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This video shows how the Donkeys at Sidmouth were glad to see the back of the long, wet, winter when they were let out into their summer grazing paddock for the first time this year. The Donkey Sanctuary has closed its doors to the public during the coronavirus lockdown, but wanted to share the donkeys’ joy at their first taste of spring grass. Staff who continue to care for the animals behind closed doors said this week’s sunshine proved the perfect time to open the gates to let the herd run free, roll and let off some steam. Maxine Carter,…

A coronavirus helpline has gone live in Honiton offering an advice, shopping, food and prescription service. Trained volunteers have teamed up with organisations and groups to help keep the town safe and informed during the pandemic. Alongside the Honiton coronavirus information line is a shopping and cooked meal delivery service, aimed at the vulnerable, and help for those needing prescriptions collected. The town is also setting up a network of volunteers who can check on neighbours, collect shopping, or become on-the-phone befrienders. The neighbourhood support system will be built upon in the coming weeks as the situation develops, organisers said.…

Coronavirus survivor Exmouth town crier Roger Bourgein last night rang his bell ‘for those that saved my life’ when he joined the country in applauding the NHS. Applause, cheers and music erupted from the towns and villages of East Devon on Thursday night, when the UK came together at 8pm to pay public tribute to frontline coronavirus carers. Roger, aged 72, survived the virus but not before his family was told on day six of illness there was nothing more medics could do. Last night Exmouth’s town crier stood on his doorstep in his dressing gown to ring out his…

A professional driver campaigning to get rid of the rat-run through Woodbury – after she had three cars written off in a year – says ‘we want to feel safe where we live’. Mum-of-one Kim Bates, aged 55, of Broadway, claims she has been told by the authorities two people must die before new speed restrictions and traffic measures can be actioned in the village. Since February 2019, three of Kim’s cars have been written off by motorists when they were hit outside her home – one was shunted onto the pavement after just six days of ownership. Now Kim…

An open letter to the UK Government from the Independent Community News Network, of which eastdevonnews.co.uk is a member: As you can imagine these are very worrying times for our members. As an organisation, we are now extremely concerned. This is a time when our members are crucial in ensuring public information reaches communities across the UK to inform and advise about public health. We fear that, unless we can secure some emergency funding to support small news publishers at this time, communities across the UK will lose their independent press at a time when they need it most. It…

These images show deserted seafronts and beaches in Exmouth, Sidmouth and Beer as East Devon heeds the government lockdown to save lives and protect the NHS during the coronavirus crisis. Gone is a repeat of the weekend scenes of the public flouting advice to stay indoors, flocking to the beach to enjoy the sunshine. Webcams at Exmouth, Sidmouth and Beer seafronts today show empty beaches and esplanades after Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday (Monday) imposed strict rules on the UK, to tackle the spread of coronavirus. Complying with new government rules to reduce the spread of the infection, East Devon…

The Devon County Show has been moved from May until August in a bid to help halt the spread of coronavirus. The Devon County Show’s 125th anniversary event has been postponed until the summer, with the event planned to go ahead over the bank holiday weekend, on August 28, 29 and 30. The board of directors of three major agricultural events in the South West – Devon County Show, The Royal Bath & West Show and The Royal Cornwall Show, today announced the postponement of the trio of events because of the COVID-19 pandemic and risk of virus spread. The…

Honiton Bowling Club hosted the 2020 South West Area Disability Bowls England Interclub Competition, where eight teams took part. Competing this year at the Streamers Meadows clubhouse were teams from Dunheved Bowling Club, Cornwall, Taunton Deane Bowling Club, Somerset, Honiton Bowling Club, and three teams from Plymouth Life Centre. The teams were divided into two groups of four playing against each other. Each of the three matches played by the team consisted of eight ends, with a time limit of one-and-a-quarter hours. The teams gained two points for a win and one for a draw. The winner of group A…

An Exmouth dad who eight years ago became ‘determined’ to sign up organ donors as a tribute to his daughter who died waiting for a lung transplant has completed his 650th rally. Since the death of 37-year-old mum-of-three Sarah in November 2012, her dad Steve Gazzard, mayor of Exmouth, has organised 650 sign-up events and encouraged 6,622 people to become organ donors. When we started in June 2012 when Sarah was alive, we never thought eight years down the line we would be marking 650 events… Steve, a supporter of the ‘opt-out’ donor system coming into force this year on…

Farewells, flowers and thanks were given to the fab four leaving Exmouth and District Community Transport. Pastures new and retirement has prompted coordinator Mel Mock, her husband, Tim, who is a relief driver, Mike Passmore, bus driver, and his wife, Wendy, also a coordinator, to bid fond farewells to the charity. Now looking forward to retirement, Wendy has been with the community transport service for 21 years, her husband Mike for 20 years. Mel has been at the charity since 2011 and her husband, Tim, joined five years ago. Mel, who is leaving for a pastoral role with the Methodist…

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