Vocalise magazine is managed by a Community Interest Company (CIC) called Boundless Futures and exists to provide a means of communication and influence for people living in the Ashley Ward area of Bristol.
Ashley Ward encompasses the areas of St Pauls, St Werburghs and Montpelier. It is an area that ranks highly on national indices of multiple deprivation, particularly St Pauls, but it also diverse, creative and has huge potential.
Residents and organisations have called for a community magazine (‘Vocalise’) that will allow them to better communicate, be involved with local events, and improve community cohesion. We also help manage the area’s community noticeboards, put on regular events, and generally seek to improve Ashley Ward for all residents.
A strong, cohesive community that celebrates diversity – where everyone has a voice and can fully develop their potential.
Inclusive, sustainable, ethically sources, community focused, cooperative, politically neutral, inspirational and fun!
To create a sustainable means of communication for the residents of Ashley Ward in order to strengthen and empower the community so that every person is well informed and able to participate.
Ashley Ward has a population of over 16,000 people and is in-between the areas of Easton and Kingsdown in North Bristol. Until 2016, the Ward had no community magazine or resident-led organisational body. This was because a previous organisation called St Pauls Unlimited closed down in 2015, after losing money from Bristol City Council. The demise of St Pauls Unlimited caused many people to feel a void, whereby they could not find out about upcoming community events, become involved in initiatives, or indeed voice concerns. The community noticeboards were left in a state of decline, and the regular Council-run Neighbourhood Partnership meetings represented the only way for residents to influence what was happening in their area.
Today the Neighbourhood Partnership meetings have ended, but we are supporting local people to run their own regular meetings and develop a new Neighbourhood Plan. We also have groups of local volunteers who are updating and maintaining the community noticeboards. And every quarter, we print and distribute copies of Vocalise across the Ward – reaching every household, business and community venue.
Other initiatives we run include:
- Workshops that get local people directly involved in the production of Vocalise (journalism, photography, media and creative writing).
- Working with local parks and environmental groups to help maintain these vital spaces for the benefit of everyone, involving young people wherever possible.
- Holding regular launch events that celebrate the area’s immense diversity and talent.
- Being a voice for Ashley Ward – fighting for fairer funding, working alongside other organisations, drawing attention to injustices around social housing, employment and discrimination.
- Giving support and funding to resident-led, grassroots organisations in the area for initiatives around improving social cohesion, youth empowerment and skills.
If you are interested in any of this and want to find out more, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Who are we?
Our organisation is volunteer-led and run. Our management structure consists of people who live and work within the Ashley Ward area.
Vandna lives in St Werburghs and manages community outreach and engagement.
Kabbo works across Ashley Ward and helps manage events and community engagement
Steve lives in Montpelier and helps manage the production of Vocalise magazine.
Judith lives in St Pauls and helps manage community engagement and the community noticeboards.
We are also grateful to the following people who have helped our organisation become what it is today:
The following organisations have been crucial in their support:
Knightstone Housing Association
United Communities Housing Association
Quartet Community Foundation
All our fantastic members, advertisers and sponsors (Why not become one?)
How are we funded?
To be sustainable, Vocalise is reliant upon regular advertising, membership and sponsorship. Advertisers can place adverts in Vocalise magazine, which gets delivered door-to-door to residents in Ashley Ward. Most of our advertisers also get coverage on this website, our social media, and where possible the community noticeboards.
Members of Vocalise pay a small amount each year, and in return they get special discounts with local businesses together with a range of other benefits.
Sponsors have a broader range of coverage, which includes regular mentions and having their logos displayed inside Vocalise magazine, on this website, together with all other Vocalise posters.
Currently Vocalise is dependent on grant funding to be operational, but our revenue from the above sources is growing and we welcome new advertisers, sponsors and members – so please get in touch if you are interested!