What's on in Stoke

Important news: Stoke Community Shop Project

Pam and John who run the Shop on the Cross in the centre of Stoke are retiring at Christmas, which means the shop and the Post Office will close and we will lose all the amenities these provide.

However, they are happy to gift the shop to the village to run as a community store. A group of villagers is looking into trying to keep the shop open as a community amenity and we want to know your thoughts.

There are several ways you can do this:

Fill in a questionnaire:

  • via this link [https://zfrmz.eu/wPjbsnHuWaPysBIAdtib]
  • on a paper copy that you can pick up from the shop. See the questionnaire for where to return it to.
  • with one of our project group, who may call at your house to get your views.

We appreciate all the comments and help that you can give us. Please let us know your views so we can deliver what the community wants.

Feel free to get in touch with Lyn Foley, project lead, either by email at lafoley@live.co.uk or by phone on 01935 823051.

Dementia ‘Drop in’ Open Consultation Meetings

A new group for those who have dementia and their carers will be holding a series of ‘Drop in’ Open Consultation Meetings in the Hamdon Community Arts Project (HCAP) and the Memorial Hall on the following dates:

Wednesday 18th September from 6.30pm until 7.30 in the rear lounge at HCAP

Wednesday 25th September from 2pm until 3pm in the rear lounge at HCAP

Tuesday 1st October from 2pm until 3pm in the rear lounge at HCAP

Wednesday 9th October from 2pm until 4pm in the Memorial Hall

Monday 14th October at 2pm until 4pm in the Memorial Hall

Registered Charity 1184701

Hamdon Community Arts Project Hosting Somerset Arts Week

From Saturday 21st September to Sunday 6th November Hamdon Community Arts (HCAP) will be hosting Somerset Arts Week. The display in the main hall, featuring local artists will be open daily from 10am till 5pm. The event will also include some live music each day.

Wendy Partridge plays classical guitar on Sunday the 29th at 2pm

Pint size plays – Stoke Performing Arts Group Saturday 28th October at 7.30

Exploring Shakespeare taster session on Wednesday 2nd October at 7.30

Children’s eco workshop with Heather Ford on Saturday 5th October at 2pm

See Website www.HCAP.org.uk for details about activities/timings etc

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

September has always felt like a fresh start to me. After the relative gentleness of August when the school run is over and people are away on holiday. It feels like a “New Shoes” month, despite the fact that the land around us is getting ready to sleep. I suppose we could think of it as a second spring, when the trees provide a beautiful coloured show and the harvest is collected.

Now is a great time to prepare for the dark months ahead. Isolation can be a real problem in the winter so make a start on finding things to fill those dark cold days before the weather turns and you find yourself sofa bound or box set binging!

Join your local groups. I know we talk about this rather a lot but it is such an important part of keeping yourself well. Even if you are working, you can find that you have nothing else once you get home because you have used all your energy in the workplace and don’t have much time and energy left to maintain friendships. Websites and parish magazines are packed with local offers. If your village doesn’t already host a weekly or monthly coffee morning, now is your chance to organise something! Reduce the length of dark evenings by joining a knit and natter, WI, Men’s Shed, art, photography or local history group and keep your body moving even on the worst weather days by joining a gentle exercise class. Ask me for more information.

Volunteering has become more flexible. You are in control of your commitment level and so you do not need to fear that once you sign up, you will never have a Saturday to yourself again! Phone SPARK 01460 202970 for ideas. Kirsty Jennsen of The Royal Volunteer Library Service has lots of volunteers with a varied commitment load, visiting people in their homes for coffee and a book swap: 0300 123 2224, kirsty.Jenssen@royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk. Some volunteer roles can be conducted by phone and possibly from your home. Contact our Carers Service 0800 3168600 to find out how to chat to unpaid carers by phone, or Silver Line 0800 4 70 80 90, Age UK : 01823 345613 or The Samaritans 01823 288998. Consider starting our Good Neighbours Scheme in your area – contact CCS on 01823 331222. We always appreciate additional support to run our Carers Groups that meet to provide advice and a break for unpaid carers. Contact me or the Somerset Carers Service number for more information.

Small Grants are available to start a community group or perhaps to support yourself when going through a difficult time. We can help you find these, either by contacting me or to access larger community based grants and consultancy for Parishes contact Ade on Ade@somersetrcc.org.uk 01823 331 222. For personal funding go to the Turn2us website and tap in your particulars to see if you qualify for something. This could be a small grant for an unpaid Carer to purchase something to enhance their caring role or for improving the insulation on your house.

We are also supporting those who wish to become a self-employed paid carer. Contact project co-ordinator Rhys Davis: RPDavies@somerset.gov.uk or telephone 07788350806 or our Enterprise Agent at CCS Vince Tillman .

Last of all, don’t forget that this is the time to register your family for a Warmer Homes Discount with your electricity provider. You could get £140 off your electricity bill under the Warm Home Discount Scheme.
The 2019 to 2020 scheme will start on 14 October 2019. Eligibility Criteria: you get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit – known as the ‘core group’ or you’re on a low income and meet your energy supplier’s criteria for the scheme – known as the ‘broader group www.gov.uk/the-warm-home-discount-scheme or phone your provider.
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.