Parents attending ESOL classes with SPAN at the Silai Centre have launched a campaign to increase safety on the main road outside – Easton Road. On a daily basis, this road is crossed by hundreds of children and their parents to get to
schools, nurseries, adult education providers and other local amenities. Yet, there is no zebra crossing or traffic calming measures on this heavily trafficked and dangerous road.
The Easton and Lawrence Hill neighbourhood partnership will make a decision about traffic schemes on 5 March. Please help us to make sure that funding is allocated to make this forgotten corner of inner-city Bristol safer for local families.

Single Mother Benefit Sanctions

15 months ago the Government introduced a stricter sanctions regime for people on Jobseeker’s Allowance.  Claimants can lose a proportion of their benefits for a period of time (up to two years).  At SPAN we have concerns about the consistency and fairness of sanctions imposed on some single parents and the impact on their family.  In January 2014 we provided a written response to the Independent Review of Sanctions setting out our evidence and offering practical solutions for change. The full report is here: SPAN Final response to sanctions review .PDF

SPAN Annual Event:
‘Make a Positive Impact!’
Monday 17th February 2014 10am – 2.30pm
SPAN, The Silai Centre, 176-178 Easton Road, Bristol, BS5 0ES

We can all make a positive impact in our families, in our local communities, in society and in the lives of other people. Charities and voluntary sector organisations are at the forefront of providing services and leading campaigns that contribute to change and have a long-lasting positive impact on people’s lives.

For over 20 years, SPAN has influenced policies and developed projects and services which have contributed to the well-being of families and communities. In our 2014 Annual Event we will share our learning and experience, discuss the vital contribution of the voluntary sector, and, encourage participants to contribute their ideas to our policy and media work.

We also want to celebrate the vital contribution made by the parents, tutors, volunteers, supporters and partner organisations to the impact that SPAN has as an organisation in the lives of parents, children and communities.

10.00 – Registration
10.30 – Welcome and introductions
10.40: – Key Note speaker: Stephen Williams MP Bristol West and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.
11.00 – SPAN’s Positive Impact – Showcase
11.20 – Panel discussion
11.50 – Tea and coffee
12.00 – Award ceremony for outstanding achievements and/or contributions in: adult learner, parenting (Mum & Dad), Tutor, Partnership work, Volunteer, Parent Helper and Supporter
12:30 – Annual General Meeting for SPAN members
13.00 – Lunch
13:30 – Workshops:

  1. Talking to the media – Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi
  2. Rebuilding life after domestic abuse – Lesley Welsh and Anna Girdlestone
  3. Supporting Fathers – Jason Edwards and Annie Oliver
  4. Supporting parents with literacy and language barriers – Teresa Moutafis and Suad Yusuf
  5. Messages from the grassroots – contributions to SPAN’s Manifesto – Laura Dewar and Tove Samzelius
  6. Supporting children with speech, language and communication – Abeje Chinangwa and Sabina Zillul

14:30 – Feedback and conclusions
15:00 – End

To take part in this exciting event please download the Programme and Booking Form and email it or send it to:

Karla Lewis, SPAN, The Silai Centre, 176-178 Easton Road, Bristol BS5 0ES Tel: 0117 9550860

To be received no later 10th February 2014

Download the Nomination Form 2014_FINAL

Download the Notice of Motions 2014_FINAL

To nominate at SPAN’s Award ceremony for outstanding achievements and contributions, please download your choice of nomination form below:

Volunteer Nomination Form

Tutor Nomination Form

SPAN Supporter Nomination Form

Partner Organisation Nomination Form

Parenting nomination form

Parent Helper Nomination Form

Adult Learner Nomination Form

Additional papers: Proposed changes to trustees election

Letter from Chair

Proposed changes to the rules of the election of the Board of trustees

Proposed changes Mems and Arts 2011

Proposed changes to 2 1 Board of Trustees – Roles Responsibilities

Board nomination 2014

Nominations for members for SPAN

Today we publish our report about the experience of single parents on the Work Programme.  Thank you to those single parents who were interviewed who gave a valuable insight into the day-to-day reality of the Work Programme. We will be using evidence from our findings to influence Government to improve services offered to single parents and their children.  In particular we think that there needs to a clearer and fairer sanctions regime, children’s well-being must be better protected, more specialist lone parent advisers, funds for training and childcare, and an improvement in the availability of better quality flexible employment.  We also press for practical changes in the way the Work Programme is delivered to single parents with more thorough scrutiny from outside bodies.  If you have any comments about the report then please contact Laura Dewar our Senior Policy and Parliamentary Officer

Full report

Benefits claimants who are looking for work say they are not provided with effective back-to-work support, meaning the government is failing to fulfil its side of the ‘welfare contract’

Recognising the importance of the grassroots work carried out by the SPAN Family & Study Centre in Bristol, the Big Lottery Fund has awarded us a £250,000 grant. The grant will support the development of more targeted services and support for single parents with children under five. Tove Samzelius, Director of the project, says: “We are delighted to receive this money. Single parents now have to actively seek work once their child turns five. This grant will enable us to offer support and opportunities to prepare parents for the labour market which would otherwise not be available to them”.

Single Parents raise winning children!

Several of Team GB’s medal winners are the children of single parents, and proud to thank that parent in public.  No doubt many others in Team GB were also brought up in single parent households and have gone on to be the hard working and talented people we see competing today.

This is no surprise to those of us who are single parents, but it is well worth mentioning never the less.

Thank you Single Parents.

Gemma Gibbons;  Bradley Wiggins; Louis Smith;