GOOD Samaritans in Tavistock are swinging into action for the third year running to bring Christmas to the door of those most in need. One hundred festive packages containing a two-course Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, a Boxing Day feast and a small gift will be delivered to needy households in Tavistock, surrounding towns and villages to ensure no-one goes without over the festive period thanks to the TaviHelps support group.

Okehampton Station has been abuzz with excitement as Great Western Railway, Network Rail and Okehampton residents celebrated over 250,000 journeys on the Dartmoor Line since it reopened last year. A special celebratory day saw not only the official celebrations of the trainline’s first anniversary but the announcement that the service had exceeded expectations with a whopping 258,479 Dartmoor Line journeys made in one year.

Tavistock cancer specialist nurse Isabel Williams and local Salvation Army officer Pamela Smith teamed up again this year to ensure that no child will go without a gift at Christmas. Donations have flooded into the toy recycling project during the last month which enables people to choose a gift for their loved ones if they can’t afford to buy gifts themselves, redistributing them at a special pop up event, which was held again this year after in proved to huge success when first run last year.

Okehampton Town Councillors suggested closing the Market Street toilets at a council meeting to curb ever-increasing expenses due to the cost of living crisis. As councillors discussed the budget for the upcoming financial year (2023/2024), several suggested that the cost of maintaining the Market Street toilets was so high that the council might consider removing it from the budget.

Tavistock BID (Business Improvement District) has lodged a petition calling for controversial plans to start charging for on-street parking to be abandoned. The traders’ organisation believes that such charges, being mooted by Devon County Council as one way to help fill a budget shortfall, will kill trade, deterring would be shoppers from making casual purchases and thus harming the local economy.

Okehampton’s Rotary Club celebrated the hard work of thirteen local charities, organisations and individuals at a Rotary Open Evening in the London Inn recently. Over forty representatives of local charities, community organisations, Rotarians and other guests attended the evening at which over a dozen people and organisations received a Rotary Club certificate in recognition of the voluntary work they do helping those in need in the Okehampton community. Recipients included Rebecca Green from the Okehampton Community Kitchen and Linda Harper from the Okehampton Community Garden.

Staff at M&Co, face a Christmas of concern as their employer’s business seeks a buyer. M&Co, has stores across the South West, including Tavistock, Launceston and Liskeard, has appointed administrators, the company announced on Friday (December 9).

Okehampton shoppers are turning to charity shop clothes rails this Christmas as the cost of living crisis continues to eat away at people’s pockets. Okehampton’s Fore Street charity shops Children’s Hospice South West, Oxfam and the British Heart Foundation all reported seeing a rise in the number of customers and an increase in sales. Volunteer Mark Betambeau also added that he had seen more customers come in looking for good quality used winter clothing during his shifts.

Lovers of the great outdoors are waiting anxiously for a legal ruling by the High Court in London which they fear could ban camping on Dartmoor. The outcome of the judicial ruling which could end wild camping on unfenced wild land on southern Dartmoor belonging to a landowner has been delayed until January. A judge was due to rule on the legal challenge by landowner Alexander Darwall against the Dartmoor National Park Authority to end the legally enshrined right to camp on sections of the moor which has been permitted since 1985.