The Children & Adults Social Care Directorate, in partnership with the Health Directorate, held a third round of the ‘Day-Care Health Check’ at Barnview on Thursday, 3 October 2019.

A total of 23 clients from the Island community and residential homes were able to meet with staff from the Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Dentistry Sections to access health checks, health information and future health plans. Attendees were able to check their height, weight, blood pressure, BMI and blood sugar levels as well as engage in fun day-care activities.

Community & Residential Disability Manager, Nicolene Adams, commented:

“The aim of the ‘Day Care Health Check’ is to improve health outcomes for our disabled in community and residential settings by identifying new health related problems and managing existing ones. As combined services we are more effectively supporting people with disabilities to access and use primary health care. Continuous quality improvement is a core objective of an efficient and responsive health and social care service.”

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#StHelena #Children&AdultsSocialCare #HealthDirectorate #AltogetherSafer #AltogetherHealthier

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SHG

4 October 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

St Helena’s water consumption levels continue to rise. On 29 September 2019, water consumption levels rose to 1227 cubic metres. This consumption rate cannot continue if we are to maintain safe water levels.

Chief Executive Officer of Connect Saint Helena Ltd, Barry Hubbard, is appealing to the public to reduce their water usage:

As winter draws to a close the chance of any substantial rain becomes less so we need to preserve the raw water stocks that we have. The recent restraint of consumers has been very helpful in stabilising the stock levels but normal summer consumption is 40% greater than these levels. If and when the sun starts shining we revert to normal use, we will very quickly exhaust our reserves. This is not a problem that can be solved solely by Connect, we all have a part to play which is why I thank everyone for their contribution so far and urge all water consumers to continue to use water wisely.”

The public is reminded that we are currently under an Island-wide hosepipe ban. If you see anyone using water irresponsibly or notice a burst pipe or leak, then please inform Connect immediately.

Connect Saint Helena continues to pump water from Chubb’s Spring and Hutt’s Gate to Red Hill to replenish stocks in this area.

Every drop counts, every action counts – save water now to be safe later

#StHelena #WaterShortage #EveryDropCounts

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St Helena Resilience Forum

4 October 2019

 

The Post & Customer Services Centre is pleased to announce that new stamp stocks, including a First Day Cover, of ‘Jonathan, the world’s oldest animal on land’ (see picture attached) are now on sale.

This Stamp Issue depicts Jonathan and other tortoises in the grounds of Plantation House, the Governor’s residence, which is also their habitat, and consists of the following:

  • Four valued stamps (50p, 60p, 80p and £1.30)
  • First Day Cover (£4.50)

Customer Services Manager, Karen Yon, commented:

“This Stamp Issue is St Helena’s 2019 Christmas issue. It features ‘Jonathan, the world’s oldest animal on land’, who resides on the Island. Jonathan is referenced in the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest living animal on land. It is therefore fitting to commemorate his life and standing through a Christmas Stamp Issue.”

All new St Helena Stamp Issues can be found on the St Helena Government website at the following link: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/st-helena-stamps/.

Local customers can purchase merchandise from the Post & Customer Services Centre in Jamestown. Overseas customers can place an order by emailing: GShaw@cascophilatelic.com.

#StHelena #StHelenaStamps #NewStampIssue #JonathanTheTortoise

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SHG

4 October 2019

The St Helena Community College (SHCC) will hold the 2019 Careers Fair in the main hall of Prince Andrew School on Wednesday, 9 October 2019, from 10am-3.30pm, reopening from 6.30pm-8pm.

The Careers Fair is a biennial event that aims to provide a host of information ‘under one roof’ on careers, to deliver guidance in career choice and progression, and to inspire people to learn and encourage personal development.

Careers Fair Coordinator, Cynthia Bennett, said:

“This is the event designed for all, from the youngest to the oldest in our community.  I would urge you all not to miss this opportunity to make a difference to you and your family’s life and your future.”

So far, 19 employment organisations have agreed to take part in this year’s Career’s Fair.

For more information, you can contact tel: 22607 or email: shcc@sainthelena.gov.sh.

#StHelena #StHelenaCommunityCollege #CareersFair

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SHG
4 October 2019

In celebration of World Teachers Day on 5 October, Acting Governor, Greg Gibson, hosted a reception at Plantation House for Island School Teachers on Wednesday evening, 2 October 2019.

In his speech, the Acting Governor said:

“The importance of teachers and teaching staff is not only helping children achieve academically, but also socially, developing life skills to help them grow as citizens.”

During the reception, Director of Education & Employment, Wendy Benjamin, presented certificates to Pilling Primary School Teacher, Tara Caswell, for passing the Cambridge Certificate in Teaching & Learning Level 4 with distinction, and to Prince Andrew School Teacher, Andrew Yon, for successfully completing his Initial Teacher Training and gaining Locally Qualified Teacher status. A plaque and a gift was also presented to Higher Level Teaching Assistant, Patricia Henry, on her retirement after 28 years working in education.

Notes to Editor

World Teachers Day is celebrated annually on 5 October. In 2019, World Teachers Day will celebrate teachers with the theme, ‘Young Teachers: The future of the Profession’. The day provides an occasion to celebrate the teaching profession worldwide, to take stock of achievements, and to address some of the issues central for attracting and keeping the brightest minds and young talents in the profession.

L-R- Andrew Yon & Greg Gibson
L-R- Wendy Benjamin, Tara Caswell & Greg Gibson
Teachers of Harford Primary School
Teachers of Pilling Primary School
Teachers of Prince Andrew School
Teachers of St Pauls Primary School

#StHelena #PlantationHouse #Reception #Teacher #WorldTeachersDay #ThankYou

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SHG

3 October 2019

International Day for Older Persons (IDOP) is recognised each year on 1 October.  The IDOP is an opportunity to highlight the important contributions that older people make to society and raise awareness of the opportunities and challenges of ageing in today’s world.

On St Helena, IDOP was recognised with a special tea party for residents of the Princess Royal Community Care Centre (CCC), Deasons Centre and Cape Villa, as well as their family and friends on Tuesday, 1 October 2019.

The tea party comprised of dancing, singing, afternoon tea, a bingo session and a raffle. Musical entertainment was provided by Johnny Carter, Alex Vanguard and Desmond Wade.

Manager of the CCC, Rosalie Brown, commented:

“All the residents enjoyed the afternoon and took part in some form or other, either dancing or just tapping their feet and singing along to the music. One resident, Mrs Dorothy Peters, sang a song and Nikita Moyce, who joined us from the community, sang as well.

“Staff involved on the day all took part and made the day enjoyable for all. We would like to thank the band members for donating their time and for supporting International Day for Older Persons.”

 

#StHelena #IDOP #Children&Adults #SocialCare #AltogetherSafer

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SHG

3 October 2019

 

 

 

 

The monthly meeting of the Education Committee took place on Wednesday, 25 September 2019. The open agenda session dealt with the review of assessments in both the Primary and Secondary schools.

In Primary education it is encouraging to note that the average Standardised Scores are at Age Related Expectation (ARE) in Mathematics and English across Years 2-6.  49% of children achieved at or above ARE in Maths and 55.9% of children achieved at ARE or above in English. In Year 6, whilst there was a dip in attainment in English with 43% of children at or above ARE compared to 56.1% in 2018, there was improvement shown in Maths with 56.8% of students achieving at or above ARE compared to 41.5% in 2018 and in Science 47.7% compared with 33.3% in 2018. Results also identified children with exceptional talent attaining scores way above the Age Related Expectation.

In secondary education, the GCSE pass rate at five A*- C/4-9 including English and Mathematics was 43% against a set target of 40%. This was an improvement from 37% in 2018. In GCSE Mathematics, 50% of students achieved 4 – 9 grades compared to 37% in 2018. The UK average 4 – 9 for 2019 is 59.6%. In English, 57% of students gained A*- C grades; the same as in 2018. The UK average 4 – 9 for 2019 was 61.8%. The top performing male student achieved A*A* in Co-ordinated Sciences (Double Award); As in Geography, ICT and Travel and Tourism, B in English Language; a 6 in English Literature and an 8 in Mathematics. The top performing female student achieved AA in Co-ordinated Sciences (Double Award); As in English Language, ICT and Geography; a 6 in Mathematics and a 6 in English Literature.

There was a 95% pass rate at A Level with 20 examinations passed out of a total of 21 examinations sat by nine students. The top performing student in Year 13 achieved a C in Mathematics, C in Chemistry and a B in Biology.

It was noted that the number of children in the system with complex needs and significant behaviour challenges was increasing. The importance of parental support was discussed and Head Teachers continue to encourage parents to support their children’s education both at school and at home.

The Education Committee concluded by appreciating the efforts of all staff in the attainment of good results.

#StHelena #Education #MeetingSummary

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SHG

2 October 2019

There are controls on what items you can bring in to St Helena. As a remote oceanic island, St Helena is very vulnerable to the harmful impacts of introduced pests, weeds and diseases. Everyone benefits from a strong biosecurity system so everyone has a role to play. In order to protect the Island please note restrictions on the items you can bring in.

You will require a licence from ‘Biosecurity St Helena’ at ANRD to bring in Bulbs, Fruit and Vegetables. Bulbs are allowed from EU/UK only. Only plant seeds commercially produced and packaged and that are Non-invasive are allowed (seeds collected from a garden for example are prohibited). Fresh produce, plants and certain seeds can carry diseases and pests which could affect our crops or native plants.

In addition, boots and hiking or camping equipment can bring in weed seeds, insects or spiders which can damage our agriculture or native plants and animals. We ask you to please make sure that all such equipment being brought to St Helena is thoroughly cleaned before it is brought to the Island.

It is against the law to import Honey, Sunflower seeds and Bananas. Honey is not processed and can therefore carry bee diseases such as American foul brood, as can many other bee related products and used bee equipment. St Helena has very few bee diseases and local bee keepers are trying to develop honey production. St Helena’s local Banana production is known to be disease free.

All goods and personal effects entering St Helena are inspected by Customs and Biosecurity officers on arrival using a combination of detector dogs, x-ray machines and visual checks. Any prohibited or restricted goods found will be seized. If you have inadvertently brought in such goods you must declare or hand them over to Biosecurity or Customs, or place them in the quarantine bins at the Airport or Jamestown Wharf, depending on your mode of travel.

Before importing anything that could be considered a biosecurity risk, or if you have any questions or require further information, please contact ‘Biosecurity St Helena’s’ staff as follows:

Biosecurity Officer, Julie Balchin at: Julie.Balchin@sainthelena.gov.sh
Biosecurity Assistant, Nicholas Stevens at: Nicholas.Stevens@sainthelena.gov.sh
or via telephone on number: 00290 24724

St Helena Government’s Code of Practice for Public Access to SHG Information has been in place since September 2014 and offers a central point of enquiry for the public to request information from SHG that is not already available by other means.

The system continues to work well and from the period 1 June 2017 – 1 June 2019 a total of 26 requests for information have been received. Requests received included the following subject matters:

St Helenian Status, Importation of water statistics, Safeguarding reports, SHG staffing, St Helena Coins, Road Traffic accident statistics, Schools examination results, SA Airlink matters, Employment on St Helena, High Knoll Fort Project, Health Statistics, Police Force Standing Orders, Sure South Atlantic Limited telecommunications contract, High Knoll Fort Project, Coffee Producers and SHG’s policy on advertising with local media outlets.

Of the 26 requests received, information was provided in respect of 20 requests, two requests are still being dealt with and four requests were refused for the following reasons as set out in the Code:  

  • Would take a disproportionate of staff time to answer
  • Could be likely to allow individuals to be identified, where there is a legitimate and reasonable expectation that their identity should remain confidential
  • Was already available in the public domain
  • The information was provided to SHG in confidence

 23 requests were responded to within a period of 20 working days.

The Code draws on access to information policies and legislation in the UK (e.g. FOI) and other island states. It applies to all information held with proprietary rights by SHG, regardless of who produced or supplied the information and is subject to the Exceptions listed in the Code.  The Code requires all SHG employees dealing with requests to ensure that any request received from the public for information and made under the Code of Practice for Public Access to SHG Information, is dealt with in compliance with the Code.

All requests for SHG information made under the Code of Practice, should be sent, in writing, directly to the Information and Research Support Officer SHG, at the Castle, or by e-mail to: information.request@sainthelena.gov.sh

The Code of Practice and information which has so far been made available under the Code can be viewed at: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/public-access-to-information/

 #StHelena #PublicAccessToSHGInfo

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SHG

1 October 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Executive Council met today, Tuesday 1 October 2019, to discuss two items on the Open Agenda.

Council approves increase in the Minimum Income Standard (MIS)

Councillor Green supported by the Deputy Financial Secretary and Statistician presented this paper to Elected Members.

Council was asked to consider and advise whether the MIS should be increased in line with the current policy which would subsequently trigger an increase to £71.50 for Income Related Benefits (IRB) recipients and £74.00 for Basic Island Pension (BIP) recipients. This represents an increase of 65.1% and 64.4% respectively since the Social Security Ordinance 2010 and Social Security Regulations were brought into force on 1 April 2011.

Council was also asked whether the Social Security (Amendment No.2) Regulations 2019 should be approved and brought into force on 4 October 2019.

The MIS is the mechanism by which the rates of IRB and BIP are determined using a set and agreed basket of goods and services determined to be the minimum requirement for an individual based on international standards.

The MIS basket includes the following goods and services: Food and drink (based on healthy diet international guidelines), Utilities, Telecommunications, Clothing, Shoes, Essential items (e.g. cups, washing up liquid, etc), Toiletries and Bus fares.

The prices of these goods and services are reviewed every six months to determine whether an increase in the MIS and rates of IRB and BIP are required. Following price collection work by the Statistics Office for the MIS basket carried out in July/August 2019 it was recommended that there be a 2.1% increase in the MIS of £1.50 per week.

Currently 160 households on St Helena receive IRB and 770 people are in receipt of BIP. The uplift is estimated to cost approximately £35,000 based on current households and individuals receiving benefits plus an element of contingency.

While Council agreed that increasing the MIS ensures that the most vulnerable in society are being protected and also helps to reduce inequality, Members also noted that current market prices are volatile and this increase could be viewed as very small.

Members noted that leisure activities were not included in the MIS basket and also raised concerns about the composition of the basket bearing in mind St Helena’s current economic climate.

Members acknowledged that the food part of the basket was reviewed only two years ago based on advice from the dietician using a locally-relevant healthy basket.  However following much discussion and debate it was agreed that other elements of the basket should be reviewed.

Taking this into account and noting that this was a positive process that happens twice a year, Council was content to approve the uplift in the MIS.

The first payments will be made from Thursday, 3 October 2019. A separate press release will be issued shortly and recipients and households in receipt of benefits will also be directly informed of how the IRB and BIP will affect them.

Council endorses the publication of Investor Prospectus

An updated Investor Prospectus has been developed by Enterprise St Helena in partnership with SHG which highlights the key message that ‘St Helena is on a journey towards becoming a globally-connected green and blue Island destination with a vibrant tourism and digital-driven economy.’

The core objective of the Investor Prospectus will be to promote investment opportunities and in doing so attract appetite for equitable investments necessary to support the relevant growth industries of the Sustainable Economic Development Plan (SEDP).

The updated Prospectus is different to the previous one in that it promotes opportunities and incentives rather than focusing on Crown land and property. It is also a ‘live’ document which allows modifications as and when necessary and is more digitally aligned to enable better capturing of data. It was noted that around 80% of investors are resident on St Helena and the planned launch of the document has been developed with that in mind. Members were keen to place on record that the Prospectus should target the Diaspora and attract working age skilled Islanders back.

Council was asked to endorse the publication of the Investor Prospectus to enable the inclusion of:

  1. The opportunities described, and
  2. The Strategic Assets described; St Helena Government assets/properties and state-owned entities

Members noted that a number of SHG properties could be put to much better use and be brought ‘back to life’ but were concerned about who would manage their disposal. Members were reassured that as per the Land Disposal Policy any significant asset over one acre or which is a grade 1, 2 or 3 listed building would come back to ExCo for approval. It was also agreed that other options other than sale of strategic assets would be considered for example part sale and lease.

The Prospectus was seen as a positive drive towards investment and economic growth and can only add value to what we are already trying to achieve.

The Prospectus is about inclusivity and it was felt that Saints should be able to access funds if they have a viable interest in the investment opportunities available.

The Prospectus will be launched locally via a community event so Islanders can easily access the document. Following the launch relevant workshops will be held with the business community to maintain momentum.

It was also felt strongly that there needed to be a way to facilitate partnership/private sector opportunities and this would be taken forward with the Investment Enabling Group and the Investor Prospectus updated accordingly. Should anyone feel that they have a business opportunity which they are looking for a partner for, please contact Martin George via: martin.george@esh.co.sh.

Members endorsed the Prospectus to be finalised to take to the local and international market.

ExCo

1 October 2019