NEWSLETTER (52:17) – GBCP Mark 2 (or is it 3?) launch on 2nd Nov

It’s taken some time, but we’re ready to move forward at last….

Over the past few months – and it’s seemed much longer – the GBCP Board has been working through the options for the Partnership’s future without formal ties to – or much direct funding from – Bristol City Council.

A Forum and Voice for Greater Bedminster (That’s Ashton, Bower Ashton, Ashton Vale, Bedminster and Southville)

We’ve consulted our partners and others, and it’s clear that the unique role GBCP plays must continue – now more than ever in a time when the future of our libraries, parks and other Council-provided services is being debated and decided upon.    We’ve got 10 years experience of working with neighbourhood groups, local businesses, community police teams, schools, churches – and the City Council – to tackle issues and deliver improvements for all of us.    We provide the only public forum which actively involves all 4 local ward Councillors in all discussions and decision-making – and everybody living or working in Greater Bedminster is welcome to contribute ideas, suggestions and as much time as they wish.  This forum is vital to the discussions around how the funds paid by developers for local improvements will be spent. Until now, the GBCP has managed the local decision-making process, but who knows what the future might bring?

People power really does deliver

We’ve always involved local people and organisations every step of the way:  in big decisions such as how to spend £120K+ of funding on a local park and £100K to set up the Bedminster Business Improvement District (BID) –  and in smaller ones such as grants to the South Bristol Toy Library and the Winter Lantern Parade, or a noticeboard for a street group.   During 2016 we won £40K of Green Capital funding which we distributed to local community groups wanting to improve their walkways and green spaces.  We’re currently working with Bristol Waste and the City Council on a range of initiatives to combat fly-tipping and litter on our streets, and we’re actively involved alongside the BID in all planning for our retail streets.  The list is long and it goes on…

Forum for Greater Bedminster Community (FGBC)

This is the proposed name of the new body which will be confirmed at the AGM, along with the priorities, and a new constitution. Here are the draft versions:  GBCP Priorities 2017_v2   FGBC Simple Constitution v3-0

We’ll be recruiting for special interest sub-groups: 

  • Parks/Leisure/Libraries;
  • Environment (to include streetscene, getting around, waste management, traffic and air quality);
  • Membership/inclusivity/participation; Communication and information-sharing;
  • Planning.

You don’t have to be a Board member to participate in these:  they’ll be open to everyone living or working in the GBCP neighbourhood.

Learn more and meet us at our AGM on Thursday 2 November, 7 pm at the acta Centre, Gladstone Street.   We’ll get the formal business over quickly, and make sure there’s time for discussion and networking.

If you’re part of an organisation which has partnered GBCP until now, please confirm that you wish to continue to work with us:   If your group wishes to nominate someone to sit on the new Board, use this form and role description FGBC Nomination Form & Candidate Statement & Role Descriptions V3-0.

Get involved in improving the quality of life for everyone living and working in the Greater Bedminster area!!   If you want more information, please tell us at

And, what about the rest of Bristol?

Everyone seems to be playing their cards close to their chest.    We know that a few areas are at about the same stage as we are in Greater Bedminster.   That is, they are adapting themselves to the new circumstances and intending to re-launch before the end of the year.    But, they are keeping quiet until all their ducks are in a row.    Other areas will probably flicker into life during 2018.     Some areas don’t seem to have any cards or ducks at all, but it will be some months before these neighbourhood gaps can be confidently identified.   Hopefully, there will not be too many of them.










NEWSLETTER (51:17) – on Community Navigators 

Social Isolation and Loneliness of Older People

Over the last few years, many groups in BS3 have looked at the issue of social isolation and loneliness of older people.   Why do some people over 50 (an estimated 11,000 in Bristol) become socially isolated?   How do you return someone to the community when they have become depressed, withdrawn and have lost confidence?   What measures do you need to take to make it less likely that people will become isolated in the first place?

A new project ‘Community Navigators’ is due to be launched at Bristol’s Celebrating Age Festival (23 September) at City Hall which will help to tackle this issue.

How will it work?

Community Navigators Bristol offers free signposting and support to older people who want to feel less isolated and more involved in their local area.   Friendly, trained ‘navigators’ will make contact with older people, get to know them and share information about what’s happening where they live.   Whether it’s meeting people, becoming more active, rekindling old hobbies, volunteering or learning something new, the community navigator can point the older person in the right direction.

If the person needs extra support, the community navigator can come along with them when they try something for the first time.   They can also support the older person with any concerns that they have about getting out and about – including safety, transport or money worries – by connecting them with other community and health services to tackle these problems.

The service provides short-term support for older people over 50 and is completely free.   It is available to people in their home or via phone appointments.  Community Navigators is funded by Bristol Ageing Better and run by a partnership of trusted local organisations.

Why is it a problem?

“Loneliness is thought to be as harmful for our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day – and according to Age UK there are 1.2 million older people in England who are chronically lonely,” said Laura Thacker and Gemma Holden, the two Community Navigator Coordinators for the Bristol-wide service.   “Connecting people with their community can give huge benefits to long-term health and wellbeing.   We hope that through our network of local community navigators we’ll be able to transform the lives of people who are currently feeling isolated from their own communities.” Continue reading “NEWSLETTER (51:17) – on Community Navigators “

NEWSLETTER (50:17) – Window Wanderland, Cities of Service, fish, cafes

Can Do Bristol?

Some of the most useful contributions to the life of our community are donations in time and skills from local people: volunteering, helping out, joining in.   Across BS3 we have been looking at how we can encourage even more people to join in, after all, taking part often leads to the development of new skills, meeting new friends and generating feelings of personal achievement as well as helping others.

As well as talking in BS3, we have been in touch with city-wide agencies.   One of these is Cities of Service which, amongst other things, looks at volunteering in a range of world cities.    The coordinator for this in Bristol is Dominic Murphy and this is what he said when we wrote to him.   ‘From where I stand, the City Council and the Mayor are very keen to support social action/volunteering etc across Bristol as part of a citywide approach, but as a partner rather than as leader or ‘policy maker’.   We have been developing the CanDoBristol Website ( and are just at the point of asking local groups to put their ‘asks’ on it……As it’s new there may be ‘bugs’, so tell everyone using it that we are very happy to get feedback – the site has a ‘report bug’ button in the bottom right of the page.’

Dominic has also sent a draft of an Social Action Plan which is attached. Remember that both the website and the Social Action Plan are works in progress.   Dominic would like constructive comments, so that both can be made more effective.   Contact him on .

Window Wanderland

February may seem a long way off, but people are already thinking about this in schools, shops and front rooms.    In 2017 there were three WWs in BS3, see   One covered most of Bedminster and Southville wards and the other two were in Windmill Hill and that part of Bedminster sometimes called Malago Vale or Bemmie.   We expect that those three will go for it again, but wondered if other areas might want to join in.   Of course, we also want to increase the numbers of people taking part, both as window decorators and as wanderers, in the three established neighbourhoods.   A great feature of 2017 was that several streets had clearly increased their impact by collaborating around an agreed theme.     Gathorne Road was generally acknowledged at 2017 champion.    What about 2018?     We hope it won’t rain, but not even GBCP can guarantee that.

We understand that the WW idea which first emerged in Bishopston in 2015 has spread to several other cities and even to Canada.

Health & Wellbeing Cafe

Please find a poster attached for the first Health & Wellbeing café event on 12th October, 1-5pm at The Southbank Club, Dean Lane, BS3 1DB (Health and Wellbeing Cafe poster Oct2017).  The event has three elements that will combine to create a fun, social and, most importantly, wellbeing boosting afternoon for over 55s. These are:

  • a combination of therapists (massage, chiropodist etc.) charging affordable rates
  • a social space serving refreshments and cake (surely cake is good for ones wellbeing!)
  • group ‘wellbeing focussed’ activities that will be open to everyone

The event will be free to attend and therapists will charge people directly at the event for massages etc. These will be around £5 for a 15 minute session. We will not take bookings in advance with people booking slots on arrival. There will be around four therapists to ensure everyone can book a slot. The group activities for the first event will be run by Paul and Monika from Twin Wave CIC, a community music and sound therapy organisation.

Community Noticeboards

Neil Burwell, who is undertaking a city-wide survey of community noticeboards, has asked us to thank those who have already sent information to him and to urge others to do so, if they can.    There’s a short form identifying what Neil needs to know.   It was attached to GBCP NEWSLETTER 45:17, but, if you can’t find it, contact Neil on .    In a month or so, we’ll circulate the BS3 list and you can spot the missing ones, if any.

Spindle Ensemble

Why not pop along to this concert at the Elephant House in aid of Macmillan Nurses?   Poster attached.

Aviva Community Fund

Aviva are offering funding ranging from £1000 to £25,000 for community projects.     Google Aviva Community Fund for more info.

Apple Day

Don’t forget Apple Day on Saturday, 30 September.   The Patchwork Community Group will be at their orchard on Dean Lane between 11 and 3.    Pop along for some apple juice, music and chat.

Keeping the Place Tidy

GBCP, local organisations and many local people have been concerned about ugly and smelly litter in our parks and streets.     We have all done our best to raise people’s awareness and develop local pride in our place and, no doubt, will continue to do so.   But, the litter problem starts at the manufacturers’ stage.    Recent legislation to require shops to charge for plastic bags has led to a welcome reduction in this source of often flying litter.    The Scottish government is considering an old idea – money back on drinks cans that are returned to shop.   A petition urging this policy on the British government has just been delivered in London.    We guess that there will always be a few people who don’t care or are too lazy, but these measures should help in the future.    Will your street be less littered in a year or two?

Air Pollution

This is an increasingly topical issue.    Avon Primary Care Research Collaborative, the NHS Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group and BCC have produced a report summarising the situation in Bristol, as far as it is known.   It’s an interesting and rather scary read, especially regarding children!!!    Apart from suggesting that if you go for a walk or a bike ride you will be safer (how safer?) if you keep away from main roads, the report does not attempt to address ‘solutions’.     Tall people are probably safer than short people (children?) because the latter’s breathing bits are closer to ground level.   The report is too big to send out as an attachment to this newsletter, but if you contact we’ll send it to you.

Marmalade Trust (Christmas Day help-but before hand too!)

Every year the Marmalade Trust invites people who are on their own to join us in restaurants around Bristol and South Glos.   For many, it’s often the first time that they haven’t been alone on Christmas Day for years.    Every guest is made to feel very welcome and part of a big family.   Our volunteers do everything from gift wrapping, packing hampers, writing Christmas cards, giving gifts, helping at fundraising events, marketing, general admin., to driving guests to and from our venues on Christmas Day itself.   If you would like to help out, contact Natalie Wheeler on 07566 244788.

Festival of Future Cities

How do we make cities that we really want to live in?    What’s happening in Bristol?   What’s happening in other cities?    The second Festival of the Future City will run from October 18-20.    Local and international speakers will attempt to answer our questions.   For more information go to uk/seasons/festival-future- city/

Child Friendly Cities

This is one of the Future Cities free events and is on Friday, 20 October (2.30-5pm) at the Watershed.   Various urban designers, and other experts will try and answer the question ‘how do we make our cities more child friendly?’    To book go to events/how-do-we-create-child- friendly-cities/

Bristol Fish Project

BFP are building a community run and owned fish and hydroponics farm on Vale Lane, BS3.   Currently, this is entirely led by volunteers and could do with more hands on deck to help with the build.   If you fancy joining in with opportunities for something hands on with plenty of problem solving plus nice people and good food, please contact BFP on 0783 526 2968.     They usually meet on Thursday evenings from 6.30pm and on Sundays between 11 and 3 at 1 Vale Lane, BS3 5RU.

Volunteer Organisers

Many organisations have ‘volunteer organisers’, some of whom are volunteers themselves.    Voscur is organising a Bristol-wide meeting for these folk to exchange experiences.   This will be on Wednesday, September 27 at Step Together, 5 Russell Town Avenue (10am-1pm).   This is free to Voscur members.   Go to volunteer-organisers-forum for more information.   If anyone is going from BS3, it would be great if you would write a short report for the GBCP NEWSLETTER.

Windmill Hill?

The succesor organisations, if any, to Bristol’s 14 Neighbourhood Partnerships are still unclear.    According to BCC, GBCP and a few other areas are likely to continue in more or less the same way, but other districts are still in transition.   It seems pretty definite that our neigbouring NP covering Filwood, Knowle and Windmill Hill wards will disappear, at the moment, without any follow on structure.    Not the end of the world, of course.    We’ve asked people if they know what’s happening, especially in those sections that see themselves as parts of old Bedminster, but so far nobody has been able to tell us.

NEWSLETTER (49:17) – Special on My Wild Bedminster

Organisations in Greater Bedminster/BS3 have been working with Avon Wildlife Trust on their My Wild City project since 2016.    Our main contact has been Matt Collis and he will be editing special newsletters on wildlife about once a month.   This is the first.

We also want to include information from YOU about wildlife activities in your school, back garden, local park or wherever in BS3, so keep sending them to and .    Pictures and drawing too, please.

South Bristol Voice has been working closely with us on this project, so for even more news look at their monthly reports.

September sees the inevitable close of summer and the dawn of autumn.   It’s a fantastic month for wildlife in gardens as many creatures make the most of the remaining nectar-filled flowers and the abundant fruits and nuts.


Having hidden away for most of August, garden birds return with freshly grown feathers and are looking their absolute best.   They are much more active and vocal again with bird song heard most mornings.   Be prepared to hear some weird Continue reading “NEWSLETTER (49:17) – Special on My Wild Bedminster”

NEWSLETTER (48:17) – Pavement parking, Dame Emily Park Project,

Dame Emily Park Project AGM

The Annual General Meeting of the group will be held on Sunday 17th September, at 2.00pm in the park / play area. Come along to join or renew, review the year and elect next year’s committee. There will be free coffee and cake available.  ?  If it’s raining, the meeting will be held in the North Street Standard pub.

Rubbish collection in Dame Emily Park

Please could you help to collect some rubbish on Tuesday 26th September, at 6.45pm in Dame Emily Park? Gloves and tools are provided. Thanking all of you in anticipation. ?


Squirrel spotted by Jo Hargreaves in Upper Perry Hill on 6 September.    It may have come off the New Cut or from a local park.   We think that there are squirrel colonies in Victoria and Greville Smyth Parks, but we’re not sure about other places.   Please let us know if you spot a squirrel (or two?) in BS3.   Photos would be good.

Apple Day

Patchwork Community Gardening Group’s annual Apple Day will be on Saturday 30thSeptember from 11am-3pm on the orchard on Dean Lane (next to the Tap and Barrel pub). Continue reading “NEWSLETTER (48:17) – Pavement parking, Dame Emily Park Project,”

NEWSLETTER (47:17) – Cafes, picnics, networks, pensions

Health & Wellbeing Café

Thanks to a grant from Liverpool Victoria, it is possible to bring those over 55 in Bristol a new type of event that is going to focus on health and wellbeing. The event will have three elements that will combine to create a fun, social and, most importantly, wellbeing boosting afternoon for over 55s.

These are: a combination of therapists (massage, chiropodist etc.) charging affordable rates; a social space serving refreshments and cake (surely cake is good for ones wellbeing!); group ‘wellbeing focussed’ activities that will be open to everyone.

The event will be free to attend and therapists will charge people directly at the event for massages etc. These will be around £5 for a 15 minute session. There are no bookings available in advance.

The group activities for the first event will be run by Paul and Monika from Twin Wave CIC, a community music and sound therapy organisation. They will be doing music based sessions including DIY music and craft sessions, celebrating songs old & new and sound mindfulness using gongs and singing bowls.

The Health and Wellbeing Cafe will take place on Thursday 12th October, 1-5pm @ The Southbank Club, Dean Lane, BS3 1DB.

Community Picnic

St Monica Trust, Way Out West and Acta are putting on a community picnic in South Street Park on Thursday 21st September, 12-2pm. (flyer attached)
The picnic is to bring people of all ages from the local community together in a nice setting where they can share food and conversation and enjoy some local entertainment together. The picnic will take place outside in the local South Street Park, a nice local green space that is accessible to all. Food, refreshments and entertainment will be provided. Also chairs (and shade if needed) for older residents and others in need will be provided.

The event will also hopefully be graced by some of the cast of Acta’s upcoming ‘Blood on the coal’ show which tells the forgotten story of the coal mines of Bedminster, the men who dug the coal, and the women who struggled beside them. They will hopefully be performing some songs from the production.
For more information please contact St Monica Trust’s community development team on 0117 305 2365.

Exhibition of 1873

The Bristol History & Archaeology Society have an event with Mike Hooper coming up at Monica Wills House, Bedminster on Saturday 9th September from 2-4pm, Conference Room. Cost: £3 to include buffet tea.

Vote for SCDA

Please vote for Chessel Centre, a brand new community space in the heart of Bedminster using the link

The Deaner Café

This Café is situated in a container in Dame Emily Park. It is a venue for young people in BS3 to have a cuppa & a chat, meet friends and play sports with qualified coaches. For more information have a look at

City-wide Networks

As you may know, the 14 Neighbourhood Partnerships have come to an end. Some will be replaced by community led neighbourhood networks, but the pattern is, as yet, unclear. But, there is also some doubt about city-wide networks.  Which will survive and which will not? Continue reading “NEWSLETTER (47:17) – Cafes, picnics, networks, pensions”

NEWSLETTER (46:17) – Special on The Future



  • Do you know what’s planned for our Parks and Libraries?
  • Are you happy to lose school crossing patrols?
  • Will our street trees survive if the Council stops caring for them?
  • Do you know that over 19% of Bedminster children and over 13% of Southville children live below the poverty line?
  • How do you engage with productive debates on Residents’ Parking Schemes, rubbish and litter on our streets, or the issue of pavement parking and its effect on people with reduced mobility?
  • Do you enjoy Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade and other community events?
  • Do you care about air quality issues? Traffic? Public transport? Bio-diversity?

For 10 years, the Greater Bedminster Community Partnership, a voluntary body of many (and open to all) local groups, has worked with Bristol City Council, community police teams, businesses, schools and churches, on issues and opportunities affecting the quality of life and work in Bedminster, Ashton, Southville and Ashton Vale.  It’s the only public forum which actively involves all 4 local ward Councillors, and which represents the local community on the board of the Bedminster Business Improvement District.

Major improvements to parks, streets and highways, the establishment of the Business Improvement District, the Green Capital project ‘Let’s Walk Bedminster’, the more recent and ongoing ‘Let’s Clean Bedminster’, many community events – such as the Winter Lantern Parade and Window Wanderland – and many other activities have been the result.    But now, due to reductions in central government funding to local authorities and the subsequent cuts to neighbourhood funding across the city, less financial support will come into the neighbourhoods, which means we have to ask: Continue reading “NEWSLETTER (46:17) – Special on The Future”