Friday 21 October 2022
Leaders welcome reports that government is considering delaying reforms
Even just a few days is a long time in politics it seems, so we’re watching this space closely, but earlier this week we heard that the government is considering delaying the introduction of its new social care reforms.
On the face of it, we think that’s a good thing. We agree with the reforms – they’re to enable more people to receive financial support for adult social care, which is good – but it is the government’s duty to ensure they are fully costed and adequately funded.
If the government doesn’t, it will mean councils will have to find millions of pounds from cuts in public services to pay for the reforms. And so we, and lots of councils, are concerned that the impact of introducing the government’s reforms without adequate funding will therefore be very heavy on residents and communities.
“With all that’s happening at Westminster, we’ll have to see what comes out of it, but if reports that the government is considering delaying the introduction of these reforms become fact, then that’s good news," said Cllr James McInnes, our Cabinet Member responsible for adult care and health, today.
“Otherwise, the extra pressures that the reforms will bring, on a social care system right now that is not properly funded and that does not have sufficient workforce capacity to meet demand, could worsen current services, leaving people waiting longer for care and impacting on the quality of that care."
Local libraries announce movie nights throughout November
Recently we announced that libraries across Devon (which are run on our behalf by Libraries Unlimited) are providing warm spaces this winter, as part of our support for people struggling with rising costs of energy and food.
Some are also providing community fridges with free food available, and some have coat rails for people to donate winter coats for others to use.
Six libraries - in Barnstaple, Crediton, Cullompton, Newton Abbot, Seaton, and in St Thomas, Exeter – will be screening films for audiences of all ages throughout November.
Our Cabinet Member, Councillor Roger Croad, who is responsible for our library service, said:
"'Films at the Library' is another great idea to encourage people in, to enjoy a good few hours of warm company while watching a good film."
Tickets cost £3 and are on sale online through Libraries Unlimited Eventbrite, or in person at each participating library.
“Adopting has changed my life for the better”
This week has been National Adoption Week, and we produced a special edition of this bulletin to celebrate. If you missed it, you can read it online.
It featured Lizzy and her adopted daugher, Lillybelle. Lizzy and her husband also have two other children who they have adopted.
“The first time we got to meet our children, it was incredible!”, says Lizzy. “We always have wonderful memories of that Easter, our first Easter as a family, because we had just met the children and we just had the best time.
“It’s life-changing and has changed my life for the better. And it opens my eyes to a world that I didn’t know existed.”
You can read what Lizzy and Lillybelle say about what it's like, as mum and daughter, in the story on the news page of our website, and listen to their interview on our YouTube channel.
Green Innovation Fund supports Bideford Bay seaweed farm
Funding from our Green Innovation Fund is helping to create a seaweed farm in Bideford.
The company, Algapelago Marine Ltd, is working with experts to research the potential for the seaweed market in capturing carbon and improving coastal habitats.
As well as carbon capture, which is important in addressing the climate emergency, seaweed crops offer an array of uses, including animal feed, fertilisers, bioplastics and cosmetics - reducing the carbon footprint of these products due to the low intensity of the cultivation process.
Our Green Innovation Fund has already provided £750,000 towards innovative projects and technologies that will drive green growth in Devon's economy.
Carers urged to have COVID-19 and flu jabs
Unpaid carers - people who provide care for someone else on a voluntary basis - are being asked to take up a free seasonal flu jab and autumn COVID-19 booster.
The NHS in Devon put out a call this week, asking people aged over 16-years-old who provide care, unpaid or paid, to consider whether they would be putting the person they care for at risk should they catch flu or COVID-19.
Susan Masters, NHS Devon's Deputy Chief Nurse, said:
"Both flu and COVID-19 can be life-threatening and increases the risk of serious illness to you and the person, or people, you care for.
"If your GP knows about your caring responsibilities, you will receive an invitation directly from them, but you can also book yourself an appointment on the National Booking Service or by calling 119 if you don't have access to the internet. You can also find your nearest walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinic and pharmacies offering the flu jab online. You do not need to bring any form of ID or proof of your caring responsibilities."
Help and support for anyone struggling to book their appointment is available by contacting the Devon Vaccine Support Team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01752 398836.
More information is available on NHS Devon's website.
Come on Grecians!
We're rooting for the Grecians in tomorrow's football game against Fleetwood Town!
Exeter City Football Club is kindly supporting our efforts to raise awareness of the amazing job that social care workers in Devon are doing.
The problem is, there are just too few people working as care workers in Devon, and demand for care is rising, so there’s a large shortfall. We've been campaigning hard for a long time and working closely with social care providers to increase recruitment and retention, and to raise the profile of care workers and the incredible jobs they do.
And tomorrow, Exeter City players are also backing our campaign, to be Proud to Care. The club has been encouraging people to nominate their favourite carer or care worker, and they've given free tickets to tomorrow’s match against Fleetwood Town to 15 of those nominated!
We'll share photos and clips from the game on our news website and social media channels after the match and early next week. In the meantime, best of luck tomorrow guys!
If you're interested in a career within the care and health sector, we have lots of information and opportunities on our Proud to Care website, with over 500 advertised jobs currently available.
Free training courses help Devon residents move into growth sectors with higher earnings
We're working with Cornwall Council to offer digital and technical courses for anyone aged 19-years-old or over, who is looking to move into a new career.
Usually, these 16 week training courses cost between £1,500 and £3,000, but we're making the courses available for FREE!
Learners are also guaranteed an interview with a local employer once they've completed the course.
They've been developed with the help of training partners and employers to meet vacancies covering a number of specialisms including regenerative farming, digital marketing, electrical vehicle maintenance, data analytics, green construction and software development.
So far, over 1,000 people in Devon have started careers in the growing tech and digital sectors after attending these courses, at the Train4Tomorrow Skills Bootcamps.
UK’s first Passivhaus Extra Care scheme opens in Exeter
A new 'extra care' housing scheme opened in Exeter this week, comprising of 53, one and two-bedroom flats.
'Extra care' refers to the fact that while residents live there independently, they have an in-house care provider available on site 24 hours every day, should they need any support.
They're also offered a two-course hot meal every day and a variety of activities, that help residents make new friends.
It's a scheme that we're involved with, alongside Exeter City Council and the care provider, Radis Community Care.
It's the first 'extra care' facility in Exeter, but it's also the first one in the UK to be built and certified to Passivhaus standards. That means that it's super insulated and is heated so efficiently as to require only a fraction of the usual energy, saving on fuel costs.
Explore Devon this half-term holiday
If you’re looking for fun, free activities to share with your family during the half-term holiday, Devon has a lot to offer. Our Explore Devon website has lots of great autumn activity ideas.
There is a great selection of traffic-free cycle routes, perfect for families of all ages and abilities. There are routes to suit every level of cycling experience, each with their own special attractions. Or you could try exploring the county using some of the beautiful walking routes; there are over 3,500 miles of footpaths waiting to be discovered with lots of accessible trails suitable for pushchairs, scooters and little legs.
We also have two award-winning country parks – Stover Country Park, near Newton Abbot and the Grand Western Canal Country Park, near Tiverton.
Stover has over 114 acres of woodland, heathland, grassland, a lake and a huge variety of wildlife to look out for. It's also home to the Ted Hughes poetry trail, aerial walkway and picnic areas. Well-behaved dogs on leads are also welcome!
The Grand Western Canal stretches more than 11 miles through beautiful countryside. With its play park and visitor centre, famous horse-drawn barge, cafes and picnic areas, it's an excellent day out for all the family.