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Bristol Disability Equality Forum Manager Laura Welti will be interviewed on BBC News this Monday (March 1st) about our joint campaign, in partnership with National Federation of the Blind UK, calling upon the government to withdraw its survey consultation about a new National Disability Strategy and start over again.
We’re doing this because there are so many problems with the survey as it is at the moment.
The letter of petition we have sent to the Prime Minister and the Minister for Disabled people, Health and Work, is signed by 112 organisations (including our own) and details some of the reasons why the government needs to start all over again, so it can consult properly with Disabled people’s organisations (including those like Deaf organisations, that represent a linguistic minority) and work with Disabled people in drawing up the survey so it is fully accessible to Disabled people, regardless of why they are categorised as such.
The interview can be seen live, 10.40am on the BBC News channel and BBC2
And do you live, work or study in Bristol? If so, we may be able to help.
We have been working with other groups in Bristol to fundraise money to help those who are struggling to pay their energy bills this winter. Different partners are supporting different communities. We are supporting those Disabled people who live, work or study, in Bristol (or just over the border) and struggling households in Bristol that include a Disabled person (of any age).
If this sounds like you, get in touch. You will have to be quick though as the pot of money available to help you has almost run out.
People aged 16–64 who are vulnerable because they have a range of conditions that increase their risk from COVID-19,
People recently added to the updated Shielded Patient List.
If you are aged 65–69. you can book an appointment at Ashton Gate Vaccination Centre or at one of seven local community pharmacies by visiting the national booking service or calling 119 – or you can wait to be contacted.
If you have underlying health conditions or have recently been added to the Shielding list, you will be contacted to book your vaccination appointment. Please do not contact the NHS.
We are a group of 3 Masters students at the University of Bristol. We are looking to speak to individuals with visual impairments who would like to get involved in our inclusive research and design project.
Our project aims to improve wayfinding within Bristol for individuals with visual impairments. To ensure our outcome meets the needs of our intended user, we want to gain insights into your experience of navigating and wayfinding.
What we need from you?
We are looking for both carers and people with visual impairments who would be willing to get involved in online interviews, sharing experiences and potentially mentally mapping out their journey. For those who enjoy their experience, further involvement in the design of the product/service is possible.
What participants can gain from the experience?
Participants will benefit from the end results of this project, which aims to improve accessibility within Bristol for the visually impaired. You will be able to offer the expertise of your experience, positively influencing the community around you.
If you would like to get involved in a short interview in the coming week(s), or know anyone with an interest in this project, please contact us at:
Shelby x Studios is launching their Open Call programme! They aim to provide creatives like you with paid opportunities to create content for their monthly art and activism e-magazine. They want to make applications as easy as possible, so they just ask for a quick first proposal. Only successful applicants will be contacted.
They are committed to making the application process as accessible as possible. If you would prefer to apply in another way that is more accessible to you, please contact Grace at firstname.lastname@example.org
We have been working with Sustrans and they have asked if we would let Disabled people know about these roles because they are keen to have a more diverse workforce and are aware that there is nothing to beat employing people with ‘lived experience’ if they are to create inclusive design solutions.
The team is growing and recruiting to quite a few new roles at the moment. Specifically:
· Network Development Manager
· Senior Technical Officer
· Senior Network Development Manager
Network Development Manager, England South
Two year fixed term contract
London, Reading or Bristol (negotiable)
37.5 hours per week – happy to talk flexible working
£27,528 per annum
Closing date: 9am on Monday 1 March 2021
About the role
Your role as Network development manager puts you at the centre of delivering our “Paths for Everyone” and “Liveable Towns and Cities” visions – helping us to create healthier places and happier people across the UK.
Using both skills you have and skills you’ll develop in the role, you will plan, develop and construct walking and cycling routes, working closely with project partners, key stakeholder and members of the public.
A truly varied role: one day you could be out on-site exploring options for a new route; the next you could be working collaboratively with team colleagues across the region to meaningfully engage with local communities; another day, writing compelling reports and feasibility studies for clients.
There will be regular travel for site visits and meeting colleagues, partners and clients across the South of England to places such as Bristol, Plymouth, Southampton, Guildford and Reading.
We are looking for someone with direct or transferable experience of transport planning or design and of managing projects.
If you are passionate about health, sustainability or the environment and want to work somewhere you can make a big impact, then please apply today!
Closing date for the receipt of completed applications is 9am on Monday 1 March 2021. Interviews will take place via MS Teams on Monday 8 March 2021.
Senior Technical Officer, South England
Two year fixed term contract
London, Reading or Bristol (negotiable)
37.5 hours per week – happy to talk flexible working
£27,528 per annum
Closing date: 9am on Tuesday 2 March 2021
About the role
Our Senior Technical Officers plan, design and deliver accessible walking and cycling routes for everyone.
This role is at the centre of delivering our Paths for Everyone and Liveable Towns and Cities visions for healthier places and happier people across the UK.
Using both skills you have and the skills you’ll develop in the role, you will be supporting a small team to develop creative and innovative design solutions for walking and cycling infrastructure.
A truly varied role: one day you could be using GIS to develop engaging and insightful maps and analysis, the next you could be working collaboratively with team colleagues across the region to meaningfully engage with local communities; another day getting out on-site to explore options for a new route; the next writing compelling reports and feasibility studies for clients.
There will be regular travel for site visits and meeting colleagues, partners and clients across the South of England to places such as Southampton, Reading, Brighton and Kent.
We are looking for someone with direct or transferable experience of GIS mapping, CAD or graphics software and designing for active travel in areas such as transport or spatial planning, design or engineering.
If you are passionate about health, sustainability or the environment and want to work somewhere you can make a big impact, then please get in touch.
Closing date for the receipt of completed applications is 9am on Tuesday 2 March 2021. Interviews will take place via MS Teams during the week commencing Tuesday 9 March 2021.
Senior Network Development Manager, England South
Two year fixed term contract
London, Reading or Bristol (negotiable)
37.5 hours per week – happy to talk flexible working
£31, 369 per annum
Closing date: 9am on Wednesday 3 March 2021
About the role
We now have an exciting opportunity to join our network development team.
Your role will put you at the centre of our “Paths for Everyone” and “Liveable Towns and Cities” programmes, with projects, focused on getting more people walking and cycling by improving the National Cycle Network and working with local communities, reshaping their streets and encouraging greater active travel.
Using both skills you have and skills you’ll develop in the role, you will manage a small team to plan, develop and construct walking and cycling routes; as well as leading on the delivery of walking and cycling routes yourself.
A truly varied role: one day you could be out on-site exploring options for a new route; another you could be working collaboratively with team colleagues across the region to meaningfully engage with local communities; the next you could be leading a team meeting; another day, putting the finishing touches to compelling reports and feasibility studies for clients.
There will be regular travel for site visits and meeting colleagues, partners and clients across the South of England to places such as Bristol, Plymouth, Southampton and Reading.
We are looking for someone with direct or transferable experience of transport planning or design, and of managing people and projects.
If you are passionate about health, sustainability or the environment and want to work somewhere you can make a big impact, then please get in touch!
Closing date for the receipt of completed applications is 9am on Wednesday 3 March 2021. Interviews will take place via MS Teams on Wednesday 10 March 2021.
Want to help ensure the new version of the Covid-19 virus found in Bristol doesn’t cause the problems we saw when the Kent version emerged? Then get down to one of the’Mobile Testing Units’ (in other words, temporary testing sites) tbefore 4pm this weekend, or pick up a home testing kit from a library and return it by 4pm this Weds, to take part.
Also, if you have picked up a home testing kit already, please do return it before 4pm on Weds.
You can drop in for a test until 4pm this Sunday, at:
a. Bristol and Bath Science Park, Dirac Crescent, Emersons Green, BS16 7FR.
b. Bristol City Council Testing Centre, 17-18 Wellington Road, BS2 9DA.
c. Imperial Retail Park, Hartcliffe Way, BS13 7TJ.
d. Shaftsbury Park, Frenchay Park Road, BS16 1LG.
e. The Imperial Sports Ground, West Town Lane, BS14 9EA.
f. Yate Common, Westerleigh Road, BS37 8RZ.
You can pick up a home testing kit from these Collect and Drop sites in Bristol, where you will be able to drop-off your completed tests until 4pm on Wednesday 24 February: 1. Fishponds Library, Robinson House, Hockey’s Lane, Fishponds, Bristol, BS16 3HL.
I live in one of these postcode areas. Where can I get a test?
There are two options available currently. We have community surge Mobile Testing Units and various Collect and Drop points across Bristol and South Gloucestershire. You should use them if you are aged over 16 and do not have any symptoms of COVID-19.
Further information on the testing options and locations available is below.
We are in a nearby postcode, can we get tested?
No. Testing for people without symptoms through this route is only available to those living or working in the specified postcode sectors. If you have symptoms, you can book a normal test in the usual way. This can be done online at The NHS website – NHS (www.nhs.uk) or by calling 119.
Are the postcode sectors where you’ve found cases of the changed virus?
Postcode sectors announced are the areas eligible for additional testing of people without symptoms, but this does not mean that the variant is necessarily present in that postcode sector.
Where are the cases of the changed virus? We will not be revealing the location of the cases of the changed virus, as it could lead to the identification of individuals. We must all follow the national lockdown guidance set out by Government, regardless of what type of coronavirus might be more prevalent in the area. By following the guidance and remembering: Hands, Face, Space we can protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our city.
I went for a walk with a friend who lives in this postcode. Do I need to get a test as well? No. Only people living or working within the selected postcode areas are being encouraged to get a test.
COLLECT AND DROP SERVICES
What is a Collect and Drop site?
We have introduced Collect and Drop sites across Bristol and South Gloucestershire. These sites are set up for people who live, or work in, the specified postcode areas, are aged over 16 and do not have symptoms of coronavirus, to collect tests for themselves, their family or for someone who is not able to leave the home.
Where are the sites located?
The sites for collection and drop-off in Bristol are:
The sites for collection and drop-off in South Gloucestershire are:
• Emersons Green Library, Emersons Way, Emersons Green BS16 7AP • Downend Library, Buckingham Gardens, Downend, BS16 5TW • Staple Hill Library, Broad St, Staple Hill, BS16 5LS • Shireway Community Centre, Shire Way, Yate BS37 8YS • Westerleigh Village Hall, BS37 8QL • Hambrook Cricket Club, Moorend Road, Hambrook, Winterbourne, BS16 1SJ • Pucklechurch Community Centre, Abson Rd, Pucklechurch, BS16 9RH (opening Sat 13 February, Sun 14 February, Mon 15 February, Tue 16 February, Sat 20 February and Sun 21 February)
What time are the Collect and Drop sites open?
The Bristol sites are open Monday to Saturday, between 10am and 4pm. The South Gloucestershire sites are open Monday to Sunday, between 9am and 5pm. Note Pucklechurch Community Centre is not open Wednesday 17, Thursday 18 or Friday 19 February. Bristol City Council is working to establish and confirm a Sunday service.
Do I need to book? You do not need to book an appointment and can simply turn up. We advise that people try to collect their kits at least half an hour before the site closes and drop them back off before the sites close where possible. Otherwise, they can be returned within a few days.
Do I need to bring any identification with me? No, you do not need to bring any identification. These new sites are only for people without COVID-19 symptoms and who live or work in the designated postcode sectors. If you are booking a normal test because you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should do so through the national booking system by visiting The NHS website – NHS (www.nhs.uk) or calling 119. These test sites do require identification.
Can I post the completed test in a Royal Mail postbox or through a letterbox? No, completed test kits should be put into the sealed box provided and returned to the location it was collected from.
Can I collect a test on behalf of someone else? Yes. We recognise that not everyone is able to leave their home to collect a test. The Collect and Drop sites are for people to collect tests for themselves, their family or for someone who is not able to leave the home.
Can I collect some tests for my employees? Yes. If your business is located within one of the postcode sectors, you can collect tests for your employees. This will be limited to a maximum of 20 test kits per business. For large businesses, we would encourage employees to take a test at one of the city’s additional mobile testing units (MTUs).
Where do I take my test? Once you collect your test, please take it home with you to complete. It’s much safer to do this at home rather than out and about or in your car.
How do I do a self-swab? For guidance on how to do a self-swab, watch this instructional video from the Department of Health and Social Care: https://youtu.be/8lo6g-TYZ-c
I missed the cut off for dropping my completed test back to the site. What do I do? We’re asking people to return their completed tests on the same day if they can. If you are unable to return your test on the same day, we urge you to do so at the next available time within a few days.
I can’t access a testing site or Collect and Drop site and do not have anyone who can access it for me. What do I do? While the majority of people who are eligible will be able to take a test through the new community surge Mobile Testing Units or our Collect and Drop sites, other ways for anyone not able to do this are being carefully considered by both local authorities. Please regularly check our testing pages at Bristol City Council home page – bristol.gov.uk , South Gloucestershire Council (southglos.gov.uk) or local news outlets for new information about this.
Can I use the library services while I’m there? Generally, the libraries will be set up specifically for this Collect and Drop surge testing service. In Bristol, you will not be able to drop off or collect library books or use any other library services. However, in South Gloucestershire, you can pick up Click and Collect library items – please speak to a marshal and they will arrange for the collection of your items. You will not be charged for overdue items while the libraries are closed.
I have lost or spoiled my testing kit. Can I have another? Yes. Please feel free to collect another kit when you can.
COMMUNITY SURGE MOBILE TESTING UNITS (MTUs) Where are the community surge MTUs and what are the opening times? The Mobile Testing Units (MTUs) are at the following locations:
• Science Park, Dirac Crescent, Emersons Green, BS16 7FR • Bristol City Council Testing Centre, 17-18 Wellington Road, BS2 9DA • Imperial Retail Park, Hartcliffe Way, BS13 7TJ • The Imperial Sports Ground, West Town Lane, BS14 9EA • Yate Common, Westerleigh Road, BS37 8RZ • Shaftsbury Park, Frenchay Park Road, BS16 1LG
All community surge MTU sites across both areas will be open from 9am to 6pm, seven days-a-week. Please be aware that opening times may be subject to change at short notice.
Do I need to book a slot to visit the site? No, booking is not mandatory at this time. We’re keeping our joint surge testing programme under constant review to ensure it is as effective, accessible, and convenient as possible. With two additional new Mobile Testing Units (MTUS) now set-up and several Collect and Drop services in operation within communities, we’ve decided not to introduce the extra step of needing to book in advance for tests at MTUs at this time. As with all elements of the programme, we will keep this under daily review and introduce our booking system if it becomes necessary.
Do I need to wear a mask at the site? At the test site you should wear a face covering and follow social distancing at all times. COVID marshals will be on the site to help you and answer any questions you may have.
Do I need to take ID/proof of address to the testing site? Identification and proof of address is not currently required at the new testing sites. These sites are only for people without COVID-19 symptoms and who live or work in the listed postcode areas. If you need to book a standard PCR test because you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should do so through the national booking system by visiting The NHS website – NHS (www.nhs.uk) or calling 119. These test sites require identification.
Are these sites walk-in or drive-through? All MTU sites accommodate either walk-in or drive-through testing services.
I don’t have the means to access one of these sites. What do I do? We have now introduced Collect and Drop services in a range of locations and are working on other local solutions. We will share more information about this as soon as we can.
Why aren’t there more Mobile Testing Units (MTUs) closer to me?
MTUs require particular site arrangements and there are a limited number of these available. We now have a Collect and Drop service available and are working with our partner agencies to see if there is capacity to set up other more local arrangements in the coming days.
GENERAL TESTING ENQUIRIES
Why weren’t full programme details available from the start of the surge testing programme? The Department of Health and Social Care gave councils very short notice that a testing scheme was required, so something that would normally be planned weeks in advanced was launched in a little over 24 hours at a weekend. Therefore elements of the programme are being designed ‘live’, and in many cases rely on national decisions or resources, such as the supply of Mobile Testing Units and staff, to operate.
Because of this, details may change rapidly throughout the programme, and we encourage everyone to keep up to date by checking our website and social media channels.
What test will I have if I visit the site? Standard PCR tests will be used at these testing sites. These types of tests involve a swab of the nose and throat and are sent off to laboratories to be analysed.
Do the sites offer assisted testing? No. You will have to take the test yourself. The test kit will contain instructions on how to do this. You can also watch this instructional video from the Department of Health and Social Care: https://youtu.be/8lo6g-TYZ-c
Why aren’t you using lateral flow (rapid) tests? PCR testing allows public health agencies to carry out an important process called genomic sequencing. Genomic sequencing is the process of testing a sample of the virus to map its genetic sequence. This helps public health agencies to monitor and understand the evolution of new COVID-19 variants and respond accordingly.
You will need to input your test centre code which is either: ZVY (for Science Park), ZWR (for Yate Common), ZVZ (for Wellington Road), ZWA (for Imperial Park) or ZWQ (for Imperial Sports Ground), ZXA (for Shaftsbury Park).
How and when will people be informed of the results? People will be informed whether they have a positive test result by text or email via NHS Test and Trace. Most people get their result the next day, but it may take up to three days.
How often do we have to get a test? We are asking people aged 16 and over who live in the specific postcode areas to take one test in this two-week period of additional testing.
Does my whole family need to get tested? If you live in one of these postcode areas, are aged 16 and over and have no symptoms of COVID-19, we encourage everyone to visit one of our new community surge Mobile testing Units or Collect and Drop services.
What if I am self-isolating? If you are self-isolating because you’ve received a positive coronavirus test result, you must continue to follow the isolation guidance and not leave your home for any reason.
Do you have to isolate after having one of these tests? No. You should follow standard guidance and only self-isolate if you test positive, have any symptoms, or are contact traced following contact with someone who tests positive.
An existing test site for people with symptoms is closer to me. Can I go there? No. If you do not have symptoms and live in an area which is eligible, you must use the new sites which have been set up for this purpose. This is to help keep you safe.
I am in a support bubble with a household in the postcode area. Do I need to get a test as well? Those who are in a support bubble and therefore travel into these areas are eligible for a test.
I work in one of the postcode sectors but live outside of them. Do I need to get a test? Essential workers travelling into these areas are also eligible for a test.
What accessibility to testing is available for disabled people? Our Collect and Drop sites will be points where people can collect tests for those unable to leave their homes. Collect and Drop instructions will be issued with the testing kits, and tests must be carried out safely in the home.
For those who receive care at home through the Department of Health and Social Care, tests will be given to care staff to administer to those they care for at home. Care staff and support bubble members can support the completion of the test, if appropriate hygiene measures are taken such as use of gloves and washing hands thoroughly before and after administration. Our community development team are also working with several disability groups in the area to finalise how best we can make surge testing accessible to disabled people, including the implementation of more accessible Collect and Drop sites. Please regularly check our additional community testing pages at Bristol City Council home page – bristol.gov.uk or South Gloucestershire Council (southglos.gov.uk) , or local news outlets for new information about this.
Why isn’t there fast tracking for those with autism or other mental health issues that require reduced waiting time? The best option for those with mental health issues is to utilise the Collect and Drop service. This way the test can be completed in the comfort of your own home, and if you prefer not to leave the house, a household or support bubble member can collect and drop the test on your behalf.
A video in British Sign Language about the community surge testing programme will also be available shortly. Please keep an eye on our websites for updates.
If you are already having regular lateral flow (rapid) tests for work, do you still have to go for a PCR test? Yes. If you do not have symptoms and live or work in one of the eligible postcode sectors, you are strongly advised to get a PCR test as part of this community surge testing offer. PCR testing allows public health agencies to carry out an important process called genomic sequencing. This helps public health agencies to monitor and understand the evolution of new COVID-19 variants and respond accordingly.
I’ve had the vaccine. Do I still need a test? We are offering testing to everyone aged 16 or over – even if you have been vaccinated.
Should I get a test if I tested positive for COVID-19 recently? As the standard COVID-19 PCR test is a very sensitive test which can pick up an old infection beyond the infectious period, please do not seek a test if you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days.
I’m shielding. Do I have to visit a site to get a test? Arrangements are currently being made for more outreach services in certain circumstances or locations. We will share more information about this as soon as we can.
Can the homeless access the community surge tests? Yes. Anybody who is homeless or sleeping rough can access the community surge tests regardless of postcode.
a. GUIDANCE Has the stay at home guidance changed in Bristol or South Gloucestershire? No. The guidance remains the same. Please follow the national lockdown guidance, stay at home except for essential journeys, for example, to buy necessities or go to work if you cannot reasonably do so from home. Remember: Hands, Face, Space.
If you have symptoms, including a new continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss of taste or smell, please book a test through Get a free NHS test to check if you have coronavirus – Get a free NHS test to check if you have coronavirus – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) or by calling 119. For testing to detect the new variant, community surge Mobile Testing Units have been deployed in the below three areas for people without symptoms who have to leave their house for work or essential reasons.
Should I continue to send my children to nursery (or, where eligible, school) in these areas? Yes, you should continue to follow the national lockdown guidance. At the moment, schools and colleges remain open to vulnerable children and children of key workers. Nurseries also remain open. There are no instructions for education settings to close in areas where new variants have been identified.
Can I still go out to shop for necessities in the supermarket? You should continue to follow the national lockdown guidance, which includes guidance around leaving the home to shop for necessities. When you are out and about for essential reasons, please remember: Hands, Face, Space.
Can I still access lateral flow (rapid) testing? Yes, if you are an essential worker and you are well you can continue to access rapid testing.
Can I access lateral flow (rapid) testing and also take a test through the community surge testing? Yes.
We have come together with the National Federation of the Blind UK (NFBUK) to launch a petition calling on the government to halt the Survey on a National Disability Strategy.
The survey was uploaded with only 4wks to respond, is inaccessibly long, provides inadequate space to express views, is only aimed at individuals, was released just as we entered a third lockdown, and was not properly advertised to Disabled people.
If you represent a Disabled people’s organisation (of and for) please sign the letter today (12/02/21) or the 17th at the latest, by emailing the name of the signatory, and the organisation they represent, to email@example.com .