Vital volunteers at Healthwatch Devon

To mark volunteers’ week 2017 I joined a group of volunteers from Healthwatch Devon at historic Poltimore House, near Exeter. This was my first chance since joining the charity to properly chat with the enthusiastic team that we depend on to get our work done. It was also an excuse to eat scones, and say thank you for all their hard work.

Opportunities to volunteer exist just about everywhere, but working for Healthwatch Devon is a bit different. Our volunteers are researchers, advocates, campaigners and, most importantly, listeners. They run events, research health stories, and listen to patients, carers, and their families. They’re active across Devon, in town and country, listening to what people think of services, and helping to improve the quality of those services for the future.

Healthwatch Devon is the independent champion for people using local health and care services. We listen to what people like about services, and what could be improved – sharing those views with those with the power to make change happen.

We have volunteer opportunities for people of all ages, whether they have skills to share, or want an opportunity to learn new skills. Right now, we’re looking at how we can support school-leavers and students interested in building their public relations and medical education experience. We are also looking at how we can build a new events team to help get our campaigns and surveys out to the widest possible audience.If you are interested in volunteering with Healthwatch Devon please visit

You can also follow Healthwatch Devon on Twitter @HwDevon or follow our page, healthwatchdevon, on Facebook.

The pickers are back

On Sunday 28th May. The Teignmouth beach litter pickers will be out again for their monthly beach and town patrol. They’ll be meeting at the Lighthouse (Point car park) at 11.30am. Gloves, bags and litter picking sticks are provided.

Contact Howie Watkins ( for further details.

Alison Eden stands for Parliament

So proud to support the marvellous Alison Eden in her bid to represent East Devon as their Member of Parliament. The campaign has just got started but she’s been out and about in the constituency gathering support and her Twitter feed is already red hot. More news soon, but for now, well done Ali, and good luck.