Disruption to South West Rail Service

Due to a programme of planned engineering work, to improve rail travel between London and the South West, Network Rail  will be unable to operate some trains as normal on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 November.

In particular, trains from Bristol to Weymouth will terminate at Frome on both dates with replacement buses to Bruton and Castle Cary where trains then continue to Weymouth.

More information can be found on Great Western Railway’s (GWR) website at www.GWR.com/Wessex.

Please support Bristol Disability Equality Forum on #easyfundraising, you can raise FREE donations when you shop online with over 4,300 retailers.

You shop. Bristol Disability Equality Forum gets money. For free.

In the lead up to Christmas, it’s the easiest time of the year to support them! It’s simple and only takes 2 minutes to sign up!

Plus, once you have raised your first £5, easyfundraising will match it! Sign up now:

https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/bdef/…EASYFUNDRAISING.ORG.UKYou shop. Bristol Disability Equality Forum gets money. For free.Help us when you shop with 4,000 shops & sites. Join now.LikeCommentShare

Would you like to work in a Museum? Do you define yourself as D/deaf, disabled or neurodiverse? – Curating For Change want to hear from you!

AHOP Logos 2.png

Your experiences with working in Museums – have your say!

Have you always wanted to work in a Museum as a Curator but never managed to get a foot in the door? Or do you currently work in a Museum but find it difficult to move roles or progress your career? Do you define yourself as D/deaf, disabled or neurodiverse?

We want to hear about your experiences.

Two people looking at an exhibit at the Liverpool Museum

The Accentuate programme is planning a brand new work placement programme called Curating for Change, to enable and develop the skills of D/deaf, disabled and neurodiverse people to fulfil their potential in Museums.

We are working with over 20 Museums across England, and in 2021/2022 will be offering a series of paid fellowships and traineeships. Right now we are planning what these placements might look like and we want to hear from people with lived experience of disability about any challenges or barriers you have experienced in wanting to progress a career in Museums.

We are inviting you to get involved, whether you currently work in a museum or are interested in doing so, and there are two ways you can do this; by joining one of our workshops or by completing one of our surveys.

Please use one of the following links to take you through to the relevant page:

If you currently already work in a museum then please click here to see how you can get involved.

If you are interested in working in a museum then please click here to get involved.

If you would like more information about Curating for Change please see here.

Drake Music is looking for new Deaf, Disabled and neurodiverse musicians to apply to create a new piece of music.

They want your piece of music to:

Be based on the theme of ‘risk’ 

Use new technology or computers.

If you are chosen :

You will get £750 

Support from Drake Music

Download more info here: 

https://www.drakemusic.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Emergent-Commissions-20-21-Easy-Read-web-accessible_v2.pdf?fbclid=IwAR3kgnUtJXPhSpKrbvbV29WZmiZSxaPPiy2rxc6Hj1LdLNKKUSM-o0DgYF0 “

Call Out – Do You Have A Lockdown Story You Want To tell?

Call Out – Do You Have A Lockdown Story You Want To tell?

Paid: £50.00 (if you are one of the lucky 5 to be selected for a more detailed interview)

Closing date: Friday 16th October

Writer Mandy Redvers-Rowe has been funded to develop a new script called Shielded & Shafted.

Shielded and Shafted is a new script she is developing in response to how
Covid-19 has impacted on Disabled People’s lives.



 From writer Mandy Redvers-Rowe:

“I am a Disabled writer who has been funded through an Unlimited Micro-Commission to develop a new script called Shielded & Shafted.

Shielded and Shafted is a new script I am developing in response to how
Covid-19 has impacted on Disabled People’s lives.

During lockdown the UK’s response to Covid-19 has increasingly excluded and marginalised Disabled People. Sometimes through legal means and sometimes through practice. All in the name of safety. All under the guise of protecting us. We have experienced reduced access to supermarkets as they responded to new social distancing requirements and have been frustrated by a lack of access to information. For instance, when no BSL Interpreter was provided by the government during their daily updates. Now we are aware that many of us are amongst the most vulnerable, as new figures confirm that a disproportionate number of Disabled People have died as a result of the virus.

At its heart, the script will consist of five verbatim monologues. These will be developed by interviewing Disabled People who were shielded during the lockdown.

If you do not have a full story but have something you would like to say please email me a sentence, thought or statement. If your words are used I will let you know and you will be listed as a contributor.”


To apply please Email mandyredversrowe@gmail.com putting Shielded & Shafted in the subject line.

CASS – October 2020 E- Bulletin

Welcome to the CASS E-Bulletin!

October 10th is World Mental Health Day, and after a hugely unsettled six months, we’re joining in with Mind and encouraging people to #DoOneThing to look after their mental health and wellbeing. This could be as simple as going for a walk, calling a friend or being kind to yourself in some other way, or you could have a look at our CASS directory and find some local support if you’re struggling.

The main theme for this year’s day is #MentalHealthForAll, and we’re lucky on Bristol to have plenty of specialist services for different groups of people. You can filter our directory to find specialist mental health service for BAME people, older people, women and more, so head over now and see how much support is out there.

Covid-19 booklets and videos in community languages

CASS have been working closely with Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (BNSSG CCG) and local volunteers to produce resources in community languages about Covid-19 and the lockdown. These were made to address the need for information for non-English-speaking people in the community, mainly those from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic who have been disproportionately impacted, and do not have access to reliable information about the outbreak in their own languages.

Two videos are available, along with two booklets on the topics of:
 • Protecting Yourself and Others – with a number of key messages about social distancing, gatherings, where you can go and so on
• Mental health – about looking after your mental health and wellbeing at this time.

The community  languages included in the videos are English, Arabic, Bengali, Cantonese, Farsi, Mandarin, Pashto, Punjabi, Somali, Sorani, Turkish and Urdu, with the booklets also including Albanian and Tigrinya.

You can view the videos via this link, and view and download electronic copies of the booklets here. If you would like to request hard copies of the booklets for those who would not be able to access the videos online please complete this form.
Further resources in a range of languages can be found at the Covid-19 Infographics website. Just choose the language required and select from the subjects available to download infographics for printing or digital use. Topics include information about wellbeing, face coverings, myth-busting and more.

New 24/7 emotional and practical support helpline – 
0800 0126 549

The 24/7 Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire helpline is staffed by experienced counsellors and will offer both immediate emotional support over the phone, and help to connect you to other local organisations.

The line is open to anyone aged 18 or over and living in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. Anyone 17 or under should call the Children and Young People’s helpline on 0300 303 1320.

CASS Resources

As well as our shortened Stress, Anxiety and Depression booklet for the Covid-19 outbreak, we’ve also put together a PowerPoint presentation based on this booklet, and our Grief booklet. This focuses on recognising feelings, self-care and getting extra support if needed.

Don’t forget our mindfulness audio downloads! One on sleep if you need some help switching off at night, one on managing feelings of grief and loss, and one on kindness for whenever you need to look after yourself! 

We also have two versions of a short article on Stress, Anxiety and Depression, and two versions of one on Grief – one on each topic written for the web, and one one for printed materials which contains phone numbers rather than web links. If you’d like any of these for your website, printed newsletter or anything else, get in touch via info@cassbristol.org

CASS Networkers are able to deliver training sessions about mental health and emotional wellbeing remotely! If you’re interested in a session for your community, faith or equalities group, just contact info@cassbristol.org to discuss.

October is Black History Month, a series of events and celebrations showcasing the past contributions and present reality for Black People in the UK. The month of celebrations has been officially recognised in the UK since the 1980s, and is usually a chance to promote Black voices and Black cultural contributions. This year, Black History Month feels more significant than ever before due to the increased global awareness of issues highlighted by the Black Lives Matter movement, uncompassionate treatment of some Black British people of the Windrush Generation and the disproportionate impact Covid-19 has had on BAME people.

In these unsettling and uncertain times it’s more important than ever to look after our mental health. Black African and Caribbean people in the UK are more likely to be sectioned under the Mental Health Act, but not more likely than anyone else to suffer from mental ill-health. Bristol has some specialist services for BAME people, focussing on mental health and emotional wellbeing. These services allow a safe space for BAME people to explore their mental health in the wider context of their experiences of race. Some of these services are listed in our leaflet for BAME people, and on our directory of service changes for the Covid-19 period, and we have a dedicated page hosting resources for BAME people on our website.

CASS along with local partners have workshops coming up, specifically for BAME people, one for men, and also three sessions for BAME women following on from a workshop during the summer. If you’re interested in CASS running workshops for BAME staff, volunteers or group members, why not have a look at some of the presentations we’ve used in the past and get in touch with us by email.

To follow all the events in Bristol throughout October and sign up for your copy of the annual Black History Month magazine, follow Bristol Black History Month on Facebook.

Black Women Pause

Join CASS, Rethink, Nilaari and Bristol Women’s Voice for a series of online support sessions for women from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds. This sessions provide a safe space for women who feel they need support or help in the current climate. Find out more and book your place here.

BAME Men Talk Health

Join Church of God Prophecy, Nilaari, Rethink Bristol and CASS for a free, online emotional wellbeing workshop for BAME men.
Explore emotional wellbeing and distress, and how stereotypes and recent events may have had an impact on this. Find out more and book your place here.

Black History Month and AWP’s Sketchbook Project Needs Your Creations!

This collaborative magazine arts forum discusses real life issues through different mediums. The first edition invites submissions under the overall theme of ‘The Truth of Black History Past and Present’ The opportunity to submit artwork is open to AWP patients, carers and professionals around the following themes:
‘What is your dream for the future?’
‘What does community mean to you?’
‘The truth of Black History past and present.’
For more details and entry requirements email awp.sketchbook@nhs.net

Events and Updates

7 October – deadline to apply to join the Changes team as a Service Manager looking after peer support groups and the phone befriending service. For more information and application forms, click here.

9 October – deadline to apply to work at AWP as a Peer Support Worker in the Specialised Community Forensic Service. There are three part-time positions of between 15 and 22.5 hours. To find out more please contact Bev Woolmer, Involvement Coordinator by emailing beverley.woolmer@nhs.net or calling 07857 664516.

12 October – Join Healthwatch Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire for their online AGM where they will reflect on their19/20 year with updates on the latest news and project work.  They will also be voting on a formal name change to Healthwatch BNSSG. If you would like to attend, please contact rebecca@healthwatchbnssg.co.uk to RSVP and get hold of voting papers.

19 October – Last day to share your views on how Covid-19 has been affecting bladder and bowel services. Help Healthwatch and  BABCON understand your needs, experiences and concerns. Click here to take the anonymous survey.

21st October – Deadline to apply for Thrive Bristol and Bristol City Council small grants scheme, launched to support projects and activities contributing to improving mental health and wellbeing. Applications are welcomed from small community groups, organisations and mutual aid groups in Bristol supporting people from communities that experience inequalities in mental health. Grants of between £1,000 and £10,000 are available. Contact thrive.bristol@bristol.gov.uk for an application form and guidance.

30 October to 1 November – Good Grief Festival has moved online. This month-long programme of talks and workshops aims to help people talk, think and learn about grief. See what’s on and book tickets here.

1 November – If you’re of BAME origins and would like to come to a virtual safe space to explore your feelings, and find out how meditation based on Buddhist teachings can support your wellbeing in daily life- come to a new group offered by Bristol Buddhist Centre on Sunday 1 November 2020, from 2 to 4.30 pm. Email info@bristol- buddhist-centre.org to book a place.

Independent Mental Health Network are looking for people to join a range of projects, providing the voice of lived experience in work improving and transforming mental health services and support. IMHN work to ensure that people with lived experience of mental health are involved in projects centred around mental health support, or mental health services. If you would like to become a Lived Experience Representative, click here to see the current projects you could get involved with.

Free, online mental health training is available to people working in the community in Bristol from Thrive Bristol. To see the courses on offer and book your place as an individual, click here. Groups and organisations can also access this training in closed session, just email thrive.bristol@bristol.gov.uk to arrange.

WECIL is launching a new telephone Check in and Chat Service for disabled adults, or those with long-term health conditions who are feeling isolated and would like someone to talk to. Community members will be linked with a friendly volunteer for up to 6 phone calls to help to tackle the isolation that people are feeling. Call Charlotte to refer yourself on 07973686389, or click here to find out more, complete an online form, refer a client or volunteer to join the team!

Read an open letter from health and care leaders outlining some of the progress made in re-starting local services in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. The letter is available in English, and Urdu, Punjabi, Somali, Polish, Cantonese, Bengali, Arabic and Easy Read here.

Would you be interested in helping to establish a community support group to help people who are experiencing loss and bereavement? STAR Bereavement Peer Support Groups are being set up in Avonmouth, Hotwells, Clifton, Southmead, Henleaze, Keynsham, Lockleaze, Eastville, Fishponds, St Annes, Brislington, Stockwood, Whitchurch, Bedminster, Barton Hill, Shirehampton, and Knowle and the organisers would welcome you to join their team of helpers.  Please contact clairechivers@ageukbristol.org.uk  for more information. 

To stop to spread of coronavirus it is still vital that we all continue to wash hands, wear a face covering, and make space. Watch the video to see how coronavirus can spread and the ways we can prevent it.

 Useful Information

Information and guidance has changed. Keep up to date with the latest from Bristol City Council here, and see the latest guidance on face coverings here.

As cases increase nationally and locally and kids return to school, it can be a worrying time for many parents and carers. You can find information on helping your child cope with their own worries, what to expect from schools and what to do if your child develops symptoms on the BCC website.

You can keep up to date with the latest news from Bristol City Council, the government and NHS on BCC’s information page here, including updates from the Mayor, changes to council services and information on how to get help. Guidance is changing frequently and you can find regularly updated information from Public Health England here, and specific information for people in high risk groups from the NHS here.

Bristol City Council have published guidance on staying safe both while helping others and while receiving help during the coronavirus outbreak.
For information on volunteering, please see Can Do Bristol and for information on keeping volunteers, staff, service users and communities safe please see Voscur. If you’re volunteering with non-English speakers, the council have produced video guidance on volunteering safely in UrduPunjabiKurdishArabicPolishBengali and Somali.
If you are worried about a vulnerable person you can find the Bristol City Council safeguarding referral form here.
If you work with or care for people with learning disabilities, Mencap have downloadable guidance in an Easy Read format, and advice on hand washing.
For information about changes to advice services, please see here.

Other News and Updates
Look after Yourself 

Don’t forget to look after your mental health at the moment! Although life now seems to be returning to a more usual state, many people are understandably feeling anxious and stressed. This is still a very uncertain time, but there are plenty of resources available to help you manage difficult feelings.

If you have specific worries or anxieties around Covid-19, a new one-off therapy service might help. Therapists for Covid offer 20 minute phone or online appointments with UK registered psyschotherapists, psychologists and counsellors, and work over weekends and bank holidays.

Every Mind Matters – 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.

Mental Health Foundation – How to Look After Your Mental Health During the Coronavirus Outbreak, including a specific section about children returning to school.

The Coronavirus Hub at Rethink Mental Illness includes tips on looking after your mental health, along with information on temporary changes to the Mental Health Act and advice for carers.

Bristol Mind‘s MindLine is running an extended service, open 7 nights a week, 7pm-11pm on 0808 808 0330, and the MindLine Trans + service is open as normal, from 8pm to Midnight Mondays and Fridays on 0300 330 5468.

Bristol Mind also have a daytime information and signposting service that can help you find support with mental health and emotional wellbeing, open between 9:30am and 3:30pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays). Contact them on 0117 980 0370, or at  info@bristolmind.org.uk.
Also have a look at their new YouTube channel which has videos on how to cope during the crisis, made by staff.
The national charity have a webpage on Mind – Coronavirus and Your Wellbeing includes lots of tips and checklists around physical and mental wellbeing.

That’s it from us this month. Don’t forget to join us on Facebook and Twitter using the links below or get in contact on info@cassbristol.or

Bristol Sight Loss Council VI Forum 26th November – come and have your say on accessible transport

Bristol VI Forum: Have your say on accessible transport

Thursday 26th November, 2 – 4pm

Do you have concerns around the introduction of e-scooters? Are trains and buses accessible in your opinion? How could operators help you more? Have you been refused access to a taxi with your guide dog? Put your transport questions to a panel of Bristol Council and transport representatives at our Visual Impairment (VI) forum.

Register today

We are delighted to have a panel of local authority and transport experts taking your questions on the accessibility of e-scooters, buses, taxis, and trains in the city.

Introducing our panel

Tim Bowles, Mayor of the West of England Combined Authority.

Councillor Kye Dudd, Bristol City Council Cabinet member for transport.

Councillor Ruth Pickersgill, Bristol City Council, Chair of Public Safety Committee (including licensing of taxis).

James Freeman, Chief Executive of First Bus.

Tom Law, Deputy Mobility and Inclusion Manager for Great Western Trains.

You need to book to attend the event. Places are limited, so please sign up as soon as you can!

Register today

Either book your place here or ring Alun Davies on 07779 169019.

You will be asked if you would like to submit a question to the panel in advance. A selection of questions will be used at the event. Anyone whose question is not dealt with at the event will get an answer in writing from the relevant speaker after the meeting. Booking for the event closes at 5pm on Tuesday 17th November.

The meeting is being organised by Bristol Sight Loss Council. The Sight Loss Council is led by local blind and partially-sighted people who have volunteered to come together to work for positive change in the lives of people with a visual impairment in the city.

For more information about the Sight Loss Council please use the following link https://www.sightlosscouncils.org.uk/ or ring Alun Davies on 07779 169019.

WECIL Now Have a New ‘Check in and Chat’ Telephone Service

WECIL’s New Check in and Chat Service!

WECIL is launching a new Telephone Check in and Chat Service for members of our community in response to the Covid-19 crisis and funded by Bristol City Council. 

The service is available to any self-identifying disabled adults, those who are shielding and/or have long term health conditions who are feeling isolated and would like someone to talk to.

Our Telefriend volunteers will make weekly calls, of around 20 minutes, to a member of our community for a period of six weeks. Speaking to the same person each week, the Telefriend volunteer will make friendly conversation, lend a supportive ear and signpost to services.

We are currently looking for both volunteers and referrals for the service.

I would like to receive Check in and Chat calls…..

Just fill in a short form https://bit.ly/WECILCheckinandchat and the project worker, Charlotte, will contact you for further information.

I am a professional who would like to refer someone I work with……

Please fill in a short form https://bit.ly/WECILCheckinandchat and the project worker, Charlotte, will contact the person referred for further information. Please ensure you have the persons consent before referring.

I would like to become a volunteer ‘Telefriender’…..

We cannot run this new service without amazing volunteers so if you would like to register your interest in joining our incredible team please fill in a short online form https://bit.ly/WECILVolApplication

If you have any questions or would like to discuss the service, Charlotte is the new Befriending Project worker and is happy to be contacted anytime at Charlotte.Heath@wecil.co.uk or on 07973686389