Friday 17 June 2022
Places now available for free holiday activities with meals this summer
Places are now available for children from across Devon, aged five to 16 years old, who are eligible for benefit-related free school meals, to take part in holiday activities with meals this summer.
It's our Holiday Activities and Food programme, providing free physical activities as well as healthy, nutritional, hot meals, for four weeks over the summer break.
This time, we've got 40,000 places available for a range of activities including sports and coaching opportunities; indoor and outdoor play activities; outings to local parks and beaches; magic and circus skills; film making, arts and crafts; music; cooking; theatre workshops; yoga and mindfulness, and a lot more.
Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, our Cabinet Member with responsibility for children’s services, said:
“School holidays can be difficult for some families, with added costs of food for example – especially now with rising food prices. For some, it can lead to a holiday experience gap, with children possibly more likely to feel social isolation and less likely to enjoy healthy exercise.
"We know young people value this time, and we're delighted once again to be working with even more providers this summer to arrange an even fuller programme."
You can read the full story, with details about how to book, on the news page of our website.
Coronavirus figures still low but rising slightly
The latest COVID-19 surveillance report from the government's UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) indicates that case rates have increased, including the numbers of people in hospital with coronavirus.
Here in Devon cases of the virus have also risen slightly, with the latest Office of National Statistics data estimating that 2.3 per cent of Devon's population, or around one in 45 people in the county, currently have the virus.
Steve Brown, Devon’s Director of Public Health, said:
“It may not make news headlines anymore, but we are continuing to see new positive cases of coronavirus on a daily basis in Devon, among people of all ages.
"Thankfully, with most people vaccinated, the virus isn’t having the impact it once had, and most people are experiencing symptoms similar to the common cold or flu.
“With no rules to enforce, it’s reassuring to see anecdotally an awareness of risk, and that people are choosing to keep themselves to themselves when they’re feeling under the weather.
“I would still encourage people, when showing symptoms of a virus, to continue to stay home for five days if they can, which is the period during which people are most infectious, and avoiding older or vulnerable friends and relatives especially.”
You can read what the UKHSA has said about the latest report on their website.
We are returning to the Devon County Show!
We and our partners will once again be sharing a stand at the Devon County Show, from Thursday 30 June to Saturday 2 July.
Our stand area this year will reflect many of our priority themes, including climate, children and young people, economic recovery, and improving health and wellbeing.
And with our range of themes, we'll have an exciting and varied mix of activities and things to come and see and do.
One of our main priorities is how we help Devon to be a better place for children and young people, and we'll have children's services representatives on the stand.
We'll have information about our Holiday Activities and Food programme this summer, as well as advice about childcare funding, employment opportunities working with children; Fostering Devon, and more.
We look forward to welcoming you in our usual place: Road 8, Stand 260.
You can read more about what's on our stand this year in the news story on our website.
It's hot out there!
Most of us welcome the arrival of summer, with the chance to get outside and enjoy the sunny weather. But when it's too hot for too long, there are health risks. In England, there are on average 2,000 heat related deaths every year.
The main risks during hot weather are:
We've put together a special edition of this newsletter to share top tips for staying safe in the summer sunshine and urge you to look out for those in our communities who may struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated.
If you missed it, you can catch up online.
Making a Child Friendly Devon
Our new Strategic Plan vision for a Child Friendly Devon makes it clear that we're ambitious for this to be the best place for all children to grow up - have the best outcomes, to live an independent and healthy life and to achieve their full potential.
As part of that ambition, a new visual identity for Child Friendly Devon is being created and we're engaging with a range of people, including children and young people, to help shape the identity.
You can get involved by completing a short survey and sharing it with as many contacts as possible. To share your thoughts before Friday 24 June, visit Wish for Devon.
Join us in the Refill revolution!
This week it's been World Refill Day. It's a campaign that we support that encourages people to stop using products with single-use packaging, such as for some food and drinks.
To make that easier, you can download a Refill app to your mobile device that tells you which of your local retailers encourage you to do that.
There are nearly 1,000 retailers in Devon listed on the app, and it's not just about re-filling your drinks bottle. The app points you to Refill and Zero Waste Stores, where customers can reuse and refill containers again and again with anything from coffee beans, rice and pasta, to cereals, spices, cooking oil, and some personal care items like soap or shampoo.
Did you know that an estimated 800 plastic bottles per minute end up being disposed of as litter in the UK, and often make their way into our waterways and out to sea.
We can all do our bit to prevent that. Read more about the free Refill App on the Refill website.
Household van users can now apply for free permit to use at Newton Abbot and East Devon recycling centres
If you own a van for private use and visit the Brunel Road (Newton Abbot), Knowle Hill (Exmouth), Sutton Barton (Honiton) or Sidmouth Recycling Centres, please note that from Monday 4 July you will need a permit – and from today you can apply, online, for free.
The new permit asks those living in the Devon County Council administrative area with privately registered panel vans or flat-bed vans, to hold a permit to use these sites. The system has been in operation at Exton Road and Pinbrook Road in Exeter since April.
It’s being introduced to help reduce commercial waste from being deposited at the sites at public expense. It will also help make it easier for residents, to use the sites by reducing queues and congestion.
Once the permit has been received, the holder will be entitled to a total of 12 visits over the next 12 months. The permits will only be issued to vans registered to individual residents and not to vehicles registered to businesses.
Cars, pick-ups, bicycles, motorcycles, fully-fitted campervans and minibuses, vans modified for wheelchairs and van-based people carriers won’t need a permit.
Vans hired out by a householder will also not need a permit, but terms and conditions apply.
To apply for a permit and view all the information (including the terms and conditions) please see our van permit scheme webpage.