Credit Union

Eaxh Wednesday the Open DAW acts as a collection point for The Plough and Share credit union. This allows anyone in the local community to make small savings on a regular basis. Often they are used as a means of saving for Christmas, a holiday, repair bill etc.

In the current climate a Credit union is useful to those who find it hard to save, make ends meet or want to avoid loan sharks. Loans from a Credit Union are at low rates and agreed affordable payments. Usually loans are available to savings members(shareholders) after 13 weeks of savings. Loans would be for twice the amount that has been saved. Immediate small loans can be made available after negotiations with Head Office and checks on the bability to repay the loan.

Most weeks our collection involves savings. To become a member/shareholder  there is a £2  fee and you receive a small dividend annually. The Collection Point is on Wednesdays between 10.30-11.30 at The Open DAW in the Dawlish Methodist Church. Where people cannot attend on Wednesdays the facility exists for them to pay in savings on other days.

Anyone wanting further information should contact Harry Moore by email


Burns Supper

The Open DAW is currently closed for thge Christmas break and re-opens on Monday January 4th. There are some alterations taking place this week in the Vestibule part of the church, which will enhance its appearance and provide some useful storage for our boxes.

On Friday January 22nd we again hold our Burns Supper evening at the Ugly Duckling restaurant in the Strand. Tickets are available at the Open DAW (tel: 01626 867722) or 01626 862474. Cost is £9 and includes a 2-course meal with a tot of whiskey.

This year our guest of honour is our famous Piper Bill Millin,who will give the address to the haggis, and his friend Piper Andy Buchanan will play the pipes for us during the evening.There will be a fun table quiz wityh a Scottish theme  and a raffle withy several splendid prizes. It is  always a great evening and well -supported. so gdt your tickets before allthe tables are filled.

Oh! The real date for Burns Night is Monday January 25th!! Our piper can only come on Friday b22nd due to his commitments elsewhere on Saturday and Monday.

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Help for the lost and vulnerable

Yesterday I witnessed all that is best with the Open DAW. A young man who comes to us fairly regularly to talk with our Coordinator needed help with some application forms required by a Housing Association. She was able to write all the details in for him and explain what information was required. It may seem a simple task but the care and time taken by her was wonderful to see. He had come in so worried but left so re-assured and grateful. It may be proud of our Community Information Centre and pleased that this was all done with love in a Christian church.

Flu Jabs on offer today

Today the Open DAW was very busy. We had a nurse from the Barton Surgery available all morning to give flu vaccinations to anyone who was elegible and hadn’t received them yet. Our PCSO was in attendance and listening to people’s concerns. Then there was a Town Councillor who was also listening to complaints as well as searching the neighbourhood for a damaged fence reported.

Being half term we had lots of holiday visitors popping in to see what was going on and enjoying the music in the church played by John on keyboards and Theo on Clarinet.

Loads of tea and coffee made today and full house at the Weekly Wednesday lunches in the Church hall.

Great morning!!

Holiday Visitors

June saw more holiday visitors in Dawlish since we opened in June 2005. The recession has certainly forced more people to stay in the UK this year. For the campsites, hotels, B&B’s plus the few shopkeepers still going in the town and for the restaurants and cafés it has been very good news. Another  plus has been the wonderful weather down here.

More visitors do bring problems too. Our narrow roads are quickly clogged up and parking is more difficult for everyone. Then we have the homeless and drifters who come looking for work during the summer only to find few opportunities. The criminal class also enjoy holiday periods here, with rich pickings amonst the tourists and the odd oportunist bit of thieving and burglary. A quick return home via the M5 and A 303 makes it easy to get rid of stolen goods rapidly hundreds of miles from Devon.

Despite these problems we are always delighted to welcome holidaymakers to our town and for them to enjoy are famous black swans.

Homeless young adults

Being a seaside town in Devon we have had a lot of visitors at the Open DAW during June. The holiday season also attracts young adults who have left home or their area.

Last week one young man arrived at the centre having travelled from the Home Counties over several weeks. He had no money but was reasonably dressed and tidy plus he had a large back pack with him. Accommodation was his chief concern plus searching for work to get away from problems back home. The Open DAW  cannot provide such services. We only act as a signpost to information or agency which may be of help to them.

Unfortunately there is little that can be done in such cases except point them to find some temporary overnight accomodation in a hostel in Exeter or Torquay. These are often unable to find a place and money for travel there is another problem.

Moving to other areas to escape your problems, without having the prospect of accommodation, money and work just creates bigger problems and homelessness for these young people. Staying where they are with their benefits readly available is a much better option. Fortunately he was persuaded to contact a family member who paid sufficient money into his bank account to return home.

It would be helpful if within the town there was a scheme to help these wanderers by having some Guest Houses or hotel willing to give them a room and food for 1 night. This could be funded by a group of organisations, churches etc who pay the Guest House owners at a discount price. We do.of course, have some “homeless people” who only want money to fuel their drug and/or alcohol addiction whom we signpost to the agencies which can help them. Usually they don’t take that route unfortunately

In addition,to get these people to a hostel, back home or wherever they want to be perhaps the Police or someone in authority could have an arrangement with the Rail or bus companies to allow return journeys home for them.

So, if anyone knows of such schemes and how they work we would be delighted to hear about them.

Great week to celebrate our 4th anniversary

The 4th anniversary of the opening of the Open DAW (Dawlish CommunityInformation  Centre) was held on Monday June 8th. In addition to our Mayor (Geoff Wills), who cut the special birthday cake, there were 7 agency representatives who received several enquiries during the day. Around 100 pople attended and we received £116 in donations.

One disappointment was that Piper Bill Millin was unable to attend following his visit to the 65th anniversary celebrations of the Normandy Landings. We are thrilled to hear that a life size statue in bronze,  with pipes and kilt, is to be erected in his honour in Normandy. He was presented with a Citizen of Honour award and a pipe tune had been written in his name. On top of that, a golf course has named the 18th hole – Piper Bill Millin. He is a famous veteran, now 86 and in a wheelchair, and loved in France and Dawlish.

To complete a fabulous week ,we held a Morning Market on the Dawlish Lawn next to the brook with the Black Swans. It was a lovely morning,  the sun shining, with lots of locals and visitors around enjoying the refreshmnts. There were stalls for books, plants, cakes, Fairtrade products, Information, raffle and Tombola. At the end of the day we received £320 – so all in all a great week for the Open DAW.