Remembering Manjeet Kaur

Manjeet Kaur died on Saturday 25th April in Manchester.  As her friend, Rebecca Yeo says,

“She had survived a lot of injustice, including many years of deliberate abuse and inhumanity by the UK asylum system.  As a Disabled woman she faced extra hostility and relentless barriers meeting her daily needs.  But she never ever sank to their level. She remained actively committed to a better world, she was caring, compassionate, wise, loving and fun to the end.”

We first met Manjeet when she was involved in a Disabled Refugees Mural project run by Rebecca Yeo, and her ability to rally people to action over issues was clear.  This was first installed in Bristol, but Manjeet was among a small group who took these messages to different parts of the country including Parliament, the Guardian newspaper, and the University of Leeds. 

This was also seen in her agreeing to be a speaker at the Disabled Refugees event an number of organisations, including the Forum, put on in Bristol.

As  Ellen Clifford from DPAC says, “She leaves behind an enormous hole in the fight for social justice and in our hearts.” 

We send our deepest condolences to her family and most particularly to her daughter.  

(Rebecca is collecting photographs and tributes to create an album for Manjeet’s daughter.  If you have anything to share, please send it to: info@rofa.org.uk by 1st June 2020, with the subject line: Manjeet)

Coronavirus News in Brief 14th May 2020

1.      Car parks serving parks in Bristol are set to reopen on Thursday 14th May.

2.      Recycling centres will reopen to the public next week, from Monday 18th May.

There will be strict social distancing in place and the number of people able to access the sites will be limited so, it would be good if people only travel to a recycling centre if it is absolutely essential and the items cannot be safely stored at home.

For the first two weeks an odd and even number plate system will be in place, which means people will only be able to visit on certain days.  Initially only cars and small vans will be allowed to use the site.  It is not clear how this will work so visit the Council’s website to find out more information, next week.

3.      Information about changes to advice services

Most advice services have stopped all face-to-face appointments but still offering advice via telephone and email.  To see the latest update, please see here.

4.      Wellbeing and Covid-19 information in other languages

Every Mind Matters has produced 10 Tips to Help if You’re Worried about Coronavirus.  These tips are available to download in Bengali, Gujarati, Polish, Punjabi. Romani, Romanian, Russian, Somali and Urdu here.

5.      Updated booklet on dealing with stress and depression during covid-19

Community Access to Support Services (CASS) have updated their booklet on stress and depression, and produced a booklet on Grief.  You can find both here .

CASS have also produced a ‘mindfulness’ audio tool to help you get off to sleep.  If you haven’t yet tried it out you can get hold of it here.  This will help your mind switch off, relax and drift away…. Ahhh!

6.      Easy English packs for keeping busy and well during Coronavirus

Do you need information in Easy English?  Mencap has created a range of activity packs and ideas, all in Easy English, here.

7.      Support for those needing support managing their Self Injury

Bristol’s Self Injury and Support service has produced self-help information on coping with Covid-19, for those who self-harm.  You can find this information here.

8.      Infection control e-learning course

Infection prevention and control are essential to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). This video-based course for care providers in care homes and home care, provided by the Social Care Institute for Excellence, will teach you about the spread of infection and what you can do to protect both yourself and the people you care for.

https://bit.ly/35YWEox

Take part in UWE Bristol research project on public experience of side road crossing

From UWE’s Miriam Ricci

We are studying how people perceive and behave in different types of side road crossings, so that road crossing design can be improved.

To do this, we are organising online focus groups (i.e. online discussion groups) in the last week of May. Each online focus group will involve 6-8 participants and last max 90 minutes. Participants will be able to share their experiences of crossing side roads in a friendly and informal setting, with the help of a researcher who will facilitate the discussion. Before the online focus group takes place, we will e-mail all participants a PDF document with images and descriptions of different side road crossing layouts, so that participants can use them as examples during the online discussion. To thank participants for their time, we will give them a shopping voucher.

Who can take part?

We are looking for a mix of ordinary people from ALL WALKS OF LIFE (preferably who ARE NOT transport professionals or specialists) and from different areas across the UK, who may fall into one or more of the following categories:

  • People with disabilities and/or mobility impairments or difficulties
  • Parents of small children
  • Cyclists, i.e. people who regularly cycle for transport
  • Pedestrians, i.e. people who regularly walk for transport
  • Other transport users (e.g. drivers)

What do you need to take part?

You don’t need any special qualifications or knowledge to take part. However, you need to have access to an electronic device (smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer) to view the PDF document before and during the focus group. To join the focus group, you can use an electronic device connected to the internet (we will use Skype for Business, which is the UWE-approved online platform). Alternatively, we can phone you on a landline or a mobile number. More details will be provided once participation is confirmed. Please note that there will not be any video sharing, only audio will be enabled.

When are the online focus groups taking place?

  • Tuesday 26th May, 14:30 – 16:00 (cyclists)
  • Wednesday 27th May, 10:30 – 12:00 (people with disabilities/impairments)
  • Thursday 28th May, 10:30 – 12:00 (parents of small children)
  • Thursday 28th May, 15:30 – 17:00 (pedestrians)
  • Friday 29th May, 14:30 – 16:00 (mixed categories)

How to take part

If you wish to take part in one of the focus groups, please send an email to miriam.ricci@uwe.ac.uk providing the following details:

  • Your full name;
  • Age & gender;
  • Occupation;
  • Place of residence (village, town or city);
  • Which of the categories listed above you fall into;
  • Which focus group(s) you wish or are able to join. We will invite you to ONE focus group only.
  • How you prefer to join the focus group.

Parks during COVID 19 – Share your Thoughts


Parks are currently a lifeline for many people, and as part of the Bristol Future Parks Project, we need to find out about how you use your local parks, and how this has changed since the Covid 19 emergency. 

Our partners, The Bristol Natural History Consortium are leading this piece of work, and I ask you to please spend less than 10 minutes completing our Survey.

Here is the link to the Survey:
https://bnhc.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/bristol-and-bath-parks-survey20

Financial support for some self-employed people now available

General Coronavirus Update 6th May 2020

From the beginning of this week, HMRC will begin contacting customers who may be eligible for the government’s     Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. Those who are eligible will be able to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their average trading profits up to a maximum of £7,500 (equivalent to three months’ profits), paid in a single instalment [link].

Need to escape domestic abuse?

General Coronavirus Update 6th May 2020

A change to the rules will means that those fleeing domestic abuse and facing homelessness as a result will be automatically considered as priority by their council for housing [link].

Council asks government to fund the other £80m COVID-19 costs

General Coronavirus Update 6th May 2020

Bristol City Council has written to the Chancellor Rishi Sunak, calling for Government to underwrite the true costs of the pandemic, and to deliver on its promise to provide local authorities with the resources they need to recover fully.

The Council is expecting an £80m income loss during lockdown – this money helps to fund vital frontline services in the city. Without support, the most vulnerable in our city will bear the greatest impact of Covid-19 for years to come – link

Go to a gig in your living room!

General Coronavirus Update 6th May 2020

BIMM Institute, which has colleges across Europe, including in Bristol, has launched the BIMM Lockdown Sessions. Every Wednesday, students are playing music live from their living rooms on Facebook, an initiative started by a Bristol student [link].