Tag Archives: Community

Supporting people with No Recourse to Public Funds

Councillor Tom Renhard, smiling, on College Green.
Today’s guest blog is from Councillor
Tom Renhard, Cabinet Member
for Housing Delivery and Homes

In the Autumn, I had the pleasure of chairing a meeting of organisations working across Bristol to support people with No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF). NRPF status means that people don’t have access to a wide range of social security benefits and payments, including Universal Credit and Housing Benefit.

It affects a huge range of over 1 million people in the UK, including those seeking asylum, EU citizens, recent arrivals from Hong Kong, and young professionals here on a spousal or family visa. For these different groups, having NRPF status means that when things go wrong – maybe an illness or losing their job – they don’t have access to the welfare safety net that the rest of us have access to. As a result, many people with NRPF, along with their children and families, can face homelessness and destitution through no fault of their own. 

Stills from the Bristol Refugee Rights video of lived experiences of NRPF. A cartoon of a young person playing with toys.
Stills from the Bristol Refugee Rights video of lived experiences of NRPF

Local Authorities receive no dedicated funding from central Government to support those with NRPF. During Covid, the Everyone In policy did briefly give us the chance to offer housing to everyone who needed it in the city. Knowing that this wouldn’t last forever, we set up a One City Task Force to bring together the skills and resources of Bristol City Council, the Homelessness sector and the Refugee sector to take a longer-term view. Through this collaboration we were able to help more than 75 people with NRPF successfully move on from the Everyone In accommodation rather than heading straight back to the streets, cutting rough sleeping by around 80%. 

From this success, an idea was born: the Bristol Model of NRPF support. It’s a holistic and collaborative framework for bringing together services and support based on four key principles – design out destitution, informed and supported, included and involved and a safe place to stay. It builds on the insight and premise that when people have their basic needs catered for, they can then make progress in escaping NRPF-enforced destitution, either by finding new work or by changing their legal status. It also works on the principle that no single organisation or sector in the city can effectively support those with NRPF on their own.

At the meeting, we heard from several organisations about their experiences of working with the Bristol Model. Bristol Refugee Rights and the Big Issue have both worked hard to make sure that people’s lived experiences of NRPF are at the centre of these conversations, and we watched a powerful film that captures the crippling insecurity and hopelessness that NRPF can cause. 

We also heard about how people have creatively found resources to help make the Bristol Model a reality. At the council we’re proud to have put the Model at the heart of our efforts to tackle rough sleeping, including our successful bid for funding from the Rough Sleeping Initiative over the next three years. This will secure some bed spaces for those with NRPF, caseworker capacity, access to legal advice from Bristol Law Centre and a specialist sub-group of our Rough Sleeping Partnership.

There is plenty more to do on this issue, and nobody is resting on any laurels. But we are confident that the Bristol Model gives us the right framework, one that is rooted in lived experience and consistent with the One City Approach. This work sits alongside efforts to tackle Bristol’s housing crisis through building enough new homes for our city and lobbying for required changes in legislation.

We are also truly humbled and grateful that, despite the unjust and often inhumane approach of the National Government on this, we live in a City of Sanctuary full of people and organisations willing to go the extra mile to make sure that everyone has the chance to build a life of dignity and purpose here in Bristol.  

Ayham, a Bristol school pupil, is pictured holding a letter that they addressed to the Home Secretary.
The Mayor recently received a copy of a letter on
a related topic from Ayham, a Bristol school pupil,
addressed to the Home Secretary.

Temple Quarter: the end of the beginning

When I look back on Bristol’s big achievements in 2022, one that stands out as one of the biggest and most significant is, in June, securing almost £95 million from central government to kickstart the Temple Quarter regeneration programme.

Now, I’m writing my fourth blog on Temple Quarter in just over six months, celebrating yet another major milestone for the project. Today, we’ve launched a consultation on the Temple Quarter draft Development Framework. This document gives an outline for proposals for change across the 130 hectares of Temple Quarter and will help to guide change as it happens in the coming years.

There’s no denying that this is a detailed document. After all, it encapsulates the breadth of our vision and ambition for the world-class gateway to our city that Temple Quarter can become.

Temple Quarter Regeneration Character Area Map

To make the consultation easier to navigate, we’ve broken down the online hub into sections based on the six “character areas” at Temple Quarter. The scope of influence that public feedback will have varies from area to area, and we want to be open about that. For example, at Temple Meads and the surrounding area, information in the Development Framework is at masterplan level, with a high level of detail on where new entrances are planned, and what other changes will be needed to support these proposals. Our plans for these areas are already well-known, and other constraints like the Grade I heritage status of the station mean we can only do certain things in certain places.

Elsewhere, there is less detail, and we want your feedback and ideas on the direction that future change should take. At St Philip’s Marsh, there is a huge opportunity to make change that meets the future needs of Bristol’s residents and businesses. The area has the potential to enable us to deliver thousands of homes, new employment opportunities, new public spaces and green infrastructure, and even the potential for a major new leisure and sport facility on the site of the current Fruit Market.

We set out the opportunities – and challenges – for development in St Philip’s Marsh, and explore scenarios based on different land uses in the area. Your feedback on these early ideas and principles for change will not only help shape the final Development Framework before it is presented to Cabinet; it will also help to shape a detailed master planning process for St Philip’s Marsh that is due to begin in 2023, alongside further community engagement.

Plans include several new entrances to Temple Meads,
including this sketch of the new Northern Entrance

We want as many people to have the chance to respond to the consultation as possible. Alongside the online survey, the team has prepared a full programme of engagement activities, including drop-ins at community venues, pop-ups, walking tours, and online briefings. We’re also working with local schools to ensure young people have the chance to comment on proposals that could affect their future housing and employment options. All the detail can be found on the council’s website. And if you need a translation, Easy Read or paper copy, just let us know at TempleQuarter@bristol.gov.uk.  

This consultation is just the end of the beginning. In 2023 we will be refining our plans for specific areas of Temple Quarter, including the Northern Entrance and Southern Gateway, and beginning the masterplan for St Philip’s Marsh. None of this will happen without the input and expertise of the communities and businesses in and around Temple Quarter. We’re committed to working with you throughout this project to create the change that will bring long-term benefits to Bristol. We’ve already planned four business roundtables for 2023, and plan to create a similar forum for community groups in the area soon. Keep an eye on BristolTempleQuarter.com for all the latest news and events.

The consultation on the Temple Quarter draft Development Framework closes on Wednesday 8 March 2023.

Carers Rights Day support for unpaid carers on the cost-of-living crisis

Today’s guest blog is from Tim Poole, CEO of Carers Support Centre

We are celebrating Carers Rights Day today and here at Carers Support Centre we are holding a free support event to discuss the ongoing cost-of-living crisis and its effects on carers in Bristol and South Gloucestershire. We are also providing practical support and information at the event to help carers access support.

The current cost-of-living crisis is affecting everyone in the UK. With inflation having topped 10% for the first time since 1982 many people are finding it more difficult to make ends meets. 

It is the case that while all are being affected to some degree, some are affected more than others and often carers are amongst the hardest hit. 

The result of the crisis for carers is that it has created unprecedented pressure, not only affecting their finances but their health and wellbeing, adding to an already poor outlook for carers.

In trying to tackle the crisis, carers can be doubly constrained. Because of their caring responsibilities many are limited in the amount of income they can bring into the household. Additionally, carers have areas of expenditure that they just can’t afford to cut back on. 

An image from Carers Support Centre's Carer's Right's Day event, the crowd are watching a presentation.
Carers Support Centre’s Carer’s Rights Day Event

Recent research by Carers Trust shows that 48% of all unpaid family carers have had to give up work because of their caring role. The research also showed that 62% of unpaid family carers were spending 50 hours or more per week caring for a family member.  More time spent on caring responsibilities is less time to go out and earn an income.

So, less earned income which places an increased reliance on benefits. In itself the eligibility rules for claiming the main benefit for carers, Carers Allowance, severely restricts a carer’s earning ability. And if you are eligible, at just £69.70 per week Carers Allowance is lower than other comparable benefits like Job Seeker’s Allowance and Universal Credit and far less than in other European countries. It is woefully inadequate to meet the carer’s needs and the needs of those they care for.

Against that background of reduced income what money is coming into a carer’s household is buying less as inflation takes hold. Energy bills are the most obvious example of rising prices, but most people are noticing the effects on other everyday costs like the price of food.  

While many examine their household budget to see where cutbacks can be made, for many carers this just can’t be done without endangering the health and welfare of the person, or people, they care for. There are items that carers can’t cut back on, like special food items, laundry bills and the cost of equipment to help the person they care for.

With reduced income and increased expenditure, the cost-of-living crisis has added to an already gloomy picture for unpaid carers.

Carers have been under enormous pressure over the last two years due to the pandemic. Many were only just beginning to feel there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Unfortunately, for many of them that light is the oncoming pressures of the cost-of-living crisis. An increasing number of carers are contacting us, worried about the future for both the person they care for and themselves.

Carers Rights Day logo, with a red megaphone and white text on red background.

On Carers Rights Day, Carers Support Centre is once again calling on the Government to stop ignoring unpaid carers. Instead, they should be made a priority group for the extra financial support they so desperately need and deserve.  

At Carers Support Centre we are a charity which provides support, information and advice to unpaid carers living in the Bristol and South Gloucestershire areas – people of any age supporting family or friends who could not manage without their help.

You can find out more about our services for carers at www.carerssupportcentre.org.uk

Welcoming Spaces open their doors for Bristol residents

A sign hanging on a pole, with chalk text reading: Welcome please come in.

As we start to feel the cold of the winter months, some people across Bristol will be deciding between heating their homes and putting food on the table. This is an incredibly challenging place to be in and a place I wish we weren’t. With energy bills and other costs rising, we want to make sure that the Bristol residents most impacted by the national cost of living crisis have access to help and support.

Since April I have been having regular conversations with community partners, and it was clear back then that we needed to be ready for a gear change in autumn as the cost of living continued to increase. Until recently people haven’t needed to put the heating on much but, as the colder months begin, things will get more difficult for many. 

As part of these discussions, the concept of warm, Welcoming Spaces was developed. The first of these spaces are now open. We want to support residents struggling with rising energy prices without stigmatising people. We’re already seeing that some people who haven’t face financial challenge before now are, and it’s important to us that everyone feels welcome.

A Welcoming Space is a place that is already established in the community, for example a community centre, care home, children’s centre, or places of worship, where people can meet up, socialise, keep warm and if needed access support with the cost of living crisis. These spaces are inclusive, accessible and about communities coming together.

Venues will be responding to community priorities which means what happens in each space will vary, but is likely to include Wi-Fi, access to electrical charging points, activities and community meals. There will be support provided by city-wide organisations including practical advice about money and finance, emotional wellbeing, mental health support, and employment and skills.

We have created a map of the Welcoming Spaces which are currently operating and will add more as they open their doors in the coming weeks.

The map shows where all the Welcoming Spaces are in relation to Bristol wards.
The map of Welcoming Spaces across Bristol

Bristol is a city that will continue to step up and support each other in difficult times. Welcoming Spaces have been made possible because of our incredible community, voluntary, and faith organisations, as well as city council services responding to this crisis. They draw on a community infrastructure that was strengthened during the pandemic, including volunteer groups and facilities. It is for all of us to get behind them and do what we can to make them a success.

If you have a venue that meets the criteria of a Welcoming Space please let us know by filling out our online form. A Cost of Living Social Action Small Grant is available from Quartet Community Foundation to help organisations offer a space in their community.

There are already several city organisations working together to coordinate help for the Welcoming Spaces. If you could play a part and support Welcoming Spaces please complete the form on our website. This could include providing equipment or transport or support for advice on money, welfare and mental wellbeing.

If you’d like to make a difference in your community during the cost of living crisis and you have some time to spare there are also a range of volunteering opportunities available through Can Do Bristol, from befriending and peer support, to cooking and driving. It is now well established that volunteering has real benefits for our health and wellbeing.

We know we cannot solve the cost of living crisis, but by adopting a One City approach, everyone is able to come together and help reduce cost of living pressures in their communities. The One City cost of living plan is available on the council website.

On Tuesday 11 October, a group of Bristol leaders, including myself, wrote to the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Simon Clarke MP to outline our partnership approach to supporting residents during the cost of living crisis and inviting government to visit to engage with us on how we’re responding. The letter also calls on government to improve the level of crisis funding available to local authorities to enable them to better plan support with partners.

If you or someone you know needs support, please reach out. Our We Are Bristol helpline is available for calls Mon to Fr 8.30am to 5pm – 0800 694 0184.

Welcoming Spaces List:

Ashley

  • Bristol Citadel Salvation Army, 6 Ashley Road, BS6 5NL, Bristol, Tuesday to Thursday 3pm to 7pm, 0117 992788 – Food, Hot Drinks, Signposting, Community Activities and Wifi
  • St Werburghs Community Centre, Horley Road, St. Werburgh’s, Bristol, BS2 9TJ, Monday to Sunday 9am to 9pm, 0117 955 1351 – Wifi, computers, St Werburghs Food Share and SEND Activities for Families

Avonmouth & Lawrence Weston

  • Avonmouth Community Centre, Avonmouth Road, Bristol, BS11 9EN, Monday to Thursday 10am to 4pm, Friday 1pm to 5pm, 0117 9827445 – wifi, hot drinks, signposting, community activities, digital services and Wednesday Soup Lunch (£3); Thursday Lunch Club (£5 two courses meal, booking needed)
  • The Rock Community Centre, St Peters Hall, Ridingleaze, Avon, Bristol, BS11 0QE, Monday to Friday 9am to 1:30pm, 0117 9384636 – Access to advice support, community activities and wifi
  • Shirehampton Methodist church, Junction of the High Street and Penpole Avenue, BS11 0DY, Monday to Thursday 9am to 3:30pm, 07305 066478 – advice support, food and hot drinks
  • Port of Bristol Sports & Community Hub, Nibley Rd, Shirehampton, Bristol BS11 9XW, Monday to Sunday 9am to 10pm, 0117 9823927 – signposting, community activity, hot drinks, wifi, charging points
  • Ambition Lawrence Weston, Long Cross, Lawrence Weston, BS11 0RX, Monday to Friday 11am to 4pm, 0117 9235112 – access to advice support, signposting, community activity, hot drinks, wifi and digital services
  • St Andrew’s Church, Avonmouth Road, Bristol, BS11 9EN, Monday to Friday 10am to 2pm 0117 325 8720 – Hot drink and wifi

Bedminster

  • Bedminster Children’s Centre, South Street, Bristol, BS3 3AU, Monday to Friday 8am-4pm, 0117 3746362 – access to mental health wellbeing support, food bank, food club and access to advice support.

Bishopsworth

  • Bishopsworth Children’s Centre, Lakemead Grove, Bristol, BS13 8EA, Tuesday to Friday 8am-5pm, 0117 9781028 – access to mental health wellbeing support, food bank, food club and access to advice support.
  • Zion Arts Space, Bisopsworth Road, Bristol, BS13 7JW, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, when the café is open, Tuesday until 7pm, 0117 9231212 – Wifi, hot drinks, access to advice support and Saturday 12-2pm community café.

Brislington East

  • St. Anne’s Park Children’s Centre, Lichfield Road, Bristol, BS4 4BJ, Monday to Friday 9:30am to 4:30pm, 0117 3773189 – access to mental health wellbeing support and advice support.
  • Broomhill & St Anne’s Park Children’s Centre, Broomhill Infants School, Fermaine Avenue Bristol, BS4 4UY, Tuesday to Thursday 3pm to 4:30pm, 0117-3534276 – access to mental health wellbeing support, food bank, food club and access to advice support.
  • St Peter’s Methodist Church, 170, Allison Road, Brislington, BS4 4NZ, Tuesday 11am to 2pm, 01227 459449 – Food club, hot drinks and wifi
  • Bricks – St Anne’s Community Living Room, St Anne’s Road, Brislington, BS4 4AB, Thursdays 10am to 5pm, 07709 264 201 – Food, Hot Drinks, Signposting, Community Activities, wifi and charging points

Central

  • Redcliffe The Hub, 4, Waring House, Redcliffe, Bristol, BS1 6TB, Monday to Friday 8.30am – 10.30am and 1pm – 3pm with one evening session on Thursday – Wifi, Hot drinks, Community Activities, hot meals and computers

Clifton

  • Friends of Clifton Centre and Library, Princess Victoria Street, BS8 4BX, Monday 2pm to 4pm, Tuesday 10am to 1pm, Wednesday 10am to 4pm, Thursday 10am to 1pm – Signposting, community activity, hot drinks, wifi and digital services

Cotham

  • Everyone Active – Kingsdown, Portland St, Bristol, BS2 8HL, Monday to Sunday 9am to 3pm, 0117 9031633 – Free showers and free guest pass
  • St Mathews Church, Cotham, BS6 5TP, Saturday 9:30am to 12:30pm, 0117 944 1598 – food, hot drinks, wifi and charging points.

Easton & Lawrence Hill

  • Kensington Baptist Church, Stapleton Road, Easton, Bristol, BS5 0NX, Saturday 12-2pm, 0117 951 1202 – wifi, hot drinks, charging points, Saturday 12-2pm – community café.
  • Bannerman Road Children’s Centre, All Hallows Road, Bristol, BS5 0HR, Monday to Friday 8am-4pm, 0117 9030269 – access to mental health wellbeing support and advice support.
  • Eastside Community Trust, Easton Community Centre, Kilburn Street, Bristol, BS5 6AW, Monday to Friday 8am-6pm, 01179 541409 – wifi, hot drinks, community activities, Super Supper Club Wednesday evenings and charging points.
  • St Mark’s Community Café, St Marks Road, Bristol, BS5 6HX, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 9:30am – 4pm – Wifi, Hot drinks, community activities and Washing Machine/Tumble Dryer
  • Welllspring Settlement Centre, Barton Hill Settlement, 41 – 43 Ducie Road, Bristol, BS5 0AX – Monday to Friday 8:30-5pm, Welcome Café: Tuesday and Thursday 11am-2pm, 0117 9556971 – wifi, hot drinks, signposting, community activities, access to advice support and Community Eat Well Café.
  • Bristol Somali Resource Centre, Barton Hill Settlement, 41 – 43 Ducie Road, Bristol, BS5 0AX, Monday to Thursday 3pm to 5pm, Friday 11am to 4pm, 0117 9077994 – Wifi, charging points, advice support and hot drinks
  • Refugee Women of Bristol, Easton Family Centre, Easton, Bristol, BS5 0SQ, Thursday (Term-time only) 9:30am to 2.30pm, 0117 9415867 – advice support, mental health & wellbeing support, signposting to other services, community activities, hot drinks and wifi
  • Church of God Prophecy, 2 Tudor Road, Easton, BS5 6BN, Wednesday’s 11am to 2pm – wifi, hot drinks, food and charging points
  • Tawfiq Masjid and Centre, Aiken Street, Barton Hill, BS5 9TG, Monday to Friday 12:30pm to 8pm and Saturday to Sunday 9am to 8:30pm – wifi, hot drinks, direct access to mental health and wellbeing support, signposting, community activity, digital services and direct access to advice support
  • The Assisi Centre (Borderlands), Lawfords Gate, BS5 0RE, Monday and Tuesday 10am to 2pm, Wednesday (Bookings needed), Borderlands | Refugees | Charity I Bristol I England – Access to mental health support, Signposting, Community activity, Food, hot drinks, wifi and contact the venue for more information about activities
  • Shahjalal Jame Mosque, 468 Stapleton Road, Eastville, BS5 6PE, Monday to Sunday 3pm to 6pm, 0117 9519988 – Community activity, hot drinks, wifi and open to worshipers
  • Easton Jamia Masjid, St Marks Road, Easton, BS5 6JH, Monday, Wednesday and Friday 1pm to 4pm, 0117 951 0317, https://eastonjamiamasjid.co.uk/ – signposting, community activities, hot drinks and food
  • Food Cycle at Easton Christian Family Centre, Beaufort St, St Judes, BS5 0SQ, Wednesday 4:30 pm to 8:30pm, https://foodcycle.org.uk/location/foodcycle-bristol-easton/ – Food (free meals, no booking needed), Hot Drinks, wifi and Signposting
  • Bristol Oscar, 256 Stapleton Road, Easton, Bristol, BS5 0NP, Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm, 01179512200 – Signposting, Hot Drinks, WiFi and Open to Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia Sufferers

Filwood

  • Knowle Children’s Centre, Leinster Avenue, Bristol, BS4 1NN, Monday to Thursday 8am-4pm; Friday 8am-3:30pm, 01173532036 – access to mental health wellbeing support, food bank, food club and access to advice support.
  • Inns Court Christian Fellowship, Marshall Walk, Knowle West, BS4 1TR, Thursday 9am to 6pm, 0117 3771048 – Hot drinks and wifi
  • Inns Court Community Centre, 1 Marshall Walk, Bristol, BS4 1TR, Thursday 1pm to 3pm, 0117 9041220 – food club
  • Salvation Army, Padstow Road, Knowle West, BS4 1EN, Monday 10am to 2pm, 0117 9631655 – Advice support, hot drinks and wifi
  • Knowle West Healthy Living Centre, 2 Downton Rd, Bristol, BS4 1WH, Monday 12 noon to 2pm, 0117 9030018 – signposting, community activity, Hot drinks, Wifi and digital access
  • RE:WORK at Re:Store, 17-19 Filwood Broadway, Bristol, BS4 1JL, Monday to Friday 2pm to 4pm, 0117 9530689 – Community activity, food and hot drinks
  • St Barnabas Church, Daventry Road, BS4 1DQ, Thursdays 9:30am – 2pm – hot drinks

Frome Vale

  • Oldbury Court Children’s Centre, Frenchay Road, Bristol, BS16 2Qs, Monday to Friday 8am to 4:30pm, 0117 3532899 – digital access to mental health wellbeing support, food bank, food club and access to advice support
  • Bristol charities (Vassall Centre), Unit 1, The Vassall Centre Gil, Avenue Bristol, BS16 2QQ, Monday to Friday 8:30am – 5pm, 0117 965 9630 – Wifi, Signposting, Computer, Hot Drinks, Direct access to advice support and charging points
  • Brunelcare: Colliers Gardens Extra Care Home, 16 Colliers Gardens, Bristol, BS16 2NA, 0117 958 6336 – hot drinks and community activities

Hartcliffe & Withywood

  • Brunelcare: Waverley Gardens Extra Care Home, Waverley Gardens Queens Road, Bishopsworth, Bristol, BS13 8EL, 0117 964 1888 – hot drinks and community activities,
  • Withywood Church, Withywood Centre Queens Road, Bishopsworth, Bristol, BS13 8QA, Monday to Friday 8am – 5pm, 0117 987 8400 – wifi, hot drinks and signposting.
  • Hartcliffe Children’s Centre, Hareclive Road, Bristol, BS13 0JW, Monday to Thursday 8am-4pm; Friday 8am-3:30pm, 0117 9038633 – access to mental health wellbeing support, food bank, food club and access to advice support.
  • South Bristol Methodist Church, South Bristol, Methodist Church Hall, Mowcroft Road, Bristol, BS13 0LT, hot drinks, Food Club, tea coffee (Friday 10am-12 noon); Community Meal (last Wednesday of the month 5pm – 6:30pm)
  • Hartcliffe and Withywood Ventures Ltd, The Gatehouse Centre, Hareclive Road, Bristol, BS13 9JN, Friday 10am to 12pm – signposting, food, hot drinks, wifi and charging points

Henbury & Brentry

  • Henbury and Brentry Community Centre, Machin Road, Bristol, BS10 7HG, Monday to Friday 9:30 am – 7:30pm, 0117 9503573 – wifi, hot drinks, community activities, digital access to advice services, charging points, Community Fridge (Monday 10:30 -2pm; Thursdays 11am – 2pm); Cafe and Community meal (Tuesday and Friday 10:30am-2pm; Thursdays 4pm-7pm)); Breakfast (Saturdays 10am-1pm)
  • Everyone Active – Henbury, Avonmouth Way, Henbury, Bristol, BS10 7NG, Monday to Sunday 9am to 3pm, 0117 3532555 – Free showers and free guest pass
  • Branch Community Church at Emmanuel Chapel, Satchfield Crescent, Henbury, BS10 7BN – lunch box and hot drinks

Hengrove & Whitchurch Park

  • Brunelcare: ABC Extra Care Centre, 56 Beech Croft Kylross Avenue, Bristol, BS14 9LZ, 01275 540177 – hot drinks.
  • St Augustine’s Church, 2 East Dundry Road, BS14 0LL, Mondays 10am to 12noon, Wednesdays 2pm to 4pm, Saturday breakfast 10am to 12 noon, Sunday hot drinks 3pm to 4pm, 01257 891154 – food and hot drinks
  • Christ Church, Petherton Road, BS14 9BP, Tuesdays 2pm to 4pm Thursday 10am to 12noon, Fridays 1pm to 3pm, Sundays 11am to 12noon, 01275 891310 – Food and hot drinks
  • Hengrove Park Leisure Centre, Hengrove Promenade, Bristol, BS14 0DE, Monday to Friday 5:30am to 10pm, Saturday and Sunday 8am to 6pm, 01179370200 – Hot Drink and wifi

Hillfields

  • Hillfields Community Hub, Thicket Avenue, Bristol, BS16 4EH, Monday, Tuesday and Friday 11am – 3pm, 01179657711 – Wifi, hot drinks, signposting, community activities and phone charging points
  • Friends of Hillfields Library, Summerleaze, BS16 4HL, Monday 12:15pm to 18:00pm – access to advice support, signposting, community activity, hot drinks, wifi and digital services

Horfield & Lockleaze

  • Ebenezer Church, 286 Filton Avenue, Bristol, BS7 0BA, 0117 9791399 – Wifi, charging points, Foodbank Outlet (Thursdays 1-3pm), community activities, access to mental health wellbeing support and Taste community cafe. (Thursdays 10.30-12.30pm
  • Everyone Active, Dorian Rd, Horfield, Bristol BS7 0XW, Monday to Sunday 2pm to 4pm and Shower 7pm to 9pm, 0117 9031643 – Hot drinks, free showers and free guest pass
  • Lockleaze Neighbourhood Trust, 1 Fedden Buildings, Gainsborough Square, Lockleaze, Bristol, BS7 9FB, Monday to Friday 9:30am to 3:30pm, 0117 9141129 – advice support, signposting to other services, food, hot drinks and wifi
  • Lockleaze sport centre, Bonnington Walk, Lockleaze, Bristol BS7 9XF, Monday 11:30am to 13:30pm, 01174568955 – food and hot drinks
  • The Vench, Romney Ave, Lockleaze, Bristol BS7 9TB, Tuesday 9:30am to 3:30pm, 07710392078 – Food and hot drinks
  • Bristol Rovers Community Trust, Memorial Stadium, Filton Avenue, Horfield, BS7 0BF, Tuesday 1pm to 4pm, 0117 9522581 – Access to advice support, wifi, hot drinks, food and signposting

Knowle

  • Knowle Methodist Church, Knowle Methodist Church, 9 Redcatch Road, Knowle, BS4 2EP, Monday 11am to 2pm – wifi and hot drinks
  • Totterdown Baptist (Jerman Hall), Wells Road, BS4 2AX, Fridays 2pm to 6pm – community activity, food, hot drinks and wifi
  • Redcatch Community Garden, Broadwalk Redcatch Park, Knowle, BS4, Monday afterschool to 5pm, Tuesday 12pm to 5pm – Food and Hot Drinks.
  • Redcatch Community Church, Broadwalk, Knowle, Bristol, BS4 2RB, Friday 10am to 4pm – signposting, community activity, food, hot drinks and wifi
  • St Christopher Church, Hampstead Road, Brislington, BS4 3HN, Sunday 4pm to 6pm – Signposting, Hot Drinks, Wifi and Wheelchair access from Falfield Road entrance
  • Oasis Hub South Bristol, Melvin Square, Knowle West, BS4 1NH, Friday 11am to 3pm, 07814 079814, https://www.facebook.com/OasisHubSB/ – Access to advice support, access to mental health well being support, signposting, community activities, hot drinks and wifi

Redcliffe

  • The Hub, 4 Waring House, Redcliffe, Bristol, BS1 6TB, Monday to Friday 8:30am to 10:30am and 1pm to 3pm, Thursday 6pm to 8pm, 07928 249523 – Community activities, Food, Hot Drinks, wifi and computers

Redland

  • Cairns Road Baptist Church, Westbury Park, Bristol, BS6 7TH, Tuesday 6pm to 9pm, 01179425669 – Hot Drinks, Wifi and Charging points
  • Redland Park URC Church, Whiteladies Road, Redland, BS6 6SA, Wednesdays and Thursdays 10:30am to 14:30pm – Community activities, food and hot drinks
  • Tyndale Baptist Church, Whiteladies Road, Redland, BS8 2QG, Tuesday 10am to 16:00pm, 0117 973 7747, https://www.facebook.com/TyndaleBaptist – Hot drinks and wifi

Sea Mills

  • Sea Mills Methodist Church, Shirehampton Road, Sea Mills, BS9 2DY, Thursday 10am to 12pm – Community Activities, hot drinks and wifi

Shirehampton

  • Shirehampton Library, Station Road, Shirehampton, Bristol, BS11 9TU, Tuesday 3pm to 5pm – Food, Hot drinks, wifi and computers
  • Shirehampton Public Hall, 32 Station Road, Shirehampton, Bristol, BS11 9TX, Thursday 10am to midday – Community activities, hot drinks and wifi
  • Cotswold Community Association, Dursley Road, Shirehampton, BS11 9HX, Thursday 10am to 12pm – signposting, community activity, hot drinks, and wifi

Southmead

  • Southmead Development Trust, Greenway Centre, Doncaster Road, Bristol, BS10 5PY, Monday to Friday: 8:30am to 8:45pm and Saturday to Sunday: 9am to 5pm, 0117 950 3335 – hot drinks available
  • Shahporan Islamic Centre Bristol, 3 Doncaster Lane, BS10 5QD, Monday to Sunday 4pm to 8:30pm, 07764 280004 – wifi, access to mental health wellbeing support, signposting, community activity and direct access to advice support

Southville

  • BS3 Community Development, The Southville Centre, Beauley Road, Southville, BS3 1QG, Monday to Thursday: 8am to 8pm; Friday 8am-6pm, 01179231039 – computers, hot drinks, outreach activity, access to mental health wellbeing support, signposting, community activities, digital services, access to advice support, Bedminster Food Club (at United Reformed Church on West Street); Café open from 8-5 daily (introducing pay it forward)

St. George

  • Speedwell Children’s Centre, Speedwell Road, Bristol, BS5 7SY, Monday  to Friday 9am-3pm, 0117 9030206 – access to mental health wellbeing support, food bank, food club and access to advice support.
  • Siri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara Bristol, 301-307 Church Road, St George, BS5 8AA, Monday 10:30am to 11:30am, Tuesday 10:30am to 11:30am ad Sunday 10:30am to 2pm – wifi, community activities, charging points, food and hot drinks
  • The Beehive, 19a Stretford Road, Whitehall, Bristol, BS5 7AW (St George), Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9am to 12:30 noon, Tuesday and Thursday 9am to 4pm, 0117 9354471 – signposting, Community Activity, food, hot drinks, wifi and charging points

St Paul’s

  • St Paul’s Nursery School and Children’s Centre, Little Bishop Street, Bristol, BS2 9JF, 0117 9030337 – access to mental health wellbeing support, food bank, food club and access to advice support.
  • St Agnes Chruch, Thomas Street, St Pauls, Bristol, BS2 9JF, Monday to Friday 8am to 4pm, 0117 9030337 – advice support, mental health support and food club
  • Everyone Active – St Paul’s, Newfoundland Rd, St Paul’s, Bristol BS2 9NH, Monday to Sunday 9am to 3pm, 0117 3773405 – Free showers and free guest pass
  • A.P.E Project CIC / St Paul’s Adventure Playground, Fern Street, St Pauls, Bristol, BS2 9LN, Thursday and Friday 3:15pm to 7:00pm, Saturday 1:00pm to 5:00pm, 0117 9542145 – signposting, community activities, food, hot drinks, charging points, open to children, families and young people.

Stockwood

  • Stockwood Children’s Centre, Whittock Road, Bristol, BS14 8DQ, Monday to Thurs 8:30am-3:30pm, 0117 3533506 – access to mental health wellbeing support, food bank, food club access to advice support.
  • BS14 Youth Club, Stockwood Lane, Stockwood, BS14 8SJ, Monday, Wednesday and Friday 10am to 1pm – community activities, hot drinks, wifi and charging points

Westbury-on-Trym & Henleaze

  • Trinity-Henleaze United Reformed Church, Waterford Road, Henleaze, Bristol, BS9 4BT, Tuesday 2pm to 4pm and Friday 10am to 5pm, 0117 9623431 – hot drinks

Food insecurity and the cost of living crisis

Mali Sion Evans smiling standing in a forest with trees surrounding her.
Today’s guest blog is from Mali Sion Evans, Feeding Bristol Community Project Developer

When times are hard, having to choose between paying bills and eating is routine practice for some Bristol residents. Food should be a source of connection, celebration and comfort. But it’s becoming a cause of stress and anxiety for many people during the current cost of living crisis.

1 in 8 households in Bristol’s most deprived areas are experiencing food insecurity and by all predictions this is likely to increase substantially over the coming months.

Vulnerable groups and communities are considerably less protected when it comes to economic shocks, we are witnessing an increasing number of individuals and families being affected.

Bristol, as this map shows, has inequality of access to food. Seeing the numbers of greengrocers and cafes in some areas of the city, you would struggle to believe that food banks were commonplace in adjacent wards. The areas that are most and least effected by the cost-of-living crisis exist side by side, hiding food insecurity in plain sight.

A new and emerging crisis

Public awareness of food poverty has increased significantly in recent years, but so has the use of emergency food aid such as food banks. In the first 11 weeks of lockdown, the number of people receiving emergency food support in Bristol rose by 400%. Free school meal applications increased by 250% in the same period.

This was an unparalleled crisis which initiated an extraordinary response; we saw Bristol’s true spirit. From community centres to cafes, farms to mosques, people all over the city set out to bring food to their neighbours and provide lifelines for those who needed support.

The word ‘unprecedented’ was used repeatedly over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. But here we are again; volunteer shortages, increasing energy costs, rising inflation and supply chain disruptions are creating a perfect storm. This will intensify food insecurity to unprecedented levels across Bristol, yet again.

Feeding Bristol event, volunteers give out food to residents who need support. The table is full of canned food and fruit being handed out to those who need.
Feeding Bristol

Working together is Bristol’s greatest asset

Hundreds of people all over the city are working hard to try and ease the impact of this crisis. Food banks and community food services are already doing their best to prepare for the worst-case scenario. Dozens of organisations are working together to find ways to extend support and encourage social action. And hopefully, we’ll see this city’s caring and generous energy galvanise to support fellow Bristolians, yet again.

Having published the Food Equality Strategy this summer, Feeding Bristol is currently working with Bristol City Council to develop a Food Equality Action Plan. The aim is to co-create a document of workable actions with citizens, organisations and local authority so that food equality can become a reality in Bristol.

Share your ideas and help shape the Food Equality Action Plan by completing this short survey.

Visit Bristol City Council’s cost of living support webpage for more information about food services, plus advice on benefits and financial help, employment and skills and mental health and wellbeing.

How can I access food support?

How can I save money on food?

  • Plan ahead – buying food for the week helps to cut down on impulse buys
  • If you can, buy big bags of rice, pasta etc – they can be cheaper per 100 grams than smaller bags
  • ‘Reduced to clear’ foods can help save money – but think about when/how you’ll eat them before you buy
  • One of the best ways we can save money on food is to reduce food waste. The Love Food Hate Waste website has tips on how to store food and cook with old food
  • Buy what you need – buying loose fruit and vegetables can help you save money by purchasing only what you’re going to eat

What can I do to help in my community?

200 years of St. George’s Bristol

Samir Savant smiling with his arms crossed. Wearing a blue three piece suit and glasses
Today’s blog is from Samir Savant, CEO
of St George’s [photo: Frances Marshall]

I have been CEO of St George’s Bristol since last September and have loved it so far. Everyone here is so collaborative, I want to thank Bristol for making me feel so welcome!

St George’s started life as a church in 1823, and we celebrate our 200th anniversary next year. In the 1990s we became an independent charity and vibrant venue for music and spoken word. Our famous acoustics attract artists of all genres from across the globe, and this August we hosted the first ever BBC Prom to be held in Bristol.

Only 40% of our income comes from ticket sales, so we are reliant on venue hire, hospitality and our donors for the rest. In a typical year we present 300 events reaching audiences of more than 100,000, and hundreds more through our work in local communities. 

I wanted to write more about these lesser-known projects with specific charities and community groups, as we are rightly proud of this side of our work. Through our Learning and Participation programme, we engage with hundreds of young people and families through our Mini-Beats and Wild Words events, and our partnerships with Bristol Beacon and Preludes.

Through the support of the Cavatina Trust, we give out dozens of free tickets for specific concerts to young people aged 8 – 25. We also work with young people of Somali heritage in Easton, supporting them to connect with their culture through music and drama in weekly workshops led by a Somali youth leader. 

The image shows the outside of the St. George's building, four main columns on the outside. The front of the image shows the stairs leading up to it.
St George’s Bristol [photo: Jake Janes]

A focus for us is Cosmos, our children’s singing project with young people we would not otherwise reach in Knowle West. This is a voluntary after-school choir which is non-auditioned and has been running for over 12 years. The commitment and talent of the children is incredible, and we are pleased to facilitate performance opportunities for them. Last Christmas they sang at Bristol Zoo, in previous years they have sung on the SS Great Britain, and we arrange travel so that their parents/carers can come along too.

 As someone who grew up singing, I know how important being in a choir can be, and the sense of belonging to a friendship group with a common aim at a formative age.

Our work also extends beyond music and beyond the city of Bristol. We are proud to work with a range of charity partners doing vital work across the city, including Women’s Work Lab, Prodigal Arts, Bristol Pride and Stepping Up Bristol. We offer free and discounted spaces for their events, training, and meetings as well as work placements and career guidance. 

The image shows the inside of St George's Bristol. the old church has a white roof and walls. the photo is taken looking down upon rows of chairs that are facing a stage.
The inside of St. George’s [photo: Jake Janes]

We do all of this because we genuinely believe that music matters and that listening to or taking part in music genuinely changes us for the better. The Cosmos choir is a great example of how singing can give young people skills and confidence, and there are nationwide examples of how regular, active music-making can transform educational outcomes.

Music is also vital for our health and well-being. Research conducted globally over decades has shown that listening to music can reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and pain as well as improve sleep quality, mood, and memory. We are working with the NHS and charities working with older people to bring live or streamed music into hospitals and care settings to help promote good mental and physical health.

For our 200th anniversary next year we will throw open the doors of St George’s to everyone and present a varied series of concerts and events, many of which will be free, welcoming all communities to our beautiful space. If you have never been to St George’s before, please visit us soon, even if it is just to spend time in our gardens, a haven of peace away from the bustle of Park Street, or to enjoy a coffee in our lovely new extension, you will be very welcome.