Hello and welcome to the 5th edition of Beer Talks!

 “Don’t count the days, make the days count.” (Muhammed Ali) . What a great quote, and we can see this positive attitude in action in Beer right now when we look at the amazing work our coordinators and volunteers are doing for the greater good of the village. Just to keep you up to date, this is where we stand now:

  • Total number of street coordinators: 32
  • Total number of volunteers: 103
  • Approximate number of support activities carried out last week: 200+

This is truly inspirational and as a village we cannot thank this team enough!

There is rather a lot of information to bring you this week and we hope you find it useful. If you think we are missing anything, please do not hesitate to tell your local volunteers and coordinators and we will do our best to include it in the next edition.

Before we get to the serious stuff, here are a few notices:

  • We would like to send our warmest wishes to our wonderful postie, Claudia, on the birth of her beautiful baby boy, Toby William Brian McCallister! Congratulations!
  • We thought it would be nice if as many households in Beer as possible said “thank you” to our bin and recycling people for carrying on this vital work in trying conditions. How about sticking a “thank you” note to your bin to make sure these key workers know we appreciate their hard work?
  • Call to craft for our brilliant NHS nurses – here’s an opportunity to reduce that fabric stash in the attic and to help our nurses stay safe at the same time. Can we please make drawstring bags (for their scrubs) and headbands and crochet comforters (to ease the pain of wearing a face mask all day)? Full details on the various local websites and social media sites and examples will be in the window of the Hub shortly. There is now a supply of fabric available and thanks go to Kim Vine for her donation of buttons and cord. Please contact your local street coordinator for supplies. We are also hoping to put a hand cream in each bag too, so donations would be much appreciated. This is such a lovely opportunity to show that we care in Beer!
  • Seeds and pots – Annie Boalch has kindly put some sunflower seeds of varying types in packets for anyone to pick up from the top of the drive together with a variety of pots in which to plant them – thanks Annie! A plant swap is currently being organised so watch this space;
  • We want to send a thoroughly deserved “thank you” to Pete Doherty for his sterling work keeping order at the Hub on veg delivery day and outside Steamers – I would challenge any other village to beat this original approach to enforcing social distancing!
  • Finally, thanks to Gus and Tom for digging up the allotment ready for the Mens’ Shedders to move in!

 Updates this week:

  • We have had confirmation that Seaton Food Bank (which covers Beer as well) will be operating throughout this crisis. To access the service, you will need a referral form signed by either a School, Health Visitor, Mental Health Services or GP, Social Services, the Job Centre, a Church Minister, Citizens’ Advice or Action for Children. If you have children under 8 years old, Amanda Partridge of Action For Children can refer you directly to the food bank service. Amanda’s contact details are 07540 919874 and partridge@actionforchildren.org.uk .Referral agencies can contact the food bank by emailing foodbankseaton@gmail.com and they will assist you. At the moment the Seaton Food Bank is open every Wednesday between 2pm – 4pm and is located at Number One, 1 Harepath Road, Seaton, EX12 2RP. If you have been given a paper voucher please bring it with you. If Foodbank receives an email from your referral agency they will phone you to find out what you need and make arrangements with you to have your food ready for collection or to arrange a delivery slot;
  • BAG is now operating an Emergency Food Supplies service to support residents in the village with urgent food needs, in particular those waiting for an appointment with the Seaton Food Bank. If you do need support from the BAG Emergency Food Supplies service, please contact Lee Reeve in the first instance on 07890 948262;
  • All donations are welcome to support the Emergency Food Supplies service – there is a donation bucket in the Top Shop. If you would prefer to make a donation by BACS then please contact Andy Weston Webb on 07771 848895 for more information. Should donations not be needed for this purpose during this difficult time then any surplus will be used by BAG for the benefit of the village community;
  • Several people have contacted BAG with concerns about the possible inappropriate use of second homes and holiday lets during lockdown. If you are worried about a particular property/properties please call East Devon District Council on 01395 571500;
  • Don’t forget, your street coordinator can link you with a buddy who can call or wave to you from the street – we have found that this works very well!
  • Another food delivery service has just told us that they can deliver to Beer – please contact Mike McDonald at bulkbuygroceries.co.uk;
  • Bonfires – we all know how difficult it is getting rid of the masses of garden waste that many of us are producing during lockdown, but please follow the advice from East Devon District Council’s website which clearly states: Please avoid having any bonfires whilst the Coronavirus controls are in place if smoke or smell from them might affect neighbours or aggravate any health conditions.” – see www.eastdevon.gov.uk ;
  • If there are any local businessesout there who are in difficulties due to the coronavirus, please have a chat with Geoff Pook on 07966 490429 and he will be able to direct you to advice and support services administered by EDDC;
  • Keep Beer Tidy – sorry to bring this up but please can everyone remember to pick up their dog’s doings and to take them home to put them in their own bin! Let’s all make an extra effort to keep our environment beautiful!
  • Beer Village: Life in Lockdown: Are you lost at sea without the Anchor Inn? Are the kids going off the rails now that Peco is closed? Or maybe you’ve already had enough of those arrows on the floor at Tesco, especially when you forgot to pick up tomato ketchup half-way round. However you are dealing with the lockdown, we’d love to hear from you. We are compiling a living record of everyday stories from around the village so that we can share the experiences with everyone. Why? Because we are all in this together. From Clinton Rise to West Underleys, the more we can connect with each other’s common experiences, the stronger our collective well-being through these isolating times. So whether it’s sharing a handy trick for keeping the kids occupied, a funny story about a home haircut disaster or you might just want to let off steam about being stuck indoors all day – no subject is off limits. The more varied the stories, the more colourful the picture we can paint of Beer life in lockdown. If you are interested in being interviewed for the project, please contact Annie Boalch on 07968 157136 or email beeractiongroup@gmail.com. If you would prefer to remain anonymous, that’s OK too – the more the merrier!

 Finally, just to remind you that it is really important that in all situations we observe the government’s safety guidelines regarding social distancing. Let’s all stay safe!