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BSCS recognised for student-led health and wellbeing work

Posted on Tuesday 3rd December 2019 at 9:20 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Jemina Paramore accepting the 'Health in Schools' Gold Award from Sarah Godsell.

Staff and students at Bradley Stoke Community School (BSCS) are celebrating the achievement of an award which recognises excellent practice in the promotion of health and wellbeing for everyone within the school community.

South Gloucestershire Council’s ‘Health in Schools’ programme brings together the best evidence-based health promotion practice and sets achievable challenges to improve health and wellbeing. The potential benefits of the scheme also go beyond health, as research shows that when children are happy at school,
they achieve more.

The Bradley Stoke school had already been recognised with the Bronze (2016) and Silver (2017) awards, but it has now become one of only three schools across the local authority area to achieve the top Gold award.

One of the main initiatives to have been introduced at the school is the training of Year 11 peer mentors, focussed on supporting incoming Year 7 students during their transition between primary and secondary school. The older students attend transition days in the summer, as well as parent events. When initially launched, the scheme saw around ten students volunteering to be mentors, but this year the number has risen to over 30.

Other strands of student leadership that have been introduced at the school include anti-bullying ambassadors, time-to-talk mentors and EAL (English as an additional language) mentors.

In an effort to challenge the stigma around mental health, the school promotes the concept that body and mind are connected and it encourages conversations about health in general, defined to include both physical health and emotional health. Wellbeing ambassadors are recognisable to other students around the school as they all wear a distinctive pink lanyard.

Elsewhere, the school’s Student Council has had a say in changing the food supplier in order to improve the range of food options and a student support group has been established that meets weekly.

As part of their work towards achieving the Gold award, the student leaders created a video which explores the training they underwent and gathers feedback from some of the peer students they have supported.

Staff: "We couldn’t be prouder of the student leadership team" »

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Royal official opening for Almondsbury helibase

Posted on Thursday 28th November 2019 at 8:46 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of a large group of attendees standing in front of the air ambulance.

Great Western Air Ambulance Charity (GWAAC) welcomed His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester to officially open their new purpose-built emergency operations base in Almondsbury on Wednesday 25th September.

Moving to the new site, located alongside the M4/M5 motorway interchange, was a huge milestone for the life-saving charity, which celebrated its tenth birthday last year.

GWAAC’s Critical Care Team moved into their new home in October 2018, after a successful capital appeal raised £1.3 million needed to purchase the site and secure the future of the charity’s operations.

During his visit, His Royal Highness met a range of people who all made last year’s purchase possible, from charity staff and operational crew to supporters, trustees, patrons and volunteers.

Amongst some of the 80 guests were also members of the South Western Air Ambulance Service Foundation Trust (SWASFT) and Babcock Mission Critical Services, who provide the charity’s helicopter, Helimed 65.

Photo of The Duke meeting former patient Ali Layard.

The Duke was given a tour of the new facilities, which culminated in the hangar, where he unveiled a commemorative plaque to mark the official opening and met a former patient of GWAAC, Ali Layard and the specialist paramedic who attended to him, Pete Sadler.

The Duke gave a speech to guests after unveiling the plaque, saying:

“It’s great to see such a splendid building which has all the equipment you need to do such an important job. It’s clear to see how passionate everyone here is about the charity and all the important work that it does.”

More: Police helicopter also uses the Almondsbury base »

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M1 MetroBus service frequency set for another downgrade from January

Posted on Wednesday 27th November 2019 at 9:07 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of the very first timetabled M1 MetroBus to enter Bradley Stoke arriving at the Patchway Brook southbound stop.

The operating frequency of the flagship M1 MetroBus service, which links Bradley Stoke with Cribbs Causeway and Bristol city centre, looks set to be reduced for the second time in just over four months, the Journal can reveal.

No formal announcement has yet been made by First West of England or its sub-contractor Bristol Community Transport, but the following brief statement about the M1 service has appeared today (27th November) on the Travelwest website:

[With effect from 05/01/2020]

“Monday to Friday frequency reduction from ‘every 10 minutes’ to ‘every 15 minutes’.”

“Additional peak journeys between The Centre [in Bristol] and Patchway Brook [near Aldi in Bradley Stoke].”

“Saturday frequency reduction from ‘every 10 minutes’ to ‘every 20 minutes’. No Changes on Sundays.”

At the time of writing, no timetables were available for the revised service.

When it started on 6th January 2019, the M1 service ran every 10 minutes between 6am and midnight (Mon-Sat) and every 20 minutes between 9am and midnight on Sundays.

However, from 1st September 2019, the Monday to Friday off-peak and Saturday daytime frequency was reduced from ‘every 10 minutes’ to ‘every 12 minutes’. At the same time, the Monday to Saturday evening frequency was reduced from ‘every 10 minutes’ to ‘every 20 minutes’.

In contrast to off-peak times, passenger numbers at peak hours remain high and a small number of additional morning peak journeys were introduced from 15th September 2019 on the route section between Patchway Brook and Broadmead. These journeys are run using vehicles which aren’t MetroBus-branded.

Photo: The very first timetabled M1 MetroBus to enter Bradley Stoke arrives at the Patchway Brook southbound stop at 9.12am on Sunday 6th January 2019.

UPDATE (28th November 2019)

First West of England says new timetables will be available on its website from Friday 6th December 2019.

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Mama Bear’s Beth celebrates ten years service at childhood nursery in Bradley Stoke

Posted on Tuesday 26th November 2019 at 8:22 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Bethan Jones holding a child and standing next to the Mama Bear's character.

A nursery worker from Bradley Stoke has celebrated ten years of service at the same setting she attended herself as a child.

Bethan Jones is an Early Years educator at the Mama Bear’s Day Nursery and Pre-School at Baileys Court, Bradley Stoke where previously she attended as a pre-schooler.

Having celebrated her tenth anniversary with the family-run nursery group in its under-threes room, Bethan said she is now “part of the furniture”!

Bethan said:

“Whilst studying for my A-levels at school, I helped out at the nursery as bank staff and thoroughly enjoyed it, so naturally I wanted to pursue a childcare career.”

“When I was given the opportunity to work within the nursery as a full-time member of staff, I jumped at the chance and have since gained a Level 3 childcare diploma.

“In the past ten years I have cared for a great number of children, watching them grow and move on to school and new adventures. I really enjoy my job and can’t see myself doing anything else. Watching the children grow and develop into confident individuals is so rewarding.”

“I have such fond memories of coming here myself, along with my siblings, so it is great to now help build memories for more children coming here.”

The under-threes unit in which Bethan works provides a home-from-home environment for the children who attend the setting.

More: "Parents speak highly of Beth", says nursery manager »

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