Exeter News

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Local News Exeter

Exeter’s Riverside Leisure Centre reopens

The pool and health suite at Exeter’s Riverside Leisure Centre has re-opened after a four-year closure. Millions of pounds have been spent on refurbishing the building, following a fire in February 2017 which closed the entire facility for months. The gym and sports halls were back in operation later that year, but whilst fire damage was being repaired, unrelated structural weaknesses were revealed. Exeter City Council leader Phil Bialyk officially re-opened the pool and health suite at a short ceremony on Saturday and said it was “absolutely” worth the wait. “I’ve got to thank everybody – all the members of the leisure facility – for putting up with this problem for the last four years. It has been dire, it’s been beset by problems. Hopefully now they can see what we’ve done. “It’s a fantastic facility. It’s been refurbished to a high standard. The original was only really built for 20 years, let’s be honest, so we’ve gone round and put everything right.” The centre has new changing areas, tiling, wall cladding and cubicles, along with a health suite with steam room, sauna and spa pool. Amongst the work undertaken, all 276 panes in the roof glazing had to be replaced. Cllr Bialyk added that he was “always determined” reopen the pool: “I’m glad that we’ve had the resolve. Those people who were going onto us, that’s over now as far as I’m concerned. I want everyone to appreciate it and enjoy it.” Councillor Duncan Wood, who is in charge of leisure and physical activity, said: “Anybody that comes here will see a completely refurbished centre. The pool is fantastic, the changing space is fantastic, the health suite looks brilliant. It was always a popular community pool and I’m sure it will be again. Key workers who helped the city through the pandemic were the first to use the new-look facilities, which was then followed by a ‘family fun weekend.’ Cllr Wood also defended the cost of the refurbishment: “No civic project is very cheap. The project itself wasn’t planned in advance, it was a fire that we responded to, and as various structural elements and weaknesses were uncovered, that had to be responded to. By Ollie Heptinstall, Local Democracy Reporter. The Exeter Daily …


The only way is ‘upcycling’ for Otto Sutton, 11, winner of this year’s BT Young Pioneer Award

A schoolboy from Exeter has won a national competition in search of finding tech solutions to help tackle climate change, with his ingenious upcycling app idea, ‘FrankEinstein’. Otto Sutton, 11, had been named the winner of the BT Young Pioneer Award as part of the AbilityNet Tech4Good Awards and will receive up to £10,000 in funding and support from BT experts with the skills to help bring his idea, the FrankEinstein app to reality. Upcycling is a trend that’s been prolific throughout the pandemic, with many households spending more time at home, with perhaps more time to think about replacing or updating products they might use every day. This trend not only helps in reducing the amount of waste in the environment, but also transforms something that had no perceived benefit to a functional tool with artistic or environmental value. Otto’s inspiration, came to him after watching the movie ‘The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind’, which sees a young boy make a windmill out of bicycle parts to help save his village’s failing crops.  Realising the opportunity to make helpful and useful objects out of old materials, Otto then took five months to finalise his plans for FrankEinstein. Based on Victor Frankenstein and Albert Einstein, Otto came up with his brand name and the emphasis of the ‘E’ is to promote the environmental benefits of the app. The app works by simply taking a photo of a product and then responding to the user with suggestions on how the product, or its components can be upcycled. An example could be ‘Why not turn these bike tyres into sandals following these instructions? or ‘Why not turn this old washing machine drum into a fire pit?’ There are other websites, like ‘instructables’, that tell you how you can make something, but not what you can make. Other platforms, e.g. ‘freecycle’ promote reuse through giving goods away, but Otto’s FrankEinstein solution proactively links these two areas, building a valuable database of products that can be made from spare parts in the process. Otto Sutton said, “I can’t believe I’ve won! I’m incredibly excited about bringing my upcycling app idea into a reality, to help change the way people think about waste and to make a positive impact on the environment. There’s a lot of work to do but it’ll be worth it and it’s great knowing I…


How to incorporate holograms and holographic projects into your marketing strategy

When they hear the word “hologram,” many people think of rare and expensive things such as a holographic 2-Pac, or a virtual pop star, a la Hatsune Miku. Others might think of outdated technology that was a big fad a few decades ago. But, the holograms of today are much more than that. When appropriately used, holograms and holographic projects such as those from Musion can be a vital component of your marketing strategy. Keep reading to learn more about this exciting technology and why you should incorporate it into your marketing projects. Holographic technology is finally affordable While the days of sharks jumping at you from a movie poster like in Back to the Future 2 are still far from us, holograms are better and cheaper than ever. The main trick is in the way that modern images are created. For example, the latest holographic displays make it possible to create an eye-catching image that appears to be 3D and floating in mid-air. Those displays consist of arms with glowing LED modules that are all controlled by a single processing unit. Once these arms start spinning like helicopter blades, they serve as surfaces where the 3D content is presented in the form of a hologram. Anyone with a bit of technical knowledge can use those devices. Many brands, retailers, and sporting venues are already using them, and so should you. Holograms are good for grabbing – and keeping – attention Whether you own a business, no matter how big or small, you know that the business landscape is constantly changing. In that ever-shifting world, having something that will attract your potential customers is a certain advantage. That is where holographic projects come into play. Holographic projections are ideal for trade show marketing, where they can be used to display and highlight the best features of your product without any involvement from your staff. They are also great for any form of 3D presentation, such as showing off a house for sale or other high-end products where looks are an essential part of the appeal, such as jewellery or cars. Your imagination is the limit. Use holograms to add flair to any kind of visual presentation. Or use it to show off the features of your product in greater detail than would be physically possible. …


Diabetic drivers need to declare condition warns insurance experts

A leading Insurance comparison website is warning that many motorists with diabetes risk a hefty fine if they fail to declare the condition to the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA). Quotezone.co.uk also warns that policies could be void and claims disputed if diabetic drivers have not declared the disease to their insurer – and that includes those newly diagnosed. As the pandemic-induced lockdowns forced people to alter their lifestyles with the closure of gyms, restricted exercise and reported spike in fast food takeaways – elements which can increase a person’s chances of developing the disease – it may lead to a surge of people being diagnosed with diabetes. According to research from Manchester University, the first lockdown in April 2020 led to diagnosis rates falling 70% on the 10-year average.  It estimates that more than 45,000 type 2 diagnoses were either missed or delayed between March and July alone, creating an imminent surge in new diabetes patients as things slowly begin to open up.  Diabetes UK states that there are nearly five million people with the disease in the UK: 90% with type 2, 8% with type 1 and the remainder with rarer types. The charity predicts diabetes could rise to five and a half million by 2030 and 13.6 million are at risk of becoming type 2 sufferers. The charity shared the following advice to show the various levels of restrictions for drivers with diabetes: Those who have suffered a severe hypoglycaemia (hypo) attack at the wheel or while awake in past year- stop driving and tell the DVLA straight away. Driving licences will be revoked but can be applied for again after three months. Severe hypo attacks do not need to be declared if sufferer experiences it asleep. Prescribed insulin – apply to the DVLA for a restricted licence – one to three years. Temporary insulin users do not need to tell the DVLA. Medication that can risk hypos -a severe hypo while awake in a 12-month period, stop driving and tell the DVLA. Driving licence will be revoked, but can be reapplied for 3 months later. Other diabetes medication or new exercise and diet – no need to tell the DVLA.
The penalties for not declaring a medical condition can result in a £1,000 fine and the risk of prosecution if the driver is involved in an accident.  In addition to diabetes, motorists with heart issues and other conditions such as epilepsy, sleep apnoea, strokes should visit  the DVLA’s website for more information. Greg Wilson, Founder of Quotezone.co.uk, comments:  “A serious medical diagnosis on top of the fear of losing transportation and independence can be devasting. On a more positive note,  many conditions and medications won’t impair driving, which the DVLA and insurers recognise. “However, anyone whose condition or medication could affect their driving needs to keep the DVLA up to date. It won’t necessarily mean a permanent loss of a licence and many successfully reapply when their condition is managed and the risk declines.  It is however essential that all drivers are properly covered with an accurate policy, to protect themselves and other road users. “If a motorist sees their premiums go up due to the insurer’s updated risk assessment, and it looks like they might be priced…


Devon Air Ambulance seeks to raise £10,000 in just 3 days

Devon Air Ambulance will be at Devon County Show this July where the charity will seek to raise £10,000 for the service over the show’s three-day duration.  Off-duty members of Devon Air Ambulance crew will be attending this year’s Devon County Show along with one of their Critical Care Cars this weekend. Over the 3 days, the charity will aim to raise £10,000 to support the service throughout what is on trackto be one of their busiest summers yet. The show embodies much of what is most loved about Devon and represents many of the communities Devon’s air ambulance service attends; not least those in rural and equestrian communities, but also people who live in, work in and visit Devon’s towns and villages, coast and countryside. The target of £10,000 will offer a much-needed boost to the charity’s income following a challenging year for fundraising. Devon Air Ambulance prepares for a busy summer ahead With two dramatic coastlines, many miles of rugged moorland and a countryside punctuated with hundreds of charming villages and many family attractions – all reached by many miles of winding roads, Devon is one of the UK’s most popular destinations for holidaymakers and those seeking a staycation.  In 2021, a year in which post-lockdown restrictions limit access to destinations abroad, the southwest is even more attractive to those seeking some long-awaited downtime.  In a normal year and as a tourist hot-spot, Devon inevitably gets busier in the summer months, but a post-lockdown boom in activity looks set to mean more missions for the Air Ambulance charity that serves the county. Devon Air Ambulance’s post-lockdown peaks in activity Following the introduction of the first lockdown in mid-March 2020, activity noticeably dropped during March and April that year. However, as people began to return to the workplace and when schools re-opened in May/June, followed by non-essential shops, pubs and restaurants in July/August, the service experienced a prolonged busy period.   Demand for the service persisted right through to October in a way that it had not the previous year, as those who had found themselves confined in the early part of the year made the most of their newly regained freedom.   Later in 2020 as the tiered system followed by a second lockdown came into force for the duration of October/November, crews returned to normal levels of deployment.   The lift to lockdown 2 in early December resulted in another spike of activity for the service. January and March 2021 have been the busiest January and March in 6 years and February 2021 was the second busiest February in that time, with only February 2018 being busier.    As…


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