I have a simple message to all Torbay Weekly readers

Steps one and two of the route map out of lockdown.

Steps one and two of the route map out of lockdown. - Credit: Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

As Covid case numbers continue falling and the vaccination programme marches on, it was great to hear the Prime Minister confirm another milestone on the route map out of lockdown will soon be reached.

Like many, I am looking forward to getting a haircut and enjoying a pint outside!

The progress of recent weeks has not happened by accident, but thanks to residents doing their bit by following the guidance, plus the work of our NHS teams and social care teams to roll out vaccination so quickly.

It's looking good for a busy summer in our Bay! 

Steps three and four of the route map out of lockdown.

Steps three and four of the route map out of lockdown. - Credit: Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

Jabbed 

After spending weeks urging residents to take up the offer of vaccination if invited to by your GP or health professional, last week I got a text from my GP.

While there seem to be many newly found social media 'experts' on vaccines and infectious disease, when it comes to my own health, I trust our local NHS teams and the advice they give.

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If I suddenly felt severe chest pains, I would call an ambulance to be treated by a trained paramedic, not check my Facebook or Twitter account for some treatment ideas instead. 

I therefore took my GPs’ advice and had my jab.

The process at the English Riviera International Conference Centre was excellent and it took less than ten minutes from my arrival to the jab going in my arm.

I would like to thank all at the centre, including many volunteers, who have done a fantastic job.

The work they have done has not only saved lives but put our bay firmly on the path to re-opening as a tourism resort. 

For those wondering over 70 per cent of the Bay’s adult population was jabbed before me, many of our most vulnerable having received both shots.

It was my age and overall health, not my position, which determined when I got the call.

I have a simple message to all Torbay Weekly readers: When you get the invite, get your jab. It not only protects you, but those you care about and helps our whole bay get back to normal. 

Era ending 

After 29 years of service to the parish, Fr Gorran Chapman of St Martin’s, Barton, will retire as its vicar this week. 

It is almost unique to find such a lengthy period of service to one parish, with Fr Gorran there for a whole generation of celebrating happy times and consoling those going through the most difficult moments in life. 

I would wish Fr Gorran a happy retirement, but he would quickly point out a priest never retires from their calling, only some duties. So, instead, I hope he has the long rest his hard work has earned. 

Surgery times 

With lockdown restrictions due to be eased on Monday, April 12, I am pleased to say I will be restarting face-to-face advice surgeries shortly; dates and times are currently being confirmed.

Telephone appointments will continue to be available for those who would prefer them.

Please note surgeries are for urgent personal matters, such as welfare, immigration, housing, problems accessing support and benefits, rather than to discuss policy or the wider situation.  

You can either email me at kevin@kevinjfoster.com or leave a message on 01803 214989 and we will get back to you as quickly as possible.