Support for your mental health and emotional

The pressures of the cost of living crisis are likely to affect people’s
mental health, making us feel stressed, anxious or low. Please talk to
family and friends about how you’re feeling but also check in on people
who you think may be struggling.

There is also lots of help available from local organisations:

Every Mind Matters – NHS (

24/7 Support & Connect is a free NHS confidential 24/7 helpline for
immediate emotional and practical support – call 0800 012 6549,

the Community Access Support Service can signpost to
organisations across Bristol for all groups of people and
communities –Community Access Support Service ( or call 0117 304 1400,

Changes Bristol run wellbeing groups across Bristol –Changes Bristol or call 0117 941 1123,

VitaMinds – NHS Mental Wellbeing support service –NHS Talking Therapies or call 0333 200 1893 (Mon-Thurs, 8am-8pm;Fri, 8am-5pm; Sat 9am-1pm).

If you start to feel that daily life is getting too much to cope with, you can
contact Samaritans They offer support 24 hours a day, seven days a
week on 0330 094 5717.

If you need help, please reach out. There is advice, support and
information available across Bristol.

For more cost of living advice and support Cost of living support ( or call the free We Are Bristol helpline on 0800 694 0184 Monday to Friday,
8.30am to 5pm.

The Forum’s first coronavirus success!

We have just read that Bristol City Councilb has responded to our calls for more support to those on Direct Payments.  In particular they have set up a dedicated response for Direct Payment users, to ensure they have enough support and can access Protective Personal Equipment (packs are being made available).

Bristol City Council tells us they have also raised this nationally for advice – something else we asked them to do.

It is good to know that the Council is responding positively when we lay out what our coronavirus-related needs are. 

Let us hope they continue to do so after the government suspends the Care Act!

COVID-19 Caronavirus – Prevent it from spreading!

Corona virus – Let’s stop it taking hold here!
The World Health Organisation is asking that everyone who possibly can does the following:
👏 Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly.
👥 Keep a safe distance from anybody coughing or sneezing (at least 1 metre / 3 feet).
🤦‍♀️ Minimise touching your face.
🗣 Sneeze and cough into your elbow or tissue.
🏠📞 If you have symptoms, stay at home and call for medical care early.

The World Health Organisation is asking that everyone who possibly can does the following:

👏 Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly.

👥 Keep a safe distance from anybody coughing or sneezing (at least 1 metre / 3 feet).

🤦‍♀️ Minimise touching your face.

🗣 Sneeze and cough into your elbow or tissue.

🏠📞 If you have symptoms, stay at home and call for medical care early.

Help to create an accessible Hartcliffe Millenium Green

Would you like to be part of a brilliant project helping to make our green and pleasant land more accessible?

Your Park Bristol and Bath enables everybody to benefit from green spaces because they are vital to our health, wellbeing and quality of life.

The great outdoors and our green spaces should be for everyone, but for too many Disabled people a lack of accessibility means that they are simply off limits.

Your Park Bristol and Bath are looking to change that and they want you to be involved!

For more details, not just of the work at Hartcliffe Millenium Green, but of the whole project and its aims please look at their website to learn more

Welcoming Spaces & Women’s Accessibility Guide

‘Women are more likely to be in low paid jobs and have been hit hardest by prices going up’ (Living Wage Foundation 2022).

The cost-of-living crisis affects women more than some others. This is because women are more likely to be spending their wages on household goods (such as food and cleaning products etc.) than men.
It is really important that women are able to access welcome spaces so a checklist has been made to help people make their Welcoming Space accessible to women.

You can download the guide here.

Feeding Bristol Support Fund Grant

As part of the Household Support Fund that is coming into the city this winter,
Feeding Bristol will be helping the Council to give out funds around Bristol to help get food to those most likely to be finding it hard with the cost-of-living crisis. Groups in the city will get help to take action on food for the people that they work with.
If you have any needs, ideas or projects that you/your group are interested in get in touch with Feeding Bristol.
For example:

  1. Food Clubs, Community Fridges/Freezers and Food banks in disadantaged wards
  2. Ideas in line with the Food Equality Strategy
  3. Welcoming Spaces to run projects like food parcels or community meals

To get funding, you will need to give Feeding Bristol:

  1. A short outline (equivalent of 1 sheet of A4 or less) of what the funds will be used for and who will benefit,
  2. An estimate of budget,
  3. An estimate of: The number of people that will be helped and the groups that will benefit (e.g. families, homeless, disabled, older people, black and minority ethnic communities, single households, etc…) the increase in capacity of your project

If you have any questions or want to chat about this, please email
Ped Asgarian –

Protest Rights

Law for Life and DPAC are working together to run a campaign to support protest rights, and to create clear and accessible public information for protestors about the law.

We are listening to what you tell us as about your protest information needs as part of the wider campaign. But we have also produced a quick survey to help us learn more about what people want and need to know.

Please take the survey yourself and pass it on to your groups and networks. Or get in touch with to arrange another way to give your feedback.

Survey Link:

Everyday people doing science on plastic

Be part of a community of everyday people acting as scientists to answer important questions and making a real difference.

When we think of plastic in our homes we often think of plastic bottles and packaging.  But our homes also contain lots of plastics that we can’t see, such as clothes, carpets, curtains, blinds and beds.

These are very small bits of plastic called microplastics.  They float around our homes until they are breathed in, land or, go out through windows and doors.  There are more of them indoor than outdoor, but we don’t know how there is, where it comes from, or how to make less of it.  As Disabled people can sometimes have to use a lot of plastics for health reasons this is a big issue for us.

University of the West of England has been working with the Universities of Leeds on Homes Under the Microscope.  They are working with everyday people to look at microplastics in the home.

Join us and find out how many microplastics are in your home.  To take part register online.  You will be sent a pack to use through the post that will tell you what to do to take samples of the microplastics.

Sign up here:

Picture shows a magifiyig glass over a petridish. Text reads: Looking for people in Bristol to measure the amount of microplastics in their homes. Recruitment opens in January! Homes Under the Microscope @MicroscopeHomes

Get help paying your water bill

If you’re struggling to pay your water bill Bristol Water might be able to lower your bill or do other things to help.

They can help if you are:

  1. • On low income or get benefits,
  2. • Get Pension Credit or State Pension,
  3. • Are in debt with your bills,
  4. • Have become unemploymed.

Go to their website to get help: link.


The Disability Energy Support service can also help lower your energy bills costs. They are experts in providing support for disabled households on energy. 

To find out more call 0808 801 0828.

Disruption to Rail Services

You may have seen in the media that ASLEF (train drivers) will be taking strike action on Wednesday 1st February and Friday 3rd February.  RMT train drivers will also strike on the same days. 

As this is train drivers, it is very likely that GWR will have no trains running on the vast majority of their network on both dates.  They are hoping that they might be able to operate a limited service from Reading to Basingstoke, Reading to Oxford and London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads. This is not yet confirmed.

GWR’s dedicated strike page at will be kept updated including information on refunds and when journey planners will be updated.

How to Stay Warm for Less

The Centre for Sustainable Energy has created an advice sheet with lots of really good advice on how to keep warm for less. It talks about:

1 Heating just one room in the house.
2 Blocking up and sealing gaps that let cold air through your windows, doors and floors into the home and let warm air out.
3 Wrapping up warm – keep in mind your own mobility needs and stay safe.
4 Staying active to warm yourself up – again, keep in mind your own mobility needs and stay safe.
5 Using a heated throw or blanket.
6 Having hot food and drink throughout the day.
7 Finding warm places to go near your home. There are a number around Bristol and you can find them here:
8 Preventing damp and mould

To read the full advice please click on the link below:

Bristol Disability Equality Forum’s AGM 2023

Preview attachment AGM notification.docx

We will send you further details, information on where and how it will be
held, and a copy of our accounts, nearer the time.

So we are able to make sure as many of you as possible can attend,
please let us know if you can attend:

a. Online
b. In person (if in person let us know your dietary needs)
c. Either,
and what your access needs are.
We hope this letter finds you well and that you will be able to join us at
our AGM.


Laura J Welti
[Forum Manager and Chief Officer]