Coronavirus News 27th April 2022 and World Immunisation Week

Photo of a small bottle of a Covid-19 Vaccine in front of a blue backdrop.

Only 76% people in Bristol over 16 years of age have had two doses of the vaccine and just 60 per cent have had three doses.  This is very worrying for three reasons:

  1.  This has led to 180 people being in hospital because of COVID.  The more people are in hospital with COVID, the longer everyone else has to wait for treatment of other conditions that they need.
  2. The high rate of COVID in Bristol is causing a lot of operations to be postponed –operations people need – because hospital staff are catching COVID from their patients, the other customers in the shops and cafes they visit, their neighbours and family friends.
  3. Everyone who passes on their COVID infection is not only putting others at risk of needing hospital treatment, they are putting others at risk of long COVID.  Long COVID affects people of all ages, regardless of whether they are a Disabled person or a healthy, fit person.

So, help celebrate World Immunisation Week this week, by getting  yourself vaccinated, or your booster shot.  Then, remember social distancing and wear a mask in public indoor places e.g. shops, so that people you love, people you don’t know and hospital staff, don’t catch COVID from you.

Local vaccination teams run a regular vaccination clinic in the heart of Bristol, at Bristol Rapid Testing Centre, 17-18 Wellington Road, Bristol BS2 9DA.

When? – Tuesdays and Saturdays,

What time? – between 10:30am and 5:30pm,

Who can get vaccinated there? – Anyone 12-15 year olds who is getting their first and second doses, and anyone aged 16 and over for first, second and third doses, boosters and spring boosters.  If you are due to have your spring booster your doctor or the NHS will have told you that you should.

Just walk-in or book an appointment online on the National Booking System. 

For more information, visit

If you would get vaccinated but are afraid of needles or anxious about injections, there are clinics especially for people with injection concerns or needle fear.

The clinics are at the Vaccination Centre @UWE Bristol, Coldharbour Lane, Frenchay, Bristol BS16 1QY. 

All vaccination staff are highly trained and will provide a safe space for you to talk about your fears and to have your COVID-19 vaccine.  These specialist clinics are by appointment only.

Email to book your appointment. 

You will be then contacted by a member of the vaccination team to make sure that your needs are met when you arrive.

What to do if you have symptoms of COVID-19 

Although the laws about testing and self-isolation have gone, this does not mean that COVID-19 has gone away. 

We need to continue to do the simple things to protect our communities and the people around us.

If you feel unwell, have a temperature, or have symptoms of COVID-19 or flu, you should:

a) try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people,
b) try to arrange to work from home if you can.  If you are can’t work from home, talk to your employer about the options available to you,
c) wear a face covering if you leave the house, avoid crowded or enclosed spaces and avoid visiting people who are at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19.

If your child is feeling unwell, has a high temperature or has symptoms of COVID-19 or flu, they should try to avoid going to school, college or childcare until they no longer have a high temperature and are well enough to return.
These small actions will help to protect the people around you, our communities and our city.

Further guidance about what to do if you have symptoms of COVID-19 is available on the government website for people with symptoms of a respiratory infection including COVID-19.

ARE YOU HAVING A LAUGH? Accessible Live Comedy at North St Standard, Bedminster

Graphic: Cream rectangle shaped graphic with white text and five small square photographs in a line of each of the comedians. Some of the white text is on brown square shapes in the graphic above and below the photos.

ARE YOU HAVING A LAUGH?” is a fully wheelchair accessible comedy gig taking place Sunday 8th May from 7.30pm at North St Standard, Bedminster,  The gig will feature comedy from Dani JohnsEva BindemanRiki Msindo, Tom Bowell and Raul Kohli

Here is some information on each of the acts:

Dani Johns

The show’s resident MC is born and bred Bristolian Dani Johns.  Described as a “smart, clever pocket rocket of a comedian” whose “sassy delivery captivates every audience member”. Dani is an instantly likeable act with an impressive and increasing list of accolades (BBC New Comedy Award, Funny Women Stage Award, Bath Comedy Festival New Act Competition, Komedia Bath New Act of the Year Award).

Eva Bindeman

Eva Bindeman is a Bristol based, North East Comic bringing a warm, conversational sense of humour with a twist of the unexpected. She’s a regular on the pro circuit and has been described as “a strong act with a suitcase full of stories, hilarious punchlines and playful observations.” Recently seen on BBC 1 and Iplayer for the BBC New Comedy Awards 2021, Eva is a performer to look out for this year and beyond.

Riki Msindo

Riki Msindo is a comedian and podcast host from Zimbabwe now based in Bristol. He’s performed all over the Southwest and London, which means he’s got a cocktail of an accent. His chubby cheeked smile contrasts with his sharp-tongued observations, allowing Riki to be unapologetically confident. His popular comedy podcast “Oh Captain My Captain” has had incredible guests including Jimmy Carr, Joe Lycett and Russell Howard.

Tom Bowell

Introducing Tom Bowell, a fresh face on the comedy circuit who delights audiences with his
anecdotes of life as a proud Brummie living in Bristol.

Raul Kohli

Raul Kohli is an award-winning comedian and regularly performs at some of the biggest comedy clubs around the World (including The Stand Edinburgh, Laugh Canvas India, Comedyhuis Netherlands). As one of the few Asians to have grown up in the far north of England, he’s been blessed with a world view that upends ethnicity, culture and class. Combining “superb political comedy” with surreal storytelling, Raul Kohli is a recognized and sought-after name in comedy.

Tickets are £7 and doors open at 6pm on the night.  You can book your ticket from the Headfirst website here:

North St Standard is an inclusive venue and have excellent wheelchair access.  The main entrance, bar area, performance area (for both acts and audience) and toilets are all wheelchair accessible.

If you have any specific accessibility requirements or questions, please feel free to contact them by telephone: 01179 639223 or email:

‘Bring back facemasks and social distancing’, says NHS leader Chris Hopson

Photograph of various objects that relate to Covid-19: a blue facemask, a pair of blue gloves, a roll of toilet paper, bottles of hand sanitizer, lateral flow test.vaccination bottles and a smartphone showing an image of the NHS Test and Trace app.

(Text taken from articles in national newspapers The Times April 17th and The Independent April 17th – links to both at bottom of this blog).

“How can “living with Covid” mean ignoring all precautions, at a time when the number of people in hospital with the virus has doubled in recent weeks to nearly 16,000.

One of the problems is the very high levels of staff sickness in the NHS.  Between this and the number of Covid patients, waiting lists are getting longer – even for operations that could reduce the social care costs of supporting people while they’re not being treated – and leaving others unable to leave hospital, even though they are medically fit, because they can’t get the social care and other services they need to return home. “

Living with an illness is about managing it, not ignoring it.

Link to the Telegraph article (pauwall):

link to the Independent article:

Disability Activism in Bristol – Forging Our Futures Display Launch Event and Display

Portrait photo of a Disabled male activist taken by David Constantine.

A brand new museum display created by Bristol Disability Equality Forum and in collaboration with the MShed is to open this month.

It will showcase Disabled Bristol activists from the 1980s and 1990s through interviews and research done by Disabled young people from the city.  Photography included in the display was taken by Bristol-based photographer David Constantine.

The display, which can be viewed on the first floor of the MShed, will be available for you to look at from April 28th 2022 until October 1st 2023.

There will also be a launch event for the display April 27th from 6pm to 7.30pm at the MShed.  Numbers are limited, but tickets to attend are still available.  To book your ticket to the launch event, go to:

For more information about the display itself, visit MShed’s website:

Congratulations to Gordon Richardson on receiving a Honorary Degree from the University of Bristol!

Photograph of Gordon Richardson with his Honorary Degree from the University of Bristol.

We’re delighted to share that our Co-Chair of Trustees, Gordon Richardson, has been awarded an Honorary Degree for his many decades of working to improve the lives of Disabled people by the University of Bristol.

Honorary degrees are given to very few people (one to two a year).  Gordon did his undergraduate degree in Economics and Accounting.

As well as being Co-Chair at the Forum, he is a founder of the Vassall Centre, the city’s first fully accessible workplace, Chair of Designability, Treasurer of the Bristol Walking Alliance, Bristol West Diabetes Support Network and the regional arm of the British Polio Fellowship.  He has also recently become one of the new Disability Equality Commissioners.

Gordon has worked tirelessly for the Forum since joining the Board of Trustees and we hope to work with him for many years to come – in a range of ways.

Disabling Homes Investigation from Bureau Local

The Disabling Homes Investigation from Bureau Local focuses on Disabled Faculies’ Grants (DFGs) and the harsh challenges people experience trying to get vital adaptations to their home. 

After contacting all UK councils and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive for data on DFG delivery and waiting times, Bureau Local discovered long and growing waits for assessments and for adaptations to be completed. In a first of its kind analysis, they were also able to uncover the full extent of the wait for adaptations across much of the country. 

Meanwhile, Disabled children and adults are turning to crowdfunding to pay for major adaptations, and sacrificing their independence and dignity for years. Others are trapped inside or locked out of their own homes.

Some of the main findings are:

Waiting times (as of 30 September/October 2021)

In 10 council areas in England and Wales, people had to wait on average more than a year to even see an occupational therapist and complete the pre-application steps, including Southend, where the wait was more than 18 months. 

Government rules mandate that adaptations are approved and completed within 18 months, meaning a person could easily be waiting two to three years for the changes that make their property a liveable home. 

Some areas in Northern Ireland, where grant rules are different, had wait times of more than three years. 

Postcode lottery

The difference in response times across England and Wales was stark. In some places in Wales, the average wait for an occupational therapist was barely a few days, but in Newport it could be up to a year. 

Nearly 80% of local authorities in England and Wales are using discretionary powers to top up the maximum DFG amount, but the extra money a person can get varies wildly by council. Some offer another £30,000, but Manchester Council can offer up to £70,000. In some areas, the top-up is a grant; in many, it is a loan.

You can read the article from Bureau Local with testimonies of “Disabled people trapped waiting years for vital home adaptations” here:

You can also add your insight – they invite you to add your perspective and insight on DFGs, home accessibility or independent living on social media. It would be great if you could use the hashtag #DisablingHomes to help gather all of this helpful content in one online place. There is also a historical hashtag #FixTheDFGs that you can use. Bureau Local will share your content.

Coronavirus Update 7th April 2022

The government has now removed all remaining mandatory restrictions in England, however this does not mean that the virus has gone away.

Who can still get Free Test kits?

Free testing for everyone has now ended.  This means that people can no longer collect free rapid tests or book a PCR test at a local testing site.   

However, there are exceptions as the government has said that free COVID-19 testing will still be in place for certain people – including patients in hospital, people who are at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19 and their PAs.  Unfortunately, this does not include carers.  

If you employ your own PA or Support Worker, you can register and order free test kits online.  See for more information on how to do this.

Vaccinations for children aged five to 11

COVID-19 vaccinations are now being offered to five to 11 year olds at dedicated children’s clinics in our area, including at a space-themed pod at the Vaccination Centre at the University of the West of England (UWE), Coldharbour Lane, Bristol, BS16 1QY.

You can book an appointment online via the National Booking Service or by calling 119.

Visit for all the vaccination options in your area.

Current Information on COVID Vaccinations from NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCG

Covid-19 is very active in our area at the moment and infection levels are high. Covid-19 vaccinations help protect you and your family from Covid-19 and reduce the chances of needing hospital treatment if you catch the virus.

Clinics are open for those needing first, second or booster doses and they have also recently opened for spring boosters for the following groups:

Those aged 75 and over

Residents in older adult care homes

Those aged 12 and over who are severely immunosuppressed

Visit for details of walk-in clinics and how to book your 1st, 2nd, Booster or Spring Booster vaccination.

Also for Spring Boosters, GPs have already started getting in touch with people – so please tell your communities to watch out for texts or letters inviting them to make an appointment.

It’s never too late to get vaccinated and protect yourself and your loved ones!