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Summer concert success for Stokes Singers

Posted on Friday 14th July 2017 at 10:18 am by SH (Editor)

Photo of the Stokes Singers choir at their 'Midsummer Medley' concert.

Stokes Singers performed their summer concert, ‘A Midsummer Medley’, to an appreciative audience at Little Stoke Primary School at the end of June, writes Sue Callow, publicity officer.

With a programme including songs from films and musicals and classics such as ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’ and ‘Fields of Gold’ there was something for all tastes. The Eric and Ernie classic ‘Bring Me Sunshine’ brought a smile to everyone’s face whilst the choir’s favourites were the South African folk songs ‘Shosholoza’ and ‘Thina Simunye.’ A concert would not be complete without a piano solo from Co-Musical Director Philip Lawrence and this year it was a beautiful arrangement of ‘It Had to Be You’. It was good to have the added skills of Sue Juggins (percussion), Matt (bass guitar) and Lisa Rush (flute and piano) to accompany the voices.

The evening was also a great success for Freewheelers Emergency Voluntary Service who sent a motorbike and two riders, Nick and Chris, to talk about the valuable work they carry out transporting urgent medical supplies to support the NHS. An amazing £307 was raised from programme sales and refreshment donations to help the Freewheelers with their vital service.

The choir are now taking a well-earned break until September when they meet up to rehearse for a ‘Voices for Hospices’ concert at Holy Trinity Church, Bradley Stoke on Saturday 14th October. The Christmas Concert will be at the Church of Christ the King, Bradley Stoke on Saturday 9th December. Look out for posters and details in the local press in the autumn or contact Liz on 01454 614148 for further details.

If you would like to join the choir, Liz can also give you further information about the Thursday evening rehearsals at Coniston Community Centre, Patchway. There is room for more singers in all sections and men or ladies with lower voices would be very welcome to join the baritones. Sian Walters, also Co-Musical Director, assures you of a warm welcome and the opportunity to try the choir for two rehearsals free of charge to see how you get on.

More: Choir will soon celebrate 25th anniversary of founding »

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Citizens Advice comes to Stoke Gifford

Posted on Thursday 11th May 2017 at 9:02 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Yvonne Parks from Citizens Advice South Gloucestershire.

Help is on hand for residents of Stoke Gifford and the wider Bristol North Fringe who are seeking information and advice on a wide range of issues following the news that Citizens Advice South Gloucestershire has started drop-in advice sessions at a new venue in the area.

Citizens Advice provides advice and support on life’s most common problems, and all the advice given is free, independent and impartial.

Yvonne Parks of Citizens Advice South Gloucestershire said:

“Our goal is to help everyone find a way forward, whatever problem they face. People come to us with all sorts of issues such as money, benefits, housing, family or employment problems.”

Anyone can go along to the drop-in sessions at The Stokes (Youth and Community Centre), which is located next to Little Stoke Primary School, Little Stoke Lane, Little Stoke BS34 6HY.

The sessions, which started at the end of April, are held every second and fourth Friday of the month, from 10am to 12pm.

Yvonne (pictured) said:

“No appointment is necessary, so just come along. An experienced and qualified advice worker will be there to help.”

The sessions in Stoke Gifford are being supported by local South Gloucestershire ward councillors through the Member Awarded Funding scheme and will be reviewed in 12 months’ time.

• Citizens Advice also holds drop-in sessions at the Jubilee Centre, Bradley Stoke, from 10am to 12pm every Wednesday.

This article originally appeared in the May 2017 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on page 34). 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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Stoke Gifford Busy Bees rated ‘outstanding’

Posted on Friday 31st March 2017 at 11:30 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of staff and children at Busy Bees Nursery in Stoke Gifford.

Busy Bees nursery in Stoke Gifford is celebrating after receiving an ‘outstanding’ rating following its latest Ofsted inspection.

Staff at the nursery, which is located in Simmonds View, say they are especially proud because fewer than one in ten ‘early years’ settings in the UK hold this rating.

The nursery received its exceptional ‘outstanding’ rating from Ofsted, the official body for inspecting schools, after attaining a perfect score in all four areas of inspection, namely: quality of teaching, learning and assessment; personal development, behaviour and welfare; outcomes for children; and the effectiveness of the leadership and management.

Ofsted praised the nursery’s quality of teaching, noting that: “Staff are highly committed to providing exciting and stimulating activities to promote all areas of learning. They use every opportunity to provide children with essential language and mathematical skills.”

Child development was given a special mention as Ofsted recognised that: “Children make exceptional progress from their starting points and are encouraged to become thoughtful, kind and extremely confident children who care about each other.”

Continuing their praise, within the ‘leadership and management’ assessment category, Ofsted said: “Managers are rigorous in their evaluation of the setting and are skilled in identifying priorities for improvement.”

More: Nursery managers "immensely humbled" »

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Yarn-bombed Christmas tree to double as blankets for homeless

Posted on Saturday 24th December 2016 at 11:29 am by SH (Editor)

Members of the St Mike’s Yarn Bombers (SMYB) with their Christmas tree (l-r): Debbie Bambridge, Emily Preston, Kia Harris, Sara Clothier and Zoe Garde-Evans.

Knitters from St Michael’s Church in Stoke Gifford have not only created their own Christmas tree from yarn – but when the decorations come down they plan to recycle it into blankets for local homeless charities.

Over 800 woolly green squares have been knitted or crocheted and then stacked into a six-foot tall Christmas tree by the St Mike’s Yarn Bombers (SMYB).

Christmas tree created by the St Mike's Yarn Bombers (SMYB) of Stoke Gifford, Bristol.

Whilst thousands of real Christmas trees are recycled into compost – the knitted tree will be dismantled and sewn into at least ten woolly blankets for two Bristol charities supporting homeless people.

The yarn bombing group has been delighting local people with surprise displays and decorations at community events in Stoke Gifford since early 2016 (see previous Journal article here). But when they launched the Christmas tree project they were joined by around a hundred other knitters across Bristol and beyond. Church members, craft groups, family, friends and children produced squares. They were even sent three green squares from a knitter in Washington DC in the United States.

A total of 848 different green squares have been stacked into to the woolly Christmas tree. Of these, 816 have been knitted or crocheted and 32 are made of felt and were decorated by children at the Messy Church which meets once a month at St Michael’s.

More: Blankets will go to Emmaus Bristol and Julian Trust night shelter »

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