Well-earned recognition for making a difference in our community

Torbay Weekly

There are many unsung heroes across our Bay who make a positive difference in our community, so it was great to hear two of them - Dave Musgrove and Trevor Staveley - had received well-earned recognition in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

The Disabled Sailing Association gives many the chance to experience the freedom of the waves who may be more restricted on land.

Dave Musgrove has, for many years, been a driving force behind it, overcoming the challenges presented by his own blindness to help others turn their disability into an ability.

Torbay Street Pastors have helped many enjoying a night out stay safe, with volunteers on the street until 4am providing a safe space, listening ear and a pair of flip flops to walk home in.

Trevor Staveley has not only helped co-ordinate this work for several years, but spent many very late nights out on the streets helping those in need of a very different type of mission to what many might see local churches doing during the day.

These honours are not just about their achievements of the two recipients, but a recognition of the work done by the teams they work with as well.

They are what the honours system should be about, saying thank you on behalf of society as a whole to those who only looked for the reward of knowing they had made a difference.

Let’s hope we see more such awards in our Bay over the coming years.

Tourism recovery plan launched

A new rail pass and vouchers for popular tourist attractions are at the heart of a new plan unveiled by the Government to return domestic tourism to pre-pandemic levels by 2022 and international tourism by 2023.

A £10 million voucher scheme will be launched by the National Lottery this autumn to encourage trips beyond the peak summer season, with players having the chance to claim vouchers to redeem at tourist attractions across the UK between September 2021 and March 2022.

A rail pass for 'staycationers' will also be launched later this year, helping to make it easier and more sustainable for domestic tourists to get around the country.

The new pass will build on the success of the BritRail pass, which is sold through VisitBritain and gives international visitors flexible travel across the country, as well as providing discounted entry to tourism attractions.

This plan is welcome news as we look head to what could be the busiest summer season in our Bay for decades as many enjoy a staycation rather than heading abroad given the continuing restrictions on international travel.

Once those who would normally head abroad have enjoyed the beauty of our Bay, many will return.

Surgery times

I have restarted face to face advice surgeries, but telephone appointments can still be arranged if preferred. Sadly, my surgeries must remain by appointment only at this stage.

Surgeries are for urgent personal matters, such as welfare, immigration, housing, problems accessing support and benefits.

For an appointment you can either email me at kevin@kevinjfoster.com or leave a message on 01803 214989. You can also drop into my office at 5-7 East Street, Torquay TQ2 5SD between 10am and 1pm weekdays. Please note, you may have to wait outside if others attend at the same time.