Shaping Our Lives: Independent Living Survey

Independent Living Survey 

An organisation called Shaping Our Lives has been given some money to do research.  The research is to find out what longer term impacts Covid 19 emergency policies and lockdown have had on d/Deaf and Disabled people’s ability to make the most of their independent living.   For example, some people have said that they have lost their confidence in getting out and about and everyday living has become more difficult.  Others might feel very differently.   

The researchers want to find out about Disabled people from more than just one Disabled people’s organisation so would be very grateful if you could help them by answering a short survey. This survey is only for d/Deaf and Disabled people.

You will not be asked to give your name and all answers will be kept anonymous.  What you and other people tell them will then be used to tell people in national and local government the support d/Deaf and Disabled people need to get back to living independently, feeling safe and confident.
To complete the survey you can either:
1. Use this link to complete your answers online.

2. Send an email to: they can send a Word version of the survey for you to complete.

3. Call Becki on 07956 424511 and do the survey over the telephone or by Zoom.
The survey will take about 20 minutes.  There is no involvement payment offered for completing this survey.  If you have been interviewed for this research you do not need to complete the survey.

Research participation opportunity – Building resilience in the ‘forgotten heroes’: Improving informal support for women experiencing domestic abuse.

Dr Alison Gregory is a researcher at the University of Bristol who is running the ‘Building Resilience’ study which aims to develop support for friends, family members, neighbours and colleagues of women experiencing abuse from a partner or adult family member. Alison wants to speak to people who are in the position of trying to support a woman experiencing abuse (or who have been in this position in the past), in order to gather their views and opinions. Alison is interviewing people over the phone or online, and interviews take about 60 minutes. The findings from these interviews will help the development of a service, which will be piloted in a future study.

There is a small highstreet gift voucher as a ‘thank you’ for taking part. Alison is keen to include a wide range of people in this study to ensure that a variety of experiences and perspectives are captured. People currently under-represented in the research, include those aged 60+, people from ethnic minority groups, and people who have a colleague who has experienced abuse. 

If you’d like more information, there is a webpage for the study:  or you can contact Alison directly by email: 

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Face Coverings must be worn in all shops from this Friday (24 July)

 In order to help protect you and your loved ones from the spread of coronavirus, from this Friday (24 July), nearly everyone must wear a face covering in shops and supermarkets as well as on public transport and NHS buildings.  It’s the law.

By face coverings the government means coverings, such as cloth masks, scarves and bandanna.  They are asking that people do not wear medical grade PPE masks, unless they work in the NHS, a Care Home or provide intimate personal care to someone in their own home.

A few people won’t have to wear a face covering.  These are: children under 11 and some people with a physical or mental impairment or disability that includes:-   people who can’t put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability;-   if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress;-   if you need to to eat or drink or to take medication; or-   if you are shopping with or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip-reading to communicate.”

To promote the changes Bristol City Council will be launching a campaign called Are You Covered? 

Council staff including the Mayor, cabinet members and the Director of public Health, will be handing out free masks to the public in Broadmead, The Galleries, Cabot Circus and the Bus Station on Friday.

Please support the campaign on social media by looking out for and using the hashtag #AreYouCovered?

And please remember to use a mask, social distance and stay safe.”

Bristol Women’s Voice are conducting a Survey of life during lockdown

Everyone’s lockdown experiences are unique, yet with a striking sameness when quarantined.  How has Covid-19 impacted your life? We want to know your pandemic circumstance so that we can collect real-time voices and relay our individual and collective experiences to local and central government.  We work to make women’s equality in Bristol a reality.  
Contact us on

Click below to reply to the survey.

Thank you for taking the time to do this!
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You are receiving this email as a member or affliated partner organisation of Bristol Women’s Voice.

Our mailing address is:
Bristol Women’s VoiceBrunswick Court, Bristol, United KingdomBrunswick SquareBristol, BS2 8PEUnited Kingdom
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Shop with Easy fundraising and support Bristol Disability Equality Forum

Now is a fantastic time to consider a change of scenery. There are dozens of deals on travel for you and other supporters to take advantage of.

From increased donations with Travel Supermarket to flight and hotel packages with Expedia and even the reopening of Disneyland Paris, there are a lot of savings to be made and great opportunities to raise large amounts for Bristol Disability Equality Forum.

Planning Permission Changes Will Make Life Much Worse For Disabled People

Picture of pavement covered with signs and tables

In the Business and Planning Bill that will be discussed in the House of Lords next week, the rules for street furniture on pavements (‘A’boards, other signs, chairs, tables etc) are being relaxed, to encourage eating outside.

This Bill, if passed, will mean that councils will only need to publicise any proposed changes to the patch of pavement a business wishes to spread out onto, and give five working days for objections. So, if you are self-isolating or shielding, or unable to use the internet, you will only hear about the proposal through sheer luck. And, with only 5 days notice for people to object to the proposal, the changes will almost certainly have happened before you even know about it.

Disabled people with various mobility and vision impairments will experience substantial difficulties navigating their local area and social distancing. For many this will mean they can no longer use the pavements safely, if this change in the rules happens. Vision impaired people (VIPs) will be at particularly high risk of injury from tripping over any street furniture and It will also make social distancing almost impossible for those with mobility or vision impairments.

Contact you MP today and ask them to vote against this proposal. You can find the contact details for your local MP at: .

Coronavirus Update 9th July 2020

Coronavirus Update 9th July 2020

Are you starting to find the relentless number of updates and changes from government a bit mind-numbing?  We are!

We hope that you find our ‘round-up’ of developments a better way to keep up-to-date with what’s going on.  If not, please let us know what you would rather we did instead, by emailing

1. Tourist Centre opens

Bristol’s Tourist Information Centre has reopened in its new home – the Galleries in Broadmead, opposite Peacocks & Edinburgh Woollen Mills.  The centre is for visitors and locals alike, and offers everything from help with bus timetables to souvenirs and gifts. 

2. Chancellor’s new economic measures to support the UK’s economic recovery and reduce levels of unemployment in the coming months

This includes: 

  1. Cutting VAT from the current rate of 20% to 5% for the next six months, on food, accommodation and attractions.  The cut lasts from Wednesday 8 July until 12 January 2021.
  1.  A new jobs retention bonus: businesses will be paid £1,000 to retain furloughed staff.  Sunak stated that this would cost the Treasury more than £9bn if every job furloughed is protected.

3. Majority of children no longer need to shield: 

The government has announced that the majority of children currently considered extremely clinical vulnerable to coronavirus will be able to be removed from the shielded patient list [link].  

However, the child’s GP or consultant will discuss the matter with the child and their family or carer before any decision is made about whether the child needs to continue shielding, or not. 

The latest shielding guidance was updated on 7 July [link]

4. More professional sports and culture start up again

The Culture Secretary has announced agreements to allow selected sporting events and production on film and television to get underway safely [link]. 

These agreements mean that international cricket, Champions League and Europa League football, the PGA British Masters Championship and the World Snooker Championships can all take place.  Other major darts, horse racing and other sporting events are also expected to follow. 

Don’t expect to buy any tickets to watch them though – only those people essential to staging these events, including the sports stars, event officials, coaches, medics, mechanics and incoming members of the media will be able to take part – so, still no live audiences allowed!

Also, indoor gyms, nail bars and swimming pools are still closed, mass gatherings are still prohibited, and social distancing is still essential.

5. VAT on PPE supplies

PPE will stay free of VAT until the end of October [link].  The decision comes after a temporary zero-rate of VAT was applied to PPE sales for an initial three months from 1st May 2020 to 31st July 2020.

6. Other VAT changes

VAT on food, accommodation and attractions will be cut from the current rate of 20% to 5% for the next six months.  The cut lasts from Wednesday 8th July until 12th January 2021.

The government has done this help prevent some hospitality businesses (those providing cafes, restaurants, hotels and other tourism services, etc) from having to close down.