Newsletter 55

Welcome to our weekly newsletter

Our meeting last Wednesday was chaired by SVP Roger Key.
We had two guests - our speakers Ed Reed and Ben Richardson of Caring in Bristol.

City Office – Bristol City Council

Our president, Tony Hughes, and Jim Currie, President of Bristol Rotary Club, visited a City Gathering on 12 July 2017 at the City Office and learnt about a couple of the projects: 

  • Make Lunch website where you will see the different lunches running this holiday in Bristol.
  • The two Breakfast Clubs which were delivered this term, were Little Hayes and Hillfields Nursery School and Children’s Centre and Southern Links Children’s Centre. As discussed, the breakfast clubs for next term are under review at the moment. The best contact for Breakfast Clubs is Jon Dobson

 What is the City Office

The City Office brings together charities and organisations to address key issues in the City, with the support of Mayor Marvin Rees. The Office doesn’t replace existing projects or networks, but helps them work together to access to additional resources, such as building space. The core team is made up of people from organisations across Bristol on top of their usual roles. A wide range of partners support this work, forming task groups for each project.


The City Office is currently working on the following city challenges:

Breakfast Clubs: The aim of this project is to ensure that no child in Bristol goes to school hungry.  The team are working to support existing school Breakfast Clubs and where necessary setting-up and delivering new breakfast clubs for families and children in the most deprived wards of Bristol.

Homelessness: Homelessness was the first issue to be tackled by the City Office. The vision is to end involuntary rough sleeping in Bristol. The team has successfully released a number of additional temporary and permanent bedspaces. In addition, the ‘Hearts and Minds’ and ‘Livelihoods’ campaigns are working to reduce the stigma of homelessness and inspire positive interactions with workplaces.

Meaningful work experience: WORKS is developing collaboration between employers, learning providers and local communities to bring meaningful work experience opportunities to young people in Bristol.  This is as part of the Bristol Learning City Partnership.

How you can get involved

If you'd like to get involved with a project, please email

This week we heard from Ed Reed and Ben Richardson of Caring in Bristol

Our club has supported the organisation over many years particularly at Christmas time. Caring in Bristol wants to see a society where everyone has hope, a home, and a link to their local community. They help 100’s of vulnerable people every year, and have been helping them for over 25 years. They want to change perceptions of homeless people.

They are an independent charity offering a network of support for anyone who needs their help. Caring in Bristol is a charity, not a business, and money raised is spent on the people they help. They also connect people in need to the services and communities that can help them, and want to give hope to people who don’t know where to turn. They work in two office bases in the city of Bristol, the main office the Night Shelter at 14 Little Bishop Street, St Paul’s and the Nightstop office based at The Station in Bristol city centre.

They aim to work in:

  • Strategically accessible venues where they can interact with other services who share their mission
  • Provide accommodation that gives value for money, is environmentally sustainable and is fit for purpose
  • Locations that is welcoming, non-institutional and vibrant.

The 365 Shelter Project

The 365 Shelter offers a safe alternative to a night on the streets. With bed space for up to fifteen rough sleepers, the shelter receives guests following assessment by the St. Mungo’s outreach team. It costs £8 per head per night so the hostel needs £3,360 per month to provide the accomodation and relies on volunteers resourcing the hostel.

The venue of the shelter is the Quaker’s Meeting House at Champion Square in central Bristol, which was refurbished in 2015 and now has a well-appointed kitchen and four meeting rooms set around a pleasant courtyard.

Every night two of Caring in Bristol’s amazing volunteers open the shelter at 22:00, providing hot drinks and a welcoming environment to guests. They remain on site until morning when there’s another round of hot drinks, messages to pass on from supporting professionals and closing up to be done. By 08:00 the shift is over and the building is returned to normal – until the evening, when they do it all again.

In the background, partner organisations in Bristol’s homelessness sector are evaluating longer-term housing and support options for the guests who come through their doors. Using the shelter is a first step towards coming away from street homelessness.

All of the volunteers receive initial induction, training and on-going support by phone, email and in person. They have an inspirational volunteer team including students, mid-career professionals and retired couples from a range of backgrounds. All share a simple commitment to improving the lives of men and women sleeping on the streets of Bristol.

The last official count of rough sleepers was in 2016 when some 74 people were accounted for - 63 men and 11 women. In reality there are possibly many more. The main reason today for homelessness in Bristol is the ending of tenancy agreements and the high costs of rent in the City.

Would you volunteer to provide a shift or two and join Caring in Bristol? 

If you would like to volunteer at the shelter, or if you’d simply like more information about what they do, call  0117 924 4444 and speak to Alex, or email and you’ll hear from them soon.


Join the club...

Membership is currently open if you would like to join our friendly pro-active group!
If you'd like to come along to a Wednesday morning meeting please email us at

Anyone for (Real) Tennis?  

David Mander is arranging another real tennis tester session on Thursday 7th September from 18.00 to 21.00. If you'd like to have a go please contact David.

Feedback from Kids Out this year

Well done Mark and Co - makes it all worth while!

Top Hat at the Redgrave Theatre

It’s time to book your tickets for a production of Top Hat by Bristol Musical Youth Productions at the Redgrave Theatre. Tickets are £15 each. The following link gives more information
The production runs from Tuesday 17th October to Saturday 21st October. Each performance starts about 19:30 and there is a matinee at 14:30 on Saturday 21st. It would be good if we could all go on the same night but diaries may not permit. The really important thing is to go anyway! These productions are usually first class.
The preference is for Friday 20th.
Please let Roger Bick know if you are interested - and how many tickets you would like. Mobile: 07925 290 583

The Council Meeting scheduled for Tuesday 1 August has been cancelled. The next Council meeting will therefore take place on tuesday 5 September - 18.00 hrs Commonwealth Society