Local Events and Information

Saturday 16 September 2017 Saturday 7 October 2017 Saturday 4 November 2017
Saturday Somatics
Monthly Drop In
Recovering easefulness in resting, breathing walking, lying and relating.
The Summer House, Cholwell Farm, Dartington
10.00am - 1.00pm
Including mid morning break with organic teas, coffees and snacks.

One Council - Have your say

South Hams District Council and West Devon Borough Council have now launched their consultation on a proposal to create one single new council. Although South Hams and West Devon already share one workforce their political structures and decision making processes have remained completely separate. 
However, in July the majority of councillors from both authorities voted to consult the public, their partners and local businesses on whether they should bring the two political structures together and create One Council. South Hams and West Devon say that this would save them half a million pounds a year and go towards closing a predicted funding gap of £19 million by 2020.
However, before they decide whether they would like to submit a proposal to the secretary of state, who will make the final decision, the councils would like the public to have their say  The consultation is now open and closes on Sunday 8 October.
The consultation will take a number of different forms There is a dedicated website, including an online survey and every household will receive a postcard telling them how they can find out more information
Between now and the beginning of October, the councils will also be holding events in towns and parishes, where people can talk to their councillors and find out more information.
Cllr John Tucker Leader of South Hams District Council said “I really would encourage everyone to take a look at the information that we have provided, there are many things for people to consider, particularly for the residents of South Hams, who would see a Council Tax increase on the South Hams element of their Council Tax, to bring it to the same level as West Devon.
“Our working relationship with West Devon so far, has been fundamental to our ability to keep delivering services despite budget cuts and we have actually benefited more from this than West Devon have  The shared workforce arrangement currently saves South Hams £39m a year and West Devon £22m a year, which has so far enabled us to keep our element of the council tax at a lower rate.
“For me, I see the creation of a new council as a natural extension of our current working arrangements It not only enables us to protect the savings we have made to date, but enables us to make more and safeguard services”.
Cllr Lois Samuel, Deputy Leader at West Devon Borough Council Added: “It is really important to us that we get a fair and accurate representation from across both areas and so we have also commissioned a telephone survey  Some of the residents in South Hams and West Devon may be contacted to answer the consultation questions over the phone
“We will be putting out updates on social media and through a dedicated newsletter, the best way to keep up-to-date with the consultation dates and events is to sign up and follow us”.
In addition to this the councils will be sending letters to their partners and MP’s and holding briefing sessions with towns and parish councils as well as making contact with the business community.

The consultation will run from now until midnight on the 8 October  After the consultation closes, councillors from both authorities will consider the feedback from the consultation and make their final decision whether to submit to the secretary of state or not, at full council meetings towards the end of October.

Go to website for more information

Proud of your Garden!
Children's Hospice South West are looking for residents in Devon to open up their
gardens in 2018.

If you feel you would like to open up your garden for others to come along and walk around then contact our Fundraising Team at Little Bridge House , Redlands Road, Fremington Devon EX31 2PZ
Telephone 01272 325 270 and ask for the Fundraising team.
All proceeds will help safeguard our vital services across the South West.
Visit our website

A new swim school in Dartington

Swimmatters provide swimming classes for all ages. We currently have availability for mother and babies or toddlers using the principles of the Birthlight Trust.* We use simple body based practices inspired from yoga and traditional modes of parenting.
Classes can start for babies soon after birth.
We also provide lessons for older children and adults using the ‘Total immersion’ method which is a unique approach to swim coaching that brings faster results than conventional teaching. It can help any level or age of swimmer master a fluent, efficient and fast stroke technique.

For more information please see our website or telephone Jill on 07814614279
Birthlight is a non-profit organisation dedicated to enhancing the health and
wellbeing of women and their families from conception through to a child’s
third year.

Are you interested in a local source of affordable fuel that will help boost the local economy and sustain our beautiful landscape? If so read on……………
What are the opportunities?
Devon has some of the best hedged landscapes and small woodlands in the world. They are well known for their outstanding cultural, scenic and biodiversity value. Less known is their considerable potential as a cost effective and less controversial source of renewable energy. Until the 1950s most hedges were laid or coppiced every 15 years or so.
Why now?

Why now?

  • Funding is available to help us set up a local woodfuel hub
  • Woodfuel has become attractive with rising electricity and oil costs, absence of a gas grid, concerns about climate change and protecting our rural landscape.
  • Under the right management most hedges and woodlands in our area could produce sustainable and worthwhile woodfuel crops. This can reduce farm overheads and help meet the heat energy needs of our communities.
  • By putting a value to hedges and woodlands as fuel production they become an asset rather than a liability
  • Wood fuel creates rural employment opportunities.

To find out more and contact information download flyer (PDF)

Would you like to receive fresh, organic produce grown at your local community farm?

School Farm Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is now open to new members.  School Farm CSA is a unique organic market garden run by four women growers on the Dartington Estate.  For the past two years we have been supplying our local community with fresh, organic, local produce and this year we will be doubling our food production, meaning we can open our gates to new members.
CSA members get an array of seasonal, freshly picked produce, whilst supporting ecological farming practices and local livelihoods.  A share of the produce contains a range of freshly harvested vegetables and some fruit (roughly 5-10 items per week).  A share is designed to feed a household of two adults per week, or a larger family that don’t cook every day. 
Members also receive a monthly CSA newsletter with recipes and farm updates, and are invited to attend events, volunteer days and courses at the farm.  We aim to supply a weekly box of vegetables from June through to January, weather permitting.  You can pick up your vegetables in Totnes, Bridgetown or on the Dartington Hall Estate.  Cost of a share for the full 2015/2016 season is £500, with monthly payment plans and subsidised shares available. 
For more information please email Jenny or visit our website

Operation Fardel - Telephone fraud
Criminals are targeting people within our communities by telephone. These scams are becoming increasingly prevalent in the Devon and Cornwall area.

The elderly or vulnerable have been primary targets, but anyone can be subjected to this type of crime.

Go to Op Fardel Community Information to see advice, guidance, video clips and downloadable literature to ensure you and all those you know can spot and avoid this type of fraud.

Operation Fardel is the Devon & Cornwall Police response to telephone fraud. If you have received a call from a fraudster who has attempted to deceive you or who has succeeded in deceiving you, please let us know or contact Crimestoppers.

We need your help to successfully stop this happening to others, identify the offenders and bring them to justice.

A message from Tracey Weaver, Dog Warden. SHDC

“I wish all dog owners in the South Hams, the very best for Christmas 2014, thank you to those of you who support my work in the area.

Please remember that a “Dog is for life, not just for Christmas”. Please do not buy a puppy as a Christmas gift unless you fully understand the responsibilities which they come with –

  • Time consuming training (essential);
  • Routine (essential) and perhaps, emergency visits to the vet, which can be costly;
  • Walkies twice a day regardless of the weather (at least 20 mins twice a day)!;
  • Proper shelter, food and water;
  • Careful consideration of what happens to him/her when you are on holiday;
  • A life of picking up and correctly disposing dog poo, whether an adult walks the dog, or whether this is delegated to a younger family member

And then hopefully you will have a lifetime of playful interaction, a  lot of fun, and the best friend ever!

If you are keen on getting a dog, please consider  rescuing one from a re-homing centre, but make sure that you know as much about him as possible, and that he is the right one for you, your home and your family, there is nothing worse for the dog than being moved from one owner to another and another.

Tracey Weaver, Dog Warden. SHDC

Free Highway Code education for car, motorbike and lorry go to Rightdriver.co.uk.

No registration or payment is required.

Rightdriver.co.uk is preferred and used by a large number of driving instructors, youth organisations, (such as scouts and army cadets), community organisations and more to help people get their driver’s licence due to its free official Highway Code questions.

Volunteering makes the difference

Our charity aims to support clients to remain independent in their own homes – however, this can sometimes be difficult for older people who may not drive anymore and live in an area with few buses – how do you get to the doctors, a hospital appointment, shopping?
That’s where our volunteers come in to help.
We offer a range of volunteering opportunities from driving clients to appointments (using your own car with insurance cover and mileage reimbursement); shopping; befriending; as well as driving or helping on our minibus; helping at our Lunch Clubs, and fundraising.
Totnes Caring specifically need volunteers in the areas surrounding Totnes. 
Could you help out your local neighbours – the people in your community who need support?

None of the support we provide would be possible without our dedicated volunteers.

We Care – Will You?

Telephone Liza Moore, Volunteer Coordinator on 01803 865684 – you can make a difference to your local community.

South Hams Citizens Advice Bureau - Registered charity number: 1091133

South Hams Citizens Advice Bureau seeks new Trustees.

The South Hams CAB plays a vital role in our local community providing free, independent and impartial advice to clients on issues such as debt, benefits, housing and employment. Our Trustees ensure that the bureau is well managed and that resources are utilised effectively and appropriately.

Trustees devote time, commitment and experience to carry out this voluntary role, which normally requires attendance at formal meetings once per month in Totnes and participation in informal meetings and subgroups.

We seek applicants with previous experience in the commercial, public or voluntary sectors and welcome applications from all sections of the community, but are particularly keen to recruit additional women to the Board, and also those who may have used our services. Training and support will be provided.

If you have the enthusiasm to help us steer and develop this essential advice service, please write to Graham Meaden, Chair SHCAB, Follaton House, Plymouth Rd, Totnes, Devon. TQ9 5NE - email or telephone 01548 830084 in order to arrange for an initial informal discussion.  

South Hams Citizens AdviceBureau
Follaton House, Plymouth Road, Totnes, Devon, TQ9 5NE 
Telephone: 08444 111 444       
Email - Website        

South Hams Citizens Advice Bureau - “Behind the Beauty”

We are privileged to live in one of the most beautiful parts of the country, with easy access to the coast and to the open moors, so it is easy to forget that behind this beauty there are individuals and families for whom the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB), is an essential source of independent information and advice when they are in need of help.

We thought you might like to know a bit more about the service, you may never need it yourself but you might know someone who does- or you might like to get involved!

The advice provided covers the whole range of problems and issues and includes queries on benefits, debt, housing, employment, relationships and legal cases. In fact, it would probably be very difficult to find a topic that has not been raised with the CAB. And even within these broad topic areas, it breaks down into even more specialist areas. For example, benefit issues include council tax, working and child tax credits, employment support allowances, housing benefit and community care grants. All of these can be a bewildering forest of forms, bureaucracy and specialist knowledge, so it is no wonder that many people turn to us to help them through the foliage.

Also, the CAB collects information on the social issues affecting our community and this information is analysed nationally to identify statistics and trends. This in turn enables Citizens Advice nationally to submit policy recommendations, reports and to influence government policy. We are currently collecting evidence to submit to a review of the Work Capability Assessment review. In addition , a social policy briefing was provided to Sarah Woolaston MP on transport problems in rural South Devon. We have also been involved in the campaign to highlight the loss to CAB clients should the cuts to legal aid funding be implemented. This would mean there would be no legal aid for welfare benefits cases, and aid on debt and housing issues will be severely restricted.

None of the work carried out by the CAB would be possible without the dedication and loyalty of our volunteers and paid staff who are fully trained to deal with a whole range of problems, and provide guidance to specialists when appropriate. We have every reason to thank them.
Did you know that The South Hams Citizens Advice Bureau is a local and independent charity, set up to provide impartial and non judgemental advice to anyone who needs it?

Of course, we are very grateful to receive some grant funding from South Hams District Council and Devon County Council, but we always need more funding- and additional monies have to be found. We are keen to take up any ideas for fundraising!

If you need advice then you can call our Advice line on 08 444 111 444
If you need specialist legal advice you can call 01803 863129
Or Email
Or, visit our website  at for further details of location and opening hours, and for more information on the charity and volunteering.