Saint Man, Ex-smoker

“I started smoking at the age of 15, first as just a novelty with a group of friends and only on the weekends.  However, this very quickly led to a highly addictive habit which took me over 25 years to completely quit after many unsuccessful attempts.

 “From the time my first child was born I have been on and off with quitting smoking. However, the final push came after it started to affect my sporting and fitness ability plus a personal ambition to turn 40 feeling healthy.

 “Next month will make one year since I stopped completely and although this is only a short time, I know that I will never smoke again.

 “I had tried different quitting aids available at some time or other. Finally, I decided to try Champix which is a daily tablet. I did have a tension headache for the first few days but after that no other issues for me. As someone who had smoked for a long period of time, it’s hard to believe but with this I simply forgot that I smoked.

 “What would I say to other smokers? It will have an impact on your health. I hid the chest pains in the morning and the horrible coughing in the evening and feel like I’ve spent half my life fighting this addictive drug but I have finally managed to beat it. The most important thing is to not stop trying – you will win.” 

Saint Woman, Trying to Quit

“I started smoking very young, experimenting at around 11-12 years and then becoming a regular smoker at 13. I started smoking because my close family members smoked. It became regular and I used it as a coping mechanism. I tried to stop on many occasions before now.

 “When I was younger I didn’t feel many effects from smoking. I continued to be very athletic and live a full life. After 15 years I felt very differently and have shortness of breath carrying out activities where, say three years ago, I had no problem. Smoking also affects my motivation as I used to be full of energy and more physically able, whereas now this is not the case.

 “I’ve just started on Nicotine Replacement Therapy. I’ve stopped smoking in the past without this but started again after the death of a very close loved one. It’s a bit stop-start but I am determined to succeed.

 “For anyone who smokes, I can’t make your decisions for you but will say that although it seems impossible to stop – it is not. I wasn’t able to imagine life without my smoke break to de-stress – I now can. I would say to anyone who smokes: Challenge yourself – Why do you smoke? What do you get from it? I won’t preach, I don’t have the answers, but know that you’re not alone in freeing yourself from this.”

 #StHelena #HealthDirectorate #HealthPromotion #SmokeFree #HealthyLife #NoTobaccoDay


31 May 2018

Today on 31 May which is ‘World No Tobacco Day’, St Helena Government (SHG) has announced a policy to make all SHG sites fully smoke-free, becoming a ‘Smoke-Free Government’ from Sunday, 1 July 2018.

Outside areas as well as inside will be smoke-free and smoking will no longer be allowed either by staff or public anywhere on site.

Chief Secretary, Susan O’Bey, explains:

“We are doing this for SHG to take the lead in setting a strong community example of smoking not being ever-present in our community. We want our staff and people coming to our premises to be part of a no smoking environment.

“This is about our people – we care about our employees and our community members and we want to encourage and support people to try to quit.

“Lastly, the policy will provide greater protection for all staff and visitors from second-hand smoke, which is a health risk in outdoor areas as well as indoors.”

The stronger policy also removes additional breaks for staff that smoke to go out and smoke during the working day (apart from off-site at lunchtime). This means that staff that smoke will have the same break times as non-smoking staff.

To support smokers who want to quit, a new Smoking Cessation Support Service is being launched by the Health Directorate and will be available from 1 July onward. A free four-week course of an appropriate Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) option will be available to any community member who smokes and attends the service.

Chairperson of the Public Health Committee, Councillor Derek Thomas, said:

“I am delighted that the Health Directorate is developing the support to help our smokers quit. I have heard that people on the Island who want to quit feel stuck and want better support to get free from smoking. The opportunity for our community members to attend the new service and also get a free course of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) is an important part of the work we will be doing to reduce smoking and the health burden it places on our community.

“Smoking is one of the two biggest preventable causes of the heart attacks, strokes, cancers, and diabetes that are causing our people to lose their health at younger ages. This is not the vision we want for St Helena. To change this we all need to be a part and do something.”

The exercise earlier in 2018 that helped develop the Health Promotion Strategic Framework identified what local people themselves said they want for health on St Helena. Smokers and non-smokers agreed that they wanted:

  • A community where our young people don’t see their adult role models smoking in all public places, at every public, official, and social event
  • A community where we have effective support and encouragement to help smokers quit when they decide to try
  • A community where a smoker trying to quit isn’t faced by smoking everywhere they go, opportunities to smoke in all parts of daily life, and acceptance that smoking is the ‘norm’.

The Smoke-Free Government policy is one first part of putting this into practice in our community.

#StHelena #SHG #SmokeFree #HealthPromotion #HealthDirectorate #NoTobaccoDay


31 May 2018

As part of their Neighbourhood Policing Programme, St Helena Police Officers will continue their ‘beat surgeries’ in various places around the Island throughout June 2018.

These surgeries are designed to take place in busy areas where it is easier for more people to attend. Please see below the dates and times for June.

Beat Surgeries – Dates & Times

Date Time Venue
Saturday, 2 June 2pm – 4.30pm Upper Jamestown
Tuesday, 5 June 6pm – 7pm Kinghurst Community Centre
Friday, 8 June 7.30pm – 9.30pm Lower Jamestown
Saturday, 9 June 1pm – 2pm Allsorts Shop, Sandy Bay
Saturday, 9 June 2pm – 3pm Thorpe’s Shop, Sandy Bay
Wednesday, 13 June 10pm – 12pm Longwood Clinic
Saturday, 16 June 3pm – 5pm Blue Hill Shop
Sunday, 17 June 10am – 11am St Paul’s Cathedral
Monday, 18 June 5pm – 7pm Sea View/Alarm Forest
Wednesday, 20 June 12.30pm – 1.20pm St Paul’s Primary School
Friday, 22 June 4pm – 6pm Silver Hill Bar, Levelwood
Tuesday, 26 June 1pm – 2.45pm Rupert’s/Briars
Tuesday, 26 June 2.45pm – 3.30pm Pilling Primary School
Thursday, 28 June 6pm – 8pm V2 Paradise, Longwood

#StHelena #StHelenaPolice #CommunityEngagement #NeighbourhoodPolicing

31 May 2018

The Highways Authority has given approval for Ladder Hill Road to be closed on Wednesday, 6 June 2018, from 1.30pm to 3pm. This is to enable the Roads Section to carry out routine maintenance.

As normal, only Emergency Service vehicles will be granted access.

Persons wishing to travel in and out of Jamestown during this time must travel across country and via Side Path Road or Constitution Hill Road.

The Roads Section would like to thank the public in advance for their continued understanding and cooperation.

#StHelena #RoadsSection #LadderHill #RoadClosure


30 May 2018

St Helena Police will be carrying out firearms training at the Police Range at Cox’s Battery from Monday, 4, to Friday, 8 June 2018, from 9am to 4pm.

Red flags, signs, and barriers will be in place. Walkers in the Cox’s Battery area should not approach the Range area as live firing will be in progress.

For further information, please contact Support Officer – Firearms and Procurement, Garry Henry, on telephone number: 22626, mobile: 62441 or via e mail:

#StHelena #StHelenaPolice #FireArmsTraining

30 May 2018

Executive Council met today with one item on the Open Agenda.

For this item, Members were asked to approve a recommendation from the Prison Project Board that SHG submit a planning application for a new build prison in the Goat Pen area in Bottom Woods. Council recognised that the current prison facility presents challenges, especially for long-term prisoners. Council also pointed out that considerable resources have been expended to date on finding a suitable site for a new build prison that will be adequate for the needs of the Island going forward. It was noted that the proposed site is currently in a National Conservation Area. However, the current Land Development Control Plan does allow for building in such an area if the building is deemed to be of national importance and in the interest of the wider community.  Members approved that an outline planning application should be submitted to the Land Planning Authority, noting that this will provide opportunity for wider consultation and mitigation proposals to be put forward as part of the process.

Under the Closed Agenda, Council considered and gave approval for an amendment to the Marriage Ordinance to be printed, published and presented as Government Business at the next formal meeting of Legislative Council. This amendment addresses issues including a historic oversight relating to the provision for civil marriages to be performed at the Registrar-General’s Office (which was originally at the Castle). It was noted that the Registrar-General’s Office had since moved to Essex House and then to the Post Office but civil marriages continued to be performed at the Castle. The amendment proposes that the Ordinance be changed to state that Civil Marriages are to take place at the Castle (or any other approved location) rather than the Registrar-General’s Office. It also deems all civil marriages that previously took place at the Castle to have been at the correct location.

Finally, Members were very pleased to note that Airlink had agreed that the lowest rate of air fare could be applied to persons accompanying family members on overseas medical referrals. A policy is being developed to guide this process but in the meantime applications for such are being considered on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the Health Directorate.

The meeting closed at 1.30pm.


29 May 2018

The Primary Sector will be hosting their annual Athletics Day at Francis Plain on Wednesday, 30 May 2018. The sports will start at 10am and end at approximately 2.30pm. All parents, guardians and members of the public are invited to attend.

With the safety of the children in mind, the Primary Sector would appreciate if all spectators could adhere to the following conditions:

  • No animals will be allowed on Francis Plain for this event
  • Only the appointed Marshalls, helpers, invited guests and School Team Leaders will be allowed on the field for the duration of the event
  • Only school appointed photographers will be allowed on the field to photograph the event
  • No alcohol is allowed
  • Smoking is restricted on the whole of Francis Plain for this event. Persons wishing to smoke must do so outside of the Francis Plain and school premises. The allocated smoking area is away from the school along Watercourse Road
  • All litter is to be put into the bins provided

Please note, if parents/guardians wish to transport their children home after the event they are asked to ensure that the Head Teacher of the school or their child’s class teacher are aware of this so that all children can be accounted for.

We look forward to your support in making this a successful day for our children.

#StHelena #PrimarySchools #AthleticsDay #Sport

28 May 2018

I am delighted to be with all of you here today to mark St Helena Day 2018, and to celebrate all that’s great about St Helena (including parades, I do love a good parade!). This year’s theme, the ‘Good Ole Days’, no doubt takes many of you back to a time when St Helena was very different, perhaps before cars, television, or internet. A St Helena that is unimaginable for the younger people amongst us. And that is why it is always good to reflect on what has changed, and how far we have come.

Indeed, in the last year alone, we have seen some significant change. We have bid a sad farewell to the RMS St Helena, for so many years the Island’s lifeline. We have, though, in exchange seen the start of commercial flights, with thousands of passengers coming through the Airport in the first year of the new air service. It now takes around five hours to get to South Africa, rather than five days. This is a huge change that the Island has experienced, even just in a year – but what about those changes we’d like to see in the future?

This St Helena Day, I’d encourage everyone to think of two good things that they’d like to see in the future, and to spend the next year working to help make sure those things happen. For my part, I’d like to see the air service expand in the coming years, bringing an increased number of visitors to help the Island’s economy develop and grow. I also look forward to the arrival of St Helena’s first Undersea Fibre-Optic Internet Cable, and all the opportunities that will bring, from better education to instant access to overseas doctors from the comfort of your home on St Helena. Perhaps St Helena Day 2021 will even be streamed live across the internet so that Saints overseas can join the festivities, even if they can’t be here in person. I will work hard to support St Helena Government to deliver an expanded air service and the Fibre-Optic Internet Cable. But my question for you is, what things do you want to see happen, and what will you do to make sure they do happen?

Whatever your hopes for the future, together, we can achieve them. Let’s make sure the good days on St Helena, indeed the best days, are still to come.

Thank you, and happy St Helena Day!

#StHelena #StHelenaDay #Speech                                 


21 May 2018

A meeting of Executive Council will take place in the Council Chamber at 9.30am on Tuesday, 29 May 2018.

The following item will be discussed on the Open Agenda:

  • Proposed New Build Prison Site

This paper (ExCo Memo) is available online at the following link:

Members of the public who would like to view a hard copy of the ExCo Memo should contact the Clerk of Councils, Lydia Buchanan, at the Castle on tel: 22470 or via email:

Elected Members serving on Executive Council are Councillors Anthony Green, Lawson Henry, Christine Scipio-O’Dean, Derek Thomas and Russell Yon.

Non-voting members of Executive Council are Chief Secretary, Susan O’Bey, Financial Secretary, Dax Richards, and Acting Attorney General, Allen Cansick.

#StHelena #ExCoMeeting /

25 May 2018

The Forestry Section of the Agriculture & Natural Resources Division (ANRD) would like to advise the public that the road, from the junction near St Matthew’s Church towards Halley’s Mount and through to the Dungeon Cemetery, will be closed on Tuesday, 5 June, and Wednesday, 6 June 2018, from 9am to 3pm.

 This closure is to allow the Forestry Section to remove overhanging trees from power lines at Halley’s Mount. Appropriate diversion signs will be in place and, as normal, only emergency services will be granted access.

The Forestry Section would like to thank the public in advance for their co-operation.

#StHelena #ForestrySection #HalleysMount #RoadClosure


25 May 2018