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School leaders celebrate Duke of Edinburgh’s Award success at Buckingham Palace

Posted on Saturday 25th June 2016 at 9:31 am by SH (Editor)

Olympus Academy Trust leaders at a Duke of Edinburgh's Award presentation.

Olympus Academy Trust (OAT) leaders were recently invited to attend a once-in-a-lifetime Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) Gold Award presentation at Buckingham Palace, London. At the event, the trust was presented with a special plaque from the DofE charity, acknowledging their commitment to running the DofE and thanking the organisation for giving young people the opportunity to transform their lives.

The DofE is celebrating its diamond anniversary throughout 2016, having supported millions of young people in the UK and across the globe to achieve the awards since it was founded in 1956.

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, HRH The Earl of Wessex and HRH The Countess of Wessex joined those that were present including school leaders, charities, corporate sponsors, and of course most importantly, many young people who have completed their Gold Awards over the last 60 years!

Led by the Olympus Academy Trust, Bradley Stoke Community School (BSCS) has been delivering the DofE for four years. In that time, more than 60 of its young people have achieved a DofE award after volunteering in their community, learning a skill, getting fit and going on an expedition.

Participation continues to grow, with another group of 55 students currently working towards their awards from across the Trust.

The award is widely acknowledged as the world’s leading achievement award for young people.

More: Students encouraged to push themselves outside comfort zone »

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Pre-schoolers discover local woodlands

Posted on Friday 24th June 2016 at 8:25 pm by SH (Editor)

Abacus Pre-School woodland adventure in Savages Wood, Bradley Stoke.

The children of Abacus Pre-School @ Meadowbrook and Abacus Pre-School @ Baileys Court enjoyed a wonderfully wet morning discovering the local woodlands at Savages Wood! The children from each setting were invited along with their parents to join in some fun woodland activities, including ‘filling a bucket with woodland treasure’, musical instruments, stories & puppets and ‘bug hunts’ with magnifying glasses.

The children met with the managers from each setting and enjoyed the fun of the muddy puddles and activities taking in a long walk around the woods. The children were very lucky and were invited to join some local colleagues from South Gloucestershire Council who were building a ‘camp fire’.

The session ended with the children enjoying their milk and toasting marshmallows to make smores whilst singing songs!

Amanda Lacey, manager of Abacus @ Meadowbrook, commented:

“The staff at Abacus were thrilled with the parent participation and are hoping to provide similar activities in the future as they are keen for the children to explore their local environment and enhance their learning and play opportunities.”

Abacus Pre-School campfire in Savages Wood, Bradley Stoke.

This article originally appeared in the June 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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Meet the new mayor: Elaine Hardwick

Posted on Wednesday 22nd June 2016 at 9:53 pm by SH (Editor)

Newly-elected Mayor of Bradley Stoke Cllr Elaine Hardwick (left) receives the chain of office from previous mayor Cllr Roger Avenin.

The new mayor of Bradley Stoke was elected on Thursday 12th May: the chosen candidate was Cllr Elaine Hardwick, who has served on the town council since 2011. We managed to ask Elaine some questions about her aspirations as the new mayor of Bradley Stoke.

Elaine says her main aim is to “keep up with the good work that has been carried out in recent years, ensuring that services are maintained to a high level and that council tax payers get value for money.” She mentioned that youth provision is also a priority, along with “encouraging older residents to become involved with the community” through new or existing clubs and groups. Elaine said she “would like to see the development of Brook Way [the town council’s activity centre and adjacent site]” and will be “exploring all ideas for this”.

The mayor is also aware of how the construction of the MetroBus route has affected residents. She hopes that once completed, the provision of better public transport will improve the traffic situation in Bradley Stoke. She says this “will be vital, with the imminent development of Filton Airfield”.

Having watched Bradley Stoke develop over the last twenty years, Elaine says she finds it to be a “great, vibrant place to live”. She moved to Filton with her family in 1994, and to Bradley Stoke in 1997. She tells us that when she first moved here, she “had a young family to look after”; as they grew older she worked in several financial roles for companies such as AXA, Computershare and the Bank of Ireland. She became self-employed in August 2015, contracting to the financial sector and making bespoke wedding accessories.

More: Two mayoral charities revealed »

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First for 1st Bradley Stoke Scout Group!

Posted on Tuesday 21st June 2016 at 11:54 pm by SH (Editor)

Ellie Holley, the first girl at 1st Bradley Stoke Scouts to attain the Chief Scout's Gold Award.

Ellie Holley has become the first girl at 1st Bradley Stoke Scouts to attain her Chief Scout’s Gold Award.

Made up of nine challenge badges – Adventure, Community, Creative, Expedition, Fitness, Global, Outdoor, Outdoor Plus and Promise – it is the highest award available to the Scout section. She has hiked, camped, cooked on an open campfire, taught more junior Scouts new skills, taken part in team building activities, learnt how to manage in a disaster and looked at the impact of international issues. And on top of this, she is also a young carer and has taken the time to explain what she does to the other Scout members.

Ellie has been a patrol leader for some time and has so impressed the leadership team with her commitment, leadership, organisational skills and parochial care of younger Scouts, that she was also awarded the Senior Patrol Leader flash. Each of these awards is rarely given; to receive both shows how remarkable Ellie is. The group are very proud of her.

Clive Mason – the Group Scout Leader – explained that these challenges push our young people outside of their comfort zone and prepare them for whatever journey they want to take as they move into adulthood.

The group continues to look for leaders to support and challenge young people like Ellie. For more information, have a look at the group’s website at

This article originally appeared in the June 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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Details of proposed Bradley Stoke parkrun published ahead of town council debate

Posted on Monday 20th June 2016 at 10:17 pm by SH (Editor)

Route of proposed parkrun in the Three Brooks Local Nature Reserve, Bradley Stoke.

Details of an application made by local representatives of parkrun UK to hold two weekly running events in Bradley Stoke’s Three Brooks Local Nature Reserve have been published on the town council’s website.

The application has been made to South Gloucestershire Council (SGC), which owns the nature reserve and will make the final decision on whether or not to grant permission, but the town council, along with other interested parties, has been invited to submit comments.

Consultation on the application was originally due to end on 20th June, but has been extended so that the town council can discuss the matter at its meeting this Wednesday (22nd June).

In its application, parkrun UK says it seeks “shared use of the course”, with runners being instructed to “respect other park users and give way if necessary”.

A 5km timed run for adults would take place at 9am every Saturday, with a 2km run for children being held at 9am on Sundays. If attracting similar numbers to the recently closed Little Stoke parkrun, the Saturday event might be expected to see as many as 300 runners using the nature reserve.

Both runs would start on the path beneath the bridge where Bradley Stoke Way crosses over the Stoke Brook and finish nearby on the path that leads down into the nature reserve on the north-east side of Bradley Stoke Way.

The routes would see participants running in both directions along the path between Brook Way and the ‘duck pond’, with the adult runners additionally using the path between the ‘duck pond’ and a point just short of the footbridge behind Bradley Stoke Community School.

The application states that parkrunners are encouraged to walk, jog, cycle or take public transport to events, or car share where possible. Those driving to Bradley Stoke parkrun will be directed to the Willow Brook shopping centre, with the agreement of the centre management. Participants will be asked not to use the leisure centre car park or residential streets for parking.

More: Town councillors concerned about potential damage to paths »

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