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 info@bristolwomensvoice.org.uk

Click below to reply to the survey.

Thank you for taking the time to do this!
Copyright © 2020 Bristol Women’s Voice, All rights reserved.
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
Add us to your address book

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

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: https://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-an-mp-or-lord/contact-your-mp/ .

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 bristoldef@gmail.com

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.

Don’t Blame Care Homes, Boris

The Prime Minister has caused outrage by claiming that care homes didn’t follow the correct procedures.

This is not the first time a government has refused to take responsibility for its actions: it is a habit that has got even worse over the past 12yrs.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tried to reduce the amount of criticism about his comment without any apology or admission that the responsibility is 100% that of government. Why do we say this? Because:

– the government told the NHS to move everyone who didn’t absolutely have to be in hospital into a care home while they recovered from whatever had led to the going into hospital in the first place;

– it was the government that failed to start a programme of testing from the very start of the pandemic;

– it was the government that failed to provide PPE supplies to care homes, despite the known difficulties individual people and individual businesses were having in getting hold of these supplies, until after many people in care homes had died.

We must not let government get away with refusing to accept responsibility by shifting blame to others. So email or tweet your local MP, and the Prime Minister, demanding that government accepts responsibility and, at the very least, apologies tfor causing the deaths of so many Disabled and older people.

You can find contact details for your MP and government at: https://members.parliament.uk/FindYourMP and email the Prime Minister at: boris.johnson.mp@parliament.uk.

Don’t delay – Do it today!

Bristol Sight Loss Council visual impairment (VI) forum and survey: share your Covid-19 experiences

Notice from Bristol Sight Loss Council

Bristol VI forum and survey: share your Covid-19 experiences

Are you blind or partially sighted and live in Bristol?

Join the Bristol Sight Loss Council visual impairment (VI) forum, on Tuesday 21st July, to share your experiences of lockdown as a visually impaired person.

Whether you are anxious about social distancing when travelling, or have faced challenges ordering your online food shop, we want to hear your concerns and your suggestions.  We are working closely with Bristol Council and local health settings, to ensure local providers understand the challenges the pandemic has raised for blind and partially sighted Bristolians.  We are dedicated to making positive change and giving blind people in the area a voice.  We want to hear your views to help us shape our future work.

The Bristol Sight Loss Council, funded by Thomas Pocklington Trust and led by blind and partially sighted volunteers, advocates the needs, and campaigns on behalf of, blind and partially sighted people in the area.

Book your place

The VI forum is taking place via Zoom on Tuesday 21st July from 19:30-21:00.  To book your place email alun.davies@pocklington-trust.org.uk  or register here:


Places are limited, we will get back to you to confirm your place as soon as possible.

The deadline for bookings is Friday 17th July.

Covid-19 survey

Alongside the forum, we are also running a short survey to capture your experiences of the pandemic.  Your feedback will be vital in helping us campaign on the Covid-19 issues that matter to you in Bristol.  The survey is open until 31st July.

Take the survey here: https://forms.gle/Nsoa46EtFFPz7n9YA

If you are not online, you can ring this telephone number 020 89961937 and someone will ring you back and help you complete it over the telephone.

UK officials ‘put lives at risk’ over out-of-date PPE for care homes

She said: 

“We had members contact us about the dates on the boxes they received and we sought clarifications on their behalf. We were told that they had been tested and were safe for use.

“We are appalled that due care and attention was not given to the risk of using these masks,” she added. 

“The masks have been used in services where there were already outbreaks and the consequence don’t bear thinking about.”

The masks were sent to every care home in the country at the peak of the pandemic. At the time, stock was being diverted to the NHS and care providers were unable to access supplies of masks from their normal supply chains.

When the NCA raised a query that these masks were from a government stockpile and out of date by as much as seven years, they said the official response was that the masks had all been rechecked and were in working order.

 “In reality, we now learn, they were faulty and have only just been recalled – when most will already have been used months ago,” said Ahmed.

In a recall notice issued by the Department of Health and Social Care on 26 June, care homes were told they must immediately stop using the Cardinal Health IIR masks and destroy them because of “a risk to staff” if the masks degrade. 

Ahmed said: “We face continued challenges as a sector because Covid-19 is still within communities. Insurers are taking Covid cover out of their policies on renewal whilst raising the costs to cover the businesses. Clearly, government will have to take full responsibility and liability for any backlash caused by their actions.”

Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, said the incident had put staff and residents at risk, as well as putting homes at risk of serious financial consequences. “This clearly shows that some of the advice given by government throughout the pandemic turns out not to have been the right advice.

“I don’t know how the government got it so wrong but we need to know who told care homes the equipment was safe, who gave them their advice and how that advice was so wrong,” he added.

Both Ahmed and Green said the incident showed that the “protective ring” the government said had been thrown up around care homes was anything but protective.

“Once again we note that care providers were at the back of the queue,” said Ahmed.

Green added, “I have never believed in this protective ring because I’ve never seen a single example of it. This incident is yet more evidence that it never existed.”

Sky News reported that the same masks were issued to GP surgeries and have also now been withdrawn, leading to concerns that thousands of medical and care staff may have been affected.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “The safety of frontline staff has been a priority throughout this unprecedented pandemic.

“After being made aware of a defect with some Cardinal Health Type IIR surgical masks, we urgently issued advice last week to health and care providers to check if their stock included these masks and to dispose of them. The issue is now resolved”.

BAME-led mental health and wellbeing support or resources.

CASS Leaflet – Emotional Wellbeing for BAME People  http://www.cassbristol.org/download/emotional-wellbeing-for-bame-people/
Nilaari’s phone support sessions – https://www.nilaari.co.uk/  0117 962 5742   

Bristol Hate Crime & Discrimination Service – https://www.bhcds.org.uk/report
Spark & Co – BAME MH resources – https://sparkandco.co.uk/resources/mental-health-and-wellbeing/
Further reading/understanding: 
Black  African and Asian Therapists Network
 – resources including videos suitable for young children – https://www.baatn.org.uk/well-being/