Healthy Neighbourhood Environments (SHINE) HIT looks back on 2021-22

  • 1st April 2022

SHINE HIT has been promoting walking as part of Bristol City Council’s transport and healthy weight strategies.

We collected baseline air quality data outside Bristol Royal Infirmary and launched the air quality schools project in South and East Bristol, which uses comics to spark conversations between children, teachers and parents. Download resources from Knowle West Media Centre.

Our HIT supported Bristol Walking Alliance’s ‘50 Ways to Better Walking’ booklet launch at Bristol City Council’s full council meeting during COP26 to remind policy makers that walking is an important way to reduce our carbon footprint and help address the climate emergency.

During WalkFest 2021, we ran a webinar: Women Who Walk, with Black Girls Hike UK. We have made links with Steppin’ Sistas – a Bristol-based grassroots walking group for women of colour that was set up during the pandemic and now has more than 800 members. Steppin’ Sisters have joined the ‘Walking and Re-Creation’ team which has secured almost £6,000 secured Brigstow Seedcorn funding.

Our Safe Systems Road Safety Review aims to help the City Council work towards the One City Plan target of zero road traffic deaths by 2040. It contributes to lowering the baseline load on the NHS from avoidable injury admissions and reducing the disproportionate burden experienced by poorer communities.

Sustrans funded What is Safe?, developing a Perceived Road Safety Indicator Tool for pedestrians and cycle users to highlight places where vulnerable road users have high levels of fear of motorised traffic – and where changes to roads would improve safety.

SHINE leadership team member Marcus Grant, is Editor-in-Chief of the Cities and Health Journal, which is affiliated with SHINE and Bristol Health Partners. He is working with Bristol Health Partners to publish and amplify regular, bite-sized ‘City Know-How’ updates  – providing evidence to policymakers, practitioners and communities that will help to create healthier cities.

In spring 2021 we launched a hedgehog houses project to promote connection with nature. We held workshops in south Bristol locations where people do not generally engage in community health or environment events, involving 140 local people and two volunteers. Feedback showed that people liked learning about the habits and needs of hedgehogs, and 90 hedgehog houses have been built and sited.

HIT member Ben Barker co-ordinates community wildlife groups who maintain green spaces across Bristol, to improve access to nature, sustain wildlife habitats, reduce social isolation and enhance connectivity across the city. He set up an equipment library with SHINE HIT funding so groups can share tools such as butterfly nets, moth light boxes and cameras. Loans enabled the BS3 Hedgehog Group to expand its activities and led to the new South Bristol Bat Group. who are both working with the Bristol Wildlife Index Working Group to establish a baseline of ‘key’ species to be monitored.

Ben is liaising with Professor Nikki Cotterill from the Bladder and Bowel Confidence HIT, Bristol Older People’s Forum and City Council staff to re-engage with businesses involved in Bedminster Toilet Map and Bristol Community Toilet Scheme before the pandemic.

The Find your Village: child development in a high-rise setting project has included two community health appraisal ‘walkabouts’ and an exhibition with Bristol’s Somali population. So far it has secured funding for an improved play space, put on activities with community groups in St Pauls and Barton Hill, and produced two research papers.