Friday 10 March 2023
37,000 tonnes of food across Devon is being thrown away, and much of it hasn’t even been opened!
Shocking new figures reveal that over a quarter of what we put in our ‘black bin’ waste is food – and much of it unopened!
Although most us have a food waste collection, a recent study of Devon's black rubbish bins found around 28 per cent of the contents was food, almost half of which was still in its original packaging.
The study also found large amounts of plastic and paper were being put into black bins that could have been recycled if it had been put into the correct kerbside container.
With the cost-of-living crisis continuing, reducing food waste and making food go further is one area that can help keep household expenses down. So we're taking advantage of Food Action Week (Monday 6 to Sunday 12 March) to encourage everyone to make some simple changes which could save time and money.
Visit the Love Food Hate Waste website to take a short quiz and receive personalised advice to help you make more of the food you already have to save time and money in the kitchen.
And if food waste is unavoidable, it is much better to put it the food waste collection for processing into valuable energy and fertiliser rather than throwing it away for costly incineration. If all the recyclable waste was recycled it would save £3.9 million in Devon, which could be spent on other much needed services.
For tips and recipes, follow Recycle Devon on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
It was International Women’s Day this week, and we used the day to shine a spotlight on some of the many amazing women within our organisation who deserve recognition.
Please visit our pages on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram Twitter to join us in celebrating their achievements.
We also highlighted the work we are doing to tackle gender inequality in the workplace and break down barriers that prevent women from reaching the top. For example, removing ‘core’ hours to enable our staff to strike a better work life balance that enhances our already family-friendly approach; offering development opportunities for women into leadership through a sponsorship programme and introducing advanced equality, diversity and inclusion training.
Our Gender Pay Gap report, which indicates the differences in opportunity and choices of men and women within the workplace, was also published yesterday. Although it shows we are moving in the right direction, having reduced the gap since 2021, there's still work to be done.
We want to be clear with you about what's causing the gap, and what we're continuing to do about it, so we encourage you to read our special edition of this newsletter that we sent to subscribers yesterday.
For many families school holidays can be difficult and stressful time, and with the cost-of-living crisis, keeping children fed and entertained at home can be expensive.
If your child receives benefit-related free school meals they have the chance to join in four days of exciting activities over the Easter Holidays as part of our our government-funded Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme.
This year we have teamed up with more than 50 activity providers across Devon to offer eligible five to 16-year-olds a very wide range of indoor and outdoor activities, including sports, crafts treasure hunts, storytellers and magicians, alongside healthy meals.
Parents or guardians of eligible children will have received a unique HAF code from their school or direct into their mailbox. Please give this to your chosen HAF provider. Please visit our website for a list of providers and activities.
Read the full story on the news page of our website.
We need more foster carers to help us look after children and young people who are in our care. The more foster carers we have, the better matches we’re able to make, with better outcomes for the young person.
We’ve been working with some of our existing foster casers on our latest recruitment campaign, which is inspired by Lord Alan Sugar’s long-running TV series, The Apprentice. “You’re hired!” sets two young people, representing our Fostering Devon service, interviewing potential foster carers, (who are in fact actual foster carers).
The campaign deliberately highlights some of the negative things that some people might find with their current employment – '9 to 5 desk job', poor job satisfaction, Sunday evening dread at the thought of work the following morning – and shows that being a foster carer is very different.
“Fostering is a very different type of job, but I can bet you, it’s so much more rewarding,” says one of two young people featured in a new video we’ve published on our website.
“I think fostering is far better than a 9am to 5pm job,” says one foster carer in our campaign. “We get to do fun things as a family with no time restrictions.”
If you have ever considered becoming a foster carer, we would love to hear from you. It can be a very rewarding career, with a lot of support behind you from our Fostering Devon service. You can contact us for an informal chat, or visit our website or Fostering Devon Facebook page for more information.
On yer bike!
Adults of all ages who live or work in Devon are invited to come and enjoy a free, one hour cycle confidence session on Exeter Quayside every Saturday until the end of March.
Whether you are a first-time rider or a regular cyclist looking to improve your skills or confidence, our free training sessions can be tailored to suit your abilities and goals.
The Government published its special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and alternative provision improvement plan last week, confirming extra investment in training for teachers, and additional specialist school places for those with greatest needs.
Thirty three new special free schools are to be built under the new plan, including one in East Devon, provisionally located in or close to Cranbrook. A further 49 special free schools across the country are already in the pipeline.
There will also be expanded training for staff, ranging from up to 5,000 early years special educational needs co-ordinators, to 400 educational psychologists, covering a range of educational needs.
You can read our reaction to the Government's announcement on the news page of our website.
Coworking opens up colourful career opportunities for blogger
Award-winning travel blogger and digital content professional Claire Hall says that coworking at one of our Devon Work Hubs has helped her branch out her business interests over the last couple of years.
Tin Box Traveller is one of the top-ranked family travel blogs in the UK, and after moving to Devon in 2015, Claire also set up her own business to support others with content for their websites and social media as well as developing her own Devon With Kids website. Since then, coworking at The Tribe in Totnes has opened up a world of endless possibilities for her.
“I was finding working at home quite isolating, just sat at my desk in my kitchen with all the other everyday things going on at home," she says.
"As a creative person, I found that just changing the environment I was in really great for my work. I came to The Tribe and I was suddenly able to do more and also network with other people.
“There are people I knew I needed; l needed a photographer and an expert in Facebook advertising to support my work but I didn’t know where to start finding those people. But Stacey (the founder of The Tribe) is the ultimate black book for our community and has contacts with people who know how to do all sorts of things."
Read more about Claire and our Devon Work Hubs in the full story on the news page of our website.
We actively encourage LGBTQ+ individuals and couples to come forward and give brothers, sisters or single children a loving home.
With record numbers of looked-after children, there’s never been greater need for more LGBTQ+ people to consider adoption or fostering.
Research tells us that children thrive in LGBTQ+ families, and we have many great fostering and adoptive parents in Devon, so you’ll be in good company!
Please get in touch with Fostering Devon if you are interested in becoming a foster carer, or if you are thinking about adoption, please contact Adopt South West.
It's been International School Meals Day this week, so we wanted to take the opportunity to remind you that children of low income families in Devon are entitled to free school meals and additional funding to support learning.
If you think your family might be eligible, the quickest and easiest way to apply is through our website, and you'll get an instant decision.
COVID-19 continues to infect thousands of people every week and those at highest risk of severe illness should top up their immunity ahead of the planned autumn booster programme.
For this reason, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised that an extra COVID-19 booster vaccine dose in spring 2023 should be offered to:
- adults aged 75 years old and over
- residents in a care home for older adults
- people aged 5 to 74 years old with a weakened immune system
The vaccine offers the best protection against the virus and helps to reduce the risk of becoming seriously ill or hospitalised. But immunity wanes over time so it is important to top it up by getting a booster if you are eligible.
Please wait to be contacted by the NHS if you believe you are eligible as they will let you know when you can be offered the booster.