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www.eastonandlawrencehill.org.uk

Tel: 0117 954 2834 Post: Beacon Centre, City Academy, Russell Town Avenue Bristol, BS5 9JH contact@eastonandlawrencehill.org.uk www.eastonandlawrencehill.org.uk

Twitter: @upourstreet Facebook: Up Our Street Charity no: 1081691 Company no: 04023294 Neighbourhood Facilitator Lorena Alvarez Tel: 0117 954 2835 Finance and Office Manager Tracy Parsons Tel: 0117 954 2834 Manager Stacy Yelland Tel: 0117 954 2836 Chair of trustees Sally Caseley Vice chairs Dominic Murphy Jane Westhead Trustee board Joyce Clarke Matt Fulford Amy Harrison Walter Nunez Mike Pickering Anthea Sweeney Aisha Thomas

Up Our Street is printed on recycled paper with vegetable inks and can be composted. It costs 45p to produce every copy of Up Our Street. It is hand delivered to 14,000 homes in the local area. The opinions and information contained in this publication are those of the contributors and not necessarily those of Up Our Street. Advertisers are not endorsed.

This is an exciting time for Up Our Street as we go into our next five year Business Plan. We are looking for a Treasurer to join our board of trustees to provide support to our small staff team. We are a friendly and dynamic organisation run by local people for local people. You must have finance experience, preferably with relevant qualifications. Applicants must be able to attend six weekly evening board meetings as well as occasional away days, training and sub group meetings. For a job description contact 954 2834 or officemanager@eastonandlawrencehill.org.uk

Deadline Tuesday 31 March

Listen to Up Our Street on BCfm 93.2 and Ujima 98fm every Wednesday at 8.45am Follow us @upourstreet or find us on Facebook

Inside this issue Up Our Street news........................page 3 Neighbourhood Forum.................page 4 Community news......................pages 6-7 Tidy BS5 campaign………………….page 8 Election 2015....................................page 9 Kebele interview...........................page 10 Sports................................................page 11 2

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Abolish empty office buildings.........page 12 Volunteering............................................page 13 Food reviews............................................page 14 Fostering....................................................page 15 International Women’s Day.......pages 16-17 Asian Arts Agency..................................page 18 Local head teachers win award……..page 20 Advertising.........................................page 22-24 www.eastonandlawrencehill.org.uk


News from Up Our Street community where we live and I hope you feel inspired. For us, 2015 is going to be all about encouraging more of us to be ‘active citizens’ in our neighbourhood and city. This could be volunteering or taking part in events like our big spring tidy up (page 8) or just checking in on “With spring a neighbour. Up Our approaching we all Street is about bringing begin to think about people together and getting outside again as supporting us to all do the nights start getting our bit for where we live. lighter and the weather We are always interested warms up. In this spring in hearing from local edition of Up Our Street people with ideas and there are lots of ideas for energy so get in touch!” how to get more Sally Caseley, resident involved in the Chair of Up Our Street

welcome

Writers wanted

Up Our Street is our quarterly community newsletter. At the moment the newsletter is put together by a very small team of one! We are looking for talented local people to be part of an editorial team to help choose articles, get advertising, write stories, take photos and interview local people. If you are interested in knowing more, contact Stacy on 954 2836.

Grant funding workshops Thursday 26 March, 10am to 12pm Tuesday 31 March, 6.30pm to 8.30pm The Beacon Centre, Russell Town Avenue The Endowment Fund has been available to residents of Barton Hill, Newtown, The Dings and parts of Redfield and Lawrence Hill for the last five years and is a unique pot of money that supports local residents and groups and will continue to do so for many years to come! The Endowment Fund is administered with the support of Up Our Street, Quartet Community Foundation and Bristol City Council, with decisions being made by a panel of local residents. In the last five years the fund has awarded £43,694 to 85 individuals and 47 groups, with an average of 75% of applications being approved. In March, Up Our Street will be holding two support sessions aimed at helping individuals and groups who may want to apply to the Endowment Fund or Neighbourhood Partnership Wellbeing Fund in 2015.

For more information contact Tracy on 0117 954 2834. www.eastonandlawrencehill.org.uk

Oops!

In our winter edition we listed all our Thank You Award winners. Unfortunately we missed a name off the list. So congratulations to Antonio Jordan and sorry for the error.

JOIN UP OUR STREET FOR REGULAR NEWS, EVENTS AND HOW YOU CAN BE INVOLVED IN YOUR COMMUNITY.

Contact us 0117 954 2834 Up Our Street

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Neighbourhood Forum

From December to February, the council was asking the people of Bristol what they thought about libraries and what libraries should offer for the 21st century. Currently, only 6% of people regularly use the lending service. The council received around 3000 responses to the consultation with lots of ideas for how libraries can be even more useful in the future. Ideas coming out so far include: More volunteers who speak other languages, newspapers in different languages, quiet space for homework, more courses on basic IT and English and a wider selection of books from different cultures. From March to May the council wants your views on their proposals. Visit www.bristol.gov.uk or pop along to your local library to find out more.

Neighbourhood Forum Monday 23 March, 6.30pm to 8.30pm Hannah More Primary School Thursday 21 May, Tuesday 14 July Monday 7 September, Wednesday 28 October Neighbourhood Partnership Wednesday 11 March, 6.30pm to 8.30pm St Mary Redcliffe and Temple School Mayor visits Easton and Lawrence Hill

In March, the Ashley, Easton and Lawrence Hill Neighbourhood Partnership will be agreeing its Community Plan. The plan brings all the key concerns and ideas about the area into one place. The plan will be used to guide the council and other organisations about what’s really important to local people. Contact kurt.james@bristol.gov.uk to find out more about our local plan.

As part of plans to develop the area around Temple Meads (Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone), there are proposals for a new entrance to the station. A consultation in January and February unveiled plans. You can keep up to date by visiting www.bristoltemplequarter.com/gate

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Community news

Congratulations BCfm Our local volunteer-led community station, BCfm 93.2 won the 2014 Radio Academy Nations and Regions Award for Best Station in the South West. They were nominated by Up Our Street and we were pleased to attend a fantastic celebration to present the award in December. Well deserved! Visit: www.bcfmradio.com

Railway Path to get resident-led stewardship group Following a very successful meeting in November, a new group of residents, council officers and interested people will be taking a leading role in ensuring the future of the path. The group will help oversee improvements to the path as well as being a sounding board for ideas. There are lots of exciting plans during 2015 including improvements to junctions by Whitehall Primary School, Waterloo Road, Kingsmarsh House and Baynton House. This year also sees the 25th anniversary of Sustrans’ National Cycle Network and together with Up Our Street, the council and local people we hope to hold events on the path throughout the year. It is expected that the number of people using the path will keep growing so now is a good time to get involved and help plan for the future. To get involved in the Railway Path group contact Paula Spiers on paula.spiers@bristol.gov.uk or 922 4325.

Death at the museum

Design competition Two years on from the launch of the Bristol Pound it is time for a refresh of the paper Bristol Pounds to coincide with Bristol Green Capital 2015. They are running a competition to design the new notes and want lots to choose from. The deadline for entries is 16 March and full competition rules and more information can be found by calling 929 8642 or visiting www.bristolpound.org/ competition www.eastonandlawrencehill.org.uk

Bristol Museum is working with partners on an exhibition about death to give people an opportunity to talk about this taboo subject and to see amazing objects from around the world including the ancient past. The museum would like to include objects from a diverse range of people currently living or working in Bristol. Can you help? Do you have any objects you could loan relating to modern grave goods, funerals or mourning? If you have an object or can advise the museum on what objects represent your community contact Karen Garvey before the end of March 2015 on karen.garvey@bristol.gov.uk or 352 5614. Traffic lights for Lawrence Hill The council needs to carry out essential works on Lawrence Hill roundabout as much of the traffic signal equipment is reaching the end of its life. The work will be to replace equipment on Easton Road, Barrow Road and the Lawrence Hill approach. There will be two new pedestrian crossings across each part of Barrow Road. Works will commence in spring 2015. For more information contact 352 5869 or traffic.signals@bristol.gov.uk Up Our Street

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Community news

Easton Community Garden

“Exciting times at Easton Community Garden! We have put Steve, volunteer of up a walk-in fruit 14 years with salad cage to protect our soft fruit from the for lunch birds and planted it with gooseberries, blackcurrants and jostaberries. This wouldn’t have been possible without generous funding from Community First. Soon after work began to renovate our much loved shelter. Due to a grant from Bristol’s Quartet Express Grants the work is being done by Simon Crook, an expert in sustainable building. The shelter is at the heart of our Thursday work days where we take breaks, share lunch and keep dry when it rains. The final part of our garden development will be a greenhouse funded by a Green Capital Neighbourhood Partnership Grant. We are optimistic that our harvests this year will be even better than ever. The best part is that we share out the vegetables so if you love fresh, local veg come and help us cultivate, grow and make new friends. You will find a warm welcome at the garden whether you are a beginner or a seasoned gardener so drop in and see what you think.” Cristina Crossingham Open every Thursday from 11am till finish. You will find the garden down the lane between 58 and 60 Gordon Road, BS5 7EE, on your left behind the green metal fence.

Chocolate Factory development update In January an application was approved to demolish Victorian buildings on the Greenbank site. At the time of going to press we received these statements: Developer Generator South West said: “The Victorian shed buildings on-site are in a very advanced state of disrepair and have shown signs of structural issues. Given the level of asbestos throughout all the factory buildings we have been forced to take the precaution of starting a programme of asbestos removal and partial demolition enabling works before submitting final development plans for the site. The significant additional cost of making-safe and retaining the Victorian-era buildings would have required a planning application which proposes a significantly higher overall number of private tenure new homes at a higher density, thereby reducing the land available to provide employment opportunities, affordable housing, public open space and community indoor space. The outcome of our public consultation to date is that the top priorities for local people are the creation of new public open and indoor space for use by the entire local community and therefore the retention of the Victorianera buildings would directly compromise this.” Resident community group ChocBox 2.0 said: “ChocBox 2.0 Community Association works to represent local people over the redevelopment of the former chocolate factory in Greenbank. In January we were dismayed to hear the developer received approval to demolish almost all of the old buildings, despite the fact no final plans for redevelopment had been agreed and the public consultation had not been completed.” To find out what’s happened since and any news from ChocBox 2.0 visit: https://sites.google.com/site/ chocolatefactorybristol/home

Rosemary Early Years and Children’s Centre received £1610 for their Time to Grow gardening project. 2015 is the year Bristol is European Green Capital. St Paul’s Unlimited received £3943 for Recycle St This means there is a spotlight on our city and what Paul’s project. it’s doing to protect the environment and create a Barton Hill Walled Garden received £9102 for city that is a good place to live for us all. The their Growing Community gardening and food Neighbourhood Partnership has awarded funding growing project. to some local groups to do ‘green’ projects. Redfest received £300 towards the festival. Easton Community Garden received £1800 for St Werburgh’s Community Farm received £2056 their Greenhouse Project. towards Cultivate a family weekend event. Baggator received £1930 for a bike club. ACTA community theatre received £1500 towards Easton Energy Group received £2263 for a Home their Redcliffe Lanterns festival. Energy Action Team project offering advice for Visit www.bristol2015.co.uk for events and saving energy. news about our Green Capital year. 6

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www.eastonandlawrencehill.org.uk


Events Bishop to visit Easton

Multicultural feast

Bishop Lee of Swindon will be visiting Greenbank on Saturday 7 March. Bishop Lee will host a ‘table talk’ session at The Greenbank Pub where everyone can share their views and listen to others. The theme for the discussion will be ‘What do you think about…?’ Bishop Lee is also a guest at a curry dinner at St Anne’s Church, St Leonard’s Road. They invite you to enjoy an evening of music, interesting speakers and food. Free tickets available from the church. Described as ‘relentlessly hopeful’ Bishop Lee has recently been battling with cancer and will share his experiences and positivity. The ‘table talk’ will be at 3pm at The Greenbank Pub with the meal at St Anne’s Church at 6pm.

Join Barton Hill Settlement for a multicultural feast on Wednesday 25 March 11am to 2.30pm Barton Hill Settlement, 43 Ducie Road Contact Lucy on 955 6971 for information about tickets.

St Patrick’s Day Tuesday 27 march Contact st Patrick’s church on 955 7662 for details of our local parade

Mystery residents inspired by up our street’s sheep take to the Lawrence hill underpass with their own creations!

Contact Carla MacGregor on 951 4745 for more information.

Conversation Cafe

Practice your English Have fun and meet new people Free group for adults Thursdays, 11am to 12pm Term time only City Academy, Russell Town Avenue Contact Magda on 941 3800

Register to be part of the Easton Arts Trail before 15 April Www.eastonartstrail.co.uk

Make Sundays Special comes to Stapleton Road In January, Mayor George Ferguson announced that this year there will be a very special event happening in Easton and Lawrence Hill. Local groups will be working together to bring a ‘Make Sundays Special’ event to Stapleton Road. This will be a fantastic chance to showcase our amazing neighbourhood and host a fun, family friendly event for our community and beyond. Watch our website, Facebook page or ebulletin for more details. www.eastonandlawrencehill.org.uk

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Tidy BS5 - a campaign for cleaner streets

The campaign to Tidy BS5 continues to grow For the past six months, we have been working with residents and Councillors to raise awareness about the persistent problem of littering and fly-tipping in Easton and Lawrence Hill. Back in November we organised a litter summit to bring together residents who were angry and concerned, to discuss ideas for citizen-led action for change. We have been lobbying the council and our Neighbourhood Partnership for more enforcement and a review of the communal bins. The issue is a high priority for the council team in our area and they are working closely with the Tidy BS5 campaign. Here’s how you can get involved: On Twitter or Facebook? Use #tidyBS5 to tweet your photos and ideas about Tidy BS5. Share, retweet and make some noise! Take photos The more people behind us with the Tidy BS5 message the better. Take a photo of you and your neighbours with our signs and letters. Do a litter pick Join our big spring clean in March or organise your own small scale tidy up and tell us about it (don’t forget photos!). Join our campaign Send us your email address and we’ll keep you up-to-date. The more people we have involved the better. Last but not least…… Keep reporting fly-tipping and littering as it helps the council know what’s happening, gets it cleaned up and provides more evidence for the Tidy BS5 campaign. Call 922 2100 or report online at www.bristol.gov.uk

Visit ‘Get The Easton Look’ on Facebook for some light relief on the subject of fly-tipping in Easton and Lawrence Hill.

Cracking down on the culprits In 2015 Bristol City Council is going to be carrying out a campaign of visiting businesses across the city to make sure they have the right waste contracts and are not responsible for illegal dumping. In a three month period there were 568 reported incidents of fly-tipping in Ashley, Easton and Lawrence Hill. This is more than double other parts of the city! The council is committed to working with Tidy BS5 to stop people dumping rubbish on our streets. 8

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Be a tidy bs5 champion of the month - do your bit to tidy bs5!

www.eastonandlawrencehill.org.uk


Election 2015

Election 2015 On Thursday 7 May, it is time to go to the polls and this year is a bit different as we vote for both the local and national elections. General election (national) We are in Bristol West constituency and we need to vote for our MP (Member of Parliament). This area is going to be a hard fought for seat and at the time of going to press the contest was heating up. Council election (local) In Easton, Faruk Choudhury’s place on the council is up for re-election as is Margaret Hickman’s in Lawrence Hill. This means that each ward must vote for one more Councillor. Local resident, Adrian Holgate, helped us find out more about what this year’s election means to local people: “So it is time again for our community centres, schools and social clubs to be transformed into ballot stations. Our current MP for Bristol West is Stephen Williams, who represents the Liberal Democrats. He was first elected in 2005 and was reelected in 2010. Candidates will be after your vote but there are also a large number of people who will not vote for various reasons and some who simply have not been given enough information to give them the push to go ahead and vote.”

the candidates so far... The deadline for candidates to put themselves forward is 9 April but at the time of going to press the following were confirmed. There will be other candidates who announce they are standing and we will publicise this as and when we hear it but this is what we know so far…. Bristol West MP (below left to right) Stephen Williams (Liberal Democrats) Claire Hiscott (Conservatives) Darren Hall (Green Party) Keep an eye on Thangam Debbonaire (Labour) local press and Easton Councillor Bristol city Carole Johnson (Labour) council’s website Bador Uddin (Conservatives) Anna McMullen (Green) for latest news Lawrence Hill Councillor about candidates Margaret Hickman (Labour) Ahmed Duale (Conservatives) Jude English (Green Party)

Register to vote by 20 april In order to vote on 7 May you MUST be registered. The way you register has changed and now every individual must register online. You need your National Insurance number to make this easy. You can register at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote Up Our Street has been working with Citizens Advice Bureau and St Pauls Advice Centre to help people with the process. Contact Lorena on 954 2835 for details about where you can go to get help registering to vote.

Zia Rahman, 65, Greenbank “Yes I will be voting. I would like to see more interaction with the local council and better infrastructure of the road systems. The main thing is that we have an ageing population and I would like more facilities for people like me in their 60s.”

ray s, 29, Lawrence hill “I will not be voting unless there is a 'none of the above' option added to the paper. Only with the option of withholding our vote do we live in a true democracy. It should no longer be down to the lesser of two evils. We the people have the power and it is time Parliament was reminded of this!”

Zhane Williams, 18, st judes “Now that I am old enough to vote I will, because I feel that my wellbeing is important. Having the right to vote allows me to decide my future. A political party that has my best interests at heart is worth a vote. By not voting I’m taking a risk and letting others decide my fate.”

Thursday 16 April Up our street is planning an election event on Thursday 16 April at trinity centre for you to meet candidates and ask questions so keep that date free! Full details to be confirmed soon, Contact stacy on 954 2836 or stacy@eastonandlawrencehill.org.uk

www.eastonandlawrencehill.org.uk

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Kebele and Energise for cancer patients Celebrating was born. ‘Kebele’ means ‘community place’ in 20 years of Amharic, an Ethiopian language. The co-op raises Kebele money through events and donations which help it Since 1995, maintain the building. Everything is based on Kebele has principles of equality and everyone sharing been at the responsibility. As they approach their 20th anniversary, they are in need of a new roof. “We’ve heart of patched up leaks for over a decade but now we Easton’s really need to replace the roof which will cost about anarchist community, £7,000” says Tim. Anarchist politics is the thread providing a running through everything Kebele does. In recent years they have seen a change in the people space for interested in what they do. “We spent a lot of time people to thinking about how to make Kebele more come together to welcoming and accessible. We take the time to talk share, learn to people about our history, ideas and politics which has been reflected in the increasing diversity and experience of people coming here. At the same time anarchist ideas about ideas and ways of organising are becoming more alternative popular, evidenced in various not for profit ways of life. initiatives in the city which take inspiration from places like Kebele” says Ben. Both Tim and Ben firmly believe that anarchist principles offer an The building is owned and maintained by a alternative to a failing capitalism. “If you look at the cooperative and is open to anyone who wants to use it for the benefit of others. We met Tim Beasley world that capitalism has created, the violence, death and inequality, then it’s obvious that it’s not and Ben Durruti, both long standing Kebele volunteers of over 10 years, to find out more about working” says Ben. However, they do feel there is hope. “I meet people here who are principled and the building and the people behind it. “Kebele is willing to give their time freely for things they more than the sum of its parts. It’s more than this building. It’s about the idea of collective action and believe in and take to the streets, those day to day actions are inspiring” says Tim. “Anarchists I know an experiment in a different way to organise our are having children so it gives me hope that lives” says Ben. The building was first squatted in revolutionary ideas will live on!” adds Ben. 1995 by activists who saw its potential as a Kebele is at 14 Robertson Road. Contact Kebele community resource. They raised the money to buy the building and run it as a cooperative and Kebele on kebelesocialcentre@riseup.net or visit www.network23.org/kebele Paul Emsley has been a fitness instructor since 2002 but in 2012 he had an idea which would bring something unique to Easton Leisure Centre and help people during a difficult time in their lives. ‘Energise’ is a weekly fitness class for people who have had cancer, and under Paul’s caring guidance, participants grow stronger in both body and mind. We attended a session and met Barbara, Wenda and Malcolm who couldn’t speak highly enough of the classes. “I look forward to coming, it’s done me the world of good” says Malcolm. Everyone attending a 12 week course has experience of cancer, so as well as getting physically more active and healthy, the group offers support, empathy and friendship during an emotional time. “I was shy and quiet before I came here but it’s given me confidence and I don’t care what people think of me now” says Wenda. “I have met great friends here. Everyone is courageous and supportive. We all speak to each other and Paul and the team really care and make you feel welcome” adds Barbara. To find out more about Energise visit www.bristol.gov.uk/energise or pop into Easton Leisure Centre on Thrissell Street.

Energise Easton

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ADVERT Bristol City Council’s Sport Play and Funding Team are delighted to announce that they have recently been awarded a grant by Sport England to fund a two year sport, activity and coach education project in three priority areas across Central, North and South. In central area this includes Ashley, Easton and Lawrence Hill wards. Basketball, handball and female football are already up and running at St Pauls Sports Academy and other events are planned for spring including cricket, tennis, a multisport tournament, a Glow Run and much more (see adverts below). For more information on events in your area visit www.sport4lifebristol.com email sport@bristol.gov.uk or call 07469 029 464. Like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/S4Lbristol or follow us on Twitter @S4Lbristol Free sessions: Ongoing sessions are currently happening at Dings Youth Centre (Fridays, 7-9pm, 11-19 years), St Pauls Community Sports Academy (Fridays, basketball and handball, 5-6.30pm, 11+, female football, 7.30-8.30pm, 14+) and Docklands Youth Centre. Upcoming activities also at Felix Road Adventure Playground and Easton Leisure Centre. Upcoming projects: The Old St George Cycle Speedway next to Easton Community Centre. If anyone is interested in being a part of it please get in touch.

www.eastonandlawrencehill.org.uk

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Creating affordable homes

Turning OFFICE buildings into homes Many readers of Up Our Street will be one of thousands of local people living in private rented housing. Sadly some will have a troubling story to tell of poor quality housing, high rents and being left in a vulnerable situation by landlords more interested in profit than providing homes. Over the past two years a group of people who were concerned about the need for housing and the unfair power relationship between landlords and tenants, got together to see what they could do about it. We met Redfield resident David Mowat, who told us more about Abolish Empty Office Buildings (AEOB) and its plans for the future. “Our interest is in helping those who are living in vulnerable private rented housing and who want to live in a social housing community. Our model is a cooperative where we raise the money to buy and renovate a property which is then rented out at a fair rate” explains David. In 2014, AEOB raised the funds to buy a building on Battens Lane in St George. They sold investment shares from £50 or more and secured a loan from Triodos bank. They currently have around £270,000 and need to raise a further £130,000 for refurbishment. ”We have an investor who will match £400,000 and the full development will cost about £900,000 so that’s our target. This is an opportunity for anyone with an interest in social justice and some spare cash to contribute to making this project work” says David. Battens Lane will become six flats with a shared laundry, community room and garages which can be used as creative or workshop space. The concept of living in a cooperative is much more common on the continent and David thinks that we could achieve a lot by creating more of these communities in the UK. “Lots of people have limited resources or need huge mortgages to buy a home. 12

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Our model is about involving the people who will live in the homes in all of the process. If people have skills in building then they can help with construction, in return for reduced rent for the first year, for example. Our thinking is very much about how we can make homes work for people by sharing what we can. We are different from the standard housing association model where the power dynamic remains the same as the private sector and the tenant has to lobby the landlord for anything. Ours is a more equal relationship.” AEOB also has a clear political position. They are against the continual building of office blocks which remain empty for years when the land could be used for providing much needed housing. “Developers with lots of resources can sit on empty buildings for years, purely to make the highest profit. We feel this is immoral when we have a real need for more affordable housing now” adds David. “We want to raise this higher up the political agenda as well as showing what committed people can do on a small scale.” Rent from Battens Lane will go into paying off the loan, creating a repair fund and providing a small dividend to shareholders. “I’d say ours is an ‘enlightened’ business model where foremost is people's need, not the market. We need a shift back to decent renting in this country.” AEOB is looking for anyone interested in living at Battens Lane and being part of the cooperative. “We want to help those people who have a constant battle with their landlords and are interested in living in a more communal way” says David. They are also keen for more people to invest to make the full vision a reality. “Shares start at £50 and provide an opportunity to use your money for good - providing decent homes for people who need them.” To find out more call 926 5931 or visit www.aeobhousepeople.org.uk

Campaign for better private renting ACORN is a local group which is running a campaign for a new, ethical approach to renting and is supporting private tenants with problems they might have with landlords or letting agents.

COMING UP THIS SPRING 12 March - ACORN at Landlord Expo, UWE 29 May - Easton branch meeting, CWU, 20 Church Road. Come along with your ideas. Contact Nick Ballard on 07739195008 or mail@acornbristol.org.uk www.eastonandlawrencehill.org.uk


Volunteering opportunities

Get a Boost Would you like some help developing an aspect of your organisation? The Boost! Programme helps improve the capacity of Bristol based community organisations by matching them with a professionally skilled volunteer. Contact boost@volunteerbristol.org.uk for a registration pack.

Citizens advice bureau

Volunteer Bristol Find out about volunteering vacancies across Bristol. Contact www.volunteerbristol.gov.uk or 989 7733.

linkage Bristol Supporting older people in our neighbourhood. Contact www.linkagebristol.org.uk or 353 3042.

Easton energy group

Volunteer advisors needed - excellent training provided. www.bristolcab.org.uk

Looking for volunteers for lots of different roles. www.eastonenergygroup.org

Cities of service

Community fire safety volunteers

For the next two years, Bristol is one of seven cities to become a City of Service. The idea is to rethink volunteering and encourage more people to be active citizens and part of the community in which we live. This year they are using voluntary action to help improve reading in primary schools and reduce isolation of older people. The work is being led by Dings resident, Dominic Murphy, who is also vice chair of Up Our Street.

Become a Community Fire Safety Volunteer and help save lives in Easton Help Avon Fire and Rescue Service prevent devastating home fires by promoting free home fire safety visits. Gain experience, training and references, and provide a valuable life-saving service to your community. Help make a difference.

Introducing The Slinkies WE Care & Repair’s Silverlinks Project has a friendly and enthusiastic group of volunteers aged 50 to 90 known as ‘The Slinkies’! They offer a listening ear, peer support, mentoring and information to other older people who are thinking about whether to stay put or to move home in later life. They also help Care & Repair at events and by helping to give talks or presentations to community groups. Care & Repair offers volunteers support, training in a variety of topics www.eastonandlawrencehill.org.uk

Contact volunteering at The Care Forum on 958 9308 or volunteering@thecareforum.org.uk

through the year and monthly meetings. If you’re over 50 and interested in volunteering please contact Judy Mead on 954 3923 or volunteers@wecr.org.uk ‘The Slinkies’ pose for a photo!

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Food reviews

Cooking with yam

Maliks on Stapleton Road sell a variety of types of yam

Lorena and Bintou Inset: Lorena sampling the cuisine

Yams have brown tough skins and the flesh can vary from white to yellow to purple depending on the variety. Yams should be peeled, washed and blanched for 10-20 minutes in boiling salted water before being used. Yams can be used in the same way as potatoes. Serve mashed yams with plenty of butter and seasoning as an accompaniment to meat stews or other vegetable dishes. Make yam chips or bake yams in their skins. In Africa, yam is pounded into a very stiff paste called fufu, eaten by hand in pinches from the serving tray, rolled into balls and dipped into a stew.

Taste of The Gambia In this season’s food review, Up Our Street’s Lorena and Stacy test out another of the many cuisines from around the world on offer here in our very own Easton and Lawrence Hill. Senegambian on Stapleton Road opened in November and serves a range of African dishes inspired by The Gambia and Senegal. On our visit we sampled the spicy benachin or jollof rice with lamb, chicken and stewed vegetables washed down with a homemade ginger and banana drink. For dessert we shared a plate of sweet Gambian pancakes (similar to Jamaican festivals). It was all very tasty and we were made welcome by restaurant owner Bintou Jenkins. Bintou was a chef in The Gambia for seven years before moving to the UK. After working first as a care worker, she wanted to return to her roots in cooking and so opened her own business last year. Other dishes on the menu include thiakry (sweet cous cous served with cream and vanilla), baobab (a fruit high in vitamin C), domoda (meat served in peanut butter sauce) and yassa (marinated fish and meat). Definitely worth a visit!

Senegambian, 406 Stapleton Road is open from 11am to 10pm, Monday to Saturday and from 11am to 7pm on Sundays. They also do takeaway. Visit: www.senegambian.co.uk or call 951 9188. strawberry sponge cake with cream. Every February they celebrate ’Fat Thursday’ (tłusty czwartek), the Gosia Plewa and her husband have run this Polish Polish equivalent of Pancake Day, when it is good bakery on Church Road for four and a half years. In luck to eat as many doughnuts (pączki) as possible, Poland, Gosia’s husband was a baker and pastry and the queue outside stretches along Church chef and they set up their business on Church Road Road! because of the large Polish community and busy road. Their customers come from all over Bristol Polska Gosia (left) in her bakery on and Gosia is very passionate about her business Cukiernia, Church Road working 50 hours a week and starting at 2am you 16 Church have to be! They sell eight types of bread rolls, 14 Road is types of loaves (chleb) and lots of interesting and open 8am tasty cakes including the popular strucel (poppy to 6pm seed cake), Polish style cheesecakes, sponge cakes from and biscuits. They also make cakes to order for Monday to special occasions. They sell a lot of seedy bread but Saturday. Gosia’s favourite is the sourdough breadand

Polska Cukiernia, 16 Church Road

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Up Our Street

www.eastonandlawrencehill.org.uk


Fostering

Fabulous fosterers

How one family changes lives

At the moment Rona is caring for two brothers who will be with her from the ages of six and eight until 18, as well as a 14 year old girl. “It is hard and it doesn’t happen overnight but the buzz you get from seeing them grow and do better at school and life, you can’t describe it.” Rona became a full time foster carer when her youngest son was 13. “I talked through the decision with him and he supported me. He actually enjoyed having foster brothers and sisters around. Now he is 18 he is a role model to the others.” Although there is nothing stopping you working and fostering, it is emotionally demanding and is a rewarding job in itself. “The best thing about fostering is seeing how a child who comes to you with such severe neglect and grave issues, nightmares, low grades - seeing the gradual change throughout the years. Consistency, routine and boundaries are the three keys things you need in a placement - if you have them then you are on to a winner.” “It doesn't happen overnight believe me and it is no walk to the park, but when you see the change it is amazing.” And what would Rona say are the key ingredients to being a good foster carer? “You need to have bags of patience, a spare room, to be able to listen and be able to support that young person. Write things down and show the young person that you are there for them.” It is also important to find time to relax. “I definitely make sure I have ‘me’ time to relax and go on holiday. I take the kids on holiday too. I meet up with other foster carers and we go for meals and talk through our experiences and learn from each other.” Rona recommends becoming a foster carer and believes it makes a real difference. “Fostering offers children the opportunity to have a stable home environment and turn around what has happened to them. It takes time but you do see improvements and that feels amazing.”

You don’t have to be a Prime Minister or President to do a job that changes Foster carer lives for ever. Every day, families Rona Searchwell around Bristol are changing the lives of young people by providing a warm welcome and a loving home life. Rona Searchwell has been fostering for six years. After a career working in homes for teenagers and with three children of her own, Rona realised that she could really make a difference by being a foster carer. “So many of the young adults I worked with had had such terrible experiences growing up. The stories I heard were horrendous and I knew I could do something about that. There is only so much you can do to help adults who have had a difficult childhood but if you can reach them early then you have a better chance. That’s why I think fostering is so important.” Rona is certain that early intervention is key and that if you support and care for a child at a young age then they have more chance of growing up to be happy. Rona cares for children usually between the ages of five and nine. She tells heart breaking stories of caring for babies who don’t know how to be held and older children who have only ever known neglect and abuse. Despite these really emotionally difficult experiences the good times outweigh the bad. “There is a lot of support out there for you as a Contact Bristol City Council on 353 4200 or visit foster carer and for the child as well. We have regular meetings and appointments and part of my www.bristol.gov.uk/fostering to find out more about becoming a foster carer. job is to help the child get the extra help they need” says Rona.

FREE FAMILY STORYTELLING Travelling Light, Dragonbird theatre and Barton Hill Family Centre are thrilled to have received a Bristol Green Capital grant to deliver FREE family storytelling and play sessions throughout 2015. The sessions will involve a short interactive performance of a story and a half hour play www.eastonandlawrencehill.org.uk

adventure for parents and little ones. Sessions will run monthly at Travelling Light's studio in Barton Hill Settlement and are open to anyone with children aged 0-4 living in the local area. For more details drop into Barton Hill Settlement Family Centre or email george@travellinglighttheatre.org.uk Up Our Street

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Inspiring women - International Women’s Day the amazing women of Easton and Lawrence hill On Sunday 8 March we mark International Women’s Day, a day to take a moment to think about the achievements of women around the world. In many countries women suffer terrible

Faiza Barre feminist campaigner

treatment and even in the UK there is still some way to go towards gender equality. There are also lots of inspirational women whose actions, big and small, are making a difference. Here we meet some local women who are doing their bit to change things for the better. “I now have a radio show on BCfm and I work with lots of charities like Women’s Aid and SPAN. Last year I gave talks about my experiences at the Houses of Parliament and in Dublin. I act as a spokesperson for the women in our community who don’t have a voice. Last year was a very difficult time for us with the sad story of Yusra Hussein and the upsetting case of sexual exploitation. We need to come together as women to talk about these things that are facing our children and our community and support each other to make things better.” Faiza also raises awareness among her community about mental health. “I was left damaged by my experiences. I was so depressed. There is real stigma about mental health and a lack of understanding about it and I am fighting to change that.” Faiza’s plans for this year include starting a YouTube channel to create space for conversation about subjects which are often taboo for women from her community. Extremism, exploitation, honour killings and forced marriage are high on her agenda. She also hopes to run English classes focusing on these issues to give women the language to talk about these difficult issues. But her outspokenness is not without a price. “I have been told to stop talking and I know I have upset some people but I live in the UK and I have the right to speak out. I am inspired by the women in Britain who fought 100 years ago for rights for women. Because of them we can have a voice today and I want to do that for the future of women from my community. It won’t happen overnight but maybe things will be better for my son’s generation or his daughters.”

If anyone has a heart breaking story of survival to tell it’s Faiza. When she was just 14, Faiza was taken from her home in Somalia to marry a 47-year old man in Qatar. This was the start of a period of abuse and violence suffered at the hands of her husband. “During my life I was abused and no one said anything. In Qatar I was taken to hospital and no one asked me any questions about how I got injured. I was just a child.” Faiza’s husband moved the family to Finland where the abuse continued. Eventually with support from other relatives she managed to flee to Britain for safety. Today, 15 years on, Faiza is a vocal advocate for women’s rights and stopping violence against women. “It is very hard as a Somali woman to have your voice heard. My mother brought me up to be a wife and to obey my husband. If you speak out then you are bad and people gossip about you or reject you but I have found the strength to challenge that and to try and change things.” Faiza, who is fluent in Somali, English and Finnish, works three days a week as a midwife after achieving a Masters in Nursing and Midwifery from the University of Helsinki. On her days off she is a You can follow Faiza on Twitter @MuhiimaB volunteer advocate, campaigner and general Her BCfm show is Saturdays from 6pm to 7pm. support network for Somali women across the city.

(weaving, theatre, singing, puppet making), talks, walks, cycle tour, poetry, debates and the chance to socialise and meet other Saturday 7 March, 11am to 5pm, M Shed women. There is a crèche and transport can be arranged. The theme of the event is ‘building bridges, Contact sian on 07972673782 or breaking barriers’. There will be lots of activities happening including workshops info@bristolwomensvoice.org.uk

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY with Bristol women’s voice

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Up Our Street

www.eastonandlawrencehill.org.uk


Inspiring women - International Women’s Day

Muna Hassan FGM campaigner and Observer ‘face of 2014’ Muna has been one of the leading lights in local charity Integrate’s headline grabbing campaign to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). After a crazy year of high profile meetings, media attention, awards and Muna telling David Cameron to ‘grow a pair’ live on Newsnight, the young women of Integrate have succeeded in getting this taboo subject higher up the political agenda. Find out more at www.integratebristol.org.uk or follow Muna on Twitter @MunaHassan7 golds it was unbelievable. It was amazing. The crowd was huge and full of excitement and it really boosted my confidence. Then I was nominated for the BBC award [Claudia won BBC Young Sport’s Personality of the Year in December]. It was overwhelming to see I was amongst other amazing athletes and stars. I was shocked when I won!

CLAUDIA FRAGAPANE Four time gold medallist gymnast At just 17 years old, Claudia Fragapane has had a whirlwind 18 months. The gold medal winning gymnast has trained at Easton based Bristol Hawks Gym since she was six. In 2014 she won four gold medals at the Commonwealth Games. How did you get into gymnastics? When I was about five I had so much energy I was wrecking the house and mum and dad wanted me to use my energy for good so they asked me about ballet or gym. I choose gym and started in Kingswood. They thought that I had some talent so when I was six I started coming to Bristol Hawks.

How do you cope with the pressure? I feel most pressure if my parents are watching as I know they will spot any mistakes so when I go on the floor I try not to see people I know in the audience. I block it all and listen to the music and fully focus and don't let anyone distract me. My parents really supported me to get into gymnastics and they are fully behind me so it helps having support from my family. How do you relax when you are not training? I like going out with my family and meals at restaurants. On Sundays we go to church and for a nice meal afterwards - I really enjoy spending time with my family. What does Bristol Hawks mean to you? This is my home since I started when I was six years old and if I moved away it would be like losing my left arm - I could never leave. Hawks helps every gymnast whether it’s at competition level or just starting out. They really support everyone.

What qualities do you need to be a successful athlete? Be wise in what you do and concentrate at all times. You have to enjoy the sport and just try to the best of your ability.

What does 2015 hold? This year I have got the European, World, British and English games which I hope to get picked for. I have to train and then try out for the GB team [Claudia currently trains six days a week for around 35 hours!]. Then in 2016 I will be fully focused into What was your highlight last year? The first thing was when we came second as a team training to be picked for the Rio Olympics. at the European championships. We didn’t feel any pressure but wanted to do our best and all the hard INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY Event work paid off when we won silver. It was my first Friday 6 March time at the Commonwealth and I just wanted to Barton Hill Settlement, 11am to 2pm beat my personal best scores but when I won four www.eastonandlawrencehill.org.uk

Up Our Street

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Asian Arts Agency and BYEP

Left to right (front): Zainab, Ikran, Aishah and Tanaka Left to right (back): Poku, Rebecca and Yoma

Working with tomorrow’s leaders today In the increasingly competitive world of work, it’s important to support young people to realise their potential. BYEP, which stands for Babassa Youth Empowerment Project, was founded five years ago by Poku Osei and today works with around 300 young people offering them professional mentors, event management experience and roles as Youth Ambassadors. “Babassa is about the ethos of coming together to share skills and experience. We are a social enterprise and our aim is to develop a hub to inspire young people and provide a place outside of the home where young people can seek inspiration and guidance” says Poku. Aishah Shakoor, 22, has been volunteering with BYEP since November whilst on placement from her university degree in youth work. “BYEP has really supported me. I came to them with an idea and they have let me be myself and develop it” says Aishah. Aishah’s project is to organise an event to celebrate the achievements and talents of

young people in everything from sport to dance and music. ‘Empowered’ will host an awards ceremony and give young people a chance to showcase what they can offer. “I think young people, especially from the inner city, get stigmatised and it is hard to break out of the stereotype” adds Aishah. Last year BYEP organised a networking event attended by 200 young people which matched them up with businesses and entrepreneurs who shared similar skills and interests. BYEP also provides professional mentors to young people from the career they are interested in. 18 year old Zainab has a law mentor. “The thing about BYEP is it gives you a head start for the world of work in a welcoming place” says Zainab. Aishah, who hopes to work with young offenders, has enjoyed leading on the event. “We will have inspirational speakers, musicians, food and stalls. I have been able to develop my skills and it has been really motivating when other young people want to get involved. We’ve got to raise about £5,000 so that’s our next job. It has been challenging but I am glad I got in touch with BYEP.” Tanaka, 20, is also a Youth Ambassador. “Our event will give young people the opportunity to showcase their talents. There is a lack of opportunities out there, especially for those from the inner city. BYEP creates a platform for young people to gain valuable transferable skills which they can use to do other things.” Ikran, 18, adds: “It's fun to be involved in this event. It’s better to be involved in stuff rather than sitting at home watching TV so that when you are out in the real world you have some experience.” ‘Empowered’ is on Tuesday 10 March, 4pm to 7pm, Trinity Centre. Contact Aishah on projects@byep.org.uk or 07749724317.

Up Our Street interview Jaswinder Singh, Director of Asian Arts Agency

Jaswinder Singh (left) with frontman of bhangra band Alaap, Channi Singh 18

Up Our Street

Tell us about yourself I’ve worked for Asian Arts Agency since 2006. Before that I worked as a musician and filmmaker, as well as producing festivals, national tours, arts educational projects, promoting music, live events at indoor and outdoor spaces and managing new art commissions. It helps to see both sides of the coin: producing and managing complex arts projects as well seeing things from the artist point of view. Why did the agency start? The key goal of Asian Arts Agency has always been to support the development of South Asian arts and artists. It functioned as a voice for Bristol Asian artists and the Bristol Asian community. Since our early days, our ambition’s grown with a new vision of mainstreaming South www.eastonandlawrencehill.org.uk


Asian Arts Agency and Barton Hill Choir Asian arts - sharing South Asian culture and heritage with a wider audience. We wanted to see more representation in Bristol’s big and beautiful venues like St George’s and Colston Hall, and we wanted to bring local communities to the larger stage.

Indian music of maestros like Amjad Ali Khan, explosion of bhangra scene globally to the nightclubs of Mumbai.

Who would you say are the most exciting new artists today? To pick a select few: Red Baraat from New York are redefining contemporary Indian music; Why is supporting arts important? Talvin Singh continues to evolve and bring new exciting Supporting arts is important in every context: socially, projects to his audiences; Soumik Datta, musician from economically, artistically! We want to offer local Circle of Sound is working on interesting and creative communities the chance to link up with their heritage concepts. I could go on! I listen to so much music across and culture through the arts, as well as supporting such a range of genres that it can be hard to pick any artists to grow and develop their careers. I’m particularly one artist, Asian or not. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan would be passionate about supporting the growth of young one of my very favourites for his work with Sufi music. people as artists – helping them develop new skills and Gurdass Maan is a living legend. We kicked off to a new talents. great start in 2015 with a performance by Amjad Ali What characterises Asian art? For me, it is the diversity Khan at St George’s, and there will be many more shows to come. We’re also excited to support more Bristolof the art and music across the South Asian based musicians and as ever, we want to work with local subcontinent that is most exciting and characteristic. communities – so please get in touch! South Asian art is distinctive to me for its extensive range of language, genre, and expression. There’s so Contact Asian Arts Agency on 929 1110 or visit much highly original art being made, from the Classical www.asianartsagency.co.uk

spread by word of mouth.” The choir learns a new song every few weeks, everything from modern pop to folk and jazz music. At Christmas they performed carols for patients at Bristol’s Brain Injury Rehabilitation Unit. “We take suggestions about what to sing. At the moment we are learning Fix You by Coldplay. One of our members is a Slovakian pop star! He has written some songs which we’ll be learning and we’d like to learn songs from others cultures too. It’s a mix of stuff people know and pushing the boundaries.” For those of you who love singing in the shower or car but worry about singing in front of others, fear not! “Anyone can join. Everyone has the potential to be a singer and I have actually met very few people Sarah (far left) with Barton Hill Choir who can't sing - it’s more about discovering your voice through singing. A lot of people have also said singing helps them in other parts of their life. Singing is good for you. It’s official. There is It really makes you feel good.” Sarah’s musical evidence to suggest that singing helps your mental connections have provided the group with health and general wellbeing as well as getting air opportunities to perform in public. “We are into your lungs and happiness into your heart. And working towards another hospital performance in contrary to popular belief, anyone can do it. We Easter with a few relaxed open mic sessions along met up with musician, performer and all round the way. We’ve already sung carols for Up Our lovely person, Sarah Moody, to find out about Street and did a flash mob choir.” The group is Barton Hill’s new community choir. looking for more people to join. “Ideally we’d like “We got together last year as part of Travelling about 30 people to regularly sing in the choir so we Light Theatre’s 30th birthday anniversary. Everyone hope a few readers feel inspired to join us.” enjoyed it so much that we decided to carry on.” says Sarah. Sarah, a cellist whose background is in Barton Hill Choir meets on Wednesdays from writing and performing music for theatre, is one of 7.30pm to 9pm at Travelling Light Theatre, 43 about 12 regulars who get together to sing once a Ducie Road. Sessions are £7 drop in or £5 in week at Barton Hill Settlement. “I wanted the choir advance and you can try one session for free. to be a community thing and it really feels like that Contact Sarah on 07808167709 or has happened. New people have met and it’s sarahmoody@mac.com for information.

The voice of the community

www.eastonandlawrencehill.org.uk

Up Our Street

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Schools of the community needs, a stoical approach and an understanding of teaching and learning. We keep our ear to the ground to know what’s going on, we At the end of 2014, two head teachers from our do home visits and have an open door policy with local schools were recognised for their parents. For me a school is a collaborative place, achievements in creating school environments parents and the wider community must be part of which help children have the best start in life. it. And don’t give up!” Bannerman Road has a very Paula Shore and Sue Ramsey were presented with diverse mix of pupils which adds to the life and awards from Bristol’s Lord Mayor for transforming character of the school. One of their main their schools. We met up with these busy and challenges is the changes throughout the year with energetic women to find out more about daily 160 pupils starting or leaving the school during the life in two of our primary schools. academic year in 13/14. “That is our biggest challenge and it is tricky for us to manage but my motto is get over it and get on with it so we deal with problems and move on!” Head of Bannerman Road Community Academy This year the school hopes to expand to two Paula has been heading up the school’s 100 strong reception classes to meet growing local demand. “We have space for 45 children but double that staff team since 2011 and has been credited with apply. We also hope to build an outdoor classroom helping the school reverse its fortunes. After a difficult period in its history which saw the school in for more of our forest school teaching.” And what special measures, thanks to Paula’s leadership and motivates Paula during the tough times? “This is an amazing job with so much variety. I was lucky to the hard work of all the staff team, the school have had a great education and that set me up for received a ‘good’ in its latest Ofsted inspection. life. My goal is that when every child that goes here Paula is the school’s 10th head in ten years and with 280 pupils and an 80 place nursery to oversee, is in their old age they can look back on this time in their lives and be happy. Children have one job to turning things round was no small task. In 2013, do and that is to be happy, and it’s the job of adults Bannerman Road became an academy under the around them to make that happen.” umbrella of the One World Learning Trust which links them to City Academy.

Putting children first

Paula Shore

Sue ramsey

School Eid party Inset: head teacher Paula Shore

Head of Hannah more primary school

Another school celebrating is Hannah More in The Dings. Their head teacher of four years, Sue Ramsey, was recognised for the work the school has been doing to improve reading. In 2014, the school was awarded a national ‘Reading Recovery’ award. “Our focus has been on involving parents in reading with their child. Our Learning Support Assistants do extra reading with children with the parents present so they experience the best way to read with their child, for example asking questions to check their understanding. We also have “I love my job and I love working in this school. I volunteers coming into school from local had ear marked Bristol as a place I wanted to work businesses.” Sue is proud of the school’s and when the headship came up here I knew I achievements and Hannah More was awarded ECAR wanted it.” Paula has been teaching since 1996 and status last year, an ambitious standard set by the was a head teacher in Devon before moving to council to improve children's reading. Bannerman Road. “I wanted to learn the craft in a There has been a school on the site since the 1800s smaller school before taking on a bigger school like and today, following a five year expansion plan, the this but I always knew I wanted to come here.” school has 330 pupils and 60 staff. Sue has been a Paula’s key to success has been three things: “I teacher since 1986 and enjoys her busy role at think it’s been about having a clear understanding Hannah More. 20

Up Our Street

www.eastonandlawrencehill.org.uk


Schools “I love the diversity and I like the aspirations that the community have for their children. I have a fabulous team that work hard and are committed to always improving. There is always something interesting happening.” At the end of 2014 the school opened a ‘playpod’ in the playground to encourage more play and they are in the process of upgrading the computer room. They also plan to expand their calendar of community events. “We have an annual summer fair and we had a bonfire night celebration in November. On 2 February we will be marking the birthday of Hannah More and my plan is for this to be our annual winter event. We’ve also improved our sports teams and they have been taking part in local competitions. It’s been gratifying to see children achieving in sport when sometimes the academic side of things is tough for them.” Being responsible for the education of over 300 children is a challenging job but with great reward. “I feel inspired by helping children to achieve their potential whatever their background. I like having to be dynamic and think about ways to change and improve.” And Sue’s not

alone, the school’s door is very much open to the community. “We see parents as partners on the journey with their children.” Sue’s other interest is her pet dog Lyra who is in training to be a school dog. “Research shows that having a dog around helps children, especially if they have emotional or behavioural difficulties. I am training Lyra to come into school but she’s too naughty at the moment!”

Sue Ramsey reading with children from Hannah More Primary School

way to learn,” she says. “Courses and theory on their own are no good.” This experience in special education was helpful when Renee took up a post as a teacher in the nursery of Easton C of E Primary School (now Easton Academy) where she worked for 11 years and continued to volunteer after retiring in 1994. She speaks of the privilege of working alongside parents from so many different cultures and faiths, seeing how they adapted to a home with a different language and climate. In 1994 Renee also trained as a volunteer for HomeRenee (light blue jacket) with the Start Bristol, a charity which supports families with Home-Start team young children. For almost 20 years Renee has given special help and friendship to families, A helping Home-Start visiting them once a week for a couple of hours. There are many amazing people in our city who “Parenting is never recognised enough as being the have spent their lives helping others. One such complicated and demanding job, even the vocation person is Renee Willgress. Renee arrived in England it is” said Renee. She has a great deal of admiration just before the war in the ‘kindertransport’ which for the resourcefulness and strength of the parents brought children from Jewish families to safety in she has come to know who have found ways of England. Nine year old Renee and her 13 year old moving forward in life in spite of their difficulties. brother were warmly received by a foster family Last year Renee retired from volunteering but her who provided them with a loving home. She feels story is an inspiration to us all and a reminder of very grateful to them and to England which is in the importance of showing each other kindness and part her motivation for ‘giving something back to support. society’. Renee trained as a teacher taking courses To find out more about volunteering for Homein primary and special education and combining Start contact 950 1170 or visit their website this with voluntary work. “Volunteering is the best www.homestartbristol.org.uk www.eastonandlawrencehill.org.uk

Up Our Street

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Adverts

The Secret Poet Regular performer on our local community radio station BCfm. I have a weekly slot on ‘The Saturday Afternoon Show’ with a brief to write ‘poetry to order’ on a diverse range of themes chosen by the host of the show. Order an original, personalised poem written by me to celebrate a special occasion such as a birthday, wedding anniversary or retirement. Celebrate the life of a person by choosing me to write a unique poem to be read at the funeral. Also available for corporate events, conferences and festivals. Prices on application. Email secretpoetbristol@gmail.com or call me on 07486 082265

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Prices range from £30 to £300 + VAT. Support your community newsletter and reach 14,000 homes. Contact stacy On 954 2836.

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Adverts Make a difference to a child’s life! FOSTER We are a small local Fostering CARERS Agency caring for a wide range of NEEDED! young people who need Carers who can transform their lives. Foster Carers need to be nurturing and able to understand the trauma and rejection young people have experienced. It’s challenging, life changing work for people who can go the extra mile and stick with young people even when they seem to be pushing you away. Having fun together and enjoying being alive is also a crucial part of this job! Whether your own children are almost grown up and you feel you have more to give or you have experience of young people and feel ready to become a Carer or short break Carer we would love to talk to you. We welcome interest from people from all walks of life, with experience of children and space in your home. We provide a high levels of support, supervision, high quality training and pay professional fees. Pick up the phone and find out more about this rewarding work Tel: 0117 955 5039 If you would like to talk to one of our current carers, please call Andy Hider 07989067609 www.amicusfostercare.com


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