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Local choir provide backing vocals for band

Posted on Wednesday 29th November 2017 at 11:55 pm by Laura Mortimore

Photo of Gospel Generation Community Choir at rehearsal.

The Gospel Generation Community Choir (GGCC) have supported Christian band Treasure Field during their concert held in the St Michael’s auditorium in Stoke Gifford on 18th November.

The GGCC are a voluntarily run choir, which began about 15 years ago with just one choir, and now have four different choirs across Bristol (Stoke Gifford, Thornbury, Shirehampton and Easton). The four choirs meet at their separate locations for an 8-10 week term and then bring together their 90-100 members at the end to perform as one large choir. This term, they have ended their rehearsals with an incredible concert, supporting Treasure Field during their winter tour.

Emma Smallwood, leader of the Stoke Gifford choir told me how she was feeling in the week leading up to the concert:  “I’m feeling really confident. The songs are sounding great and I think the choir is really going to enjoy singing them.”

The concert was a huge success, taking place on Saturday 18th November in the auditorium at the St Michael’s centre. The GGCC had a half-hour slot at the start of the concert in which they sang four songs, perfectly harmonising the sopranos, tenors and altos. The choir were especially proud of their performance of ‘Praise Waiteth’, which was one of the more difficult songs in their set. It took them a long time to bring the different harmonies together, but the result sounded stunning.

They also sang with the band, a beautiful mix of the well-known ‘Silent Night’, which was a hit with the 200 strong audience. Treasure Field were grateful for the support of the GGCC, posting on Facebook: “Big shout out to the Gospel Generation Community Choir as well who were totally brilliant.” Even the fire alarm going off during Treasure Field’s final number didn’t stop anyone from enjoying the show!

More: Where to catch GGCC in concert during December »

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Groups looking for YOUR vote to win funding

Posted on Thursday 16th November 2017 at 6:35 pm by Laura Mortimore

Aviva Community Fund.

After last year’s success, the Aviva Community Fund is back and there are a number of local voluntary groups across the Stokes that are calling on the support of the community to help win funding for their projects.

Photo of the community defibrillator in Stoke Gifford.

One of the successful applicants last year was the 1st Stoke Gifford Scout Group, whose project was to install a community defibrillator in Stoke Gifford. Their project received 1,969 votes and was chosen by the judging panel to receive the funds needed. This life-saving piece of equipment has now been installed outside the Old School Rooms in the centre of Stoke Gifford (see photo above); the entry code to remove it from its protective box is held by the ambulance service.

This year, one of the local community groups that have applied for funding is the Stoke Gifford Pre-School, located at the Trust Ground site on North Road. They have applied for the funding level of up to £25,000 and would like to use any funding received to refurbish the Poplar Rooms and update their resources. The pre-school is a non-profit organisation which opened in 1969 and has five members of staff who work to provide a safe and nurturing environment for the 16 children who attend. Treasurer of the pre-school committee, Sam Milkins, said: “Our income is limited, so funding to improve our facilities would hugely benefit our children. Updating resources to support the children’s learning would be invaluable.”

The building is also used by other groups and organisations within the local area, such as the Stoke Gifford School of Dance, meaning any refurbishments would benefit the wider community as well as the children who attend the pre-school.

More: Details of other local groups that have applied for funding »

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Discount retailers target the Stokes and Patchway

Posted on Wednesday 8th November 2017 at 10:05 pm by SH (Editor)

Mock up of Poundstretcher signage on Unit 2B.

The former B&Q building in Fox Den Road, Stoke Gifford looks likely to become fully occupied once again by early next year following recent announcements from two major retailers.

Following the subdivision of the property into four separate units (1, 2A, 2B & 3), DW Fitness opened in unit 3 (closest to the Ring Road) in January 2017. Variety store The Range has since moved into unit 1, leaving the middle two units, 2A and 2B still to be occupied.

Shopfitters have been working inside unit 2B in recent weeks and it is has recently been confirmed that discount variety store Poundstretcher will open here on Thursday 9th November.

Back in September 2016, the Journal reported that a document submitted as part of a planning application suggested that discount food retailer Lidl was considering opening a store at the site and the firm has now confirmed its intention to open in unit 2A in early 2018.

A Lidl spokesperson told the Journal:

“Fitting-out of the new store is expected to begin before the end of the year, with a view to opening in spring next year.”

“The store will have a 1,485m² sales area and there are plans to create up to 40 new jobs.”

Lidl UK’s Regional head of property, Glen Stidever, commented:

“We are delighted to be opening a new store in Stoke Gifford, which marks another milestone in our ambitious store expansion programme. We look forward to getting started on construction and opening our doors in the not too distant future.”

Diagram showing how the retail stores will line-up at Fox Den Road, Stoke Gifford.

Above: How the retail stores will line-up at Fox Den Road, Stoke Gifford.

More: Lidl also looking to open at site in Patchway »

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Yarn bombers working on Poppy Day surprise

Posted on Tuesday 7th November 2017 at 9:47 pm by Laura Mortimore

St Mike's Yarn Bombers poppy workshop.

The St Mike’s Yarn Bombers (SMYB) are back! Having spent the last few months busily knitting and crocheting, they are planning a big surprise for Remembrance Day!

After recent successful yarn bombings, including three local primary schools and ‘Missing Sheep’ at the St Michael’s church weekend, the group are working on something new: The Poppy Project. Members of the SMYB began knitting and crocheting different poppy patterns back in August, to create as many poppies as possible in readiness for their display.

The SMYB was founded in February 2016 by Kia Harris and Debbie Bambridge who describe the yarn bombers as “a group of like-minded crochet and knitting lovers who want to spread a little woollen love around St Michael’s Church and the Stoke Gifford community”. When their bright and colourful displays appear overnight, they bring to Stoke Gifford a sense of joy, and a smile to people’s faces as they walk through the village.

Remembrance poppies made by the St Mike's Yarn Bombers.

The current project has attracted many new members, with the group now having 10 to 15 people working on their poppies. Currently, the knitters are expecting to have hundreds of poppies, made using different knit and crochet patterns in different shades of red, to create their spectacular display which will be appearing on The Green outside the St Michael’s Centre sometime in the week commencing 5th November. This is in preparation for the Stoke Gifford Remembrance Day service which takes place on The Green on Sunday 12th November. The area will be decorated with the poppies for approximately two weeks allowing time for members of the local community to enjoy the exhibition.

More: SMYB will have a stall at the St Michael’s Christmas fair »

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