I'm sure you'll have seen in the news yesterday that people aged 50-54 are now being invited to attend vaccination centres, with the good news that over 24 million have now had their first dose of the vaccine. This is an amazing step forwards. If you've had yours, we'd love to hear about your experience.
Staff at Age UK Bristol are starting to get the vaccine too, we heard from Marie Reynold (the Age UK Bristol New Beginnings Coordinator), and her mum, Myrna, about their experience of getting the vaccine. You can read about it on the Age UK Bristol website.
Vibeke and Clare
P.S Is there something you'd like to include in the FAB newsletter? Please get in touch - we love hearing your news.
Train to become a Tai-Chi instructor
We're delighted to announce that Tai-Chi training will be starting up again in June!
The Tai-Chi instructor training involves attending in person or via Zoom, a weekly home practice for 6-8 weeks before attending two one day workshops in June, which will be in person (restrictions allowing). Every step will be taken to offer a safe environment for this in-person training.
‘I love teaching Tai Chi, it makes me feel good and I know people are enjoying themselves because they keep coming back’. - Mary Kroeber Instructor (trained in 2019 with FAB)
All applicants must have a connection with a community group, centre or organisation where they can offer classes once qualified. We ask for a one-year commitment to offer classes for free with the intention of continuing with free or low-cost classes in a community setting, park or similar.
All applications must be received by 26th March.
Find out more and apply using our Google form.
Join our online open mic night
Wednesday 14th April, from 5pm, online via Zoom
Join Age UK Bristol for an evening of entertainment at home. We ran a hugely successful open mic night back in November, showcasing talents from people over the age of 55 across Bristol, from comedy sketches to singing. The event will be co-chaired by Age UK Bristol trustee, Jim Currie, and Bristol Older People's Forum, Ian Quaife.
We are currently looking for performers to take part. Do you have a talent you'd like to share?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to register your place as either an audience member or a performer
Join a meetup morning
Every Thursday 10.30am - 12pm, free online activity via Zoom
This project has been recently set up by Bristol Older People's Forum to enable people over 50 to make new social connections by meeting up with new friends on a regular basis through video link. The relaxed and informal format of each call will be developed by the participants.
Find out more and register your place
Join an online support group for carers
Tuesday 23rd March, 10am - 11am, free online activity via Zoom
If you care for an adult who has a disability, mental ill-health or long term condition and you live in Bristol, the Carers Support Centre are running a new online group offering the chance to chat with other carers for support and sharing knowledge.
Video meetings are a great way for carers, who cannot leave the person they care for or get to a community-based group, to come together and feel less alone. The group facilitator is actively looking for new members to help build a supportive group.
To register interest and find out more, contact Carersline on 0117 9652200
Attend an online or telephone group exercise session
Dates and times vary
The Exercise Club runs a variety of online and telephone workout classes. All classes aim to work out the whole body and can be done seated or standing. Whatever your fitness level when you start you’ll be ok. There are classes for strength, balance and coordination, aerobic fitness, and classes specifically for shoulders, backs and knees.
For a full virtual class list please get in touch at www.theexerciseclub.co.uk, email them at email@example.com or call on 0117 973 9787 / 07587 552 653
Join the Bristol Libraries April online book club
6th April, 11am - 12pm - Free online activity
Join Bristol Libraries for a friendly book club meet-up. The discussion will be led by Bristol Libraries staff but it will be a relaxed and informal conversation, a way to connect with others whilst having a coffee at home and chatting about books.
Maybe you're a regular book club member or maybe you've never taken part in a book club before - everyone is welcome!
Places are limited, however, so early booking is recommended.
For the meeting on Tuesday 6th April, Bristol Libraries will be reading The Midnight Library by Matt Haig, which is available to read for free with the Bristol Libraries ebook app Libby or to download and listen to as an audiobook with Borrowbox.
Find out more and register your place.
Take part in a piece of research about virtual activities during lockdown
Have you taken part in any organisation or socially distanced group activities since March 2020? For example, an online choir, online Tai Chi or socially distanced exercises classes in outdoor spaces? Would you have liked to have joined such activities but felt restricted by technology, mobility, internet problems or anxieties about socialising remotely?
Whether you’ve actively taken part in these groups or have felt unable to for any reason during the pandemic, a group of researchers from the University of the West of England (UWE) would love to hear from you as a part of a new study.
Taking part will involve a short telephone interview with a friendly member of the research team (around 30-60 minutes) All volunteers welcome, although UWE would especially like to talk to men, who are so far under-represented in the study.
To register your interest or to find out more about the project, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call Amy on 07815 312 448
Boredom Buster - Board game you can play with a Nokia mobile
As you know, many of the virtual activities on offer at the moment take place via Zoom but this isn't accessible for those who don't have access to the internet. Age UK Bristol was recently contacted by a student who, inspired by conversations with her grandmother during lockdown, has created resources you can print and post to people who aren't online, and you can then play board games like battleship and snakes and ladders using the printed packs and any basic phone. Do you know someone who has been feeling excluded from activities during lockdown? Send them a pack and give them a call.
Find out more and print off some board game resources
We've added a 'boredom buster' section to the FAB newsletter. Let us know if you'd like to contribute an activity, a book recommendation, fun facts etc to include in the next issue.
Postal vote deadlines - make sure you have your say.
If you want a postal vote for the local elections in May you need to register for one by 5pm on 20 April.
To register, fill in this form and send it to the electoral services team at your local council. You can find their details here: https://lght.ly/ee80c0e.
If you're unable to print the application form or need it in an accessible format, contact your local electoral services team for help.