News

February Newsletter

As the year progresses, the Covid vaccination programme is gathering pace and many of our older members have already received their first jabs. Although we are likely to remain in lockdown for the next few weeks, this gives us hope for light at the end of the tunnel and that it won’t be too long before we can return to a somewhat more normal life.

In the meantime, we are offering more online activities than ever, so do join us on Zoom for anything from Greek Cookery to a Sewing workshop, Art course or simply a friendly chat & light hearted quiz. Please see below for these and many other opportunities to get involved this month.

Photography Challenge

We challenge you to take part in a monthly photography contest. The subject this month is ‘First Signs of Spring’ It’s a perfect excuse to get out in nature with your camera or mobile phone. Please send us your photos by email to timebankplus@gmail.com. Your entries will be uploaded onto an Instagram forum.

Greek Cookery

There are still 1 or 2 places left on the ‘Relax & Cook Greek’ course led by Alex. The course will be on Thursday mornings, starting 11th February. You need to register through the Wellbeing College. Here’s the link: https://www.wellbeingcollegebanes.co.uk/index.php/Activity/relax-and-cook-greek-with-alex/8100

Online Art Group

Art for Everyone’ is another Zoom course we are co-ordinating in conjunction with the Wellbeing College. Designed to bring out your imagination and creativity, this course is suitable for everyone including complete beginners, and is tutored by Sonja, our wonderful pottery tutor. You will need a few basic art materials, but a fund is available if needed to help with the cost of purchase. The course will be on Tuesday mornings, starting on 9th February. Follow this link to register: https://www.wellbeingcollegebanes.co.uk/index.php/Activity/art-for-everyone-online/8094

Southside Food Co-op

The Food Co-op provides boxes of fresh, locally grown vegetables 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 produce is 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 veg 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.

Borrow It

Please Note: The Borrow It Library of Things is now open on Wednesdays only - from 10am to 2 pm. 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. 

Feelgood Walks

Walking in nature is a great way to enhance your mood and keep fit and healthy. During lockdown, we are only able to offer 1:1 walks or may be able to pair you up with another walker. Please get in touch if this is of interest. 

Regular 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 18th January.

Tuesdays (weekly)

3.30 – 4.30 pm Sewing Workshops. These feel good sessions are taking place every week. Most of the sewing projects can be done by hand, but there may also be some workshops which involve using a sewing machine. If needed, a machine can be borrowed from the Time Bank.

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 & Games. Brighten up your Fridays and meet with others for a chat, a light hearted quiz or some simple games. 

Occasional Zoom workshops

The next Online Cookery workshop will take place on Thursday 11th February at 2.30pm. Steve, a new Time Bank member who works as a professional baker, will be sharing a range of interesting recipes using cabbage and/or celeriac. He would also love to hear from anyone who would like recipe ideas for unusual vegetables. Please contact us for the Zoom link.

Scrabble

Let us know if you’d like to take part in online Scrabble sessions. Once there is enough interest, we can pair people up and explain how to join an online forum.

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.

IMPORTANT: Member Survey

Many thanks to those of you who have filled in our updated Skills & Services Questionnaire. If you have not already done so, PLEASE do fill this in, as we rely on this information in order to be able to run the Time Bank effectively. Here is the link: https://forms.gle/QPaJRX8bJv6YSTwg7

Volunteering opportunities (summary)

We are currently looking for: IT support; assistance with Zoom groups such as Online Games, Scrabble and Cookery Workshops; an occasional driver for our Food Co-op. 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/what-we-do/activities/

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 include: Mental Health for Carers; Online Boundaries; Online Safeguarding Adults & Children.

Please follow this link for further details:

Somerset Skills & Learning also offer a wide range of online courses which are free for B&NES residents. Please click on this link for details of current courses:

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 seasonal piece of writing from the Creative Writing group.

Snow by Fergie

The silence of snow, thought the man sitting just behind the bus driver. As usual the silence is deafening but without the snow all would be engine, gears and traffic. The snow almost brings a numbness along with the brightness to the eyes. It is a world apart from normal. Though what is normal thinks the man. Maybe the silence of snow should be the normal. In a way it is far more soothing and comforting than the other normal. Snow comes silently, falls silently and settles silently. It looks new and if he didn’t know better it could be comforting but hold invisible dangers.
He wonders where the bus driver’s mind is. Is it on the dangers of the snow or is it on its beauty. Does he worry we could slide dangerously into a drift but on sliding see the wonders of the snow formation.