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Bristol's largest advice agencies collectively help around 1 in 10 of the city's population annually. So how should their impact report visualise a Bristol theme? Walking round the 'London borough of Bristol' today, its defining vistas are often blocks of student flats and luxury lofts, neither of which particularly resonate with the experience of people seeking legal advice to avoid homelessness, manage debt, deal with exploitative employers or get the right social and medical care, for example.
But water, the harbourside and boats are part of both the city's history (slavery and engineering) and its geography. Keeping your head above water, when the odds are stacked against you, is also what advice agencies help people do. And having decided on a sink-or-swim theme, discovering that Samuel Plimsoll (he of the eponymous line) was also born in Bristol reinforced that choice. The report was launched by Lord Low at a seminar to discuss The Future of Advice in Bristol ...