Community News with Liz Waterson

MANY LOCAL AGENCIES have their own pages, listed under the Community drop-down menu(Please also see the Contacts page and the Help & Advice page.)
this page is currently being reorganised – please bear with us!
any enquiries, please contact Liz Waterson on 01803 849345, or email Liz

The Drop In is open Monday to Friday 9.30am – 12.30pm. Closed Saturday and open after Church (12noon) on Sundays.
  Mark’s Church meets in the Market Place Ministries building opposite the Drop In and the service starts at 10.30am.

totnespoundsnotescropTOTNES POUND
We are currently busy working on enabling payments by text message in Totnes Pounds from any mobile phone and a Totnes web portal to help local businesses and individuals. We will soon be in touch with businesses that are signed up to accept paper Totnes Pounds, to explain it all in more detail.

In the meantime, we would like to offer an update in person about the Totnes Pound to any interested people that attend St Mary’s or St John’s. This could be a general talk about the Totnes Pound, our aims and plans, with a chance for people to ask questions, but we are pretty flexible about the format. As well as explaining what we are trying to do for the local community as a not for profit social enterprise, we would love to hear what is happening in this Church community and gather some feedback on what we are doing from trusted community members.

If you are interested in learning more and / or giving feedback about the Totnes Pound, please let Liz Waterson know. If enough people are interested, a meeting / presentation can be set up.
• Liz Waterson 01803 849345 or email Liz

Totnes Food Bank logoFOOD BANK
Carole is building up wonderful relationships with the people that she meets, who in turn are looking for ways to give something back, with one family who had a little left over passing it on to another friend in need.
She is most grateful for your donations – the Fray Bentos tinned pies go down a storm especially as they don’t take much gas or electric to cook.
Carole is regularly picking up from me every Sunday and we are very happy to take Harvest Festival produce that is not designated elsewhere.
Thank you all so much.
• more about the Food Bank

Totnes Food Bank logoFood Bank Collection Points
Many thanks for the food, toiletries and cleaning materials. They are greatly appreciated.You may find it more convenient either to pop food in the collection box at the back of St Mary’s Church or in my porch, 32 Copland Meadows – it can be left there any time and Carol Leigh collects directly from me. (Carol also picks up 4 trays of eggs from Cornworthy every week.)
Liz Waterson 01803 849345 or email Liz

caregiftaccountCare Gift Account
I am still collecting for our Care Gift Account and if you want to give a small gift to the Food Bank, the Drop In or Christians Against Poverty, you can pop that through my door too (address above).
Cheques can be made payable to the Care Gift Account and you can leave the money to be donated accordingly or specify the charity to which you wish the money to go.
We have Gift Aid and Standing Orders now too and we can pay the charities directly by BACS. I wait until I have collected £50 or more and then donate.
• I have just given a gift of £50 to CAP. Pastor Fraser Nute from Totnes United Free has retired as Pastor there and has become the part time CAP representative at TUF – he was blessed to receive our gift as he started his new job.

moonandstarsRough sleepers around Totnes
We have been advised to call the Police or PCSOs on 101 to report on any rough sleepers in the area, or if we have any concerns about anti- social behaviour. Please note this number!

Feedback from fundraising

parkinsonscert01 pianorecital20140816poster

We have received a thank-you letter and certificate from Parkinson’s UK, following the concert by Elie Fruchter at St Mary’s Church, Totnes, on Saturday 16th August. The event raised £352.52. (The event also raised somewhere in the region of £250 for the Friends of St Mary’s.)
• click the images to view them larger

totnespoundsnotescropTOTNES POUND has a new page (under the Community menu) with details and photos of the relaunch of the town’s alternative currency scheme.
The Totnes Pound is currently a physical local currency, backed by Sterling and accepted in 70+ businesses in the town. It’s administered as part of the Transition Town Totnes initiative.
Project aim: To make sure that wealth stays in the community where it will can be used in a more conscientious way with lower carbon impact, lower ecological impact and higher resilience.

housegroupHOUSE GROUP: The Tuesday afternoon group meets bimonthly, from 2pm to 3 30pm
Over the next few meetings we have a change of venue:
Tuesday 2nd Sept: 8 Rowsell’s Lane – Ann Binns 840164
Tuesday 16th and 30th September – Greystones (house situated in St John’s car park) Margaret Beckwith: 862783
• please note, we are a chapter behind and will be looking at Chapter 4 on September 2nd
• further information from Liz Waterson on 01803 849345 or  email Liz
• more about House Groups here

churchbellWould you like to learn a new team skill, have some fun at the same time? Why not try BELL RINGING? It is an old English traditional activity which contributes much to the general community as well as the Church.
Bell ringing develops your musical ear, your power of concentration, not to mention your physical powers, and it can become a most enjoyable hobby.
It is also a skill which means you are welcome as a participant in any tower in the country and also countries abroad where bell ringing is done.
You can start at almost any age and you can return to it having had a break for some time.
• ring Peter on 01803 863962 if you think you would be interested
• practice evenings Wednesdays at 7.30pm (negotiable) at Berry Pomeroy Church

breakthrough trustFUNDRAISER FEEDBACK The Charity Sunday on 8th of June for the Breakthrough Transformation Trust raised £205. Many thanks!
• Those who were unable to attend St John‘s Church on the day but would still like to make a donation to this very worthy cause—please leave your donation in an envelope marked Charity Sunday in the clear box at St Mary‘s Church.

St John's Church handprintsMEDITATION GROUP The Meditation Group meets at St John’s Church, Bridgetown, on the 2nd Friday of each month, from 7.30 to 9pm.
• everyone is welcome to attend this informal group
• enquiries to Tricia Stokes on 01803 762158

penniesforheavenPENNIES FROM HEAVEN There is a collection box at the back of St John’s Church every Sunday for your pennies and two-pennies.
The box is titled “Pennies for Heaven”.


pray PRAYER MEETINGS Every Friday 5pm to 5.45pm St John’s Church, Bridgetown • all welcome

albertinnsignSUNDAY LUNCHES
The roast lunches on the first Sunday in the month are at the Albert Inn, Bridgetown
, not the Prince Albert as previously published. Apologies for any confusion.
• if you’d like to join in, let the organisers know in advance
• more details are on the Groups & Meetings page
• Albert Inn’s own website


weddinginvoicethumbnailWe’ve now added a special page for information about Weddings, including a downloadable invoice for core costs for wedding services provided by the Totnes Team Ministry.


wateraidlogoOur Lent Jam Jar Appeal raised an amazing £317.85. Many thanks to everyone who contributed.

Totnes Food Bank logoTOTNES FOOD BANK

The Food Bank continues to deliver food personally, supporting people during their time of crisis, helping them out of food poverty and linking them with agencies that can help them resolve underlying issues. Our Food Bank does not work on a food voucher scheme.

However the demand for help is high and Carol Leigh and her team are looking at ways to meet the increasing need quickly whilst maintaining their very personal touch.
Pasta, rice, soups, non perishables, cereals, tea and coffee are great. Also toiletries and cleaning materials are much appreciated.

Food in Community TotnesFOOD IN COMMUNITY

What about fresh food and learning to cook economically, and healthily?

Sue Stevenson’s hens at Cornworthy regularly send several trays of fresh eggs for use to the Food Bank, Drop In and Daisy Family Centre, but Food in Community run by Laurel Ellis and David Markson (Ashprington) brings fresh food, that would otherwise be wasted, to many community projects.

Here’s a précis of Rob Hopkins’ Guardian article :

Volunteers at Totnes Food Redistribution - Laurel Ellis (front) and David Markson (left)

In a small corner of a storage shed at Riverford, volunteers ‘grade-out’ produce not quite perfect enough for sale or nearing the end of its shelf life, into boxes for local distribution.
There are avocados, carrots, cauliflowers and apples. Broccoli and bananas, spinach and peppers and much more.

Each box has a card stating who it’s for. There’s the Totnes Food Bank, the Totnes Drop-In Centre, Cool Recover (a local charity working with young adults with mental health issues, a local primary school), Rainbow Nursery, as well as several boxes for individuals and a few other local projects. One box goes to a community radio station offering volunteers and vulnerable adults the chance to make radio programmes. If we weren’t doing this, it would all be fed to the farm’s extremely fortunate pigs.

One recipient of Food in Community‘s boxes is local primary Grove School, which had until recently outsourced its school dinners, with only 30 out of 200 pupils taking them. When the PTA decided to take over the catering, employing a chef, take-up doubled. When Food in Community showed up and was able to bring weekly deliveries, the PTA no longer needed to buy in prepackaged and frozen produce, and could spend more on better quality local ingredients. Take-up rose to 100.

[Read the full Guardian article here.]

Food in Community‘s thinking goes beyond just delivering produce. They have started running cookery classes at the Daisy Family Centre and also in the newly-established community kitchen in the town’s Civic Hall, for people with mental health issues and older men living alone.

Food in Community is just that – it touches all aspects of our Caring Town Totnes. There is more about this in Transition Town Totnes’ recent newsletter.

• David and the team are looking for more volunteer drivers to help deliver produce. If you want to help and learn more, Food In Community can be contacted by email or call 07846 021248 or support them via Facebook.


cinnamontrustThe Cinnamon Trust is the only specialist national charity for the terminally ill and people in their later years and their much loved, much needed companion animals.

We urgently need dog walking volunteers in Totnes who are able to offer some much needed walks for a lovely 5 year old Cairn Terrier.

What happens if illness, injury or just the fact that we all get older eventually affects our ability to look after our four legged companions?

A large number of elderly or ill pet owners become very worried about their ability to care for their pets, and feel that their only option is to rehome them, this is where our national network of dedicated volunteers step in to offer support enabling them to stay together.

We’ll walk the dog for a housebound owner, we’ll foster pets when owners need hospital care, we’ll fetch the cat food, even clean out the bird cage or litter trays. We are always seeking new volunteers even if you can only spare an hour a week we would love to hear from you.

• If anyone can help please call during office hours on 01736 758707 or via email
• please also check out our website for more details
• registered charity number 1134680


caregiftaccountSmall gifts are still most welcome and I can now arrange standing orders and Gift Aid – even for very small amounts.

As the gifts mount up to between £50 and £100, I pass them on to the Drop In, Food Bank and Christians Against Poverty – they are all most grateful. You are most welcome to designate your gift.

Often small gifts can be given directly to Mark at the Drop In for his weekly running expenses.

penniesforheavenThe latest PENNIES FOR HEAVEN collection at St John’s Church, Bridgetown, raised £57.62 for SENSE.

streetpastorslogosmallTOTNES STREET PASTORS news

Report from Coordinators Conference 2014 Devon and Cornwall Police HQ Middelmoor:

Grateful thanks were giving from the Police Assistant Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall – Paul Netherton, Tony Hogg – Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall, and from the Ascension Trust.

SPs – ‘the fourth emergency service!’…

Some Groups noticed that when they are on duty things are quieter – police have assured them that’s because they are there!

Nationally, the SP scheme is just over 10 years old. There are 280 initiatives and 11,000 trained SPs. Ascension Trust, which is the umbrella organisation that set up Street Pastors, has 1 or 2 enquiries per week about starting a scheme nationally and internationally. They have just sent a SP licence to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

We collect stats from our weekly reports, as Coordinators have to return an annual report to the Ascension Trust.

So far this year, we have had several good conversations – people seek us out! We have helped a many vulnerable persons to safety, defused several fights and given out lots of lollies!

If SPs deal with an incident it can save between 3 to 6 hours of police time and the police are fully aware of this.

Crime levels have dipped slightly, but the nature of crime has changed. It is now sexual, and domestic abuse, shoplifting, alcohol driven or due to metal illness. Our area has the 1/3 highest suicide rate in the country. There are no beds in the SW for under 18s with mental health issues in SW. The nearest bed is in Scotland (yes, I did write Scotland!!).

People with mental health issues often, therefore, end up in police cells which are not the right place for them. Our listening, caring and helping is crucial. Also, knowing the range of voluntary organisations on offer here in Totnes that we can refer people to is of great help – hence why we were a part of the Health and Welfare Day held here in Totnes in March.

Legal Highs continue to be a problem. Only one technical change in the make-up of a chemical compound can get a banned substance back on the streets again.


Roger Bartlett of the Christian Police Association asked for our prayers for the following:

We are blessed to have a full time Police Chaplain in Devon and Cornwall, one of 7 in the country (that is because Paul Netherton is a Christian and sees great value in a Chaplaincy). Her name is Sarah Jeffrey – she is not a Rev but a lay person from a free church.

She and Roger Bartlett mentioned that the Christian Police Association Initiative ROC (Redeeming Our Communities) have alcohol-free cafés plus activities for young people. There is one in Paignton on the circular road opposite the covered shopping centre.

Sarah also asked us to pray for the police, when things go wrong. She mentioned the importance of engaging with other faith groups and of sharing her faith, without evangelising through listening, caring and helping.

The funding cuts are cutting deep and the Police need wisdom to know how to handle them. The extended licensing hours have caused a great deal of extra work and the Police ask us to pray that opening hours will be reviewed.

All in all, the conference, attended by all but 2 of the SP schemes in Devon and Cornwall, underlined that our role is vital and greatly appreciated.

New book

A new book full of SP street stories, Faith on the Streets, is due out in May.

Totnes Street Pastors newsletter

Liz Waterson

• the Totnes Street Pastors Spring 2014 newsletter is now online
read more about Totnes Street Pastors

healthandwelfareday2014Saturday 29th March from 11am to 4pm Civic Hall, Totnes CARING TOWN TOTNES launched its first Health and Welfare Day, with an invitation for you or your group / organisation to join us for an exciting and “pioneering” opportunity to build partnerships across the health and welfare sector, and to meet with the community. Come along and find out about all the organisations that work in our town to make it Caring Town Totnes. • see us on facebook for latest news of attendees: • for further information please email Frances • click the poster to enlarge

streetpastorslogosmallStreet Pastor Base is now at the Quaker Meeting House all year round. We have 2 new Prayer Pastors who pray for the Street Pastors as they go out around the town, take phones calls and make the mid shift snack. They are Laurence and Kathi Greene for St David’s Asphrington. • Advance notice – please come to our Commissioning Service on 1st June (scroll down for details).

wwdplogoWomen’s World Day of Prayer – feedback Thank you to everyone who came to the Women’s World Day of Prayer on Friday 7th March to pray for and with the Women of Egypt. We raised £190 for the many Charities that WWDofP supports, £93 of which was gift aided and so the final total will be over £200. Next year we will be praying for and with the Women of the Bahamas (if only we could manage to have the service in situ!) – Liz


helpfulcontactsposterNEED HELP? We’ve added a new page with some at-a-glance information for sources of help, along with a downloadable poster. • See the rest of the Community section for contacts for more help and advice.

Jars of ChangeJars of Change for Lent Will you give something up this Lent to pump new life into villages devastated by dirty water? In Sierra Leone, more than 4,000 children die every year from diarrhoea caused by drinking dirty water. 2.6 million people in Sierra Leone don’t have access to safe water. This is nearly half of the population. • You can help to change this – so get saving now!!! • £150 is enough to cover the costs of training two pump mechanics to maintain a water pump. £250 is enough to cover the costs of a pump mechanic’s toolkit – the vital equipment needed to keep the pump in good working order. • £340 is enough to fix a broken pump to create a long-lasting source of clean water for a village.

NEWS UPDATE from the NETWORK of WELLBEING The above video was recorded in the last edition of the Festival of Wellbeing and features an inspiring interview with Rowan Williams – Anglican Bishop, theologian, former Archbishop of Canterbury and Chair of Christian Aid Board.
• See also the newly-updated Network of Wellbeing page

TOTNES PLOUGH & SHARE CREDIT UNION – Friendly, Ethical, Local totnestimes20140122pt1wp totnestimes20140122pt2wp IN THE NEWS: Two cuttings from the Totnes Times, 22nd January 2014 (click the cuttings to enlarge them) If you need to save in small amounts and need a loan at a really low interest rate (whether or not you have bank account) or just want to save with an ethical savings scheme, then join Totnes Plough & Share Credit Union. The Government is keen to support Credit Unions across the country and if 30 more people join up to the Totnes Credit Union they will be able to access money from the £38million grant that is available. • The Credit Union has a desk at the front of Birdwood House and is open Friday and Saturday 11am to 12 noon. • the Mayor has just joined up – see the press release above • volunteers needed to help the Credit Union stay open longer: if you’d like to help or want further information about the Credit Union, telephone 01803 867382 or email Cllr Alan Gorman

Totnes Food Bank logoTotnes Food Bank The Food Bank was very busy delivering food over the Christmas period in Totnes and the outlying villages. The generosity across the team has been a great encouragement  to Carol Leigh who runs the scheme. Carol delivers personally tailored shopping and has made many friends. She says how humbled she is by it all. Mark has emergency supplies at the Drop In, but many people do not have a car or easy access to public transport and indeed managing a large shop on public transport isn’t easy, so having the food personally delivered is a great boon.

dropinmapsmallTotnes Drop In The Drop In continues to be very busy each day providing lunch time meals, showers and clothes washing facilities. Mark has opened the Night Shelter quite a few times over the Christmas and New Year period during this stormy weather. A wonderful gift from Stoke Gabriel Church has meant that he has been able to buy camp beds. Gifts of duvets and pillows and warm clothing  have also been a great help.

caregiftaccountCare Gift Account Individuals and churches have been amazingly generous over the Christmas period and we have been able to give over £100 each to the Drop In, the Food Bank and Christians Against Poverty. As the account is linked to the Totnes with Bridgetown main account, we have been able to claim Gift Aid on several donations. • The Care Gift Account now has its own page in the ever-growing Community section.

streetpastorslogosmallTotnes Street Pastors We have had busy time over the Christmas period, with Friday nights being lively and good natured. A team was out on New Year’s Eve which was again very busy with many people stopping to chat.  One alcohol-fuelled fight started just outside the Royal Seven Stars, but police came extremely quickly before any further trouble could happen. We have 2 new Street Pastors, Ann King and Susan Vaughan from the RC church  who started formally in January 2014 having been trained in the Autumn term. Training is now provided free by the Police and professionals and this has been a great boon to the scheme. • See the Totnes Street Pastors page for more intformation A letter (December 2013) to the Totnes Times:

We were just a little saddened to read an article entitled ‘CCTV to keep an eye on Drug Fuelled Youth.’ We are sorry to hear about the problems experienced by the Totnes Grill and hope that CCTV will be a great help.

Although there have been 2 serious fights this Autumn, Totnes Street Pastor Teams have reported many, many quiet Friday nights in our town. We go out between 10pm and 2am.  The young people that we meet are very lively, but they are friendly and welcoming and generally the evening ends without incident as they make their way home.  We carry simple First Aid, space blankets and give out hot soup when we find people in need.

We also carry lollies and water. The sugar in the lollies helps counteract the effects of alcohol and we advise that drinkers take small sips of water throughout the evening and drinking a pint of water that way helps to keep the body hydrated. We advise most strongly against the use of so called ‘legal highs’. They are completely unregulated and change their chemical composition regularly in order to make use of a current loophole in the law.

And yes, we still do carry flip flops if high heels and tired feet find they don’t mix!

We do wish all the businesses and w/e revellers in Totnes a happy, peaceful and blessed Christmas Season.

Liz Waterson, Coordinator Totnes Street Pastors

caregiftaccountCare Gift Account (Totnes with Bridgetown PCC Number 2 account) I have now opened this account. From time to time, churches and individuals have been giving me money for the Food Bank, the Drop In and for Christians Against Poverty, all linked and based in Totnes. In order to target our donations most effectively, I have opened this account so that the amount can grow. Small gifts of between £1 and £10 from across the Team  soon mount up and as we find we have enough, we can give it away! All monies however, will be handled only by Mark or Carole so that we can be sure that it is properly appropriated.

We have already been able to give £60 to Christians Against Poverty for their Christmas Hamper Scheme!

If you would like to give a small donation, just put it in a envelope marking it Care Gift Account and drop it the collection box at the back of the church. It will be banked and as soon as we have between £50 and £100, I will contact the charities to see where the money is most needed. Contact Liz Waterson 01803 849345. As the welfare changes come into being, things are beginning to bite. Setting up a special account to put these gifts into means that I can collect Gift Aid and indeed the monies can accumulate so that I can offer Carole Leigh of the Food Bank and Mark Hatch of the Drop In, gifts that can go some way to helping families and those hit by the cuts, through a difficult time. Carole says a pair of new school shoes, for example, can sometimes be just too much. Our Care Gift account is being set up to help out in instances like this. I am well aware of the pressures on us to pay our Quota and maintain our Grade1 and 2 listed buildings and this must be a priority, but God’s heart, throughout the whole of the Bible is first and foremost for the poor and disadvantaged.

  • Carole has been thrilled by the wonderful gift from St Peter’s Cornworthy Harvest celebrations and many thanks go to Brooking Church.

Totnes Street Pastors streetpastorslogosmallWe have 2 new Street Pastors! Ann King and Susan Vaughan, who both attend St Mary and St George’s RC church.

  • Please remember them in your prayers as they complete their training.

redwizardHave you heard of Suspended Coffee, coffee based acts of kindness? It’s a scheme where you can pay for a coffee that is ‘suspended’ – you ‘pay it forward for someone in need’. Then someone in need of a coffee, but who can’t really afford it, is able to have a drink. The Red Wizard Café, next to Happy Apple, participates in the scheme. You can also suspend a meal or sandwiches… • Contact Liz Waterson for more information 01803 849345.

For further information on any of the above, please contact Liz Waterson on 01803 849345, or email Liz


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