October 2023: Letters

Thanks for backing  our bake sale

ON Tuesday August 15, local independent funeral directors HG Harris opened the doors to the public as we hosted a charity bake sale to raise money for St Peter’s Hospice.

Across the course of the day, the people of Staple Hill and Downend were able to purchase home-made cakes, which were supplied by staff, as well as teas and coffees.

Local business also donated generously to the cause, with Westbury Inks, Redland Bakery and Bunch Florists all donating their expertise to make the event a success.

Thanks to the generosity and support of the people of Staple Hill we were able to raise £380 for St Peter’s Hospice.

This is the first event that we have held since we moved into our refurbished site, and it was lovely to see so many familiar faces from Staple Hill take the opportunity to pop in.

We are really pleased that we were able to raise funds for such a worthwhile cause, as we often see first-hand the phenomenal support that St Peter’s Hospice provides.

Kit Sheppard,

Operations Director

HG Harris

Offices not just for selling tickets

I AM writing to highlight the proposed closure of rail ticket offices across England, which will have a devastating impact on blind and partially-sighted people’s ability to travel independently, stopping people getting to work, health appointments and seeing friends. 

Ticket offices are not just about selling tickets. They provide a reliable first point of contact for many kinds of staff assistance, such as arranging sighted guidance through the station and safely on to the train, to advising on any changes to journeys.

Modernisation of our railways doesn’t just mean apps and touchscreens; modernisation means inclusivity and not leaving anyone behind.

These proposals must be scrapped.

Gaynor Little


Jessie May charity’s

big impact

JESSIE May Children’s Hospice at Home provides vital at-home nursing, family support and respite care for children and young people who have a terminal or life-shortening condition.

Families are able to make the most of the precious time they have left with their loved ones.

There really is no place like home.

This year’s Impact Report captures the busy year that Jessie May has had.

Thanks to generous charitable donations, 79 children and families shared 4,377 hours of specialist nursing support, we supported 53 families through bereavement and are able to offer them support for at least a further five years.

We held a bereaved family picnic to foster a sense of connection and support among families experiencing loss.

All of these achievements and more were made possible by our tireless staff, fundraisers and the generous trusts and foundations that support us.

We have launched the ‘No Place Like Home’ five-year strategy, with a commitment to working with more children and their wider families, offering 24/7 end of life support for children in their own homes and providing support to siblings and other family members.

Collectively, Jessie May, along with its supporters, raised an impressive sum of £1,668,789.

You can read more in our impact report, which is packed with personal stories and statistics that capture some of the remarkable work Jessie May undertakes every day, at jessiemay.org.uk/community-news/impact-report-2022-23.

Daniel Cheesman

CEO, Jessie May


MP is keeping parents in the dark

OUR local MP has been voting to keep parents in the dark about the extent of disrepair in local schools. 

In May, the Labour Party tried to force the publication of information about the true state of England’s 24,000 school buildings, almost two years after the School Buildings Condition Survey revealed “alarming” problems within the school estate, but without the detail about which schools. 

Jack Lopresti was among 289 Conservative MPs who voted against Labour’s motion to uncover this data and share it with families, meaning it was rejected. 

Official data from the Department of Education showed that there are at least 32 schools in the Filton and Bradley Stoke constituency with buildings in “poor” or “bad” condition, meaning that they require urgent repairs. But local families have not been told the scale of disrepair or when the buildings would be fixed. 

These repairs needed are not thought to include the current at-risk concrete, however the government have remarkably still not published that full list of schools either. 

The current Conservative MP had a choice: show he’s on the side of local parents, or a failed government that wants to keep families in the dark about the safety of local school buildings. Shockingly, he voted for the latter. 

Claire Hazelgrove

Labour parliamentary candidate

Filton and Bradley Stoke