Nikki started by telling us about her career in the police force having joined in 1987 and became Assistant Chief Constable, Avon Somerset Police Force in 2015. She is Head of Investigations and Operations – Support Directorate leading the Avon and Somerset Police response to the Covid 19 Pandemic. She described her career highlights and responsibilities some of which are: Giving evidence on stop and search to the McPhearson enquiry as part of the report on the death of Stephen Lawrence in 1999. She is responsible for a drugs intervention programme. She works with the Criminal Justice and Crown Prosecution Service helping to make the criminal justice process more efficient. She described how policing demands have changed due to: The arrival of the internet in 1991 Stephen Lawrence murder in 1993 Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman murders 2002 Suicide terrorist attacks (in the UK
We were pleased to welcome Esther Hall who is the community fundraiser for St Peter’s Hospice which is our Club Charity of the year for 2021/22. St Peter’s Hospice is a Bristol based charity. It was established over 40 years ago originally in South Bristol by a group of people led by the Bourne family. It provides care and support to adults who are living with a progressive life-limiting illness in the Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset area. Much of the support is provided in people’s homes. Their newly refurbished inpatient facilities in Westbury-on–Trym look amazing. The Hospice supports over 500 people at any one time and their approach “Live well, die well” was self-evident as Esther’s enthusiasm rubbed off on us all. She told us of the volunteering opportunities and explored suggestions that we made. Esther will work with us to ensure we make
The Two Presidents spanned the last two years! Immediate Past President Denise 2019-2020 and President Marion2020-2021. We were joined by a prospective new member and also members from SI Weston-super-Mare. Denise and Marion entertained us describing their careers and the exciting things they have done during their lives. We often hear about our members careers and it never ceases to amaze us what these women who we know so well have done. Thank you both for sharing your lives with us.
Chris started by telling us a bit about the history of the Tyntesfield Estate. The house was built for William Gibbs and completed in 1884. The estate was purchased by the National Trust in 2002. There are 37 labels from the original trees planted in the late 1800s. There is a huge selection of trees with beautiful foliage and flowers and look stunning when they are at their best. Some parts of the estate are the same as they were originally including some of the tree walks. A few of the trees in the laurel walk have been replaced by taking cuttings from the original trees. The holly walk is 140 years old and some of the hollies have also been replaced. He told us about ancient, veteran and champion trees. They have an oak which is an ancient tree. Ancient trees are very old
The Great Western Air Ambulance Charity (GWAAC) is a registered charity providing the Critical Care and air ambulance service across Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset, North Somerset, Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire. Joe opened by telling us that the air ambulance brings the patient to the hospital and the hospital to the patient – a flying emergency department. He captured our interest and told us of “Chris’s Story” in two parts. This is a simplified version. In the first part when Chris had a cardiac arrest his wife Sue performed cardiac massage in the first instance and then a number of emergency services attended but unfortunately Chris did not survive. Later he gave the second part – the real story. This started the same way but in this scenario the air ambulance took over Chris’s care from Sue and he made a full recovery and
We welcomed our speaker Allie Dillon our first speaker in 2021. She started by describing the purpose and importance of the archives which are based at the Create Centre in B Bond Warehouse close to Cumberland Basin. The team of 19 maintain the archives of the City of Bristol and surrounding areas, as well as the British Empire and Commonwealth Collection. Some are stored as hard copy and some have been digitised. It is both an historic and cultural resource. The public have access free of charge and the records are used for many reasons including accessing records for public enquiries. Bristol Archives was established in 1924 and it was the first borough record office in the United Kingdom and holds documents going back to the 12th century. There are many valuable documents such as the Royal Charter circa 1190 (this is still a valid
Our 16 Days of Activism (see programme Action Report “Orange the World”) culminated with a talk delivered via Zoom by Andrew Wallis. In addition to members of SI Bristol, the talk was ‘attended’ by members from our Friendship Link clubs: SI Chester, SI Halifax and by SI Weston super Mare. Unseen has been operating in Bristol and beyond for over 10 years and we have been involved with them in many different ways since 2013. “Human trafficking is a crime. It does not always involve international transportation. Trafficking in the UK includes commercial, sexual and bonded labour. Trafficked people have little choice in what happens to them and often suffer abuse due to violence and threats made against them or their families. In effect, they become commodities owned by traffickers, used for profit”. Andrew is an inspirational speaker and he started by telling us
One of our members, Lucy, gave a talk (via Zoom) about her impressions of Syria in 2008. This was before everything changed in such a devastating way with the onset of the civil war. Lucy spent several days there for work and was able to see something of the country as well as meeting some Syrians. Visits to the mosques in Damascus as well as the Syrian Coptic churches where she heard the Lord’s Prayer recited in Aramaic were very interesting, but the highlight was a visit to the impressive Krak de Chevalier Crusader castle. She recalled the welcome of everyone she met there and how she often wonders what has happened to them now.
We were very pleased to welcome Ryan Taylor from NatWest Bank who enlightened us on frauds and scams in financial services. He said that 1 to 2 billion pounds is lost every year due to fraud and scams. This money often goes to terrorist organisations as well as criminal gangs. Only 5% is ever reported due to reluctance, embarrassment and allied issues. Often the object is gaining information as much as getting money. If a data base is accessed, the details can be sold on to various criminal gangs until eventually “you” end up on a “suckers” list! People on this list tend to be targeted multiple times. The approach used by scammers includes charm, sympathy, and helpfulness but if you show signs of non-acceptance the approach ends up with threats and intimidation. Many fraudsters are articulate post graduate students, who have found it a
At our Supper Meeting Dan, from Bristol Zoo Gardens, came to give a talk about Sustainable Development and Bristol Zoo. He was very engaging and a most enthusiastic speaker who showed a real passion for the job. Dan explained that Bristol Zoo Gardens is the fifth oldest zoo in the world and was founded on 22nd July 1835, by Henry Riley, a local physician, who led the formation of the Bristol, Clifton and West of England Zoological Society. Henry Riley, and a number of other prominent local individuals, gathered with the mission to facilitate ‘the observation of habits, form and structure of the animal kingdom, as well as affording rational amusement and recreation to the visitors of the neighbourhood’. Shareholders at the time included several famous Bristolians, including Isambard Kingdom Brunel. The Bristol, Clifton and West of England Zoological Society opened the Zoo’s doors to