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Get active NOW with FREE sports vouchers!

Posted on Thursday 22nd September 2016 at 9:59 pm by SH (Editor)

South Gloucestershire SportsPound.

South Gloucestershire Council’s new healthy lifestyles programme, SportsPound, is now live and kicking! If you are currently doing less than 30 minutes of exercise per week and are aged 14+, SportsPound vouchers give you free entry to a range of new and exciting sports sessions in your community.

If you are new to sport or are coming back to sport after a break, then SportsPound is for you! From judo to dance, aquafit to tennis, there is something for everybody to be tried with SportsPound vouchers.

2016 has seen health success stories with Bradley Stoke Leisure Centre accepting new people for swimming and fitness classes every week.

To find out where you can get hold of SportsPound vouchers and kickstart a new activity or hobby, visit, or contact your SportsPound activator Keith Fairburn at or phone him on 07710 145216 or 01454 865821.

The South Gloucestershire SportsPound initiative has received £171,324 of funding from Sport England.

Cllr Erica Williams, chair of South Gloucestershire Council, said:

“The SportsPound enables us to extend sports programmes right into the heart of our communities and will also continue our good work with local partners in reducing barriers to sports participation. This project will help raise the profile of local sport and ensure residents are involved in developing activities which work for them. The project will last for three years, and over that time we hope to inspire more than 5,000 South Gloucestershire residents to give sport a go.”

The South Gloucestershire SportsPound is one of over 40 projects to secure a share in £8.2 million of National Lottery funding from Sport England. Encouraging people to give sport a go, the fund empowers local communities to reach out to people who for one reason or another don’t exercise.

Announcing the funding, Sport England Director of Community Sport, Mike Diaper, said:

“It’s great to be working with innovative projects like SportsPound which offer more people the chance to get active in a way that suits them best. Given the overwhelming benefits of being active, it’s important that age, gender, or income never prevent anyone from taking part.”

This article originally appeared in the September 2016 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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Reliability of 73 and X73 bus services hits another low after timetable change

Posted on Wednesday 21st September 2016 at 1:24 pm by SH (Editor)

A First West of England bus, pictured in Bristol city centre.

Users of First West of England’s 73 and X73 bus routes have complained that the services have become “utterly shocking” and “unreliable” since the latest timetable change on 4th September.

Things got off to a poor start over the first couple of days when a failure of First’s IT system led to drivers on some routes in Bristol being unable to charge passengers for tickets or follow the new timetables.

As part of the changes, the frequency of the 73 service was reduced to ‘every 15 minutes’ during peak times (previously ‘every 12 minutes’), but there have been numerous reports of buses being cancelled or not turning up on time, with one passenger reporting a wait of an hour for a bus from Bradley Stoke to Bristol.

The 73 service was also extended to Bristol Temple Meads Station, which one reader has claimed has contributed to the problems due to the longer overall route.

The ‘peak hours only’ X73 service has also been the subject of complaints about cancelled journeys and ‘no shows’.

There have also been changes to the stops served by the 73 & X73 in the city centre, but passengers have reported that drivers have sometimes been using the ‘old’ stops, resulting in them missing their intended bus.

Scores of passengers have taken to social media to express their anger in messages directed at First. One, Emily S, wrote:

“@FirstBSA My 73 bus has been either late or just not showed up virtually every day for 3 weeks! I’m late for work again! What’s going on?!”

Another, Kellie H, wrote:

“@FirstBSA Since the timetable change the 73 service has been utterly shocking! So infrequent and unreliable…”

The Journal is today launching a new survey of readers’ travel experiences, with the intention of building up an evidence base that can be presented to service operators, local councils and regulators.

We are asking users of the 73 and X73 services to record any issues, either here on our website (by leaving a comment on this article), on The Journal’s Facebook page (by sending a message or leaving a comment on this post), via The Journal’s Twitter feed or by texting The Journal on 01454 300 400.

Please be sure to tell us which service you were using, the direction of travel (e.g. to/from city centre or Cribbs Causeway) and which stop you were using.

More: What passengers have been saying on social media »

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Bradley Stoke Tesco Extra team on the look out for further community projects

Posted on Tuesday 20th September 2016 at 9:55 pm by SH (Editor)

Staff from the Tesco Extra store in Bradley Stoke decorate a room at Patchway Community Centre.

Staff from the Tesco Extra store in Bradley Stoke are looking for suggestions for further community projects to get involved with after successfully completing their latest assignment, at Patchway Community Centre.

Eleven members of staff took a day out from the store to brighten up the small hall at the centre by giving it a lick of paint.

Dawn Richards, community champion at the Bradley Stoke store, says the work squads are intended to give something back to the community whilst at the same time helping to foster team spirit.

“Having a lot of people on a big job like this certainly makes it easier and we were happy to provide the paint and decorating equipment too.”

Previous projects the staff have undertaken include renovating the ladies toilet blocks at St Mary’s Old Boys Rugby Club and, in conjunction with other Tesco stores in the Bristol area, decorating a St Mungo’s hostel for the homeless.

Anyone wishing to suggest a suitable community project should write to Dawn Richards at Tesco Extra, Bradley Stoke BS32 8EF or email

This article originally appeared in the September 2016 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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Emma strikes gold at transplant games

Posted on Sunday 18th September 2016 at 9:05 pm by SH (Editor)

Emma Barnes, medal winner at the 2016 British Transplant Games.

A local athlete has returned from the British Transplant Games, held in Liverpool at the end of July, with a haul of four medals.

Emma Barnes, who is a member of Bradley Stoke based North Bristol Running Group, won gold in her age category in the 4 x 100m relay, silver in the 200m and bronze in the 400m. She also clinched a gold medal in the badminton doubles competition.

Held annually at different venues across the country, the Games aim to demonstrate the benefits of transplantation whilst increasing public awareness of the need for more people to join the NHS Organ Donation Register and discuss their wishes with their families.

The 22-year-old was attending her second Games since receiving a liver transplant at Kings College Hospital, London in September 2013 – after being diagnosed with a extremely rare tumour.

Looking back on her experience prior to her transplant, Emma said:

“It was a really horrible and incredibly stressful time waiting on the transplant list as I had no idea how long I would have to wait or when I would get the call. I couldn’t go further than half-an-hour away from my house in case I got the call and had to make sure that I always had signal on my phone. I had to wait eight-and-half months and became increasingly ill in this time.”

Speaking about what makes the Games special for those taking part, Emma said:

“It’s really great as it gives you the opportunity to meet lots of other inspirational people who have all had life-saving transplants, like myself, whilst competing and taking part in lots of different sports. Everyone understands what each other has been through and it feels like one big family. It shows what amazing things can be achieved as a result of organ donation as none of us would be here without it.”

More: "Organ donors are real-life heroes; they save people’s lives" »

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BSYFC players treated to third Wembley date

Posted on Saturday 17th September 2016 at 9:50 pm by SH (Editor)

Bradley Stoke Youth FC players and coaches at Wembley Stadium for the 2016 FA Community Shield game.

By Martin Lee of Bradley Stoke Youth FC (BSYFC).

Bradley Stoke Youth FC was again selected from all the FA Charter Standard Clubs in the UK and Ireland to walk around the Wembley pitch before the Community Shield match of Manchester United v Leicester City. This is the third time in three years that BSYFC have been selected and once again we were proud to be one of only seven clubs to be selected for this great experience.

BSYFC was represented by squad players from the U14 girls and the U9s. The day started at 8.45am with the coach rolling out of Bradley Stoke for arrival at Wembley for 11.45am. The journey was fine but just how many “are we nearly there yet” questions did we have to answer?

On arrival we were based in the Press Room for the majority of the day where at 12.30pm we had our first walk around the Wembley pitch as we performed the rehearsal for the main event. We had our photo taken by the main photographer out on the pitch with our BSYFC placards and the squad. Then back to the Press Room for lunch. After lunch, we had a football quiz. This highlighted just how little the management team of Scott Brown, Martin Lee and Ross Lee actually know about general football stuff. We will need to do more revising if we get selected again next year! We had our final briefing and it was time for the real thing.

We walked past the Manchester United and Leicester City changing rooms and into position in the tunnel area next to the Leicester City team, who were completing their warm up. Then we got the thumbs up to start the walk. We came out to 90,000 supporters applauding as we walked around the pitch. We got to the corner flag of the pitch then had to turn onto the pitch just behind the goal where we stood between the goal and the corner flag waving our flags. The TV camera was coming up and down filming us and we could be seen on the TV screens. At last we are famous!

The teams then came out of the tunnel with us forming a guard of honour with the flags. We then all sang the National Anthem and when the players split to come towards the goal we moved off waving our flags while walking proudly behind the massive BSYFC placard as we went. We were out on the Wembley pitch for about 20 minutes – what a great experience for the players of BSYFC.

More: Thanks to McDonald’s »

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