June Message from Cath Holloway, the Village Agent

Not sure who to turn to? Village Agents are a charity that work with individuals and social groups to give confidential support and advice. We can enable people to be more independent in their home, manage personal finances, care for family members and advise on just about anything! You can find Cath at local coffee mornings and events. Call and email me. (Enable Javascript to see the email address) 07968521746

Hi All,

At long last we have had some lovely weather and been able to take part in lovely outdoors activities such as May Fairs, Open Gardens and Health Walks. (Apologies to hay fever sufferers!) These are brilliant events for the whole community to get together for a casual chat and great day out. Perhaps, if there is an event in your village, you could arrange to take a neighbour who may feel uneasy to go alone. You may give them the confidence to walk the distance or you may need to drive them to the event. Perhaps you could invite someone to your local group such as knitting, (Love the pompoms again Crewkerne!) WI or men’s shed. Once there, they will already know people or be able to make new friends, which will make both of you feel great and boost your mental health and wellbeing.

On the subject of health, Healthwatch Somerset, the county’s independent health and care champion are looking for volunteers to help make our experience of the health service better.

“Our dedicated team of staff and volunteers listen to what people like about local health & care services, and what could be improved. These views are then shared with the decision-making organisations in the county, so together we can make a real difference.

For more information please contact: 01278 264405 or email: info at healthwatchsomerset.co.uk

We also give talks about Healthwatch Somerset so if you are a member of a group and would like a talk we would love to hear from you.” www.healthwatchsomerset.co.uk

Carer’s Voice is a similar group. They have a range of events in the area over the summer so they can hear from carers to help drive forward issues that face carers. See our website www.somersetcarers.org or theirs www.carersvoicesomerset.co.uk or give me a call if you are not on the internet.

The light nights make it much easier to get out for a walk or bike ride (and stop for refreshment at the local pub!) Just 10 minutes of brisk walking is considered to give health benefits according to the NHS choices website. They say you should aim for 150 minutes of moderate activity a week, of which brisk walking is one. A brisk walk is about three miles an hour, which is faster than a stroll.

One way to tell if you’re walking briskly is if you can still talk but can’t sing the words to a song.

Look to your surgery to see where your local health walks take place, they can be great places to meet up for a chat and often have a range of walks for different abilities so don’t worry that you may be the slowest person there! If you would like to take your walks up a gear, try the “Ramblers” web page which provides information on groups, walking advice and lists of walks.

There are also lots of gentle exercise classes such as seated boccia and over 50’s exercise if you feel you need to start more gently. Just ask the health coach or receptionist in your surgery for more information.

Many people may have watched Dr Alexander van Tulleken and his brother Chris as the face of health on the TV. They are looking for material for their new series of the CBBC programme “Operation Ouch.”

“As part of the new series, we are making a new episode called the Ouch Awards. We want to recognise medical heroes aged between 6-16 and tell their stories with a chance to feature in the next series and win an experience with the Doctors. Children can be nominated for five different award categories including .. OUCH! FIRST AID AWARD (Correctly used first aid when someone needed help)

This closes 20th May so you may miss this by time of press.



Arc Homes application refused !

Arc Homes, the developers at the Stanchester site (Shuldam’s Fields), recently put in an application to the District Council to be released from building six affordable housing units and from paying a developer’s contribution of just over £110,000 towards community facilities. Their reason was that the site is commercially unviable.

The Parish Council are pleased to announce that the District’s Area North Committee have supported our village in rejecting this application. We had always maintained a very strong opposition to Arc Homes’ attempt to be relieved of community responsibility. We attended the Committee meeting on Wednesday 27 September to speak on behalf of our residents and to put forward our technical reasons why this application should be refused. Our new statement can viewed by clicking here. We understand that the District took expert legal advice and research and as a result rejected Arc’s application.

A word of caution, before we all break open the champagne! Arc Homes have the right – and probably will – appeal against the decision. Area North form0ally advised Arc Homes that they expect them to consider re-negotiating the Section 106 obligation, rather than just appealing for the decision to be simply overturned, sending a very strong message to the developers that community interests are always important in new developments. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

The Parish Council is proud to have been part of such a very positive first step.

Barbara Brooks
Stoke sub Hamdon Parish Council
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Sarah Moore
Parish Clerk
Stoke sub Hamdon Parish Council
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