Somerset Health and Wellbeing Updates

Dunster Benefice Newsletter 20thMay 2022

Launch of SWT Climate News

The SWT Climate Change Team has just launched its first ‘Climate News’ which will be published monthly on the SWT website and sent to SWT residents and businesses who sign up to receive a copy.

The newsletter aims to showcase all the great work that is happening across Somerset West and Taunton to achieve carbon-neutrality by 2030.

Please click here to read Issue 1.

Exmoor National Park Authority (ENP) – Green Space Dark Skies: Exmoor

In May, as part of the UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK festival, outdoor arts company Walk the Plank is working with local people, artists and community groups to create beautifully choreographed and accessible gatherings in Dartmoor and Exmoor. These joyful and participatory artworks will be created at dusk by volunteer ‘Lumenators’ and captured on film for all to see afterwards.

 Green Space Dark Skies is a series of 20 large-scale outdoor artworks in the UK’s most outstanding landscapes as part of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK. It runs from April to September 2022 and is a once-in-a-lifetime national celebration of creativity connecting the people and places that make the UK special.

The Exmoor Green Space Dark Skies event will take place on 28 May, and everyone is welcome to register for free to take part at www.greenspacedarkskies.uk/events/exmoor-np.

Appeal Launched to Create Moor Meadows

A new CareMoor for Exmoor appeal has launched to help raise funds for meadow creation in the National Park. It follows a 97 per cent drop in wildflower meadows nationwide since the second world war.

Meadows provide important food and homes for a diverse range of species, including many pollinator insects, small mammals, bats and birds, and are a rich carbon store. They help improve connectivity between habitats and can be a valuable source of forage for livestock, supporting traditional skills such as haymaking.

Donations to the appeal will support the new Exmoor Sowing the Seeds project – a collaboration between Exmoor National Park Authority (NPA), FWAG South West and Devon Wildlife Trust, with support from South West Water and Natural England, to collect and distribute wildflower seed locally.

Please click here to read the full press release.


Are you eligible for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme from April 2022?

On 23 May 2022 a new grant scheme for homeowners upgrading from gas boilers to either an Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP) or a biomass boiler may be eligible for a grant of £5,000, or £6,000 if upgrading to a Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP).

 The government will provide grants to encourage property owners to install low carbon heating systems such as heat pumps, through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS). These grants will help property owners overcome the upfront cost of low carbon heating technologies.

The scheme will be open to domestic and small non-domestic properties in England and Wales. It will run from 2022 to 2025.

Please click here to find out more.


Blood pressure monitors available in Somerset Libraries

More than two hundred blood pressure monitor kits are available for loan from libraries in the county to raise awareness of high blood pressure and to coincide with World Hypertension Day which was on 17 May.

About 3 in 10 adults in Somerset have high blood pressure but 1 in 10 don’t know it. It is a major risk factor for Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) and significantly increases the risk of having a heart attack or stroke, but early detection and treatment can help people live longer, healthier lives.

The blood pressure monitor kits include an information leaflet that explains how to check your blood pressure at home and what to do with the results – measuring blood pressure at home can be very useful to give a more accurate picture of what a person’s blood pressure is like. The monitors can also detect an irregular heartbeat which is another risk for CVD.

For anyone who is not a library member it is really easy to join, either call into your local branch or go online at: https://lwc.ent.sirsidynix.net.uk/custom/web/registration/

Please click here to read the full press release.


Spring Booster Jabs

SCC’s Public Health team is urging older and more vulnerable residents to take up the offer of a free, further COVID-19 booster vaccine.

People aged 75 years and older, residents in care homes for older people, and those individuals aged 12 and over with weakened immune systems, are being offered a spring booster of coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine.

The Spring Booster is being rolled out for these groups of people because they are at higher risk of developing severe complications from COVID-19. Protection from their previous vaccinations may be lower and may decline more quickly over time. If the number of infections increases over the summer, this booster should help to reduce their risk of developing serious illness and being admitted to hospital with COVID-19.

Across Somerset, there are more than 80 thousand people eligible to receive their spring booster. They will be contacted by the NHS when it is their turn to receive the vaccine, although anyone eligible who has had six months since their last booster can also go online to book through the National Booking System or by calling 119 for an appointment.

There are also plenty of walk-in appointments available across the county. Please check the local NHS website: COVID-19 vaccinations in Somerset to find clinics in your area or use the national portal to find a clinic: www.nhs.uk/grab-a-jab.

NHS staff are ready to welcome you whether it’s for your first, second, or third dose.


Need to seek help?

If you, or someone you know are feeling like things are too much, please know that you / they don’t have to be alone. Here are some numbers of organisations that can help:

  • Samaritans – 116 123
  • CALM – 0800 58 58 58
  • ChildLine – 0800 1111
  • Anxiety UK – 03444 775 774
  • Mind – 0300 123 3393
  • Somerset Domestic Abuse helpline – 0800 69 49 999




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