Activities Remotely #24 St John's Foundation Est. 1174

Welcome to our twenty-fourth newsletter

Starting from Monday 16 November, we will be offering a selection of classes online for you to participate in. Using Zoom, you'll be able to join art classes, stitch groups, exercise classes and more. See below the times, dates, and information on how you can book your place.

We'll also be increasing the frequency at which you receive this newsletter, once again to weekly, so please get in touch if there's a news story or something close to your heart that we can include.

If you're looking for more opportunities to keep busy, we have included news, info and resources to help you stay healthy in body and in mind, and guidance in reflection and stillness.

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:

  • Activities online
  • How to use Zoom
  • Meditation from tutor Stephen Magrath
  • Positive & uplifting news
  • Radio Bath
  • B&NES Community Wellbeing Hub
  • The Help Hub
  • Mindfulness from Mind and Mindful.org
  • We need your help: St John's Activities Survey
  • Compassionate Community Wellbeing Packs
  • Somerset Skills and Learning: Zoom Workshop
  • All the best bits from previous Activities Remotely Newsletters

At Home with St John’s is now live!

We have now launched At Home with St John’s – our brand new programme of zoom classes, with activities at 10am and 2pm, Monday to Thursday.

Book your classes

Classes cost £3.50 each and booking is now open for each activity. You can find out more in this issue of Activities Remotely (see below) and book your class(es) online. If you have any trouble with the booking process, please do not hesitate to email us at community.outreach@stjohnsbath.org.uk

Thank you and we hope to see you (virtually) very soon.

Let's Talk Stitch

From Monday 16 November, 2020 @ 10am

Get creative over a cuppa with tutor, Jill Perry, and connect with your fellow stitchers.

Register in advance for this webinar here.

Watercolours with Sarah

From Tuesday 17 November, 2020 @ 2pm

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.

Register in advance for this webinar here.

Chair Yoga with Liz Lee

From Wednesday 18 November, 2020 @ 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).

Register in advance for this webinar here.

Cook-a-Long with Louise

From Wednesday 18 November, 2020 @ 2pm

Join cookery teacher, Louise Griffin, in this fun and sociable cook-a-long class. Recipes will be shared in advance, so you can prepare the ingredients and enjoy cooking with your classmates. Suitable for all.

Register in advance for this webinar here.

Tai Chi Movements for Wellbeing

From Thursday 19 November, 2020 @ 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.

Register in advance for this webinar here.

Mat Yoga with Liz Coleman

From Thursday 19 November, 2020 @ 2pm

A new class for students who are comfortable working from a mat base.

Gentle yoga, breathing and deep relaxation.

Register in advance for this webinar 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

Meditation - from Stephen Magrath

Hello everyone... I couldn't resist this profundity from the 'The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse' which seems so apt to our times and the need to be kind to ourselves.

Meditation is a way to be kind to ourselves and shares the same root as medicine, offering care.

By giving ourselves time out of mind (our frustrated plans, worries and regrets) and the noise of the outside world we can discover a place of calm and healing within our heart.

We can care for ourselves by cultivating a practice of relaxing, focussing on our breath and repeating our prayer word or phrase to help remove attention from the constant mental and media chatter.

Here are some examples of prayer words / phrases you might wish to use;

Maranatha (Aramaic for 'Our Lord Comes’)

Come holy spirit come

Veni Spiritu Sancto

Spirit of peace

God is love

I am loved

All is well in my heart...

Enjoy! 🙏 Stephen Magrath

Positive & Uplifting News

Hi, I'm Ben Cole and I want you to have one of my art prints for free.
I was recently featured on BBC News for my offer to give away free art prints and I want you to have one too. No strings, just a free print in A5 size to help brighten your day. All I ask is that you pay the shipping cost to ensure your print arrives quickly and safely.

Here’s How it Works

  1. You choose your free A5 print from one of 6 in the 'Adventure Collection'
  2. Just one order per household please
  3. Just pay the £3.90 P&P charge to make sure it gets to you quickly and safely
  4. You'll receive your order within 14 days
  5. I'm so confident you'll love it, I'm offering the "Happy Art Prints Promise". If you're not 100% satisfied with your free print, I'll refund you. You can even keep the print!

Go to the website here to get your free print.

How to cope with lockdown: Positive News readers share their tips

“Looking for something positive in [the] every day. My mother, who lived in occupied Poland during the second world war, taught me this.” Anita Johnson

“I decided to find something beautiful every day to take a photo of and post it on social media.” Chris Grayston

“We were shielding, so couldn’t go out and help others. Instead we ‘helped’ one person or group per week by sending a gift or donating to a cause. We sent little gifts to our friends’ kids, gave vouchers to people, donated to food banks. It’s true that helping others helps you too.” Catherine D Longson

For the full list of tips visit Positive.News

Moving the goalposts: the footballers using their influence for good

From the 80s onwards footballers had a reputation for being spoilt, overpaid and irresponsible. But a new generation of star players are standing up for causes they believe in and using their influence to champion social progress

Read the full article here.

Plymouth couple reunited with wedding album after 20 years

A "priceless" wedding album that was lost for about 20 years has been reunited with its rightful owners after a woman found it in her loft.

The pictures of Colin and Helena Hutt's special day were found by Vi Shawyer in her Plymouth home. She then posted about it on a local Facebook group. The couple were reunited with the album after it was shared nearly 8,000 times.

It is the only record of their wedding and was lost after a move during Mr Hutt's career in the police, they said.

Mr Hutt said the couple, who have been married for 39 years, were "absolutely over the moon" to have the album returned.

Read the full BBC article here.

Radio Bath Interview

Interviewees wanted for resilience project – Bath Radio and St Johns Foundation

Bath Radio would like to interview a small number of St John’s residents and activity attendees for our programmes on the impact of COVID on wellbeing and resilience. We are looking to compare and contrast the experiences of both young and older people. Working with both Prior Park College and St Johns Foundation.

We will record telephone interviews – conversations lasting about 30-40 minutes. There is no preparation required. Anonymity is assured – we will not use your surname. We would be happy to send you a copy of the resulting programme.

Bath Radio was invited to collaborate with University of Bath and proposed to explore, for a series of radio programmes, the impact of the COVID19 pandemic on wellbeing and resilience in young people and older people, examining similarities and differences in experiences and responses. This is part of ‘FUTURES on Air’ project, a collaboration between several Universities in the South West of England. The project will result in a number of radio programmes which will be aired on multiple radio stations developed as part of the project will be aired on multiple stations on November 27th & 28th.

For more information or to be involved, contact activities@stjohnsbath.org.uk

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.

The areas in which we can offer support via our Community Wellbeing Hub are:

  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.

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.

Mindfulness from Mind

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.

Mindful.org - Getting Started with Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.

While mindfulness is something we all naturally possess, it’s more readily available to us when we practice on a daily basis.

Whenever you bring awareness to what you’re directly experiencing via your senses, or to your state of mind via your thoughts and emotions, you’re being mindful. And there’s growing research showing that when you train your brain to be mindful, you’re actually remodeling the physical structure of your brain.

The goal of mindfulness is to wake up to the inner workings of our mental, emotional, and physical processes.

Find out more here.

World Kindness Day

World Kindness Day started in 1998 and takes place every year on November 13th. World Kindness Day is the perfect time to focus on good deeds in the community whilst observing the positive power and the common thread of kindness which binds us.

We need your help!

St John's Activities Survey

Here at St John’s, we are very aware of the significant impact the Coronavirus crisis has had on everyone's lives and, in particular, those who are even more isolated than others.

We hope you have been able to make the most of our online sessions over the past few weeks and absorb the information in our Activities Remotely newsletter, but it is with great joy that we are now able to once again offer our face-to-face activities.

Please follow this link to answer a few questions to help us understand how you have coped during this time and how lockdown restrictions have impacted you.

Compassionate Community

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 from receiving it (though, please confirm with the individual before requesting).

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

Each pack is delivered by a volunteer from our Emergency Volunteer Response team, however we are only able to deliver within Bath & North East Somerset.

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

Somerset Skills & Learning

SS&L is running a FREE 60-minute workshop on How to Use Zoom. It’s the perfect short session for anyone who wants to use the video calling software, Zoom, with more confidence.

Using Zoom can open up a world of new experiences – from video calling family to joining in with online groups and learning opportunities. As so much of today’s socialising is happening in digital format, there are many people being left behind due to lack of experience with this technology – and SS&L wants to help bridge this gap and prevent further isolation.

This course is being held at the Percy Community Centre on the 6th of November in a COVID-secure setting, and more information can be found on the website.

The best of the best

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


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.


Leo very kindly filmed herself making these delicious crunchy oat biscuits from a previous newsletters recipe. They look fantastic! Thank you so much for getting involved and sending us this video, Leo.

Jamie Oliver: Keep Cooking & Carry On

Jamie Oliver shows us some recipes, tips and hacks tailored for the unique times we're living in, including pork stir-fry, steamed dumplings, and the ultimate roast beef sarnie. Watch Jamie here.

23 Delicious & Healthy Meals

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

Banana Bread Recipe

Here at St John's, we've been having a big baking debate and all anyone is talking about is Banana Bread! So, we thought we'd share with your our favourite banana bread recipe. Have a go and let us know how you get on. You can find it here.

NHS Health at Home

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


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

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

  1. Activities Remotely 1
  2. Activities Remotely 2
  3. Activities Remotely 3
  4. Activities Remotely 4
  5. Activities Remotely 5
  6. Activities Remotely 6
  7. Activities Remotely 7
  8. Activities Remotely 8
  9. Activities Remotely 9
  10. Activities Remotely 10
  11. Activities Remotely 11
  12. Activities Remotely 12
  13. Activities Remotely 13
  14. Activities Remotely 14
  15. Activities Remotely 15
  16. Activities Remotely 16
  17. Activities Remotely 17
  18. Activities Remotely 18
  19. Activities Remotely 19
  20. Activities Remotely 20
  21. Activities Remotely 21
  22. Activities Remotely 22
  23. Activities Remotely 23

To view the PDF of our current activities in The Bubble, please click here.

To view the PDF of our current activities in the community, please click here.

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

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

Created By
Sam Norris


BBC, Positive.News, Mindful.org, Mind.org, Google.