Opportunity to Become Bristol City Council’s Disability Equality Commission Chair!

Bristol City Council is looking for a voluntary Disability Equality Commission Chair to help make a real difference to the lives of other Disabled people in Bristol and who can lead and build a team.

The Commission will lead the work of including Disability Equality in every part of the city to improve the lives and opportunities of all Disabled people.

As Chair, you will be the leader and spokesperson for the Commission.  You will have great experience of working at a senior level, able to build relationships with individuals and organisations.  You will be a planned thinker and an excellent communicator.  You will have a good understanding of the community of Disabled people in the city and the private, public, voluntary and community sector.

Applications from Disabled people from all backgrounds are welcome, but Disabled people who also have other identity characteristics are encourage to apply who are currently under-represented in this type of role and work.

To find out more and apply for the role, go to: https://www.bristol.gov.uk/web/bristol-disability-equality-commission-chair/the-role

Coronavirus News Update June/July 2021

Photo of an online website showing Covid-19 figures (the numbers are made up).

On Monday 14 June, the UK Government said it would delay easing the Coronavirus restrictions until Monday 19 July.

Although Bristol is not one of the areas in England where the new version (variant) of COVID-19, known as Delta and first found in India, is extremely high, the number of people catching the Delta variant is increasing at a fast rate.  Our current rate of infections is 165 cases per 100,000 (up from 63 just 10 days ago) and is increasing.

But it’s not all bad news, as 244,629 adults aged over 16 who live in Bristol have had at least one vaccine dose.

Step 4, the final stage, was meant to happen on Monday 21 June but now won’t happen before Monday 19 July at the earliest.  So we are staying at the Step 3 stage until then.

However, some restrictions did change on 21 June.  Since 21 June, these 5 changes apply:

1.     More than 30 people can attend a wedding, civil partnership ceremony, reception or/and celebrations but must be seated at tables or sit in groups of up to six people or two households.

2.     More than 30 people can attend a funeral or linked commemorative events following a death but must sit in groups of up to six people or two households.

3.     A small number of pilot events will take place to produce additional evidence on reopening events safely. Attendees will need to show proof of vaccination or a recent negative test.  This will include some UEFA EURO 2020 matches at Wembley and a small number of other sports, arts and music performances.

4.     More than 6 people or two households can visit care homes, provide emergency help or care for Disabled or vulnerable people.  Care homes may have certain COVID guidelines which you may need to follow.

5.     More than 6 people or two households can meet for certain childcare situations (separated parents or guardians, children in care, etc.).

What this means you can do

You can do the things which came with Steps 1, 2 and 3 of the Government’s roadmap.  This includes:

Step 1 (8 and 23 March)

All children back in school

Outdoor meetings

Step 2 (12 April)

All shops open,

Outside eating and drinking at pubs, cafes and restaurants.

Step 3 (17 May)

From 17 May people can:

Eat and drink at pubs, cafes and restaurants, indoors and outside, at tables.

Holiday accommodation in the UK open and travel across the UK allowed,

Outdoor meetings of up to 30 people,

Indoor meetings of up to 6 people or 2 households,

Outdoor contact sports,

Indoor entertainment and visitor attractions, leisure centres, gyms and swimming pools open (with limits),

Care home residents can receive visitors.

What this means you cannot do

a.     You cannot go to nightclubs as they remain closed full stop. 

b.     You cannot go to a theatre, cinema or public event when they are at their maximum capacity which is currently limited to 50%. 

c.     Social distancing is still in place. 

d.     You still cannot meet with more than 6 people or two households indoors.  But if you have 5 people, or another household visiting, it is still much safer to stay outdoors.

e.     You still cannot meet with more than 30 people outdoors.

More information

To find out more about what you can and cannot do in England, go to https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do

To find out more about information on Covid-19 in Bristol, go to https://www.bristol.gov.uk/coronavirus/what-you-need-to-know or Tel: 0117 922 2000.

Great Western Railway (GWR) to Improve Bristol Temple Meads Station with Replacement of Bristol East Junction

GWR logo.

As part of the Bristol Rail Regeneration Programme, Great Western Railway (GWR) will be taking a major step forward this summer with the replacement of Bristol East Junction at Bristol Temple Meads.

The replacing of East Junction will increase capacity to allow for additional services and new stations through the MetroWest initiative backed by the West of England Combined Authority and will mean better performance and fewer delays in future.

The junction is being replaced over an eight-week period from Saturday 10 July to Friday 3 September, with the first phase running through to Friday 6 August. Some journey times will change, and customers will need to check their journey before travel.

GWR are working hard to make sure everyone knows about the changes. They have provided us with a toolkit of resources with more information – we have put the customer leaflet as a download below.

For more information on revised services visit GWR.com/Bristol or CrossCountrytrains.co.uk/bristol. You can also find out more about the Bristol Rail Regeneration programme at Networkrail.co.uk/BristolRailRegen and follow progress on Twitter #BristolRailRegen

Bristol City Council’s Extra Care Housing Commissioning Plan Consultation

Bristol City Council is reviewing the care and support services delivered in Extra Care Housing (ECH) that are funded by the council’s Adult Social Care budget. The Council is looking at what services are delivered and how the council would like to commission (buy) these services in the future. 

The results of the consultation will inform the final version of the commissioning plan. The consultation asks what you think of:

  1. the key areas of focus for the draft commissioning plan 
  2. the types of care and support services to be commissioned
  3. what the council will pay for future care and support services (pricing options)
  4. the way the council buys care and support services from ECH providers (purchasing options)

To find out more and take part in the Council’s ECH consultation, go to https://bristol.citizenspace.com/people/extra-care-housing-consultation/. We have also included a copy of the Easy Read version below.

Online and In-Person Events from Community Access Support Services (CASS) Bristol

Banner image taken from CASS Bristol. The imge shows a myriad of colours and graphics jumping out of an open book with text underneath reading 'Stories From the City'.

Join Community Access Support Services (CASS) Bristol for a series of online and in-person events, hearing wellbeing stories from mental health services and communities around Bristol, and talking to you about what’s next in the story.

In person – Catch Up Sessions and Story Sessions

Join your local Networker in a community venue for a chance to catch up, hear stories of the great work that’s been done in Bristol, take part in wellbeing activities, and get up-to-date information about help and support available to you, your group members and community.

Monday 5th July: Share Stories – North Bristol Catch Up, 11 to 1.00, Greenway Centre

Wednesday July 7th: Share Stories – South Bristol Catch Up, 10.30 to 2.30, Redcatch Community Garden

Saturday July 10th: Share Stories – Inner & East Bristol Catch Up, 12.00 to 4.00, St Werburgh’s Community Centre

Zoom Sessions

Monday July 5th: What’s Next in the Story: Community Mental Health Awareness, 1.00 to 2.30

Bring your insights about what can be done in the future to improve awareness of mental health and reduce stigma in your community. What’s great about the work being done, what could there be more of, and what’s not working? This session will offer a chance for communities to reflect on barriers to services, stigma around mental health and gaps in provision in light of the changes over the last year, and will be fed back to local decision makers.

Joined by Mark Allen from Bristol City Council (Thrive), and representatives from community organisations to talk about what has been happening in the city to support communities with their wellbeing.

Book your place here.

Thursday July 8th: What’s Next in the Story: Mental Health Services in Bristol, 1.00 to 2.30

Join representatives from local services to find out about the work they do, how their provision has changed since the pandemic, and how they will be working in the future. Participants will have the chance to identify the key questions they have about mental health services and ask representatives directly.

Joined by Bristol Mind, Changes Bristol, Mothers for Mothers, Bristol Disability Equality Forum and Creative Shift.

Book your place here.

Opportunity of Grant for Young Creatives from Youth Music

Banner image of three young people in black and white with a yellow cicle drawn round them. An orange strip sits above with black text reading 'Youth Music NextGen Fund' and a yellow strip sits underneath the photo with black text reading 'Grants of Up to £2,500'.

The Youth Music NextGen Fund offers young creatives grants of up to £2,500 to make their ideas happen.

Youth Music launched the NextGen Fund to help emerging musicians and behind the scenes creatives take a step forward in participating and changing the music industries. 

Built for creatives with a stack of ideas but a lack of finance, the fund is open to 18–25-year-olds (and under-30s who identify as Disabled). Successful applicants will use the money to launch a creative project, idea or business.

Youth Music want to support the future of the music industries. Singers, Rappers, Songwriters, Producers, DJs, A&Rs, Managers and Agents, right through to roles that have yet to be defined.

They would especially like to hear from people who have never applied for funding before.

To find out more and apply, go to: https://youthmusic.org.uk/nextgen/nextgen-fund

The deadline for Round 1 is 17:00 on Friday 9 July 2021.

StopSIM Coalition Petition

#StopSIM – Halt the rollout and delivery of SIM and conduct an independent review”

This petition was started by the StopSIM Coalition.  They are a group of mental health service users, survivors and allies calling on NHS England to halt the development and rollout of ‘Serenity Integrated Mentoring’ (SIM), created by the ‘High Intensity Network’ (HIN), with immediate effect, and to conduct an independent review.

They believe that SIM is an unacceptable step backwards in disability justice and has the effect of criminalising mental distress/illness. We share their concerns and ask you to sign this petition, calling on NHS England to:

  1. Halt the rollout and delivery of SIM with immediate effect, as well as interventions operating under a different name, which are associated with the High Intensity Network (HIN).
  2. Conduct an independent review and evaluation of SIM in regards to its evidence base, safety, legality, ethics, governance and acceptability to service users.”

Read the information accompanying the petition and sign it by clicking here.

Medical Record Data – How Disabled People can Opt-Out of the New GP Data Collection Scheme

Flatlay photo of an Apple Mac laptp and a blue and silver metal doctor's stephescope.

From Thursday 1 July, the medical data from general practices (GPs) of everyone in England will be taken and used by the UK Government. This will mean that your private information will be collected and shared. This is a breach of confidentiality as it would allow third parties to access to anyone’s records.

Patients in England, including Disabled people, can opt-out of this new scheme – to not have your data shared with people outside of the NHS. However, you only have until 23 June to do so.

To read more details about the scheme via The Guardian, go to: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/may/30/the-guardian-view-on-medical-records-nhs-data-grab-needs-explaining

To find out about how to opt-out of the scheme and downlaod the opt-out form from medConfidential to complete and send to your GP by 23 June, go to: https://medconfidential.org/how-to-opt-out/

A message from Bristol City Council – Get Tested 4 Bristol Campaign

Cartoon image of a Rapid Flow test in white/pale blue on a bright blue background.

This week Bristol City Council launch their #GetTested4Bristol campaign, to encourage 18-30 year olds to make lateral flow (rapid) testing a part of their regular routine.  Up to one in three people with COVID-19 do not display symptoms, and rapid tests help to work out those who are positive but do not have symptoms.

Rapid testing is:

Open to everyone



Helps to protect Bristol

With the help of some local Bristol influencers from across the night-time and music sectors, sports, youth clubs, the local authority and Bristol’s popular drag scene, the Council are sharing messages of inspiration and support with young people to encourage them to take up regular rapid testing.

Videos from these influencers will be shared across the Council’s Instagram channel from Tuesday 8 June. They’ll be spotlighting one influencer’s message per day on their Instagram reels and stories.

Please help our young people #GetTested4Bristol so we can keep our city safe.

Support is available to anyone who tests positive for coronavirus through the We Are Bristol helpline on 0800 694 0184. This includes practical support such as collecting prescriptions or food shopping, emotional and mental health advice, and information about the NHS Test and Trace Payment Scheme.

For more information on the campaign go to: http://www.bristol.gov.uk/rapidtest