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Community Matters Newsletter


Community News
Weather Warning   

Met Office has declared a level 3 (severe weather action) alert for cold weather for all of the country, it is likely to remain at level 3 for most of the week, see met office website.  There is an updated news story with advice from PHE on gov.uk website.

Warm Home Discount Scheme   
You could get £140 off your electricity or gas bill for winter 2017 to 2018 under the Warm Home Discount Scheme.  To see if you are eligible and how to apply visit website.

Home First  
Home First, a new Somerset health and social care initiative, is helping people leave hospital sooner by providing the assessments and care they need at home.  You can watch a short film about Home First and how it is making a difference to people, see link

Norovirus – What it is and how to stop the spread of it
Norovirus is a highly contagious stomach bug that causes diarrhoea and vomiting. Most people will recover within a few days however if Norovirus is introduced unintentionally into places where lots of people congregate, such as schools, nurseries, hospitals and care homes, the illness can spread incredibly quickly and affect vulnerable people.  In some situations, Norovirus outbreaks can lead to ward, school or nursery closures, and put the health of people with underlying conditions at risk, see link

It is easy to help stop the spread of Norovirus – just Think NORO:

N     No visits to hospitals, care homes and GP surgeries if you are suffering from symptoms of Norovirus - send someone else to visit loved ones until you are better
O     Once you’ve been symptom-free for at least 48 hours, you’re safe to return to work, school or visit hospitals and care home
R     Regularly wash your hands with soap and warm water, especially after using the toilet, and before eating or preparing food
O     Only hand-washing will prevent the spread of Norovirus - alcohol hand gels DON’T kill the virus

The Seed Swap & Freecycle Swap - 24 February 10-12 noon  - Minehead

Organised by Minehead & Alcombe Transition Group In partnership with Forum 21 and West Somerset LETS.  This year we are experimenting by raising the profile of the “FREECYCLE” swap while keeping the Seed Swap in the same format as usual.

Please bring seeds, especially your own saved seeds.  Heritage varieties will be available and there will be seeds to buy.  Helpers would be very welcome so if you could spare a couple of hours please email daveandjan@phonecoop.coop or cynth@lifepower.org.uk – Free Coffee for helpers!!  Event to be held at Methodist Church Hall, The Avenue, entrance 50p.  For information or to get involved contact Cynthia T: 01643 862990  E: cynth@lifepower.org.uk

Youth & Community Development & Networking Events  
Do you work with young people age 11-19 in community settings?  The Youth and Community Service are offering two free events in Somerset to provide you with information on the support available and an opportunity to network and forge links.  Thurs 22 Feb 10-1pm at Minehead Eye and 24 February 2-5pm Taunton YMCA to book your place or for more information E: aderry@somerset.gov.uk or T: 01823 329852.

Visit snowdrop valley  
Monday 19 to Friday 23 February are walking only weeks.  For more information visit Exmoor website

More events in the area
Please see 
Visit Exmoor, Watchet Events, Minehead Events and Quantock Hills Walking Events website.

Public health activities being promoted this month
For National Awareness days, weeks or months please visit

Council Meetings
Scrutiny - 15 February 2018, 3.30pm

For further information see website.  

Planning - 22 February 2018, 4.30pm
For further information see website.   

Future Council Meetings
For future meetings please see website

Council News
For the latest news releases see link

Training, Jobs and Volunteering
Recruit West Somerset Careers and Jobs fair - 22 February, 3.30pm – 7pm 
To be held at The Beach Hotel, Minehead. The event is a fantastic opportunity for individuals to find out about local employment, apprenticeship and work experience opportunities and the personal qualities, skills and qualifications required to fill these.  Over 20 local employers have already confirmed their attendance including; The Army, Berry’s Coaches, Blue Bird Care, Brook Foods, Butlin’s, Channel Training, Foxes Academy, Haven, McDonalds, Nettlecombe Court, NHS Partnership Trust, Price Western, RAF, Styles Ice Cream, St Audries and Weatherspoons.  Many of the employers attending have vacancies and apprenticeships on offer!  Remember to bring an up to date CV. For more information please contact Jobcentre Plus in Minehead T: 01643 435822 or West Somerset Council T: 01984 635221

Volunteer Officer – Healthwatch Somerset 
Part-time (30 hours per week) working Monday to Friday
Salary £20,500 pro-rata pa, pension scheme, 25 days annual leave
Healthwatch Somerset is looking for a Volunteer Officer to help them support the volunteer team.  The VO will oversee, co-ordinate and manage all elements of their volunteering programme. The role will also include recruiting new volunteers, plus supporting and supervising volunteers in their roles and general administration.  The successful post holder needs to have excellent administration and organisational skills, along with the ability to relate well to people from diverse backgrounds and build positive relationships.  To download an application pack visit website
Closing date for applications: midnight Sunday 18 February 2018
Date for interviews: changed to Monday 6 March 2018
If you have queries please call 01278 264405 or email info@healthwatchsomerset.co.uk

Have your say on Somerset Libraries’ services 
A 12 week consultation inviting members of the public, businesses and organisations to have their say on the future delivery of Somerset library services.  Nine library area summaries are available to view online.   
This shows the proposed options for each of Somerset’s 34 libraries. Share your views on some potential changes to the future delivery of library services in your community and across Somerset.

Grant and Funding Opportunities
Bishop Fox’s Educational Foundation Grant - next deadline Monday 26 March

The aim of The Bishop Fox’s Foundation is to promote the education of young people (11-24 years) through a grant scheme within the following areas; Music, other Arts, physical activity, educational, purchase of school uniform, and some capital applications are considered for schools and organisations.  For more info email geraldine@somersetrcc.org.uk, T: 01823 331222 or visit Community Council for Somerset website

Lord’s Taverners Grants - Applications may be made at any time
The Lord's Taverners is the UK's leading youth cricket and disability sports charity dedicated to giving young people who are disadvantaged or disabled a sporting chance.  Funding is available for disability programmes, equipment and play spaces for young people with disabilities and special needs.  For more information and an application see website

Food Waste Reduction Fund - Expression of Interest deadline 30 March
A budget of £500,000 for local projects which help increase food redistribution in communities. The fund will be open to organisations that redistribute food, and to charities that receive and share food with people in need.
Further details about how to apply are available on the WRAP website when the fund opens for applications.

Oli Bennett Charitable Trust - Nurturing Entrepreneurial Business Ideas
The Oli Bennett Charitable Trust was set up in memory of Oli Bennett who died in the 11 September, World Trade Centre attack. It provides small grants for young people starting a business.  Applicants must be aged between 18 and 30 and should note the following requirements: All applicants need to supply a business plan; Support is for new or very young businesses; The trust prefers to provide funds for buying a business asset rather than towards general expenses; Grants are for £2,000 or less.  For more details see link

Peter Cruddas Foundation - The next application deadline is 1 March  
The Peter Cruddas Foundation aims to help disadvantaged and disengaged young people between the ages of 14 and 30 years move towards education, training and employment through charitable organisations.
The Foundation has no minimum or maximum grant award level. Application forms can be downloaded from the Foundation's website.  

Educational Grants Available for Young People in West Somerset
Closing date for applications Wednesday 28 February
Somerset Community Foundation is encouraging young people aged 14 - 25 to apply to The West Somerset Youth Trust for funding that will go towards the cost of an enrichment activity such as travel, courses, events or associated equipment.
Previous grants have been awarded for international scouting jamborees, work experience placements, Duke of Edinburgh expeditions and workshops at the National Youth Theatre.
The process is open to young people who reside in West Somerset or have strong links to the area and grants are typically 25 per cent of the total cost of the trip or event up to a maximum of £300.
Anyone interested in applying for funding should visit Somerset Community Foundation.   

My Community Web Site
For information, inspiration, resources, grants, community network and advice, please see link.

Other places to look for possible sources of funding include Engage, Funding Central, Community Council for Somerset, Turn 2 Us, GRIN and Just Act websites.

In this newsletter we are pleased to be able to offer information about funding opportunities, support services and training. However please note that by including this information West Somerset Council is not recommending or endorsing the products / facilities / services, simply providing a sign-posting function. 

Community Matters Contact:
Please email your news, events and other opportunities to:

Cllr Dave Westcott - Lead Member for Community & Customer, please see our website for details. 

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