Mural Project for Bristol Asylum Seeking People and Disabled People: Our Experiences of the Covid Pandemic

Bristol Reclaiming Independent Living (BRIL) and Disability Murals are making a painted mural bringing together Disabled people and people in the asylum system (whether or not they identify as Disabled) to show peoples’ messages about the impact of Covid.  You have five days left to send them initial ideas and images.  If you cannot email and wish to post your ideas, please get in touch with Rebecca at the phone number in the contact details below to request a stamped envelope.

“We are inviting Disabled people asylum seekers and refugees to join us for a new project.  We will be making a mural, or a big painting, in Bristol.  We want to show other people:

1} What our lives are like.

2} What we want to change.

You do not need to be good at drawing!  You can put your ideas in words, drawings or photographs.  Everyone will be given anything they need to take part that they do not already have.  For example, pens and paper.

If it is safe we will meet up.  Or we can talk on the phone, or meet on the internet.  We will decide together what we want other people to know about our experiences during Covid.  An artist will help put all the ideas together into one big mural.  The mural will be shown in Bristol.

When the mural is finished we will have a big celebration.  We will invite people who we want to see the mural and to hear what we need to say.  We will explain our messages.  We will work together to try to make things better for all of us.”

If you are interested and would like know more, please get in touch!  Email Andrew at or phone Rebecca on 07986 897234.  Or contact Beth on 0117 914 0528.

Boris Johnson: Act as a real climate leader

The UN recognises Disabled people as one of the groups who will be most impacted by #climate change.

Instead of real change, our Government delivering greenwash and silly speeches about Kermit the frog.

But climate change is not a laughing matter. By not taking the crisis seriously our Government is failing Disabled people now and in the future. They must do more Disabled people will see our well-being and rights eroded and many will die.

Please sign to ask our Government to act as real green leaders this COP ▶️

Coronavirus News September 2021

Local booster programme

Some of you will have heard the Prime Minister announce that people over 50yrs old, and Clinically Extremely Vulnerable adults under 50yrs of age, will be given a booster vaccination this autumn.

Our local booster programme (Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire) started last week.

Those who are working in health and social care, frontline health roles, over 50 years of age and over 16-year-olds with underlying health conditions will be called for a booster jab.  This programme is about protecting those who are most vulnerable in our communities.  People who are entitled to a booster jab will be invited via text message or a letter by the NHS.  You do not need to contact the NHS directly.

If you have already had two doses of a vaccine, you have strong protection against the virus.  We want to reassure those people are who are eligible that there is plenty of vaccine booster for everyone.

For more information about the vaccination programme visit the Healthier Together website.

Booster jab = a further vaccine injection to increase a person’s protection from catching a serious infection.

COVID Pass fraud

Some criminals are getting people to hand over money, financial details, and personal information in return for a fake NHS COVID Pass. 

They are sending text messages, emails and making phone calls pretending to be from the NHS, and offering fake vaccine certificates for sale online and through social media.


  1. The NHS App is FREE.
  2. The NHS COVID Pass is FREE.
  3. The NHS will NEVER ask for payment or any financial details.

This scam is dangerous.  As well as the risk of them scaring people into giving them money, this scam also means that some people who have not been vaccinated could gain entry to events and infect large numbers of people.

So, can use the NHS COVID Pass to prove you have been vaccinated or tested, either in a digital or paper format using the NHS App, the NHS website or by calling 119.

For more information on the NHS COVID Pass visit the NHS website.

Report a fraudulent message or phone call at Action Fraud.

New rules for international travel

The Transport Secretary is changing the Coronavirus rules for international travel.

From 4am on Monday 4 October the current system will be replaced by a single (red) list of countries and territories that we cannot travel to/from, and easier rules for travelling to and from the rest of the world.

The main change is that the testing rules are being reduced for fully vaccinated travellers, so they will no longer need to take a test before travelling to England.

From the end of October, fully vaccinated passengers coming from the UK, and people with an approved vaccine from a list of countries we can travel to, will be able to replace their day 2 test with a lateral flow test.  This will make it cheaper to get tests when arriving in England.

Anyone who tests positive should self-isolate and take a PCR test, at no extra cost.  Testing for people from countries we can travel to, but who are not fully vaccinated, will include tests before travelling to the UK, followed by a PCR test on day 2 of their visit, and on day 8.

For more information on the new system for international travel, visit GOV.UK

Organ Donation Week

Logo for the NHS Organ Donation Website - image of a blured pink heart next to pink text which reads 'Organ Donation'.

This week is Organ Donation Week.

During the pandemic, there has been a big increase in the number of people agreeing to organ donation and providing those waiting with life-saving organ transplants.  But, there are still over 5,000 people in the UK waiting for organ transplants.

To enable more lives to be saved, the law about organ donation in England has changed to an opt-out system.  This means that everyone is treated as an organ donor when they die, unless they choose to opt out, or are in an excluded group.

However, families will still be involved in a discussion before organ donation goes ahead.  If you don’t have family, or want to ask someone else to support your decision, such as a faith leader, your GP or a good friend, you can nominate an organ donor representative instead.

The best way to make sure what you want to happen is what does happen, record your decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register and tell your loved ones. 

There are tips on the organ donation website which could help start the conversation with your friends and family.

Advice from Bristol City Council About What to Do When Visiting Museums and Libraries in Bristol

Photo of top floor of Bristol Museum and Art Gallery.

Bristol City Council are encouraging people who visit Bristol’s many museums and libraries to do what we can to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Although most of the Coronavirus restrictions have come to an end or are not law, infection rates are still very high.

They suggest that visitors continue to wear face coverings and to give each other space within the buildings, to check in using the NHS Test and Trace mobile phone app and to not visit if you have any symptoms of the virus.

The amount of people who can visit Bristol museums is limited and tickets need to be booked before you enter. This includes appointments at Bristol Archives.

To find out more information about museums, go to:

For more information about libraries, go to:

Get Growing Garden Trail 2021 from Bristol Food Network

Bristol Food Network logo - black and green text that reads 'Bristol Food Network' with a garden fork and spade in the middle of the two o's of the word 'food'.

This year the Get Growing Trail runs over the weekend of 18–19 September, giving visitors a chance to join in with this year’s harvest celebrations. Plot your own Trail around the city using the map on the leaflet that can be downloaded below.

You’ll also need a smartphone, SatNav or A–Z to find your way around the city. Use the symbols to plan lunch stops or an outing with the kids, or read a bit more to pick out projects which interest you. Trail admission is free.

All openings are subject to current government Covid-19 restrictions – please check here for any updates:

Download the Trail leaflet for 2021

Garden openings on 18th and 19th September 2021

Photograph of three people gardening taken from the Bristol Food Network website.

Alive dementia-friendly allotment Brentry
Plot 18, Charlton Road Allotments, Brentry BS10 6JZ.
Free on-street parking on Charlton Road.  We are the first plot to the right inside the gate.
Sunday 19 September, 12 noon–4pm.

Come and visit Bristol’s first fully wheelchair-accessible dementia-friendly allotment.  We have a beautiful plot overflowing with colourful fruit, veg and flowers, a polytunnel, ponds, a wildlife area and a relaxing sensory seating space.  There is also a compost toilet, a social shed and tea and coffee making facilities.  Wheelchair accessible.  Dog friendly.

Volunteer sessions: Mondays & Thursdays all year round 10am–3.30pm ·

The Pickle Factory, 13 All Hallows Road BS5 0HH.
The building with the large mural opposite the church.
Saturday 18 September, 1–4pm.
Sunday 19 September, 4–7pm.

An oasis in the heart of Easton.  The Pickle Factories Garden is created by volunteers, used by local families, and is a vital part of our Young Scientists initiative – the Easton Data Garden.  Mature Fig, Bay and Cherry trees shelter new and maturing plants where you’d least expect them.  Sometimes used by the East Bristol Social Club, its actual residents are birds, hedgehogs, foxes and a load of sensors giving data for us to learn by.

Blaise Community Garden
Next to Blaise Museum, off Church Lane BS10 7QS.
Through the big black gate, just past Blaise House Museum (to the left as you look at the house).
Saturday 18 September, 10am–3pm.

BCG is a community-run kitchen garden.  Dating from the 1800s it had a varied history, but became neglected and overgrown.  In 2013 a small group of local residents persuaded Bristol City Council to let them in and start clearing over an acre of brambles.  The project is entirely volunteer led and now has over 60 members.  It provides an opportunity for people to learn about gardening, sharing both their time and harvest.  On the day we will be offering tours and refreshments.
Volunteer sessions: Saturdays, Mondays & Wednesdays, 10am–2pm.  No need to book.

Bramble Farm
Beckington Walk, Knowle BS3 5EA.
Sat Nav postcode BS4 1AW.  From Redcatch Road, enter Stockwood Crescent and we are midpoint around the crescent.  Walk through the privet hedges on to Northern Slopes and turn right.  Signs will lead the way!
Saturday 18 September, 11–4pm.

Bramble Farm started up more than 10 years ago when TV chef and campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall helped local residents set up a small-holding on disused land, which featured in the River Cottage TV programme.  The farm is going strong with a solid group of committed local families who all muck in to make the farm a very special place.  Come and have a look around, and have a bite to eat.  See the animals and vegetable patch in this beautiful spot on the Northern Slopes. Friends of Bramble Farm .

Bridge Farm
Bell Hill BS16 1BQ.
Saturday 18 September, 10am–5pm.
Sunday 19 September, 10am–4pm.

A bridge between city and country, this farm is emergent and creative, self-organising and inspiring with plants perennial and vegetable, herbs and trees, animals, insects, people and history.  Come be a part of something special. Bridge Farm will be open to all on both days, for both visits and volunteering.  No need to book.

City Academy Bristol Community Allotment (CABCA)
City Academy, Russell Town Avenue BS5 9JF.
The allotment entrance is opposite City Academy’s staff car park (look for sign on Russell Town Avenue).
Sunday 19 September, 12 noon–2pm.

Our allotment is based within the grounds of City Academy Bristol (CAB).  Our site runs as a mix of local resident plot holders and community groups including Easton Community Children’s Centre, alongside students from CAB.  We run Stay and Play sessions for local families and residents lead regular work days to keep the site safe and looking good, and to share skills and knowledge!  Wheelchair accessible.
Volunteer sessions by arrangement:

The Community Farm
The Community Farm, Denny Lane, Chew Magna BS40 8SZ.
Farm tour: Saturday 18 September, 11am.
Volunteer sessions: Saturday, 10am–1pm and 2–4pm.

Actively participate in the work of our organic, nature-friendly farm: you will get your hands dirty and learn lots about growing and food production, through sessions that have been designed to be sociable and fun!  The exact activities will depend on what’s needed on the fields, but normally include planting, weeding and harvesting.  The Community Farm is in a beautiful setting, overlooking Chew Valley Lake. Adults and (supervised) children are welcome but places are limited so please book your place in advance.
To book your place, please email:

Dame Emily Park Project
Dame Emily Park, Morley Road entrance, BS3 1DT.
Open access site 24/7 all year round.
Volunteers on site Sunday 19 September, 2–4pm to help you get involved.

Planting, seeding and digging · Visit our Bee Village Collect free herbs for visitors · Nature related kids activity · Have a chat over coffee & snacks · Pirate band playing!

Elm Tree Farm
Park Road, Stapleton BS16 1AA.
Our entrance is next to Stapleton Cricket Club, we have a sign outside.  Follow the driveway until you reach the car park or to the end and turn right if on foot/cycling.
Saturday 18 September, 10.30am–3.30pm.

We are a 12-acre care farm, producing veg, flowers, meat and eggs.  All of our growing is powered by organic principles, lots of organic matter and the joyful work of many pairs of hands.  We support adults with learning disabilities and autism, who grow, learn and thrive alongside us – we would love to show you around our gardens.

Fishponds Community Orchard
Plots 180–182, Thingwall Park Allotments, Thingwall Park, Fishponds BS16 2AE.
The orchard will be signposted from the two entrances to the allotments.  Entrances are on Thingwall Park opposite Hawkesbury Road and Knowsley Road.
Saturday 18 & Sunday 19 September, 11am–4pm.

The orchard was first planted 16 years ago and includes a number of rare Gloucestershire varieties.  Produce is organically grown and includes an espalier, cordons and nursery beds for grafted trees from our own stock.  A small pond, edible hedges, an insect hotel and close proximity to the Frome Valley provides a wildlife friendly environment.  There is a willow dome den for children and two picnic benches.  We don’t plan to provide refreshments but visitors are welcome to bring their own picnic, snacks etc.
Volunteer sessions: Sundays 2–4pm on 15 August, 12 & 26 September. · Fishponds Community Orchard.

Grow Wilder (Avon Wildlife Trust)
181 Frenchay Park Road, Stapleton BS16 1EL (near the corner of Stoke Lane. Sat nav postcode BS16 1HB).
Saturday 18 September, 10am–4pm.
Sunday 19 September 10am–4pm.

Grow Wilder is an Avon Wildlife Trust site aimed at enabling nature to recover on a grand scale through inspiring people, communities, schools and businesses to take action for wildlife.  Our six-acre site demonstrates the value of nature for wellbeing, wildlife gardening and food growing.  We manage a range of habitats for you to explore and have built up living seedbanks on the site to support our wild flower nursery.  The site also acts as an incubator for other urban agriculture businesses including Black Hen Market Garden, Tree to Treen woodworking, Hedgeroe Apothecary, Sims Hill and Street Goat.  Have a cup of tea and slice of cake at our Café, take a tour of our Market Garden and peruse the plants in our Wildflower Nursery. ·

The HAVEN Land & Community
Wainbrook Drive, Royate Hill BS5 7EG.
End of Wainbrook Drive, walk across grass patch (look slightly right) through metal gates and tunnel, the HAVEN is straight ahead.
Saturday 18 & Sunday 19 September, 11am–5pm.

‘Meet and greet’ sessions over the Get Growing Trail weekend.  The HAVEN is a community land project supporting people in recovery from trauma, mental health and addiction issues.  Based in Bristol on 1.2 acres of green space, we’re volunteer-led and provide a safe space where people can enjoy nature, relax, socialise and learn new skills related to gardening, permaculture, nature, conservation, health, well- being and many other therapeutic activities.
Volunteering sessions: Tuesdays & Fridays, 11am–4pm onwards · · 07523 287919.

Hazelnut Community Farm
The rear of Eden Grove Methodist Church, Eden Grove, Horfield BS7 0PQ.
Saturday 18 September, 10am–4pm.
Sunday 19 September, 10am–1pm.

We are a community garden that aims to grow food to give away to the community and enable people to grow their own food.  Come along for creative nature crafts and tours of the site.  We would love to meet people who are looking to be involved in growing food in North Horfield.
See website for volunteering sessions:

Lawrence Weston Community Farm
Saltmarsh Drive BS11 0NJ.
Tuesday–Sunday, 9.30am–4.30pm.

We are a community-managed farm that aims to improve the quality of life for local people by providing inspiring and inclusive educational, environmental and recreational activities to promote health and mental wellbeing, social cohesion and community regeneration.  We are also a free, safe community green space.  We will be selling nettle soup and teaching people about harvesting, storing and sowing saved-seeds from this year’s crop.  Volunteers will go home with seeds for their growing spaces.  Wheelchair accessible.  Activity is suitable for all ages, no experience required.
Volunteer session: Sunday 19 September, 11am–2pm. · 0117 938 1128.

Long Ashton Growers
Theynes Croft, Long Ashton BS41 9NA.
Across wooden footbridge over the stream next to 21 Theynes Croft (next to cycle path from Bristol) and turn left in the field.
Saturday 18 September & Sunday 19 September, 11am–4pm.

A co-op of 40 members growing no-dig organic veg and fruit on a sunny half-acre site, including a 60’ poly tunnel and solar powered water pumping system from the stream.

Royate Hill Community Orchard & Allotment
Royate Hill Allotments Site, Royate Hill BS5 6RN.
Turn off Royate Hill down the lane under the viaduct, into the allotments site.  Walk 400m and you’ll find the Orchard on your left.

Saturday 18 September, 11am–4.30pm: Communal apple-pressing.  
Come along and experience the sticky thrill of making apple juice, and take some away (bring a 2L container) when you leave.  From collecting the apples, to squishing and pressing, and composting what’s left – this is permaculture in action, with no waste!  Families welcome and kids over six can participate when supervised by carers.
Communal apple-pressing at Royate Hill.

Sunday 19 September, from 12 noon–3pm: open site visits & chats

Open day to explore the site. Pop by to explore our beautiful site on a south facing slope.  Chat with project guide Mike Feingold, the Bristol permaculture legend, and find out: the history of the site and project; about permaculture and no dig growing; taste some of our 40+ varieties of apples and pears; buy by donation some apple juice and cider vinegar.
Volunteer work-parties every Saturday 11am.

St George Park Community Garden
St George Community Garden, The Old Bandstand, St George Park, St George BS5 9AT.
The community garden is on a raised area opposite the kiosk café and children’s area in the park centre.  It is on a raised hillock surrounded by a low wooden ‘henge’ fence.
Open access site 24/7 all year round.
Volunteer session: Saturday 18 September, 10am–12 noon – places must be booked via Eventbrite:
see Facebook page.

The Community Garden work parties can include sowing seeds and planting new crops, harvesting produce, tidying up and removing wild plants, mulching with leaf mould, clipping the grass around base of beds, turning compost bins and occasional watering or adding organic feed to the fruit and veg beds may be needed.  Sharing a chat and a drink at tea break is also an essential part of the whole work party.  No smoking.

St Werburghs City Farm & The Propagation Place
Watercress Road, St Werburghs BS2 9YJ. (directions for travelling on foot, bicycle, bus and train).
On both days the Farm’s Smallholding will be open to the general public from 9am–5pm.
Saturday 18 September, 10am–2pm, staff will be on the following sites too, specifically for the Trail:

Propagation Place will be offering on-site sales of vegetable plug plants, a tour of our beautiful organic community garden project and the option to learn about sowing and caring for seedlings from one of our experienced staff members.  Plant sales will be available over the whole weekend but if you want more specific info about plants being sold, you should come during the staffed hours for the Trail.  The Boiling Wells Conservation Site (orchard plus food forest) and open-air amphitheatre, and our Community Garden on Mina Road will also be open to the public 10am–2pm on Saturday only.  Both are great sites for a picnic and to connect with nature.  Meals available at the City Farm Café as usual.  The Propagation Place and Smallholding are wheelchair accessible. ·

SusWoT (Sustainable Westbury-on-Trym)
Behind 135 Stoke Lane, Bristol BS9 3RW.
The Community Garden is down the lane by Hunters, 135 Stoke Lane.
Sunday 19 September, 2–4pm.

SusWoT volunteers will explain what SusWoT does to promote growing food in the area.  Visitors can appreciate the Community Garden and visit the small vegetable garden next to Westbury Library. ·

Tynings Field Community Group
65 Woodwell Road, Shirehampton.
Before the railway bridge on the left.
Saturday 18 & Sunday 19 September, 10am–4pm.

Eggs for sale.  Meet the geese.  Digging and clearing.  Nature trail.  Fruit for sale.  Picnic on site.
Volunteer session: Saturday afternoon bramble cut, no need to book.   Tynings Field Community Group.

University of Bristol Botanic Garden
The Holmes, Stoke Park Road, Stoke Bishop, BS9 1 JG.
10am–4.30pm 7 days a week.
Sunday 19 September, 11am: special tour of the Botanic Garden focusing on the growing of exotic vegetables.  No need to book.  
Entry free on production of the Trail leaflet at the Welcome Lodge.

Dramatic displays illustrating collections of Mediterranean flora, rare native, useful plants (including Chinese and Western herbs) and those that illustrate plant evolution.  Wild flower meadow, enchanting lake and pond with aquatic flora, glasshouses, home to giant Amazon water lily, tropical fruit, medicinal plants, orchids, cacti and a unique sacred lotus collection.  Fascinating summer art and science exhibition using augmented reality to illustrate how flowers attract pollinators.  Refreshments on the west terrace provided by Chandos Deli.  Wheelchair accessible. ·· 0117 4282041.

Windmill Hill City Farm
Phillip Street, Bedminster BS3 4EA.
Saturday 18 September 10.30am & 11.30am: Two garden tours with Beth, Community Gardener.

Join us for a tour of the productive gardens by Beth, our Community Gardener.  We grow our food and flowers following organic principles to help nature thrive and minimise our impact on the environment.  Our gardens are managed with significant support from local volunteers, many of who join us for well-being and mental health reasons.  Our produce goes into our award-winning café and is for sale in the farm shop and in our new veg boxes.  Wheelchair accessible.· queries to

Mandatory Social Care Vaccinations – News from Bristol City Council

Bristol City Council logo.

If you are required to enter a care home as part of your professional responsibilities, from Thursday 11 November you will need to show proof of vaccination or exemption, unless you are under 18. This means you will need to receive your first dose by Thursday 16 September.

To get your COVID-19 vaccination, you can book an appointment on the National Booking System, call 119 or visit one of the city’s walk-in vaccination clinics.

There are regular walk-in clinics being held at Cabot Circus, Vaccination Centre at UWE Bristol and Avonmouth Vaccination Clinic. A full list of locations and dates is available on the Healthier Together website.

From Thursday 11 November, you must be able to demonstrate to the care home that you have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, unless exemptions apply. The NHS COVID Pass can be used to check and demonstrate vaccine status. The Pass is available on the NHS app. You can also request a letter in the post on the NHS website or by calling 119.

A full list of people who do and do not need to provide evidence can be found on the government website. This includes care workers, funeral directors, hairdressers, food delivery drivers and maintenance.

Update from Great Western Railway

Logo for Great Western Railway - black text on a white background that reads 'GWR'.

The track and signalling upgrade at Bristol East Junction as part of the wider Bristol Rail Regeneration programme is almost complete and services were running normally again on all routes from Saturday 4 July.

There is one final piece of work to complete on the weekend of Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 September, but the new track and signals are now in place.

Self-isolating Support Payment Scheme

Following the changes to the rules about  self-isolating on Monday 16 August, under 18s and those who are double vaccinated no longer have to self-isolate if they have been in close contact with someone who has (or thinks they may have) COVID-19. 

You should still self-isolate straight away and get a PCR test (a test that is sent to the lab) as soon as possible if you have any symptoms of COVID-19.

You also have to self-isolate if you’ve tested positive for COVID-19. 

If you do have to self-isolate and are on a low income you can still apply for a NHS Test and Trace Support Payment.

To get a payment you must –

  1. Be in low paid employment or self-employment,
  2. Have a job you cannot do from home, and
  3. Will lose income because you are self-isolating.

You must also be getting at least one of these benefits –

  1. Universal Credit,
  2. Working Tax Credit,
  3. Income Related Employment and Support Allowance,
  4. Income Based Jobseeker’s Allowance,
  5. Income Support,
  6. Housing Benefit, 
  7. Pension Credit.

This scheme will give people on a low income whose wages are reduced because they have to  self-isolate up to £500.

If you do not qualify but would like to know more about other support available, you can:

  1. see Bristol City Council’s Get help page,
  2. call 0800 694 0184, 8.30am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.

City of Bristol College vaccination walk-in clinics for 16- and 17-year-olds

The COVID-19 vaccine is now available for 16- and 17-year-olds. Next week the local NHS will be running walk-in clinics at two City of Bristol College sites for all 16- and 17-year-olds in the city.

The clinics will be on:
🕔Wednesday 8 September, 9.30am-4pm – City of Bristol College, College Green Centre, St George’s Road, BS1 5UA

🕔 Thursday 9 September, 9.30am-4pm – City of Bristol College, South Bristol Skills Academy, The Boulevard, Hengrove Park, BS14 0DB

If you can’t do these dates, there are plenty of other places you can get your vaccination, including Cabot Circus, Vaccination Centre @ UWE Bristol and Avonmouth Vaccination Clinic.

Visit the Healthier Together website for the full list of locations and dates.