Bristol Project - Update

 

As you know and like so many other things, our very exciting news about setting up a second office in Bristol fell a little flat when the pandemic hit.

With much of 2020 seeing us all ‘working from home’, it has not been viable or feasible to set up in Bristol safely, so the decision was taken to place this on hold.  We continued to offer remote support during this time to all of our families across the 6 counties that we cover.

The funding for this project was made available to us by The National Lottery Community Fund and we are pleased to report that the funding to us remains secure, and through negotiation, we are aiming for April 2021 to get ourselves up and running.

We have spent much of 2020 forming and developing key relationships with relevant services and agencies in Bristol and we have been delighted with the welcoming response we have had – this we hope, will pave the way for a very smooth and energetic start once we have the team established.

We do have some significant news to share with you now in that we have secured an office base at The Park Centre, Knowle.  Based on the South East side of Bristol, The Park Centre is a hub of community, activity, business, learning, support services and leisure.  With organisations based there such as The Brandon Trust and Step and Stone, we know we will benefit from being right on the doorstep of other, very like-minded organisations.

“We’re really looking forward to Ups and Downs Southwest coming to Bristol – at Step and Stone, we are both mums of young people with Down Syndrome and know Ups and Downs Southwest will offer families and young people a great range of services and support. My daughter, Lottie, attends the fortnightly youth club (held on zoom at the moment) and we’ve also been to their family days, have had help with a DLA form and used their excellent education service”. (Jane Kippax, Executive Director, Step and Stone).

The Park Centre is currently under development and it is hoped that by the end of 2021, all organisations will be housed in a superb, purpose-built community hub; we are extremely excited and again, have received such a warm welcome already from the centre.

“We are very much looking forward to Ups and Downs Southwest joining us here at The Park.  The Park’s ethos is to offer something that the community can access and benefit from, and Ups and Downs Southwest fit this perfectly. To know that they will also be coming to the new building is exciting. We look forward to seeing what this new relationship can bring” (Emma Hinton, The Park Manager).

 

Even though we commenced recruiting for the Bristol office back in January 2020, due to the time-lapse, we will be running another recruitment campaign and there will be positions available in Administration and Finance, Family Support Work, School Liaison Work and Youth Work.  If you have an interest in any of these roles, do keep an eye on our website or alternatively, sign up to our mailing list and this information will be emailed directly to you when it becomes available.

In addition, we would love to hear from you if you would be interested in becoming a Trustee for Ups and Downs Southwest; we are particularly interested in hearing from parents, professionals and business people who are based in Bristol who will have grassroots knowledge of the area we wish to serve.  Being a Trustee is a voluntary position but if you are passionate about making a difference, especially in the field of disability, safeguarding, special educational needs and Down Syndrome, then we would love to hear from you.  For more information, visit our Trustee page on our website.

The Park Centre before the new build
The Park Community Centre Artists Impression of New Build

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