<< Welcome to the LOVE Devon newsletter >>
September 2020 
Hello and welcome to the September LOVE Devon newsletter,

Over the past few months DCT has been working hard to support communities throughout Devon during these unprecedented and uncertain times. Therefore, I'm pleased to share the news that, thanks to Devon County Council, the funding for our Covid-19 helpline and the associated support services has been extended until Christmas, which means we can continue providing that much-needed support. Please call us on 0808 1963390 with your Covid-19 related queries and we'll be here to help. You can also email us at info@devoncommunities.org.uk and visit our online resources section.  

If you are inspired by anything you read today and would like to help us to continue to support our work in Devon’s rural communities in these difficult times, please consider making a donation or taking out a direct debit to support our work as we help communities to navigate towards recovery and regeneration. You can visit our secure online donation page, where you can make regular or one off donations. We really would be very grateful for your support. Thank you.
Nora Corkery, Acting Chief Executive
Keeping communities warm this autumn/winter
Would you like to reduce your fuel bills this winter?
DCT is once again pleased to be a delivery partner in the Big Energy Saving Network this year. As you can imagine, the support we're able to offer this year is slightly different as it will all be by phone or online, but we're just as committed to ensuring that we deliver as much important energy saving advice as possible over the next few months!
You can ...
  • Arrange a one to one session by 'phone or Zoom with one of our fully trained Energy Saving Network Champions Aggie and Martin
  • Arrange a one to one or group session by 'phone or Zoom for someone you know or a group that would benefit
  • Join a FREE energy saving advice session!* In these sessions we will cover; tariff options and what is best for different circumstances, how to switch tariff or supplier, other available sources of support, and we will finish with Q&A.
CALL US TODAY ON 01392 248919 OR EMAIL info@devoncommunities.org.uk TO BOOK YOUR APPOINTMENT
With many of us set to spend even more time at home this winter, there could be some real savings to be made and an opportunity to help alleviate the stress and hardship of rising fuel costs. 
*The first two online sessions are on 15th October (2pm-3pm) and 22nd October (11am-12pm). Book your free space here
Find out more about the Big Energy Saving network here
Devon Oil Collective
As well as our work with Big Energy Saving Network, DCT is also working hard to support rural communities reduce fuel costs through the Devon Oil Collective - a free-to-join group buying collective that allows members to take advantage of bulk buying discounts on heating oil. 
Many households in rural Devon use heating oil. By joining the Devon Oil Collective you can take advantage of bulk-buying discounts without any of the hassle of shopping around - that's all done for you! 
You don't need to worry about getting lost in a faceless scheme either - our partners at AF Affinity, which manages the collective, provide excellent customer service and pride themselves on treating their members "like family". 
By joining DOC you'll also be helping to support our work. Instead of a fixed membership fee, we are now operating a pay-as-you-order model at a rate of 1p per litre. So not only will you save money, you will also be raising money for DCT!
Find out more and become a FREE member here
Devon Community Learning Academy: new look, new online learning opportunities!
New online courses available from Devon Community Learning Academy
We're delighted to announce that we've relaunched the Devon Community Learning Academy as a fully online (for now, at least!) training proivder and we've developed an ever-growing list of live webinars designed to support businesses, organisations and individuals through this challenging time by focusing on the subjects you've told us you need the most support with. 
We've picked out some highlights below but please visit our website for the full list of courses. Our early bird booking discount is back as well (10% off when booked at least 4 weeks in advance), so what are you waiting for?
Take a look at all the available courses here
Benefits Training from Citizens Advice Devon
With the uncertainty over jobs, the end of the furlough scheme and potential tougher lockdown measures, those who work with people on low incomes and benefits claimants will be accutely aware of the weight placed on the benefits system at the present time. 
Citizens Advice Devon has launched a new series of live webinars on a whole host of benefits topics, which will get to the heart of the issues and enable people to support others to claim all they're entitled to - which could be more than they realise. 
Starting with a Benefits Overview (15-16 Oct) for those who need an introduction or a refresher, your trainer, Vincent Willson, will move on to a series of specialist sessions, including: Universal Credit (2-3 Nov); Disability Living Allowance (10 Nov); Personal Independence Payments (17 Nov)Attendance Allowance (25 Nov); Benefits for Older People (9 Dec); Pension Credits (10 Dec); and Challenging Benefits Decisions (11 Dec)
These live, interactive sessions given by an independent expert trainer could add real value to your job role and the lives of those you support.  
Find out more about all the benefits courses here
FREE: Character Strengths webinar
Next session: 5th October, 14:00
Join Business Coach Matthew Porter every second Monday to discover your own character strengths and how they can make a difference to your business. 
Book your place here
Customer Journey Mapping
20th Oct, 11:00-12:30, price from £27.54
When was the last time you walked a mile in your customer's shoes?
This course will help to improve the capacity of organisations, social enterprises and local businesses, by providing you with key tools and technique around mapping your customer's journeys.
Join Geraldine Addo and Cross Digital in this 90 min session designed to support business and enterprise growth during this challenging time.
Book your place here
Introduction to ABCD techniques and approaches
22nd October, 10:00-12:00, price from 
With Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) being increasingly adopted by councils across the country, this course will explore ABCD in contrast to other methods of community development and how it can be a suitable method in the current economic, funding and political climates.
Book your place on the introductory course here
Digital Transformation
20th Oct, 11:00-12:30, price from £27.54 * early bird discount still available!
The Covid-19 pandemic has created the need for business to pivot and engage with their customers without physical contact. Enterprises have no choice but to pivot in order to remain relevant. Easy digital solutions can complement or replace traditional methods to improve your business.
Join Cross Digital to learn more about how you can transform your business digitally in this current climate.
Book your place here
E - Learning modules 
We are offering a range of short and accessible online training courses. From only £20 these courses will allow you to learn about an array of subjects in your own time and in the comfort of your own home. Courses include the Care Act, Autism Awareness, Online Safety, Managing Teams, Stress in the Workplace and lots more. Book online and receive a 15% discount, by using DCT15 at the checkout. 
Find out more about the courses here
Distance Learning Opportunities with Petroc
Petroc’s distance learning courses offer you the flexibility to study where and when you want, at a pace that suits you – enabling you to balance your studies with your work and family life. Whether you’re looking to improve your employability, further develop your professional knowledge through CPD or just fancy studying in your spare time, Petroc has a distance learning course to suit you.
Some level 2 courses are FREE, subject to eligibility requirements.
Find out more
Highlights from Devon Highlights! 
Are you or someone you know struggling with feelings of isolation or loneliness? ...
... Our Devon Highlights project can help. We'd love to welcome you into one of our friendly weekly online groups for those aged 55+, or perhaps you'd rather chat to someone on a one-to-one basis on the telephone? We can provide a friendly understanding ear and help you access other support if that's what you'd like. 
Please call 01392 248919 or email info@devoncommunities.org.uk to speak to Harry or Aggie and find out how we can help you at what is a very challenging time for many. 
What's been happening in Highlights?
Devon Highlights supports people over the age of 55 at risk of loneliness or isolation. 
We've been continuing our regular 121 phone calls and popular weekly Zoom sessions, which are providing an amazing opportunity for people from all over Devon to come together and socialise in a safe (digital!) environment (take a look at Marg and Sue's story below!). Recent topics for our session have included Shiatsu, recipes, mad libs and more. The Highlights team is seeking feedback from participants about what sots of things they'd like to delve into during the sessions. If you have any thoughts, you can share them here.
There's still also time to take part in our unique #VoicingLoneliness Sound Archive and be a part of this special archive of experiences (positive and negative) of what has been for many a strange and challenging lockdown period. Find out more about all of this and more on our website
Find out more about Devon Highlights and how to join/refer into the groups here
Devon Highlights: Marg and Sue's story 
We're delighted to share this wonderful example of the impact our weekly Zoom calls are having ...
Two twin sisters have been joining our Zoom calls since the beginning of lockdown. They live in the same house, but sit in different rooms for the calls so that their audio doesn’t echo in each other’s tablets. This seemed such a strange, unexpected by-product of interacting with technology, and it seems to mirror the strangeness of the time!

As people, one sister awakes before 6am each day and is so used to being busy and doing for others, that lockdown has been a big adjustment. The other with severe health conditions has been shielding inside the whole time. Marg and Sue join the Highlights calls every week and have told stories of their family on the Isle of Man, and their regular holidays there; they have told us of secret family recipes (who knew mash potato could go in chocolate cake!), and shared their joy at finally having a hairdresser come to give them a haircut – in their garden!
These two women, who have shared so much of their life together, have shown us that even with a pair so close and happy living together, there is still much need for other chances to socialise – and by sitting in separate rooms they share their own stories and enjoy the calls in their own way.
Two FREE events to support those ageing without children (or without children living nearby)
Devon Highlights is delighted to be working with Kirsty Woodward of Ageing Without Children (AWOC), on two more FREE online events, following the success of the sessions we ran earlier in the summer.

This online session will help those approaching later life without children (or without children living nearby) consider your future whilst grounding your vision with a firm foundation around key themes like housing options, advanced directives and legal issues. Click below to book your free space or call 01392 248919 to speak to Harry or Aggie! 
Book here
Being an AWOC Confident Organisation
Research by the Office of National Statistics indicates that by 2045 there will be 3 x as many people over 80 without children.
We'll be using a check list across your organisation's delivery to ensure you are AWOC confident! This means you're ready to support people in later life who do not have children or do not have children living nearby.
The event will help you consider issues around governance, publicity, service delivery, internal policy, referral processes and individual staff and volunteers. Click below to book your free space or call 01392 248919 to speak to Harry or Aggie!
Book here
Devon Community Resilience Forum
Community Emergency Plans - get support today
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that community resilience is pivotal in responding in an emergency. In our recent virtual community resilience forum we ran a number of sessions based on learning from the pandemic response at a local level in order to improve community emergency planning and community resilience. We also had sessions on flood resilience – as autumn and winter floods present new challenges with any evacuation procedure needing to consider COVID-19 security.

We continue to work with many of Devon’s communities to create their emergency plan to ensure that risks are identified, mitigation measures put in place, and community plans of action formulated in case of an emergency. We have learned about the importance of planning as communities have responded to COVID-19 and lockdown. We recommend all communities with an existing plan add a ‘pandemic’ risk section to build in an action plan.
We are available to support all of Devon’s communities to maximise their resilience through the community emergency planning process. Contact us today for support at any stage, including incorporating a new pandemic section – call 01392 248919 or email  info@devoncommunities.org.uk
Find out more about Community Emergency Plans here
Could your business be at risk of flooding?
You're invited to join one of these FREE flood resilience workshops that could make a huge difference to protecting your business from the costly and stressful effects of flooding. Choose from 1 of 8 dates this autumn!
Extended funding for our Covid-19 support services
The rules around Coronavirus have been changing frequently as the situation in the UK continues to worsen. We've been working hard to keep on top of all the changing restrictions and guidance so we can continue to support communities through this challenging time.
We are pleased to let you know that Devon Communities Together has received funding from Devon County Council to continue the delivery of the COVID-19 helpline and related support services until 31st December 2020. We have been busy staffing the helpline Monday-Friday 9am -5pm Monday - Friday for the last 6 months and will continue to do so. We are here for Town and Parish Councils, and Community Buildings, and are able to provide support of a range of topics including local outbreak planning, COVID secure practices, and understanding the current regulations.

Please call our helpline on 0808 1963390 f
or help with funding, governance, reopening buildings, play areas, safeguarding and more. Call us from 9-5 Monday to Friday. Messages may be left outside these times. You can also email info@devoncommunities.org.uk.
Visit our dedicated Covid-19 support webpage
Catalyst Consultancy 
Contact Catalyst today: info@devoncommunities.org.uk
01392 248919
Devon Rural Housing Partnership
Grant Funded Community Led Housing accredited advisor training 
There are a limited number of FREE grant funded places available on an upcoming accredited Community Led Housing Advisor training course, which takes place online on the following dates from October to December (10am - 4pm).
  • Module 1 - 28th & 29th October
  • Module 2 - 11th & 12th November
  • Module 3 - 25th & 26th November
  • Module 4 - 16th & 17th December 
Please contact Colin Savage on 07495 582912 or email csavage@devoncommunities.org.uk for further information and to secure your space. 
Introduction to Community Led Housing
New online training course available: 10th December 10am-12pm, price from £29.70 * early bird discount still available! 
There is growing interest in communities leading on the provision of housing in their locality, particularly affordable housing for local people. There are a variety of ways in which communities can do this: Community Land Trusts; Cohousing; co-operatives; self-build; tenant management. All of these have been encouraged by the Government through the Community Housing Fund and the setting up of Community Led Housing (CLH) Hubs. 
This training event will introduce you to the five models as well as recent policy announcements, supporting you to move forward with plans within your own community. 
Devon Communities Together, in partnership with Devon Rural Housing Partnership, is investigating how it might establish a CLH Hub, and this training event is also an opportunity to share how that might work.
Book your place here
Community Buildings
Do you run a village hall or community building? Please be sure to check the dedicated Community Buildings section within our online Coronavirus resources, which contains the latest national guidance on re-opening halls. 
News from our friends and supporters
Could your organisation host a new 'T-level' student from Exeter College?
We're pleased to share this exciting opportunity from Exeter College, which is seeking employers to work with 2nd year students from January 2021- July 2021, on 'T-Levels' - the next level qualification.
Different to an apprenticeship, you would host a student for one day per week. Students will arrive with a good level of knowledge and skills, as well as being eager and committed to add immediate value whilst developing significant skills. 
Please do click the link to find out more about this fantastic opportunity.
Find out more here
MySunrise App to support cancer patients in North Devon
The MySunrise App will offer complete and up-to-date information and will help patients find everything they need to know, from which bus to catch to the hospital right through to support groups in their local areas and what to expect when coming in for treatment. The app also provides comprehensive information on symptom support and the services available through the Fern Cancer and Wellbeing centre, alongside a wealth of suggested further reading and useful resources.

The MySunrise App was initially developed for patients in Cornwall. It has been completely reworked for Cancer Services at North Devon District Hospital and is also being launched in Exeter, Plymouth and Torbay with funding from the Peninsula Cancer Alliance. Patients having treatment at other Trusts will be signposted to the information for the appropriate Hospital within the app and will be able to switch between Trusts as required.
Find out more and download the app here
Naturally Healthy October is almost here!
Naturally Healthy month is back and this year the campaign will be running throughout October.
Now more than ever we recognise the importance of being active in our green and blue outdoor spaces and connecting to nature.
Naturally Healthy October is all about getting outside and enjoying Devon's amazing natural environment and feeling happier and healthier for it. Activities could include walking, cycling, canoeing, wild swimming or bird watching. There is something for everyone, including lots of ideas about getting out and about (safely!) and even a photo competition!
Find out more here
Photo competition from Devon Community Foundation
Devon Community Foundation is inviting charities and community/voluntary groups of all types, all over Devon to take part by submitting a photo or photos of their community work in action.

In return it is giving you the opportunity to win £250, £500 or even £1000 for your group or charity.

We hope you will agree that this is a great opportunity to share something positive after the challenging times we have all faced in the last few months!
Read more here
And finally ...
Devon Communities Together membership
Are you part of a village hall committee, town/parish council or community group?

Membership of Devon Communities Together is open to all of these organisations and more. We'd welcome any group, organisation or individual who wants to enjoy the benefits of:
  • dedicated support with Covid-19 issues
  • discounted training courses through our Community Learning Academy 
  • access to our highly skilled and experienced staff for advice on planning community projects, funding and more
  • FREE promotional listing on our village halls website for any community building to promote its facilities and calendar
  • and much more ...
Become a member today
Help us help communities to #RebuildDevon 
Could you spare some money each month to help us provide even more support in Devon during Covid-19? We're already doing a lot but there's so much more to be done throughout the coming weeks and months.   
By setting up a small regular donation (as little as £3 per month) you can become a Friend of LOVE Devon and help us to support people of all ages in communities across Devon. You'll even receive a LOVE Devon welcome pack, including a reusable shopping bag! 
Become a Friend of LOVE Devon
Help us earn money from Amazon
With black Friday and, dare we say it, Christmas, on the horizon, please remember that if you log into Amazon via smile.amazon.co.uk and make 'Community Council of Devon' your chosen charity (that's the registered name for Devon Communities Together) we could receive a donation from Amazon every time you shop with them, at no extra cost to you. There really is no catch other than remembering to login via Smile instead of the usual Amazon web address or app.
Register now
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