Newton and Noss Parish Council
in the South Hams of Devon
Click to enlarge mapspace

Newton and Noss Network

What is Newton and Noss Network?

Newton and Noss Network is an initiative to facilitate and extend activities which strengthen the community and in particular to extend learning opportunities in the local community as identified in the 2004 Parish Plan (based on a questionnaire circulated to all parishioners) The Network is independent with its own Constitution, run by a committee of volunteers.

What has been achieved?

1. Tutored Courses- the whole community benefits

The Courses provide informal and local learning opportunities . The programme is organised by volunteers , the tutors are paid and these costs and venue charges are covered by course fees. Approx. 150 participants per annum. These vary annually according to need and demand. Most have become independent but may use equipment or other help from the Network.

2. U3A - the retired benefit - started 2006

The Newton & Noss Network has been instrumental in setting up a U3A (University of the Third Age). The success is evident with over 200 members and 16 interest groups meeting to share expertise and knowledge on a self-help basis. This runs as an independent organisation (part of the national U3A).

3. The young are most important, what is for them?

(a) Active Tots - Pre-School children - started 2006

Activity sessions for pre-school children in the primary school- classes run by a local PE teacher (volunteer) providing activities of exercise, play, music and story telling. The benefits are multiple - for the children the start of a healthy lifestyle and an introduction to the school. The parents/carers enjoy the opportunity to meet socially and discuss ideas and problems.

(b) New Noss Adventurers {9 to 15 yrs }- started 2009

The activities are chosen by the committee of young members. Quote from one of the members 'Our Adventure club has a range of general interests and provides a variety of activities . The club also provides an opportunity for those attending different schools to mix, making a more cohesive society.' The youth leader has gained life skills from his involvement with the club.

(c) Yealm Community Sailing -{ 7 - 12 yrs} - started 2009

The courses give all children the opportunity to learn to sail whether they can afford a boat or not and even if their parents cannot sail. Money has been raised for a fleet of new sailing dinghies for the primary school to extend their sailing programme and money for training of local instructors. An additional programme to the primary school training has been developed open to all 7 to 12 year olds in the area. The Network has contributed to the training of some YYC cadets to be instructors giving teenagers a confidence building life skill.

(d) Playpark improvement project

As part of its remit to support activities that strengthen the community the Network agreed to support an application for funding from the lottery and other organisations to redevelop the Noss Play park. A separate group of volunteers was set up and over £87,000 of funding was received to completely redevelop the Noss Play Park and to create a new space and community orchard in the lower field. This project is now complete and the play park will be maintained by the Parish Council in future. There was additional funding from the Lottery to cover activities in the park for a year after completion and this has also been completed. There is an ongoing group to maintain the orchard.

Adult Community sailing

For all age groups enabled by the kind donation of The Brock. Sadly cancelled 2012 because of the sewage leaks.

How does everyone know what is going on?

Publicity in the Parish magazine, parish web site and notice boards for details of courses clubs and Network activities.

How have the activities been financed?

The Network is non-profit making and endeavours to keep costs and fees to a minimum so that no one in the village is excluded. Arrangements are made confidentially to subsidise these where cost is a problem. For capital expenditure and training of volunteers we have raised various funds since 2006. This has included funding from:- Parish Council, the Lottery, Devon County Council, Revelstoke Community Trust, Lord Barnby Trust, Co-Op SW., Youth Bank, South Hams Radio, sustainability fund, Big lottery etc.

Examples of how the money has been spent

  • Purchase and installation of a kiln and wheel for adult and children's pottery classes and miscellaneous equipment for art, drawing, pottery classes and Active Tots
  • Purchase of 8 new Optimist sailing boats and safety equipment for sail training by the school and for the wider community- sadly cancelled 2012 summer because of the sewage problem
  • Training of volunteers as sailing instructors etc. and youth leaders ( for both adults and young people). This provides a life skill for the individual and strengthens resources available to the village
  • Purchase of 2 storage sheds at the school for the storage of sail training equipment and equipment for pre-school classes (Active Tots).
  • Computer software for the computer skills courses (also a bonus for the school).
  • Equipment for upholstery classes
  • A digital projector for general use by the community.
  • New Noss Adventurers - Costs associated with ensuring the adventure club was started eg start-up costs of a qualified youth worker, transport, supervision by specialists, miscellaneous equip. and subsidies to ensure membership is open to all.
  • Playpark at Noss Funding from the Big Lottery, S Devon Community Local Action Group, South Hams District Council The Woodland Trust and the Revelstoke Trust was used to redevelop the Noss Play Park providing new equipment, landscaping, and a community orchard planted with Devon apple varieties.
  • Sustainability fund for activities in the park and orchard for 12 months after the main playpark project, this was funded by the Lottery and activities included outdoor fitness classes, whole Primary school visit including wildlife exploration , instruction on planting natural hedges, playgroup visit, 2 members of school staff mini bus qualifications, bouncy castle and bunting for the Big Lunch, pop up tents for shelter during activities, an apple day including tree pruning instruction.