What's on in Stoke


Ham Hill Tree Planting





Hamdon Medical Centre ‘flu vaccinations


This years ‘flu vaccinations will be BY APPOINTMENT ONLY for patients that are in an ‘At Risk’ group including all patients aged 65 years and over and those with a chronic disease (such as heart, lung, liver or neurological disease). Patients who have diabetes, a weak immune system, that are pregnant, seriously overweight or are carers are also entitled to a ‘flu vaccination together with Health and social care staff who work in registered care/nursing homes and registered domiciliary care providers (care agencies).

To book an appointment please ring 01935 827003 or 01935 827004 between 9.00am and 10.30am or 4.30pm and 5.30pm Monday to Friday.
Lines will be open from 16 September 2019.

If you have a pre-booked appointment with a Nurse or Technician from the end of September you can request to have your ‘flu jab at this appointment.

If you are housebound and cannot attend the surgery (friends, relatives and taxis are unable to bring you), please contact the surgery as above.



We wanted to say a big “thank you” to the village now our project is finally getting started and we have our own place. We are just beginning the work to change the Methodist church into our very own Youth Centre. It’s going to be lots of hard work but really exciting!

Stoke is such a great place to live and grow up in, and we are very proud to be part of it. Thank you for making this happen!

Please take a look at our little film …

Play Youtube Video




News from your Village Agent

October brings the dark nights again and so it is a good time to think about security.

Lights on in the house and curtains open at dusk allow people to see all your belongings, so do remember to close the curtains and lock the door. However remember to take the keys out of the inside of the lock if you have a care alarm. Keys in the back of locks stop the front of the lock from working. If you try to open it from the outside with another key, you can break the lock – trust me I speak from experience here!

Halloween night can be a stressful evening. Who is going to knock on your door and at what time? How will the dog react to all the unwanted visitors? You do not have to open your door to ‘Trick or Treaters’ if you do not want to. In my village, children only come between 5-7pm and only to those who decorate their house and there are no tricks. Do feel confident to lock your door and leave a note saying, perhaps, “We are unable to participate in Halloween, thank you for not disturbing us.” Report any issues to your PCSO or parish council. You could also raise this at the September Parish council meeting so a code of conduct can be arranged.

On another security conscious note, cyber security and scams are not going away. This morning I had a text saying my PayPal account is limited due to a failed payment. I don’t use PayPal. I am regularly told that my TV licence direct debit has failed, and have had texts from Argos saying I have had a huge refund – click the link inn the text to see – it came from the authentic ‘text service’ but was a Trojan horse. If someone on your email/phone list that you don’t often hear from sends you a link to open, don’t! Their account may have been compromised. These can have links to viruses and so must not be opened. One of our team has reported that her Mum received a call saying £600 had allegedly been taken from her account. Could she verify her detail please? Luckily she knew what to do. Banks never ask for your account details. Always put the phone down and contact your bank independently, to report and find out if there is an issue. In this case several people had reported it.

We must keep talking about these scams so that everyone is prepared for them and you don’t get caught out at a weak moment. Being a part of a scam can make you feel anxious and sometimes guilty inside. You need to share with other people to stay reassured. If you think you have been scammed, report it immediately to the person it reputedly came from e.g. the bank or a friend’s hacked email through a different means e.g. text a friend if you think their email is hacked or phone the bank on a separate number. Call Contact a Citizen’s Advice Scams Action adviser by calling 0300 330 3003 and call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use their online reporting tool. Dial 101 and ask for support if you need it. Consider using a banking app or online banking so that you can see what is happening to your bank account at short notice.

The Regional Cyber Briefing from the Regional Cyber Crime Unit say the current threat is ‘Credential stuffing’. This is where criminals automatically enter lists of compromised passwords and user name pairs into lots of accounts to see what they can have access to.

To avoid multiple accounts being compromised a top tip is to use a range of passwords for different accounts and never use your corporate passwords different to personal ones as business can’t guarantee their own cyber security. Try using password manager to support you with this and use https://haveibeenpwned.com to find out if your password has been compromised. Use 2 factor authentication on accounts such as emails. Again they ask you to report scams so police can keep up to date intelligence.

On a good note, these criminals are being caught – a hacker has been ordered to pay back nearly £1m in bitcoin to victims after phishing attacks.

Sometimes calls are nuisance because they are cold selling calls and you just don’t want them. Consider using an answer phone which allows you to hear the person speaking the message so you can decide whether you want to pick up or invest in a call screening system from your provider such as BT Call Guardian. Remember if you agree to buy something and change your mind, you have a 14 day cool off period to cancel any agreement. Generally it is best to ask for details in writing rather than agreeing directly on the phone.

Enjoy the cosy dark evenings in front of the fire and enjoy the autumnal beauty and harvest festivals and other lovely Autumn get-togethers. Check your parish magazine for local events and groups you can join and don’t forget to see if you can apply for a warmer homes discount from your electricity or gas provider from 14th October if you are on a means tested benefit.

To find out more about my work and the work of my Village & Community Agent colleagues go to our brand new website www.somersetagents.org – we help when other won’t, don’t or can’t! For Carers specifically go to www.somersetcarers.org


I support unpaid carers in South East Somerset to connect them with community resources, support groups and personal support around benefits and allowances. We also have a new team of Community Agents and Village Agents in South Somerset providing those in Somerset’s rural communities with easier access to information and services. They help to bridge the gap between isolated, excluded, vulnerable and lonely individuals and statutory and/or voluntary organisations which offer specific solutions to identified needs. We can offer advice on support, local groups and activities available in your community. Please visit www.somersetrcc.org.uk and www.somersetcarers.org or call me on 07968521746 or email cath@somersetrcc.org.uk to find out who can advise you.