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.

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

Quick

Free

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

Information on Second Doses of the COVID-19 Vaccine from the NHS

Image of a small bottle of a COVID vaccine with the label saying COVID-19 Vaccine Injection Only.

In response to the Indian variant of COVID-19 (also known as B.1.617), the NHS is bringing forward second dose appointments from 12 weeks for people in the most vulnerable groups – over 50s and people aged 16 to 64 with underlying health conditions.

You don’t need to do anything unless the NHS contacts you.

Then:
 
• If you had your first dose at a GP clinic, your GP will be in touch to rearrange your second appointment 
• If you booked your appointment on the National Booking System, and you receive a text message asking you to bring forward your second dose, please visit the National Booking System and click Manage My Appointments to amend your second appointment.  You can also call 119 to manage your booking.

 
Unless you are contacted, please continue to attend your existing second dose appointment – there is no need to contact the NHS. They will contact anyone who should bring their appointment forward. People under the age of 50 will continue to get their first dose, with their second dose at 12 weeks.

New Passanger Assistance Mobile App from National Rail

Image of a woman sitting in a train carrage on her own wearing a face mask.

National Rail have launched a new Apple/Android rail assistance app.

Passenger Assistance by Transreport allows you to:

·        request assistance for your rail journey

·        manage your customer profile

·        view your travel history

·        browse rail journeys via the online journey planner.

The app is being delivered by Transreport in partnership with National Rail, and can be used to book assistance for future journeys across the National Rail network. 

Read more here: https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/stations_destinations/passenger_assistance.aspx 

A Disability Equality Commission for Bristol

Now that the Mayor elections have passed, the Disability Equality Commission Working Group will start preparing for the recruitment of a Chairperson and Commissioners.  The working group is made up of Disabled people and their organisations, including the Forum.

The Forum originally got a commitment from Deputy Mayor Asher Craig, back in 2017, that as soon as the Race Commission was established, the Council would set up a Disability Equality Commission.  So we were delighted when, last November, the Council invited Disabled people’s organisations to form a working group to help set up the Commission.

The Forum has been involved with this working group since shortly after it was set up.  So far, along with all the other working group members, we have been involved in drawing up some terms of reference and job descriptions for the Chairperson and Commissioners. 

These roles are unpaid, not because that is what all the working group wanted but because none of the people on the other Commissions are paid and, until it has been running for a while, there isn’t the money to pay people.  Also, the working group felt that until we have raised more money the top priority was to spend the small amount of money available on meeting people’s access needs.

Who gets to be a Commissioner or the Chairperson will be decided by interview.  Anyone who fits the essential criteria for the role, and lives in Bristol, will be able to apply. 

Although the working group is nearly all Disabled people and their organisations, the Commission will be part of the Council’s One City office (the same as the Women’s and Race Commissions) not a totally independent one.  This means that some aspects of how it is set up and works, has to be agreed by the Council. 

As happens when doing things as a group, every person or organisation has had some of their proposals accepted and some not.  Anyone who has tried organising something together with their friends or family will have experienced this!  However, as a starting point, we are hopeful that the Disability Equality Commission will be able to improve the lives of Disabled people in the city, over the next 5 years.

The Commission’s focus in its first few years will not be up to the working group.  That will be decided by the Chairperson and Commissioners, once they have been recruited. 

We expect the Commission to do some research on the latest information about Disabled people in Bristol, and survey them about their priorities, before it decided what priorities to work on first.

We will keep you updated on progress over the next few months.