This year’s Bradford Festival draws on Britain’s rich cultural talent and features award-winning and highly acclaimed street theatre, music and dance.
Celebrated women’s street theatre company, Circo Rum Ba Ba, brings The Crow House, a silent movie-inspired show using acrobatics, silks trapeze artistry, hat juggling, puppetry and slap-stick comedy.
One of Cardiff’s most exciting, original and eclectic companies, Kitsch & Sync Collective will stage Bedraggled where a trio of bold and brash mermaids shock and entertain onlookers with their feisty and fishy antics.
Audiences will be able to catch a glimpse of a possible future where air pollution hits crisis point in Urban Astronaut by innovative British street theatre company, Highy Sprung.
Internationally acclaimed theatre company, Mind the Gap have worked with cutting-edge Liverpool theatre company The Kazimier to stage Mirror Mirror, a thought-provoking piece about the experiences of people who are considered ‘different’ in today’s society.
Award-winning local interactive performance company, Same Difference, will bring their ‘walkabout, much-talked-about, splendorous, spectacular, scientific discovery machine’ in Sense-O-Matic which explores how we use our senses to discover our environment.
Anyone wishing to sample different types of music will be able to indulge in a rich and varied programme stretching from rock, ska, pop and folk to contemporary fusion, opera and Chinese classical music.
It’s been too long since I reflected on our work. It has been an extraordinarily busy period. I have kept up with covering my daily activity on Twitter. But I have missed this wider opportunity to communicate with you all.
With the awful events in Manchester at the forefront of my mind I want to thank all our staff. Whether you worked with schools to provide support for young people, spent time in communities and with younger residents listening and reassuring, were deployed as a special as part of the intensified policing, attended the many multi faith and cross community vigils, or got on with the day job whilst the threat level was ‘critical’, you played a part in keeping our communities close, safe and united.
I want to pay tribute to our health colleagues at Bradford Royal Infirmary who tended to a significant number of wounded Bradfordians arriving at A&E through the night of the bombing, and to police colleagues many of whom have worked twelve-hour six-day shifts over the last week. We hold the 22 who died, the many grieving, wounded and distressed, and the city of Manchester in our thoughts. We stand together.
General Election on Thursday, 8 June
The events in Manchester suspended campaigning in the General Election. But the election date remains Thursday, 8 June. There has been no let-up in the hard backroom work getting everything ready for polling day. The elections team and I normally have six months to prepare for such a significant event. This time we have had six weeks. The elections team have been flat out. Some have had to cancel long planned holidays. They are a small, dedicated and great team.
Of course their numbers swell to over a thousand for polling day and the count itself.
If you are taking part this year – getting up ridiculously early to set up and open the polling station for 7 am sharp or having a sleepless night to work at the count – thank you.
I know you will take very seriously our responsibility to ensure everyone who is entitled to has the opportunity to vote, free of undue pressure, and that every vote is counted accurately. As we know, elections are lively and hotly contested in our District. I see this as a sign of a healthy and vigorous democracy in action. We are also dedicated to helping ‘promote the vote’ in the run up to polling day and I encourage everyone to exercise their democratic right to vote!
A few highlights – Tour de Yorkshire
But I want to turn now to just a few of the highlights of the last few months. Our delivery of the Tour de Yorkshire was a triumph. Some 400,000 people crammed onto village streets, rural lanes and iconic climbs such as Haworth Main Street. Bunting, land art and impromptu street parties were the order of the day. And who can forget the umbrella tree in Lister Park? Two of our pieces of land art – the now famous Addingham Ducks and Branwell and the Bicycle (celebrating two hundred years since the invention of the bicycle and of Branwell’s birth) have been shortlisted in the TdY land art competition. Go to the Tour de Yorkshire website and vote for one of them! I saw first-hand just how hard people worked to make the event a success – they did us proud.
Addingham ducks street art for the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire
Branwell Bronte Worth Valley Young Farmers land art for the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire
Young riders in City Park for the start of stage 3 of the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire
Praise for how we keep children safe
Recognition of the strength of our team work also came in the inspection of our partnership work on domestic abuse and its impact on the lives of the children of our District. If you haven’t read about the report of the ‘joint targeted area inspection‘ team it is worth doing so. It made me proud of what we do. The report speaks of the commitment of front line workers to serve the best interests of children, of low turnover and high morale amongst social work staff, of great partnership work focussed on the needs of the child, and a quality of work which is making a positive impact on vulnerable children’s lives. The inspectors also commented on the scale, complexity and challenging nature of much of the work. And of course there was learning. We are not complacent. We will address the points raised and make improvements. But across the trade press – the journals that cover our business – there was widespread recognition of just how strong our work is.
Congratulations to Sue Dunkley, our HR Director. She is officially the public sector’s HR Director of the year! This is great news for Sue and Bradford. She was nominated by some of our Future Leaders who conducted a very sophisticated promotional campaign which got everyone talking about what’s happening here in our organisation.
And finally huge thanks to our refuse collectors and customer service staff. They are part way through implementation of significant changes to how and when we collect the bins. We are introducing ‘all in one recycling’ where residents can now recycle more and put it all in one bin. We are also moving over to ‘alternate week collections’. This isn’t an easy change to make. But it’s happening and being handled – on the whole – extremely well.
PS, as always, for more regular updates, you can follow me on Twitter: @kersten_england
We’re asking people across the district to ‘make one change’ as part of this year’s Self Care Week which runs from 14 – 20 November. We’re all being challenged to make a change which we can stick to throughout the year which will make us feel good about ourselves and improve our health and wellbeing. Sounds easy? It really is…honest!
So what sort of changes can we make?
Let’s have a go at changes that are simple and realistic (often the best place to start) because they’re achievable and really do make a difference. Here are some suggestions to think about:
Cutting down the amount of sugar in tea and coffee
Taking a brisk walk for 10 minutes a day
Keeping a day alcohol free each week
Having an extra portion of fruit and vegetables
We find that making changes can be easier when done with others, so making pledges with family, friends or work colleagues is a good place to start. For those wanting to overcome a greater challenge, such as reducing or stopping smoking, there is support available online or by calling the Bradford District Stop Smoking Service on 01274 437700.
Events, information and advice
This year for Self Care Week there are events taking place across the district designed to help us understand how a simple lifestyle choice can make such a big difference to our long-term health and wellbeing. Some of the many things on offer at the events include home energy checks, blood pressure and BMI checks, dental health, winter home safety, flu prevention, diabetes screening and treating minor ailments – and a chance to meet Billy Bantam!
Cllr Val Slater, Deputy Leader of Bradford Council, and portfolio holder for Health and Wellbeing said:
“It’s great to see so many organisations getting together and supporting Self Care Week. Whether you are eight or eighty, anyone can make one small change to their lifestyle to improve their own life and it’s never too late to make a difference. It’s not just about being healthy; it’s about feeling good about yourself and improving your mental health.”
As well as using self care to maintain a healthy lifestyle, there are some great resources available to support people with existing conditions. Information is available and booklets have been produced to support anyone with asthma, dementia, heart failure, stroke and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). The packs are designed to support and empower people to feel more confident about self care, maintaining independence, control and responsibility. The booklets can also be used by carers.
Why self care?
Self care enables us to look after our own health better when it comes to self-treatable conditions such as coughs and colds, how to manage more serious conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, and how to maintain good health and wellbeing to help prevent illness. Self care is important and it’s about people doing more for themselves, either with support or individually. People will feel more confident to manage their health and wellbeing because they understand their own needs and know where to access help and support when it’s needed.
Health and social care pressures
The Local Government Association has produced a report this week which highlights the benefits of self care in reducing pressures on health and social care services. The report ‘Helping People to Look After Themselves‘ calls for a culture of care to help reduce pressures on health and care services, and highlights the high number of visits to GP surgeries by people with minor ailments such as colds, sprains, headaches and insect bites. Professor Ian Banks, self care forum trustee and former A&E doctor, said:
“Most people are entirely capable of looking after themselves most of the time, self-treating when it’s safe and knowing where and when to seek help when they need it. Self care is not no care; far from it, for example you will find the local pharmacist an excellent source of health advice and information. There are also reputable health information websites such as NHS Choices or the Self Care forum website.”
Sharing your Make One Change successes
We’re keen to see what’s being done across the district as people rise to the ‘Make One Change’ challenge. You can share your successes on twitter @HealthyBrad4d #mk1change #SelfCare4life.
You can find out more about the challenge and what’s on during Self Care Week by visiting the website, or contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
Bradford City Runs on Sunday, 30 October is Bradford’s annual festival of running with a unique choice of three distances: 5K, 10K and Half Marathon along with a special Kids’ Mile Run, all races are held on closed, traffic-free roads in and around City Park and the city centre.
With a new and improved route for 2016, the races now take in parts of Little Germany and the Broadway Shopping Centre, as well as the University of Bradford, Bradford College, City Hall and City Park.
Bradford City Runs will once again raise money for the Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit, based at the University of Bradford. The unit was set up after the tragic Bradford City fire disaster 31 years ago and continues to explore ground-breaking treatment techniques for burns sufferers. In 2015, Bradford City Runs raised £6,000 for the unit and we are aiming to top that in 2016! Download a printable PSBRU sponsorship form to start getting sponsors.
Bradford City Runs 2015 kids run
Bradford City Runs 2015 kids run
Bradford City Runs 2015
Hundreds of people including many children and young people have already signed up to take part in this year’s Bradford City Runs, which is designed to welcome everyone from the Bradford district and beyond, no matter how fit or how fast!
We welcome runners of all levels, including those in fancy dress, to walk, run, support and celebrate a great community event. A fun filled family day with entertainment and prizes:
College and University route
Prizes in all main categories
Medals for all Kids Race finishers
Medals & T-Shirts for Adult Race finishers
Accurately measured course
Chip timing for all races
Children’s Play Zone & Spectator area
Those who have put their names down so far include the Deputy Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Alun Griffiths (who was the very first runner to sign up this year!), the former Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Joanne Dodds, the Chief Executive of Bradford Council, Kersten England and former Bradford City player and co-founder of the charity One In A Million, Wayne Jacobs. Continue reading Bradford City Runs 2016→
On Friday, 16 September, you can help Bradford’s bid by using Twitter or Instagram. Share what you love about Bradford’s arts, culture and design. Use the hashtag #GreatNorthExpo2018.
You might have a favourite place in Bradford, or you might have photos or videos from a local event you have been too. Post your photos or videos to Twitter or Instagram, including the #GreatNorthExpo2018 hashtag to show your support for Bradford’s bid.
We also have a hashtag specific for Bradford’s bid to host the exhibition, which is #BradfordGXn. If you can fit both hashtags into your tweets or Instagram posts, that would be even better.
At Bradford Festival this weekend you can get notifications on your phone about activities and performances that are about to begin as well as other festival information.
Your phone (or tablet) will need:
The latest version of the Bradford Council app. It has been updated this week to version 5.4.6 on Android and version 7.3.11 on iOS.
Bluetooth turned on.
A data connection, either through your own 3G/4G or via the free City Park Wi-Fi.
If you have all those things, you’ll be able to get our festival notifications.
The first time you walk into City Park during the festival you will get a push notification asking you if you want to subscribe to festival alerts.
If you open this notification and subscribe to further alerts, you will then get notifications at the relevant times for things that are about to start. Each message will give you an option to unsubscribe if you no longer want to get the notifications.
We are delighted to be working in partnership with the University of Bradford on this project. The expertise of their mobile technology staff has been brilliant.
To send these notifications just to people within a small area we are using iBeacons owned by the University. The beacons are small battery-powered transmitters in fixed locations which emit a Bluetooth signal. This signal is detected by our app and this creates each alert sent to your device.
We’re really keen to trial new technology to improve the way we communicate with people and to enhance people’s experience and enjoyment of events. That’s why we are also trying out Snapchat for the first time at this year’s Bradford Festival.
We are about to start working on a replacement for our events website. We have a list of improvements we want to make, but we would like to know if you have any suggestions to help it work better for you.
Have you used our online What’s On guide to find local events? Have you used it to submit your own local events to the guide? If so, we would like to know if you have a wish list of ways you think it could work better.
Some of the things that we already have on our list of improvements are:
Make it mobile friendly so it works as well on your phone as it does on your PC
Better filtering, so you can filter by more than one criteria
Improved sharing options to make it easier for you to share events with friends
If you want to have a look at our current What’s On website before giving us your ideas, you can find it at www.bradford.gov.uk/events.
There are several ways you can send us your suggested improvements for the What’s On guide. From this page you can send us a private message using the contact form below or leave a public comment at the bottom of the page. Alternatively you can tweet@bradfordmdc or contact us on Facebook with your ideas.
Bradford City Runs, on Sunday, 25 October, is a great event for beginners and faster runners as it offers three distances around the Bradford area 5k, 10k and Half Marathon. Plus a kids race too! Sign up now and this is what you can expect on the day:
College and University route
Prizes in all main categories
Medals for all Kids race finishers
Medals & T-Shirts for Adult race finishers
Accurately measured course
Children’s Play Zone
This year we are raising money for the Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit (PSBRU) based at the University of Bradford. The unit was set up after the tragic Bradford City fire thirty years ago and continues to explore groundbreaking treatment techniques for burns sufferers. You can download a PSBRU sponsorship form or raise money for your own favourite charity.
Participants of all levels are welcome, including those in fancy dress, to walk, run, support and celebrate at a great community event! A fun filled family day with entertainment and prizes!
Among those who’ve already put their name down are the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Coun Joanne Dodds, Bradford Council’s new Chief Executive Kersten England and teams from local companies, organisations and running clubs. The event is also being hugely supported by Bradford City and Bradford Bulls and many other groups in the City.
From 7 to 18 September Bradford will come alive with science with the British Science Festival, and its fringe festival. Events are happening across the city from the University of Bradford campus to Bombay stores and the National Media Museum to the North Parade area.
The core British Science Festival, from Monday, 7 to Thursday, 10 September, features a daytime and evening programme of events aimed at adults with a broad interest in science. The four days of free events will bring a vibrant array of performances, talks, workshops, discussions, installations and entertainment all dedicated to showing how science touches our lives and impacts on our society.