Bristol: Reggae orchestra launches Windrush Choir

Ms Rose said working with the choir was “just an absolute joy”

An orchestra has celebrated the 60th anniversary of Jamaican independence from the UK by launching a Windrush choir.

Bristol Reggae Orchestra recently launched the Windrush Reggae Choir, led by voice coach Gena Rose.

The six-month project will learn from the Windrush generation and their descendants, using funding from the government’s Windrush Day Grant Fund.

Ms Rose said the singers were “absolutely brilliant”.

The choir is one of 35 projects across England given a share of £500,000 to deliver projects which commemorate the history and contributions of the Windrush generation to British culture.

The orchestra has been awarded funding through the Windrush Day Grant Fund to bring together a reggae choir
American-born Gena Rose rehearsed with the choir in St Agnes Church in Bristol on Wednesday
Leader Becky Scott said: “Lots of people in the community like to sing and wanted to get involved.”
The project will culminate with a gala event on 22 October

Funeral details of Bristol civil rights activist Roy Hackett released

They will lay the Bristol Bus Boycott organiser to rest on 16 September

Relatives of civil rights pioneer Roy Hackett are inviting the city to celebrate his life during a day of remembrance next month. The community activist, who helped organise the 1963 Bristol Bus Boycott which paved the way for the Race Relations Act 1965, died on 3 August aged 93.

Mr Hackett was made an OBE for his lifelong fight against racism in 2009, an honour followed up with an MBE in 2020. His high-profile fans included Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who said the Bristol Bus Boycott “should be taught in every school”.

Born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1928, Mr Hackett travelled to Britain in 1952 as part of the Windrush generation. He lived in Liverpool, London and Wolverhampton before settling in Bristol.

There, he found that the owners of boarding houses would not rent to him because of his colour, and he spent his first night sleeping in a doorway. In 1962 his wife Ena applied for a job as a bus conductor with the Bristol Omnibus Company and was refused, despite being qualified.

Inspired by Rosa Parks’ actions in America, Mr Hackett formed a pressure group with Owen Henry, Audley Evans and Prince Brown to fight the colour bar on Bristol’s buses. Supported by senior Labour party politicians, their action was successful when the bus firm announced an end to their ban on non-white employees.

The “born activist” continued his work as a community leader and mentor to Bristol youths, establishing the Commonwealth Coordinated Committee and the St Paul’s Carnival – one of the biggest of its kind in Europe.

His remembrance event will take place at Elim Church on Jamaica Street from 11am on Friday September 16, followed by burial at South Bristol Cemetery and a wake at Gloucestershire County Cricket Club.

Anyone seeking further information about the day is asked to telephone Adams Funeral Directors on 07860555133 or email

Small independent Cafe opens in Cristol Bristol.

Small independent Cafe opens in Cristol Bristol.

Bristol man’s garage is now tiny coffee shop measuring 3ft by 6ft

A Bristol man who opened a tiny coffee shop inside his garage says he hopes it will contribute to his neighbourhood’s growing sense of community. Rob Savage sells cakes, coffees and cups of tea from his garage, which measures just 3ft by 6ft in size.

The enterprising neighbour converted the space along Lancaster Street, on the border of Redfield and Barton Hill, during the lockdown. Named ‘3ft 6’ after it’s dimensions, Rob opened last month and believes the eaterie is one of the smallest in the UK.

Despite its compact size he says the does a roaring trade and even offers seating on the paths outside his terraced home. One reviewer on Google raved: “I bumped into the coffee shop rather accidentally while walking around.

“They make superb cappuccino. Cakes also were very fresh.” Another reviewer wrote last week: “Great coffee and friendly owner, welcome addition to the neighbour and opposite the [Netham] park.”

Open on weekends between 10am-3pm for the moment, Rob built the tiny cafe out of his garage that he uses as a workshop with limited resources. Rob, who is also an artist and designer, said: “It’s very much about being a neighbourhood cafe.

“I made it in response to a demand that became apparent during lockdown where basically there was nothing around. I realised that actually there was something lacking in the area for the local community.

“We came up with this idea of making a small takeaway coffee and cake place for the neighbourhood.” The cafe took around a year to construct, opening in March 2022, and is described as being a “little bit like tetris” behind the counter.

Rob said: “I’ve been here for nearly 20 years and I’ve seen a massive change in people caring. There’s a real sense of community, a real sense of neighbourhood – and hopefully this adds to it.”


Teachings in Dub – JAH SHAKA Soundsystem

Teachings in Dub – JAH SHAKA Soundsystem


Tickets here.

We couldn’t be more proud to announce the next chapter of Teachings in Dub. We have the honour of hosting the one, the only, king of sounds, the mighty JAH SHAKA! The Zulu Warrior will be heading to Bristol’s Trinity Centre on the 29th April and bringing his renowned soundsystem. Shaka has played sound system for the past 50 years, don’t miss this rare opportunity to take in this night of history!
Tickets won’t last long so don’t sleep…!

HELP – A War Child UK Benefit Concert

HELP – A War Child UK Benefit Concert

DLES, Portishead, Billy Nomates, Katy J Pearson, Heavy Lungs and Wilderman will play a one-off benefit gig for War Child.

The HELP! concert will feature an extraordinary bill of uniquely Bristolian artists – both up and coming and globally renowned – coming together to celebrate the music of the city and to raise much needed funds for Ukraine.

IDLES will be joined on the night by Portishead, unarguably one of the city’s most revered and inspirational groups. This one-off HELP! show will be their first live performance since 2015 and their only show of 2022.

Also performing on the night will be Billy Nomates, Katy J Pearson , Heavy Lungs, Willie J Healey, Wilderman and DJ Boca 45.

Proceeds raised prior to and during the six-hour special will go to War Child UK, helping them to continue their work supporting children affected by war and conflict around the world.

Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience

Holding Page – Relaunch

Take an unforgettable trip into the art and life of Vincent Van Gogh, in a way you’ve never experienced before. Proudly brought to Bristol by Propyard, Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience brings his masterpieces to life in a 360º light and sound spectacular, featuring a sound experience unique to Bristol. Join us for the internationally acclaimed experience that looks, sounds and feels like nothing else.



Nightclub appeals for support as sound complaints increase

One of Bristol’s most famous nightclubs has written an open letter to the city asking for its support.

It comes after an increase in sound complaints over the summer aimed at Motion, following buildings in the near vicinity being developed and sound travelling in new directions.

The open letter from the St Philip’s club also calls out the Green Party, claiming that they have helped to “make us the target”.

Motion hosted a number of outdoor events during the summer – photo: Motion

Here is the open letter in full:

Dear Bristol⁣

We love you dearly as a City and are proud to call you our home for the last 18 years.⁣

In recent years we have campaigned for measures that protect our venue and that of thousands of businesses across the UK.⁣

Over the last few months it would now seem we have forgotten why we live in a City and Bristol’s creative cultural importance in the UK being a side thought. ⁣

We have received some complaints regarding sound disturbance over the Summer period. ⁣

Covid has crippled us, many buildings in the area have been taken down in readiness for new developments, making the sound travel in directions unknown to us. ⁣

City centres are both noisy and vibrant, sound complaints will hinder our culture, we hope we can live together as have done for nearly 20 years.⁣

@bristolgreenparty rather than make us the target, help protect hundreds of jobs, help support Culture and please spread the Bristol vibe⁣.

Team Motion x

During the outdoor shows at Motion over the summer, Totterdown residents often took to social media to complain about the music from the club being able to be clearly heard in their homes.

The problem with noise is not just confined to the immediate vicinity, with people in Bedminster also being able to hear the club and the sound travelling as far as Hanham.

Writing on Instagram, Bristol DJ Eats Everything said: “If you decide to live in a city centre area and you buy a dwelling near a night time venue & then have the audacity to complain about noise you seriously are a fucking salad and you need to fuck off rapidly. Cities are noisy places, there is gonna be noise etc. These lame cunts are gonna be the death of us.”

Streetwear brand Concrete Junglists added: “They are the people that buy the watered down version of culture that comes out concentrated at places like this. Motion should have living cultural heritage status not have to worry about noise complaints or being shut down. They are enjoying the leaves whilst killing the roots.”

Bristol awarded £3.3 million to support vulnerable citizens

Bristol awarded £3.3 million to support vulnerable citizens: City Hall

22 Jul 2021

Bristol awarded £3.3 million to support vulnerable citizens

Changing Futures’ funding from government will boost adult support

Bristol has secured a £3.3 million grant to help adults in the city facing disadvantages such as homelessness, mental health problems, substance issues, domestic abuse and in the criminal justice system, after a successful bid to government.

Working with community partnership Golden Key Bristol, the partnership landed the funding through the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s (MHCLG) new three-year ‘Changing Futures’ scheme.

The funding will build on the existing ‘Change For Good’ programme, which was set up last year by Golden Key Bristol, Bristol City Council and the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group.

The grant will develop the partnership’s ‘My Team Around Me’ multi-agency team concept. This will provide long-term wrap-around support to a person with multiple needs to ensure consistent relationships and better, sustainable outcomes.

It will also support the evolution of Golden Key’s Independent Futures group, an advisory group of people with lived experience, to develop a Learning Academy offer, so that people can have a life beyond services, building on people’s strengths and assets.

They are one of only 15 successful bids to receive a share of £64 million, out of 97 applicants since the scheme opened last year.

Councillor Helen Holland, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: “We are thrilled to have successfully secured the ‘Changing Futures’ grant. This substantial funding will enable us to further support some of the most vulnerable people in our communities, building on lessons learned in recent times.

“Bristol has a high, and growing, proportion of people who are affected by mental ill-health, substance misuse, homelessness and domestic abuse, and we know that some people do not fare well in traditional services due to their multiple disadvantages, and sometimes their previous experiences. This extra funding will support our collective commitment and ambition to tackle citywide problems and reduce inequalities together.”

Bristol City Council’s Executive Director for People, Hugh Evans, said: “Thanks to the National Lottery and MHCLG, we received the funding that will further enable us to meet our vision – to ensure people with multiple disadvantage are valued and empowered, and that they inspire and are inspired to have a life beyond service.

“Working directly with people with lived experience has been, and will continue to be, at the heart of Bristol’s approach. The bid has been co-designed with lived experience groups and includes deep listening exercises to fully understand the system change needed. 

“We have selected three main groups to work with in Bristol with the view that learning from these will be applied to wider populations with multiple disadvantage. The cohorts include: young people from minority ethnic communities experiencing multiple disadvantage compounded by discrimination, women experiencing domestic abuse and people experiencing complex/compound trauma, behavioural challenges and chronic homelessness.

“Our delivery plan sets out what we aim to achieve over the next three years, and we will work rigorously, in partnership with Golden Key Bristol and the MHCLG, to advance our systems and services, putting the wellbeing of our city’s vulnerable citizens at the heart of our work.”

John Simpson, Independent Chair of the Golden Key Partnership Board, said: “Over the past seven years, Golden Key has worked collaboratively with statutory services, the voluntary sector and people with lived experience to improve services for adults in Bristol facing multiple disadvantage. We have worked with our external evaluators to develop a strong evidenced based view of what works at individual, service and system levels.

“We are delighted to pass these insights to the ‘Changing Futures’ project. Our established partnership has given us the advantage in securing this funding and I’m really committed to building on, and developing, existing relationships. We know that for our clients to lead fulfilling lives, we need to reach across organisational boundaries and work together.”

Julia Ross, CEO of the NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We are delighted that Bristol has been selected to receive the ‘Changing Futures’ funding. Many people in our communities face multiple disadvantage. Equally, every individual has strengths they can build on, and that is what our partnership does so well – works with people to understand their unique context and aspirations for the future.

 “As well as supporting individuals to change their own futures, the learning will go on to shape wider health and care services; improving the way we support people with the most complex needs in all our settings. Reducing health inequalities is a key priority for our health and care system. Working with Bristol City Council, Golden Key and all our partners, we are determined to ensure services are proactive, personalised and designed in partnership with our population.”

Of the £3.3 million grant, £523,000 will be invested in Lived Experience assets, working with the Independent Futures group to conduct listening exercises with people experiencing multiple disadvantage, and the development of a Lived Experience Learning Academy. 

£861,000 will be invested in ‘My Team Around Me’, piloting and scaling the partnership’s new multi-agency team concept, while £460k will be invested in system change leadership development and action across the partnership.

A further £392,000 will be invested in data systems, to improve the availability and use of data, and £342,000 will be used to develop specialist approaches including mental health support and a community engagement approach with young people from minority ethnic communities. The remaining money will fund programme management and governance. 

The MHCLG launched the £64 million Changing Futures programme in December 2020 to help improve the way that systems and services work to support individuals experiencing multiple disadvantage, with local organisations were invited to form partnerships and bid for a share of the funding.

The programme is a joint initiative by the MHCLG and The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.

The programme seeks to test new ways of bringing together the public sector and community sector to address cross-cutting issues and to drive the modernisation of public services for people experiencing multiple disadvantage, with local organisations were invited to form partnerships and bid for a share of the funding.

City Hall: City Hall in Bristol

City Hall