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Activities Remotely Newsletter St John's Foundation Est. 1174

2021 Activities Remotely Newsletter #15

The Bath Festival runs from 17-24 May, with an exclusive concert for Bath residents featuring Coco Tomita and the Bath Philharmonia, plus talks by Richard Osman, author of The Thursday Murder Club, Bridgerton Walking Tours, and plenty more.

If you're looking for something gardening related, check out George Clarke's National Trust Unlocked. In the Channel 4 show George goes to Bath Skyline, Tyntesfield, Somerset, and Dunster Castle, amongst views further away!

Don't forget you can book the next 5 weeks of St John's At Home activities! Meditation on Mondays at 10am, Watercolours on Tuesdays at 2pm, Chair Yoga on Wednesdays at 10am, Tai Chi on Thursdays at 10am, and a limited free 4 week course Make and Do With the Romans.

As we near the end of lockdown and life begins to return to normal, activities in The Bubble and across B&NES will begin to resume from late May.

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!

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

Here's what you can find in this week's newsletter:

The Bath Festival

The Bath Festival is excited to return with its 2021 programme offering both live events from Monday 17 May to Monday 24 May, and online events with The Bath Festival At Home, a digital broadcast for audiences to experience at home.

The Bath Festival 2021 celebrates the best in music and books in a beautiful city, as it has done for more than 70 years. A diverse programme ranges from talks and discussions to poetry, concerts and theatre.

Come what may, this year’s festival will showcase Bath for a global audience, presenting events, some of which, will be filmed in some of the city’s most historic and glorious historic buildings, including the iconic 18th century Assembly Rooms, Bath Abbey, the Roman Baths and The Forum. Those who may not be able to gather in person will be able to enjoy The Bath Festival At Home selection of events at their own leisure with a feast for the eyes, ears and minds.

CELEBRATING MUSIC AND BOOKS IN A BEAUTIFUL CITY

The Bath Festival live: from Monday 17 May – Monday 24 May 2021

The Bath Festival At Home online: from Friday 28 May 2021

The Bath Festival Finale Weekend: Saturday 7 – Sunday 8 August 2021

Concert for the People of Bath

with Coco Tomita, Alexandra Dariescu and Bath Philharmonia.

Thursday 20 May 2021 at 7:30PM - 8:45PM in Bath Forum. Price £10 - £25 (excl. fees). Book here.

For the third year we are delighted to be presenting the annual concert dedicated to the memory of Brian and Margaret Roper; a concert that encourages future generations to develop their love of classical music. This year we have two sensational young soloists play two of the best loved concertos of all time with festival favourites Bath Philharmonia.

Coco Tomita, a pupil of the Menuhin School, blew audiences away with her performances at BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2020. Alexandra Dariescu dazzles audience and critics worldwide with her effortless musicality and captivating stage presence.

Richard Osman

Wednesday 19 May 2021 at 7:30PM in Bath Forum. £12 (excl. fees). Book here.

Don’t miss out on this chance to see TV personality and quiz show master Richard Osman in conversation with comedian, actor and writer Miles Jupp. The Thursday Murder Club, his phenomenally successful debut novel, is on course to sell one million hardback copies whilst Steven Spielberg has snapped up the movie rights and the second installment The Man Who Died Twice is published later this year.

In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet up once a week to investigate unsolved murders. But when a brutal killing takes place on their very doorstep, the Thursday Murder Club find themselves in the middle of their first live case. Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron might be pushing eighty but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves. Can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer before it’s too late? Typically clever and drily funny, with killer one-liners and artfully constructed twists and red herrings, The Thursday Murder Club is tremendous fun for all lovers of a classic whodunit.

Bridgerton Walking Tours

Tours at 11am and 3pm Wednesday 19, Thursday 20, Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 May. And on Friday 21 tours will be at 2pm and 5pm. Please make sure you select the correct date and time when booking.

It’s the Regency romp that has taken the world by storm! Bridgerton has been a runaway hit, with more than 82 million viewers tuning into Netflix’s period drama in the four weeks following its release on Christmas Day 2020. The sensational storylines, based on the bestselling novels by Julia Quinn, focus on high-society life in the early 1800s. But this is not demure Jane Austen territory. It is costume drama highly stylised to appeal to a 21st century audience — raunchy, with ethnically-diverse casting and a stirring contemporary soundtrack.

Bath plays a leading role in the show, with the city’s elegant Georgian buildings and streets often standing in for London. Seventy scenes, spread over 14 locations, were shot in Bath for the first series — some of the most extensive and ambitious filming ever undertaken in the city. Book here.

Ruth Pavey - Deeper into the Wood

Friday 21 May 2021 at 10:30AM - 11:30AM in the Assembly Rooms. Price£10 (excl. fees). Book here.

After years spent living and working in London, writer and gardener Ruth Pavey longed to reconnect with the British landscape. In the late 1990s, she bought four acres of land above the Somerset Levels, conserving them as a haven where woodland plants and creatures could flourish. She wrote about her experiences in A Wood of One’s Own, a Sunday Times Best Book of the Year (2017) and longlisted for the Wainwright Prize.

She talks to Jane Moore, author and head gardener at The Priory Hotel in Bath, about her new book Deeper into the Wood, reflecting on the challenges to wildlife posed by postwar changes in agriculture, development and trade, and on the history of the particular area around the wood, with its inhabitants, past and present. Hear more about this lyrical and inspiring story; a potent reminder of nature’s delicate balance and our responsibility towards its preservation.

Ian Mortimer - The Time Traveller's Guide to Regency Britain

Friday 21 May 2021 at 11:00AM - 12:15PM in the Assembly Rooms. Price £10 (excl. fees). Book here.

Historian and bestselling author Ian Mortimer lifts the lid on what is arguably the most-loved period in British history, the Regency or Georgian era.

Join him as he takes us on a thrilling journey to the past. This is the age of Jane Austen and the Romantic poets; of the paintings of John Constable, the gardens of Humphry Repton; the sartorial elegance of Beau Brummell and the poetic licence of Lord Byron. It was a time when Britain saw military triumphs at Trafalgar and Waterloo; the threat of revolution and the Peterloo massacre.

Our places on screen with George Clarke's National Trust Unlocked

Ever wanted to delve deeper into the stories of your favourite National Trust places? This six-part series from Channel 4 took you behind the scenes with George Clarke, as he visited some of the grand stately homes, quirky cottages and beautiful gardens in our care.

Filmed while these properties were closed to the public due to Covid19, the unique conditions offered George the opportunity to get under the architectural skin of these extraordinary places, meet the people who care for them and find out what happens when the doors are closed.

The history of our architecture tells the stories of our past, both good and bad, and the grounds and walks have made me realise, now more than ever, just how important green spaces are to our happiness, well-being and mental health.

In the series George also explored some of the stunning gardens and parklands in our care and, together with his husky Loki, hits the trail to experience some spectacular walks from Studland Bay to the Bath Skyline.

You can watch the whole series on demand on the Channel 4 website.

Read more at the National Trust site here.

The Simplicity of the Sacred Word

'In the beginning was the Word: the Word was with God and the Word was God.' Saint John begins his Gospel.

'YAHWEH’ (pictured) the Hebrew name for God is for some not to be spoken but rather breathed out as a rush of the wind or spirit.

'Maranatha' is Aramaic, the language Jesus spoke for 'Our Lord Comes’.

The Buddhist chant 'Om Mani Padme Hum' vibrates as an invocation for the wellbeing of all.

The practice of chanting, reciting and meditating on a sacred word or phrase has been used in all spiritual traditions to lead us into communion with the Divine. It helps focus the mind away from thinking and gradually brings us into a state of contemplation, 'in the temple' of our heart.

Enjoy your chosen word, phrase or breath whenever and/or join us Mondays between 11-11.30am for shared remote meditation if you can.

In peace,

Stephen

Free Tree Giveaway

A chance for residents to improve their gardens and local environment is on offer in two tree giveaway trial events to be held by Bath & North East Somerset Council.

As part of the council’s commitment to tackling the effects of the climate and ecological emergencies, up to three free trees per household are being made available at the events in Radstock on April 24 and May 1.

The scheme is aimed at extending valuable tree cover in hard to reach areas across B&NES by providing species of limited size, that are characteristic of the suburban environment with the majority shown to be beneficial to air quality.

Claim your trees here. Read more from Bath & Wiltshire Parent here.

Bath duo to take on 48-mile challenge to raise vital funds for Julian House

A duo from Bath, known as The Hairy Handlebars, are set to take on a 48-mile running challenge in 48 hours in a bid to raise £2000 for homeless charity Julian House.

As a means to show support for the homeless community, Ben Cook and George Cullen will be taking on the feat this Friday, 16th April, through to Sunday.

Since arriving in Bath, Ben has built friendships with a number of the homeless community who call Bath their home, and explained his motivation to do more.

He said: “What surfaces most in our conversations, as well as the more practical struggles, is the profound marginalisation and dehumanisation they experience as a result of inequality, in all its facets.

“Too often I have paid witness to people who walk past without even acknowledging the presence of another human being. This, in my eyes, is unacceptable."

Donations can be made here. Read the BathEcho article here.

Safely welcoming people back to Bath and North East Somerset

Bath & North East Somerset Council has welcomed residents and visitors back to its city and town centres by supporting local businesses to reopen safely from Monday, 12 April.

Non-essential retail, hairdressers, indoor leisure and sports facilities, libraries and public buildings, are among the venues permitted to reopen as lockdown eases in Step 2 of the Government’s roadmap.

Outdoor hospitality venues including pubs and cafés can also reopen with table service only.

From today, visitors to Bath City centre will also be able to see the ‘Little Lost Robot’ window art installation at 17/18 Milsom Street, which combines visual art and sculpture and robotics and is a collaboration between local artists, Bath Spa University, Bath Carnival and the council. From May 17 the space will also become a temporary residency and pop-up exhibition space for Bath Spa University.

The council will also shortly be setting up a ‘High Street Hub’ at 15 Cheap Street to provide business support and advice and to provide a base for its High Street renewal activities in Bath City Centre.

Read more here.

Planting Sessions at Green Park

Join us in the park! This is your chance to get hands-on and practically involved in improving Green Park with the friendly Your Park team. Led by Mali, you will help prepare this wonderful park for spring by digging, clearing, planting, and identifying wildlife. This activity will involve physical activity, great to get you moving.

Please join the Your Park team to make Green Park a more enjoyable place to be:

Thursday 29th April – 10.30-12.30

Thursday 6th May - 10.30-12.30

Thursday 13th May - 10.30-12.30

Thursday 20th May – 10-1

Thursday 27th May - 10-1

All activities will be run with adhering to the rule of 6, until restrictions are lifted, in line with Bath and North East Somerset Council’s Covid-19 Group Volunteering Protocol. We will take every measure to ensure you are always safe.

Booking is essential. To reserve your place and for more information, please contact George at the Bristol and Bath Parks Foundation: george.tapp@bbpf.org.uk

Social Knitwork: 1st May – 7th June 2021

The Art Cohort is an award-winning Artspace at 13 Chelsea Road, Bath. We champion emerging art and artists and exhibit new artworks in our exhibition space, showcase work from local artists and makers in our art shop and run art classes and workshops in our learning space.

Social Knitwork is a collaborative project between The Art Cohort and artist, Lou Baker, supported by Bath Spa University Enterprise Showcase Fund. The project focuses on how art can be used to build connections between local communities after the extended isolation of lockdown.

Lou Baker will create a web-like installation in The Art Cohort Exhibition Space, drawing in space with wool. Knitting transforms a line into a network of multiple connections; Baker will be in residence during the exhibition, knitting and adding to the installation which will develop throughout the month inside the Artspace, making visible those growing connections. Visitors will see the installation grow like an organic body day by day.

During the exhibition a number of outdoor installation sites will be set up in Bath, near The Art Cohort. Members of the public, walkers, families, neighbours and passers-by are invited to add their thoughts and objects to the installations physically the next time they pass that way or send messages virtually via social media. The location of the external installations will enable a walking tour of these temporary art installations.

Lou Baker - Wishing Trees, Bristol - Lockdown Project 2020

A ‘Making Space’ with art materials will be accessible to the public at The Art Cohort throughout the exhibition to make something to add to the installations.

Participants will become part of an ongoing socially distanced ‘conversation’, sharing ways we can work together to develop creative strategies for recovery and regeneration as we move beyond the ‘new normal’ of the pandemic.

Programme of Virtual Events

A programme of free events will take place online alongside the exhibition:

Thursday 13th May, 2pm – Virtual Artist Talk with Lou Baker – Social Knitwork: Thinking of the Future

Tuesday 18th May, 2-3pm - Instagram Live Walking Tour with Lou Baker and Kat Dawe Schmeisser

Thursday 27th May, 6-7pm - ‘Knit Together’ Virtual Knit Along Social with Lou Baker

The Art Cohort and Lou Baker look forward to cultivating connections with and between local communities. We’ll ‘knit together’ people and places, countering the isolation of current social distancing restrictions and exploring ways to move forward into a post-pandemic future. It will be empowering, fostering a sense of belonging, giving people a chance to have their say and to make art together.

Contact: Kat Dawe Schmeisser – theartcohort@gmail.com

Lou Baker - tel: 01225 635017

Visit online: www.theartcohort.co.uk / www.loubakerartist.weebly.com

Instagram: @the_art_cohort / @loubakerartist

Duchess of Cornwall's Reading Room: Season Two

Season Two starts tomorrow, Friday 16 April and Her Royal Highness has selected four very different books she thinks you might enjoy. They are:

The Secret Commonwealth from The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman

Girl by Edna O'Brien

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

The Red Notebook by Antoine Lauraine

Stay involved and find out more about the books and authors at @duchessofcornwallsreadingroom

Alice Park skatepark to open ahead of summer

Skaters are set to benefit from a new skatepark which is nearing completion at Alice Park in Bath.

Over the next few weeks, remaining works will be completed ahead of the skatepark opening in May.

A new internal gate between the skatepark and adjacent play park will provide improved pedestrian access, alongside new bench seating and perimeter fencing.

Bath & North East Somerset Council has been working with Alice Park Trust on the project.

Six tennis courts at the park are also being resurfaced as part of the council’s investment into tennis in Bath and North East Somerset and will be ready for use by July.

Read the full article here.

Covid lockdown projects: How you danced, wrote, ran and invented games

Read the full BBC article here.

Transcribing my mum's diary

A tidy-up in the loft unearthed my mum's five diaries that she wrote during the war, living in Salford, as a teenager. I had seen them before, but the writing is so small, usually in pencil, that I didn't have the patience to read them all properly. My kids urged me to "do something with them", and I felt I had to, or all of those memories and intensely lived experiences would be forgotten forever. So I began to transcribe them.

I loved it when she added "good time". It made me feel so happy that she'd had these nights of fun, of dancing with mysterious boys - usually referred to as an initial: "danced with O" or "danced with F". All of a sudden I felt like I had this 17-year-old friend, who was my mum.

Wow, what they had to put up with. The day after the Manchester Blitz, she writes, "My 20th birthday."

But what struck me most was the joy - they didn't let the war get in the way. Despite Manchester getting really badly bombed, my mum went to the cinema 58 times in 1940. It resonated with what's going on now, that even in lockdown you can still get joy from doing things.

Alexandra Bowling Club Open Day

Where: Alexandra Park, Bath

When: Monday 31 May, 2021 at 10:00am until 4:00pm

At last! Restrictions are being lifted so that we can get out in the fresh air and play bowls! Try something different and come along - bring your friends. Wear comfy clothes, a flat soled pair of shoes if you have them – don’t worry if you haven’t. We have the bowls so that you can have a go. All are welcome but children should be accompanied by an adult.

Further information on 0117 986 4866 where you can book a slot so that we do not become overcrowded. Also, see our website www.alexandrabowlsbath.co.uk/

Club night is 6:00pm Monday. Come along for a game followed by a drink and food.

Join us and have fun!

Libraries offer browsing again

...and mobile library heads back on the road

Bath and North East Somerset’s libraries will offer Covid-safe browsing again from Monday 12 April, with the mobile library resuming a limited service from April 20.

Following the easing of Government restrictions residents will be able to browse the resources available at Bath, Keynsham and Midsomer Norton libraries. The libraries will continue to operate their collection service from 10am – 4pm weekdays with residents able to borrow up to twenty books at a time

The mobile library timetable will be available to view on Friday 9 April here.

You can find out more about Bath & North East Somerset Council’s libraries and information services here.

Shining Light Awards

Community heroes in Bath and North East Somerset who have made an exceptional contribution to helping others during the Covid-19 pandemic are set to be recognised in a raft of special new awards.

The Shining Light Awards aim to highlight people who have gone above and beyond to volunteer or to support members of their community over the past year.

Nominations are now open for the ten awards for volunteers, carers, charities, businesses, nurses, teachers, public sector workers, and anyone who has exceeded what is expected of them in order to help their local community or an individual over the past 12 months.

The Shining Light Awards are organised by Bath & North East Somerset Council in partnership with BSW CCG, BANES Virgin Care, Curo, Student Community Partnership (University of Bath, Bath Spa University & Bath College), and the 3SG.

Nominations are encouraged to be made online via the nomination form before April 30.

Anyone unable to complete their nomination online can download a form from the council website, email connecting_communities@bathnes.gov.uk or call 01225 477807.

How opera singers are helping people with ‘long Covid’

People suffering from lingering Covid symptoms are being referred to an unlikely place: the English National Opera

English National Opera (ENO) has launched an online programme to help people suffering from lingering and debilitating Covid symptoms, specifically shortness of breath.

Designed by the ENO and medical experts, participants in the six-week ENO Breathe programme are taught exercises to improve posture and breath control.

“I know that my breath control is better now,” said participant Colette-Elizabeth. “My posture is better. I can go into meetings and get my point across without suffocating on each breath.”

Read the full Positive.News article here.

It’s a hit: how classic songs are uniting children and care home residents online

A project to combat loneliness in lockdown is using classic songs to bring generations together over the internet

From the catchy chorus of Cecelia by Simon and Garfunkel, to the soaring yearning captured in Over the Rainbow, songs have been helping to bring people together during lockdown.

Specifically, they have been uniting thousands of care home residents with young people over the internet as part of the Together with Music project.

“We’ve already seen more than 100 connections emerge and begin to flourish through the sharing of music, culture, hope and positivity,” said Charlotte Miller, IMM director. Miller hopes the scheme will help communities recover and rebuild after lockdown.

You can read the full article here.

St John’s CEO, David Hobdey, talks to the Mayor of Bath, Manda Rigby, about how the pandemic has affected the charity

SIMPLICITY - meditation from Stephen

In previous writings we have explored solitude, silence, and stillness so here's another 's' word: simplicity.

Christian prayer is awakening to the reality that we are at home now in the Kingdom of God.

Jesus told us that the Kingdom of God is within us, and also that we must become simple like children if we are to enter this Kingdom. 'The Kingdom is not a place but an experience.' (John Main)

Being simple is not easy. We are constantly analysing ourselves, our feelings, our motives - or other people's - and our constant self-consciousness makes us very complex and confused.

But God is simple, love is simple. Meditation is simple. Being simple means being ourselves. It means passing beyond self-consciousness, self-analysis and self-rejection.

Meditation is a universal spiritual practice which guides us into this state of prayer, into the prayer of Christ. It brings us to silence, stillness and simplicity by means that is itself silent, still and simple.

Laurence Freeman OSB. Spiritual Director of the World Community for Christian Meditation.

We are called to 'seek first the Kingdom' before we act to love others as ourselves.

You are invited to become 'simple' and enjoy the 'Kingdom' with us Monday 11-11.30 am or when you can.

The peace of Easter to you, Stephen

How to save the planet: the virtual event offering solutions to the ecological crisis

Chris Packham, Liz Bonnin and Sir David Attenborough are among the solutions champions taking part in the open-to-all event, which shines a light on environmental fixes.

Given the crises facing nature, it is easy to give up hope. But as regular Positive News readers will know, around the world there are many examples of people winning the fight to protect the planet.

Celebrating those underreported conservation success stories is Earth Optimism, a free, open-to-all event that kicks off today. The virtual meeting of minds will feature talks by trailblazing conservationists and celebrity speakers such as Sir David Attenborough, Liz Bonnin and Chris Packham (pictured).

On the importance of celebrating solutions, Sir David Attenborough said: “We all know that there are great problems, but we don’t hear enough of some of the successes. Successes which can give us the courage, information and the inspiration which we need to continue.”

Read the full article here.

Keeping communities connected

Twelve months ago, the pandemic brought an abrupt and unexpected halt to St John’s over 55s activities programme. Turning what could have been a negative situation, into a golden opportunity, our team thought creatively about how they could continue offering those community outreach services that have the greatest impact on users. We spoke to the team 12 months on to find out how they’ve adapted and furthered their reach:

How has the pandemic affected the work you do for the community and how have you modified your way of working to meet the needs of your audience?

One of the primary aims of our service is to reduce levels of isolation and loneliness in over 55s – something the pandemic has inevitably caused an increase in. With the onset of lockdown and no immediate end in sight, we made the decision to offer online classes. While it took some time for the infrastructure to be implemented, as we were new to it too, in June 2020, we were in a position to offer a variety of online classes. These ranged from exercises like yoga, tai chi, dance; to watercolour art classes, stitch, and even a cook-along.

While we expected some of our regular participants to join, we hadn’t foreseen how popular the classes would be with the wider community. Demand meant we had to add additional classes and our reach spread throughout BaNES into the surrounding areas, and even as far as Yorkshire!

You can read the full Q&A here.

We Hear You (WHY) Outdoors

2021 course dates at Chesterblade Hills (nr. Shepton Mallet)

Thursdays from 22nd April to 22nd May

Autumn course - venue tbc

Thursdays from 23rd September to 27th October

2021 course dates at Combe Grove, Bath

Wednesdays from 21st April to 26th May - FULLY BOOKED

Wednesdays from 16th June to 21st July

Wednesdays from 15th September to 20th October

2021 taster days at Combe Grove (book via Eventbrite, link to follow)

Saturday 15th May

Wednesday 18th August

WHYoutdoors is a course exploring the benefits of nature connection for wellbeing, designed for those living with and beyond cancer. Participants meet in a beautiful natural setting and undertake a mixture of solo and group activities. The approach helps people coping with the challenges of a life-threatening diagnosis to increase their emotional and physical wellbeing through time spent in nature, guided by specialist group leaders, who are also professional counsellors. There is shelter at both sites so sessions will go ahead in most weather. Participants need to have a reasonable level of mobility as the woodland site is uneven.

To book a place, please call 01373 455255 or email info@wehearyou.org.uk.

The Heritage Collection

Join the National Garden Scheme for talks in April and May which focus on a group of gardens with illustrious heritages of their own, which have also played an important part in the National Garden Scheme’s history. The series opens with a talk on the story of the National Garden Scheme.

Click here to book your place for the talks.

Some of the online talks available

Virtual Hope Guide

The Virtual Hope Guide provides information on groups, activities and services run by volunteers and not for profit organisations.

These groups are aimed at people who are socially isolated, are affected by mental health issues, substance misuse or homelessness.

​The Guide includes:

  • First response community support
  • Health and wellbeing group/activities
  • Organisations supporting people in B&NES
  • Local and national helplines

Download The Hope Guide here.

​This new version of the guide has been created specifically to help people through COVID-19. Here you will find information for groups and services in B&NES, who have adapted to continue their fantastic work in the community, along with new groups and projects which have started in direct response to the situation.

Somerset Skills & Learning Courses

Pattern Making: Leaves in Nature

Starting 01/04/2021, Thursdays, 10:00 - 12:00

4 sessions

Patterns in nature are amazing! The infinite designs, shapes, colours and forms within leaves and plants provide the inspiration for this 4-week online art course.

Over four Zoom sessions, students will discover varying leaf forms, drawing different styles eventually creating their own repeat leaf pattern motif.

Working from collected (or imagined!) leaves, together we will look at the various leaf shapes, colours and details – and use this to inspire our own artwork through a simple grid system. You are encouraged to begin collecting leaves on your lockdown walks for inspiration!

Our talented tutor will also guide students through the use of a colour wheel, helping them to decide on their individual colour palette – from warm, lush green tones to the burnt oranges and browns of autumn.

Book your place here.

Get Crafty: Greetings Cards Workshop

Starting 16/04/2021, Friday at 09:30 - 12:30

1 session

Fancy getting crafty at home? Want to put a smile on your loved ones’ faces? Join our online greetings card craft club and learn how to make three gorgeous gift cards to send to friends and family!

Our friendly tutor will show you how to make creative cards at home using different and fun techniques.

Book your place here.

Dance Network Association

Online exercise to take part in

Join the Dance Network Association (DNA) and embark on a personal journey of dancing discovery. Taking part in the classes you will learn new skills and challenge yourself.

The live weekly classes have a suggested fee of £5 (or pay what you can afford) to help support the dance classes brought to you during this pandemic and beyond.

Classes where they can be - will be uploaded to the Dance Live page of the website following the session so you can take part time and time again!

You can watch all the videos here.

'Dance and Stretch your mind down' is for anyone wishing to start their week off in the right way! It is a time for articulation of the joints, stretch of those muscles and relaxing that mind. Appropriate for anyone who is in the world of work. Class has been designed specifically for 'Dancing Through with DNA'. Classes will be delivered live via Zoom by Lizzie Hawes.

Take a Seat is for those that love to dance but wish to stay seated. The class is appropriate for all adults including those living with ailments.

B&NES News

Bath named as one of the best places to live and do business in

Bath has been named as one of the top places in the country to live and do business in, according to a new study.

It follows two separate reports published last year which named Bath as the most progressive city in the UK and the second-best location in the country to work from home.

Councillor Dine Romero, Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council, said: “I’m proud that Bath has been recognised as one of the best places in the UK to live and do businesses in. As a council environmental and social issues are top of our agenda and we’ve shown commitment and leadership in tackling the threats to our planet by declaring both a Climate and Ecological Emergency, ensuring they are at the heart of our local decision-making process.

“Our communities have proved time and again that they are socially aware and forward thinking from recycling huge amounts during lockdown to embracing the need to transform the way we travel to cut carbon emissions.

Read the full article here.

Vehicle charging scheme to cut air pollution launches in Bath

From Monday 15 March the UK’s first charging clean air zone (CAZ) outside of London launches in Bath to drive down harmful pollution and protect public health.

From midnight, polluting vehicles will be charged £9 or £100 a day to drive in the centre of Bath. Private cars and motorbikes will not be charged.

The scheme is designed to tackle Bath’s air pollution problem which is chiefly caused by vehicle emissions. Several areas in the city regularly exceed the legal limits for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution – even during lockdown.

Daily charges will apply seven days a week, midnight to midnight, all year round for chargeable vehicles with a pre euro 6 diesel or pre euro 4 petrol engine.

Bath is the first of several charging clean air zones to be introduced across England over the next few years. Funding for the clean air zone has come from central government. A similar scheme already operates in London, known as the Low Emission Zone.

Read the full article here.

Businesses to receive £4m in grant support

More than 1500 businesses across Bath and North East Somerset financially affected by the latest national lockdown will receive more than £4m in grant support next week.

The latest payments which cover the period up to the 31 March will be transferred to businesses which submitted claims on Monday.

Bath & North East Somerset Council is now urging all businesses to review whether they are eligible for financial support as the deadline for applications to a number of the grant schemes is fast approaching.

Councillor Richard Samuel, deputy leader and cabinet member for Resources, said: “Since the start of the pandemic we have processed more than 9,000 applications and awarded around £50m in financial support to local businesses through the national schemes and local discretionary grants scheme. Without this support many businesses would have struggled to survive.

Read the full article here.

We Hear You (WHY) Outdoor Classes

Counselling charity We Hear You (WHY) are once again offering ‘WHYoutdoors’ nature connection courses this Spring, aimed at people living with and beyond cancer. The next courses start on Wednesday 21st April at Combe Grove in Bath and Thursday 22nd April at Chesterblade Hills near Shepton Mallet and run for six weeks.

The courses follow a 2019 collaboration with Bristol-based nature therapy specialists The Natural Academy, who have trained four of WHY’s counselling team to deliver the course. Groups meet once a week in a beautiful natural setting and take part in guided individual and group activities, all aimed at increasing a connection with nature to improve wellbeing.

WHY counsellor and WHYoutdoors facilitator Barbara Gonzalez says: “WHYoutdoors aims to resource participants with the skills, knowledge and experiential awareness of how their relationship to nature can be a supportive resource and, importantly, how this relationship can be reciprocal. The courses help participants to develop a closer relationship to nature, deepen their own self-awareness and share their experiences with peers making meaningful and supportive connections. Many thanks to the teams at Chesterblade Hills and Combe Grove for allowing us to use the beautiful Green Heart Space for this important work.”

Feedback for previous WHYoutdoors courses includes:

“The facilitators took us on an exploration of ourselves using nature as a tool which was so simple yet life changing for me.”

"I’ve been totally inspired by it. Simple things like listening to the rain, two years ago I would have been sat at the laptop and I wouldn’t have even noticed it, I wouldn’t have taken the time to go out and stand in it, which I would now because it’s priceless. It was a gift to have the time to be outside, be peaceful, be alone in good company, I couldn’t wait to get there every week."

To find out more and refer yourself for the next WHYoutdoors courses or any of We Hear You’s services for people affected by cancer and life-threatening conditions, call 01373 455255 or email info@wehearyou.org.uk.

Golden Carers: Staying Active at Home

Arts, Craft, Hobbies

Get creative with activity ideas for cooking, craft, gifts, poetry, colouring, music, and more!

Whatever you're looking for, you'll find it here!

  • Agricultural Festivals
  • Artist Impressions
  • Colouring
  • Cooking
  • Craft
  • Gift Ideas
  • Hobby Clubs
  • Intergenera­tional
  • Poetry
  • Short Stories
  • Theme Days

View the articles here.

The NAPA Wellbeing Walk 2021.

NAPA invites you to take part in the Wellbeing Walk 2021 on the 15th May (If this date doesn’t suit you then choose another!)

The NAPA Year of Moving and Grooving 2021 is a campaign to support the care sector to prioritise physical activity, with the aim of improving physical, psychological and social well-being. Physical activities are defined as those activities that increase your heart rate and cause you to breathe more deeply and can include walking, cycling, gardening or dancing, as well as other sport and exercise-based activities.

The NAPA Wellbeing Walk is a sponsored walk with a difference! And the difference is you! There are lots of ways you can make the walk fun and personal to you! You can…. walk round the garden, along the promenade, up a hill, down a valley, dress up, take the dog, dance and skip, hula hoop….. whatever you fancy! We hope the walk will encourage our members and supporters to bring people together, keep fit and raise funds to support NAPA’s work. Walking is good for you, it’s fun, free, boosts mood, exercises the heart, and provides the benefit of fresh air.

NAPA National Tea Dance

Online Writing Group from Dorothy House

During the pandemic when many of us are feeling isolated and missing connection with others, we are inviting you to discover this new online writing space, a place where you can ‘drop in’ with paper and pen, your thoughts and a cuppa. Whether you've always kept a journal, and writing is a part of your life, or writing for wellbeing is entirely new for you and you're a little hesitant, we're excited to share this with you.

Friday mornings at 10.30am on Zoom.

After the success of the Writing Through Grief workshops, Tessa and Mike from the Bereavement Team at Dorothy House are looking forward to offering this to all within the community, welcoming everyone arriving with their differing and varied experiences of the last year and lockdown.

A writing theme will be offered each week in a relaxed, group setting, with time to chat and reflect. Please be reassured this is about the process of writing, not a ‘polished end product’, freely using your own words to explore as you wish. There will be opportunities, but no obligation, to share and please be reassured no previous writing experience is necessary.

  • Witness your own thoughts and feelings through a variety of writing activities.
  • Uncover surprises and memories, give clarity to thoughts and bring reassurance.
  • Step back from the present, then return to it after writing.
  • Hear other people’s stories of finding peace through writing.

In a time where many of us are feeling a sense of isolation and distance from others, we encourage you to join us and write your way towards springtime....

For further information please contact us on 01225 721496 / bereavementsupportadmin@dorothyhouse-hospice.org.uk

Bereavement Support from Dorothy House

Bereavement Online Peer Support (BOPS)

We recognise that during these restricted times, without the usual rituals and presence of family and friends for support, the process of healing can feel delayed, as the isolation and loneliness inherent in grief feels all the more acute and intense. Therefore connection with others who understand through similar experience, can feel valuable and reassuring.

Our BOPS groups provide an opportunity for that connection by feeling both supported by and supportive of, others in the group. Each BOPS meets weekly for 6 sessions and is facilitated by members of the Bereavement Team

Every Monday, 2.30 – 4.00pm by Zoom.

Virtual Information on Bereavement Evening (VIBE)

If you are recently bereaved, come and join the Bereavement Team at one of our Virtual Information on Bereavement Evenings. The evening is an opportunity to explore and debunk some of the myths around grief, the team will provide information and resources, and there will be an opportunity to ask questions. Being reassured that what we are experiencing, whilst unbearable at times, is the natural ‘ebb and flow’ of grief, so that we may feel less overwhelmed by thoughts and feelings.

Monthly at 7.00pm on Zoom.

These events are free and are open to everyone. There is no need to have had a previous connection to our organisation.

For further information and to book your place call us on 01225 721496 or email: bereavementsupportadmin@dorothyhouse-hospice.org.uk

Footsteps Festival 2021

Footsteps Festival 2021 is a year-long celebration of living well with pain. Developed by people who live with pain and professionals in pain management, Footsteps Festival takes a creative approach to living well with persistent pain.

It’s been a tough year for everyone, especially people living with pain, so Footsteps Festival aims to bring people together, with a eclectic and fun mix of free online events on everything from understanding your pain, to finding new and creative ways of living well despite it. Events are happening right across our Footsteps Festival site.

Check out our festival zones:

The festival team is working with artists, health practitioners and well-known arts companies such as Opera North and Balbir Singh Dance Company to create a festival full of inspiring events. Many of these will also be published later on this website. But don’t worry if you miss something – you can catch up with past festival events as they build into an online archive of creative resources for living well with pain.

Find more info here.

Classes from Creativity Works

Creativity Works provides creative courses and activities, which inspire and empower people to explore, develop and grow. Through our work we draw communities together and enable more people to access the arts, with a particular focus on those living with mental health challenges or facing difficulties in their lives.

We aim to help you stay creative, connected, learning new skills and be inspired by the world around you.

Peer led groups:

  • Get Creative peer led art group - Tuesdays 1.30pm – 3pm - face to face sessions
  • Writing Space peer led group - Tuesdays 2pm – 3.30pm - online / face to face
  • Keynsham Snap & Stroll at home Facebook page for residents of Keynsham

New online Zoom projects:

  • Journaling for Wellbeing, 6 week course - 27th January – 3rd March 10.30am – 12noon
  • Writing for Wellbeing Taster session - 22nd Feb 2pm – 3.30pm
  • Writing for Wellbeing, 5 week course - 1st – 29th March, Mondays 2pm – 3.30pm

Click here to see classes available.

Goldies Live!

Every Tuesday and Thursday at 11am Rachel and Cheryl are running fun, free, online singalongs. To join in all you need to do is visit the Golden-Oldies website www.goldieslive.com or YouTube and Facebook Page. The sessions are recorded and go 'live' on YouTube so you can watch as many times as you like - free of charge. The song words are on the screen so you can join in and Sing&Smile in your own homes.

You can also email Goldies with song requests for special occasions like birthdays or anniversaries, or just because you like it: info@goldieslive.com

The Silver Line

Help for older people

Talking Therapies

B&NES Community Wellbeing Hub can help you

From B&NES website: As the country enters a second national lockdown the Community Wellbeing Hub, previously known as the Compassionate Community Hub, stands ready to support vulnerable people across Bath and North East Somerset.

The hub, which is a collaboration between Bath & North East Somerset Council, Virgin Care and 3SG, was formed in March to provide a range of support to residents during the coronavirus pandemic. Over the past seven months the hub has received 8,700 calls, delivered 394 emergency food parcels and supported hundreds of people with help from a volunteer for shopping and medication pick-ups.

Residents across Bath and North East Somerset can contact the Hub or organisations can refer someone who is in need of help by:

Shopping & Paying Online Safely

With more of us shopping online than ever before, MoneyAdviceService has put together an essential list on to how stay safe online. Whether you're doing grocery shopping, online banking, buying a book or DVD there's advice for everyone here.

How to use Zoom

Use the following videos and links to get started on Zoom. There are lots of useful tips and information about making an account, joining a class, and setting up your own meetings with friends/ famil

Use this link to find out how to get started on Windows and Mac.

From Zoom.us how to join a meeting

From BusinessInsider

The best of the best (updated weekly)

We're taking the opportunity to showcase the best of the last twenty newsletters, whether it's helpful info on buying food or making it, keeping yourself entertained, or staying safe - it's all here.

Food Shopping Online

Morrisons Food Boxes

Essentials Boxes We've made stocking up the cupboard easier with our range of Essentials Food Boxes. You can choose from mixed essentials, meat, fish, vegetarian and gluten free boxes – with more being added every week.

Occasions Boxes Food is often at the heart of a traditional get-together. Celebrating those special occasions with our friends and family has become more of a challenge under the current circumstances. Whether you order a themed box to enjoy with your household, team up with friends and family who've ordered a box too, or send a box as a surprise and share the celebration via social media our Occasions Food Boxes are a way of sharing a meal together – whilst apart.

View all of the boxes available here.

B&NES Community Wellbeing Hub

B&NES Hub have combined resources to ensure that, as a service, we are able to provide sustainable and appropriate responses to meet community needs. This includes access to over 2,500 volunteers recruited, checked and trained by Banes 3SG.

Here's how the community hub can help:

  1. Delivery of urgent supplies
  2. A friendly phone call
  3. Collection of medication
  4. Money matters and work
  5. Mental wellbeing (including loneliness, low mood, anxiety)
  6. Advice on keeping active
  7. Advice and support on achieving a healthy weight
  8. Housing issues
  9. Housing Advice
  10. Food and cooking
  11. Advice and support on stopping smoking
  12. Understanding public health advice

You can access support via the helpline on 0300 247 0050 or via email. This service will operate 5 days a week Monday – Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm. Click here to find out more.

B&NES 3SG

BaNES 3SG - Here, you can find a list of places across Bath and surrounding areas who are delivering groceries, food, takeaways and even medicines. Check out the full list with contact details for each place offering services.

Online Deliveries

Milk & More – basics including milk, cheeses, breads and more, all delivered to your door.

Hello Fresh – fresh food items delivered to your door.

Morrison's Doorstep Delivery - The Morrisons Doorstep delivery service is available to vulnerable and elderly members of the community, unable to go shopping in-store. Call 0345 611 6111 and select option 5 to place your order.

You Want 2 Cook

Our fantastic cooking teacher, Louise is offering a variety of recipes for you to do at home via her Facebook pages: Youwant2cook and What2eattoday

Meals on Wheels

If you're struggling to get the meals you need AgeUK, B&NES Council and Bath City Farm are all offering home deliveries for those in need. For more information from these providers follow the links below.

BaNES Council meals-on-wheels service, information can be found here.

AGEUK offer a range of meals delivered to your door, to view the meals available click here. To place an order with AgeUK please contact: communitymeals@ageukwiltshire.org.uk or phone 01793 687017 (Age UK Wiltshire covers the B&NES Meals on Wheels area) or use the online booking form.

To contact Bath City Farm - please email them at mealsonwheels@bathcityfarm.org.uk

Wiltshire Farm Foods – visit their website or phone 0800 077 3100. Ready-made meals which can be microwaved or oven cooked at home.

Health at Home

Mindfulness from Mind.org

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a technique you can learn which involves making a special effort to notice what's happening in the present moment (in your mind, body and surroundings) – without judging anything. It has roots in Buddhism and meditation, but you don't have to be spiritual, or have any particular beliefs, to try it.

It aims to help you:

  • become more self-aware
  • feel calmer and less stressed
  • feel more able to choose how to respond to your thoughts and feelings
  • cope with difficult or unhelpful thoughts
  • be kinder towards yourself.

Found out more from Mind here.

Wellbeing Packs Delivered to your door

Compassionate Community is offering to deliver a bi-monthly wellbeing pack, either for yourself or on behalf of someone who would benefit.

Click here to find out more about the wellbeing packs available, and follow this link to request your own wellbeing pack.

Anyone is welcome to download and print-off back-dated packs by clicking on the links below:

  1. Wellbeing Pack 1
  2. Wellbeing Pack 2
  3. Wellbeing Pack 3
  4. Wellbeing Pack 4
  5. Wellbeing Pack 5
  6. Wellbeing Pack 6

The Help Hub

The Help Hub are a "group of qualified therapists who are here to listen and support individuals who find themselves with limited contact due to the Covid-19 Coronavirus."

Available to anyone in the UK, the HelpHub is helping those suffering from anxiety, loneliness and isolation. Some are fearful, worried about their health or their loved ones.

The HelpHub enables people to speak to someone who knows how to listen to their fears. Through the website, people book a twenty-minute appointment to speak to one of over 800 therapists, all of whom are volunteering their time and expertise to ensure the HelpHub can provide a free service.

Find out more information here.

NHS Guidance

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has meant only leaving your home if it's essential, but it's still easy to get NHS help using your smartphone, tablet or computer.

This page contains information to help you:

  • contact your GP
  • order repeat prescriptions
  • manage long-term conditions
  • maintain your mental and physical wellbeing

If you need an NHS service, try to do it online first. If you cannot access what you need this way or do not have internet access, try asking a friend or family member to help you, or speak to your GP surgery on the phone.

Visit the Health at Home website by using this link: https://www.nhs.uk/health-at-home/

Creativity & Learning

Somerset Skills & Learning

Offeering a wide range of courses and a supportive learning environment, with friendly tutors to help you achieve your goals. SSL provides nationally recognised qualifications, traineeships, apprenticeships, training and career development courses, maths and English, digital skills and a range of distance learning courses.

To view all the courses available for free online click here.

ArtSeen is giving away free lantern kits to all St John's patrons

ArtSeen is a new organisation in Bath delivering community arts. We would have been coordinating a BIG community Bath Lantern Procession this year, if not for Covid-19.

Instead, we are coordinating the Light Fantastic Lantern Project https://www.artseen.info/lanterns-2020

Learning

The Open University offer a variety of free online courses covering everything from arts, sciences, health, wellbeing and much more.

Gardening Tips from the National Trust - lots of good advice from beginners to seasoned growers.

RSPB Bird Watching - an A to Z of birds.

RSPB Wildlife Guide - identify all wildlife around you.

Painting

Greyson Perry's Art Club - Greyson Perry, one of Britain's leading artists, brings the nation together through art, making new works and hosting masterclasses set to unleash our collective creativity during lockdown.

Learn to Draw - a free online tutorial covering sketching basics and materials.

Oil Painting for Beginners - basic techniques with a step by step demonstration for all abilities.

Introduction to Acrylic Painting - how to paint with acrylics, a paint along art class.

Easy Watercolour Painting - painting ideas for beginners step by step.

Stitching & Crafting

Hand Embroidery for Beginners - covering how to prepare for hand embroidery. Learn how to use embroidery hook, and how to start stitching.

Kirstie Allsopp Keep Crafting & Carry On - in this episode she makes a cool light box, a beautiful spring garland and a fun painted pebble game.

Books

Free Books Online – a resource of fifteen websites where you can read books for free.

Online Video

Netflix – an online video streaming platform to watch TV, films and documentaries. From £5.99 per month.

BBC's Silver Screen Classics - all your favourite films online for free.

YouTube – videos covering everything from arts to education and more.

Crosswords & Puzzles

Crosswords and puzzles – lots of options to choose from here.

Virtual Tours & Events

Stonehenge virtual tour - take an interactive tour of Stonehenge with our 360 degree view from inside the monument.

BBC Rewind & Reminiscence Archive - this platform provides access to a selection of footage from the BBC Archives, designed to support reminiscence therapy.

Virtual Events in Bath - lots for culture vultures. With over 120 events spread out over ten days, the multi-arts Bath Festival is the perfect excuse for a longer stay in the city. The line-up features rock, classical and world music from a host of global performers, and for bookworms, there’s an encyclopaedic literature programme of talks and question and answer sessions from top writers.

Frome Open Art Trail - The Frome Open Art Trail celebrates local artists and makers, normally taking place alongside the Frome Festival in July. Now it will be online as a Virtual Art Trail.

Staying in Touch

How can we stay in virtual touch with our relatives?

As the government encourages "social distancing" in the fight against coronavirus, older adults are facing the prospect of being told to stay at home and isolate.

But what if a parent or older person in your life, doesn't already have access to video calling tech?

Integrated kit can be the easiest solution - and could be hundreds of pounds cheaper than buying a laptop, tablet, or a mid-range smartphone.

Amazon, Google, and Facebook all have smart devices with screens for video calls.

One problem with all these devices is their expense and another is their need to be on a stable, decent wi-fi connection at all times. Sometimes, a smartphone might be the better option.

Read the full BBC article here.

Exercise

BBC Exercising at Home – the BBC are offering tips on exercising at home, and The Green Goddess – “the original keep-fit queen of the 80s - is making a comeback on BBC Breakfast. Eighty-year-old Diana Moran will be doing exercises three times a week from self-isolation so viewers can follow along at home”.

Beginners Tai Chi – a good beginners Tai Chi class which can be done seated or standing.

Chair Yoga – for beginners and anyone wanting seated chair yoga.

General Work Out – aimed at older persons, can be done seated or standing.

Meditation – a 5 minute video on meditation that you can do anywhere.

Our fabulous tutor, Jules, has also put some of her courses online for free. The short mindfulness and yoga videos can be viewed here. Below is one of Jules' most popular videos: Chair Yoga.

Make Your Own Face Mask

Previous Newsletters 2021

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

Activities Remotely #1 2021, Activities Remotely #2 2021, Activities Remotely #3 2021Activities Remotely #4, Activities Remotely #5, Activities Remotely #6, Activities Remotely #7, Activities Remotely #8, Activities Remotely #9, Activities Remotely #10, Activities Remotely #11, Activities Remotely #12, Activities Remotely #13.

Previous Newsletters 2020

Activities Remotely 1Activities Remotely 2Activities Remotely 3Activities Remotely 4Activities Remotely 5Activities Remotely 6Activities Remotely 7Activities Remotely 8Activities Remotely 9Activities Remotely 10Activities Remotely 11Activities Remotely 12Activities Remotely 13Activities Remotely 14Activities Remotely 15Activities Remotely 16Activities Remotely 17Activities Remotely 18Activities Remotely 19Activities Remotely 20Activities Remotely 21Activities Remotely 22Activities Remotely 23Activities Remotely 24Activities Remotely 25Activities Remotely 26Activities Remotely 27Activities Remotely 28Activities Remotely 29

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
Appreciate

Credits:

Genesis Trust, Creativity Works, Goodfood, BBC, Positive.News, Mindful.org, Mind.org, Google, National Garden Scheme (NGS), Sam Norris,