Free Creative Writing Workshop
Expressive Creative Writing
Monday 22 February 2021 at 10:00 - 12:00
This short online workshop will provide you with the skills and knowledge to be able to practice expressive creative writing and apply it to your daily life.
Expressive creative writing shows imagination and creativity, rather than fact based technical writing and is a form of therapy to express something.
Wild Writing: Nature-Based Expressive Creative Writing for Wellbeing
5 week course starting Monday 1 March 2021 at 10:00am-12:00pm.
You will learn what Nature-based Expressive Creative Writing (ECW) is, the tools and techniques it involves, and how it can be used for personal wellbeing, growth and connection with others, as well as a celebration of the natural world and a means of sharing knowledge and awareness of the environment and current threats to it.
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
Igloo Fundraiser for Genesis Trust
Staff and students at Monkton School had this fantastic idea when the snow fell in Bath recently. Cosmo O’Reilly, a teacher and houseparent at Monkton School wanted to ensure that the boarders staying at the school would have fun that Sunday and so set about the igloo construction project with the students from age ten to eighteen. One youngster had never seen snow before and they all had “a great day in the snow, building a giant igloo with an awesome team of pupils and staff up at Monkton Prep School.”
Mr O’Reilly made the impromptu decision to spend the night in the igloo to raise money for Genesis Trust and to support homeless and vulnerable people in Bath. The build was finished at 9.30pm. So far an amazing £770.00 has been raised.
Ginger & Polenta Cake Recipe
Learn how to make this mouth-watering ginger polenta cake. The ginger in this recipe gives this gorgeous gluten-free cake a delicious kick. This delicious bake takes only 15 mins to prep and then you can let the oven do all the hard work for you. The tangy ginger flavour and the softness of the polenta sponge work wonders together. This recipe makes around 15 slices. Enjoy it over a cuppa! Find the recipe here.
The Duchess of Cornwall starts online bookclub
St John's Foundation's patron HRH The Duchess of Cornwall has started an online bookclub, The Reading Room, in which she recommends books to read during the lockdown. The bookclub started after the success of sharing her reading lists through the pandemic. The Instagram page (@duchessofcornwallsreadingroom) currently features her two most recently recommended books 'The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse' by Charlie Mackesy, and 'The Mirror & the Light' by Hilary Mantel, as well as speaking with the authors and providing thoughts for discussion.
‘To me, reading is a great adventure. I’ve loved it since I was very small and I’d love everybody else to enjoy it as much as I do. You can escape, and you can travel, and you can laugh and you can cry. There’s every kind of emotion humans experience in a book.’
HRH Duchess of Cornwall pictured here in 2017 with St John's Foundation's over 55s Swans Ballet class, led by tutor Kim Jones.
Over the next eight weeks the featured books include:
- The Mirror & The Light - Hilary Mantel
- Where the Crawdads Sing - Delia Owens
- Restless - William Boyd
- The Architect's Apprentice - Elif Shafak
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: email@example.com
Meditation from Stephen
Let us today encounter 'The Love that moves the sun and the other stars', to describe Paradise from Dante's Divine Comedy.
Some folk assert that meditation and contemplative prayer are self-serving and individualistic practices. Richard Rohr, Franciscan and founder of the Centre for Action and Contemplation suggests the opposite:
“Before transformation, we are basically sleepwalking, going through the motions on the surface of life, which is why spiritual teachers like Jesus and Buddha tell us to “wake up.” When our ego or small self is in charge, we are not free; we are being ordered about by our preferences, our likes and dislikes. Is it really liberating to believe the world revolves around us or conversely, that we must hold it all together?
As we engage in contemplative prayer and allow God to transform us through great love and great suffering, we are reminded of our inherent connectedness. We are liberated from thinking of ourselves as somehow separate from everyone and everything else, including God.
After an authentic God encounter, everything else is relativized. There is only one Absolute and it is God, not us or our culture. Both are de-centered. Through prayer we find God both deep within us and all around us. We know our True Self is part of God and lives in God. We are no longer limited by our culturally conditioned reactions but have access to a greater Source of love and ultimate freedom.”
Enjoy this freedom from self-centeredness with us for meditation Mondays 11-11.30am or when you can.
Many thanks, Stephen
What went right in 2020: the top 20 good news stories of the year
It’s been a year like no other. As challenging as 2020 has been, the past 12 months have also seen big wins for the environment, society and culture, human rights – and even health. Read on for 20 stories of progress that got hidden behind the headlines in 2020.
Scam alert - residents need to be vigilant as criminals offer COVID-19 vaccine
Residents across Bath and North East Somerset are being warned about coronavirus scams and fraudsters who are claiming to be from the NHS.
Across the UK, members of the public have received fraudulent text messages claiming to be from the NHS offering them the opportunity to sign up for the Covid-19 vaccine.
The texts ask the recipient to click on a link which takes them to an online form where they are prompted to input personal and financial details. In some cases the online form looks very similar to the real NHS website.
In the UK, coronavirus vaccines are only available via the NHS. Individuals may be contacted by the NHS, their employer, a GP surgery or a local pharmacy to book an appointment for the vaccine. At no point will payment be requested, the vaccine is always free of charge.
The online archive helping elderly people beat lockdown isolation
As millions of elderly and vulnerable people in the UK face yet more time stuck inside with limited social contact, a new online service is offering them a valuable lockdown lifeline.
The Living Memories Online portal, a not-for-profit community interest company, contains more than 2,000 archive films and newsreels from the 1930s to the 1970s. As well as capturing important world events, the clippings cover everyday life at home and work. The idea is that the films help spark memories and encourage older people, including those with dementia, to reminisce with families, friends and carers.
Dancing duo replaces 'doddery' pair in age positive sign overhaul
Walking sticks and hunched-over figures are familiar ways to visually designate old age – but should they be? This question was the starting point for a competition by the charity Centre for Ageing Better, which asked designers to submit ‘age positive’ alternatives.
The winning entry, a submission by London-based SwaG Design, gave the original symbol of the couple crossing the road an energetic spin, with their walking stick becoming a dancing cane.
“Dancing is one of the things that people of all ages love,” said Jon Miller from SwaG Design. “It promotes physical, mental and emotional health as well as a chance to be sociable, expressive and uplifting.” Read more here.
Grayson’s Art Club returns, inviting submissions on six new themes
“Art is good for you, whoever you are,” says Grayson Perry in the tagline for his popular TV series Grayson’s Art Club; and so it returns for a second dose.
The artist and his co-star/wife, psychotherapist and author Philippa Perry, have announced that series two will air on Channel 4 in February, and that anyone can submit their artworks to be considered to feature in one of the six episodes based on different themes. These themes are family, nature, food, dreams, work and travel.
Celebrating 50 years of decimal currency.
On 15 February 1971 Britain changed over from the centuries old system of pounds, shillings and pence to a new currency based on 100 pennies to the pound. This change effected the entire nation, bringing people together as they learnt to master a new way of valuing everything. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Decimal Day in February 2021, we will be hosting a national programme of activities with the aim of connecting generations and getting people talking about their memories of the changeover. Explore here to find out more and get involved.
Mindfulness Meditation with Sandhya
From Monday 18 January 2021 @ 10am.
Take a moment to pause, slow down, and breathe. Learn how to bring mindfulness into our every day activities. No previous experience necessary.
Sandhya will share with you relaxation exercises and stress busting techniques. They will incorporate Mindfulness meditation, movement, deep relaxation, breathing techniques and lots more.
‘This meditation course fulfilled my expectations and more’
Please bring a bottle of water, a cushion and a blanket for deep relaxation. Teaching us how to bring mindfulness into our every day activities.
Breathe and Begin with Jacky Wise
Monday to Thursday morning 8.30am - 8.50am
A unique time of deep breathing and mindfulness, with a motivational thought and prayer to help you through the day.
Led by Rev Jacky Wise.
Drawing & Painting in Watercolours with Sarah
From Tuesday 19 January 2021 @ 10am.
Enjoy learning and developing different watercolour techniques in Sarah's step-by-step sessions. With your fellow painters, you will create a watercolour sketch and come away with ideas to develop further. Suitable for beginners through to the more creatively experienced.
Gentle Yoga with Jules
From Tuesday 19 January @ 2pm.
Great for beginners or people returning to exercise, recovering from injury, illness, living with fibromyalgia, a disability, arthritis, health issues, long term illness, chronic pain or chronic fatigue, an elder, or in need of stress relief! Classes are fun, informal and everyone is made to feel welcome.
You will be practice Breath exercises, Meditation, Mindfulness, Gentle Yoga Postures and Relaxation (Yoga Nidra) Exercises will be mainly be chair based, but you can also practice on a mat, in a bed, standing, whatever works best for you
Chair Yoga with Liz
From Wednesday 20 January 2021 @ 10am.
This class is for anyone who would like to improve their mobility, balance and co-ordination. The exercises are a mix of gentle yoga-based stretching, strengthening and breathing - all done either sitting or standing (no lying down on mats).
Tai Chi Movements for Wellbeing with Betsan
From Thursday 21 January 2021 @ 10am
During this gentle and relaxing class, you will learn 'Tai Chi Movements for Wellbeing' (TMW) - an easy-to-learn sequence of twelve movements designed to promote physical and emotional wellbeing.
Free Fun Monthly Quiz with Ricky
On Friday 22 January, Friday 26 February and Friday 26 March @ 10am.
Taking place on the 4th Friday of each month at 10am, join Ricky for a free, fun, online quiz.
Lots of fun prizes to be won!
We look forward to seeing you there.
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
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.
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:
- Delivery of urgent supplies
- A friendly phone call
- Collection of medication
- Money matters and work
- Mental wellbeing (including loneliness, low mood, anxiety)
- Advice on keeping active
- Advice and support on achieving a healthy weight
- Housing issues
- Housing Advice
- Food and cooking
- Advice and support on stopping smoking
- Understanding public health advice
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.
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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com
Wiltshire Farm Foods – visit their website or phone 0800 077 3100. Ready-made meals which can be microwaved or oven cooked 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.
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.
Anyone is welcome to download and print-off back-dated packs by clicking on the links below:
- Wellbeing Pack 1
- Wellbeing Pack 2
- Wellbeing Pack 3
- Wellbeing Pack 4
- Wellbeing Pack 5
- 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.
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/
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.
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
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.
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.
Free Books Online – a resource of fifteen websites where you can read books for free.
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.
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.
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.
Poetry in the pandemic - project aims to engage young people in creative writing
Man, 73, finishes 1,000-mile lockdown run - he completed his personal challenge of running 1,000 miles during the coronavirus lockdown.
Re-wilding Britain: the plan to restore an area the size of Manchester - a new nature network plans to re-wild 300,000 acres of land in the UK, in a bid to boost biodiversity and tackle climate change
Nurse hugs two-year-old son after 11 weeks apart - a self-isolating nurse has finally hugged her two-year-old son after 11 "heartbreaking" lockdown weeks apart.
Hundreds of socially-distanced hearts appear in Bristol parks - the 374 large white hearts are being applied to Queen’s Square, Castle Park and College Green in Bristol
Suffolk villagers club together to buy dog a wheelchair - a dog is a "happy chappy" again after villagers clubbed together to buy him a wheelchair so he can enjoy walks after losing the use of his back legs.
Free bike repair vouchers - there are an estimated 16.5m cycles gathering dust in England’s sheds and hallways, according to the charity Cycling UK. But that number could be about to fall with the introduction of the government’s ‘fix your bike’ scheme, which is giving away 50,000 bike repair vouchers worth £50 to people living in England.
Blue tit rescued from Ipswich garden may become 'a friend for life'- a blue tit found abandoned in a back garden seems to have adopted his human rescuer as his mother.
Medal for lockdown litter picking boy in Sleaford - a seven-year-old boy from Sleaford has been given an award for his tireless efforts to keep his local park tidy.
Rainbow of knitted flowers to mark the 72nd Birthday of the NHS - A rainbow made from more than 1,300 knitted or crocheted flowers has been put on display in tribute to the 72nd Birthday of the NHS.
In St Mungo's Wellbeing Guide, you'll find useful online resources and ideas to support positive mental health and wellbeing whilst at home during Covid-19. Each resource is based around one of the 5 Ways To Wellbeing, which may help to maintain your positivity, gain a fresh perspective and give you a different focus during this difficult time.
Genesis Trust, Creativity Works, Goodfood, BBC, Positive.News, Mindful.org, Mind.org, Google, National Garden Scheme (NGS), Sam Norris,