The Live in Somerset 2020 concerts at Vivary Park have been cancelled due to ongoing Coronavirus restrictions.
SWT will be offering refunds for all Live in Somerset tickets purchased at the Taunton Visitor Centre as soon as possible.
The Visitor Centre is currently closed in line with Government advice but the Council is monitoring the situation carefully and will reopen when it is safe to ensure the health and wellbeing of customers and staff.
Refunds can only be processed in person at the Taunton Visitor Centre, upon receipt of the Live in Somerset tickets and the original receipt of purchase.
Councillor Marcus Kravis, Executive Member for Economic Development, said: It is disappointing that another of the most popular weekends on our event calendar has been impacted by the effects of Coronavirus. We will be issuing refunds as soon as it is practical to do so, and ask that you bear with us during these unprecedented times. Our priority as always is the health and safety of our staff and residents.”
Please keep an eye on our social media platform ‘Visit Taunton’ for updates. If you have further enquiries regarding refunds for tickets purchased from the Taunton Visitor Centre please contact:
Somerset West and Taunton Council are running a free webinar to help small businesses and self-employed people learn quick and simple ways of selling online, new ways to generate income overnight and serve existing customers. The webinar will be followed by 3 further free workshops on specific digital themes and subjects to help small businesses at this time.
The event is on the 23rd April from 2.00-4.00 and people can register online at the following link.
When Gary Walker‘s doctor first suggested a visit to the ACES clinic (acute community eye care service) run by Earlam and Christopher opticians, in Taunton, he was ready to accept any help he could get.
For the last few months, Mr Walker had been in incredible pain, but diagnosing the cause of this pain hadn’t been easy.
“When we saw Mr Walker, he had already had a CT scan and an ECG. The doctor was giving him the highest level of painkiller available and it simply wasn’t working,“ said Sarah Farrant of Earlam and Christopher.
“He was clearly in agony.“
Although not one of their patient’s, within one visit they had identified the problem; Mr Walker had something called ‘closed angle glaucoma’; a sight threatening condition.
“Mr Walker’s eyes were closing drainage points during the day and pressure was building up. The condition is very painful and when describing pain levels patients often refer to it as 10 out of 10; it is so bad.“
Luckily, Mr Walker had been referred to experts in this field and they were able to arrange laser treatment at Musgrove Park Hospital that very day, saving his eyesight and removing the pain.
Talking about his experience, Mr Walker said: “Approximately 6 weeks ago I had what I can only describe as the headache from hell arrive from out of nowhere. I am a person who doesn't normally get headaches at all so this scared me enough to see my GP straight away. They shared my concern and sent me to MPH the same day and I had a CT scan and ECG. I was prescribed painkillers which were changed several times over the next 6 weeks but none had any effect on reducing pain.
“I had never heard of ACES until my Doctor suggested it. I phoned the next day and had an appointment within 45 minutes. I was seen by Sarah Farrant. She was so reassuring and within a few minutes found the problem and said she could get it fixed the same day and I would no longer need to take medication (not that it worked).
“Sure enough I was seen at MPH eye unit the same day where I had laser treatment to my eye. I left there pain free and have remained so ever since. Sarah completely changed my life when she diagnosed my condition and got me my treatment and I can never thank her enough. This service needs more publicity to make more people aware. I would hate to think that someone else was suffering a headache like mine and be unaware of the help available so locally.
“Sarah Farrant I sincerely thank you for your skill, knowledge and friendly attitude which put me at ease.”
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Earlam and Christopher have taken on the task of triaging all patients with eye emergencies to relieve pressure on the NHS. The ACES scheme is available to support anyone with urgent eye problems who are registered with a GP practice in Somerset.
They are also accepting and offering help to people who hadn’t previously been patients of theirs should their opticians have closed due to Coronavirus. Anyone needing help should telephone in the first instance to 01823 272061.
The Mayor of Taunton, Cllr Fran Smith, has made her first virtual appearance at the opening of the Wilton and Sherford Community Shop.
The Mayor appeared by video link at the opening in the Churchill Meeting Hall, Middleway, on Easter Monday. The shop, registered as a Community Interest Company, is being run by volunteers to help local residents with access to basic provisions during the Covid-19 pandemic.
It was established with a grant of £1,500 from the Charter Trustees for Taunton Unparished Area Grant Fund. A further £1,000 from the Somerset Community Foundation will be used to provide much needed stock.
Cllr Smith said: “This is a much needed local shop in an area with a high number of older members of the population.
It’s wonderful to see people rally round to support each other and those in need during the current crisis, and I was delighted to be able to take part in the official opening while still observing advice on social distancing.”
Wilton and Sherford CIC Director, Natalie Dyson, said: “It really is utterly unbelievable to think what our little team has achieved in under two weeks.
We set up a not for profit Community Interest Company, obtained start-up funding, recruited volunteers, opened a business bank account, appointed accountants, built relationships with stockists, begged and borrowed from all over Taunton and were met with incredible kindness by the people who donated things,
Really I am humbled beyond belief at the amazing skill set we have between us and the camaraderie we have developed. I’d like to give a big shout out to every individual and all the businesses and organisations that have helped to make this happen.”
The shop will provide a convenient local drop-in facility for residents to pick up basic provisions including groceries, household items and toiletries
The volunteers can also arrange to deliver items to the community of Wilton and Sherford which has a high proportion of older members of the population.
All items will be sold on a not for profit basis.
VIP Country Dog Hotel launches nationwide Covid19 initiative to help Key Workers and Vulnerable people.
Pet lovers across the UK have opened their hearts to a plea from the Country Dog Hotel, based near Taunton in Somerset during the Covid19 lockdown.
The family run business, a firm favourite for many well-known and celebrity pet owners, is nestled in the heart of Somerset on the Quantock Hills. The Country Dog Hotel, owned by Rebecca Linnell and Mike Walton offers ‘home from home’ bespoke luxury boarding for all types of dogs, in a family environment, even offering VIP and Spa services.
Dog lovers Rebecca and Mike, who have owned, fostered and rescued dogs for most of their lives understands only too well how the current situation will be impacting on the lives of 1000’s of pet owners.
With the backing of some very well-known celebrity supporters including Harry Redknapp, David Gandy and Lorraine Kelly, Rebecca and Mike have recently set up a Nationwide Community Covid19 initiative to help support key workers and vulnerable people, by helping out with the care of their domestic pets.
With more than 5000 volunteers already recruited across the UK, Rebecca said, “We have been absolutely overwhelmed with the support of so many people and we are hugely excited by this project. I know that there are lots of people out there who will value this extra support for their beloved pets at this unprecedented and difficult time. We can offer help with all aspects of pet care including arranging dog foster care and dog walking sessions. We will do this by matching people who need extra support with their pets, with volunteers from their local postcode area. It will be one less thing for them to think about.”
Mike added, “All of us at the Country Dog Hotel want to thank everyone who has come forward to help with this initiative at such a challenging time, your support really will make a difference!”
If you need help with your pet due to the Covid19 restrictions, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07399 286092.
If you can offer help to someone at this time, please message us direct on our Instagram page. @thecountrydoghotel, stating the first part of your postcode and a contact telephone number. We will contact you if someone in your area needs assistance with their pet.
Please email us if you are able to, as we are trying to keep our lines free for people who need help.
Although churches won’t be open for the usual services a local across church community called Awaken have commissioned a group of artists locally to ‘live draw’ the story of Easter which will be on their facebook page @worshipawaken on Good Friday. A number of other creative virtual events and services will be shared across their social media pages over the weekend, details will be posted shortly.
To involve churches and the whole Taunton community there is also a 24 hour prayer meeting for the town and area taking place on Thursday 9th April from midnight to midnight. On each hour a new host will read a section of the story of Jesus going to the cross, a variety of churches, leaders and singers will be involved during the 24 hours. Anyone is welcome to join in this session https://us04web.zoom.us/j/995796549
Awaken is also hosting a live broadcasts from various homes across the town, this is broadcasted through their social media every evening at 8:30pm with updates from local NHS workers, charities, churches, pastors, prayer leaders, worship teams and others. Anyone can submit prayer requests, thoughts, encouragement on the live feed or chat. Most evening there is an opportunity to submit questions to be asked to guests on the live broadcast. Sam Burton, founder of Awaken, said: ‘This has worked extremely well with engaging all ages especially the ‘at risk’ members of Taunton who are staying inside and it has been a life line to many, over the past week over 2,000 people have viewed these live broadcasts. Usually our events and broadcasts are aimed at young adults but during this season we’ve found all ages are finding it valuable so we’re adapting these broadcasts for the whole community. During this time on the lead up to Easter I’m reminded how Jesus was left alone by all, even his closest disciples fled in fear, but God will never leave us, even in the middle of self isolation. In the Bible we read: ‘God is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.’ Deuteronomy 31 v 8 in ‘The Message’’.
Further information can be found online at www.worshipawaken.com
Local firm launches ‘Teapot Top Tips’ to help businesses develop their online capabilities as it reaches its own tenth anniversary.
A series of ‘top tips’ guides will be issued by Somerset design and digital marketing company Teapot Creative over the coming weeks to help businesses that are looking to develop their online presence.
The ‘Teapot Top Tips’ series will cover a range of topics specially chosen to support businesses during this challenging time. These include guidance on starting an ecommerce business; using SEO and PPC; improving social media presence; and successful remote working.
The award-winning creative design company had been about to celebrate its first decade in business, revamping its own branding and website to mark this milestone. It was planning a variety of charity and community activities to celebrate the anniversary, with the full programme due to be unveiled at a Mad Hatter’s Chari-Tea Party in May.
With the Teapot team now working remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic, celebrations are postponed as they prioritise support for other businesses, many of whom are urgently seeking to refocus their activity online.
Founder and director, Lizzie Ginbey, says, “Teapot Creative has grown into a bigger, bolder and more confident agency over the past decade, and we recognise that our success is very much down to the people we work with and our local community. Although we are able to continue supporting our clients remotely, we know that many of the businesses within our community are finding it much harder.
“Being able to operate online in some capacity is essential for most businesses, and even more so during this period of shutdown and isolation, with many of our clients shifting their focus onto ecommerce and online marketing. To support as many businesses as possible, we’ll be sharing regular ‘Top Tips’ content on our website and social media profiles to help businesses really make the most of their online platforms."
The first in the ‘Teapot Top Tips’ series will be issued on Monday 6 April and can be read at teapotcreative.co.uk/blog or by searching for #TeapotTopTips on social media.
Set up in April 2010, Teapot Creative has since gone from strength to strength, supporting over 500 companies during the past ten years. It now works with a range of companies across Somerset and the South West, as well as having national and international clients.
Teapot Creative provides a wide range of design and digital marketing services, from branding and web design to SEO, PPC and Mailchimp. It combines big agency design skills and creativity with a personal approach, ensuring that its clients and community are at the very heart of the business.
Teapot was founded ten years ago in a garage in Fivehead, Somerset. Lizzie Ginbey and Barry Tottle, both graphic designers, set about creating a design agency with a difference. They wanted Teapot Creative to have the design, flair and creative reputation of a big city agency but without the exorbitant price tags or prickly uber-cool atmosphere. Their aim was to make top level graphic design and websites accessible to SMEs in the South West. Teapot Creative won the Somerset Business of the Year Award just six years later and had already grown to 13 employees, with a much smarter studio in Hambridge. Now, ten years into business, they are a 19-strong team of creatives and have worked with over 500 clients, ranging from one man bands working from home, to large nationals and some international e-commerce clients. They pride themselves on being friendly and ethical, and their purpose is to use design and digital creativity to help transform businesses.
We took part in a webinar this week, hosted by Alex Wren from Bitpod. Alex offered loads of advice on how to get started with making videos and also top tips to fine-tune your setup if you're making videos already. We took loads away from this and plan to bring you more videos sharing advice and tips. Thank you Alex.
Bitpod are online video experts who love helping businesses, charities and educators to drive sales, raise their profile and share knowledge. Their award-winning EasyStudio allows everyone to harness the power of video, thanks to an innovative streamlined production process which cuts the cost of making professional quality content. Clients love the easy-to-use setup, which puts you in control of creating videos that work for you.
Since 2002 they’ve been at the forefront of online video, with a wealth of expertise in animation and on-location filming. They're passionate about helping their clients to make impactful videos, including pitches, presentations, product demonstrations and e-learning content. They also specialise in live streaming events.
Whatever your goals, their friendly and professional team can help make video an effective part of your marketing strategy.
Check them out...
SWT is inviting anyone struggling to pay their Council Tax due to the pressures of Coronavirus to get in contact.
The Council has a range of measures in place to help people having difficulty with payments.
It can work with residents who have permanently, or temporarily, lost their job; stopped their self-employment or had their pay cut, to help find a solution.
Further information on the support available can be found on our website https://www.somersetwestandtaunton.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-and-information/
In addition SWT has suspended bailiff action and won’t send any reminders until the end of June. It will be reviewing this as the crisis evolves.
The Council has also received funds from the Government to award an extra reduction of up to £150 to Council Tax payers of working age who receive Council Tax Support during 2020/21,
Customers who can pay their Council Tax must do so in the usual way. SWT will still collect direct debit payments, and although the offices are closed payments can be taken over the phone.
All Council Tax payers can opt to pay Council Tax over 12 months (rather than 10), from April through to the following March, reducing the amount paid each month.
Anyone wanting to take up this option or struggling to pay their Council Tax should contact SWT on 0300 304 8000.
In the current situation the whole country finds itself in, community is more important than ever.
Somerset Day 365 is a promoter of Somerset-based events. The Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic means we may not be able to physically celebrate our county with many wonderful events this year, particularly in the lead up to Somerset Day on 11th May, as event organisers are understandably cancelling events in light of Government and World Health Organisation advice.
Instead we will be continuing to celebrate Somerset as a community online. Our aim is to lift spirits and create a hub for community conversation.
In order to do this we will be using our social media platforms to share what will be operating in local communities, keeping spirits high with fun and interesting social media posts about our beloved county and sharing stories and news from our followers and supporters.
Nigel Muers-Raby, Somerset Day 365 CEO and Founder said “In our current situation, community is more important than ever. Voluntary activities and diversification of businesses large and small has shown us community spirit and allegiance goes beyond four walls.
“We wish everyone well in the challenging days and weeks ahead, and we look forward to sharing our Somerset Day community spirit online.”
Somerset Day 365 is asking community groups in the county with initiatives and activities they would like to share to contact email@example.com, or send a message on Facebook @SomersetDay365.
The Mayor of Taunton, Cllr Fran Smith, has given a personal thank you on behalf of the town to a local businessman who repaired the iconic Vivary Park gates free of charge.
Jason Bailey of Montaz Engineering Solutions Ltd responded to an emergency call out from SWT’s open spaces team after the cast iron gates were damaged overnight in February.
Several pieces of the historic gates were found scattered on the ground when staff arrived to open them early on the Sunday morning.
Mr Bailey, whose Taunton-based firm carries out work on the Council’s commercial vehicles, arrived to collect the broken pieces and take them to the workshop at Bishop’s Hull.
Experienced welder Rob Brookes-Wait carefully restored them and made a replacement part for one piece that was missing. He then worked on site at Vivary Park to fix the restored section into place. The work was completed within four days.
Mr Bailey wrote to SWT saying that despite being instructed to undertake this work at the usual rate he intended to make no charge and to offer the repair as a gift.
He said: “It was especially important for me to be able to support the Council and restore these gates for the people of Taunton. They are probably one of the most recognisable structures in the town leading the way to one of the best loved, well-used parks. My company has made charity donations to many local good causes over the years. I feel it’s important as a local business to put something back into the community so as soon as we were asked to carry out this work I’d made up my mind to do it for free.”
Mr Bailey and his wife Sharon, who also works for the family company which employs 10 staff, were invited to Deane House for a Civic reception with the Mayor.
Cllr Smith said: “I wanted to personally thank you on behalf of the people of Taunton for your generosity. The craftsmanship is superb and you can see the pride that has been taken in this work. The gesture is very much appreciated. I hope it will help people to recognise the calibre of some of our local businesses, the quality of their work and the pride they have in our community and County town.”
As the Coronavirus developments we wanted to reassure our community about our magazine and door to door deliveries. Public Health England (PHE) has advised that people receiving parcels or direct mail are not at risk of contracting the coronavirus.
Viruses do not survive long on objects, such as letters or parcels. This complements the highly publicised guidance from PHE for people to wash their hands more often than usual using soap and hot water.
We take the health and safety of our community very seriously and are being kept up to date on a daily basis as the virus evolves. All of our delivery team have been briefed on best practice to prevent the spread of any infection, in line with preventative guidance from Public Health England.
Our community magazine brings positive local news and features to your door, but more so as a platform for our wonderful local businesses to reach you to promote their services. In these difficult times, we all need to support our local small businesses and the self-employed more than ever. They rely on your business. Money spent locally stays local.
Be kind and look after each other.
Paul & Clive
“Let’s just stop and remember to live and not just exist” says Charley Elizabeth Torr, Organiser of the Taunton Feel Good Festival.
Not only will this be a great day out with family and friends, but the festival also has a sub-agenda of raising awareness, educating and inspiring people to be mindful of their bodies and wellbeing.
A very special event will be taking place at the Taunton Feel Good Festival this year. The Somerset West and Taunton Council and community groups in Somerset will together step up and sign the Charter For Compassion; declaring Taunton and the surrounding area, a compassionate county. This momentous occasion will be historically significant for Taunton and will take place at Woodlands Castle on Sunday 10th May at 1pm. The signing has been instigated and driven by Andy and Denise Spragg, owners of The Sangha House and festival co-hosts for 2020.
Charley Torr – Director of Charley Elizabeth Events has welcomed this initiative with open arms into the festival. Charley says,
“It is a pleasure to support The Sangha House and their compassion campaign. We are very excited about the signing taking place at our event. This fits well with the ethos of our festival, at the heart of which is compassion. The festival is designed to support, educate and inspire our community with regards to wellbeing, self-care and exploring health as the true wealth in today’s busy world.
We believe that compassion in our communities is essential for us to connect and ensure optimum welfare for all. There are lots of issues that we need to tackle, and Taunton authorities are very much aware of what needs to be done. Signing the Charter really is a proud moment for Taunton, and it is an honour to have this event take place at our Taunton Feel Good Festival.”
The Sangha House will be providing a Health and Wellbeing Zone at this year’s fun festival, offering everything from yoga, tai chi, pilates, dance, meditation and gong baths. Business owners Andy and Denise Spragg are excited to co-host the event this year and state, “It is a pleasure to be involved with the festival and we are excited to bring our team of wellbeing experts and practitioners to our wellbeing workshop zone”. Workshop wrist bands can be purchased on the day and will give access to all workshops that day between 10am and 6pm.
The festival promises to be an action-packed weekend of wellbeing, health, happiness and inspiration and features delicious food, live music and entertainment,;talks, classes and workshops and lots of exciting stalls, treatments and activities.
Festival Organiser Charley Torr states, “The number one aim of the festival is to make festival goers smile. We strongly believe in ‘Feel Good Therapy’ to wash away your worries for a day or two. It’s a weekend of feel good fun, so bring your loved ones, friends or come alone, we have something for everyone. Our festival programme is jam packed with the South West’s leading practitioners, therapists, musicians, entertainers and producers. We come together to bring you the opportunity to experience a weekend of feeling good.”
The festival will host an exciting line-up of exhibitors that includes; Riverford Organic, Nuffield Health and Taunton Kinesiology. These are only a few of the 100 exhibitors expected at the festival!
Everybody needs some time to relax and chill out, and to help you get that well deserved ‘me time’. The festival will be offering treatments from local therapists including massage, reflexology and various holistic therapies. It will also be home to a handful of trusted readers to offer spiritual guidance and life coaching.
The festival will host a selection of inspiring guest speakers who will shine expertise on all kinds of interesting topics including ‘Kicking Your Inner Critic to the Curb, ‘Mindfulness for Busy People, ‘Plant-Based Baking with Healthier Alternatives’, ‘Buddhism It's Roots, History & Place In Our World Today’ and the ‘Strengthening Of Chakras Through Yoga’, and many more. Come and join in and learn something new!
The festival is complete with a great line-up of live music, featuring Rachael Sweeting Acoustic Guitar & Singer, Marnie Blues Band, exciting 60-person Rock Choir, a local Samba drumming band and many more. The festival will be providing an unlimited supply of entertainment!
You won’t be short of a bite to eat either, the festival will host a delicious range of street food including healthy feel good food, vegan and plant-based dishes, Mexican and Italian. Stars of the show also include Exeter Gin’s pop-up Gin Palace, a vintage tearoom and nutritious smoothie bar, also selling authentic crepes courtesy of Lemon Jelli Events – ultimate feel good treats! Visitors will be able to enjoy the feel-good vibes and indulge in a spot of retail therapy, there will be lots of artisan stalls and natural products to peruse.
There will be lots of fun for the children too with face painting, archery on the lawn, arts and crafts, horse and cart rides and much more.
You can follow the event on Facebook, @charleyelizabethevents and Instagram, @tauntonfeelgoodfest. Come and experience a fun day out with your family and friends and try things you wouldn’t normally do. Take the much-needed time for yourself and learn all about looking after your mental and physical health. We all need a little ‘feel good’ therapy!
This wonderful festival weekend will take place on Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th May at Woodlands Castle. Advance tickets are £5 per day or £9 for the weekend online, or £6 on the day. Tickets can be bought online at www.tauntonfeelgoodfest.co.uk. Children go free and well-behaved dogs are permitted as well. Bring your picnic rug and snuggle in for some feel good fun!
An outstanding Police Cadet, call handlers who have helped save lives and Thornbury Community Speedwatch Team were amongst those recognised at a PCC Pride Awards ceremony hosted by Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Sue Mountstevens.
During the ceremony, which took place on Tuesday 10th March at Police and Fire Headquarters in Portishead, the PCC recognised 20 worthy winners with PCC Pride Awards.
Winners and their guests were then invited to have lunch with the PCC and Chief Superintendent Will White before enjoying a tour of the communications centre where ‘999’ and ‘101’ calls are received.
PCC Sue Mountstevens said: “I’ve always considered hosting the PCC Pride Awards one of the best parts of my role as I get to say a big thank you to some truly extraordinary people in our community. I am delighted that over the past eight years so many people have chosen to nominate these ‘silent stars’, who go about their daily business with little or no recognition.
“These awards have highlighted just some of the very special individuals we have living and working amongst us and their exemplary efforts are hugely appreciated across Avon and Somerset. It’s important we pause and take the time to celebrate these inspirational and selfless individuals who work hard to help keep our communities safe and feeling safe.”
During the afternoon lunch the winners told the PCC what they thought of the day:
Call handler Helen Collier has been an exemplary member of the police control centre for 13 years. She was specifically recognised for her empathetic approach that contributed to saving a woman’s life. Helen said: “It’s nice to be recognised for the job that we do.”
Jo Sampson was recognised for her fantastic fundraising skills. She has been named a community champion as she goes above and beyond to support her local community. Jo said: “You do not realise what you actually do until someone says it out loud. You do not do it for the recognition but it’s lovely to be valued.”
Rachel Eveleigh was recognised for her selfless dedication in her role as Volunteer Cadet Leader for the Weston-super-Mare Police Cadets.
Annie Griffin was nominated for her hard work in the probation service, she goes above and beyond to support those released from Horfield Prison. Annie said: “I feel really touched that someone took the time to nominate me to give that recognition for my work. I have worked in probation services for 36 years and I’ve never felt as happy or more fulfilled than I do in my current role. I come in everyday and I actually feel like I make a difference and the people I work with really respond well to someone who cares.”
Jonathan, a call handler, was recognised for the incredible support he provided to a female who called 999 after someone crashed into her and her partner’s car earlier this year. Jonathan said: “I’m happy that I’ve received recognition but I think everyone in the communications centre should be recognised. Everyone works incredibly hard.”
DC Darren Taylor plays an important part in managing offenders across the force. He was recognised for the significant impact he has had on one of the men he has been working with. Darren said: “It was fantastic to see the diversity and breadth of experience at the ceremony, I am proud to serve Avon and Somerset Constabulary especially working in the IRiS team. As IRiS Offender Manger, I work with the highest risk offenders providing them with a consistent structure and encouragement to make positive changes to not only their lives but to their families and the communities that surround them. I am extremely honoured to receive the award as it is great to be recognised for the work that we do.”
PCSO Michael Benfield was recognised for his hard work in supporting local businesses in Worle who had issues with anti-social behaviour last year. Following his support the area now feels much calmer. Michael said: “It’s lovely to be recognised on an individual basis but it’s all a team effort. I joined this organisation many years ago as a handyman but applied to do this role 14 years ago and I have been working in the area since. Everyone works well together and everyone gets stuck in to problem solve and help people with their problems and that’s what I like about it.”
Police Cadet Katie Brueford is recognised for her dedication and commitment to the Cadet unit. Her first aid training equipped her to support one of her peers when they had a fit in school last year. Katie said: “I felt quite shocked that I was going to get an award at such a high profile event. The cadets are great leaders and I feel proud that they had chosen me to be nominated for this award.”
The Thornbury Community Speedwatch Team were recognised for their hard work and dedication in keeping the roads safe in Thornbury, they have a small team but make a significant positive impact. PCSO Sheryl Drewitt, who nominated the Speedwatch Team, said: “For such a small group of people managing a wide area, the Thornbury team do a fantastic job in keeping the roads safe. The reports are very impressive and have made a significant positive impact on the community.”
Call Handlers Emily Chadburn and Samantha Guest were recognised for their fast actions and professionalism when a woman called 999 when her car was stuck in a flood last year, their expertise ensured a life was saved. Emily and Samantha said: “It’s nice to be recognised as individuals but everyone in the communications centre does what we do and works hard.”
Kate Chapman was nominated for her commitment to a pilot scheme in the Police Control Room this year, following her hard work the force have taken on changes to improve ways of working. Kate said: “I’m very proud to be acknowledged for the work. My work is made much easier thanks to being part of an amazing team.”
Somerset West and Taunton Council is working in partnership with the Somerset Wildlife Trust to identify and create a number of species-rich wildflower meadows across the district.
The meadows will initially be created as part of a pilot project on Council owned land in Grange Drive, Leycroft Grove and Moorfields, Taunton; Gay Street, Wellington; and at Seaward Way, and Culvercliffe, Minehead.
The Council will also be setting aside wild areas in its Green Flag accredited parks at Taunton’s Vivary, Victoria, Comeytrowe and French Weir parks, Wellington Park. and Swains Lane Nature Reserve in Wellington.
The initiative is part of the Council’s commitment to protecting and improving biodiversity, identified as a priority in the emerging climate change strategy.
In establishing ‘wilder’ areas on council owned land and within its parks, the wildflower meadow project hopes to help boost biodiversity, supporting pollinator species in particular.
It will also help to connect existing green spaces which will improve the resilience of the district’s landscape as a whole in the face of a warming climate.
The pilot areas are amenity spaces that are traditionally cut every few weeks during the summer months.
Cllr Peter Pilkington, Executive Member for Climate Change, said: “The Council is committed to creating a more sustainable future for everyone, putting climate and environmental responsibility at the heart of everything it does.
We are excited to be developing this project with the Somerset Wildlife Trust who share our belief in the need for ownership and involvement around climate change.
The Council currently cuts an area the size of Belgium in the course of a season, but we are looking to let some of these areas ‘rewild’ by letting the grass grow longer and sowing wildflowers.
This taller grass will allow a range of grass species to develop, increasing the biodiversity in the area. Tall grass is just as important for wildlife as wild flowers, as it gives animals shelter and somewhere to hunt, breed and feed.”
Wild flower meadows provide shelter and food for important pollinators, and in particular, bees. There are over 250 species of bee in the UK and they play a vital part in supporting the ecosystem. The UK has lost 97% of its wildflower meadow since the 1930s.
Jolyon Chesworth, Head of Engagement at the Somerset Wildlife Trust, said: “There are around half a million football pitches worth of gardens in the UK, plus parks, playing fields, road verges and roundabouts. If managed correctly, our towns and cities can act as havens for wildlife, creating Nature Recovery Networks that connect urban and rural areas to help restore wildlife. Insects, including bees and butterflies, are dying out up to eight times faster than larger animals and 41% of insect species face extinction. However, this initiative to help sow wildflower meadows and ‘rewild’ our parks can play a crucial part in stopping declines. Importantly, these areas won’t just provide a rich source of food but will provide habitat throughout the year for animals to shelter.
“It’s not just good for wildlife but for people as well, the sight of a wildflower meadow, teeming with bumblebees and butterflies, enhances our green spaces and our enjoyment of them and all the evidence suggests that towns rich in wild places and wildlife also boost our own wellbeing. We hope this initiative will be just the start of turning Taunton Garden Town into a place where people and wildlife thrive together.”
More information on the Wildflower Meadow Project can be found on our website https://www.somersetwestandtaunton.gov.uk/meadow-pilots/
Comedian Ed Byrne is appearing in Taunton on Friday 27 March 2020. Genius Events are delighted to welcome him on his tour...
Ed Byrne – If I’m Honest….
Join Ed as he takes a long hard look at himself and tries to decide if he has ANY traits that are worth passing on to his children
Ed Byrne presents his brand-new masterclass in observational comedy hot on the heels of his 17/18 Touring hit, Spoiler Alert!
A TV household name, in the past year Ed has appeared on Live At The Apollo (Host, BBC), Mock The Week (BBC), The Pilgrimage (BBC), Top Gear (BBC) and QI (BBC).
See Tickets - http://bit.ly/2Xo8pmG
Ticket Master - http://bit.ly/2tOkYdY
Praise For The Last Tour:
✭✭✭✭✭ “A one-hour tour de force performance from the master comedian” BROADWAYBABY
✭✭✭✭✭ “Hysterical…..a must see show. My face hurts from laughing so much!” The Student Newspaper
✭✭✭✭✭“The hour is self-deprecating, never self-indulgent, and his packed audience are well entertained” SUNDAY EXPRESS
✭✭✭✭✭ “Expert stand up from the brilliant Ed Byrne” FRINGE BISCUIT
✭✭✭✭ “Thoroughly entertaining… he is a total pro and terrific company” THE TIMES
✭✭✭✭ “There is a reason why he has become a household name” ED FEST MAG
Somerset West & Taunton Council is consulting on a proposed new Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) to allow it to deal more effectively with anti-social behaviour.
A PSPO is a power under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, that allows a council to impose restrictions in particular areas to tackle nuisance or problem behaviour.
SWT is reviewing its policy in a bid to make it easier to identify and address issues in Taunton and surrounding open spaces as part of its Streetwise initiative
to ensure a joined up approach to anti-social behaviour.
The revised Public Space Protection Orders will allow the Council to tackle a broader range of anti-social behaviour in conjunction with partners, particularly the Police.
The proposed conditions would set the boundaries of what can be regarded as unacceptable behaviour, and the areas it covers which means the Council and Police can enforce measures decisively and quickly.
The new Orders could result in fixed penalty notices of £100 or fines of up to £1,000 if convicted of breaching the PSPO in court. They are not designed to make money for the Council, however, any money received in penalties is ring-fenced for Streetwise work.
Cllr Chris Booth, Executive Member for Community, said: “PSPOs are designed to ensure the law-abiding majority can use and enjoy public spaces, safe from anti-social behaviour.
We’ve been working with partners including the Police, to identify issues that could have a detrimental impact on people who live, work or visit the town, many of which are linked to alcohol and drug dependency.
Our aim is always to make an early intervention, and to take the opportunity to engage and improve behaviour, but no-one should have to endure behaviour that has a negative impact on them, their environment or the community in which they live or work.
The existing PSPO has been ineffective as it was unfortunately often unenforceable. We are now restarting this process and want public feedback to be a key part of helping to improve our district through enforceable rules.
We hope people will engage with the consultation process to revise the PSPO powers and help to make our county town and associated open spaces safe and welcoming.”
The consultation runs for six weeks from today (2 March) and will give members of the public a chance to put forward comments and suggestions including other locations.
The full consultation document is available to view on our website www.somersetwestandtaunton.gov.uk/pspo
Paper copies are also available at Deane House, Taunton, and West Somerset House, Williton.
Responses can be made using the online consultation portal https://yoursay.somersetwestandtaunton.gov.uk/or by returning the paper questionnaire by freepost.
Genius Events are thrilled to unveil Taunton’s Premier Comedy Club! A new and exciting bi-monthly Stand Up Comedy Evening to be held at CICCIC’s amazing Memorial Hall in Paul St, Taunton. Our opening night is Friday 10 April! CICCIC is the home of Stand Up For Cider. For this exciting new show, it is being transformed into an intimate club with an amazing atmosphere.
We’ve pulled out all the stops to bring you the most exciting acts from across the UK and pop them on stage in Taunton.
You’ll get the chance to see several comedians on the night from up and coming local talent to the cream of the UK Comedy Circuit. We are also planning on bringing some well-known comedians who like to test their material at small clubs like Genius Comedy Club before they take it to the Edinburgh Comedy Festival or out on Tour.
The evening will be unadulterated, full of surprises and have you laughing all the way through the weekend. So why not relax in comfort, enjoy a drink or three, while we take you on a few hours journey of forgetting your worries.
Laughing is good for your health – so come along and exercise your chuckle muscles!
Tickets are limited and booking is advised. See website for full line-up.
Doors open at 7.30pm for an 8.00pm start and tickets costing £10 are available now by calling 01823 337477 or visit CICCIC BOX OFFICE (£12 on the door – if any are left!)
Stay tuned for updates!
SWT is working to deliver more affordable homes across the district and has recently purchased 10 new properties for social rent in North Taunton.
The two and three bedroom properties with private parking were built to a high specification by Summerfield Homes.
Tenants who live in the homes at Pyrland Fields will benefit from affordable rents and a secure council tenancy which means they have a settled home.
Cllr Fran Smith, Executive Member for Housing, said: “SWT is committed to increasing the number of quality affordable homes in the district to try to reduce the number of people requiring accommodation. These wonderful homes along with those we are building at Laxton Road and our large development in North Taunton are great examples of our commitment. Over the coming months we hope to announce more developments.”
Summerfield Homes Divisional Director, Ed Khodabandehloo, said: “It has been great dealing with the team at Somerset West and Taunton on this transaction.
We are very pleased to be contributing to the Council’s directly owned affordable housing stock and are confident that these houses will provide great homes for the community.”
The Council is increasing its affordable housing stock in line with the approved
30 year business plan for its housing service. The plan includes a commitment to build 1,000 new homes over the next 30 years but some acquisitions from the market are taking place to accelerate provision.
An AWAKEN celebration evening of music, coffee and faith will be taking place for young adults (18-30s) at Company Spaces, Taunton on Friday 13th March at 8pm.
A live band from Bath called ‘Orphan No More’ will be performing some of their recent songs. ‘Orphan No More’ recently headlined at a large Summer Festival called David’s Tent near London where 6,000 young adults gathered to worship, sing and connect.
Sam Burton, founder of Awaken, shares: “This evening will be an inspiring night, our heart is to see young adults connected across this region in community. Our generation can be the most connected generation ever to have lived on the planet but also the loneliest, these evenings are a space to be family. ‘Orphan No More’ are incredibly gifted and carry something special, I truly believe that there should be no one orphaned in our community. We need places to belong. On the Awaken nights we see both church people and non-church people coming to these events to connect as a generation and if you are a young adult we would love to see you at this free event. We always have plenty of cake, coffee, music and also take space for hearing from God and opportunity to receive personal prayer for anything too and we are all about encouraging this generation to try Jesus. To find out more about future events you can follow our Facebook and Instagram pages”.
To book your free ticket head to: www.worshipawaken.com
If you are not a young adult and would like to see them, they are playing for an joint Churches event in Wellington at Court Fields School on Saturday 14th March at 7pm. For further details check out Life Central Church Wellington website.
Photo: Orphan No More Band Photo.
Further questions email:
Awaken are a community of young adults led by a collection of people from different churches with a heart to serve the local community.
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With International Women’s Day fast approaching, many businesses will be jumping on the band wagon to show their support to women all over the world. But what does ‘women’s empowerment’ really mean and how can we truly empower women to live their best lives? We believe that one of the most effective ways to support women, is to equip them to empower themselves economically.
“Books are my passion. I have been passionate about all things literary since I was a small boy and one of my teachers saw something and encouraged me all those years ago. Back in the early 1980’s I set up a large Hospital radio network in London and ran this for many years and through this it enabled me to interview stars from stage, TV, music and also writers. One day I hope to get back behind the microphone. But also I have a real passion for natural history and this is why I love our wonderful of Somerset so much.
Welcome to my first column for Word Gets Around. For those of you who are not familiar with my role, I’m Sue Mountstevens and I am your elected Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Avon and Somerset. My role includes being your voice in policing, being the bridge between local people and the police and ensuring the Chief Constable and his team are doing everything they can to keep you safe. My work also includes setting the police budget and helping improve the criminal justice system to support victims of crime.
A small business owner will go the extra mile to make you happy. Local businesses are owned by your neighbours and friends. They care about you and are invested in your community.
A national chain will sell hundreds or thousands of identikit products. Local stores sell unique merchandise in smaller numbers so you will buy something truly individual.
It supports the arts
Small local businesses support creativity! Look for art on display created by local artists. These are one-of-a-kind pieces you won’t find anywhere else.
It helps the local economy
The money you spend in a local business stays within your town and community, thus improving its future.
Instead of purchasing items from national chains, try to purchase things from a business local to your area.
Buy a gift or a gift card at a local business in your area and give to a friend, family member, or co-worker. This will introduce the company to someone new and allow for the “shop local” mantra to spread.
Promote their business! If you like a particular shop or independent restaurant share and like their social media accounts. Spread the word.
Give them a great review. Send them a thank you. Say why you love them and let them share your testimonial.