Author Archives: marvinjrees

Summer Activities with Branches Out Forest School

Kate from Branches Out Forest School, smiles in the front of the photo. Behind her is a house surrounded by trees and flowers.
Today’s blog is by Kate from Branches Out Forest School

This summer we are partnering with Bristol City Council and the Heart of BS13 to offer Forest School holiday club sessions for local children. The current cost of living crisis has made it even more important to support our local community by offering free sessions to local families over the summer holiday. We are also aiming to address food poverty by providing everybody with a warm, healthy meal cooked on a campfire. Sessions take place every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday throughout August at our wonderful roundhouse site in BS13.

Forest School provides young people with the opportunity to build confidence and self-esteem, stretch comfort zones, and enjoy and appreciate the outdoors. Originating in Denmark, the Forest School ethos is all about giving people the opportunity to be free in the woodland environment.

Young people also get the chance to practise physical outdoor skills in a safe environment such as tree climbing, whittling, building dens and fires. There is an abundance of opportunities for social interaction through various group activities which help to develop teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills. Our sessions also include elements of personal reflection for our young people to review their learning and set new goals.

The past two years have been challenging for so many young people in our community. Children have felt isolated from each other, and we are experiencing a mental health crisis amongst our young people. The data from the NSPCC shows an 85 per cent increase in children’s mental health referrals. We would like to change that. Research shows that spending time outdoors leads to lower levels of stress, depression, and anxiety and so we want to give young people the chance to play outdoors, in a safe and fun environment. We love spending time outside and discovering the world around us, which is reflected in all our sessions. 

A survey we completed at our Forest School showed that children felt happier after interacting with others and felt more confident after overcoming challenges. Some of the challenges include using tools, lighting fires, climbing trees, and learning about plants and animals. At Forest School, we believe in empowering children to make their own decisions. This helps to give them a better understanding of boundaries, risk, and consequences, and have confidence in their own abilities.

Tackling climate change through sustainable, ecological education is something we are very passionate about. Working with nature is at the core of everything we do, and we want to share our love for all things green with our local community.

For more information about Branches Out Forest School and other holiday clubs and activities in Bristol, visit the Your Holiday Hub website.

Free places are funded by the Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) programme and are open to children and young people who are eligible and in receipt of free school meals. Find out more on the Your Holiday Hub website.

Mead Street development brief endorsed by Cabinet

It’s an exciting time for the Temple Quarter regeneration project. In June, the project received nearly £95 million to kickstart the first phase of delivery in the areas around Temple Meads station. As I wrote at the time, the proposed transformation of the area represents a new phase for Brunel’s historic station and its surrounds and is the culmination of years of hard work from the council and our partners Homes England, Network Rail and the West of England Combined Authority.

Since then, we’ve continued to engage with the community, businesses and stakeholders. We’ve also hosted visits from Bristol’s MPs, as well as civil servants from the Department for Levelling Up and the Treasury, reflecting the importance of the project in delivering new homes and jobs for the city region in the eyes of government.

From 20 May to 4 July, we ran a consultation on a development brief for Mead Street that set out guiding principles for change in the area. Mead Street is one of the six distinct areas that make up the Temple Quarter and St Philip’s Marsh regeneration area, located just south of the Bath Bridges roundabout between St Luke’s Road and the Bath Road. This week, I’m pleased to say that my Cabinet colleagues endorsed the document, and it will now help to guide the process of considering planning applications in the area.

We produced the Mead Street development brief ahead of a wider development framework for the whole of Temple Quarter because most of the land at Mead Street is owned by private landowners who have brought forward proposals for new development. By creating an overarching document that sets out principles for change, our aim is to ensure that change in Mead St happens coherently, creating a vibrant new community with good, joined-up infrastructure and public spaces, rather than as a series of disconnected development sites.

Concept Masterplan of the Mead Street development. On the right of centre of the image is a map of the Temple Quarter regeneration area with keys and shading to display the 6 distinct areas that make up Temple Quarter and St Philips Marsh. On the left of the image text read, The opportunities and concepts were brought together with special requirements to create a concept masterplan which summarises the key strategies including, routes, development plots, heights, land uses and public real. Underneath is a key explaining the plans for the area, number one indicative location of central public open green space, two indicative location of children's play space, three proposed Southern Gateway, four Safeguarding public transport routes, five proposed pedestrian and cycle route connecting to Whitehouse street Regeneration area, 6 new pedestrian connection, seven Ecological corridor along railway, 8 fowlers of Bristol (to be retained) included in case of future redevelopment), nine potential community space (Indicative location only).
Concept masterplan of Temple Quarter and St Philip’s Marsh regeneration area

Overall, the principles in the brief were welcomed by respondents to the consultation, with over 50% of people either strongly agreeing or agreeing to the four principles set out. Drilling down into the data, some of the highest levels of support were for the creation of new community space (84%), safe and inclusive streets (86%), integrating green space (89%) and creating a new public open space at the heart of the neighbourhood (87%).  It’s great to see positive reaction to these proposals, which reflect our commitment to safeguarding space for sustainable travel and public spaces as we plan for the homes we need to tackle Bristol’s housing crisis.

We also know how important employment space is at Mead Street, and the area is currently home to a mix of successful businesses. The survey results show us that Bristolians agree – 70% of respondents strongly agreed/agreed that existing tenants should be retained and re-provided for where possible and compatible with the regeneration of the area. 80% strongly agreed/agreed with the aim to mix homes and jobs to create a genuinely mixed neighbourhood. Finding this balance is important, and we’re committed to working with partners to ensure employment space of the kind already in the area is protected, as our work with the C40 Cities initiative nearby at Whitehouse Street demonstrates.

We did receive comments about the potential height and density of any new buildings in the area. The height of any new buildings will be determined through the planning process by whichever independent, cross-party development committee the decision falls to. However, geographically, Bristol isn’t getting any bigger, but its population is growing at speed. We have to deliver new homes, but we also need to protect greenspaces around the city and meet our commitments to the climate and ecological emergencies. That means building new homes in the right places more densely than we have done before.

Mead Street is an ideal location for new homes, potentially as many as 1500. It is previously developed land, close to the city region’s major train station and within walking or cycling distance of the city centre and local amenities. To create that number of homes, alongside the improvements to infrastructure and public spaces the consultation respondents want, means that, yes, new buildings at Mead Street are likely to be taller and denser than what is currently there.

Bristol Temple Quatre tweet about Cabinet’s endorsement

I have reflected previously on the competing demands we face as a city if we are to deliver the new homes we need. As I said then, cities are complicated and demand constructive debate. We will continue to engage with local people as plans for Mead Street, and the wider Temple Quarter area, progress as we work to deliver the new homes, jobs and public spaces that our city deserves.

You can read more about the Temple Quarter project and find the Mead Street development brief at BristolTempleQuarter.com.

Bristol-based charity, Motivation, on the global stage

Motivation’s Amanda Wilkinson

Tonight is the opening ceremony of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Motivation is a Bedminster-based charity and social enterprise which could play an important role in this global event.

Around 4,500 athletes from 72 countries are expected to participate. Between today and the 8th August, there will be 283 gold medals won across 22 sports, inclusive of our special interest—parasport. There will be 39 para-events competing in athletics, cycling, weightlifting, swimming, table tennis, triathlon, lawn bowls and 3×3 wheelchair basketball events.

Motivation will be eagerly watching to see if any of the para-athletes are using our Multisport or Flying Start racing wheelchairs—designed right here, in the heart of Bristol.

But it’s not a level playing field…

We believe disabled sports can promote inclusion and tackle the stigma around disability head on. Sport can improve people’s confidence and the way they are perceived by others. Since the 2012 London Paralympics, the success of disability sport has helped bring funding and much needed investment developing access for disabled people to participate in sport.

Motivation help develop grass roots sports by providing the everyday wheelchairs that para-athletes from the world’s low- and middle-income countries will be using to reach the games.

But we know that para-athletes need more support to be able to compete to their full potential. And athletes where we work often cannot afford to. We would love to see a level playing field for all the countries of the Commonwealth.

We know that participation of disabled people in sport positively effects everyone, we would like to see the countries who struggle to fund their athletes be able to field full strength teams in the future.

We have been working in Uganda to promote grass roots sports and greater inclusion via our All Stars Project, providing sports wheelchairs and inclusion training for primary school teachers and coaches.  

All Stars Project in Uganda, Providing young disabled people with sports wheel chairs

The outcomes are clear. Disabled boys and girls are coming to and staying in school, which matters in countries like Uganda where 90% of disabled children are not able to attend school. Attendance was up by 15% in the first year with over 350 disabled children taking their place in primary school.

But the benefits extend beyond this, through the project’s ‘buddy’ system, disabled children and non-disabled children are forging friendships that extend beyond school, as they play and explore together in their communities.

Sport has such an important role to play to bring us hope, fun and belonging – from the successes of the Lionesses at the Euro’s this week that make us proud and excited for an unprecedented win in in the final, to the launch of the Games today.

We are excited by seeing countries coming together in peace as a global community. This is something to celebrate especially after the last couple of years. While we’re always excited to see our chairs in action at elite level, we know that those para-athletes deserve better.

About Motivation

For more than 30 years, Motivation have worked to secure the rights of disabled children and adults by designing and providing wheelchairs, training, and services in countries like India, Kenya, Malawi and Uganda.

But these are tough financial times for us all. Covid-19 and the loss of a significant grant from the UK Government during international aid cuts mean Motivation are facing serious financial challenges.

To tackle this, we launched the Keep Us Moving Urgent Appeal. We are delighted to have reached more than three-quarters to our fundraising target of £300,000, having raised £267,330 so far.

We’re so lucky to be backed by people and organisations across Bristol, and beyond, who want to make the world a fair and inclusive place for everyone, everywhere. Thank you!

Every donation, tweet, share, or like helps to secure the future of disabled children and adults around the world. If you’d like to make a donation, or know more about any of our work, please do get in touch with us.

Launching a Living Rent Commission

Todays blog by Cllr Tom Renhard, Cabinet Member for Housing Delivery and Homes and Labour Councillor for Horfield

In Bristol we face a housing crisis.

We have almost 18,000 households (and growing) on our waiting list for social housing, along with over 1,100 households in temporary accommodation. The cost of renting in this city is one key cause alongside the lack of security that renters have in the private rented sector.

Over the past decade the cost of renting in the city grew by 52%, whilst wages only increased by 24% over the same period and current levels of inflation are far outstripping any growth in income. The spiralling costs mean housing is becoming increasingly unaffordable, pushing many further away from their place of work, family, and support networks, impacting across sectors and low and middle income households

Cllr Tom Renhard, end revenge evictions

This is why we have launched a Living Rent Commission.

We are bringing the best, partnership focused organisations together to explore the issues facing renters.

The principle aims of the commission are to:

  • Improve affordability of the private rented sector
  • Understand the impact of regulation on rent prices including on housing quality and maintenance
  • Identifying the most effective rent controls
  • Consider what other powers are required
  • Consider how to empower tenants’ rights

The powers needed to ensure the rental market is accessible and works for all do not exist. The commission will make recommendations on possible rent stabilisation powers. The powers come from government and so we will work with Westminster on policy development to reform the private rented sector, enabling Bristol to become a Living Rent City.

While we will focus on delivering change for the tens of thousands of renters in Bristol, we are also making links with other urban areas and could see this work pave the way for rent reform that benefits millions across the country. This is our time to make the case for a Living Rent, and it has never been more important given the current cost of living crisis with no immediate end in sight.

We have a track record of supporting action to improve conditions for renters. Whether that be lobbying for the end to no fault evictions, that are a huge driver of homelessness in our city, or campaigning to bring in the eviction ban during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been pushing for renter reform for some time.

With cross party support, I wrote to the Secretary of State setting out the city’s support for the Renters Reform Coalition proposals for change. We will lobby to ensure these issues remain on the agenda. I will continue to fight for better protection for renters and ensure they are not driven out of Bristol.

So how can people contribute to the work of the Living Rent Commission?

We will be ensuring a wide range of people have the opportunity to be heard, including the lived experience of what it is like on the ground. I am grateful to the organisations who are prepared to work together on the Advisory Board and other organisations who will have plenty of opportunity to shape the work.

Get involved, so Bristol can have a clear voice on this – we need a Living Rent that is manageable for people and works for Bristol.   

Want to know more? Get in touch by emailing: city.office@bristol.gov.uk

Membership of Living Rent Commission Advisory Board as at 26/07/22:

  • Fair Renting Campaign
  • Generation Rent
  • ARLA
  • ALL Wessex
  • Shelter
  • Bristol Older People’s Forum
  • Ashley Community Housing
  • Black South West Network
  • UWE Student’s Union
  • UOB Student’s Union
  • We Can Make
  • Trowers and Hamlins
  • Brighter Places

94 water rescues so far in 2022, don’t be the next

Today’s blog is by Steve Quinton, Risk Reduction
Area Manager at Avon Fire & Rescue Service

Today, on Drowning Prevention Day, the National Water Safety Forum launches its first campaign, encouraging everyone to #RespectTheWater. Fire services, councils, and other organisations are coming together to help keep local people and visitors to our area safe.

During the warm summer weather, particularly the recent heatwave, it may be tempting to take a dip in local waters to cool off.

You wouldn’t be wrong in thinking that the water will cool you down, but what you may not know is that the water in Bristol Harbour, as well as local lakes, ponds or weirs, remains cold enough to cause cold water shock – even on the hottest day of the year.

It can cause you to gasp for breath, inhale water, and cause panic. If you find yourself in trouble in the water, remember: extend your arms and legs to float until the effect of cold water shock passes – you can float to live.

While the water may look appealing, there are many hidden dangers beneath the water’s surface, including rocks, rubbish and even shopping trolleys. The water’s changing currents and tides can pull you in or make it hard to get to safety, even for the strongest swimmers. It’s not as tempting as it looks when you consider the dangers below.

Sadly, 50% of calls that we get involving the water affect people who did not intend to enter the water. So, even if you are relaxing by the water’s edge and don’t plan on going for a dip, make sure to take care and always supervise children near the water.

If you see someone in difficulty in the water, you may think the best thing to do is to jump in and try to save them. But by doing this, you put yourself at a high risk of drowning. If you see someone that needs help in any inland waters, call 999 and ask for the fire service. If you’re on the coast, ask for the coast guard.

Across the country, most drownings involve alcohol and sadly alcohol related drownings affect young men the most. If you fall into the water, or jump in, after drinking, your chances of being able to get out of the water are reduced, as alcohol impairs the bodies movement.

If you’re out drinking, take the safe route home and avoid the water, don’t drink and drown.  

We don’t want to ruin your fun this summer, all we ask is that you go prepared, understand the risks, and know what to do in an emergency.

Remember, if you find yourself in the water: float to live.

Sustainable transport on Muller Road

Today’s blog by Councillor Don Alexander, Cabinet Member for Transport and Labour Councillor for Avonmouth & Lawrence Weston

Construction work will get underway this summer on highway improvements to Muller Road, including installing a 24-hour bus lane to help make bus journeys quicker and more reliable.

With serious investment in Lockleaze that will see around 1,000 new homes and a new secondary school built, we need to make sure our local transport network can keep up with this level of growth.

Muller Road runs alongside Lockleaze and is well used by people travelling from north Bristol to the M32 and our city centre. It’s a busy road that often gets congested, so back in 2019 we carried out community engagement on how to improve bus journeys and make walking and cycling safer along this route.

Based on this, we have designed a scheme and will start work in August on improvements to Muller Road, including the introduction of a bus lane between Downend Road and Ralph Road. This will feature a bus gate to improve priority for buses at the Ralph Road junction. We’ll use a section of land that runs along the entrance to Lidl, which is part of the original planning agreement, to make space for this. 

Our plans also include resurfacing Muller Road, between Downend Road and Ralph Road, installing signals at Muller Road’s junction with Ralph Road, and creating modal filters on Springfield Avenue, Draycott Road and Brent Road to stop traffic other than bicycles using them as cut throughs.

These improvements are part of our Lockleaze Sustainable Transport Infrastructure project, which is being funded from the Housing Infrastructure Fund, provided by Homes England.

The project focusses on mitigating the impact that development and growth will have on the local area. It is a considerable investment in our transport infrastructure and one in a series of major transport corridors that we are working to improve.

A photo looking north along Muller Road, with vehicles on the left and a  bus on the right.

This is a big project that we anticipate completing in the spring of 2023. As you might expect, it will cause some disruption for anyone travelling through the area.

To make sure our contractors can work as efficiently as possible, Ralph Road will need to close temporarily towards the end of August. The diversion will take you via Ashley Down Road, Gloucester Road, Filton Avenue, and Muller Road.

Some residential roads may close at their junctions with Muller Road while the works take place to avoid traffic using them as rat-runs. There will also be temporary traffic lights in place on Muller Road throughout the works. 

We will do all we can to keep disruption to a minimum and make sure the scheme is completed as quickly as possible. 

The new bus lane and gate, together with improved walking and cycling infrastructure, will result in better connections for Lockleaze residents and anyone travelling through the area.

By improving the reliability of bus journeys and making walking and cycling safer and more attractive, we are going some way to rebalancing Bristol’s streets, giving people good alternatives to car-use, especially for shorter journeys.

We need everyone to embrace sustainable transport if we are to reduce our carbon footprint and make the air we breathe cleaner, while realising our ambition to create an inclusive and connected city.

Bristolians really care about the environment, and the recent heatwave is a warning sign to us all that we need to work together if we are to reach our city’s aspiration to be net zero by 2030. Work like this is essential to delivering on that commitment.

Imperial Sports Ground’s Super Sense Room

Today’s blog is by Lee West,
Trustee at Imperial Sports Ground

As for many organisations it’s been a challenging time, for the sports centre especially so. The fire in 2018 brought everything to a sudden halt.  But through these times we are beginning to see fruit of the redevelopment and our most recent being our SuperSense sensory room.

On 24 June we officially opened our state-of-the-art sensory room and it’s a true example of how more powerful it is for charities and people to come together, with a common goal, for the right reasons to develop a unique but much needed facility in Bristol.

The sensory room is the largest in Bristol and is based in the heart of the community, within transport links to ensure impact is maximised.

As a charity we have the ethos that “Any child with SEND has the right and ability to develop into adulthood, capable of taking an integral part in a wider society. The Imperial Sports Ground as a Bristol based registered charity has the responsibility to give them every opportunity to succeed.”

We strive to look at wider opportunities to impact people’s lives and provide a safe place to grow; we understand there are many deprived families in Bristol that would benefit from this facility and we’re keen to ensure this is a facility for all; unfortunately, it’s been difficult to find these families but we’re confident in the next few months this will be achieved.

I’m personally working on another project, developing a SEND outdoor play park for Adults and Children, this is another example of how thousands of people can benefit from a life changing facility. We’re on a mission again to raise funds.  As a society we all want to be inclusive but whilst this is the common end goal, we also must acknowledge our unconscious bias. Making these steps, through generations we will be going in the right direction.

I want to take this opportunity to thank Venturer’s Academy, SEN SOS, Incredible Kids, Autistic associations, Quartet and individual donors for their support.

Harbour Fest back this weekend!

As preparations continue around the docks and excitement builds ahead of this weekend’s Harbour Festival, I’m sharing my foreword from this year’s festival booklet.

Welcome to this very special Bristol Harbour Festival – the first since the start of the pandemic.

Since 1971, communities from across Bristol have celebrated the special setting of the harbour and docks. Five decades on, our city’s diverse and creative talent comes together for one of the biggest outdoor family events of the year.

Here in Bristol, we take huge pride in our local artists and growing number of community groups, all at the beating-heart of this world class creative event. Free to enjoy for all, the festival brings together some of the best of our city’s exceptional culture, as we share in our sense of community and place.

From its unique maritime history, to its role today as a working harbour and wonderful place for Bristolians and visitors alike to enjoy, our docks remain integral to the very fabric of our vibrant city. Over 50 years since the first Harbour Festival, I am very much looking forward to our city coming together to celebrate once again- and enjoying some great local food and drink!

I wish you all a fantastic, safe, and enjoyable 2022 Bristol Harbour Festival.

#ThisIsBristolCalling

It was wonderful to see everyone in person in such fabulous weather on Saturday for Bristol Pride, after two years of the festival happening online due to the pandemic. I want to send again my thanks to the organisers for two weeks of brilliant events, as well as Saturday’s parade and festival on The Downs.

At the festival just before Carly Rae Jepsen took to the stage I announced another opportunity for Bristol to come together again.

Despite winning the Eurovision Song Contest in May, incredibly sadly, Ukraine won’t host the contest in 2023. The BBC have been asked to take on Eurovision next year.

We know that decision has come as a real blow to the people of Ukraine, and so we need to reflect that this opportunity for the UK has come as a result of a war where we have seen suffering and loss.

The custodian of next year’s contest has to reflect this context. It needs to honour Ukraine’s victory, and put those who have been forced to leave their homes at the heart of the event.

As a global and diverse City of Sanctuary that has for many years extended the hand of welcome to those fleeing conflict, Bristol can be the caretaker of next year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

We’re working in partnership with YTL Arena Bristol on a bid to bring Eurovision to the Brabazon Hangers. We have the perfect site, where we can custom-build the perfect Eurovision Song Contest, with sustainability, inclusion and legacy at its core.

As I said on Saturday – we’ve got the space, man.

The city and region’s tourism and hospitality sector would benefit from such a huge event, and we’re committed to build a legacy for the whole of Bristol.

Bristol is ready with a really strong bid, and we need you to help us bring this home.

Please share the video on social media (it’s on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and embedded below) and tell the world how much you want Bristol to be the next home of Eurovision using the hashtag #ThisIsBristolCalling.

27 years on: Remembering Srebrenica

A black flag with a white and green logo, reading Remembering Srebrenica, flies against a blue sky.
Today’s blog is from the team at Remembering Srebrenica, the UK
charitable initiative which commemorates the 1995 Srebrenica Genocide

This week we commemorate 27 years since the Srebrenica Genocide, an atrocity described by the United Nations as the ‘worst crime on European soil since the Second World War’. The Remembering Srebrenica flag has flown outside Bristol’s City Hall all week, and the building was lit up in remembrance on Monday evening.

On 11 July 1995, Bosnian Serb forces overran and captured Srebrenica, a town in Eastern Bosnia which had been designated as a UN Safe Area. In the days that followed, 8,372 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were systematically murdered, with their bodies concealed in mass graves.

Srebrenica was the culmination of a campaign of ‘ethnic cleansing’ used by Bosnian Serb forces during the conflict from 1992-1995, aiming to create ‘Greater Serbia’, a region free from non-Serbs. Throughout Bosnia, up to 50,000 women and girls suffered sexual violence, a weapon of war utilised to ethnically cleanse the region and terrorise the populace. Concentration camps were established in the Prijedor area, with huge numbers of Bosnian Muslims becoming internally displaced or refugees after being forced from their homes.

A Remembering Srebrenica graphic reads: Combatting Denial, Challenging Hatred. It includes their website: www.srebrenica.org.uk

Every year, Remembering Srebrenica selects a theme that reflects an aspect of the genocide that needs to be commemorated, but also speaks to communities here in the UK. The theme for 2022 is ‘Combatting Denial: Challenging Hatred’

The killings at Srebrenica have been classified as genocide by both the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Tribunal of the former Yugoslavia. Despite this fact, denial of the Srebrenica genocide and other crimes against humanity committed across Bosnia remains prevalent at the highest levels, including from the Mayor of Srebrenica and current political leadership of Republika Srpska. These attitudes are also supported by Russia which, in 2015, vetoed a UN resolution to condemn the killings at Srebrenica as a genocide.

Graves at the Srebrenica Memorial site.
Credit: Rooful Ali

In the UK, communities are only too aware of the damaging impact that denial can have for individuals and community cohesion. Divisive propaganda and misinformation are thriving, and clear and established facts are denied and manipulated, frequently resulting in minority communities being scapegoated and vilified to create mistrust and promote hatred that threatens community cohesion. Home Office figures have revealed that the number of recorded hate crimes have doubled in the space of five years. Since last year, numbers of recorded hate crimes have increased by 9% to a record 124,091, with nearly three quarters of those incidents being racially motivated.

We therefore hope that this year’s theme will help empower individuals and communities to better understand and confront the denial which emboldens perpetrators and gaslights their victims, to help create safer, stronger, and more cohesive communities.

A memorial stone reads: Srebrenica juli 1995.
Credit: Rooful Ali

As we move back to a fully in person Srebrenica Memorial Week, we are pleased that there will be two national Srebrenica Memorial events held on the 12th and 13th of July. Two receptions will be hosted by the Speaker of the House of Commons, The Rt Hon Sir Lindsay Hoyle MP, and the Secretary of State for Education, The Rt Hon James Cleverly MP. We are delighted that His Excellency President Šefik Džaferović, Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina and His Excellency President Željko Komšić, Member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, shall be attending both events alongside MPs, faith leaders and diplomatic staff representing countries around the world.

Equally as importantly, we anticipate a continuation from previous years of more than 1000 memorial events, community activities and acts of commemoration right across the UK. Events will be held in councils, police forces, community centres as well as faith and educational institutions right across the country. We pay thanks to the work of our 1,450 Community Champions, 8 regional boards and 3 country boards whose hard work makes the UK the largest commemorator of the Srebrenica Genocide.