Activities Remotely Newsletter St John's Foundation Est. 1174

2021 Activities Remotely Newsletter #11

We have so much to keep you busy and entertained in this week's newsletter; whether you're looking for Dance & Stretch or Take A Seat exercise, Card Making and Crafts, Virtual Garden Visits, or to Improve Your Memory, we have plenty for you to join in with!

Tomorrow is the last Friday of the month, which means Ricky's Monthly Quiz will be taking place at 10am. Join for free for your chance to win prices! Book here.

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. In the meantime, check out our new programme of online activities, whether it's Watercolours, Tai Chi, Meditation or Gentle Exercise you'll be busy for the next 8 weeks!

We also have last week's celebration of International Women's Day, an invitation to join four free online sessions on Romans in Bath and Bath's World Heritage Art Club and plenty more you can enjoy at home.

We also have the latest timetable for our online programme of activities At Home with St John's, and lots of information about staying safe & well. Articles also include how to stay safe while online food shopping and ideas for keeping busy, plus plenty more.

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:

Click here to book your place on the online activities!

Book your place for Sandyha's Mindfulness Meditation here.

Book your place for Sarah's Watercolours here. Now at 2pm

Book your place for Liz's Chair Exercise here.

Book your place for Betsan's Tai Chi here.

Book your place for Make & Do with the Roman's here.

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.

Improve Your Memory

Starting 06/04/2021, Tuesdays 12:00 - 15:00

1 session

Are you worried that your memory is not very good and that you keep forgetting things? Do you go into a room and forget why?

Has lockdown made it worse or is it your age?

Don’t worry, you are not alone! This 3-hour workshop will explore different memory techniques and show you how to use them in your life or when studying.

Join our friendly tutor to find out more about keeping your brain and memory healthy with just a few key exercises.

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.

Virtual Garden Visit

Vann, Surrey; a living legacy to a life-long love of gardening

Triumphant Tulips

Live online talk with Philippa Burrough at Ulting Wick.

Tuesday 30th March – 7pm (GMT). £10.00.

The talk with Q&A will last approximately 60 – 90 minutes.

Click here to book your place.

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.

Meditation from Stephen

Continuing the theme of Celtic Spirituality here is a blessing:

Deep peace of the running wave to you,

Deep peace of the flowing air to you,

Deep peace of the quiet earth to you,

Deep peace of the shining stars to you,

Deep peace of the gentle night to you,

Moon and stars pour their healing light on you.


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.

Take part in Census 2021 and ensure future decisions for B&NES are made on the best information

Householders across Bath and North East Somerset are being encouraged to help show how Covid has affected their communities and help plan for the future by taking part in the census on March 21.

Census 2021 is run by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and is key to making sure decisions on the future of hospitals, schools, transport and other public services, following the pandemic and EU exit, are based on the best information possible.

The census is once-in-a-decade survey that gives the most accurate estimate of all people and households in England and Wales.

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.

International Women’s Day - Stories from St John's

Monday 8th March marked International Women’s Day. Significantly, two-thirds of the workforce at St John’s are female, so it is fitting that we shine a spotlight on their achievements, raise awareness against bias and take action for equality. This is a focus for us not just today, but all year round; we actively champion a workforce that empowers females, while supporting and respecting them.

To mark the occasion, we have collected an array of stories from our female staff that celebrate women’s achievements, while raising awareness of key issues. You can watch the video below and read the full stories here.

Thank you to Jennie, Becky, Caroline, Nikki, Jacky, Jayne, Louise and Cathy for contributing your stories.

What the Roman's did for us - a free online talk

In partnership with the Roman Baths, St John's Foundation has organised four free online talks by Laura Nicholls, about the history of the Roman Baths and Romans.

Come along and find out about your local area.

Fridays, April 16, 23, 30, and May 7, 10-11am.


We will be creating booking links shortly, in the meantime if you would like to attend please email us at activities@stjohnsbath.org.uk

Find out more about the Baths at the Roman Baths Blog.

Bath World Heritage Art Club

Together the Roman Baths, Fashion Museum, Victoria Art Gallery and Bath Record Office have joined to bring you a range of themed activity videos so you can get creative at home. All of the instructions and a list of materials you will need are included in the short videos.

Celebrate the city's stunning Georgian architecture by making your own Bath Building Card.

Celebrate World Heritage in the UK by making a Stonehenge Solstice Silhouette.

Celebrate international World Heritage by making a Stained Glass Window.

Get inspired by Bath's green setting and make a Landscape Collage. Here is a PDF version of the same landscape activity.

Discover something that happened in one of Bath's Georgian Pleasure Gardens and make a Colourful Balloon.

See Roman and Georgian faces found in Bath and make a Stone Mask Sculpture.

Visit a natural World Heritage Site and make a Beautiful Belize Barrier Reef Fish.

Get creative with more Art Club activities from the Roman Baths, Fashion Museum, Victoria Art Gallery and Bath Record Office.

To keep up to date with the ever-changing activities, sign up to the Learning e-newsletter here.

National Garden Scheme

A host of golden daffodil gardens

Photo by John Glover

Blooming brilliant yellow in drifts across the garden, daffodils can brighten even the dullest winter day. The daffodil (narcissus) is most commonly known for being a symbol of hope and rebirth – the precursor to spring and new beginnings. However they are also the national flower for Wales and are the bloom which has added flower power to Marie Curie.

From the wonderfully wild to the carefully curated, waves of daffodils are making an appearance across the country this March. Celebrate the start of daffodil season with a virtual garden visit to a selection of our spring gardens…

Gorsty House, Powys. Tucked away in its picturesque landscape, Gorsty House in Powys is the very heart of spring. Each year thousands of daffodils bloom in this two-acre garden, offering uplifting scenes after the dull days of winter.

View all of the gardens online at the National Garden Scheme website.

Positive News

Alcester 'queen of hearts' helps town through lockdown

Crochet hearts and messages of kindness have been left around a town by a crafter dubbed "the queen of hearts".

The hearts and flowers have been found around Alcester in Warwickshire, leaving residents keen to identify the mystery knitter.

They are attached to notes reminding finders: "You are loved".

Residents said finding them has been "a pleasure" and helped them through difficult lockdown days. You can read more here.

Read about 24 inspiring women (you might not know of) who are changing the world.

To mark International Women’s Day, we’re shining a light on 24 inspiring women who may have escaped your radar. From food to foreign policy, and from electronics to economics, they’re all changing the world by working on solutions.

Sharmaine Lovegrove, publisher at Dialogue Books

Sharmaine Lovegrove

“It’s an honour to be in my position.” Sharmaine Lovegrove is reflected on her role as publisher of Dialogue Books, which launched in 2017 with a focus on writers from under-represented backgrounds. “It’s such a rich area – to be looking for people whose voices haven’t been heard and to find those stories,” she said.

Read all the stories here.

Socially distanced, but united: Covid has brought the UK closer together – report

Society is more united than it was before the pandemic, according to research, which cautions that the UK is ‘at a crossroads’

Hugs are banned, pubs closed, even church congregations prohibited. Yet despite having to keep physically apart for much of the past year, the UK has grown closer together during the pandemic.

Read more here.

10 ways to cope as the Covid crisis continues

While vaccines are bringing hope and school re-openings are on the horizon in the UK, the lack of a definitive end to the pandemic is dragging people down like never before. We bring together tips for staying afloat.

You can read the full list here.

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.

Hannah from Mind confronts the PM about Mental Health opportunities

"I asked the PM to provide a Covid-19 mental health spokesperson"

Hannah blogs about how she spoke up for Mind at a televised coronavirus press briefing.

My question about mental health was chosen to be asked at Downing Street earlier this month. I was prompted to ask it by a newsletter from Mind. The charity was asking people to add their voice to the call for a mental health spokesperson at future coronavirus press briefings to set out how people could access mental health support. I thought this was a good cause, and sent off my question, which asked the government to commit to the presence of a mental health spokesman at the next briefing. The following day I was called by Downing Street Press Office and asked to appear on the next briefing with the Prime Minister.

I was called by Downing Street Press Office and asked to appear on the next briefing with the Prime Minister

Read the full blog 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.

Sir Antony Gormley announces 'UK's biggest art exhibition'

Museums and leading artists are inviting the British public to take part in what they hope will be the biggest art exhibition ever mounted.

The Great Big Art Exhibition is being launched by Sir Antony Gormley, who is asking people to make an artwork at home and put in their window or garden.

Details of how to take part, including a free activity pack, are available from arts organisation FirstSite.

He has suggested animals as the theme for the first two weeks of The Great Big Art Exhibition.

Step 5 - the finished dog

"We want to let the inner animal out," he said. "People will find their inner animal… it could be a whale or a dinosaur". Read more at the BBC here.

Isolated, not Lonely.

The National Activity Providers Association (NAPA) are running online support sessions open to everyone.

The topic for this session will be: Whole-Home Approach: Barriers and How to Overcome them

The overall focus will be:

  • The importance of socially distance activities
  • The difference that those activities make to staff, residents, friends, and families
  • Barriers to making it happen
  • How barriers have been removed to enable activities
  • How staff are dealing with the emotional consequences of providing activities at this time.

Book your place 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.

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

View more at The Reading Rooms page here.

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 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.

View more information at Positive.News.

COVID Vaccinations: We speak with Jean and Bethany

As the COVID vaccine is rolled out all over the country, we spoke with two recent recipients of the vaccine – Jean and Bethany. Luckily for us, Jean is my grandmother and Bethany is my sister, so they were more than willing to have a chat about the vaccinations, lockdown and how they been managing.

Jean, right, pictured here with her late husband Eric

Jean, 91, from Midsomer Norton, was on the priority list for the vaccine due to her age. She received a letter from the doctors surgery inviting her to have the jab and said afterwards “It was fine – no problem at all! It was a tiny little sting and then gone in no time”.

The vaccination took place in the Somer Centre in Midsomer Norton, to make to process easier, staff members were “outside directing us where to go. We went in and queued and were ready within a few minutes. There were a few people at different tables having their jabs, but everyone was quite far apart.”

Prior to receiving the vaccine Jean was feeling apprehensive “I had been quite worried about it, I’m not usually bothered by injections but there had been so much stuff on television all the time, I couldn’t help but be worried.”

Should everyone get the vaccine? “Oh yes, definitely, I would say everybody needs it. It was done in no time, I was amazed. If you know anybody who is sceptical tell them to go ahead and do it. [It’s] a tiny needle! – it’s nothing to worry about.”

I also spoke with Bethany, 27, an Accredited Pharmacy Checking Technician for a local pharmacy in Midsomer Norton. Bethany is due to return to work in the pharmacy in March 2021 after being on maternity leave for her first child, born in May 2020.

Bethany with her daughter born in May 2020

“[Beforehand] I wasn’t worried about the vaccine, although a bit concerned about side effects, but I have been fine so far. I’m glad I had the vaccine. I think they did a really good, efficient job, and made it safe and socially distanced.”

“I had the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine and I think the doctors were very helpful and informative. I’m glad I had it.” The doctors also advised Bethany that she would receive the second dose within 3-12 weeks, adding they would be in contact to confirm a date.

“My fiancé, Reece, and I found it difficult having our first child in lockdown. Ordinarily there would be lots of socialising with other parents in a same position as me, but due to COVID we’re all cut off from each other. I think being online and joining online meetings has really helped. I have been very fortunate to have had support from family and friends, who have been in touch through social media and left us lots of gifts too.”

Bethany has been in her role for two years, working in the pharmacy for over five years and will be returning in March this year. The vaccination was organised by her manager for herself and all of her colleagues. “When I went for my vaccination everyone in my time slot was all pharmacy or NHS staff – a lot of faces from local pharmacies.”

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.


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


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.

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.


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.

Uplifting News Stories

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.

St Mungo's Wellbeing Guide

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.

Find all of the information here.

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.

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


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