News

December Newsletter

Now that the current Lockdown is lifting, we are able to re-start some outdoor activities such as Feelgood Walks, Gardening and Food Growing. Even at this time of year, spending time outdoors is such an important boost to our health and wellbeing. In addition, we are continuing to run a wide range of online groups and activities which can be safely joined from the comfort of your home.

Feelgood Walks

These walks are taking place every week on alternate Tuesdays and Wednesdays, with a start point in Twerton. They are gentle walks, suitable for all levels of fitness. We practise social distancing and there is currently a maximum of 6 people per walk.

The dates this month are:

Weds 2nd Dec 2.30 – 3.30

Tues 8th Dec 12.30 – 1.30

Weds 16th Dec 2.30 – 3.30

There are normally plenty of spaces, but due to the six person rule, we ask that if possible you let us know if you would like to come along. We’d also love to hear from anyone who’d like to volunteer to assist or lead a walk. Appropriate training will be provided. 

Sustainable Gardening & Food Growing

Gardening is an excellent way to meet others in a safe, outdoor environment and to learn useful skills. Our team of gardeners will be out and about again on Tuesday mornings and we may be able to take on some additional gardens. Please let us know if you need assistance with your garden or would like to help out.

Our allotment at Bath City Farm is also available for volunteers to help with food growing. Please get in touch if you’d like to be involved. 

Monday Morning Litter Picks

You are invited to join our volunteer Litter Picker on Tuesday mornings to help keep the Twerton area clean and tidy. Please contact us for further details.

Southside Food Co-op

The Food Co-op provides boxes of fresh, locally grown veggies every other Wednesday, and delivers them to your home. This is available to anyone living in South or West Bath (eg Twerton, Whiteway, Odd Down, Oldfield Park, Newbridge & Lower Weston).

The quality of produce is excellent at this time of year – it’s all freshly picked and grown mostly on the edge of Bath near Solsbury Hill. The price, for those people on a lowish income (below £18,000 pa for a single person, £25,000 for a couple or £30,000 for a family), is £4.50 for a small box, £5.50 for a medium box and £7 for a large box. For those who are better off, we charge £6 for a small box, £7 for a medium box and £9 for a large box. All these prices include the cost of delivery. We use any surplus raised to provide veggies to those in urgent need.

Please email timebankplus@gmail.com if you’d like to order a veggie box and please provide a phone number for us to contact you. We will need at least 2 days’ notice. Payment needs to be in advance by bank transfer or direct debit. We’d also like to hear from any volunteer drivers who are willing to help with veg box delivery. 

Borrow It

The Borrow It Library of Things is open on Tuesday afternoons from 2 – 6pm and Wednesday mornings from 10am – 12noon. If possible, please ring beforehand on 01225 442813 or email timebankplus@gmail.com to let us know what you’d like to borrow, so we can prepare it for you. We have a wide range of gardening equipment, DIY tools, camping gear, sewing machines, carpet cleaner, kitchen items and more. Click here for further info and our catalogue of things: http://timebankplus.co.uk/wp/?page_id=586

We are looking for someone who would like use of a roof box, which can be attached to roof bars on your car. It’s been donated to Borrow It but is a bit too large to store in our office. The person who takes it needs to be willing to house it and make it available for occasional Borrow It use, but would have free use of it the rest of the time.

Zoom groups

Please email us if you would like the joining link to any of the following groups. We’d also love to hear from anyone who’d like to set up or lead a group.

Mondays (fortnightly)

12.30 – 1.30pm Knit & Natter Zoom Group. Get out your wool and knitting needles or crochet hook, make a cup of tea and sit down for a friendly online session with a small group of others. Expert advice is available if needed. The next session will be on 14th December. 

Tuesdays (fortnightly)

We are in the process of planning online Sewing Workshops on Tuesday afternoons, creating simple craft items, such as Xmas tree decorations, which can be made by hand. We may be able to deliver the materials for each sewing project to your home. Please let us know if this would be of interest.

Thursdays (weekly)

10.30 – 11.30am Creative Writing Zoom Group. This is a very friendly and supportive group of people who are writing and sharing short pieces of prose or poetry. There is a different topic each week and we have an online forum where members of the group can post up their writings. (See below for a piece of writing from one of our members).

Fridays (weekly)

2 – 3pm Time Bank Social Café & Quiz. This is an opportunity to meet up socially on Zoom for a chat and to have a go at a short, light hearted quiz. We’d also welcome a volunteer to assist with running these sessions, in particular someone who could help organise simple board games.

Cookery Workshops (occasional)

Following a series of popular online Cookery workshops this November, we will be holding further online sessions in response to demand. Please get in touch if you have a recipe you would like to offer, demo or request. We’d particularly like to hear from anyone who has unusual Xmas recipes to share.

Scrabble

We’ve held a few sessions and are now looking at making this a regular online group (possibly fortnightly) if there is sufficient demand. Please let us know if you’d be interested in joining. We’d also love to hear from a volunteer interested in co-ordinating the group.

IT Assistance

Going online has never been so important! If you, or others you know, need help with setting up Whatsapp, Zoom or other apps, or with other IT troubleshooting, please let us know and one of our volunteers may be able to help you. We’d also love to hear from anyone with good IT skills who is interested in volunteering to assist others.

Keeping in touch

We are continuing to keep in touch with our members and offer regular or occasional phone calls to anyone who’d like a friendly, supportive chat. This can be particularly helpful to those people who don’t have a smartphone or internet.

If you aren’t already in our Whatsapp group, do join us. It’s such a good way to keep in touch with each other, share information or ask for help. Just email timebankplus@gmail.com with your mobile number and we’ll add you to the group.

There is also a separate Foraging WhatsApp group, where we share info about wild foods, recipes and cookery tips.

Volunteering opportunities (summary)

We are currently looking for: IT support; assistance with Zoom groups such as Online Games, Scrabble and Cookery Workshops; help with leading Walks; a driver for our Food Co-op; Gardening help; joining local Litter Picks. We are also looking for a Treasurer for our Management Committee. Please get in touch if you can help.

Other Groups & Activities

The Virtual Hope Guide includes a large selection of online groups and activities. Here’s a link: https://www.bridges2wellbeing.co.uk/hope-guide

Wellbeing College also publish a regularly updated calendar of activities: https://www.wellbeingcollegebanes.co.uk/Calendar

Here are some activities for over 55’s, currently being run by St John’s: https://stjohnsbath.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Whats-on-at-St-Johns.pdf

Singing for Wellbeing

This Zoom group is being run by Erin from Soundwell Music Therapy Trust. New members are very welcome and can join or leave at any time. Sessions take place fortnightly and will continue at least until the end of March but probably longer.

Anyone interested is asked to contact Erin first on 07958 229 333 or email erin.upbeat@soundwell.org.uk to discuss what’s involved and your needs and expectations.

Clean Slate are offering support for anyone who needs help with the internet including Universal Credit claims, emailing and video calling, banking and shopping online, switching utilities and accessing support. They are also offering a money health-check in the form of a quiz developed by Quids in!  which  offers easy to follow tips for getting online and saving money.

You can contact them on 01225 302200 or email bath@cleanslateltd.co.uk

Free Training Opportunities

These free courses are now held online via Zoom and can be attended by any member of Time Bank Plus. Upcoming topics are: Coping this Christmas; Supporting People with Mental Health Needs; Online  Boundaries; Online Safeguarding Adults & Children.

Please follow this link for further details:

https://www.wellbeingcollegebanes.co.uk/Volunteers

Here is the full calendar of courses being run by Somerset Skills & Learning this month, all of which are free for B&NES residents:

7th Dec Effective Time Management

How to Get Better Sleep

Applying 5 Ways to Wellbeing in Daily Life

8th Dec  Healthy Eating for Children

Health and Social Care Taster Session

Developing Assertive Communication & Behaviours

9th Dec Christmas Movie Making

Holistic Activities to Promote Development

14th Dec Autism Awareness Taster Session

An Introduction to Problem Solving

17th Dec Making a Start on Your CV

Finding and Applying for Jobs

18th Dec How to Use Zoom

The Interview Stage

21st Dec How to Use Zoom

Christmas Stop Motion Animation

Christmas Digital Poster Making

23rd Dec Christmas Stop Motion Animation

Christmas Digital Poster Making

Research on Covid response in South Bath

Do you live in South Bath? Would you be interested in taking part in a study by Bath Uni and B&NES Council, looking at how people have responded to the Covid – 19 pandemic?

The researchers want to talk with local residents in order to understand the barriers people may face in following guidance on social distancing, testing, and self-isolation and to try to identify the best ways to enable and encourage people to follow guidance. You can download the letter, information and consent form below:

Letter https://www.bathnes.gov.uk/sites/default/files/covering_letter_from_dph_final.pdf

Information sheet and consent form https://www.bathnes.gov.uk/sites/default/files/covid_comms_information_sheet_and_consent_form_final2.pdf

Compassionate Community Hub 0300 247 0050

Need help getting food, medicine, housing or other essential items?

Feeling isolated, or concerned about physical and mental wellbeing?

This B&NES Helpline number, which is open 7 days a week from 9am to 5pm, gives you access to:

  • Volunteer support such as collecting shopping and prescriptions 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, domestic abuse and other family issues

Tel 0300 247 0050 or email BATHNES.thehub@virgincare.co.uk or text 07870 868368

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

Finally, here’s a poem from the Creative Writing group.

Lammas-Tide by Duncan McGibbon

The rowanberries signal from the hedge.
A wood-pigeon dangles upside down
to gorge on the seasonal fire, up edge.
The birch-tree drops stained hands from the twig’s bone,
as networked sensors break off stem by stem.
Bilberries, blackberries, quince and beech-nuts
grow in a theatre of mass-decay.
They thrust through the haw-hedge’s close-clipped hem.
The colour breaks up rainbows, undercuts
chlorophyll; a yellow and pink melee.

Purple, red and scarlet burn brown to black.
Night and daylight are edging to equal,
as summer’s recall brushes off its track.
Cherry-leaves flutter like flags in a squall.
Frost reflects the night-time in whitened pools.
The equinox masses darkness in seams.
Plague shutters the revels of Hallowe’en
The elders are hunted instead, as ghouls.
The Northern sphere tilts into extremes.
Murder and healing clash cymbals, unseen.