Bristol Named UK’s Kindest City

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Be kind: Bristol named the UK’s kindest city

In these tough times, kindness has never been more important and now the UK’s kindest cities have been revealed, along with some of the most compassionate acts from across the country with Bristol coming up top.

bristol sunrise

Research by and its charity partner, 52 Lives, has revealed the UK cities which perform the most ‘good deeds’ on a regular basis, from offering up seats to the elderly, to donating to charity and picking up litter.

Bristol was crowned the UK’s kindest city, with the highest average number of good deeds done per person, per year.

bristol sunrise

Across the country, the most common good deeds are donating to a charity/the homeless (57%), offering to help a stranger in need (52%) and offering to help a loved one (49%).

The UK’s 10 kindest cities are:

  1. Bristol
  2. Leeds
  3. Southampton
  4. Cardiff
  5. Coventry
  6. Glasgow
  7. Belfast
  8. Nottingham
  9. Manchester
  10. York

Bravo Bristol, we knew you wouldn’t let us down 🙌

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Banksy unveils new artwork paying tribute to NHS nurses


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Bristol street artist Banksy has created a new work – and put it on display in the corridor of a hospital.

The work, he has called ‘Game Changer’, shows a boy in dungarees playing with a nurse superhero toy, leaving Batman and Spiderman dolls in the basket on the floor.

It’s the first public work of art from the artist during the coronavirus lockdown – he’d previously hinted that he’s been creative in the lockdown by painting monkeys all over the walls of his toilet at home – much to the annoyance of his wife.

But now, this work of art was left at Southampton General Hospital, and he included a note to accompany it, staff said.

“Thanks for all you’re doing,” the note read. “I hope this brightens the place up a bit, even if it’s only black and white.”

The work, which has been hung in the corridor of Level C at the city’s hospital, where staff and patients can see it – was then posted on Banksy’s Instagram page, along with the title: Game Changer.

A spokesperson for Banksy confirmed that after lockdown measures are lifted, the work of art – which is a metre high and a metre wide – will be put on public display, and then will be auctioned to raise money for NHS charities.

Hospital boss Paula Head, the chief executive of University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, said it was a huge honour to get a surprise Banksy.

“Here at Southampton, our hospital family has been directly impacted with the tragic loss of much loved and respected members of staff and friends,” she said.

“The fact that Banksy has chosen us to recognise the outstanding contribution everyone in and with the NHS is making, in unprecedented times, is a huge honour.

“It will be really valued by everyone in the hospital as people get a moment in their busy lives to pause, reflect and appreciate this piece of art.

“It will no doubt also be a massive boost to morale for everyone who works and is cared for at our hospital,” she added.

The hospital previously paid tribute to members of staff Mike Brown, 61, and Katy Davis, 38, who both died after testing positive for coronavirus.

Mr Brown, a linen porter who had been with the organisation for 20 years, died on April 29 after receiving care in the hospital’s critical care unit. He was described as a well-recognised and popular member of staff who shared his good sense of humour with those around him.

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Brothers from Bristol take sausage van to hospital to feed NHS staff for free

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Brothers from Bristol take sausage van to hospital to feed NHS staff for free






Three brothers from Bristol decided to put their takeaway food van to good use during the lockdown and handed out free sausage and bacon baps to hospital staff.

The Jolly Hog parked their van, nicknamed ‘Miss Piggy’, in the car park of Southmead Hospital.

The team would usually take their van to festivals like Glastonbury, but the lockdown has forced events around the country to be cancelled or postponed.






The brothers plan almost didn’t happen. When they first had the idea, they were without a generator to power the van, so posted an appeal online.

Thankfully, a man from Manchester answered their call and drove all the way to Bristol in the early hours to deliver a generator.






The food was certainly a hit with the hospital staff and the three brothers -Olly, Josh and Max – plan to head back to Southmead to put more smiles on the faces of those fighting coronavirus on the frontline.

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Banksy – Bristol Valentine’s Day artwork + Sad UPDATE

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An artwork that appeared on the side of a house in Bristol has been confirmed as the work of street artist Banksy.

The piece features a stencil of a girl firing red flowers made with spray-painted ivy from a catapult.

Banksy published a picture of the work on his Instagram page at midnight on Valentine’s Day.

Kelly Woodruff, whose father owns the property in Barton Hill, said they now wanted to protect the “special” work from the approaching Storm Dennis.

“As it’s Valentine’s Day, it’s really special and to have it in 3D with the flowers is incredible,” said 37-year-old Ms Woodruff.

“There’s so many people coming and enjoying it, taking pictures, it’s fantastic.

“There’s been a lot of debate if it is a Banksy or not. Most people I’ve spoken to think it 100% is, and they’re naming it the Valentine’s Banksy.

“It’s incredible and beautiful.”

Flowers placed on the road sign as part of the artwork had already been stolen, said Ms Woodruff, and the protective plastic screen they placed over it on Thursday evening had been vandalised.

Ms Woodruff said her family had contacted Bristol City Council’s street maintenance department.

The council said it has recommended the family get in touch with the International Fine Art Conservation Studios (IFACS) in Bristol for advice.

The Bristol Somali Community Association, based in Barton Hill, tweeted about the artwork after it was spotted.

Co-founder Saed Ali wrote: “We hope it’s Banksy’s work.

“Come and have a look yourself. Whoever painted, it’s worth admiring their creativity.”

A mural by Banksy has been defaced just 48 hours after it appeared.

The piece, featuring a young girl firing red flowers from a catapult, appeared on the side of a house in Bristol on Thursday.

Banksy confirmed he was behind the piece by posting a picture of the work on his Instagram page at midnight on Valentine’s Day.

But an offensive phrase has now been daubed over the street artist’s design in bright pink lettering.

A Perspex panel placed over the artwork on Thursday to protect it has also been torn down, with the vandals directly defacing Banksy’s design.

The British Somali Community Association, based in Barton Hill, tweeted that the vandalism was “shocking” and it was “sad seeing the devastation”.


Kelly Woodruff, whose father owns the property in Marsh Lane, said flowers placed on a road sign as part of the artwork had also been stolen.






She said her family were “devastated” and were taking steps to protect the mural from further harm.

Temporary measures such as protective boxes and security fencing will be erected this weekend, before longer-term solutions are put in place.

Ms Woodruff said: “It is so sad. They have taken the joy away from everyone.

“We are very keen to stress that these temporary measures, which could cause some short-term frustration, are there to protect and preserve the art for the future.

“We want this to be available to everyone for years to come and for as many people as possible to come along to take a look and enjoy it.”



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New Banksy artwork ‘tagged’ by vandal just hours after unveiling

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The latest Banksy artwork, which the Bristol artist unveiled yesterday (December 9)

A new Banksy mural appears to have been vandalised just hours after being unveiled.

The Bristol-born artist’s work, in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, depicts a couple of reindeer pulling a bench.

But bright red noses have now been sprayed onto the animals, sparking outrage on social media.

A Twitter user wrote: “Doesn’t surprise me… always someone who wants to ruin something special.”

According to reports, a young man in a hoodie, thought to be in his mid-20s, sprayed the mural with red paint soon after the work was confirmed as a genuine Banksy.

The man allegedly asked onlookers whether he should “tag” the wall, before ignoring pleas not to do so.

The Jewellery Quarter Business Improvement District (BID) has been forced to employ security overnight to protect the art from further vandalism.

Jewellery Quarter BID marketing manager Steve Lovell said: “When we learned a Banksy had appeared, we were obviously delighted.

“It is truly an incredible and thought-provoking piece, which highlighted a genuine crisis in our city.

“But we were astounded to hear it had been defaced so soon after appearing – it was only a matter of hours.

“A young guy just jumped over the barriers and sprayed two noses on it, which is inaccurate to start with as only Rudolph has a red nose.

“He was asking the crowds whether he should do it and people were begging him saying, ‘Please don’t do it, please don’t do it’.

“We were shocked and disgusted and one of our executives tried to clean it off, but to no avail.

“She stayed there until quite late into the evening before he could get security to watch it overnight. They were still there this morning when I arrived for work.

“We are now considering how to protect it as there was even talk of thieves coming and stealing it brick by brick. It’s a railway bridge so that would be extremely dangerous.

“But Banksy has himself admitted his work gets defaced, it is street art at the end of the day. However, we still want to preserve it.

“There is so much footfall past the painting so we want to protect it the best we can because we are honoured to have a Banksy here in the city.”

Banksy published an Instagram video of his latest work yesterday, with the clip showing a homeless man named Ryan lying on the bench.

Banksy wrote: “God bless Birmingham. In the 20 minutes we filmed Ryan on this bench passers-by gave him a hot drink, two chocolate bars and a lighter – without him ever asking for anything.”

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Europe’s largest street art festival Upfest returns to Bristol in 2020

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The main event will now be held on 30th and 31st of May.

Upfest is back next year and this time it has added a brand new location to the lineup in South Bristol.

In addition, the organisers of Europe’s largest street art festival have moved the dates forward for 2020.

The street artwork will be painted between the 16th and 27th of May before the main event itself takes place on 30th and 31st of May.

The final day of public viewing will be on June 1st.

Upfest will also take over a new huge venue, Greville Smyth Park

Upfest will now also take over the entirety of Greville Smyth Park in addition to its original, neighbouring venue, The Tobacco Factory.

The festival took a break in 2019 after celebrating its 10th anniversary the previous year with a Simpsons theme.

The event attracts 400 artists from around the world and draws more than 50,000 visitors to Bedminster.

Organisers say it costs £125,000 to run Upfest and fundraising is often needed to help cover costs like artists’ materials, insurance, first aid and cleaning.

Artist registration opens on December 1st.

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Bristol becomes first UK city to ban diesel cars

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Bristol could become the UK city to ban diesel cars from entering the city centre in a dramatic bid to cut air pollution. The local authority approved plans to impose a clean air zone at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday night. It means privately owned diesel cars won’t be allowed in certain central areas between 7am and 3pm, every day of the week. The scheme, which needs government approval, is due to start in 2021. Commercial diesel vehicles such as buses and delivery trucks will be charged £9 to enter the exclusion zone, but this won’t be an option for ordinary drivers. Under the plans, even newer, cleaner diesels would be prohibited, despite the fact many are more environmentally-friendly than older petrol cars.

As well as banning diesels, the clean air plans include introducing a vehicle scrappage scheme to help drivers replace diesels with petrol or hybrid and electric cars.

Bristol has long suffered from poor air quality, particularly from high levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2). It is under a legal obligation to reduce air pollution but has twice missed government deadlines for providing details of a clean air zone. Bristol mayor Marvis Rees said the proposed ‘Clean Air Zone’ would help the city meet its emissions targets by 2025 and ‘protect vulnerable residents’ from pollution. The ban will be enforced using a number plate recognition system, similar to the one used to police London’s congestion charge. Pete Simson, BBC Radio Bristol politics reporter, said: “It’s hard to overstate how significant a policy intervention this is.

“This is a first, no other UK city is introducing an outright diesel ban, and it will require the government to introduce new legislation.’ Although some local residents welcomed the idea, motoring groups have warned the plan could increase congestion outside the city centre and put unfair financial pressures on people who can’t afford to switch from diesel. Nicholas Lyes, head of roads policy at the RAC, said: ‘Major routes into, out of, and even around the city would become out of bounds, with diesel vehicles forced onto other roads, which risks causing congestion problems where they don’t exist at the moment. ‘Many drivers are faced with having to use their car for journeys in and around the city simply because there is no affordable, reliable alternatives. This would become more difficult under these plans. ‘Then there are other practical considerations. Some drivers of diesel cars who are locked into finance packages may face a significant penalty to exit their contract early.

‘There will also be drivers of older vehicles who are faced with having to give up their vehicles and switch to something different – which could be extremely costly.’ Millions were encouraged to buy diesels by Tony Blair’s government because they are more fuel-efficient and emit less carbon dioxide than But scientists and governments around the world have since changed their tune as diesels emit more nitrogen oxides, which can harm health. The Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal in 2015 has also led to accusations that car-makers have been cheating tests and downplaying the damaging effects of toxic emissions.

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Athlete Nick Butter runs a marathon in every country

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A British man has become the first person to run a marathon in every country in the world.

Nick Butter, 30, from Bristol, has run 196 marathons in 196 countries after starting in Canada in January 2018 and finishing in Greece on Sunday.

He was inspired to do it to raise funds for Prostate Cancer UK after a friend was diagnosed with the disease.

Mr Butter said he was “overwhelmed” to have finished, after he crossed the finishing line of the Athens marathon.

He said he was “very tired” after completing the challenge, which took 674 days and involved visiting an average of just over two countries a week.

“In one sense it was just another finishing line, but in a bigger sense I’ve been visualising it, and finishing in that stadium in Athens was so special,” he said.

He chose Athens for his final run due to it being “the home of the marathon”.

Mr Butter, originally from Dorset, crossed the line with his friend Kevin Webber, who has prostate cancer and who inspired him to take up the challenge.

So far, he has raised more than £65,000 of his £250,000 target for Prostate Cancer UK.

During his epic feat, Mr Butter said he got through 10 passports, took 455 flights, ran through 15 war zones and was mugged twice.

He said he was now planning to continue running “one or two marathons a week” because he “loves to run”.

The former banker said the number of 196 countries was based on 193 identified as sovereign states by the United Nations plus three others not officially recognised.

But he explained he had actually run 211 marathons, in order to “future proof” the record, by visiting places that might be classed as separate countries in the future.

“For example I ran a marathon in Hong Kong as well as in China,” he said.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to visit Bristol

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are to visit Bristol.

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle will tour the city on Friday, February 1, with at least two stops listed on the itinerary.

Kensington Palace said the royal couple will visit Bristol Old Vic and the Empire Boxing Gym as they “learn more about the city’s rich cultural history”.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. 

A spokesperson for Kensington Palace added the couple, who are expecting their first child in the spring, were coming to Bristol to “meet members of the public”.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will visit Bristol on Friday, February 1, to meet members of the public, learn more about the city’s rich cultural history, and visit organisations supporting communities most in need.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will visit the Bristol Old Vic, where they will tour the recently renovated theatre.

Their Royal Highnesses will also visit Empire Fighting Chance, which aims to fight the impact of deprivation on young people’s lives through boxing.

– Kensington Palace spokesperson
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These are the 21 people who made Bristol a better, happier place in 2018

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These are the 21 people who made Bristol a better, happier place in 2018

These are the wonderful unsung heroes in our midst who make our city a more welcoming place

These 21 people make Bristol a better place
These 21 people make Bristol a better place

Not all heroes wear capes, but all of them make Bristol a better place for you and me.

This is the sixth annual Happy List for Bristol, recognising the wonderful people who make Bristol a happier place to live, work and flourish.

The list, which is not ranked in any order, is put together by the team at Happy City, which receives nominations from members of the public.

These wonderful heroes don’t seek the limelight, and their work is not always recognised, but they make Bristol the open and welcoming city it is today.

So to all those on this list, we salute you. Thank you.

Mark Lawrence

Conductor and composer, St George’s Bristol

Well done Mark!

Mark is known for his ability to inspire confidence in all those he works with. Through the Cosmos Children’s Community Choir of South Bristol at St George’s Bristol, he helps children to discover their talents and to believe in themselves.

Mark also conducts the Big Friendly Choir of Bedminster, which began as a ‘singing for health’ group. The choirs often perform together in joyous inter-generational concerts and specially-written community operas.

Stacey Fordham and Lidia Rueda Losada

Founders of Zero Green Shop

Stacey Fordham and Lidia Rueda Losada

Stacey and Lidia brought a lot of happiness to people in Bristol by opening the first zero waste shop in the city.

Having shared ideas and personalities complementing each other, both women wanted to address the issue of waste, especially single-use packaging and its harmful effects on the environment. Their combined enthusiasm and bravery with a pinch of personal touch brought something quite unique.

Pat Ellingham

Avon Wildlife Trust/St George’s

Pat Ellingham

Pat is best known around Bristol as a committed conservationist following both a 30-year career with Avon Wildlife Trust.

Over the past 25 years she has volunteered for and researched material for telling the fascinating story of St George’s Bristol, the independent music venue and registered charity.

Pat is simply a wonderful person, valued for her warm and genuine smile, as well as her bright intelligence and love for the environment and the arts.

Jasper Thompson

Founder, Help Bristol’s Homeless

Jasper Thompson has been helping those living on the streets

Jasper is an amazing and compassionate person and social entrepreneur. He’s always tried to help those less fortunate than him by digging deep into local issues and trying to solve them creatively.

His latest project Help Bristol’s Homeless (CIC) is about converting shipping containers into small flats where people in need can have a safe space to stay whilst waiting for permanent accommodation.

Megan Baker

Activist and co-creator of Safe Space

Megan Baker

An inspiring young woman supporting survivors of sexual violence. Megan co-created Safe Space, a survivor-led support group in Bristol, where survivors can speak freely and safely in an understanding environment whilst giving and receiving support. Megan is also a passionate activist for the rights of those who need support.

Svetlana Ovsyannikova

Founder, OvDa dance company

Svetlana Ovsyannikova

Through her Dance Mums classes, she inspires new mums to socialise, exercise, stay positive about their new bodies and lives, and bond with their babies.

Svetlana also organises family-friendly professional level performances, where Bristol parents can bring their babies and children to enjoy their first dance and theatre experiences.

Nina Boswell Brown

Founder, Sitting Fit Yoga

Nina Boswell Brown

After becoming paraplegic 30 years ago, Nina was determined to maintain her active lifestyle and mobility.

She discovered how beneficial gentle stretches and exercises can be for someone who is less mobile so she went on to complete her Advanced Chair Yoga Teacher Training.

Nina’s will alone is enough to inspire, but through exercise she truly is empowering people to feel healthier and happier in their bodies.

Layla Ismail

Development manager, Refugee Women of Bristol

Layla Ismail

Layla is the manager of Refugee Women of Bristol which supports 300 refugee and asylum-seeking women and their pre-school children every year.

She is is also an activist for the rights and wellbeing of women and girls affected by female genital mutilation.

Michele Curtis

Artist and Graphic Designer

Michele Curtis

Michele is an artist, illustrator and graphic designer whose numerous projects tackle prejudice and celebrate the contributions and achievements of British African Caribbeans.

Her project, The Seven Saints of St Paul’s commemorates influential African Caribbean Bristolians who have had a positive impact on Black civil rights in Bristol.

Carol and David Laslett

Community food heroes

Carol and David Laslett

Carol and David are dedicated volunteers at Sims Hill Shared Harvest. They are committed members of the milking collective at Street Goat and are leading the way at Incredible Edible on Straits Parade.

Always there when you need them, these two are warm, hardworking and definitely not afraid of getting their hands dirty.

Amir Cheema

UK Commissioner at the Scout Association

Amir Cheema

He’s spent the past 16 years dedicating his spare time to The Scout Association as a way of helping develop a peaceful and productive society.

A founding member of the UK Muslim Scout Fellowship, he delights in helping thousands of children and young people around the UK to get involved in purposeful activities to develop their skills.

Alice Ferguson and Amy Rose

Founders of Playing Out

Alice Ferguson and Amy Rose

Frustrated with the lack of safe space for their children to play out, Alice and Amy decided to take matters into their own hands.

By closing their street off to cars for just a few hours they found that children gained the freedom to play together, neighbours could get to know each other and a new ‘sense of place’ emerged.

They got Bristol City Council behind their idea, which then brought about a change in policy to allow streets to regularly open for play.

Playing Out was formed in 2011 to spread the idea and grow a parent-led movement across the UK. 56 other councils have now copied Bristol’s street play policy and over 800 street and estate communities have ‘played out’, including 178 all over Bristol.

Gavyn Emery

Keep Bristol Warm

Gavyn Emery

Gavyn actively demonstrates kindness and solidarity with Bristol’s homeless and makes it easy for others to do the same through his initiative Keep Bristol Warm.

Not only do Gavyn and his team provide warm clothes and hot drinks to some of the city’s most vulnerable people, they are also striving to transform the way we, as a community, care for and interact with our homeless residents.

Chanté Joseph

Founder of Bristol Is The New Black

Chanté Joseph

As a student, Chanté used her platform, Bristol Is The New Black to support and promote black and minority ethnic students at Bristol University. BITNB is a media and culture hub that connects black minority and ethnic (BME) students with each other, and to a wider network of inspiring black people, in order to build a community that encourages individuals’ development and happiness.

She also put together the city’s first BME Powerlist 2018

Dr Paul Stephenson

Civil Rights campaigner

Dr Paul Stephenson

Moving to Bristol in 1962 as a social worker Paul quickly began and won a campaign, alongside Owen Henry, Roy Hackett and Guy Bailey, to overturn the colour bar used by Bristol Omnibus Company and the TGWU to stop people of colour working on their buses.

A year later he was arrested and tried because he refused to leave a pub until he was served, in the face of their ‘no blacks’ policy. These acts helped pave the way for the Race Relations Acts of 1965 and 1968.

Samantha Payne and Joel Gibbard

Co-founders of Open Bionics

Samantha Payne and Joel Gibbard

Samantha and Joel share a passion for technology and social entrepreneurship. They co-founded Open Bionics, a Bristol-based startup developing low-cost bionic arms for those without them.

They are not just changing lives by offering an affordable solution that looks and feels good, their Hero Arm is also changing the way we look at limb differences and celebrating people’s uniqueness.

La Toyah McAllister-Jones

Chief Operations Officer at Ujima Radio

La Toyah McAllister-Jones

La Toyah is a tenacious individual who works across sectors, supporting organisations to develop healthy practices that invest in people and encourage reflective spaces.

As a trained action learning facilitator, she works with many different groups-from social leaders to senior executives in corporations – to develop personal capacity and resilience.

She has a hands-on approach to problem-solving and strives to establish positive work structures.

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