April 2020 Newsletter

What a difference a month makes! This time last month, we were busy organising lots of projects, groups and activities. Now they are all on hold. However, we’ve been incredibly busy in the meantime, keeping in touch with people, setting up support networks and planning lots of online groups and activities which will help to keep people connected with each other and doing or learning interesting things while we are all locked down at home.  

 0300 247 0050 please see below for Helpline details 0300 247 0050

Keeping in touch

It’s more important than ever, at this time, to stay connected and not to feel isolated and alone. We have set up lots of ways to keep in touch and support each other:

  • Regular phonecalls to keep in touch and offer support, up to date info and a listening ear – available to everyone, but especially important for those people who do not have a smartphone or access to the internet. Please email us with your phone number if you’d like a phonecall or to refer someone you know who would appreciate this.
  • A Time Bank Whatsapp group, to stay connected, share information, exchange ideas or ask for help. Here’s a link to join on your mobile phone https://chat.whatsapp.com/EvFtsCnhPrXEPF2zkwwoiW
  • Regular updates on our Facebook page and our website
  • A weekly Virtual Time Bank ‘Café’ which people can access by video link on Zoom. The next café session will be at 2pm next Tuesday 7th April. Bring your own tea and biscuits and join us online for a friendly group video chat. You will need to download Zoom on your phone, tablet or laptop (it’s free and quite easy to use). Email to let us know if you’d like an invite to join this – or if you need help with downloading or getting to grips with Zoom.
  • Regular email bulletins to keep you updated, in addition to the monthly newsletter

0300 247 0050 please see below for Helpline details 0300 247 0050

 Time Bank Allotment

During the lockdown period, people are still able to work on their allotments. The Time Bank has an allotment at Bath City Farm, which is available for one or more people to use to grow food during this period.  Please email to let us know if you are interested and we can give you more details

 Online Groups 

We are in the process of planning a number of online groups and activities:

Creative writing: This group is now pretty much ready to go. We will be trialling using an online platform which links to the Time Bank website. Let us know if you’d like to join this group.

Knit & Natter: Get out your wool and knitting needles, make a cup of tea and sit down for a friendly online knitting or crochet video chat session with a small group of other Time Bank folks. We will probably be using Zoom to  link us all up – email to let us know if you need help with setting this up.

Gardening & Food Growing: Now is the perfect time to get out in the garden or on your allotment and start growing. Rowan will be sharing her expertise to give you tips and advice on gardening and food growing via an online video linked group. We may also be able to help with delivery of free plants and soil to your home, if needed.

Board games: This is an opportunity to play online games like Scrabble or other board games with others – either 1 to 1 or in a small group. We are looking for a volunteer to help us get this up and running.

Film Club: This is an opportunity to watch films together with a small group of other people. The app also allows you to chat about them while you are watching. We are looking for a volunteer to help us get this up and running. Email to let us know if you’d like to join, or if you can help with setting this up.

If you have an idea for an online group or activity you’d like us to set up, please let us know – we’ll do what we can to make it happen.

0300 247 0050 please see below for Helpline details 0300 247 0050

Techie volunteers needed

Please let us know if you can help talk people through issues with using or downloading apps like WhatsApp, Zoom, etc or help with other problems using mobile phones or laptops.

Volunteering in your local neighbourhood

Over 2000 people in B&NES have signed up to help others in their neighbourhood, who are in need during this period, with things like food shopping and urgent supplies or keeping in touch with a friendly phonecall.

If you would like to volunteer to help others at this time, please sign up via this link from 3SG:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScnsScxyI5Y30foF9JDMhVbrcg6Hi-2N-QSC2_bBSLbfzB1nQ/viewform

Helpline 0300 247 0050

Finally, but most importantly, community organisations, volunteers and others, co-ordinated by 3SG, have been working night and day to put in place a Helpline available to everyone in Bath & NE Somerset, putting people in touch with information, support and services available during the Coronavirus Outbreak. The helpline, which is supported by B&NES & Virgin Care, connects people to:

  • Volunteer support such as collecting shopping and prescriptions for vulnerable people and offering regular supportive phone chats
  • Money and benefits advice services and housing issues
  • Up to date info on food delivery services throughout B&NES
  • Food Banks and food & meal deliveries to elderly and vulnerable people
  • Services for the most vulnerable, carers and families

0300 247 0050

The helpline is open 7 days a week from 9am to 5pm.

Please note: for medical advice you need to ring 111.

Information & Resources

One of our volunteers has compiled a comprehensive sheet of resources which may be helpful during the period of lockdown; here’s a link:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/14ZsAW3huMeTWdTwSm30lP49ZHlkW1RaRs5zwrDoQViY/edit