Category Archives: Lifestyle

Introduction to Directing – Taster Sessions for 18-25 year olds

Are you aged 18 -25 and living in Bradford? Are you creatively curious and have something to say to the world? Ever thought about directing for theatre?

Sign up for a taster session to our second Introduction to Directing Course!

This November, West Yorkshire Playhouse and Common Wealth will lead a course exploring what directing is and can be. Sessions will be led by West Yorkshire Playhouse’s Associate Artist, Mark Rosenblatt, and Common Wealth’s Co-Artistic Director, Evie Manning. Over five days, we want you to come and be curious with us; 11,12, 23, 25 & 26 Nov. The course is free and there will be some small stipends to cover travel expenses.

There will be a FREE taster session on Tue 17 Oct from 6pm – 8pm at Speakers Corner, Ivegate, Bradford BD1 1SA.

Email for more information or to book for the taster session.

If you can’t make the taster, don’t worry – you can introduce yourself however you’d like. Send us a blog, a video or an email to by Wed, 25 Oct.




Chewing gum campaign

Shoppers outside the Broadway shopping centre tomorrow (Thursday, 5 October) will see the launch of a new campaign to tackle the problem of chewing gum on pavements and roads.

Bradford Council will align with a national campaign organised by the Chewing Gum Action Group to change behaviour and make people think twice before dropping their gum on the floor.

Coun Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Environment, Culture and Sport, said: “Dropped chewing gum is a significant messy problem for Bradford.

“It is very costly and time consuming to remove and the process of removing it can also damage the pavement or road.”

Since mid-July, eight private enforcement officers have been patrolling the streets of Bradford and issuing Fixed Penalty Notices to people who drop litter, urinate and spit, as well as Dog Control Order offences.

They have already fined people for discarding gum and the new campaign will explain that discarded chewing gum is litter.

Following the city centre launch, the campaign will be rolled out to Shipley and the rest of the district.

Coun Ferriby said: “This is a problem affecting every urban area. Bradford is no different than any other town or city.

“Chewing gum is harder to remove than litter that can be swept up, and this campaign is intended to raise awareness to people that chewing gum is litter – once it goes down on to the pavement it stays there.”

“It doesn’t look good, it’s sticky, it takes some removing and people may not realise that this type of littering is harder to remove.”

She added: “The solution is to put it in a piece of tissue, put it your pocket or put it in the bin.”

Council officers will be using posters, banners, lamppost stickers and other promotional material to try and raise awareness of the problem and to make people think about helping with the solution.


Stay Well this winter – getting the flu vaccination

Those at risk from the flu across the district are being asked to stay well this winter by getting their flu vaccination to protect themselves, and loved ones, this winter.

This year’s flu season has now started and those invited to get a flu vaccination, by their GP or employer, are being urged to take up the offer to prevent the spread of flu across the district.

GPs across the district are in the process of inviting people to have their flu injection. This includes all pregnant women, children aged 2 and 3, people aged 65 and over; and those with long term health conditions who are eligible.

People in the clinically ‘at risk’ groups are 11 times more likely to experience complications if they get the flu than a ‘healthy person’. This includes those suffering from heart, lung, liver, kidney, spleen or neurological diseases, diabetes, stroke or a lowered immune system.

Anyone with a BMI over 40 will also qualify for a free flu vaccination.

All 2 and 3 year olds are being asked to take a safe and effective nasal spray vaccine to protect them and help prevent the spread of flu to family members. School Children in Reception and school Years 1 to 4 will also be able to get the nasal spray vaccine as part of a schools vaccination programme.

If you haven’t received a letter or are a main carer of an older or disabled person you should contact your GP to check if you qualify.

Anita Parkin, Head of Public Health for Bradford Council, says:

“If you receive a letter from your GP or employer, it’s because you need to protect yourself from the flu. Making an appointment to have a quick and simple vaccination is a lot quicker than suffering from the flu for several days.”

“It’s not just a cold. Flu is very contagious and can be a really serious illness. If you’ve been sent a letter it is because you are at higher risk from complications that can lead to hospitalisation, permanent disability or even death.

“Having your flu vaccine doesn’t just protect you; it helps stop the flu spreading to other people who may be even more vulnerable than yourself.”

Mary Law, Screening and Immunisation Manager at NHS England (West Yorkshire) said:

“Even if you’ve already had a flu jab in previous years, you need another one this year. This is because the viruses that cause flu are always changing.

“We would particularly encourage older people, adults and children in at risk groups and mums-to-be to make sure they have their flu jab to protect themselves.

“For mums–to–be this protects themselves and their unborn babies as flu can lead to serious complications in pregnant women. National guidance states the vaccine is safe throughout pregnancy and can protect newborn babies up to about four to six months from birth.”

For most healthy people not in at risk groups, flu remains a mild illness and generally they will recover in a few days after getting lots of rest, drinking plenty of fluids and using over-the-counter remedies such as paracetamol.

You can also prevent the spread of the virus by always carrying a tissue and using them to catch coughs or sneezes, disposing of the tissue and then washing your hands.

If you aren’t getting any better then stay at home and call your doctor or call 111 for non-urgent medical advice.”

The vaccine for all children aged 2-17 is a safe and effective nasal spray which provides a more effective protection against flu vaccination in this age group. Children, who are allergic to eggs, have severe asthma or a severely weakened immune system will be offered an injection.

Selected local pharmacies are also offering the flu vaccination free to at risk groups who are registered with a GP. Anyone not at risk can also get the injection, although a charge will apply.

Those eligible for the Flu vaccinations:

  • everyone aged 65 years or over
  • all pregnant women, at any stage of pregnancy
  • All those aged two and three years old on 31 August 2017
  • All children in reception class and school years one, two, three and four
  • Everyone from six months to less than 65 years of age who has a serious medical conditions: chronic respiratory disease, heart disease, kidney disease at stage 3, 4 or 5, liver disease, splenic dysfunction, neurological disease or diabetes a weakened immune system due to disease or treatment
  • everyone living in a residential or nursing home
  • everyone who cares for an older or disabled person
  • all frontline health and social care workers
  • anyone with a BMI above 40

The list above is not exhaustive and if you are still unsure, ask your doctor.

For more information on seasonal flu or vaccinations visit NHS Choices:

Bradford SEND Conference is hailed a success

A major education conference held in Bradford focused on serving the needs of pupils with special educational needs and disability (SEND) has been hailed as a big success.

More than 600 representatives from schools across the district attended the event, which was organised by Bradford Council.

The audience at Bradford City’s Northern Commercial Stadium at Valley Parade heard keynote speeches from a panel of experts from the sector.

The “Putting Children at the Centre” – Bradford SEND conference 2017 also allowed the council to set out its vision for the district where Bradford moves towards a sector-led self improving model of SEND provision where best practice is shared between schools.

The event was aimed at headteachers, SENCOs (special educational needs co-ordinators) and SEND governors of all schools in the district, parents, partner agencies as well as staff from the further education sector.

Welcoming delegates to the event Bradford Council’s Strategic Director for  Children’s Services Michael Jameson said he believed that working together schools, the local authority and parents all had the expertise to provide the best possible support and education for pupils with SEND.

Bradford Council has well-developed relationships with schools and believes that continued collaboration will help transform the way in which specialist provision and support for SEND pupils is delivered.

The audience then heard from three top national speakers in SEND education.

Jane Friswell, a former chief executive of the Nasen (National Association of Special Educational Needs) charity and director of SEND Consultancy, focused on why “Good practice for students with SEND is good practice for all.” 

She told the conference that she was very impressed with the “quality of ambition” she had seen from Bradford for SEND provision.

Jean Gross CBE spoke about how to support learners with SEND through quality first teaching and Simon Knight, from the London Leadership, talked about School Based SEND Review, a nationally recognised review tool for evaluating how well a school is meeting the needs of SEND children which is being rolled out across the Bradford District next term.

The event also included a market place which allowed the council to promote the additional services that are available to support pupils with SEND in schools.

Coun Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Education, Employment and Skills said: “We are delighted with how this conference went. We have received so much positive feedback both from our schools and from the expert speakers who were kind enough to share their experience with us.

“Colleagues have told us that they were inspired by the speakers and that the event was a good opportunity to refresh their knowledge and learn new things. It gave people the chance to pick up on strategies to use in the classroom and the chance to network and share ideas with other colleagues.

“Bradford has a growing population and we know that there is a growing need for more specialist places in our schools. But what the conference shows is that there is a shared commitment from the council and schools to ensure that across the district the needs of these pupils can be met.”

Peace Walk will celebrate diverse community around Miriam Lord Primary

Parents, local mosques and churches have been invited to join hundreds of pupils and staff on a Peace Walk to celebrate diversity in Bradford and around Miriam Lord Primary School.

The walk has been planned for Friday 21 July, 2017 and is being held following recent terrorist events in Manchester and London.

The Peace Walk was suggested by Year 6 teacher Stefanie Deciacco as an additional way of commemorating sad and tragic events. The school already discusses events, such as the Manchester terrorist attack, in class and has held Silences to honour the dead, bereaved and injured.

All 440 pupils and 45 staff will be involved in the walk which will end with the walkers singing Bob Marley favourite “One Love” in the school playground. A recording will be made and the song and played again on Miriam Lord Radio.

Leading up to the event, pupils will be involved in discussion about why the Peace Walk is taking place. They will also be making placards with peace slogans and a wide banner saying “Miriam Lord Primary Peace March” which will be at the front of the walk, so people passing by know what’s happening.

Bryan Harrison, Executive Headteacher at Miriam Lord, said: “With social media, children very quickly know what happens around the world. They are curious about events like the terrorist attack in Manchester and want to know more, but unfortunately, the messages they hear are not always unbiased.

“In school, we are always open to children’s questions and ready to talk about their worries. The purpose of the walk is to show that we are proud to be part of our community and to celebrate the diversity of the people who live in Bradford.”

Phoebe’s hitting the right notes

A Bradford pupil is celebrating her success in gaining a place at the largest specialist music school in the UK and the only one in the North of England.

Phoebe Mallinson, 11, a pupil at Cullingworth and a member of Bradford Council’s Delius School, will be joining the prestigious Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester in September.  Phoebe follows her sister, Freya, who has been a pupil at the school in Manchester since 2014.

Phoebe has been playing the cornet for two years and recently moved onto flugel horn in the last year. She is part of the Bradford Music Education Hub’s Bradford Youth Brass Band, BD1 Brass Band, Yorkshire Youth Band and the National Children’s brass band of Great Britain. She also plays trumpet in the Bradford Youth Orchestra who toured in Italy last year.

Her favourite performance was coming second at the national brass band championships in Cheltenham in 2016.

Phoebe’s mum, Colette, said:  “We will really miss Phoebe when she starts at Chetham’s in September but this is a chance of a lifetime, and we are delighted that she will have the same opportunity as Freya, her older sister.

“Bradford Council’s Music & Arts Service has made a huge difference in Phoebe’s playing especially Delius school which is a monthly school where Phoebe gained the skills for composition and other performance skills.”

Felicity French, Assistant Head of Bradford Council’s Music & Arts Service, said:  “We are delighted that Phoebe, another pupil of the Delius School and one of the district’s schools, has gained a place at this prestigious establishment.

“The Delius School was set up by the Music & Arts Service.  It meets once a month on a Sunday morning and offers the most talented young musicians in primary schools, across the district, the chance to develop their skills in all areas of music, while discovering exciting new activities.  At the monthly classes, students take part in workshops which enrich their musical experience.”

Coun Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Education, Employment and Skills, said:  “This is yet another example of the talented pupils we have in our district.  It is a real achievement for Phoebe and I would like to congratulate her on her success and wish her the very best on her learning journey.”


Flamboyant street theatre programme headed for Bradford Festival

Bradford Council is set to stage a host of colourful and creative street theatre acts at this year’s Bradford Festival.

In late July, City Park will burst into life with top quality acts from across the UK.

Innovating street theatre company, Highly Sprung will stage a piece offering a glimpse of a possible future  Urban Astronaut.

Problems surrounding air pollution have grown to a crisis point and the work askes audiences if there is ‘a way back?’ 

Combining stunning design and a unique travelling flying machine with simple storytelling and a moving dance performance, Urban Astronaut searches for a solution to the environmental disaster which Highly Sprung believes is in our near future.

Award-winning international performance company, Markmark Productions will stage HMS Punafore, a hilarious musical comedy where the crew makes disastrous attempts to perform Gilbert and Sullivan’s classic operetta.

Meet the Funnels by Artemis Productions is a comical interactive act featuring three chimneys which dance, toot their horns and play ‘follow the leader’.

When the time is right, the characters will surprise festival-goers by popping out like jack-in-the-boxes and invite people to join in with their games, fun and frivolity.

An amphibious pedalo has been cleverly adapted to take Reckless Invention characters, Mfanwy and Gfanwy, to places where normal pedalos cannot reach. 

Pedalo is a two person peddle-about with an oceanic theme where the comical characters will attempt to impress City Park visitors with their sporting prowess and dreadful stunts.

Comical seafaring clichés from Treasure Island to Moby Dick will be played played out in Lifeboat, by Derbyshire-based street arts organisation, Artizani.

Audiences will be asked to ‘batten down the hatches’ as the shipwrecked Captain and Boatswain’s mate relive their comical tales of life on the seven seas.

Giant child-friendly fowl, the Puddle Ducks by Cirq Delight, will investigate every situation in Bradford’s City Park by curiously pecking at people’s bags and coats whilst quacking their way out of tricky situations. 

Bradford’s master puppet makers, Cecil Green Arts, returns to City Park bringing some of their best larger than life paper mâché creations in the Big Welcome.

Internationally acclaimed theatre company Mind the Gap will perform the premier of Mirror Mirror, a thought-provoking collaborative piece developed with cutting-edge Liverpool theatre company The Kazimier.

Through ‘absurd performance’, technology and playful imitation, Mirror Mirror explores the experiences of people who are considered ‘different’ in today’s society and prompts the audience to ask themselves: who’s in front of the mirror?

Award-winning local interactive performance company, Same Difference, will stage, Sense-O-Matic which features a Victorian-inspired ‘fantastical object’ which ‘documents sights, sounds, smells and all other sensations’.

People will be encouraged to help Sense-O-Matic’s madcap lab-rats complete their ‘very important research’ and discover everyday details which are often overlooked.

Formerly known as the Bradford Playhouse, Fused Imagination will stage a light-hearted children’s show, Red Bill’s Air Race.

Budding ‘scientists, aviation experts and paper folding champions’ will work with larger-than-life engineers, ground crew and flight attendants to build, test-pilot and race paper planes around the festival.

Shipley-based arts company Q20 are set to show Elephant Gigante, an act which gives visitors the chance to experience ‘the majesty and serenity of the Serengeti’.

Moving through the crowds like cruise-liners through the mist, enormous, fully-animated puppets will ‘amaze and entrance’ visitors to the Bradford Festival.

The elephants will pause to meet people as they make their way to City Park’s ‘watering hole’ where they restore old friendships, tussle for dominance, groom each other and play.

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, musical saw and harp playing, puppetry, audience participation and slap-stick comedy.

One of Cardiff’s most exciting, original and eclectic companies and pioneers of all things retro, vintage and the wonderfully absurd, Kitsch & Sync Collective will stage, Bedraggled.

Three ‘bedraggled beauties’ are swept up on City Park’s ‘shores’, serenading shipwrecked sailors with their sublime, sultry sounds.

Audiences can expect ‘underwater warblings, mermaid mambo manoeuvres, fish maracas, octopus opera’ and much more!

Innovative British street theatre company, Acrojou will show, All at Sea, a theatrical installation set in a boat.

All at Sea combines melancholic humour, striking design  and visual poetry, in a moving and atmospheric ‘row-about installation’.

Bristol-based artistes, Cake Ladies, bring their flamboyant stilt-walking show by the same name.

With lashings of charisma and oozing with charm, the Cake Ladies are a saucy roaming tea party which dishes up sweet treats with a touch of glamour.

In 2016, the Bradford Festival attracted over 150,000 people into Bradford city centre.

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Portfolio Holder for Environment, Sport and Culture, said: “This year’s festival is packed with lots of colourful and entertaining things to see and do.

“The street theatre programme will be lots of fun with lots of opportunities to interact with the performers.

“Admission is free and everyone is welcome.”

For further information and updates, visit or follow Bradford Festival on Twitter: @BfdFestival and Facebook.

Historic find of Roman Coins on display at Cliffe Castle Museum

A collection of more than a hundred Roman coins believed to be over 1500 years old which were found locally can now be seen in a display at Cliffe Castle Museum.

The collection of Denarii currency was unearthed locally with the oldest of the coins dating back to AD 78 during the reign of Emperor Vespasian.

Initially a few coins were unearthed by local detectors. One of the finders reported the discovery to the Portable Antiquities Scheme’s local Finds Liaison Officer who arranged for an archaeological dig, which resulted in the rest of the hoard being located in 2014.

Because the coins are over 300 years old, they were declared as Treasure under the terms of the Portable Antiquities Scheme, and subsequently purchased for Cliffe Castle Museum with help from the Friends of Cliffe Castle.

Maggie Pedley, Bradford Council’s Head of Service for Museums and Galleries, said: “This is an amazing find and we are delighted that one of the detectors, Stephen Auker, brought his discovery to the attention of the Scheme, meaning that a full scale archaeological dig could take place.”

Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Environment, Sport and Culture, said: “This is great news for the Museum and for the district. We believe this find is part of a much larger find initially made in the 1770s.

“We hope that many people will visit Cliffe Castle Museum and witness these historic coins known as the Riddlesden Hoard.”

Follow us on Twitter:  @BradfordMuseums

Parkside School teenagers host birthday tea for 90-year-old villager

Sixth form students from Parkside School laid on afternoon tea for Jeffrey Roberts, one of Cullingworth village’s oldest residents to celebrate his 90th birthday.

A few days before the event the students assisted Jeffrey’s wife, Audrey, with the preparations for the celebration which was held at Cullingworth Thursday Club.

The students involved in the preparations were Cameron Allatt, Sophie Tankard, Charlotte Burton and Sophie Wood.

Parkside School sixth form has a long connection with the village’s club for senior citizens, and took over responsibility for running it when it was threatened with closure after 50 years. Students volunteer their time each week to help run sessions.

Follow us on Twitter:   @ParksideCulling


Community Award for Shirley Manor

Pupils at Shirley Manor Primary Academy were rewarded for their Community Project following the support they provided to people in a local care home suffering with Dementia. 

They won the Young Active Citizen Award in the Telegraph & Argus’ Community Stars Award at the end of last term. 

The school’s Year 4 pupils (now in Year 5) had been taking part in the Archbishop of York scheme which required them to do a Community Project.  This coincided with a visit to the school from Dementia Friends who taught the children about the effects of the condition and how to help sufferers. 

Following the visit one of the pupils, Jake Lee, discussed this with his mum who works in a Dementia Care Home.  Mrs Lee asked school if they would assist Rastrick Care Home with its Doll Therapy Scheme for Dementia sufferers – a non-pharmacological intervention aimed at reducing behavioural and psychological disorders in patients who are institutionalised.  

The children originally chose to collect dolls and donations of money in order to buy some dolls for the home’s Doll Therapy scheme.   

The School’s Learning Mentor nominated the class for the award which was presented to them by the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Coun Geoff Reid and Lady Mayoress, Chris Reid. 

Follow us on Twitter:  @Sh1rleyManor