Devon public health boss warning as infection rates start to rise Dr Virginia Pearson, Director of Public Health for Devon County Council and Chair of the multi-agency COVID-19 Health Protection Board has urged people to avoid complacency and stressed that life is not back to normal. “Although Devon’s rates have been comparatively low so far, we cannot be complacent.
“Just like the rest of the country, we have seen a significant rise in the number of confirmed cases in September. Not all new cases are now linked to returning international travellers, which was the pattern we had seen recently.
“We must remember that coronavirus is still a very real threat to us all, especially to our older and vulnerable residents.
She urged Devon residents, of all ages, but specifically our younger residents who perhaps do not feel the risk felt by older and more vulnerable residents, to follow the public health advice.
Update on Covid-19 testing Testing capacity nationally is currently being scaled up to include new testing sites and laboratories. While this is happening, the current service will be very busy.
Please only book a test if you have symptoms of coronavirus OR have been advised by your doctor or other medical professional to arrange a test, for example because you are going into hospital.
If you have symptoms please book a test as normal via the government website or by calling 119.
Anyone who tries to book a test and is unable to do so, or who is offered a location or time which is not convenient, is being asked to wait a few hours and then try again.
Temporary arrangements are in place across Teignbridge to address any delays. If you are unable to book a slot through the government website, please email email@example.com and you will be contacted by someone who will direct you to the nearest testing centre.
You can check your symptoms via 111 online or by calling 111.
Campaign focus on children and young people's mental wellbeing With children and young people now back at school or college, Public Health England (PHE)’s new Better Health – Every Mind Matters campaign provides NHS-endorsed tips and advice to look after children and young people’s mental wellbeing. The advice comes as children and young people report higher levels of stress and anxiety than the general adult population, with COVID-19 increasing a number of risk factors for poor mental health in this group. And new data from PHE reveals that over half (52%) of parents said the mental wellbeing of their children topped the list of their biggest worries.
The advice available on the Better Health - Every Mind Matters website has been developed in partnership with leading children and young people’s mental health charities. It is designed to help parents and carers spot the signs that children may be struggling with their mental health and show the actions they can take to support them. In addition to the advice for parents and carers the site also provides tools to help young people build resilience and equips them to look after their mental wellbeing.
Council support to help embed national youth employment scheme
Teignbridge Council is offering to help businesses take advantage of the Government’s new Kickstart Scheme which encourages businesses to create new six-month job placements for young people who are currently on Universal Credit.
Data for June 2020 shows more than a 1,000 16-24 year-olds in Teignbridge on Universal Credit – almost a tripling of the number compared to 12 months ago.
The new Kickstart Scheme will provide 100% funding of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.
But the national rules state that to apply directly, businesses must be creating more than 30 job placements. If not they have to partner with other organisations so they achieve this total.
The Council is offering to act as an intermediary to support businesses who could take advantage of the scheme and help young people avoid the risk of long- term unemployment but who cannot create 30 plus placements. If the team receives sufficient business interest it will help to bring together a joint application under the Kickstart scheme to the government.
If you know any businesses which may want to take part in this scheme, please ask them to email the economic development team to register their interest and confirm how many placements they would like to create
Help protect wild birds on the Summer begins to mellow, winds begin to change and that is the herald for the beginning of a spectacular time of year for wildlife on the internationally important Exe Estuary. As breeding grounds in Siberia turn icy cold and food supplies there dwindle, this prompts an exhausting annual migration of thousands of water birds. The rich food resources found in the Exe provide a welcome home to these birds, many of which travel in family groups.
With these changes in mind, people are asked to avoid wildlife refuges on the Exe Estuary at Dawlish Warren National Nature Reserve (all year round) and Exmouth Local Nature Reserve (15 September to 31 December) to protect wildlife for future generations. The wildlife refuges are marked with yellow buoys with “WR” in black letters printed on them..
Financial support for Teignmouth arts group
We have just pledged £2,500 to support Teignmouth Arts Action Group (TAGG) to develop a neglected garage space into a hub for the arts and local community in Teignmouth.
This follows a crowdfunding campaign by TAAG to raise the funds needed to purchase the building and more recently to fund vital refurbishment works. Long held plans to provide improved facilities and establish more arts and wellbeing services for the community and visitors are being pushed forward.
The financial pledge comes from the Teignbridge Stronger Communities Fund which was set up to support local projects in Teignbridge as part of Crowdfund Devon, Campaigns under the Crowdfund Devon banner can be eligible for a council contribution off up to 50% of the funding target to a maximum of £2,500, once they have raised 25% of their target .
We were keen to support this AAG project as it creates a valuable community asset for all members of the local community.
The fund can support community projects which benefit the local economy, employment and welfare, provide community facilities, support digital inclusion as well as sport, leisure, arts, heritage and culture. To start a new project go to our website or join this webinar to find out more about crowdfunding.
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A 30-minute webinar is being run by Crowdfunding Devon at 12pm next Thursday (17 September)aimed at anyone who would like to find out more about this method of fundraising and the potential uses for local projects in Teignbridge and across Devon.
The webinar will explain what crowdfunding is, its benefits and how to apply it to a project successfully as well as the extra funding support which is available in Teignbridge and elsewhere in the county, and include a question and answer session.
Building a diverse workforce Devon and Cornwall Police has recently launched a new recruitment section on their website.
It has a number of videos to help and encourage individuals to choose a police-based career and a translate facility embedded into the site to help encourage people for whom English is not their first language to apply.
The force is keen to ensure its workforce reflects the diversity of our communities by attracting the best talent from the widest pool of people. It has established a section where people can refer themselves for Positive Action support
Currently there is a recruitment campaign for the (voluntary) Special Constabulary which runs until 28 September supported by a video outline of the role. The Police would like to encourage candidates from black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds to apply, given they are significantly under-represented in the area.
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