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BWhat’sEENGoing


Have you been away this past month or do you visit Dartmouth only occasionally? If so, then By The Dart will each month bring you a brief round-up of the key news stories.


Words and photos by Phil Scoble


DARTMOUTH CARING ‘VITAL’ AS TOWN’S ELDERLY POPULATION GROWS TO 35.8 PERCENT – REPORT Dartmouth’s elderly population will increase to 35.8% by 2024, making the role of Dartmouth Caring all the more important according to a new independent report. A report from the Council for Voluntary Services Commission in Devon on Dartmouth Caring and the services it offers said that the increase in the elderly population in Dartmouth made the charity’s role in the community increasingly important. This increase will be more pronounced in Dartmouth than elsewhere in the country – which is predicted to have an elderly population around 25 percent in 2024. The report paints a rosy picture of Dartmouth Caring’s work: ‘Dartmouth Caring is undergoing a rapid expansion of its services - a reflection of both demand and the quality of its services. [It is] helping older people remain socially active and remain in their own homes for longer. The charity is innovative – developing new services in response to changing demands.’ Dartmouth Caring Manager and Co- ordinator Alison Stocks said: ‘We are delighted that this report has shown our services are making a positive impact on the lives of people in Dartmouth and the surrounding district. The population of Dartmouth is older than most and our volunteers and staff are making a difference every day.’


ON?


Mich Tich Tonks and Nick Hindmarsh


MITCH TONKS THROWS HIS NAME BEHIND DARTMOUTH ACADEMY WITH TRAINING RESTAURANT


Dartmouth Academy was proud to announce that its partner for the training restaurant in its rebuilt campus will be celebrity chef Mitch Tonks. This will be a unique venture between an educational establishment and a restaurateur of Mitch’s standing – and will create a hub of food-learning excellence helping young people from the South Devon area to become top- quality food professionals.


Mitch also shares a strong vision with the Academy to focus on the importance of a good lunch for students and how it has its place as a daily enjoyable social event. The restaurant will also give them the opportunity to get used to a working environment and earn money whilst still at school.


Provisionally named ‘The Rainbow Room’, the restaurant will serve as a place for students to learn about how a restaurant runs, enjoy great food and


will be run as a top quality commercial restaurant in the evenings. Mitch is keen to stress that this is not a school dining room being used as a restaurant more a restaurant being used to serve the school.


Profits from the operation of the ‘Rainbow Room’ will supplement the cost of student lunches so that every student gets to eat exactly the same quality food from the daily changing menu. It will also support the cost of running the Academy as a whole. Mitch said: ‘This project is the first ever of its kind and I believe it will add another dimension to Dartmouth Academy. I hope, with the team, to be able to create a first class stand- alone restaurant that the academy and students can be proud of and want to be part of, throughout the whole process leading up to and after the opening.


PATIENT PARTICIPATION GROUP FLAGS UP APPOINTMENT NON-ATTENDANCE COST CONCERN


Dartmouth Patient Participation Group’s new officers started the year with an appeal for a reduction in the amount of patients missing appointments. New PPG Chairman Rosie North, Vice Chairman Frank Mann and Secretary Jill Garnham said the current level of missed appointments were unacceptable – costing the NHS money and making it harder for genuine patients to book appointments easily. In October 2011 167 appointments were missed and in November 188


patients failed to turn up. In all these cases no call was made to inform the surgery in Dartmouth. This is equivalent to more than one and a half days of practice surgeries and has cost the NHS in excess of £2,000. New Chairman Rosie North, who was voted into the post at the PPG annual meeting in November, said: ‘We have been concerned about the missed appointments for some time, and we were pleased to see the trend falling. ‘However this jump has shown that


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