IT’S summer – not that you would know judging from the weather! But weather never stopped the British having fun. Judging by how much is going on across Teignbridge, it’s clear fun is alive and well! I’m just so pleased I can be here to enjoy it, writes MP Anne Marie Morris.

Teignmouth carnival was fabulous! The parade led as usual by the fire service seemed to extend half way around Teignmouth. Not only were there the usual floats – which require huge amounts of work ,but lots of displays by local groups and children. It could equally have been captioned Has Teignmouth Got Talent – yes it does! Local community groups including Alice Cross, the RNLI and Volunteering in Health all joined in. There was much dancing and James Bond graced us with his presence – and his fabulous car! Dawlish Carnival is yet to come but I have no doubt it will be equally stunning!

Teignmouth Regatta followed hard on the heals of the Carnival - including the annual sandcastle competition – always a challenge for the judges. The Barham Cup race down the river between Teignmouth and Newton Abbot is a tradition of many years standing. The dog show, pig racing, crab catching, Seine Boat League races and of course the Shaldon Water Carnival all added to the spectacle and the fun. If you missed it put it in your diary for next year.

Very exciting for me was the formal opening of the TAAG arts centre in Teignmouth– as I cut the ribon I remembered the long and sometimes tortuous journey getting confirmation that the site could be - and would be developed – and the long fight for money! The team did a fabulous job to create a breath taking arts centre with a wonderful exhibition of Devon art. I am very serious when I say Teignmouth is at the heart of and exemplar of Devon art – and that’s not just my opinion listening to those I met.

Back in time, people used to collect wild animals and keep them at home. The Newton Abbot Lynx which has been loaned by Bristol Museum to Newton Abbot Museum is an example of a wild animal believed to have been kept in captivity in Newton Abbot judging from the contents of its stomach – mostly domestic food.

The museum’s latest exhibition is well worth a visit not just to see the Lynx but the many other animal collections. There are quite a few bugs! There are some interesting displays explaining exactly what curators do and some of the challenges of preserving exhibits from the ravages of silver fish. The museum is so much more than a show case for history. There is a weekly Young Curator Club, fossil volunteering, pinning butterflies and many fascinating talks.

The summer has also been a great time for me to be able to visit the many community charities without whom life would be very difficult. 

It’s AGM season and I have been very pleased to join volunteers and many others to hear first-hand what has been going on and what the current challenges are. Funding has been a huge challenge post Covid but slowly things are turning round. Dawlish Community Transport, Teignbridge Assist and Volunteering in Health make a huge difference to our communities filling the gap where the health service stops and for many nothing else starts.

I was delighted to spend a morning at the Alice Cross Centre meeting volunteers, their fabulous new chef, and seeing first-hand the memory café they run in action. Its powerful stuff. The services provided have expanded significantly to cover both young and old. Food deliveries are now a standard offering post Covid.

We are so lucky to have such a strong volunteering spirit across Teignbridge. We are a community of givers. The way our towns and villages have stepped up to help refugees from Ukraine, the way we have supported those in our communities struggling with the cost of living providing a life line of food support and advice is exemplary. A big thank you – let’s keep it up!