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?

Likely survivors will include Bristol Parks Forum which, unsurprisingly is a network of park support groups. This forum will become increasingly important as BCC heads towards ‘zero-budgeting’ for park expenditure: widely believed to be an impossible goal.

The Bristol Walking Alliance will also stay around campaigning to improve walkability, including for those pushing buggies or with physical impairments. It’s guessed that Bristol’s Older People Forum should be OK and the Bristol Food Network and others are coming together as the Bristol Good Food Alliance with the aim of making Bristol more sustainable. Of course, saying ‘likely survivor’ is another way of saying ‘possible non-survivor’.

Many of us know little about these networks and about others that may exist, be threatened or have already gone under. What about the Bristol Neighbourhood Planning Network, the Bristol Energy Network, Voscur and many others? If you or your organisation are part of a city-wide (or wider) network, please let GBCP NEWSLETTER know how you are getting on. Just a paragraph about the network and contact info would be fine.


Several groups in South Bristol are working on ‘recreational walks’. One of these is Bristol South Skyline Walk (google it) which links green spaces including the Avon New Cut, Victoria Park, Arnos Vale Cemetery and the Northern Slopes. Contact for more information, especially if you want to help this group, or other groups or, even, start the development of a new route. Local people are publishing maps, tidying up bad bits, putting in signage and seating and generally doing a great job to open up South Bristol’s ‘countryside’. A great example of people power and something to be proud of. Why not join in?

Get on Your Bike!

Life Cycle UK is a leading charity that often works across BS3. Among their successes are helping children like Aimee to start exercising – and transform their health prisoners like Romean to gain new skills, qualifications – and hope blind riders like Jenny to experience freedom and friendships otherwise denied them.  Please share their latest annual report with colleagues and friends. You can view it at

No Unicorns Yet

Many thanks to Mary Crowder from Windmill Hill who reported on her rescue of a young, street-walking hedgehog who is now hopefully living with friends in Victoria Park and to Helen Moody who sent a picture of a slow worm from Enterprise Allotment. Please keep us informed of interesting animal sightings and also send any pictures to

Video – Dame Emily Park Project

Thanks to Laci from StickinMind the video about the tree trunk carving in Dame Emily Park is now ready to watch and share. Enjoy ?

Southbank Cinema Club

Please find attached the programme for the Southbank Cinema Club for September.

Winter Garden Bird Count 2017

For several years the BS3 Wildlife Group have been recording birds that visit gardens over the six months from October to March.   Last winter over 20 people submitted records.   Thanks if you were one of those and welcome if you are a new observer.    Attached is the official form and some instructions.

Just look out of your window and see what you can see.   Don’t worry if you are not yet an ‘expert’.     You’ll soon be able to pick out at least the regular visitors.

This activity is now part of the wider My Wild Bedminster project.    In October we’ll be calling for lists of birds, butterflies, snails, whatever that you may have seen in your garden, the local park or wherever over the Spring and Summer.   Also, we’ll be looking for photographs that we can share, including ones which can be printed in the South Bristol Voice.   The September Voice includes pictures of a huge caterpillar of a lime hawkmoth found on North Street, a butterfly survey from nine local parks and some hedgehogs living in Ashton (p22-3)

BCC Arts Funds

Most of BCC Arts Funds seem to go to established groups, but there is a small fund called ‘Originators’. This seems to be for organisations that are not mainstream art groups but which, for example, want to undertake a community festival/celebration or develop new ideas involving local people. It can also be used for professional development. A limited number of grants of £500 to £5000 are available. The application process begins on 15 September and ends on 15 November.

Contact BCC Arts and Culture for more details, guidance and application forms.

Shall We Day Light Our Rivers?

Once upon a time, not long ago, the official way to deal with a river or stream was to put it in a drain and bury it, but a recent project involving local people and a few universities has been looking at ‘day lighting’, ie bringing flowing water back to the surface. How can that be done?

‘River Visions’ is an exhibition about hidden rivers including the Malago and Colliters Brook in BS3. The exhibition can be seen at Windmill Hill City Farm, but only until 12 September.

Can You Help Out?

A recent report has shown that each year around £16million of Pension Credit and £20million of Income Support is not claimed by people in Bristol. This is money to which individuals are entitled under the law. This is a loss for those individuals, but also Bristol’s economy is £26millions worse off than it need be with a consequent impact of reduced spending power and lost jobs.    Our MP, Karin Smyth, is alive to this issue and has been organising advice sessions so that people can know how to claim their entitlement. If you know people who might benefit from this help, please send details to and we’ll pass them on to Karin.

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