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.

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