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.

Event from Bristol Beacon: The Anatomy of the Orchestra – Paraorchestra with Charles Hazlewood

Bristol Beacon logo - yellow text surrounded by lined yelllow shapes on a black background with the text reading 'Bristol Beacon'.

The orchestra is a thing of wonder, and of mystery. Many musicians making a perfect collective sound; how does this happen?

The Anatomy of the Orchestra, an immersive part-installation part-concert, returns to Bristol Beacon on Sunday 27th February.

Led by Charles Hazlewood and performed by Paraorchestra, this live performance promises an inclusive, 360-degree feast for the eyes and ears; an extraordinary sonic adventure.

Filmed as part of a new documentary for Sky ArtsThe Anatomy of the Orchestra invites you on set, to wander amongst a live orchestra and explore its inner workings as it performs Steve Reich’s The Four Sections.

The Anatomy of the Orchestra makes up one of six episodes of a documentary presented by Paraorchestra Artistic Director, Charles Hazlewood, exploring the 21st century orchestra. With Paraorchestra at its core it will tear down the old-fashioned ideas of what an orchestra is, and, in turn, demonstrate exactly what a modern orchestra can be. The series will be available to view on Sky Arts and Freeview later this year.

All ages (Under 16s to be accompanied by an adult)

Performance 1
Audience Arrival: 13:00
Start time: 13:30

Performance 2
Audience Arrival: 14.15
Start time: 14:30

Performance 3
Audience Arrival: 15.15
Start time: 15.45

The Anatomy of the Orchestra is a standing / walking performance. Some seating will be available for anyone unable to stand for long periods of time.

Please note that all three performances are being filmed for a new series, available to view later this year on Sky Arts and Freeview. By attending any of the performances, you consent to being filmed by Sky Arts.

It would be fabulous for many of us Disabled people to go as possible – not only in support of the Paraorchestra but to make viewers realise that we are just as keen to attend events as not-yet Disabled people are.  Too often, places are not accessible and it is not unusual for the response to a Disabled person raising the issue to be ‘Disabled people don’t come here’.

Find out more information and book your ticket at:,MJOO,2F30SA,2Q822,1

Go Gentle Shows at the Exchange

Go Gentle logo = two G's in circles (one a white circle with yellow g, other yellow circle with white g) with a black box under them with yellow and white text that reads 'Go Gentle Exchange Bristol'.

Exchange, a Bristol music venue, are pleased to announce the launch of their Go Gentle Shows at Exchange on Saturday 29th January, 2pm, with Ben Marwood.

Ben’s show is a matinee to launch the series.  They will be running 6 shows this year as part of the programme.

Go Gentle is a series of relaxed shows at Exchange featuring both touring bands and local performers. They will be 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,

For tickets to the Ben Marwood event, visit  Find out more about Go Gentle here:

Ministers have already broken six Disability Strategy pledges, just months after launch

(Article first published 13 January 2022 on Disability News Service.)

The government has already broken at least six promises it made in last summer’s much-criticised National Disability Strategy, responses by various departments this week have confirmed.

Analysis of the strategy, published last July, shows that at least six of the actions it promised would be carried out by the end of 2021 have not been completed.

This includes action on tackling Disability hate crime, the accessible housing crisis, disability employment and how the government engages with disabled people.

When the strategy was published, the prime minister, Boris Johnson, described it as the “down payment” on his promise to “build back better and fairer, for all our disabled people”.

But the strategy has been described as “just cynical repackaging”, with analysis by Disability News Service last August exposing its lack of bold initiatives and new funding, and how ministers had padded it out with scores of consultations, reviews and vague pledges.

Fresh analysis of the strategy now shows that at least six of the “commitments” made in the document have already been broken.

In a blog posted on 29 December, the minister for Disabled people, Chloe Smith, said that this review had now been extended until the spring of 2022 so as to provide “a full opportunity for meaningful engagement with our stakeholders”.

Smith declined to explain this week why so many of the government’s “commitments” had already been broken.

And she declined to say if this showed that the government was not treating disabled people as a priority, and if the prime minister’s statement that the strategy was the “down payment” on his promise to “build back better and fairer, for all our disabled people” had now been exposed as empty rhetoric.

Over 118,000 Disabled people denied compensation from DWP after benefits error cut payments

(Article first published 13 January 2022 on Disability Rights UK,)

Over 118,000 Disabled people ”are facing injustice” by the DWP after being denied the right to compensation following its “blunder over benefit payments”, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) has said.

The PHSO is calling on the Government to urgently rectify the injustice, something which it is so far refusing to do.

In July 2018 – after an investigation by the National Audit Office, an inquiry led by the Public Accounts Committee and legal action from the Child Poverty Action Group – the DWP finally agreed to pay full arrears of benefit to all those who missed out.

The DWP has since corrected the ESA error and set about paying arrears to those affected. But it still will not allow them to claim compensation for the life-changing impact this error may have had.

Despite its refusal to comply, DWP’s own policy states that people should be offered compensation if they suffer injustice and hardship because of administrative errors.

The Ombudsman urges anyone affected by this issue to contact an advice agency to seek help and support.

The full PHSO report and a case summary are available from

Temporary Timetables from Great Western Railway (GWR)

You will have seen that a number of train operators have introduced temporary timetables as a result of increased sickness and self-isolation due to the rise in Covid cases.  You may also be aware that Great Western Railway (GWR) have had a number of ad hoc, short notice cancellations recently, as we are also managing with much reduced staffing levels. 
As a result, from this Saturday 8 January, GWR are introducing a temporary timetable, which will run through to Saturday 15 January. During the week they will assess the situation and if necessary will continue with a temporary timetable.  They will review weekly as they are hopeful that this is a short-lived measure with a quick return to full services.  
GWR have prioritised high use school and college services and key worker services, protecting them as much as they can.  They have also focused changes where it will help them to release train crews.  This means GWR can give customers greater confidence that their services will run.  The vast majority of their services will continue to operate as planned.  
The full list of changes is on the GWR website on along with advice to customers.  They have also worked with Network Rail to make sure that the changes are in the national database, so online journey planners are accurate from today.  If they make further changes beyond 15 January, these will show in journey planners from 12 January.   
GWR are also contacting customers who have booked onto services they are changing to offer refunds or transfer to alternative services.  The Book with Confidence scheme that allows customers to change non-refundable tickets has been extended until March, and they will be issuing traditional and social media updates and doing all they can to alert customers to the planned changes.   

Impact of social care: sharing our stories a project from Being the Boss & Bringing Us Together

Bringing Us Together logo - graphics shows three people (circles as heads and loop shapes as bodies) looping arms with one another - one blue, one pink, one grey. Underneath is pink text which reads 'BRINGING US TOGETHER'. All of this is surrounded by a pink circle and on a white backdrop.

When we receive social care funding, we expect to have a good life.  We have found that the process of applying for and living with a complicated social care system often drags us down.  What Disabled people want is for social care to work in a way that has a positive impact on our lives.

Bringing Us Together & Being the Boss are holding a series of online workshops for people who are applying for or receiving funding from adult social care.  They want to hear about the pros and cons of engaging with and receiving support from adult social care. 

They are interested in: 

  1. The impact that support from social care has on your mental health &wellbeing, your experiences of moving into adult social care (transition from children’s social care), applying for social care/continuing health care funding, and daily challenges.
  2. Gathering and sharing your stories about the impact social care (or the lack of social care) is having on your lives.

They would like to invite you to join them for a series of workshops from January to June 2022.  They will have different speakers each month and you will have the opportunity to share your stories about social care.  Workshops are for Disabled people and their family members.

The topics they will cover will include:  

Workshop 1: Wednesday 19th January, 11.00am – 1.00pm 

How was the assessment process and what support do you actually have from your local authority or continuing health care?  How does it make you feel?  

Workshop 2: Wednesday 16th February, 11.00am – 1.00pm 

Social Care: How do we get our rights and entitlements? How can gaining our rights help us live a good life?  

Workshop 3: Wednesday 16th March, 11.00am – 1.00pm 

What are your hopes and dreams for your life? How do we keep our hopes and dreams alive when money and funding always comes first?  

Workshop 4: Wednesday 13th April, 11.00am – 1.00pm  

Choice & Control: Are we ever really in control? Does being the employer give us control over our lives? Can we be in control if we have support from an agency? 

Workshop 5: Wednesday 11th May, 11.00am – 1.00pm 

Independent Living: Can you tell us something about your experiences of living independently?  Do you spend too much of your time managing your support, rather than living your life?  

Workshop 6: Wednesday 8th June, 11.00am – 1.00pm 

Finding our voice – Sharing our stories and keeping ourselves strong.

To learn more, and/or to book a place, please get in touch with us at:  

Coronavirus Update 6th January 2022

Photograph of a white face mask sitting on a light blue backdrop.

Current Statistics

Infection rates in Bristol are extremely high and continue to rise rapidly with the current rate of infection at 1,587 cases per 100,000.  The national average in England is 1,676.  There have been 7,392 new cases in the last seven days and there are 130 people currently in our hospitals unwell with COVID-19.

In Bristol, of all people over 16 years of age, vaccination levels are:

344,473 (79 per cent) people have had one dose

324,294 (74 per cent) people have had two doses

222,889 (51 per cent) people have had three doses – this number includes booster jabs and third doses for people who are severely immunocompromised.

Please continue to take precautionary measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and to protect yourself and our communities, including:

taking regular rapid (lateral flow) tests particularly before attending gatherings in enclosed or crowded spaces or before visiting elderly or vulnerable people

booking your COVID-19 vaccination, be it the first, second, third or booster dose

wearing a face covering in public settings (unless exempt)

working from home if you can.

Face coverings and working from home

New measures have recently been introduced in England to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 Omicron variant.

From Friday 10 December:

face coverings are mandatory inside most public venues as well as on public transport and in shops

there are exceptions in venues where it is not practical to wear one, such as when you are eating, drinking or exercising.

You can find the full list of when to wear a face covering on the GOV.UK website.

From Monday 13 December:

anyone who can work from home, should now do so

people who cannot carry out their work from home can continue to go to work, but should follow the precautionary measures and behaviours at all times.

For further information on the latest guidance please visit GOV.UK.

Walk-In Clinics 5th – 7th January 2022

Walk-in clinics offering first, second or booster vaccines for adults over 16 for the rest of the week are: 

Thursday 6 January

Vaccination Centre at UWE Bristol, Coldharbour Lane, Frenchay, BS16 1QY, between 8am and 7.45pm.

Knowle West Healthy Living Centre, Downton Road, BS4 1WH, between 9am and 4.30pm.

The Hindu Temple, (Shaunak’s Pharmacy), 163B Church Road, Redfield, BS5 9LA, between 9am and 5pm.

Friday 7 January

Vaccination Centre at UWE Bristol, Coldharbour Lane, Frenchay, BS16 1QY, between 8am and 7.45pm.

The Hindu Temple, (Shaunak’s Pharmacy), 163B Church Road, Redfield, BS5 9LA, between 9am and 5pm.

Where to get Tested

Regularly taking rapid (lateral flow) tests is strongly recommended to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  Taking regular rapid tests helps to identify people who do not have symptoms of the virus but may still be infectious. 

Rapid home testing kits can be collected from pharmacies, libraries, the Bristol Rapid Testing Centre on Wellington Road, and from our local mobile testing vans.

Find more information on where to collect test kits on the Bristol City Council website.

Test kits can also be ordered online and delivered to your home. 

Order test kits through the website.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have received a positive rapid test result, please follow government guidance to self-isolate and book a PCR test.

book a PCR test at a local testing site through the National Booking System.

If you are unable to book an appointment, please self-isolate until more PCR test appointments become available.


Now is a really great time to get vaccinated for COVID-19, as we welcome in 2022 and start looking forward to the year ahead.

There are currently vaccine slots available right across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, meaning there is a place near you.

Maybe you’ve not had chance during the busy festive period, or you’ve just been weighing it up for a while.  But with the festive season behind us, and new year’s resolutions in mind, perhaps now is the right time.

The good news is that it’s never too late, whether it’s a first, second or booster vaccine that’s needed.  And appointments are available in a wide range of settings including GP practices, community pharmacies and dedicated vaccination clinics.

To find out about bookable and walk-in clinics, (excluding those direct with GPs), go to for full details.


As you may be aware, there has been an update to guidance on face coverings in educational settings.  From today (4 January) in England, it is recommended that all secondary school pupils wear a face covering in classrooms.  This is a temporary measure to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in schools.

The latest government guidance for parents and carers is available on the government website.

Please continue to keep our schools, colleges and early years’ settings safe by following the precautionary measures:

  1. education and childcare staff, families, secondary pupils and college students to continue to take regular rapid (lateral flow) tests to help to identify infections early and reduce transmission,
  2. if you are unwell, please reduce the spread of infection by recovering at home.

Given the risk to Disabled people of not following the Covid-19 guidelines, we would like to thank you for everything that you continue to do to protect our city.

COVID19 Vaccination Clinics across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire

May be an image of ‎1 person and ‎text that says "‎Healthier Together ×××רש× health NHS COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics across Bristol, North Somerset and and South Gloucestershire Wednesday 22 December‎"‎‎

COVID19 Vaccination Clinics – Wednesday 22 December. 📢

If you’re looking to get your 1st, 2nd or booster vaccine, please see the below list of clinics currently available tomorrow, 22 December.

Please remember to wear warm clothing if attending a walk-in clinic, as you may need to queue outside.

St.Christopher’s, Westbury Park – Booked appointments
18+ for booster vaccines only
Pfizer available
Book here:

Air Balloon Surgery – Booked appointments
18+ for booster vaccines only
Moderna available
Book here:

Vaccination Centre @ UWE – Booked appointments & Walk-in
8.00am – 7.30pm
16+ for 1st, 2nd or booster dose, if eligible
Pfizer and Moderna available (Astra Zeneca available 12.00pm – 7.30pm)

Easton Christian Family Centre – Walk-in
12.00pm – 8.00pm
16+ for 1st, 2nd or booster dose, if eligible
Pfizer and Astra Zeneca available

Knowle West Healthy Living Centre – walk-in
16+ for 1st, 2nd or booster dose, if eligible
Pfizer available

Clevedon School – Walk-in
9.30am – 4.30pm
18+ for 1st, 2nd or booster dose, if eligible
Moderna available

Riverbank Medical Centre – Walk-in
8.30am – 9.00pm
18+ for 1st, 2nd or booster dose, if eligible
Moderna available

Please visit for further information.

Job Opportunity- Project ASSISTANT – We are The People (Wellcome Trust funded project)

Closes: 3 Jan 2022 

Bath, Newton Park Campus 

£11,424 per annum, pro rata of £22,847 per annum Fixed term & Part time 


An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Project Assistant to join a team of disability activists and researchers at Bath Spa University. The team has been awarded £1million from the Wellcome Trust to develop a research network in South West England currently called ‘We Are The People’. 

Job Title: Project Assistant – We are The People (Wellcome Trust funded project)

Location: Newton Park, Bath 

Rate of Pay: £11,424 per annum, pro rata of £22,847 per annum

Contract: Fixed Term Contract until July 2026

Hours: Part Time, 18.5 hours per week

Closing Date: 12 midnight GMT, 3 January 2021

About the role

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Project Assistant to join a team of disability activists and researchers at Bath Spa University. The team has been awarded £1million from the Wellcome Trust to develop a research network in South West England currently called ‘We Are The People’. 

The role involves providing administrative support to the research network. The postholder will be responsible for day-to-day administrative tasks such as event planning (organising meetings, booking travel and accommodation), processing financial claim forms, fielding questions from the general public, supporting the provision of reasonable adjustments, data-entry, liaising with university staff, as well as external partners such as disabled people’s organisations.  

The Project Assistant will liaise closely with the Project Manager, building on their project management skills to aid potential future career development. As such, this is an excellent opportunity for a candidate who is keen to learn and develop professional skills in project administration.

This is a fixed term post (funded until July 2026) to support the activities of an emerging disability research network. The right candidate must be willing to be flexible in terms of duties and responsibilities as the needs of the network emerges over time.

About you (requirements)

You will have a passion for disability equality, social justice, and research-led change.   You will have excellent administrative experience and organisational skills, strong financial administration skills, and an ability to support an emerging research network. You will have experience of working with diverse groups of disabled people, with an ability to communicate to different groups. You will have a good working knowledge of relevant policies and practices (e.g, Equality Act 2010) and make operational ‘reasonable adjustments’. This role involves supporting the organisations of events that may be geographically dispersed. You must have a proactive and positive attitude to work, and ability to work collaboratively with the core team of researchers, take direction from a project manager, and sometimes work independently. 

About us

Bath Spa University is focused on creative enterprise and guided by our four values of respect, inclusivity, collaboration and sustainability. We teach around 8,000 students on a set of campuses around Bath, with most being located at Newton Park, including a listed Georgian house and grounds, or Locksbrook Road, our new city-centre art and design campus.  Our research centres focus on creative industries and humanities.

Our purpose is to challenge our students and staff to realise their talent and thrive, for their own benefit and for the wider good. By doing this we will think and make the world better.

For an informal discussion regarding this post, please contact the project’s Principal Investigator, Dr Ben Simmons via  

Interview Date: 26th and 27th January 2021

How to apply

Project ASSISTANT – We are The People (Wellcome Trust funded project) in Bath, Newton Park Campus | Evenbreak | Accessible job search site for disabled people

For further information or to apply on-line please visit the Bath Spa University jobs page at Please note that CVs will not be considered and those included with application forms will be removed.  Any queries regarding the application process or our website should be emailed to

Please note that we use anonymous shortlisting therefore request that you do not include any personal details or reference to protected characteristics (such as gender, age or race) when completing your supporting statement.

We offer excellent facilities and benefits to our staff.  These include a nursery, pension scheme, flexible working practices, an employee assistance programme, and family-friendly policies

Please note this role is not eligible for sponsorship under the Skilled Worker route.

We value a diverse workforce and welcome applications from all sections of the community. Given the nature of the We Are The People project, we would particularly welcome applications from disabled people or carers of disabled people.