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Free online event to support hospitality and tourism sector

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A Devon charity is hosting a free online event next week to support those in the county’s hospitality and tourism sector through COVID-19 and recovery.

Devon Communities Together has organised the “Surviving and Thriving in Devon’s Tourism and Hospitality Sector” event on Friday 19 March as part of its Listening Ear service, which it launched earlier this year in partnership with Devon County Council.

The webinar, from 11:30am-1pm, is specifically designed for those in the sector but those in the supply chain, aligned with the industry, or considering diversification, are very welcome to attend.

Four speakers from hospitality and tourism businesses in Devon will reflect on the pandemic as well as looking at growth, diversification, taking time for wellbeing, and finding hope for the future.

They are Rick Turner from The Big Sheep, James Parkinson from The Duck village pub in Yeoford, Jill Taylor from Southview Lodges in Shillingford St George, and Sally Everton from Visit Devon.

Dr Louise MacAllister, Project Manager at Devon Communities Together, said: “This session brings together four expert and experienced speakers, I hope attendees will leave with motivation and a sense of possibility for the forthcoming summer of recovery.”

Photo of Councillor Rufus Gilbert
Councillor Rufus Gilbert

Councillor Rufus Gilbert, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills, said: “This free online event from Devon Communities Together features speakers with a wealth of knowledge and I would recommend businesses to sign up for the session ahead of what will hopefully be a successful summer season.”

To book a free space at the online event on Friday 19 March please visit:

You do not have to be accessing the Listening Ear service to attend.

Listening Ear is part of Team Devon’s programme of recovery. It has been developed by a partnership of independent charity Devon Communities Together and Devon County Council, as a response to a need for business owners to have somebody to talk to about their general stresses and concerns. This need has been identified by Heart of the South West Growth Hub and other business support advisors.

It gives business owners anywhere in Devon the opportunity to talk informally to an experienced volunteer about the pressures of trying to keep a business afloat during the pandemic. They don’t offer business advice (but can signpost you to agencies that do); instead Listening Ear provides an experienced, impartial person to talk to, so people can take time to focus on themselves and their mental wellbeing.

The project is funded by Devon County Council and it is being piloted until the end of the month with the possibility of being extended and expanded in the future.

If you would like to find out more about talking to our experienced Listening Ear volunteers, and book your session please visit, or contact or call 01392 248919.