Torquay Coastal Volunteers – continuing a legacy of caring for the environment

The Torwood Coastal Path running from Beacon Cove, along past the Imperial Hotel to Peaked Tor Cove, then on to London Bridge Lookout is a historic tourist attraction. These amazing sea views and beautiful bays have been enjoyed by generations. Unfortunately, in recent years, it’s been neglected, overgrown and experienced a lot of anti-social behaviour. Thankfully Graham Stephenson (1939-2023) resident and Community Champion, has campaigned tirelessly to improve this section of the South West Coastal path. He walked it daily; clearing rubbish and raising thousands of pounds from residents & local businesses to address the issues of neglect; rebuilding walls and fencing, planting flowerbeds, installing gates and signage to improve the area. He also encouraged residents with the common passion of caring for the Coastal Area, to come together monthly and form the “Torquay Coastal Volunteers (TCV)”. Thanks to his dedication Beacon Cove is now back on the “Agatha Christie Mile”.

Torquay Coastal Volunteers (TCV) enables people from a variety of backgrounds to come together not only to care for and improve the natural environment, but also to socialise, learn new skills, and improve their physical and mental wellbeing. The TCV have received the “It’s Your Neighbourhood” award from South West in Bloom for 2 years running, developing tremendous pride and a sense of camaraderie.

Graham Stephenson at the entrance to Beacon Cove

Graham’s passion for improving our local assets is an inspiration to us all. He was an invaluable asset to our community, and he will be greatly missed by fellow residents and our council team. In dedication to Graham Stephenson and all the years of hard work he put into various community projects, including the clearing and regeneration of our Coastal path and its Coves, we are raising funds to purchase a “Friendly” Memorial Bench to be placed at Beacon Cove, Torquay. “Friendly Benches” are an inspiring new movement sweeping across the UK, which aims to help tackle loneliness and social isolation in local communities.  We hope this bench will be a place where people can sit and chat, make new friends, connect with nature, and enjoy this beautiful cove that Graham loved.

We invite people to join us to continue Graham’s amazing work.  The TCV meets the 1st Thursday of every month (weather permitting) at 10am until 12.30pm, at the Imperial Hotel. To volunteer or to donate torwards our ‘Friendly’ Memorial bench, please contact Ceri Silk – Community Builder on 07931567885 email: [email protected] for more details.