GBCP NEWSLETTER (08:17) – 17th February 2017

Spike Island seeks older volunteers 

Spike Island (near the SS Great Britain and Harbourside) are seeking older people to join their friendly volunteer team.   If you can regularly spare five hours (particularly on Saturdays or Sundays, 12-5pm), and you are interested in meeting the public, being part of a team, and enjoy being around art and culture, they would love to hear from you.

More information here.   Please get in touch: or call 0117 929 2266.

My Wild Bedminster

We were hoping to continue to work with Avon Wildlife Trust as part of their My Wild City Project.   Unfortunately, they seem to have run into a funding snag (who hasn’t?) and are suspending their activities, at least for a while.    Several people have contacted GBCP to indicate an interest in developing local biodiversity, so we don’t need to stop our activities.     Here are some of the things that are going on at the moment: BS3 Wildlife Group are nearing the end of their six month monitoring of garden birds across BS3; Patchwork Group and others are continuing with their two orchards and various patches of abandoned land; the hedgehogs that we identified last year are fast asleep, but should be moving about soon and Victoria Park Action Group are tidying up their wildlife area prior to the spring.

I’m sure there is more going on either now or soon.     Please let GBCP NEWSLETTER know if you are actively promoting wildlife or would like to do so.    We’ll try to put interested people and existing and potential groups together.   we won’t know, unless you tell us.

Sing into Spring

See the attached poster for the Handfuls of Harmony Choir.

Homelessness in Bristol

People recognise homelessness as an increasing problem and we frequently see people sleeping in doorways even in the coldest weather.   I thought we were the fifth or sixth richest country in the world!!    Or, perhaps it’s only tenth?

Bristol City Council has received central government funding to try to tackle this.   Go to for more details.    Of course, this is a Good Thing, but is dwarfed by the cuts that BCC will suffer over the next few years as its general grant from London is abolished.    UK local government has always been more centrally controlled than comparable local governments in Europe and North America, but the trend is clearly towards even more central control as ‘general’ grants, giving some degree of discretion, are replaced (in small part at least) by specific grants to fund centrally approved activities.    A lot of the devolution talk is just talk, at least in England.

Look Out for Sunday, 20 August

On this date the Bedminster Business Improvement District and others will be partying.   The Bedminster BID has secured £10K from the Big Lottery to celebrate Diversity in our Community.   All the world comes to Bedminster and the BBID will working with local businesses to promote food, drink and goods from every part of the planet.   As well as encouraging people to sample Chinese, Jamaican, French, Turkish, Italian and other foods, we hope to put on displays of dancing, music, and sport from around the globe.    The BBID wants to work with local people, wherever they were born, and local organisations to make this a really attractive event, not just on one day, but in the weeks around it.

So, if you know Polish dancing, Siamese percussion, Brazilian rumba, Japanese juggling or English Morris dancing, please get in touch via .   We may also have introductory courses in Welsh, Czech and Spanish, but only if people offer it.     Of course, we’ll also be celebrating the history of Bedminster itself.   And its future.   Why not start the day with a Full English in a local cafe?

For more information and TO JOIN IN contact .

BBC to cover Window Wanderland

Window Wanderland will be on the last Friday to Sunday (6-9pm) of February.    Maps will be available, hopefully, from Wednesday, at community sites and some cafes and pubs.   Bristol Based TV company Tigress Productions will be filming the event and their report will appear on BBC 1’s The One Show, but we don’t yet know which evening.

Know Your Bedminster

Did you know that the chance of being murdered in your bed in Ashton is 17.3% higher than the national average for England; or that many local people secretly speak Welsh when at home or that the name Bedminster comes from the medieval habit of falling asleep in church?   These are what are now called ‘alternative facts’ (AKA outright lies).   For more reliable facts go to Bristol City Council’s website and look for Greater Bedminster, Neighbourhood Partnership Statistical Profile, 2016.   How many local people think our green spaces are OK?    How many walk to work?    Is Greater Bedminster a focus for burglary, child poverty and great exam results?   Why not look it up?

Tell Them and They Will Come

Well, maybe.    If you want to report a broken pavement, abandoned car, pavement obstruction or dozens of other things, go to FixMyStreet.

Bedminster Social Club

This group for over 55s (many well-over!!) goes from strength to strength.    Starting in July 2016, it now has around 70 people on its contact list.   Anywhere between 10 and 20 turn up to the informal Coffee and Chat meetings  now almost weekly at Mezzaluna Cafe on West Street.    Seven meetings are scheduled in March and, of course, people can also arrange their own.   We recently held our first Saturday meeting and will also start a few Sundays at the end of February.    We do lunch once a month at various cafes and have started a monthly skittles match at The Masonic.   Most of the attendees come from BS3, but we welcome others from further afield.

The group is very easy to organise and costs no public money.   It’s especially useful for people, either couples or those living alone, who find themselves at a loose end and want to meet with friends in a relaxed situation.    As numbers go up, we’ll just increase the number of meetings, so please spread the word. Interested people can contact Bedminster Social Club via .

Malago Greenway Team

People along the Malago are clearing up the Brixham Road open space.   They have already undertaken two community clean-ups, but the job’s not over after years of fly tipping and anti-social behaviour.   Raluca McKett, one of the organisers, says ‘When we first came here, back in June, it was an absolute tip.   We found road signs, broken bicycles, even a rusty axe.   We have noticed a massive improvement since the first clean up.   There hasn’t been any major fly tipping since, just minor littering’.    There next clear-up will be on March 11 (10-12) and everyone is invited.

The Team also hopes to develop a berry maze next to the stream, to be planted and eaten by local people.   They are raising money for this and will be making their pitch to Bristol Soup on 22 February.   Finger-crossed!!

See attachment and for more information.

Contact the Elderly

This charity has nearly 40 groups across Bristol and the neighbouring unitary authorities, but wants more.    Once a month, participants offer a Sunday afternoon tea party to otherwise isolated older people.   Others offer transport.   See their ‘Be Our Guest’ page on

Targeted Youth Service

BCC has prepared a consultation document related to Young People.    If you want to see what’s proposed, go to the BCC website and look for ‘Targeted Youth Service’.

Visit the Mansion House?

A letter from the Lord Mayor of Bristol says ‘Wednesday the 1st of March sees the Mansion House and I host the first ‘at home’ of the year.   We will be opening the doors of the Mansion House and its Museum to guests to explore and share a tea or coffee with me and the Lady Mayoress.   If you have any local community groups or organisations that would like to take advantage of the opportunity, please pass on the Lord MAyor’s Office contact email  .   The doors open from 15.00 until 16.00 and I look forward to meeting a wide range of people from all wards in the city.’

Butterflies, butterflies

Butterfly Conservation, the national charity, reports that the number of urban butterflies has fallen by 69% between 1995 and 2015.   The drop in rural areas is 45%.    Lots of reasons are given, including climate change, more intensive building, paving over gardens and use of insecticide.    They are calling for more wildlife gardening, public spaces having more flowers and, of course, less use of poisons.   What’s the situation in BS3?    We want to monitor butterflies during 2017.   What’s about and when and where?   My first butterfly of 2017 was spotted a week or so ago outside the deli on North Street.   It was a Red Admiral and I guess it had woken from hibernation on a warmish day.   Hopefully, it found a cranny and got its head down for a few more weeks.   Get in touch with if you want to be part of the 2017 BS3 Butterfly Monitoring Group.

Bristol’s First Age-Friendly Neighbourhood?

The BS3 Older Peoples’ Partnership is a consortium of groups funded via the Bristol Ageing Better project.    OPP will be looking at the Age-Friendly City project, also funded through BAB, with special reference to Greater Bedminster and nearby neighbourhoods.    Age-Friendly City is a World Health Organisation designation.    In the UK, only Manchester has achieved this status.    Bristol is hoping for recognition by 2018/19.    The OPP discussion will be led by Carli Urbanski who is BAB’s lead officer for Age-Friendly City.    How friendly is Bedminster?    What needs to be done to make it more friendly?

The meeting is open to anyone with an interest in this subject and will be on Tuesday, 21 February from 2.30pm at MonicaWills house, just off West Street (behind Tesco).

Bristol Clean Streets Campaign

The Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, is urging people to help clean up the city by both picking stuff up and not littering in the first place.   See the attached notice.






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