Activities Remotely #19 St John's Foundation Est. 1174

Hello and welcome to our nineteenth Activities Remotely Newsletter. We began these newsletters with the aim of keeping you entertained and informed during lockdown - little did we know that some five months later they’d still be a regular feature! In addition to all the practical advice contained in each edition, we have also enjoyed sharing feel-good stories and uplifting news. We are especially pleased at how popular our online programme, At Home with St John's, has been. Thanks to all of you for your support so far.

In this edition, you’ll find articles on positive and uplifting news, delicious foods to cook at home, tips on making and wearing face masks, Stephen Magrath's contemplation piece River of Peace, as well as access to all 18 back-copies of previous Activities Remotely Guides.

You can also stay up to date with the latest news from St John’s by visiting our website and social media.

23 Delicious & Healthy Meals

Salted honey, apple and gouda toast (recipe #6)

Here are 23 delicious & healthy meals you can make at home, brought to you by Tasty.co. Whether it's pancakes for breakfast (recipe #1), salted honey, apple and gouda toast (#6), spicy chicken stir fry with peanuts (#15) or mac and cheese (#23), there is plenty for everyone. Have a look at the full list of recipes here.

Positive & Uplifting News

Poetry in the pandemic: project aims to engage young people in creative writing

Young people in South-East London are being encouraged to write poetry to help them through the coronavirus crisis.

As anyone who has put pen to paper in sadness or strife will attest, creative writing can be immensely cathartic. It is for this reason that young people in Lewisham, South-East London, are being encouraged to use the written word to explore the challenges thrown up by the coronavirus crisis.

Lewisham Young Writers will deliver 1,000 “creative care packages”, including writing and arts materials, to young people living locally. The project will also offer free online creative writing workshops led by Young People’s Laureate, Theresa Lola, author Sharna Jackson and artist Olivia Twist.

For more information click here.

‘A catalyst for a kinder world’: one city’s mission to spread altruism

Leeds will launch its first Festival of Kindness next weekend, with organisers seeking to foster greater unity after years of division.

Launching on 6 September, the week-long jamboree has, like everything else, been forced to go online due to the pandemic. “It means we are now global,” said Joshua Malkin, one of the co-founders, looking on the bright side.

"Beautiful design, independent journalism; after reading Positive News I genuinely feel more positive!"

Hosted on Zoom, Leeds’ Festival of Kindness is open to anyone and has a different theme each day, exploring subjects such as kinder businesses, kinder relationships and self-kindness. Guest speakers include the peace activist Satish Kumar, and representatives from Extinction Rebellion and the Co-op.

Malkin said the diverse lineup reflects the festival’s spirit of openness. “The space that we’re in is a space of respect for everybody and trying to make sure nobody gets left behind,” he said. “We are putting a flag in the ground for people who want to see the values of kindness, compassion and wellbeing as the prosperity we should be investing in.”

Article from Positive.News

A ‘public health triumph’: Africa declared free of wild polio

The WHO confirmed this week that Africa has defeated wild polio after the virus was finally eliminated in Nigeria. The Africa Regional Certification Commission, a task group appointed by the WHO to eradicate the disease, certified the continent free of wild polio four years after the last recorded case.

Africa’s polio immunisation programme was launched by Nelson Mandela in 1996, but progress in Nigeria was stymied by geography, scepticism and militant groups.

The director general of the WHO, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, described the eradication of wild polio in Africa as a “public health triumph”. Read more here.

Image: Annie Spratt

Make a Difference Superstars

Join the BBC for a celebration of everyone who has been going above and beyond during the coronavirus pandemic in the South and South West of England.

Since the start of the pandemic, local BBC radio stations have been highlighting stories of people making a difference in our special Make a Difference broadcasts. Now it’s your chance to recognise and reward the superstars up your street and in your neighbourhood.

It could be someone who has been looking after their parents or neighbours; a budding cook who has been baking for the community; a key worker who has been a special help to your family. We want to hear about them all – their big efforts and their small contributions.

Tell us a story of someone who has made a difference to you, your friends, family or community.

We could be rewarding them by recognising their hard work and sacrifice in a special radio programme plus GWR Trains have agreed to rename some of their high speed trains across the South of England after some of our Make a Difference Superstars.

You can recognise someone by following the steps here.


Welcome back to our weekly invitation to contemplative prayer, either shared remotely 11-11.30am Mondays, or whenever you can. Many thanks to Sheila for contributing this beautiful poem which spoke to me having recently enjoyed time meditating by the Cornish coast and rivers.

from J. S. Hoyland's 'In the shade of his hand’.

Meditation practice offers a doorway to this state of 'contemplation’, a unifying experience of the divine presence within 'the temple of our heart'. Please meditate on this picture and poem together and enjoy some peace in the knowing that you are held safe in the 'silent river' of divine presence.

Forward, feedback and content contributions to stephenmagrath@hotmail.com

With thanks,

Stephen Magrath

Your Gardening

Mevissa has kindly been keeping us up to date with her gardening. She has lots of fruit and veg growing, but is especially proud of this artichoke plant (pictured).

I have eight artichokes on this one plant . It’s the first time I’ve grown it in the vegetable garden.

Well done Mevissa!

Have you been spending lots of time in the garden, or completed a project you're proud of? Why not get in touch and we'll feature it in a future newsletter!

Connecting Generations - can you help by volunteering?

Making & Wearing Face Masks

Sam expertly modelling his very own homemade face mask
To prove it's not difficult to make a mask, I've created my own. Hand stitched with left over fabric and using hairbands instead of elastic (following the BBC's Stitch Mask Guide below). If I can do it, there's no excuse for anyone else!
From BBC News
From BBC News

Previous Newsletters

Click on the links below to access previous newsletters, each week full of different and fun things to do:

  1. Activities Remotely 1
  2. Activities Remotely 2
  3. Activities Remotely 3
  4. Activities Remotely 4
  5. Activities Remotely 5
  6. Activities Remotely 6
  7. Activities Remotely 7
  8. Activities Remotely 8
  9. Activities Remotely 9
  10. Activities Remotely 10
  11. Activities Remotely 11
  12. Activities Remotely 12
  13. Activities Remotely 13
  14. Activities Remotely 14
  15. Activities Remotely 15
  16. Activities Remotely 16
  17. Activities Remotely 17
  18. Activities Remotely 18

We hope you will find this useful while our activities are temporarily suspended. Please forward this information pack on to anyone who you feel would benefit.

We would also love to hear from you – how are you managing? Do you have useful tips to share? Get in touch at community.outreach@stjohnsbath.org.uk and we could feature you and your advice in the next newsletter!

Created By
Sam Norris


BBC, Positive.News,