Restorative Bristol acts as an umbrella for all restorative practitioners and services to come together and develop innovative and ground-breaking approaches to tackling conflict in the city. Bristol has a number of established and dedicated services which are using restorative approaches to address conflict in our communities, schools and in the criminal justice system. Restorative Bristol aims to bring these services together to provide a multi-agency approach to restorative actions and a forum to share ideas and develop solutions to challenging and dysfunctional behaviour.
Restorative Bristol was first conceived as an idea in late 2007 following a conference sponsored by Safer Bristol, Places for People and the Police. In November 2010 a group of practitioners and interested individuals started meeting with the aim of linking those involved in restorative practices within Bristol. The group now known as the Restorative Bristol Practitioner and Advisory Group (PAG) continue to meet and organise workshops to share and develop best practice.
On 11th December 2012, a conference took place that officially launched Restorative Bristol. Bristol’s newly elected Mayor, George Ferguson, and Avon & Somerset Police & Crime Commissioner, Sue Mountstevens, gave their support to the restorative movement in the city.
Since then things have continued to gain momentum across the city. The Restorative Bristol Board consisting of partner agencies from the public, private and voluntary sectors began meeting to provide a strategic steer to the newly appointed Restorative Bristol Project Officer. A strategy for the future development of services was launched on the 4th November 2013 and a standard for local agencies and individuals to become part of Restorative Bristol was distributed to key partners across the city. Restorative Bristol is well on the way to achieving 20 partner agencies and individuals by Christmas 2013.
The Restorative Bristol website, to be launched in early 2014, will act as a community hub for Restorative Bristol members to network and share ideas, whilst acting as an information tool for local people to explore the benefits of engaging in a restorative approach. It will also act as a springboard to launch Bristol as a force in the international restorative community and become a world leader in developing and championing the use of restorative approaches.
Bristol is a city that likes to be different and Restorative Bristol will continue with that tradition by using restorative approaches to tackle challenging and complex problems. With the support and commitment of the board, professionals and volunteers across the city, Bristol is well on its way to becoming a truly restorative city.
In December 2013, Restorative Bristol produced a report following on from its launch in December 2012.
A copy of the report can be found here