News

Sharing the wildlife of Littlehempston

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Are you interested in local wildlife? An informal email group is being established locally to report any interesting sightings, get help with identification etc. If you’re interested in the parish flora and fauna and would like to be included, please contact Jenny Galton-Fenzi.

Most recent reported sighting, seen at the top of Ackrells Hill, is an ermine (stoat in its white winter fur). And have you spotted the Little Egret by the banks of the Hems?

More needed for younger people in Littlehempston?

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Could more be provided for the younger members of the local community? This was a question discussed at the Annual Meeting of the Community Space held at the Tally Ho recently. Given the large attendance at the two events in 2014 aimed at children  – both Cinema Night and Cirkus Spectakular were big hits – it was agreed to try to do more. So if you have ideas on things for the younger ones to do in 2015, please get in touch with the Space Team.

The Space hosted a great range of activities and events in 2014 and valuable funds were raised to pay the bills and keep the church open for all as you can see from the Annual Report and Financial Summary. Most pleasing was the start of a new Pilates class and the setting up of a new Parent and Toddlers group, Twinkling Stars. Many people including performers have given generously of their time – this month the Space hosted the beautiful voices of the talented local group Skylark, accompanied by the soulful music of Emily Roblyn interspersed with merry verse from local poet, Chris Waters. (And over £350 was raised for the Space and a local cancer charity).

The Community Space has become a much valued part of our local community and we owe a big thank you to all those who help organise the delightful events. It was agreed at the meeting that a “Volunteer List” be set up – whenever help was needed (eg cake making, manning admissions etc) an e-mail could be sent (or phone call made) to those on the list. So if you’d like to help out occasionally, please get in touch. It won’t commit you to anything but will give you the opportunity to help when you have time.

Learning how to save lives

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There was an good attendance at the excellent first aid demonstration given mid January by Malcolm Matthews and his team from St John’s Ambulance. We learnt not only how to administer CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) in the case of a heart attack, but also how to respond to fractures, choking, burns and collapses.

Malcolm also demonstrated the use of a PAD (public access defibrillator) of a type found in many public spaces such as local shopping centres, train stations and village halls. The machine gives clear spoken instructions and is simple and safe to use – once in position, the defibrillator detects the heart’s rhythm and won’t deliver a shock unless one is needed. We learnt that after a heart attack, every second counts – every minute without CPR and/or defibrillation reduces someone’s chance of survival by 10 per cent.

Discussion then took place about whether it would be worth getting a defibrillator for the parish. It’s now being looked into by the Community Space Team.

Road closure in Littlehempston

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Devon County Council has issued a notice that road works will be taking place, affecting Grattons Lane to Littlehempston Bridge Cross, stating “No person shall cause or permit any vehicle to proceed or wait on the sections of Affected Roads except for access to land or premises on or adjacent to those length of roads.” It is anticipated that the road will be closed for a maximum of 10 days between Monday February 2nd and Tuesday March 31st. Closure may be on consecutive days or on separate days depending upon site, weather conditions and works required. Advanced warning signs for the road closure will be placed on site at least 7 days before works start. The suggested diversion route is along Grattons Lane, Parsonage Cross, Copper Tree Cross, Reeveacre Cross, Ford Bridge and Littlehempston Bridge Cross.

This temporary restriction is considered necessary to enable “Drainage and associated works” by Devon Highways. Here’s a link to the formal Site Notice. For additional information contact: SOUTH WEST HIGHWAYS – CUSTOMER LIAISON OFFICER Telephone: 01404 821500

Mare & Foal Sanctuary seeks volunteers

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This equine charity is looking for volunteers in all aspects of its work of caring for horses in need – and not just in the stables. Visitor Centre manager Tracy Gray said: “New Year’s resolutions often fall by the wayside, but this is one which can help you to make a real difference in the long run, both to horses and yourself. There are more horses than ever in need of the Sanctuary’s help and we rely on our volunteers and staff to pull together as a team – it’s a wonderful feeling. We don’t just need volunteers for the hands-on work with horses. Currently we are looking for people who can offer their time doing any of the following: helping in our charity shops, organising collection boxes, meeting and greeting at our Visitor Centre, helping in our tack shop and café, carrying out odd jobs such as light gardening and, of course, helping in the stables. Even a couple of hours a week, is truly invaluable. If you can offer your time in anyway at all, we’d love to hear from you.”

For more information or to apply, visit https://www.mareandfoal.org/ways-to-help/#volunteering or call 01626 355969.

Didn’t we have a lovely time?

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There were lots of good things to enjoy over the festive period. The Christmas Craft Fair got things underway and raised a magnificent £450 into the bargain.

Tracey won the Christmas Cake at the Coffee Morning amongst much excitement.

After a frantic search for the festive lights, Lawrence, Mike and James erected the Christmas tree in time for the traditional Lights On, followed by the Carol Service.

Villagers’ Night packed the Tally to the rafters and the raffle proved very successful despite there being no prizes to start with! Thanks to all who rushed off home to remedy the situation!

There were further smiles as Ken’s Village Lottery produced 3 more happy winners – John Hoare, James Drummond and Paul White. Don’t forget to sign up for the 2015 Lottery – you may be lucky but in any case, it’s a great way of supporting the Community Space and church!

Healing Hands in Sarajevo

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Thank you to Kate Carfrae for sending in this moving account of her work in Sarajevo:

At the Craft Fair last November, I sold Neal’s Yard Remedies to raise funds for Littlehempston Church and also the Tear Fund, a charitable project in Bangladesh, helping communities become more resilient to natural disasters such as flooding.

At the 2013 Craft Fair, I was raising money to fund an assignment in Sarajevo with the Healing Hands Network, set up in 1997 by two therapists visiting the recently besieged and devastated city of Sarajevo. They decided to dedicate the charity to the relief of suffering from the after-effects of war, through offering massage and other complimentary therapies. (It has been well-documented that these therapies can offer relief of physical and emotional trauma.) The Network works alongside local organisations, running professional clinics – free of charge to clients, both in the city and in pop- up clinics in the suburbs.

During my time there, I massaged 69 people of all ages and backgrounds. Clients were nominated by the local association for survivors of war and concentration camps. Even though it’s almost twenty-four years since the start of the conflict, the evidence remains – mental and physical like the scars of bullet-holes in the buildings on most streets. The people I saw had experienced a variety of shocking things, prison camps, kept under house-arrest, beatings, rape and torture. There was the daily struggle to survive the shelling and sniper attacks, going without electricity and water. Many had been cold and malnourished, deprived of sunlight, lacking medication, which had a knock-on effect on physical as well as mental well-being.

Most clients don’t discuss their troubles, they tend to ‘keep a lid on it’. It is heartening to think that, although there is still a lot of poverty (unemployment is 45%) and heartache, these are proud and generous people. They were full of praise and gratitude for their treatments and would always bring a gift, produce from their garden or something they had made.

Health services in Bosnia do not extend to complementary therapies (yet), and there is a pressing need for further awareness and training in this field. I have a vision of the future, with a massage training school that is also a treatment centre in Sarajevo. This would allow people an independent means of income from tourists. I hope to return to Bosnia to volunteer once again, but I think I will wait until 2016 as, being self-employed, my income suffers while I’m away.

I raised money for both causes by selling Neal’s Yard Remedies at events and in people’s homes – think Tupperware parties but more fun and less pressure. If you would like such a party, please contact me, I am always looking for hosts. The hosts are well-rewarded too. Contact me on 07941 489586. To find out more about volunteering in Sarajevo, visit www.healinghandsnetwork.org.uk.

Thank you very much for buying your NYR Organics items from me – I hope to be back again at the 2015 Craft Fair.