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Community guidance (12)

Community guidance

FORCE – Friends of the Oncology and Radiotherapy Centre, Exeter

FORCE Cancer Charity is based in Exeter. It believes that anyone affected by cancer deserves the best possible treatment and professional support close to home and face-to-face. Since 1987 the charity has been funding local research and buying equipment to improve patient care at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital. In 2004 FORCE opened a Cancer Support and Information Centre in the grounds of the RD&E. The Centre is open every weekday 9:30-4:30 (Wednesdays 6:30) for people needing physical, emotional, psychological and practical support at a difficult time in their lives.

The Centre receives around 25,000 visits a year with patients, their families, carers and friends all able to access support. It has a well-stocked library and information nurses on hand to help with questions and offer advice. There are counselling services for individuals and within support groups, including for children and young people, plus complementary therapies, exercise guidance, relaxation and mindfulness sessions, a benefits advice service, help to cope with hair loss and a wig fitting service. FORCE also offers support and information sessions once a week in Tiverton and Okehampton with plans to offer a service in East Devon. The charity also funds the delivery of chemotherapy in Tiverton and Okehampton.

All of FORCE’s services are free of charge.

Since the charity was founded it has spent well over £8million on support, equipment and research. FORCE receives no Government funding. The charity needs to raise £1.5million every year to maintain the services it offers. That money comes entirely from voluntary contributions - legacies, donations, the FORCE charity shop and from fundraising events. Fantastic support from the community it serves enables FORCE to fulfil its mission to support anyone locally affected by cancer.

About FORCE Cancer Charity

  • FORCE stands for Friends of the Oncology and Radiotherapy Centre Exeter
  • FORCE works locally to offer face-to-face support for anyone affected by cancer.
  • An independent charity founded in 1987, it provides help for patients, their families and friends at its Support Centre in the grounds of the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital.
  • It also funds a local research programme and has spent more than £1million on high-tech equipment to enhance patient care at the hospital.
  • In 2014 it launched outreach services in Tiverton and Okehampton with others planned
  • In 2017 FORCE began funding the delivery of chemotherapy in Tiverton and Okehampton
  • All FORCE services are offered free of charge.
  • The charity needs to raise £1.5 million every year to maintain its services


Published in Community guidance

Fire safety advice in the home

 Don't tackle a fire yourself - get out of the property and call 999

Knowing how to prevent a fire and keep you, your family and your home safe

Many fires that start in a home are accidental, yet the effects can be life changing and even fatal. So it’s important to be aware of how to reduce the chances of a fire starting in your home in the first place.

East Devon District Council takes fire safety very seriously and invests both time and money to make sure its tenants and leaseholders have maximum protection. We provide all our homes with smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and in many properties heat detectors, and regularly check that these are operating effectively.

For all East Devon tenants we strongly advise that the following fire safety tips are followed:

  • Ensure your smoke alarms are working - test smoke alarms regularly and report any faults to our repairs team
  • Take extra care in the kitchen when cooking - especially when using hot oil. Never leave pans unattended and don’t cook if you are feeling tired, drinking alcohol, or taking medication that might make you drowsy
  • Use candles safely - make sure they are secured in a stable holder and never leave them to burn on their own
  • Keep heaters away from anything that can catch alight and sit at least one metre away from heaters
  • Put out cigarettes - use deep ash trays and stub them out properly - never smoke in bed
  • Don't overload sockets - keep one plug to one socket and turn off appliances when not in use
  • Check all electrical appliances regularly and switch off and unplug electrical appliances such as cookers, TVs and charging devices such as mobile phones when you go to sleep. Only leave essential items such as freezers and fridges switched on
  • Plan an escape route in case you need to leave your home in the event of a fire
  • Check for fire hazards before going to bed and close all doors as this can prevent fire spreading
  • Don't tackle a fire yourself - get out of the property and call 999
  • Familiarise yourself with the advice given on the Fire Action Notices located in hallways, corridors and landing areas, and in the event of a fire follow this advice.
  • Do not leave or store items any items in communal areas, including mobility scooters, bicycles and rubbish sacks.  Communal areas must be kept clear and free from obstructions at all times.
  • Electrical appliances such as washing machines, tumble driers and fridge freezers should not be placed or used in any areas outside of your own flat, including any outside storage cupboard.
Published in Community guidance

Grants and Benefits Available to OAPs in 2017

With thanks to Mygrants.co.uk

Retirement is supposed to be our golden years, akin to one long weekend. After all, isn’t that the reason why we work hard for the majority of our lives – in order to enjoy relaxing times with family and friends as we prepare to slow down Sadly, over a million UK pensioners are living poverty.

With this in mind, we’re keen to ensure that each and every OAP in the country is fully aware of the benefits packages available to them. A state pension is obviously a given, but are you aware of the other packages that could make your autumn years more comfortable?

Age UK’s Benefits Calculator will reveal some answers, and this guide will help you pinpoint how to access everything that you are entitled to.

Please note – this article refers only individuals old enough to identify as OAPs. For guidance on general benefits available within the UK, click here.

State Pension

The State Pension is the regular payment that you receive from the government to sustain you throughout your retirement.

  • The UK State Pension eligibility age is subject to change dependent on your date of birth – if in doubt, you should use the government’s official State Pension Age Calculator. The sum of your state pension depends on how much money you have contributed to National Insurance through your working life.
  • Widows and widowers may be eligible for the pension payments that would been attributed to their deceased spouse.

Pension Credit

Not all OAPs are aware of this scheme, which supersedes traditional low-income payments such as Housing Benefit once an individual reaches pension age.

  • Pension Credit is an extra top-up payment for any OAP on a low income that provides similar perks to working age income support credits, including housing benefit, council tax reduction and free NHS dental treatment.
  • Turn2Us, the charity that specialises in helping those experiencing financial hardship, has more information on this credit.

Employers Pension

In addition to your state pension, you should have access to a private pension pot arranged by your employers – ask the company for information on this if you are unsure.

  • Automatic enrollment into a workplace pension scheme is a legal requirement of any employee in the UK. Typically, these pension pots can be drawn from at any age beyond 55 years.
  • This guide will tell you exactly how much money your employer should have contributed to your workplace pension.

Fuel and Heating Benefits

This scheme is designed to assist pensioners with the ever-increasing costs of heating their homes during the coldest months of the year.

Medical and Lifestyle Discounts

OAPs are entitled to several discounts and complimentary services throughout the country.

Disability Allowances

Personal Independence Payments (PIP), formerly known as the Disability Living Allowance, is not available to anybody over the age of 64, but if you are living with a disability you may be eligible for certain other payments.

  • Attendance Allowance is an extra payment made to any OAP with a registered disability, in order to fund the extra care they may need. Eligibility may also qualify you for pension credit, and other benefits.
  • Carer’s Allowance remains available to OAPs, including spouses that live with somebody that requires full-time care.

Travel Concessions

Some rail providers may offer complimentary travel to OAPs at their discretion – check with your local company for more information. There are, however, two nationwide travel concession schemes active in the UK.

  • A complimentary bus pass is available to anybody living in England who had reached the female state pension age, regardless of gender. In Wales and Scotland, anybody aged 60 or over is eligible.
  • The Senior Railcard is a personalised concession card that, for a one-off payment of £30, provides a discount of 1/3 on all national rail services to any passenger aged 60 or over.
  • Passport renewals are free to anybody aged 88 or over.

Charitable Help

There are also numerous charities across the UK that could offer you financial support in your old age. Whilst some may offer funding, others offer support services or short-term loans of essential equipment. Two of the most well known are The British Red Cross and Age Concern. Even if these organisations are not able to help you directly, they will have advice on other charities to turn too.

Age Concern

Age Concern is also called Age UK and its one of Britain’s national charities that was developed specifically to help the older generations. The organisation works as a central funding source for many of the UK’s charities, providing grants and funding for its partners.

These Friends of Age UK groups work at a local level, offering services and funding that will vary depending on where you live.If you’re looking for individual financial help, or you’re part of a small group needing support, you cannot access grants directly from Age UK. Instead, you can either email
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or use Age UK’s online portal to find your nearest Friends of Age UK partner.

The British Red Cross

The British Red Cross is one of the county’s best known organisations. Though they do a wealth of work abroad, the organisation also provides huge amounts of care and support for people in the UK too. The British Red Cross doesn’t actually provide grants for people. Instead, it offers free services to those in need.

Mobility Aids

Having access to mobility aids can have a huge effect on your life, especially if you’ve recently returned from hospital, for example, and need a few bits of equipment to get by. The Red Cross offer short-term loans of items like commodes, walking sticks, walkers, grab rails and wheelchair ramps. These could be invaluable as you recover from ill health or look for a longer term solution. For information on services in your area see their website here.

Support at Home

The charity also runs a volunteer program so you can get much needed help at home if you require it. These trained carers can provide physical and emotional support, and are there to help rehabilitate people after hospital stays, or lend an extra hand so you don’t have to be admitted to hospital in the first place. Basic first aid training is given, and volunteers can offer companionship, and help collect groceries and prescriptions. More information can be found here.

Other Sources of Advice

  • Age UK is a one-stop shop for all matters relating to life as an OAP in Britain. You may know this charity but its former name, Help the Aged.
  • The Citizens Advice Bureau is always on-hand to answer any queries you may have that relate to OAP benefits.
  • The Money Advice Service can provide free advice on all financial affairs, including benefit entitlement of OAPs.

Useful Links

Action on Hearing Loss – www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk
Age UK – www.ageuk.org.uk
Citizens Advice Bureau – www.citizensadvice.org.uk
Energy Saving Trust – www.energysavingtrust.org.uk
The Money Advice Service www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk
NHS – www.nhs.uk
The Pensions Regular – www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk
The Senior Railcard – www.senior-railcard.co.uk
Turn2Us – www.turn2us.org.uk
UK Government – www.gov.uk
Red Crosswww.redcross.org.uk

Published in Community guidance

Please find below the link to download the latest report from the Devon Countryside Access Forum.


Should anyone be interested in applying to be a member of the Forum, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I will send on an application form.

Published in Community guidance




Transport Solutions for Devon

Devon Wheels 2 Work can help people that live or work in Devon to travel to employment, training and education.

We provide a motorcycle and scooter rental scheme to help anyone aged 16 and over to meet their transport needs. Our fleet of insured, taxed and maintained 50cc and 125cc vehicles which are available across the whole of Devon.

In order to take advantage of the scheme you need to be aged between 16 and 65, live and / or work within Devon, and have a provisional driving licence and Compulsory Basic Training Certificate.

The rental cost of the bikes includes tax, insurance, maintenance, servicing and a six-weekly safety check on the machine. Our mobile workshops mean that we are able to provide this service wherever you are in Devon.

For more information please contact us on 01409 253942 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or visit our website http://www.devonwheels2work.co.uk


Devon Wheels 2 Work is now entering it's 15th year, and will celebrate 10 years as a Social Enterprise in 2016.

We subsidise the motorcycle rental scheme through our motorcycle showroom and workshop in Holsworthy. We stock a comprehensive range of helmets, clothing, accessories, used motorcycles and other motorcycling equipment. Our workshop is open to the general public and can provide servicing, repairs and MOT's for all makes and models of motorcycles.






Published in Community guidance

The Broadclyst Fund

The Broadclyst Fund is a Registered Charity which makes grants to individuals or organisations in Broadclyst Parish (or who have a close association with the parish) who are in some way in need.
Examples of recent grants which have been awarded include grants towards winter fuel, some domestic appliances and emergency cash donations.

If you believe you or a local organisation could benefit from such a grant, fill in and return an application form. You can download an application form from the link below or pick one up from the back of Broadclyst Church.
If you wish to discuss your need and application first, please contact Sarah Vaughan in confidence on 01392 466808.

Download Broadclyst Fund application form


Published in Community guidance

Construction Sites Guidance

Hours of work for noisy operations including deliveries
Where residential occupiers are likely to be affected by noise, the hours of work will normally be restricted to the following:
Monday – Friday 8am – 6pm
Saturday 8am – 1pm
Sunday and Bank Holidays No work where noise is audible at the site boundary

All vehicles and plant arriving at and leaving the site must comply with these same restrictions. Any works outside of these hours require prior approval from the Environmental Protection Team, Environmental Health.

Air pollution
Burning of materials on the site is NOT permitted. Materials should be damped down or suitably sheeted to ensure dust pollution is minimised.
Audible reversing alarms
No high frequency audible reversing alarms are to be allowed on vehicles working on the site. The site must be set out so that as far as practicable the need for visiting vehicles to reverse is minimised. White noise alarms or alternative arrangements for providing a safe system of work must be used.
Radios shall not be played at a volume that is audible to local residents.

Published in Community guidance


East Devon District Council is now able to offer a pest treatment service for a limited range of pests which have public health significance.

We carry out treatments for the following pests on domestic property:

  • Rats and mice - £60 (for up to 3 visits)
  • Wasps, bees and hornets - £30 per visit
  • Ants - £30 per visit
  • Cluster flies - £30 per visit
  • Fleas - £30 per room
  • Bed Bugs - £50 evaluation, spot treatment and quotation visit

To request a treatment please complete a pest treatment form here

or you could call the customer service centre on 01395 516551.

If you would like us to investigate a pest infestation on other land, or you have other insects or pests in your own home, please complete an on-line pest investigation form here, or you could call the Environmental Health team on 01395 517456.

For general information about other pests, birds and wild animals please see our website. There you will find information about badgers, bedbugs, bees, black ants, booklice, brown tail moth caterpillar, cockroaches, earwigs, fleas, foxes, house flies, house mice, moths, rats, seagulls, silverfish, slugs and snails, squirrels, wasps, and woodlice.

Published in Community guidance

There are certain practical steps that you can take to protect your home from winter weather.

Last winter's heavy rain caused flooding in several areas.  Begin by checking if your home is at risk from flooding.

and that will help you decide whether you need to take action to protect your home from flood water.  If your property is at risk, for example,  preparing a flood plan for your property will make things easier to manage if you do suffer a flood.

During cold spells, the biggest risk to your property is probably from frozen pipes. Ultimately, that presents a different sort of flood risk. Don't forget though, that snow can cause problems too, blocking air vents, blowing into roof spaces and adding extra weight to roofs and other structures.

When high winds are forecast, remember that some everyday items in the garden can become 'missiles'. Most winters we see pictures of airborne trampolines and garden furniture. Before it gets windy it's also worth checking for loose tiles, slates and flashing and consider removing dead branches from old trees.

Sometimes no amount of planning and preparation can prevent the weather damaging your property. When that happens buildings insurance offers peace of mind.

Don't forget it's not just the weather itself that can cause problems at your property. Some of the heating appliances we use to keep the cold at bay can cause carbon monoxide poisoning if fitted or used incorrectly. Dubbed the silent killer, it's easily avoided by being informed and following a few simple guidelines Gas Safe Register to find out more. 

The links on these pages give you all the information you need to get your home ready for winter, protected from flooding, cold weather and storms. There's also useful information about dealing with insurance following weather-related issues.

Published in Community guidance

There are some practical steps that you can take to help keep you warm and healthy throughout the winter months.

Some people find cold crisp weather invigorating, others think wintry weather is miserable. For some people though, particularly the elderly, cold damp weather can have a real impact on their wellbeing.

There's a common misconception that cold only becomes a killer when frost sets in and there's snow on the ground. However, for some people the impacts can be felt long before the temperature drops to freezing. For the most vulnerable keeping yourself and your home warm is perhaps the single most important thing you can do to keep you safe over the winter.

Everyone wants to keep the cold at bay over the winter months but many worry about the cost. Saving energy, through better insulation for example, can make it less costly to keep warm over winter and save some of the planet's precious natural resources.

Winter is also the season when coughs, colds and other illnesses seem to multiply. That puts hospitals and doctors under more pressure. You can help by following the advice of health professionals on managing irritating minor illnesses and what to do when something more serious happens.

If you are one of those people that finds winter weather invigorating then there are lots of outdoor activities to get involved in. Staying safe is important but, if you can, so is staying active even in the depths of winter.


Published in Community guidance


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