<< Welcome to the LOVE Devon newsletter >>
May 2020 
Hello and welcome to the May LOVE Devon newsletter,
It's been a little while since our last edition - as you can imagine, we've been very busy rallying our team to support Devon's communities during what is a very challenging and uncertain time.
We've established a Devon-wide Covid-19 helpline and online support resources, had to adapt several of our projects due to social distancing and have set up our entire team to work from home. All our staff are still fully in action and now, more than ever, we're committed to providing all the advice and practical support we possibly can to help communities help themselves. 
It's a time of change here at DCT too, as we say goodbye to our Chief Executive, Elaine Cook. Elaine retired on 1st May and I have been appointed by our Board as Acting Chief Executive from 4th May. You can read more about this below.
If you would like to see your project, event or enterprise featured in the next edition or are interested in advertising options, please contact marketing@devoncommunities.org.uk. We'd especially love to hear positive stories about how Devon's communities have come together to support each other and adapt during the Coronavirus pandemic. 
Stay safe, stay at home where possible - and please use our helpline if you need to. 
Nora Corkery, Acting Chief Executive
Latest News
Here to help
Devon Communities Together is providing specialist Covid-19 support for Parish and Town Councils, parish meetings, Community Buildings, community support groups, emergency planning teams and sport and play organisations.

Call us for help with funding, governance, looking after buildings, GDPR, safeguarding and more. We’re here to help. Our aim is to support Devon’s communities navigate this unprecedented situation.

Call us from 9-5 Monday to Friday. Messages may be left outside these times. You can also email info@devoncommunities.org.uk.
We've also set up an online resources page on our website, which is regularly updated with the latest guidance and advice from the Government and NHS as well as our network of specialist contacts. 
Visit our dedicated Covid-19 support webpage
For the most up to date advice and information on Covid-19, always check these five key sites: ​
Additional funds to help Devon's Covid-19 response
DCT is pleased to have received a grant of £2,500 from The Prince's Countryside Fund to create an online resource kit to support rural businesses and community buildings and groups to manage the financial impact of Covid-19.
Thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, the Royal Warrant Holders Association Charitable Trust, the Barbour Foundation, and the generosity of its own corporate partners, The Prince's Countryside Fund was able to release £120,963 in funding to 62 projects, benefitting people living and working in rural areas.
Read the press release here
Farewell Elaine!
On Friday 1st May DCT held a 'virtual retirement party' for our Chief Executive, Elaine Cook, who has retired after nine years at the helm of DCT.
Elaine joined Devon Communities Together in 2011 as Chief Executive, since then she has presided over many exciting developments within the charity, with her excellent leadership having being instrumental in helping and supporting a huge number of people in Devon’s communities.

Elaine said: “The past nine years have flown by and it has been a great privilege to be part of an organisation that has such a distinguished history and continues to make such a vital contribution to the well-being of Devon. In 2021 DCT will celebrate its 60th anniversary – a remarkable achievement which demonstrates DCT’s ability to adapt to the changing environment and needs of the people and communities it supports. I would like to say thank you to the trustees and staff and the many members, partners, funders and stakeholders for all their help and support during my term of office and to send my very best wishes to DCT for a successful future.”

Nigel Arnold, Chair of our Board of Trustees added “As the Chief Executive of Devon Communities Together Elaine has been responsible for the delivery of a number of important initiatives and has brought significant funds into Devon, improving the lives of people living and working in our rural communities.
Elaine’s commitment to the people of Devon, over the last 9 years, has been immeasurable. I am sure I speak on behalf of all trustees over her tenure when I say it has been a pleasure and a privilege to have worked with her.”

Going forward, our current Deputy Chief Executive, Nora Corkery, who has been part of the Senior Management Team at Devon Communities Together for 5 years, has been appointed to the position of Acting Chief Executive.

We wish Elaine the very best in her retirement and although we will be bidding her farewell remotely for now, we look forward to marking the occasion properly when it is safe to do so.
Staying social whilst socially distancing - Devon Highlights
As you can imagine, things have changed for our Devon Highlights Project, which was running social groups for over 55s at risk of isolation and loneliness. Due to social distancing, these groups have now moved online and our Community Project Officers, Harry and Aggie, are really enjoying hosting their new Zoom chats!
If group chats aren't for you, we're also offering a one-to-one telephone support service.  
If you know anyone who would like to join these welcoming, friendly groups, or could benefit from some personal telephone support, please contact 01392 248919 or email info@devoncommunities.org.uk.   
Find out more
DCT is creating a sound archive as part of our Devon Highlights project called #VoicingLoneliness.
Open to people of ANY AGE, this is an opportunity to ‘tell your story’ as part of a Devon wide archive of sound, to document the key themes of isolation and loneliness at an unprecedented time in history.
We want to start to have more honest conversations and dialogue around the realities of isolation and loneliness, and all our stories can help to remove the stigma of loneliness and help that to happen.
It's very easy to submit your story (by WhatsApp, online or post) - and it's completely anonymous.  
Join our sound archive today!
Social Enterprise Support Goes Virtual
Another of the projects adapting to the current lockdown situation is the Enhance Social Enterprise Network, which is continuing apace with populating its online map of social enterprises across Devon and Somerset. 
Do you own or run a social enterprise in Devon? By joining the Enhance network you can claim an online listing on our online map of social enterprises across Devon and Somerset. Visit www.enhancesocialenterprise.org.uk website where you will find details of how to join the network for free (if you're not already a member) and be able to claim your listing.
There are also details of exclusive (now online!) social enterprise events across the region and a host of other social enterprises you can make contact with and do business with. 
Next event: Value of Social Impact - 18th May 2020
Do you have inspiring social impact stories to share? Are you interested in engaging with a support network of social enterprises to explore the value of impact stories ?
Join us on this day to explore interesting ways to better manage our social impacts and turn them into “golden tickets”, to keep creating change. Use link below to register and find out more details about this Zoom event: https://bit.ly/Eventbrite-ValueofSocialImpact
We're here to support social enterprises to support each other and their communities during this challenging time - please get it touch and get involved.   

You can also follow us on Facebook (EnahnceSEN), Twitter (@EnhanceSEN), LinkedIn (Enhance Social Enterprise Network Devon & Somerset) and Instagram (EnhanceSocialEntDevSom).

The Heart of the South West Enhance Social Enterprise Programme is receiving funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural & Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.
South West Connected Community Maps - Putting People & Communities First 
Many people are feeling isolated and are struggling to find the support they need, with too many clicks to get to information and often discovering that the information is out of date or incorrect. At the same time many charities and organisations are short of vital volunteers and will need support in the coming weeks and months.

Alongside Recovery Devon, Devon Communities Together are proud to be working in partnership with Devon based, award winning, social enterprise If Everyone Cares CIC (IEC) who, through 'aDoddle' have launched 7 Devon area-based connected community maps. 

If you are part of a charity or community organisation then please create a free profile using the link below and if you know of a charity/community organisation that isn’t on the map yet then please encourage them to join! If you have any questions, please email Jaki@IfEveryoneCares.org
Find the South West map here
Net Zero Task Force: An Update
DCT is proud to be a part of DCC’s net zero task force, which is seeking to create an action plan to help create the necessary transitions to become carbon neutral by 2050. The Task Force held a public call for evidence, which received over 893 submissions from community organisations, local and parish councils, local interest groups and passionate individuals. Together with a series of evidence hearings of industry experts which were also held these submissions are currently being considered by the Task Force, to understand which actions are most urgent and effective; which are contentious; and how to implement them to create a positive vision for Devon’s future.
The Task Force is working to publish its action plan this year, but uncertainty from the Coronavirus Pandemic has affected when a citizens assembly can be held. This citizens assembly is acknowledged as an essential part of the process, to further hear the deliberative voices of the public. Watch this space for further details...
Make a change with OneSmallStep!
OneSmallStep is a healthy lifestyle service set up and funded by Devon County Council to guide and support you through small steps to change. By looking at the process in small steps, they believe it can be much more achievable!

OneSmallStep offers support when and how you need it with information, advice and guidance available online, by telephone and through coaching so you can start making small changes to feel healthier today.
Find out more
Community Resilience
Supporting Community Resilience in Devon 
We often think about Community Resilience in relation to extreme weather, or perhaps a loss of utilities such as water. Yet all over Devon community emergency teams are playing an important part in Devon's Covid-19 response. Our helpline can support these groups to access funding and adapt their response plans - please call us if you think we can help. 
Visit our Coronavirus Support Page
Community Buildings
There are hundreds of issues for village halls to deal with during this period of social distancing - but we're here to help. We helped management commitees in several important areas, including...
  • successfully applying for grant funding 
  • dealing with insurance implications
  • advice around partial openings for essential services
  • maintaining proper governance
  • and much more!
As well as our helpline, we're also running an online survey for village hall and community building commitees so that we can understand the issues you're facing during the pandemic and continue to improve the support we can offer. Please take a few minutes to complete our survey, and don't forget - if you have any questions at all, please do call us on the number above.  
Catalyst Consultancy - creating positive change
Now more than ever, businesses and organisations may need specialist advice to adapt to their changing environments and continue to provide their services. We have a team of experts and a wide network of specialist associates who can help you navigate these uncertain times and plan for the future of your organisation. 
. Fundraising Strategies
. Feasibility Studies
. Stakeholder Consultation
. Governance & Legal Structures
. Community Owned Assets
. Positive Community Engagement
. Design & Facilitation of Partnership Forums
. Design Led Initiatives
. Rural Housing Services
. Community Land Trusts
. Neighbourhood Planning & Localism Powers
. Sustainability Initiatives
. Training & Mentoring
. Marketing
. Business Plans & Business Coaching
. Evaluation & Impact Assessment & Monitoring
If you would like professional help with your organisation or project please get in touch. 
Contact info@devoncommunities.org.uk or call 01392 248919 and find out how we can help. 
Devon Community Learning Academy
As you can imagine, things are a little different for the Devon Community Learning Academy at the moment. All face to face training is on hold for the time being but we've still got a wide range of online courses available and we're working hard with our internal team and external partners on some new online content, watch this space!
E - Learning courses 
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, GDPR, Workplace Wellbeing 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
Online advice from Citizens Advice Devon 
Coming soon! Citizens Advice Devon trainer Vincent Willson is preparing some short videos containing advice on how to navigate the benefits system during this ever-changing situation. Keep an eye out on the Learning Academy pages on our website over the coming weeks... 
And finally ...
Become a friend of Love Devon!
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 more to be done throughout the pandemic and the county's recovery afterwards.   
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
Devon Oil Collective
There's no longer a membership fee for the Devon Oil Collective! Instead DCT earns a percentage per litre of oil ordered through the scheme, which helps to fund our work. Whilst heating may not be at the forefront of our minds as we head towards summer, now could be the perfect time to prepare for the colder months. Not only could you save money on your heating oil but you'll also be raising money for community projects throughout Devon. Find out more by clicking the link below.
Register now
Help us earn money from Amazon
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. Happy Christmas and happy shopping!
Register now
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:
  • 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
This email was sent to clerk@totnestowncouncil.gov.uk
You received this email because you are registered with Devon Communities Together and/or Love Devon. 
© 2020 Devon Communities Together
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