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Friends of Meade Park group revived

Posted on Sunday 14th October 2018 at 8:18 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Jenny James (centre) with some of the local residents who took part in a recent litter pick in the park.

When local resident Jenny James discovered that the group known as the Friends of Meade Park no longer existed, she decided to revive it. As someone who regularly walks through the park, she felt it was important to have a group of people who monitor and take care of the green space, alongside Stoke Gifford Parish Council.

Jenny began by creating a Facebook page for the group, which now has over 200 ‘fans’. She said:

“The Facebook page has become a real part of the community. There has been a lot of interest in the group and the page provides a place for people to report damage and share their ideas for the park.”

The Friends of Meade Park group then sent out a survey to local residents to find out what people would like from the park and they organised their first community litter pick on 4th August. Jenny was extremely pleased with the turnout as around 15 people, including numerous families, attended the event. Stoke Gifford Parish Council provided all of the equipment, including gloves, bags and pickers and the local Co-op gave the group free bottles of water. In the space of a few hours, the pickers had collected enough litter to fill ten refuse sacks making a huge difference to the cleanliness of the park. As the litter pick was so successful, Jenny is planning on organising them at regular intervals throughout the year.

Jan Brunwin, who helps Jenny with the group, said:

“It was a very successful event with many families coming to help. It was a great opportunity for children to understand and learn how to take care of their environment.”

More: Group to hold opening meeting on Tuesday 16th October »

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Local RBL members make historic pilgrimage

Posted on Sunday 14th October 2018 at 7:57 pm by Laura Mortimore

Photo of a group of standard bearers at the GP90 event.

On 8th August 2018, five members of the Stoke Gifford branch of the Royal British Legion (RBL), alongside thousands of other Legion members, recreated the march to the Menin Gate in Ypres that took place 90 years ago.

The original pilgrimage was organised to commemorate 10 years since the end of WW1 and gave veterans and war widows the opportunity to visit the battlefields of the Somme and Ypres before marching to the Menin Gate on 8th August 1928. Exactly 90 years later, the Great Pilgrimage 90 took place.

Karen Falconer (standard bearer), Antony Peters (wreath layer), John Moloney (branch chairman), Brian Hewitt MBE and Veronica Caradine attended the event as representatives of the Stoke Gifford branch of the Royal British Legion. Karen and Antony were part of the one thousand plus members who led the spectacular two-mile march through Ypres to the Commonwealth War Grave Commission’s Menin Gate memorial.

When describing the event, John Moloney said:

“Being part of such an historic event, representing Stoke Gifford branch in commemorating those that lost their lives in the First World War, was an honour and something I will never forget.”

The march past was observed by invited diplomatic, civic and military guests. As part of this ceremony, each of the 1,152 Royal British Legion branches attending from the UK and overseas (as far away as Thailand, Hong Kong and the Falkland Islands) brought a wreath with them containing a Remembrance message from their communities. The wreaths were subsequently arranged into a display on the ramparts of the Ypres town walls and will remain in place for public viewing for at least two months.

More: "It was a fabulous occasion, the atmosphere was incredible…" »

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Your local British Legion branch needs YOU!

Posted on Saturday 6th October 2018 at 10:04 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Billy Wilde collecting for the Stoke Gifford RBL at Cribbs Causeway.

The Stoke Gifford branch of the Royal British Legion (RBL) is urgently calling for new volunteers to come forward to help with this year’s Poppy Appeal collections, which started on 1st October.

The branch fears that it will be unable to fully staff its usual stands in the large local supermarkets, and also at The Mall, Cribbs Causeway, due to a number of long-serving helpers having to retire from the role due to old age or frailty.

If volunteer numbers cannot be restored, the branch fears it could lose a significant proportion of what it currently raises in the area – approximately £100k for the Bristol Poppy Appeal (and ultimately for members of the Armed Forces, Veterans and their families needing our support).

Branch spokesperson David Bell said:

“We’re making a concerted effort to recruit more volunteers to help us raise this much needed money for the Poppy Appeal. We need volunteers particularly at The Mall at Cribbs Causeway, Sainsbury’s at Stoke Gifford, ASDA at Filton and the Willow Brook shopping centre in Bradley Stoke.”

Sue Potepa, RBL community fundraiser, Bristol and Districts, said:

“It would be wonderful for a new generation of volunteers to join us this year for the Poppy Appeal. Anyone can volunteer for these roles and if people could spare just a few hours to help, it would be really appreciated.”

Billy Wilde, 17, a student at Bradley Stoke Community School (BSCS), is keen to emphasise that people of all ages can help out. He said:

“I have been volunteering for the RBL since I was 5 years old and I have really enjoyed raising money for such a worthy cause, whilst making many new friends, of all ages, along the way. To be able to see how so many of our ex-servicemen and women are helped by the money we raise is incredibly moving.”

More: Other volunteering opportunities are available »

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St Michael’s Centre to begin hosting events for the wider community

Posted on Sunday 16th September 2018 at 10:04 pm by Laura Mortimore

Auditorium at the St Michael's Centre,.

This autumn will see the commencement of a series of events where the newly finished auditorium in the St Michael’s Centre in North Road, Stoke Gifford [BS34 8PD] will be used to its full capacity.

The auditorium is going to play host to a number of entertainers, suitable for the whole family to enjoy. The St Michael’s Centre has recently completed the installation of seating in the balcony of the auditorium which has provided a further 163 seats for events such as church services, concerts and conferences. The extended seating was used for the first time on Wednesday 25th April when the Diocese of Bristol attended the Connected Conference. The 500-capacity auditorium has now allowed the centre to schedule a variety of performers to entertain the local community over the coming months.

As part of the ‘Heart of the Community’ project, the St Michael’s Centre wants to serve the community in ever increasing ways. Ian Taylor, director of operations at the centre, explains: “The centre is already used for numerous activities such as the Golden Oldies, Keep Fit and a number of youth activities and groups. The large hall is also used for wedding receptions and birthday parties. Now that the auditorium has additional seating, we would like to reach out to the wider community and offer events that are suitable for the whole family to enjoy together.”

One of the key ambitions of the ‘Heart of the Community’ project is to “create a spacious modern meeting place in the centre of the community”. Andy Mead, who is in charge of venue hire at the centre, says: “The idea behind hosting these events is to reach out to the wider community and make our space available to everyone in the community, not just those who attend our church.”

If you would like to read more about the ‘Heart of the Community’ project, visit

More: Programme of entertainment for the whole family »

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