Archive for the ‘General News’ Category

Vast £56m retirement complex officially opened in Stoke Gifford

Posted on Wednesday 10th April 2019 at 7:01 pm by Laura Mortimore

Photo of the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the official opening.

A vast, multi-million pound retirement complex has officially opened in Stoke Gifford. Located off Coldharbour Lane, opposite the University of the West of England (UWE), the Stoke Gifford Retirement Village offers those over the age of 55 a new approach to retirement living. Made up of 92 one-bedroom and 169 two-bedroom fully accessible, self-contained flats, the village is set across 5.5 acres of land and includes a host of on-site facilities.

The Stoke Gifford Retirement Village, which has been under construction for the last 2.5 years, opens as part of a £56m development programme between retirement charity The ExtraCare Charitable Trust, South Gloucestershire Council, who provided £1.9m, and Bristol City Council, who provided £2.8m. This was alongside a contribution of £2.4m from Homes England through the Department of Health and Social Care’s ‘Care and Support Specialised Housing Fund’.

The ExtraCare Charitable Trust, established in 1988, operates a number of retirement villages and smaller housing developments around the Midlands and further south. Their mission is to “create sustainable communities that provide homes older people want, lifestyles they can enjoy and care if it’s needed”.

Retirement villages have been designed as an alternative to the traditional care home. The idea is to enable older people to enjoy healthy, active, and independent lifestyles in their later years. However, should care and/or dementia support be needed, it can be assessed and provided in the comfort and privacy of a resident’s own village home. This means that couples can remain together even when one partner becomes frail.

More: Villages "foster an environment of supported independence" »

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Village focal point has a theme for all seasons

Posted on Monday 8th April 2019 at 9:52 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of the toy library topped with a yarn-bombed Santa hat. Photo of the toy library in the snow.

By Alix Evans, leader at Stoke Gifford Rainbows.

Friday 8th March 2019 saw the celebrations for International Women’s Day and the six-month ‘anniversary’ of the opening of the Stoke Gifford Toy Library. Since opening in September, the Toy Library has been open around six days per week, even during the snow, with a wide selection of toys, games and books available for loan. The reaction from the residents has been fantastic, with lots of interactions on Facebook and Twitter, and ever-changing stock as new donations arrive each day. I’d like to thank everyone who has used or donated to the Toy Library – it’s truly a community resource and a focal point for the younger members of the village.

The Toy Library has had many different decoration themes over the past six months, with particular highlights being our Poppy Day and Advent Calendar displays. The Santa hat donated by the St Mike’s Yarn Bombers really made the Toy Library stand out, and the Rainbows and Brownies have had so much fun making the decorations.

Away from the Toy Library, the girls have been working hard on the new Guiding programme, learning lots of skills from making popcorn over tea lights (Rainbows), to how to project their voice when speaking to a crowd (Brownies) – perfect for the future adventurers and leaders we’re hoping to nurture!

The Rainbows are currently planning their sleepover at Slimbridge WWT, and the Brownies are very excited to be going on a joint Brownie holiday with another unit to experience the magic of Harry Potter.

Units across the division are always looking for volunteers to help us deliver our exciting programme – if you’d like to find out more, please contact or to get involved you can register on the Girlguiding web site:

• The Toy Library, located at The Green, Stoke Gifford works on a self-service basis and is unlocked by volunteers each day.

This article originally appeared in the April 2019 issue of the Stoke Gifford Journal magazine (on page 27). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to over 5,000 homes in Stoke Gifford, Little Stoke and Harry Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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Harry Potter event raises £200 for charity

Posted on Wednesday 13th March 2019 at 10:19 pm by Laura Mortimore

Potion making.

On Thursday 7th February, Abbeywood Community School invited children from the local community to help them celebrate Harry Potter Book Night. Around 50-60 children attended the event and enjoyed a variety of activities based around the popular books written by J.K. Rowling.

Butterbeer tasting.

Although the children enjoyed all of the activities available, it was clear to see that some had their favourites. For example, the Quidditch games using lacrosse sticks for broomsticks and hunting for the golden snitch were very popular as well as the Fantastic Beast hunt where children had to search around the hall for 10 different beasts. Once completed they could claim their chocolate frog and wizard card. On arrival, every child was given a ticket to receive one cup of butterbeer and many children returned for more throughout the evening, showing the popularity of the magical drink.

Debbie Swindail, Abbeywood’s librarian and organiser of the event, said:

“This was our third year of celebrating the work of J.K. Rowling and taking part in the Harry Potter World Book Night and as always I am very proud of Abbeywood’s student fundraising team. Every year they excel themselves and put on a bigger and better Harry Potter event. Everyone seemed to be having a magical time, young and old. It was fantastic to see the school filled with local children celebrating a great series of books and all for a good cause.”

The event raised a total of £224 which is going to two charities: The Royal British Legion and Children’s Hospice South West.

This article originally appeared in the March 2019 issue of the Stoke Gifford Journal news magazine (on page 27). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to over 5,000 homes in Stoke Gifford, Little Stoke and Harry Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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Roman villa remains unearthed in Stoke Gifford

Posted on Thursday 28th February 2019 at 9:20 pm by Laura Mortimore

3D-model of a stone-built sunken water tank.

Evidence of a Roman villa has recently been discovered at a site between Cheswick Village and Lockleaze, just within the Stoke Gifford parish boundary.

Archaeological fieldwork by Cotswold Archaeology was completed in March 2018 on land that was previously owned by Dings Crusaders Rugby Football Club and has now become a new housing development by Redrow Homes South West.

CgMs Heritage acted as archaeological consultants throughout the excavation.

Since the fieldwork was completed, archaeologists have been compiling what they discovered in order to understand what the villa may have looked like. While many of the villa’s walls and floor surfaces had been removed once the building fell into disuse, in some areas intact walls and floors survived, allowing Cotswold Archaeology to get a good understanding of the layout of the villa. Well-preserved features included the remains of hypocausts (a system of central heating where hot air is circulated below the floor of a room) and evidence for a courtyard or garden, as well as a series of outbuildings, external to the main courtyard and house.

The excavation has provided archaeologists with an insight into the development and organisation of Romano-British villa estates. It is believed that the site began during the Late Iron Age or Early Roman period as a sub-oval enclosure, which contained a roundhouse. This then developed during the 1st to 2nd centuries AD when fields, paddocks and trackways were laid out over part of the site, replacing the earlier enclosure.

Between the 2nd and late 3rd/early 4th centuries AD the site was then occupied by a timber structure, along with a rectangular stone-built building. This seems to have been a barn, providing evidence of industrial or agricultural processing. The settlement was completely remodelled in the later Roman period when a substantial residence, a walled courtyard and a range of ancillary buildings were built over the remains of the earlier buildings.

More: Discovery of a rare bronze hanging lamp »

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