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The Bristol Cable

Nightclubs, neighbours and newsagents – how people are making the city a better place to live.

Feeling the rhythm at Bristol’s inclusive club night


Every month Dan Bryan goes for a night out at the Trinity Centre. It’s not your typical club night: the music changes every month. Sometimes it’s ska or reggae, sometimes R&B, rock or country. But Dan, who has learning difficulties, knows that he’ll always find good vibes and a welcoming atmosphere.

“I’ve met quite a lot of new people to make friends with. It’s been really fun”

“If it was a normal nightclub they won’t respect you the way you are. But with Rhythm of the Night it’s totally different because you go there, you show off and I quite like it,” he says.

Rhythm of the Night, a club night aimed at adults with learning difficulties, was set up 14 years ago by Tony Holdom, creative director of Misfits Theatre Company.

“Some of the group that he supported wanted a nightclub event in the evening but didn’t feel very comfortable going to mainstream nightclubs,” explains Sara Melton, events coordinator.

Dan’s three favourite things about the night? “Friends, fun and lots of alcohol!”

“I’ve met quite a lot of new people to make friends with. It’s been really fun,” he told the Cable. “Theme night is my favourite. I get to dress up.”

Rhythm of the Night is currently involved in the Stay Up Late campaign: pushing for support agencies to pledge to help their clients enjoy late nights out if that’s what they want. Find out more at stayuplate.org/

Community fundraising boost for Knowle woman struck with cancer

“Bristol, I just love you so much, people are so good-hearted.”

The family of a Knowle woman recently diagnosed with breast cancer have raised more than £7,000 in just a few months to support her while she has treatment, and is unable to work.

Stevie Spencer, 29, was diagnosed in June after also having leukemia as a child. Since then, Stevie and her family have received the devastating news that the cancer has progressed, and is terminal.

Stevie Spencer 29Stevie Spencer 29

In just a few months, fundraising efforts led by her boyfriend’s mum, Maria Collins, 53, have raised more than £2,600 online and almost the same amount again through an event at Hartcliffe Community Farm in September, which was attended by hundreds of people.

“I just never thought I’d get any real interest apart from family and friends. I just couldn’t believe it,” says Collins. “Bristol, I just love you so much, people are so good-hearted. I thought that would take me about a year of banging on doors.”

“Stevie was absolutely buzzing. The support has been so good and it’s really It carried her along on a wave. Everyone’s been so loving and generous and she’s floating on air.”

Find out more information on Stevie’s Army on Facebook or donate online at gofundme.com/help-stevie-spencer

Fighting for accessibility

Southmead resident Linda Moore-Kibbey has relied on a mobility scooter to get around for the last decade. She joined the group Inclusion Southmead because she was tired of not being able to access public places.

Inclusion Southmead works to increase inclusion and accessibility in the area. Their current fight is to get their local newsagent McColl’s accessible.

“If you need to get in, on your scooter or wheelchair, you have to ask for help,” explains Moore-Kibbey. Since the council closed down its local services point, it’s the only place many people can go to pay their bills.

“It’s a real issue because people have no choice but to use that shop because the post office is there,” says Mike Steel, development worker for Bristol Disability Equality Forum.

“People have to ask their family or friends to go in and do their shopping for them or do stuff at the post office and they’re waiting outside in the rain.”

Inclusion Southmead are now in talks with the retailers about redesigning the outside of the shop and refitting the inside.

“The thing is, these things happen and (usually) people don’t tell anyone or they just struggle on,” Steel says. He credits the successes on “people [working] en masse, disabled and non-disabled residents coming together.”

Find out more about Inclusion Southmead.

Read more on: disability, inequality, knowle west, southmead...

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