Exeter gets share of £654,000 to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping

Exeter gets share of £654,000 to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping


Tackling homelessness and rough sleeping in Exeter received a big boost today with news that the city has won part of £654,000 government funding.

Working closely with homelessness providers and partners in the community and voluntary sector, along with East Devon, Mid Devon and Teignbridge District Councils, Exeter will receive a share of the pot to help prevent homelessness through innovative solutions and tackle rough sleeping in the city.

Cllr Emma Morse, Lead Councillor for Customer Access, said the grant was a fantastic early Christmas present for Exeter. “We are committed to ensuring that everyone in Exeter has a roof over their head and that rough sleeping becomes a thing of the past.

“There is much work to be done but this money will help us work with those threatened with homelessness so that we can prevent it happening in the first place.”

The funding is split into two grants:
• Exeter City Council, East Devon District Council (EDDC), Teignbridge District Council (TDC) and Mid Devon District Council (MDDC) has been identified as one of the 28 new ‘trailblazer’ areas across the country and secured £359,000 collectively as part of a £50 million programme aimed at preventing people from becoming homeless.

• Exeter City Council working with EDDC, TDC and MDDC, as well as homelessness providers such as Julian House and St Petrocks, has won £295,000 to help tackle rough sleeping.

The grants will help the local authorities to understand why people are on the streets, their life experience and how best they can be assisted to move away from living on the streets. There will be a strong emphasis on prevention, finding solutions for families and individuals before they end up sleeping rough.

The initiative will focus on reducing unnecessary duplication between services and the introduction of early targeted support for those at risk and experiencing issues such as redundancy, illness or disability.

The new programme will work with a wide range of partners, across councils, the community sector, hospitals and the courts system to prevent households from homelessness through direct support and assistance. The overriding focus will be on the individual being encouraged to take ownership of their own housing need.

Today’s funding comes from the new £50 million programme to provide an innovative approach to tackling homelessness, with prevention at its heart, announced by Prime Minister Theresa May and Communities Secretary Sajid Javid in October.

Further reading: 
My Storify feed on the issue: 21/12/16 | Homelessness Trailblazer Fund

Exeter City FC supporting people living with dementia


Exeter City FC supporting people affected by dementia

As part of Exeter City Football Club’s commitment to the Exeter Dementia Action Alliance (EDAA) the One Game One Community match event was held at St James Park. The event enabled over 40 people living with dementia and their families to enjoy complimentary tickets to the Exeter v Luton Town game.

Gina Awad who leads EDAA delivered two Dementia Friends sessions to staff at the Club, one in the Soring and the second as part of #TeamDementiaFriends campaign. The Club were inspired to go the extra mile recognising the need for further dementia awareness in the community.

A summary of the event included; all the players sporting t-shirts for their warm up illustrating “working towards a dementia friendly city’, EDAA had a stand in Red Square raising awareness, use of the community Hospitality box for specially invited guests, a feature in the programme and a bucket collection.

In addition at half time Exeter City Council officially joined as the latest members of the alliance, honouring their commitment and action towards a dementia friendly city.

One attendee bought her 90 year old father to the match and encapsulated her feelings, she said

“It was such a lovely day yesterday. My father cannot remember how long it is since he last saw a football match, but he thinks it is at least 60 years. It is the only time my father and my son have had ‘man time’ together as well. For me, the day is a memory that I will always want to retain, along with the photos and the Exeter City FC hat I bought my father. He simply loved it every moment of the day, the hot dog, the hot chocolate, the game and spending time with family. My son, the football fan, is now trying to get the rest of the family along to a game to enjoy the atmosphere, so maybe Exeter City FC will have some new fans as well. Thank you for making a magical day for us all”.

Gina said “we have received some truly heartfelt responses as a result of the event and this illustrates how meaningful our work really is for people living with dementia in the community and their families. What was wonderful to see was the uptake from local care homes and their residents a focus that felt important to pursue”.

All that was needed for a perfect end to the day was a goal from Exeter City but it wasn’t meant to be!

ECC signs up to EDAA


At half time at today’s match between Exeter City FC and Luton Town, Cllr Emma Morse and myself took to the pitch at St James Park to formally announce that Exeter City Council is now a member of Exeter Dementia Action Alliance [EDAA\ and is working towards becoming a Dementia Friendly Council.

The match itself provided the club and the Football in the Community [FitC] programme  the opportunity to show support for the Kick It Out campaign funded by the The Football Association (FA), the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA), the Premier League and The English Football League (EFL).

The aim of the Kick It Out campaign is to raise the awareness of equality, inclusion and diversity policies and practices in football, and this season ECFC and FitC are using this opportunity to raise the profile of their partnership of EDAA and promote the amazing work undertaken by the Alliance.

EDAA hosted a reception in the Dick Pym Suite where Emma and myself meet with members of the Club, and people with dementia with their carers.

EDAA reception in Dick Pym Suite

The players of both teams wore special Kick It Out T-shirts – both to warm up in and to return to the pitch for kick-off. ECFC were in black ones and LTFC wore yellow ones – and the players gave their T-shirts to [mainly young] members of the crowd.


EDAA held a bucket collection before and after the match, as well as at half-time…

Some of the EDAA bucket collection team

…and around 40 people either living with dementia or their family carer were guests of EDAA. They thoroughly enjoyed their time watching the game – Becky in particular was extremely vocal in her suport of City!

Guests of EDAA at the match

Programme Note:

Exeter Dementia Action Alliance (EDAA) is a group of people and organisations who believe a dementia friendly Exeter needs greater community awareness and opportunities to live well with dementia.

We are very grateful for the support of our many members which include Exeter City FC, Football in the Community and Exeter City Supporters Trust. Our members have made a commitment to take practical actions that help build a dementia friendly community.

At its heart, a dementia-friendly community is a caring community. A place where individuals are aware of each other and the challenges they face in day-to-day life; a place where organisations and businesses build an awareness of dementia into their services and environment; and a place where carers of people living with dementia are supported both practically and emotionally.

One of the best ways to build a dementia-friendly city is for people to attend a free Dementia Friends session. The sessions include learning more about dementia and the small ways you can help.

Gina Awad, who leads the Alliance, highlights the tremendous support received to date. “We are proud to share that our membership comprises a number of sectors from across the city. The response to our aspirations towards a Dementia Friendly Exeter has been inspiring and empowered businesses and individuals to take practical action.

“One of our members the Exeter Picturehouse were keen to collaborate with us and have introduced Dementia Friendly Screenings as a regular feature to their programme producing really positive outcomes for people living with dementia and their families. The community spirit and commitment to support our cause has been heartening and we look forward to galvanising more partnerships in the coming months.”

Today we are proud to welcome Exeter City Council as our newest member and thank them for their support.

Councillor Bull, Lead Councillor for Communities and Neighbourhoods said. “I believe that Exeter City Council has a duty to raise awareness and help in any way it can.

“So today I am delighted to announce that the City Council has taken the next step and become a member of the Exeter Dementia Action Alliance. We are already looking at ways to make signage around the council’s Customer Service Centre more accessible to people with dementia, and there is now a group of councillors meeting on a regular basis to look at ways to become a Dementia Friendly Council, and in time make Exeter a Dementia Friendly City.

“I can reveal that the council will be working to deliver a number of actions, including:

– continuing to raise awareness of dementia by arranging Dementia Friends sessions for staff, councillors and contractors

– training two Dementia Champions, to run information sessions and promoting dementia awareness with the Council

– finding ways to make our car parks more dementia friendly.

“These actions are just the start – we will be looking  to add to the Action Plan in time.

“We are proud that Exeter City Council is now committed to making the council, and the city, more Dementia Friendly.”

Free membership of the EDAA is available to organisations committed to practical change. To find out how to join the Alliance go to www.exeterdementia.org.uk or contact us exeterdaa@outlook.com.

For direct support the Alzheimer’s Society Devon Support Service provides a range of support services for people with dementia, their families and Carers. They can be contacted on 0300 123 2029 or devon@alzheimers.org.uk

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Further reading:
Local Government Association/Innovations in Dementia: Dementia friendly communities – guidance for councils [July 2015]

Exeter Community Forum | Community Builders

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Community Builders

Exeter Community Forum plans to invest in a team of community builders to work across the city.

Using the Community Organising approach as a model, they’ll work to:

  • Empower communities and harness the power of individuals to work together in shared self-interest.
  • Community Organising involves building relationships in communities, mobilising people to take action and supporting projects which make a difference to people’s lives.
  • Community organising creates social and political change through collective action. Community Organisers listen to what people want to see change in their lives and community and help them to achieve this, working in and through democratic structures.
  • Community Organisers have no agenda and do not lead or do things on behalf of people”, they help people to do things for themselves.

People have told us they don’t like being ‘organised’, so ECF plans to call these people Community Builders! But they will work to the same principles and approach.

Communities that are interested in a community builder to work with their community will be invited to make an Expression of Interest. Community Builders need not be employed by these communities, they will be employed by a ‘host’.

We will invite Host organisations to act as an employer and provide training and support to the network of community organisers across the city and work with communities. The programme will be open to expressions of interest in the autumn 2016.

To find out what Community Buiders about and about how to get involved,  Well Being Exeter & Exeter Community Forum have arranged a dinner and discussion event with Cormac Russell, a leading expert on asset based community development, to launch our Community Builders programme in Exeter.


6:00 – 8:00pm, Tuesday 13th December 2016
St Sidwell’s Community Centre
Over a ‘pot-luck’ dinner we’ll:

  •          Learn what asset based community development is all about,
  •          Talk about how this can benefit our communities – especially if there is a community builder working among us,
  •          Consider what our communities would be like if people were more engaged – the benefits and the challenges too!

A ‘pot-luck’ dinner? We’re inviting people help create and share in a communal meal. If you can, please bring a small dish of food to share with to others – the menu may be random, but our evening will consider what it’ll really mean for us to create the change we’re looking for in our communities.

Who’s invited: Each ECF member is invited to bring two participants – these may be Trustees, volunteers or members.
You might like to invite someone from another community organisation that you think would be interested in working with your organisation to support a Community Builder in your area.

Well Being Exeter, ECF and Exeter City Council will also invite some other organisations working with communities to join our discussions.


Exeter Warm and Healthy Park Homes Grant




ECC Logo

 Client Guide on Exeter Warm and Healthy Park Homes Grant

The Exeter Warm and Healthy Park Homes Grant is targeting help to those people who met the qualifying criteria below. The Grant is available to Park Home residents in the Exeter City Council area only,

The eligibility criteria for this grant will focus on the following households. Applicants must:

  • be aged 50 or over on the date of application
  • live in the dwelling as their man residence
  • have an owner’s interest, or be a private tenant with the landlord’s consent to the works.

The Grant and Process

The grant of up to £2000 per property is to part-fund solid wall insulation to be fitted to the external walls of private park home dwellings.

If your home was built in 1995 or afterwards, then you may not qualify for external wall insulation under the grant. Howeever, you would be considered for the low interest Wessex Home Improvement Loan [see below].

To apply for the grant you must: receive, complete and sign all the relevant application forms, declarations and the questionnaire.

You must also supply supporting documentation to prove your age and return them to Wessex Energy at the address below.

After the works are installed you must also sign-off completion paperwork, answer questions about the work and the grant, and once the works are completed to confirm you are satisfied.

The approved installer Therm-Eco EWI Ltd will provide a quotation to you, then if you are approved for the grant, a specification and a method statement for the works will then be supplied. Wessex Energy will also receive copies of these documents to check.

You will be provided will be provided with a 10-year insurance backed guarantee for the works through Therm-Eco after the work has been completed.

Therm-Eco should be able to provide you with the information about the installation process and the products they use during their initial survey visit

You, or if applicable your landlord, can use their own funds to top up the grant if necessary.

Please note: Although the grant scheme is primarily for external wall insulation, you can also use the grant towards other measures such as underfloor insulation [50% grant, unless you are on benefits], roof insulation or a new insulated roof system.

Heating Measures

If you require any heating measures, such as a central heating system, a new boiler or heating repair, please contact us directly to provide us with further details. We have an Exeter based heating company registered with a scheme that my be able to help.

Energy Company Obligation [ECO]

You may also be eligible for a new boiler under ECO, a utility funded grant, if you receive certain qualifying benefits. Please call us for up-to-date information

Wessex Home Improvement Loan 

There is also the availability of an Exeter City Council supported Wessex Home Improvement Loan of up to £10,000 which is offered at a4% [4.1 APR] interest rate over a term of up to 10 years. Minimum loan value is £500.

Anybody living in the park home receiving the work can apply for the loan.

The loan is also able to cover some other home improvements. So please ask if there is something you have been looking at to improve in or on your home.

If you fill in a loan referral form and return this to us, Wessex Resolutions CIC will contact you to arrange a visit to fill in the necessary forms.



Contact details

if you have any questions about your grant application or anything else, please contact:
Peter Bywater, Wessex Energy, 8 park Place, 6 North Road, POOLE, Dorset BH14 0LY
e-mail: info@wessex.energy
tel: 01202 209410

Further reading:

Exeter Mobile Homes Residents Forum: Launch of Exeter Warm and Healthy Park Homes Grant [05 April 2016]

Local organisations are celebrating the launch of new funds to support community action across Exeter

ECF logo





01 November 2016
Press Release for immediate use:

Community organisations are celebrating the launch of new funds to support community action across Exeter


Local organisations are celebrating the launch of new funds to support community action across the city. The Grass Roots Grants Fund is being launched by Exeter Community Forum and Exeter City Council and is expected to invest £3.7m over 10 years.

The fund has been set up from the levy developers pay towards infrastructure when houses are built. The money will enable communities to invest in projects and community assets, such as community halls, that make a real difference to a local area.

The launch of the Fund comes after two years of hard work by Exeter’s community organisations to put together a plan for strengthening communities to face the changes, challenges and opportunities of the Exeter’s growth over the next decade.

Diana Moore, Chair of the Exeter Community Forum, said, “These funds are a great start to putting our plan into action. They will be put to very good use by community organisations wanting to involve more people, provide valued services, renew community buildings and really consider how they can best work with other organisations to support and help local people.”

But it isn’t just money alone that will make the difference, Councillor Paul Bull, Portfolio Holder for Communities and Neighbourhoods, said, “It’s a really good time to get involved in your local community organisation. This money will have so much more impact  because the application process will recognise the dedication of those volunteers who help people feel safe and belong, provide help and practical support, get active and create pride in their neighbourhoods.”


Notes to editors:
The Grass Roots Grants programme round one will be open until the end of December 2016. The first round will consider applications for an overall grant pot of £50,000. There will be three grants rounds a year and information about the funds and how to apply can be found at www.exetercommunityforum.net.

Historic Exeter Fire Appeal

Historic Exeter Fire Appeal


In partnership with Exeter City Council, Devon Community Foundation is establishing a fund to accept donations from the public and businesses in the aftermath of the terrible fire that raged in the much-loved historic centre of Exeter over the weekend.

Exeter City Council Chief Executive, Karime Hassan, said “The council is ready with a recovery plan and the creation of this fund to accept donations is a part of that.  This is the official fund to help people and businesses in need and the future restoration of the buildings as a result of the fire. Those wishing to help can be sure that the funds will be handled properly by this experienced charity.”

Martha Wilkinson, Chief Executive of the Foundation said “We know there is a great outpouring of support for the city with many people wanting to give to help the recovery and restoration of the historic area and we are also concerned that many staff employed by affected businesses may struggle as Christmas approaches. The great generosity of the public deserves the very best use of their donations.”

It is very early days as the fund gets up and running but initial ideas as to how the donations may be used are:

  • To respond swiftly to financial hardship for individuals and their families affected by the fire, such as staff of those businesses affected, especially if they will be strapped for cash at Christmas.
  • To support counselling and other services to help people cope with the emotional stress caused by the fire in the short and medium term.
  • To assist small local businesses to ensure their survival and swift recovery as an essential part of the local community and economy through grants and, where applicable, loans.
  • Help support the sympathetic restoration of the buildings over time.
    Bishop of Exeter, Robert Atwell is also a Trustee of the Devon Community Foundation and is delighted that the Foundation is responding to help encourage donations “This has been an awful experience for Exeter and I am deeply saddened. However the community spirit over the weekend was inspirational and this fund gives us all a chance to keep that spirit going to support recovery.”
    Anyone wishing to donate can do so in a variety of ways.
  • Send a cheque made payable to Devon Community Foundation and write HEFA on the back of the cheque. Please send it to us at The Factory, Leat Street, Tiverton EX16 5LL.
            If you are a UK Taxpayer, please also use a GiftAid form to add 25% to your donation this can be downloaded from: