Help Bristol Sight Loss Council by Giving Your Views on Blind and Partially Sighted People Using Taxis in Bristol

Logo for Sight Loss Council - graphic of a circle made up of small blue circles next to black text that reads 'Sight Loss Councils A vision for change'

Bristol Sight Loss Council is still hearing worrying stories from people who are blind or partially-sighted in Bristol about challenging experiences with some taxi drivers. They have been working with the City Council about this for over two years.

They have put together a survey to try and get some feel for what is really happening. If you are a person with a visual impairment yourself could you please fill it in? There is an electronic version at https://forms.office.com/Pages/DesignPage.aspx?lang=en-US&origin=OfficeDotCom&route=Start#FormId=B1o5ZVY9d0i2G_U6r-U1ZJu-O3VWxZ9AiYY2GHGZRLpUN0NCR0oyQUZDQ0RJREpOWDNGVzdKTE1HOC4u

The survey has been out since the beginning of February. We have not had many responses yet. We are keeping it open until March 14th. So if you could help that would be great.

Wildly Different Programme from Imayla

Poster which includes a load of black, blue and orange text on yellow boxes on top of orange and black graphics of a monkey and leaves with the Imayla logo and Bristol City Council logo. Text reads:
'FEBRUARY - JULY 2022 WILDLY DIFFERENT PROGRAMME Ages 12-16
CREATIVE ARTS - BUSH CRAFT - LIFE SKILLS - FILM MAKING - NEW FRIENDSHIPS - RELAX
A SERIES OF 6 MONTH LONG OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
INTRODUCTORY TASTER SESSION
SATURDAY 2ND APRIL 11.30AM-3.30PM
Interested? Apply to join the Wildly Different Programme and you can come to the introductory taster session, meet the staff, other young people and collectively design the programme. Please make contact to find out more!
COLLECTIVELY CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITIES TOGETHER!
WILDLY DIFFERENT IS FOR YOU
- If you would like to grow and build your confidence, make new friends and explore new places.
- If you’re a young person facing difficulties.
- If you live in Easton, St George, Fishponds, Meadow Vale or Oldbury Court.
WILDLY DIFFERENT
- Offers you outdoor activities, day trips and weekend away.
- Takes place in exciting green spaces and outside the city.
= Opportunities for you to involve your parent, carer and/or support worker.
TO FIND OUT MORE AND MAKE AN APPLICATION
Visit: www.imayla.com – Email: info@imayla.co.uk – Call: 07738173048
We would be happy to discuss this opportunity further with you, your parent, carer and/or support worker.’

Imayla is pleased to be recruiting to Wildly Different 2022  six months of therapeutic outdoor and creative programme of activities – funded by Avon and Summerset Police and  Bristol City Council Youth Sector Support Fund – for young people aged 12-16yrs at risk of or experiencing challenging circumstances.  

Taster session: Boiling Wells Saturday 2nd April – 11.30am to 3.30pm

The Wildly Different programme prioritises CYP and families from Easton, Fishponds, Meadow Vale, St George, Oldbury Court – applications from across the city will only be considered if places permit. There are limited spaces on the programme but the deadline to apply has been extended to Wednesday 23rd March.

To apply for a place please click here: https://form.jotform.com/213203523845348 – if you are Disabled, you will need to fill out the Disability part of the form.

Healthier Together Letter to all patients

Thursday 24 February 2022

To everyone in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire,

Thank you again for all you continue to do to keep yourselves and each other safe from Covid-19. As the country looks towards the next phase of living with the virus, we wanted to update you on what that means for your local health and care services.

Although all services remain extremely busy, we have thankfully now passed the peak of the Omicron wave. As a result, we are standing down the temporary ‘Nightingale surge facility’ that was set up in the grounds of Bristol’s Southmead hospital earlier this year.

As we work hard to catch-up on operations and appointments delayed during the pandemic, it’s vital that we keep hospitals, care homes, GP surgeries and other healthcare settings as safe as possible. For this reason, we will still ask you to wear face coverings, regularly wash your hands, and – where possible – socially distance when on health and care premises. This will help keep our settings free of infection and protect the most vulnerable from serious illness.

We have introduced a number of new initiatives in response to both the pandemic and the recent high pressure on our services. They include:

1) A new grant scheme of up to £1,200 for people to help their loved ones return home following a hospital stay. The grant can be used to support the costs of shopping, household tasks, meal preparation, cleaning or transport – and is available to individuals, family members, friends, or other advocates of an individual returning from hospital.

2) Expanding our digital ‘pulse oximetry’ services so that more people with Covid-19 can recover from the virus at home, safe in the knowledge that they are being monitored by clinical teams. To date, the service has helped over 900 people in our area. If you or a loved one has tested positive for the virus you may be eligible for this support. Please complete this online survey to find out more. This information is available in multiple languages and British Sign Language (BSL).

3) Expanding our 111 team to include a greater range of clinical professionals.

Please remember as we go into Spring:

a) Vaccination remains the best way to protect yourselves and your loved ones from Covid-19. You can find your nearest clinic via grabajab.net for first, second and booster doses.

b) You should only ever call 999 in the event of a serious or life-threatening emergency. Click or call 111 first for urgent but non-life-threatening conditions, rather than visiting busy emergency departments and minor injuries units. You can also call your GP in the day.

c) Get to know your local pharmacy – they can offer clinical advice, prescribe some treatments, and provide over the counter medicines for a range of minor illnesses, such as coughs, sore throats, tummy trouble and aches and pains. Pharmacies are open throughout the day, evening and on weekends and you can be seen without an appointment.

d) Please show kindness and respect to health and social care staff when you come to see us. Sadly, 2022 continues to bring violence and aggression to our doors. This has a considerable impact on people, as this video from UHBW NHS Foundation Trust and this one from North Bristol NHS Trust both highlight.

Thank you again for helping us to help you. You can find more support including local wellbeing helplines, carers links and mental health specific resources on our local resources page.

On behalf of the Executives in Healthier Together

Coronavirus Update 24th February 2022

Photograph of someone's hand turning over two dice - six dice in the image say the word 'NORMAL' but the 'O' and 'R' are being changed to 'E' and 'W' to spell out 'NEW NORMAL'.

On Monday 21st February, the UK Government said that they will be removing all Covid-19 restrictions in England.

From today (Thursday 24th February), the law will change so that you no longer need to self-isolate if you have Covid-19

This change in the law also means you don’t have to take daily lateral flow tests or self-isolate if you come into contact with someone who has tested positive.

But, although the law says you don’t have to, the government is still advising people who test positive to stay at home and avoid contact with others for at least five full days.

From Friday 1ST April, free lateral flow testing will end for most people in England.  From this date you will have to buy lateral flow tests – free tests will only be given to the people over-75s and anyone over 12 who has a weakened immune system.

Free PCR tests will also end in April, except for a small number of vulnerable groups – more details on this will be announced sometime in March.

These changes are part of the Government’s new ‘Living with Covid’ plan which you can read here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-response-living-with-covid-19

Coronavirus still remains a real risk to many people who are clinically vulnerable, including Disabled people.  We need further help and support ‘to live’ with Covid.  The government also seems to be ignoring the risk of even more people getting long-Covid if we all stop testing and isolating.

Though it is now our personal choice and responsibility to stay safe, we recommend people continue to self-isolate and test.

There are other steps you can take that will reduce your risk of catch Covid even more which we also advise you to continue to do.  These include:

a) wear a face covering in public spaces (unless exempt),

b) let fresh air in if you are meeting other people indoors, or meet outside,

c) make sure you have the first, second and third (or ‘booster’) dose of the COVID-19 vaccination, and

d) continue to keep your distance from others.

Remember, nearly all the people who are now dying of Covid are people who have not been fully vaccinated.

For all the latest advice, visit GOV.UK.

Vaccinations

79.4% of people have had their vaccinations, but there are people who have not had any yet.  The Council are working to find a national fund to support vaccination taking and Community Champions who will focus on addressing unfairness around vaccinations.

There are still lots of appointments available for people to get vaccinated at a local centre. You can find out more information about the COVID-19 vaccine and where to get vaccinated on grabajab.net.

Vaccination and Pregnant Women

The number of pregnant women who have had the COVID-19 vaccines are particularly low.  The Council has been working with NHS colleagues on developing some key lines and organising resources from the new national campaign to help push out the messaging around the importance of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine if you are an expectant mother.

Data for England:

1) Since July, 1 in 5 Covid-19 patients who have needed treatment through a special lung bypass machine have been unvaccinated expectant mothers.

2) Since May, just 3 pregnant women have been admitted to hospital after having their first Covid-19 vaccine and no pregnant women who have received both jabs have been hospitalised with Covid-19.

3) The Covid-19 vaccine is safe for women at any stage of pregnancy, including those who are postpartum or breastfeeding.  There’s no need to wait until after the first 12 weeks.

4) Around 90,000 pregnant women in the UK have already had their Covid-19 vaccines.  The vaccine is life-saving and the best protection for you and your baby.

Storm Eunice – branch line closures, speed restrictions and reduced service levels tomorrow


Due to the red storm warning there will be significant changes to rail services from 0400 tomorrow morning.

This is expected to last throughout the day, and will mean branch line closures in Cornwall, Devon and Bristol. There will be 50mph speed restrictions, and services will be reduced by 50%.

Customers are being asked to check their journey before setting out. This can be done through Journey Check on journeycheck.com/GreatWesternRailway

We are also accepting tomorrow’s rail tickets for travel over the weekend or on Monday, and we will issue full refunds to anyone choosing not to travel.

We will need to review and check for any damage before re-opening and there could therefore be further delays and changes to services on Friday evening and Saturday.

Weather Warning and Disruption

Since this morning the forecast for coastal areas in the South West (including Bristol) and South Wales has got a lot worse with the Met Office now forecasting winds in these areas, between 7am and noon,  could be up to 90mph.  This means there is a greater chance of falling trees and flying debris, which can affect our network if they make contact.

Operations Director Graham Halladay said: “If members of the public see fallen lines I would urge them to stay well clear and ring 105. A fallen power line could still be live and can deliver a fatal shock. Our staff have the training and equipment to deal with the impact of storms and the work should be left to them.”

If you have a power cut and need extra support, please call Western Power Distribution (not your energy supplier) on 0800 032 0311 at any time.

Planned Engineering Work on Train Lines From GWR

Image of the Great Western Railway logo - black text on a white background that reads 'GWR'.

Great Western Railway (GWR) have announced that they plan to do engineering work on the train lines between Bristol Temple Meads and Severn Beach or Filton Abbey Wood.

Buses will replaces trains on both of these routes from this Saturday (19th) until Sunday 27th February, as Network Rail carries out track renewals and signalling work, as well as construction work on the new Portway Park & Ride station on the Severn Beach Line.

Trains will run between Bristol Temple Meads and Filton Abbey Wood on an amended timetable, and will not call at Stapleton Road or Lawrence Hill.

More information can be found here: https://news.gwr.com/news/planned-engineering-work-in-the-bristol-area-may-affect-your-rail-journey

CoInvetigators wanted for project on transition for young visually impaired people

Marion is looking for coinvestigator(s) for a tender call from Guide Dog
about post-school and post-university transition for young visually
impaired people. 

This will take a participatory approach with
young blind, partially sighted and possibly also deafblind people
actively involved. 

Coinvestigators should be UK based and Marion is particularly
interested in those who are like  themselves blind, partially sighted or
deafbklind. 

Please get in touch if your are interested and would like
more information by emailing Marion: DISABILITY-RESEARCH@jiscmail.ac.uk

Go Gentle Shows at the Exchange in February

Exchange continue their series of relaxed shows called Go Gentle with two new shows.

Show 1: Saturday 12th February, 2pm, with Katy J PearsonTickets to this event: https://www.headfirstbristol.co.uk/#date=2022-02-12&event_id=71037

Show 2: Saturday 26th February, 2pm, with Lande HektTickets to this event: https://www.headfirstbristol.co.uk/#date=2022-02-26&event_id=71072

Tickets for each show are £6 but nobody will beturned away for lack of funds.

Go Gentle is a series of relaxed shows at Exchange featuring both touring bands and local performers.  They are cosy, with reduced capacity, a variety of furniture, and much more, to make them inclusive to everyone.  Open to everyone and designed for people who will benefit from a more relaxed environment.Find out more about Go Gentle here: https://exchangebristol.com/info/go-gentle-shows/.