Featured Articles

Well Aware

posted 15 Mar 2012, 10:41 by Phil Handy

Your guide to health, wellbeing and community services in Bristol, South Gloucestershire and Bath & North East Somerset

Well Aware is a free, online information resource for everyone in Bristol, South Gloucestershire and Bath & North East Somerset. Well Aware has lots of information on 1,000s of health, wellbeing and community groups, organisations, activities and services.

Whether personal health services, activities, a lunch club or social group, help round the home or the garden, transport, advice, counselling or any other form of support – all you need to find it is just a few clicks away. The user-friendly website can also be searched for services for carers, support for particular disabilities, culturally specific services and more.

In Well Aware's Information & Resources section you will find a variety of useful information and resources to complement the directory of services on the main Well Aware site, including:
  • The Learning Difficulties Resource has lots of helpful information for people with learning difficulties and their carers, including a list of specific learning difficulties services in Easy English.
  • The Low Vision Resource will help those who have been diagnosed with sight loss or another visual impairment. Its sections cover a wide range of low vision issues, starting with advice on what to do when first diagnosed, practical support, emotional support and much more.
  • The Mental Health Employment Portal aims to promote paid employment for people with mental ill health and provide a straightforward way through the range of organisations and services in this area.
Well Aware is completely free to search, use or be listed on. Its searches provide results by relevancy only, with no advertising.

Go to www.wellaware.org.uk to start using it today! You can also email the Well Aware team at info@wellaware.org.uk

If you do not have access to a computer yourself: 
  • You can ask the Well Aware team at The Care Forum instead by calling (freephone) 0808 808 5252 (9.30-4.30, Mondays to Fridays) (There is an answering machine to leave a message if the Well Aware team is not available.)
  • You can write to the team at: Well Aware, The Care Forum, The Vassall Centre, Gill Avenue, Fishponds, Bristol BS16 2QQ.
The Well Aware Team is always on the lookout for groups, organisations and services to add to the database. If you have any suggestions, just drop an email to info@wellaware.org.uk or telephone (free) 0808 808 5252.

Well Aware is run by The Care Forum in partnership with Bristol City Council, South Gloucestershire Council, Bath & North East Somerset Council, NHS Bristol, NHS South Gloucestershire and NHS Bath & North East Somerset. The Care Forum is a not-for-profit voluntary organisation and registered charity.

Libraries News

posted 5 Mar 2011, 07:56 by Phil Handy   [ updated 18 Jun 2011, 07:35 ]

Jean’s First Click!  

Jean only knew a little bit about computers before she signed up for a First Click course at Kingswood Library. “I was listening to the radio and I heard about First Click when BBC Bristol was doing a broadcast from Kingswood Library. I thought I’d pop along and find out more.”

After 3 free lessons covering computer basics, the internet and email Jean is feeling a lot more confident about using her PC at home. She is going to use her new-found computer skills to help her stay in touch with her family and friends, some of whom live abroad. She is now a real convert to the benefits of email, adding that “email is a great way to stay in touch with people and you can even see photos of each other the same day they were taken”.

Jean’s husband is disabled. Using the internet to get their shopping delivered direct to the house will really help. The internet can also cut out all those trips to the bank. “Everything is so much more accessible on the internet”, Jean says. She also uses her computer for entertainment. “I love playing solitaire and some of the card games. I am thinking of using it for digital photography next.” It is never too late to learn something new. “I aim to have a practise at least once a week - it’s good for the brain!”

All South Gloucestershire libraries provide free internet access and anyone wanting to learn more about using the internet or developing IT skills can call into their local library. In partnership with South Gloucestershire Community Learning, Age UK and Filton College, libraries offer a range of IT courses for beginners.

IT Courses for over 50s are also available at the Brockeridge Centre.

Looking for an answer; not sure where to go?

Why don’t you give our Library Enquiry Centre a go? The centre has a wide range of resources to hand and the team has a wealth of expertise to handle even the more demanding research enquiries. Enquiries might range from straightforward facts relating to a homework task [though they definitely won’t complete the homework for you!] to quite complicated matters, which could help both councillors and local businesses with information to support their work. Staff will try to provide you with an answer immediately whenever possible or will quickly get back to you if more in-depth searching is required.

The Library Enquiry Centre is operational daily except for Sundays.

Monday – Friday: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am – 4.30pm
Telephone: 01454 866 900
Text: 07919 540 830

Libraries launch new audiobook download service

Anyone with an MP3 player can now download hundreds of audiobooks for free from a new service available through South Gloucestershire libraries by visiting www.librarieswest.org.uk.

Members can choose from over 600 titles, which can be downloaded for 3 weeks to a PC, mobile phone or MP3 player. All titles are unabridged and available simultaneously so there are no waiting lists, and loans automatically expire after 3 weeks, unless they are renewed, so no late fees.

Titles include The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest by Stieg Larsson, the late Swedish writer whose Millennium Trilogy has been turned into a series of acclaimed films, and the Man Booker prize-winning Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel and Twenties Girl by chick lit author Sophie Kinsella.

Classics like Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Jane Austen’s Emma are also available and more titles are added each month.

All that is needed is a library membership card and a computer, iPod or MP3 Player. This new service is easy to use, available 24/7 - and free!

Mobile Library Service

South Gloucestershire’s Mobile Library visits over 110 locations each fortnight in towns and villages across the area. For full details of our new time tables, please visit our web pages at Mobile library - South Gloucestershire Council, ring 01454 868006 or ask at your local library.

Libraries in Stitches - Knit a poem!

South Gloucestershire Library and Arts service launched our knit a poem project during National Family Week at Coronation Park in Cadbury Heath on 5 June last year.

The service commissioned a poem, suitable to be knitted, from local poet, Marcus Moore. Each library in South Gloucestershire knitted one line, letter by letter, by asking knitting, craft and hobby groups, and other users, to knit letters and stitch it together. Libraries had wool, needles and patterns available so that library users could also pick it up and do a bit whenever they visited the library. However, they had no idea how their letters fitted into the poem as it was a closely guarded secret! 

We finally unveiled the results of everyone’s hard work on National Poetry Day, 7 October, at Yate Library, when Marcus unveiled and read the poem, and talked about his life as a poet and the experience of writing what he described as his most unusual commission, a poem to be knitted!

Handy Van Service

posted 5 Mar 2011, 07:46 by Phil Handy   [ updated 14 Mar 2011, 10:36 ]

Handy Van Service – Free Security Checks    

South Gloucestershire Council operate a free home safety and security check for all owner occupiers and private tenants in the South Gloucestershire area. Improving the security of your home, will help reduce the risk of burglary and unlawful entry, making you feel safer.

All work is carried out free of charge, to British Standards and insurance industry requirements. The service which is funded by South Gloucestershire Council and supported by the Avon and Somerset Police and Avon Fire and Rescue Service, provides a free security service including crime prevention advice and home security products for:

  • Properties at risk of burglary
  • Vulnerable people
  • Victims of crime domestic violence and hate crime
  • General home safety and falls/accident prevention checks with remedial action.

Handy Van Service – Subsidised Minor Household Repairs 

South Gloucestershire Council operate a subsidised Minor Household Repair Service. The aim of this service is to enable people to maintain their independence in their own homes.

The minor household repair service is restricted to jobs of less then 3 hours, subsidised rate of £10.00 per hour and will typically consist of:
  • Small building repairs, odd jobs (e.g. fitting curtain rails or shelves)
  • Small plumbing jobs, (e.g. tap washers, leaks, blocked sinks.
  • Small carpentry jobs, (internal door repairs, flat pack building.)
  • Gutter cleaning, cracks in paths, small plaster repairs.
The service is available to vulnerable residents who are either over 60 years of age or people of working age with disabilities.

This service is not available to Housing Association or Private Landlords.

For more information please contact andrew.harris@southglos.gov.uk or telephone 01454 863857

Prevent Dog Fouling

posted 20 Feb 2011, 09:35 by Phil Handy   [ updated 18 Mar 2011, 08:52 ]

An issue of major concern reported in the Village Action Questionnaire was that of dog fouling in our streets and open spaces which is a health hazard as well as being unpleasant.

Some dog owners stated that there were not enough dog bins or that they were not emptied often enough.  To help overcome the former problem, South Glos Council now allow "dog bags" to be put into all S Glos litter bins. To report full bins contact the South Glos Dog Warden on 01454 868000.   Contact the Dog Warden also to report offenders or problem areas. 

A proposal to introduce "Green Dog Walkers" has been discussed by South Glos Council (see link below).

See the link below for a map showing the location of all litter bins and dog bins in the community.

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