible.

The government advice on isolating yourself and family if you show symptoms and advice on isolating/shielding is on the link below.


The link below is the the government advice site for employees with information about entitlements etc. This is clearly evolving quickly but the site should be updated frequently.


The Money Saving Expert is a good source of advice on benefits, potential help for the self employed and salary and rental protection schemes.


Devon County Council and South Hams District Council have advice pages on their websites.

The Citizens Advice Service is continuing to work but only offers advice remotely. You can contact them in the following ways.

Adviceline 03444 111 444 (Monday - Friday 9am - 4pm)

Email:www.southhamscab.org.ukFrom the ‘Contact us’ page select ‘Email’ and click ‘Use our online form’

WhatsApp 07497 758779

Letter: Citizens Advice, Follaton House, Plymouth Road, Totnes TQ9 5NE

If you have a fever it is recommended that paracetamol is the first line drug to take. Many branded products also contain paracetamol so please check ingredients and do not exceed the recommended daily dose. If you do please seek medical advice.

The Minor Injuries Unit at Totnes has been closed .

The Minor Injuries units at Kingsbridge and the Cumberland Centre in Plymouth remain open. Please use them appropriately.

MIU - Cumberland Centre (Plymouth)
Damerel Close

Tel: (01752) 434390
Opening times: 08:30 - 22:00 (09:00 - 22:00 Thursdays)
Opening days: 7 days per week
X-ray available: 09:00 - 20:45 (7 days)
MIU - South Hams Hospital (Kingsbridge)
Plymouth Road

Tel: (01548) 852349
Opening times: 09:00 - 17:00
Opening days: 7 days per week
X-ray available: 09:00 - 17:00 (Mon-Fri)

If family carers become ill the following organisations may be able to assist:

Care Direct                             0345 155 1007

Social Services                       0345 600 0388

Disability Information Service  0345 155 1005

If you believe that you might need support from the community  please contact Cllr Andrew Hollett, details below. If you have neighbours or friends who may not be accessing this site but you feel they may benefit please ask them to contact Andrew or give permission for you to do so.

If you are willing to be a Community Volunteer to help with the above or be willing to make regular phone contact to someone to ease the isolation please contact Cllr Trudie Timlin Brown also details below.

Cllr Andrew Hollett. Tel. 830361      andrew.hollett@btinternet.com

Cllr Trudie  Timlin Brown   Tel  830683 bathebrown@aol.com

It may be useful to gather some names of volunteers willing to dog walk and this may suit dog friendly teens and others, please contact Trudie.

As mentioned in our previous post we are aware that the level of media coverage can make this situation feel overwhelming and frightening leading to anxiety in people. If you are concerned or don't understand some of the terms in the media or advice sites Clr Baumer (Retired Consultant) and Di Baumer ( Retired Public Health Nurse) have kindly offered to give telephone or email advice. They can be contacted as detailed below. This is NOT an alternative to receiving individual advice from your GP or Specialist Medical Care Team. It is part of our broader community response.

Dr H. Baumer  830274harry@luson.plus.com

Di Baumer  830274  dianaebaumer@googlemail.com

Many people will have stocked up on staples but be finding fresh produce more difficult. Holbeton Village Stores already delivers milk and will be happy to deliver vegetable boxes/bags. Please discuss with Jack Purkis. 830246 or holbetonvillagestores@outlook.com

To protect the shop staff it is safer to order a delivery. If you go into use the Post Office please follow the guidelines posted on the door  about accessing the premises.

Prescription Collection Service.

We have some noble volunteers who have agreed to collect prescriptions from those who are isolating or are unable to for other reasons. Cllr Baumer has kindly agreed to support this service.

Bel Dixon 07803608418.mailto: roughbel@hotmail.com  and Laura Kirkland  07815917519 mailto: laws072@hotmail.com will collect from Yealm Medical Centre

Sue Howard 01752830644 or 07909 888 739; howardsue25@gmail.com or Gina Hay 01752 830516 or 07880 720 580;   georginahay@aol.com   will collect from Modbury H.C.

For those who have a laptop or mobile phone they can be an invaluable way of maintaining contact with family and friends, locally, nationally or internationally. Many of us have them but are unsure of how to use these features to for example make video calls so we can chat for example with grandchildren. Jack Purkis has kindly offered to help anyone who would like to set up a What's app group on an android mobile phone. Pete Stevens can assist with setting up Skype on laptops, and What's App/Facetime on phones (Tel 830780petestevens150@gmail.com. Andrew Hollett can also offer help in this area if needed. There are  also advice/tutorials on You Tube that are easy to follow.

In the interest of keeping fit and healthy Helen Norris suggests the following:

Beginners Pilates Workout with Kim Saha on You Tube.

Yoga with Adrienne on You Tube.

If you have a Smart TV you should be able to access them on there which from experience is much easier to follow than from a phone!

Even if isolating we are lucky to live somewhere where we can walk and run without bumping into people. If you want to take up running or as I call it shuffling try the wonderful NHS Couch to 5k app link below.


By the time you have finished isolation could be over  and you can join Holbeton Harriers! I am sure existing Couch 2 5k'ers will be happy to offer support.

For those who are missing exercising their vocal cords have a look at sofa singers link below. Even in dark times there are chinks of light with people doing wonderful things.


Apparently Joe Wicks aka The Body Coach is offering a daily PE class for kids every morning at 9am on his You Tube channel. It gets millions of views.

Ukulele Wednesdays is offering weekly lessons/jam on line which may be of interest to all ages and benefit to a few specific residents!

Although the libraries are closed books can still be downloaded from Devon County Council library website.https://www.devonlibraries.org.uk/web/arena/join-thelibrary

A local resident has suggested Wok Your Way Devon who are delivering asian food to this area once a week. Their facebook page has more information.

Lawsons in Ivybridge has closed but is still taking orders for home delivery (charges apply). They can supply crafting, baking, gardening, DIY equipment.Ivybridge - 01752 892543

Jack Purkis is interested in fundraising to provide outside equipment such as goalposts on the sports field for the young ( and not so young )  people ,if you are interested please contact him directly. This will not be able to be used until current restrictions are lifted.

If you have other suggestions for activities (that I can print!) please share with me via  email carolackroyd@tiscali.co.uk 

We have been liaising with Ivybridge Food Bank about providing support for those in need. Food banks are really struggling as people prioritise themselves. If you are able to donate food  locally it will be much appreciated. Financial donations can be made online to the Trussell Trust.

As ever there are individuals who seek to profit from the current situation . The information below is from Citizens Advice and the District Council.

  1. Emails that appear to be from organisations such as the Centres for Disease Control (CDC), or the World Health Organisation (WHO). The scammers have crafted emails that appear to come from these sources, but they actually contain malicious phishing links or dangerous attachments. Phishing is the term used for dishonest people pretending to be a reputable company so they can gain your personal information.
  2. Emails that ask for charity donations for studies, doctors, or victims that have been affected by the COVID-19 Coronavirus. Scammers often create fake charity emails after global phenomenons occur, like natural disasters, or health scares like the COVID-19.
  3. Emails that claim to have a 'new' or 'updated' list of cases of Coronavirus in your area. These emails could contain dangerous links and information designed to scare you into clicking on the link.

Remain cautious!  Always remember the following to protect yourself from scams like this:

  • Never click on links or download attachments from an email that you weren’t expecting.
  • If you receive a suspicious email that appears to come from an official organisation such as the WHO or CDC, go to their website directly online and follow links from there.
  • If you want to make a charity donation, go to the charity website of your choice to enter your payment. Type the charity’s web address in your browser instead of clicking on any links in emails, or other messages.

Stop, Look, and Think.Don't be fooled.

The Parish Council has closed the playpark, the bike track, the public toilets and the Reading Rooms until we are advised we can open all facilities safely.

Recycling centres closed

Devon County Council have closed all the household waste recycling centres in Devon until further notice. Residents are asked to safely store the waste they would have taken to the recycling centre at home until the centres reopen.

Bulky Waste Collection

The closure of the recycling centres will mean that the Council’s bulky waste collection service will also be suspended with immediate effect until the centres can reopen. Anyone who has pre-booked a collection will be notified of the cancellation and refunded in full. Other waste collection are still operating as normal.

Many thanks to all the people who have volunteered, it is much appreciated . We are in this for the long haul and you will be needed. Can I also thank my fellow councillors for all they are doing.

We are keen for this information to be circulated as widely as possible so if you can pass the links on or print it off and give to neighbours that would be helpful.

C L Ackroyd

Giving World – Free Supplies

Giving World provide free of charge clothing, food Items, toiletries, cleaning and household products so the most vulnerable people in our communities can stay safe and well.

COVID-19 presents us with one of the greatest challenges we have seen during our lifetimes. However, during this difficult time we, at Giving World remain committed to supporting people in crisis by providing our service in the time of their greatest need.

We understand the need in our communities will grow. Please be assured that we will continue to service our partners and your beneficiaries’ needs, whilst following all the latest government guidelines for employee and volunteers’ safety.

If you are not already registered with us to access free of charge business surplus stock, you can do so here: https://www.givingworld.org.uk/charity/

Browse the available products here: https://products.givingworld.org.uk/product-categories

Any queries contact us by email: admin@givingworld.org.uk

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