Archive for the ‘General News’ Category

Charity lights fundraising target smashed!

Posted on Sunday 10th February 2019 at 9:41 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of a banner hanging on a gate, announcing the final amount of £11,223 raised for St Peter's Hospice.

A charity Christmas lights display at a home in Watch Elm Close, Bradley Stoke has raised almost three times its intended fundraising target, thanks to an incredible run of media interest which culminated in it being voted second best in the UK in a national TV poll.

The extravagant display, created by house owners Terry James and Mike Checkley, contained over 30,000 lamps.

To attract even more visitors, the couple staged a series of special ‘meet, greet and sweet’ nights where children were allowed into the garden to have their photo taken with costumed figures and receive a gift.

The display also attracted massed visits from local community groups, including Sole Sisters, North Bristol Running Group, the Scouts and a local gymnastics club.

When the display was first switched on in early December, the target was to raise £4,000 for St Peter’s Hospice, a Bristol charity which cares for adults with life-limiting illnesses. However, the attention generated by numerous media appearances meant that this was soon surpassed, resulting in the target being progressively raised to £9,000. Christmas Eve saw an astonishing £1,019 collected on one night alone and by the time the lights were switched off for the season on 1st January, the total collected had reached an astonishing £11,223!

Mike said:

“We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of friends, family, neighbours, the local community and the wider community too. The total raised has surpassed our wildest expectations and we understand that it is one of the largest amounts ever raised for Christmas charity lights in Bristol and South Gloucestershire.”

“We would like to sincerely thank everyone, but especially the local and national media, our sponsors and our neighbours who have been so supportive of the fundraising, despite a few traffic jams in the road!”

• Watch Elm Close Christmas Lights – Bradley Stoke page on Facebook

More: Photos of Mike & Terry and the Sole Sisters’ visit »

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New weekly toddler group in Stoke Lodge

Posted on Saturday 9th February 2019 at 9:25 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of mums and babies at the toddler group.

A local pre-school and nursery has started a new weekly toddler group (for ages 0 to 5) on Monday afternoons.

Bright Sparks Pre-School in School Close, Stoke Lodge (BS34 6DW; adjacent to Stoke Lodge Primary School) runs the group between 1pm and 3pm and parents are welcome to drop in with their children at any time during the two-hour session.

The group makes use of facilities within the pre-school building and has access to the well-equipped outside play area. There is also a dedicated space for babies.

Children can explore the wide range of toys and activities on offer, such as bricks, trains, play-doh and painting. They can also visit the various themed areas within the pre-school rooms, such as ‘curiosity corner’, ‘small world’ and ‘home corner’.

The large outside space offers more fun things to explore, including a wooden climbing frame, a pirate ship and a kitchen.

The toddler group is open every Monday (term-time only). There is a charge of £1.50 per session, which covers milk/water/squash and a healthy snack and biscuit for the children.

For more details, contact Hannah on 01454 615577, email brightsparkstoddlers18@gmail.com or search for ‘Bright Sparks Toddlers – Stoke Lodge’ on Facebook.

Photo of children playing in the garden during the toddler group session.

This article originally appeared in the February 2019 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on page 29). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH (except August), to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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Jack Lopresti MP: News round up for January

Posted on Thursday 7th February 2019 at 8:06 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Jack Lopresti MP with Rob Patterson, site manager of the Bristol Mail Centre.

Just before Christmas, I was delighted to visit the Royal Mail Sorting Office in Patchway, where they were working hard to handle the Christmas peak of 6 million cards, letters and parcels throughout the festive period. Everyone working for the Royal Mail delivers a vital service for everyone ensuring that we all receive our much wanted Christmas post. It was also great to meet with Rob Patterson, the site manager, to receive an update on a multi-million-pound investment in the facility over the next year that will ensure local jobs, as well as continuing to provide great service for our area.

I was extremely pleased about the recent government announcement that funding for the police will increase by up to £970 million next year, which is the biggest increase since 2010. I met with The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, the home secretary, to discuss what these increases will mean for our area. Local police funding will be increased by 7.5 percent, meaning Avon and Somerset Constabulary could receive over £21m in the next financial year.

Furthermore, the Home Office has also committed to fighting serious and organised crime, including economic crime and drug trafficking, with a £90 million investment in national, regional and local capabilities. This increased funding, alongside other measures, will help ensure that police have the powers and resources needed to keep our communities safe.

It is great that the M1 MetroBus route finally began operations at the start of January. It offers a much needed link between Bradley Stoke and the city centre, with regular services that cut journey times. The M1 runs from Cribbs Causeway, stopping in Bradley Stoke, Stoke Gifford and at UWE before heading into the city centre.

If you would like to discuss anything with me, be it as a resident, organisation or business, please contact my constituency office in Bradley Stoke on 01454 617783 or email me on jack.lopresti.mp@parliament.uk to arrange a suitable surgery time, or to arrange a visit to your premises. For further details, visit www.jacklopresti.com

Photo: Jack Lopresti MP (right) with Rob Patterson, site manager of the Bristol Mail Centre.

This article originally appeared in the February 2019 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on page 18). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH (except August), to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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Paralympian trains councillors for mental health awareness ride

Posted on Tuesday 5th February 2019 at 9:36 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Paralympic gold medallist Andy Lewis MBE (centre) giving training advice to South Gloucestershire Council Cabinet members Cllr Jon Hunt and Cllr Toby Savage.

South Gloucestershire Council’s leader and deputy leader are set to embark on a tough 220km challenge: cycling to every school in the district to mark Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week (4th to 10th February).

Cllrs Toby Savage and Jon Hunt, who also serve as Cabinet members for schools, skills and employment and for children and young people respectively, will ride across South Gloucestershire to visit its 121 schools on 7th & 8th February for leading national children’s mental health charity Place2Be.

The task is particularly challenging for the pair as they are inexperienced in cycling, with Cllr Savage not having been on a bike in around a decade prior to training. By taking on an active challenge, they hope to reflect the awareness week’s message of ‘Healthy: Inside and Out’, demonstrating the link between physical wellbeing and positive mental health.

The Council has issued grants this year of £1,000 or £2,000 to ten schools taking part in the South Gloucestershire Schools Mental Health Award and the councillors will stop off along the ride to visit some of those schools to see how they are using the money to make a difference and improve mental health amongst their students.

Cllr Savage said:

“We firmly believe that any child failing to fulfil their potential is a tragedy, particularly when it is due to poor mental health.”

“This ride will be tough, but I hope the positive message it brings will help highlight the challenges schools face around student and staff mental health, as well as the work being done to support and improve good mental health in South Gloucestershire schools.”

Cllr Hunt said:

“To be truly healthy, it’s not just what we see but the hidden factors. Fifty per cent of mental health problems are established by the age of 14 and we need to tackle this growing issue to allow the best start in life for all our children.

“Nearly every classroom will have a child suffering with some form of mental health issue. We are taking on this physical challenge to help highlight the problem, with a route that encompasses every school in South Gloucestershire.”

Helping the councillors in their training is Paralympic gold medallist Andy Lewis MBE, who has been offering his experience and knowledge to prepare them for the journey ahead.

More: Training session held at Bradley Stoke Leisure Centre »

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