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Gill Kirk writes

Published on: 14 Sep 2017

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It has been great to see so much happening in Lockleaze over the summer months, including a new children's holiday lunch club at St Mary's church and a number of free family activities both in the Hub, and also in Stoke Park, (despite the quite variable weather! )

Summer can be quite a lonely time for older people, when family and friends go away and regular activities stop for the summer break. It is recognised now that feeling very isolated can lead to problems with both physical health and depression. Janie Adams runs Community Support at Home, ( part of the North Bristol Advice Centre on Gainsborough Square), a friendly service that supports older people living on their own. Janie and her volunteers can offer all sorts of help and advice in the home for over-55's. They also run regular minibus trips to the larger supermarkets where there will be help to carry your shopping to the door, and day trips to places of interest, including the cinema and pub lunches. This summer Janie's group has been to visit Berkeley Castle and Weston-super-mare. The minibus trips are a great way to socialise and have a break from the four walls! There are also local  'tea and talk' sessions, where refreshments are served, and there will be games or music, or visiting speakers. On 21st September the 'Knutty Knitters' will be visiting to talk about how they created their amazing life-size knitted nativity scene, and raised 100 thousand pounds for St Peter's  hospice. If you are not sure how to get to these events,  lifts can be arranged. Sometimes if you feel isolated it can be hard to take the first step to finding some new friends or joining a group.... but new people will always receive a warm welcome! I would urge anyone over 55 who could do with some support, to give Janie a phone call on 0117 951 5751 to chat to her about what is available. This may be for yourself, or perhaps someone you know who lives alone and might be struggling.

It is great to see different generations getting on together and helping each other....Some of you may have seen on TV recently a fascinating documentary about some 4 years olds who went to nursery school in an Old People's Home! (St Monica's in Bristol) This showed how wonderful it can be to mix different age groups together....the children made friends with the older people, and the older residents came out of themselves playing games with the small children and helping them with their art work and reading. We have had some lovely mixed-age events here in Horfield and Lockleaze, at the Vench last Easter, and the recent 'Big Lunch' at Orchard school, where older people have enjoyed sharing food and activities with local  young people. We hope to do more of this in the future, as these shared experiences really help to strengthen our community.

We are looking forward to our new MP Darren Jones holding some regular surgeries in Lockleaze, in Buzz cafe, where he will be available to discuss any concerns with local residents. Dates to be announced soon.

Gill and Estella will be holding their next drop in surgery at Buzz cafe on Friday 29th September 3.30-5pm, no appointment necessary just drop in. Or feel free to contact us by email or phone: (usual detai



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