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Specsavers staff pedal and bake for Comic Relief

Posted on Thursday 23rd March 2017 at 3:16 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Specsavers staff taking part in an exercise-a-thon to raise funds for Comic Relief.

Sporty staff from a Bradley Stoke opticians worked hard to raise money for Comic Relief, by taking part in an exercise-a-thon on Tuesday (21st March).

The team from Specsavers in the Willow Brook Centre supported the charity by taking it in turns to row and ride part of a long-distance challenge, in exchange for donations towards the cause.

The team is also running a ‘guess the number of sweets in the jar’ competition, giving customers a chance to win a giant bunny and Easter egg, as well as hosting a bake sale on Saturday (25th March) and selling the official Specsavers Comic Relief glasses. Priced at just £2 and in the store now, the glasses come in adult and children’s sizes.

Ed Stanleigh, store director, said:

“We’re very proud of the team for supporting the cause and volunteering to take part in the challenge.”

“It’s really important that we raise some money in the process, so please dig deep and support them on this fundraising initiative – you’ll be bettering the lives of those in need by doing so.”

Specsavers is supporting Comic Relief to help poor and vulnerable people living tough lives both here in the UK and across Africa and has pledged to raise at least £250,000 for the charity.

Specsavers has been a Comic Relief partner since 2015.

For more information, please visit Specsavers at the Willow Brook Centre, Bradley Stoke BS32 8EF. Call the store on 01454 275020 or visit www.specsavers.co.uk/stores/bradleystoke

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Grants available to help set up new community groups in Bradley Stoke

Posted on Wednesday 22nd March 2017 at 9:43 pm by SH (Editor)

Community Connectors.

Do you have some great ideas about a new group you’d like to set up in your local area?

Have you noticed that there is a need for a certain group that isn’t currently being filled, and you’d like to become involved in setting one up?

Would you like to set up a community group where you can share your skills and knowledge with others?

Community Connectors is an initiative run by Curo and funded by South Gloucestershire Council. It aims to support people in the local community, to connect with what’s going on and it encourages people to become involved in activities that are happening in their local area. Currently there is funding available of up to £200, to support new and existing community groups.

For more information about how to apply, please contact Sarah on 07967 344661 or email sarah.grimes@curo-group.co.uk

Photo: Representative image provided by Curo.

This article originally appeared in the March 2017 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on page 36). The magazine is 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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Aardman Live at Bowsland Green Primary

Posted on Sunday 19th March 2017 at 9:18 pm by SH (Editor)

Game designers from Aardman with Year 4 & 5 pupils at Bowsland Green Primary School.

Pupils at Bowsland Green Primary School in Bradley Stoke were the first in the world to trial a new computer game last term, which has been developed by the National Crime Agency and Aardman. The game’s designers, producer and a member of the Aardman agency wanted the views of young people to ensure their game was engaging and appropriately challenging.

Pupils in Years 4 and 5 were chosen by their teachers for consistently showing their ‘Bowsland Best’ in their learning during the preceding week. Staff at the school say their visitors were blown away by the pupils’ knowledge of online safety, their attention and focus, maturity, and appreciation of the work that has gone into producing the game.

The pupils’ feedback will inform changes to the game, which the school hopes to use across Key Stage 2 once it is completed.

Miss Harris, Bowsland’s Key Stage 2 leader, said:

“This was a fantastic afternoon for our pupils, who were incredibly inspired by the experience. Engaging with real-life experiences is a fundamental part of our wider curriculum and we are always looking for opportunities to learn alongside members of our wider community.”

Game designers from Aardman with Year 4 & 5 pupils at Bowsland Green Primary School.

This article originally appeared in the March 2017 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on page 21). The magazine is 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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Trust warns of looming funding crisis at BSCS

Posted on Friday 17th March 2017 at 11:49 pm by SH (Editor)

Bradley Stoke Community School.

Parents of students attending Bradley Stoke Community School (BSCS) have been warned of a looming financial crisis that could lead to the school day being shortened and/or class sizes being increased in order to save on staff costs.

Other “unthinkable” cost-saving suggestions being put up for discussion include reducing support roles, such as teaching assistants, and asking parents/carers to make regular financial contributions to the school.

The funding issues, which affect all seven schools operated by the Olympus Academy Trust, are said to result from historically low levels of government funding for schools within South Gloucestershire, in comparison with other areas of the country. This has left the trust with less money in reserves to fall back on in hard times. On top of this, it is claimed that government funding has not been increased to compensate for inflation and increased costs that have fallen on schools in recent years.

Trust CEO Dave Baker said:

“We have had to make cuts year-on-year for several years now because of the government’s ‘austerity’ policy, which has meant ‘flat’ budgets for education – in reality this has meant reduced funds to run our schools each year because we have had to pay for things along the way which previously we did not have to pay for, such as increased employer pension and national insurance contributions for staff, the apprenticeship levy (a new tax from April this year), unfunded cost of living pay awards for staff, inflationary costs, provision of services that were funded externally before, e.g. careers advice and guidance, behaviour and mental health support for students etc.”

Mr Baker predicts that the trust’s expected funding levels for the next academic year (2017/18) will make it their “most challenging year yet”. The trust’s two secondary schools, BSCS and Abbeywood, are likely to be hit hardest, with both having to “reduce spending by over 8 percent by September”, equating to £400,000 less in each school.

More: Parents encouraged to write to local MP Jack Lopresti »

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Bailey’s school says: “Let’s CAP cancer”

Posted on Thursday 16th March 2017 at 9:58 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Bailey Cooper holding a cheque, accompanied by staff and pupils.

Pupils at Stoke Lodge Primary School have taken part in a special event to support the family of a pupil, eight year old Bailey Cooper, who recently underwent nearly four months of hospital treatment for a form of cancer.

Photo of Bailey Cooper in hospital.

Bailey was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in October last year. He endured four rounds of chemotherapy and steroid treatment at Bristol Children’s Hospital before being given the all-clear in February. He is currently in remission and has recently returned to school.

Roye Aguila, a parent of a pupil in Bailey’s class, approached PE teacher Pete Holbrook with the idea of raising funds to help the family. His suggestion was to allow the children to wear a “Let’s CAP Cancer” cap for the whole day in school in return for a donation. Over £900 was raised at the event which was held on 24th February and the money will be donated to the family. It is hoped this will become an annual event with money raised in future years going to a local hospital.

Roye says that the event would not have been possible without the support of sponsors Design Scaffolding, The Whitchurch and Flipout Bristol. Bristol Rugby, who work with the school on a regular basis, also sent along their mascot to support the event.

Bailey’s parents, Rachel Hollyman and Lee Cooper, told the Journal that they were overwhelmed at the support they have received from the local community and the school. Rachel had to give up her job at Caerleon Child Care (inside Jump at Patchway) and Lee had to cut his working hours when Bailey was diagnosed with the life-threatening condition so they could spend time with Bailey and his younger brother, Riley.

More: Friends and family organised fundraising events »

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