Opinion: Letters April 2024

Help make our fun day a success

IGNITE Life supports marginalised young people through counselling, food support and mentoring, providing essential services across South Gloucestershire and Bristol.

Our food bank in Staple Hill supports around 88 households per week with essential food, with around 452 meals provided per week.

Last year we provided around 23,500 meals to people in need of food support. At Christmas, we also provided 90 ‘warm packs’, which included blankets, electric blankets, radiator insulation, window insulation, draught excluders, radiator bleed keys and energy saver tips. 

To help raise money for our services we are organising a community fun day on May 31, from 11am to 3pm, in Page Park.

There will be food vendors, children’s entertainment, stalls, funfair rides and games, and more.

We are currently looking for company sponsors for the day, and are also looking for donations towards the event to help reach our target of £2,000 for Ignite.

Businesses who are interested can email me at hello@ignite-life.co.uk.

You can also get in touch if you’d like to get involved with the day.

People can also donate via our website www.ignite-life.co.uk.

Bethanie Cundy

Chief Executive Officer

Ignite Life

Right honourable?

SO Chris Skidmore resigns as MP for Kingswood over a matter of principle.

Is this the same principle that meant he considered it OK to continue to draw his full MP’s salary of £85,000 per year for a full-time position, whilst having three part-time jobs?

Methinks he should return his MP’s salary to the Government. Nothing ‘right honourable’ here!

Robert Orchard

(Downend resident and Kingswood constituent)

Help for unpaid carers  

DO you look after someone? Or perhaps you know someone who does?

Families, friends and neighbours often provide crucial care for someone who couldn’t manage without their help.

You could be caring for a relative, partner or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or substance misuse problems. 

Carers Support Centre runs monthly carers support groups for unpaid carers in Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

The groups are safe, confidential spaces to meet with other carers to share information and provide support for each other.  

We are currently running groups in areas including Downend, a special group in St George for those caring for someone with dementia and an online group for those who can’t make it in person.

If you would like to join one of our groups, please contact CarersLine on 0117 965 2200 from Monday to Friday, 10am-1pm or Monday to Thursday, 2-4pm, or email carersline@carerssupportcentre.org.uk.

Adrian Robson

Carers Support Centre 

MP voted against dentist plan

THE huge challenge local people are facing with finding and keeping an NHS dentist was highlighted in your article, “20 Miles to Nearest Dentist for New NHS Patients” (Voice, February)

Unfortunately, the current Conservative MP for Filton and Bradley Stoke recently voted against Labour’s NHS Dentistry Rescue Plan, putting party politics before improving things for local people who are struggling. 

The plan includes: 700,000 more urgent dentistry appointments; incentives to recruit dentists to the areas most in need; supervised toothbrushing in schools for three to five-year-olds; reform of the NHS dental contract so everyone who needs a dentist can get one. 

Patients in communities across the Filton and Bradley Stoke constituency are finding it impossible to see a dentist, with some having to resort to DIY dentistry.

This is why it is incredibly disappointing that when the chance came to do something about it, the current Conservative MP voted against it.

Please fill in my survey about your experience of local dental services at clairehazelgrove.co.uk/dentists. 

Claire Hazelgrove 

Labour candidate

Filton and Bradley Stoke

Home Start needs volunteers

LOCAL charity Home-Start Bristol is looking for new volunteers.

We support families with under-5s across Bristol and South Gloucestershire who are going through tough times.

Volunteers are needed for home-visiting or to help at parent groups, for 2-3 hours a week.

The next volunteer training course starts on April 25.

If you’re interested in becoming one of our volunteers, please visit homestartbristol.org.uk, email admin@homestartbristol.org.uk or call 0117 950 1170 for more information.

Catherine Potter

Home-Start Bristol

Shrinking post office

WORRYING times for local residents: the revised well-publicised post office, in what is now a Morrisons, has shrunk, hasn’t it?

It closed as soon as it opened, with no explanation. You would think that with all the adverse publicity the Post Office has, it would have made the most of its existing sites and explained on the rough notices put up that the delayed opening was due to the shopfitting contractor damaging the internet cable.

With a single position (no seat allowed!), the queue on pension day might well stretch round the block!

Alan Elkan


Nominate your councillor

DO you know a councillor whose unwavering dedication deserves national recognition? Nominations are now open for the 2024 Local Government Information Unit (LGIU) and CCLA Cllr Awards – the only ceremony that celebrates the outstanding contributions of councillors across England, Wales and Scotland.

The awards shine a light on the achievements of local elected representatives who have made a tangible impact in their communities.

Often working tirelessly behind the scenes, elected members frequently go unnoticed by many, making the Cllr Awards essential in highlighting their invaluable work.

There are five categories: Community Champion, Leader of the Year, Young Councillor of the Year, Innovator of the Year and Lifetime Legend.

Nominations are open to anyone who wishes to acknowledge a councillor’s exceptional commitment to improving their community and achieving remarkable results over the past year.

Submitting one is free and takes just seven minutes.

For more information and to submit your nomination, visit lgiu.org/events/cllr-awards.

Jonathan Carr-West,

Chief Executive, LGIU