Bramley Elderly Action to take on management of Bramley Community Centre

We’re very pleased that a more certain future for Bramley’s Community Centre looks to be on the cards with the decision of Leeds City Council to pass management of the building to Bramley Elderly Action. We will manage it as a resource for the whole community to use.

The decision, made by the council’s Executive Board on February 8th, paves theBramley Community Centre way for BEA to encourage residents to use the resource more often for activities, social events and community celebrations for young and older. We will also move our staff to the building on Waterloo Lane.

As well as being used by BEA members for regular tea dances, exercise groups, tai chi and a craft group, the Centre also already hosts a number of community groups, including Bramley Historical Society and Bramley Luncheon Club. We are extremely keen for those groups to continue using the Centre and for others to use it too.

Our initiative has the full support of the three Bramley & Stanningley Councillors: Caroline Gruen, Julie Heselwood and Kevin Ritchie, while our own voluntary Trustees have worked hard over a long period of time to make it happen.

Stuart Quin, Chair of Bramley Elderly Action, said:

‘We’re delighted at the decision, which has massive support Stuart Quinfrom our members, volunteers and the local community. Our members remember the Community Centre in its prime – a place that connected people, and created opportunities for young and old.  There’s a lot of work ahead to restore the fortunes of this underused community resource but we’re really looking forward to working with others and being part of a bright new chapter at the Community Centre. ’

Visitors to an open day BEA held at the Centre in October 2016 showed overwhelming support for the change. They were invited to look at archive photos from Bramley History Society of how Bramley Community Centre was used in its heyday and suggest new ideas for its future.

In 2014, in another ‘asset transfer’ from Leeds City Council, we took on the management of Bramley Lawn (formerly Bramley Lawn Day Centre) which we have transformed into a vibrant community social centre. While we intend to move staff from our current office on Stanningley Road to Bramley Community Centre, we will continue to run activities for the whole community from Bramley Lawn. Together, the two centres will give much easier access for local older people to BEA staff and activities. BEA will continue to run activities and services for older people across the Bramley, Swinnow and Stanningley areas.

The Council Executive Board’s decision invites BEA to take on a 25 year lease with a peppercorn rent. The Council will carry out essential repair work identified in a recent condition survey before the lease begins. It is hoped that we will take possession of the Centre later this year.

We would love to hear from local companies and individuals who may be prepared to pledge time or resources to help refurbish Bramley Community Centre later this year. This may involve painting, decorating, electrics, plumbing, plastering, gardening or other practical skills. Get in touch!

BEA Patron Rachel Reeves MP launches Jo Cox Commission on loneliness

Bramley Elderly Action is proud that our Patron, Rachel Reeves MP, is championing the issue of loneliness, by chairing the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness, launchedRachel Reevs MP speaking at the launch of the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness today.

You can watch Rachel’s interview on ITV GMB, and listen to her interview with Jo Cox’s sister Kim Leadbetter on Radio 4 Today Programme, and read her opinion piece in Saturday’s Yorkshire Post.

Everything we do is underpinned by the need to bring people together and to help prevent loneliness and social isolation. We do this through providing individual services such as befriending (in person or on the phone), groups where people can take part in dance, gentle exercise, Men’s Day and numerous other activities, and community activities for everyone such as Restaurant Night.

Research has now shown that loneliness can be as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, and can lead to long term physical conditions(1). Loneliness can affect people of all ages, and can be a huge issue for older people, who may no longer have family, partner or social networks and friends.

17% of older people in the UK are in contact with family, friends and neighbours less than once a week and 11% are in contact less than once a month (2). Over half (51%) of all people aged 75 and over live alone (3). Two fifths of older people (about 3.9 million) say the television is their main company (4).

We want to help build communities that are age-friendly, and welcoming and inclusive of everybody.

Get in touch with Bramley Elderly Action if you would like to take part in any of our activities, or would like to volunteer with us.

(1) Campaign to End Loneliness Research Hub
(2) Victor et al, 2003
(3) ONS, 2010
(4) Age UK, 2014

 

Would you like to help make Leeds a more age friendly city?

Time to Shine (funded by the Big Lottery programme) has published an Age Friendly Charter for Leeds, after consulting with nearly 200 older people.

Time to Shine is now looking for people to be part of a steering group to decide the next direction to help make Leeds a more Age Friendly city.Age Friendly Steering Group flyer

Being a part of the group would mean:

  • Meeting regularly (probably monthly or every six weeks; exact frequency to be decided by the group).
  • Helping to determine Time to Shine’s Age Friendly priorities
  • As you are able, promoting the work of the group in your local community and online

Meetings will take place in various locations around Leeds. Venues will always be accessible and conveniently located for as many people as possible. You would be reimbursed for travel expenses, including taxis if necessary.

The first meeting will ideally happen in early February.

If you are over 50 and might be interested, please get in touch with Emily Axel to discuss further: emily@opforum.org.uk or 0113 244 1697

 

West Leeds Stroke Club – new programme

Bramley Elderly Action has published the new programme of activities for West Leeds Stroke Club for January to June 2017.

The Stroke Club is a friendly fortnightly get-together for anyone in West Leeds recovering from a stroke. As well as taking part in a range of fun and therapeutic activities you can get invaluable information and support from people going through similar issues.

Sessions take place at Bramley Lawn (off Rossefield Approach, Bramley LS13 3RG) 10.30-12.30 on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month and cost just £2.00 per session.

The new programme includes games, music, food, a visits to a museum and more!

Transport is available for £2.50 return. Please book in advance.

If you would like to join or for more information please call Debbie on 0113 236 1644

Please also get in touch if you have any ideas for the next programme.

What the world needs now! Help us raise funds to prevent social isolation

Bramley Elderly Action has made a short video to raise funds to prevent loneliness and social isolation. The video features members of Bramley Elderly Action, including the BEA Singers, supporting each other.

See our video What the World Needs Now

Please donate £5.00 at bit.ly/bramleyea500, and consider making a regular donation by standing order, or think about supporting us regularly by joining our Lucky Numbers Club.

Please share the video widely on social media, and with anyone who you think may wish to support our members.

The video was fun to make for everyone  –  we used an iPhone taped to a mobility walker to do the filming, and another phone taped to a broom handle as a microphone, all at a decked out Bramley Lawn.

Outreach Worker Simon filming at Bramley Lawn

We support older people to stay healthy, indpendent and involved through a wide range of activities.

‘When I open my  curtains on a Tuesday, I know the sun is going to shine because it’s the day my befriender visits’

(BEA member)

This could be your nan or your granddad; your parents or perhaps, one day, you!

Christmas is a magical time for many. But for some it is very lonely, bringing up memories of Christmases gone by. It’s a particularly important time to think of people who may be lonely.

‘My hopes for the world and Bramley are that nobody is lonely at any of the time’

Lilly, aged 10

Research shows that loneliness and social isolation are harmful to our health: lacking social connections is as serious a risk to health and early death as smoking 15 cigarettes a day*.

  • 17% of older people in the UK are in contact with family, friends and neighbours less than once a week and 11% are in contact less than once a month (Victor et al, 2003)
  • Over half (51%) of all people aged 75 and over live alone (ONS, 2010)
  • Two fifths all older people (about 3.9 million) say the television is their main company (Age UK, 2014)

Bramley Elderly Action Patron Rachel Reeves MP will be co-chairing the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness which launches in January 2017. We’re very pleased that she will be helping this vital issue reach a wider national audience.

Please donate £5.00 at bit.ly/bramleyea500, and consider making a regular donation by standing order.

For more information

*Campaign to End Loneliness Research Hub

Strong local support for BEA to manage Bramley Community Centre

Bramley Elderly Action held a successful open house day at Bramley Community Centre, on Thursday 13 October.

We invited people to ‘Community at the centre’ to give us their views about ourWall of questions and comments interest in taking on the management of the centre from Leeds City Council. The day was well attended by local residents of all ages.

After going on a tour of the building, visitors were able to give their views in a number of ways, including at a series of informal question and answer sessions, and slips on which to vote ‘yes’, ‘no’ or ‘unsure’. There was overwhelming support for BEA taking on the management of the centre.

Comments included:

‘They would be great custodians of the building and ensure it supports and is a resource for the whole community’

‘…it would reinvigorate the community centre’

‘Great central position. A good size for a variety of events.’

BEA Manager Lee Ingham facilitates the afternoon q and a sessionSeveral visitors had good memories of using the building many years ago, either as children or in later life. Many of them, though familiar with the centre, were surprised by how big it was and welcomed the chance to go on a tour.

We received many useful questions and comments, ranging from important practical issues such as parking, to ideas of how the centre could be used. We will take all of these into account.

Bramley and Stanningley Councillors Caroline Gruen, Julie Heselwood and Kevin Ritchie, all took part in the day and all support BEA’s proposal.

Neil Charlesworth (Principal Asset Management Officer, Leeds City Council), who took part in the evening question and answer session, confirmed that Bramley Elderly Action’s proposal to take on the management of Bramley Community Centre will go to Leeds City Council’s Executive Board meeting on December 16th.

The day has reinforced for BEA our interest in managing the centre for the benefit of the whole community. We hope to hear positive news in December. We will keep our members and the wider community informed about progress.

We’re recruiting: could you be our new Community Social Worker?

Bramley Elderly Action has secured two year funding from Leeds Time to Shine project to run a pilot project to reduce social isolation and loneliness for local olderTime To Shine Logo people. BEA is looking to recruit a Community Social Worker to deliver / monitor / evaluate / develop the project.

The post is for 22 hours per week. You can download a job description, application form and all other key information.The closing date for applications is Monday 31 October.

Time to Shine is funded by The Big Lottery Fund’s Fulfilling Lives: Ageing Better Project. Ageing Better aims to discover the most effective way to fight social isolation, so to inform future policymaking and funding initiatives


Community at the Centre

Bramley Elderly Action (BEA) is seeking the views of local people about its interest in taking on the management of Bramley Community Centre. We are holding Community at the Centre ‘Open House’ at Bramley Community Centre, from 12.00-8.00pm on Thursday 13th October.Bramley Community Centre

We are inviting people of all ages to come along and give their views about the centre’s future. Children and young people are encouraged to come and share their ideas and ask questions too. You will be able to do a short tour of the building, ask questions and contribute in various ways.

  • Drop in – any time during the day for tours, tea and cake
  • Tours of the building – 12.30pm, then every hour at half past until 7.30pm
  • Question & answer session with Bramley Elderly Action staff, Stuart Quin (Chair of BEA Board), and Neil Charlesworth (Leeds City Council) – 7.00pm.

You are very welcome to just drop in at any time, even if you don’t want to go on a tour of the building – a member of Bramley Elderly Action staff will be available to speak to.Community at the Centre Logo

Bramley Elderly Action would like to submit a formal ‘expression of interest’ in managing the centre to Leeds City Council by the end of 2016, and is keen to listen and learn from the views of the community first.

BEA wants to enable individuals, community groups and local organisations to use it for activities and events, to ensure that it has a sustainable future and is developed for the whole community, while continuing to be used for activities by local older people, including the lunch clubs and weekly exercise class.

We also hope to move our office there, which would help to make our services even more accessible to local older people. We would continue to manage the successful Bramley Lawn social centre where we have developed a large range of innovative activities since it opened in 2014.

Stuart Quin, Chair of Bramley Elderly Action said:

“We’re really looking forward to chatting with local people on 13 October. We hope to be part of a bright future for this Centre, so that community continues to be at the heart of this space.”

Come along and give your views.

Follow the trail..find the scarecrows

The scarecrows are gathering and will be available for visiting from Monday 26Bramley scarecrow trail front cover September.

To help you find them you can download the Bramley Scarecrow Trail, which shows where all the scarecrows have agreed to stay until Bramley scarecrow trail mapthey leave the area on Sunday 9 October.

They will be very happy for you to take selfies with them and share your photos on Twitter (@bramleyelderly #bramleyscarecrows ) and other social media.

The scarecrows, which have been brought to life by local individuals, families and organisations, are staying all over Bramley, Swinnow and Stanningley.

A panel of local judges will reveal the winning scarecrow at Bramley Challenge on Saturday 1 October (12.00-4.00 at Bramley Lawn). Come along and see if your favourite is a winner.

The Bramley Scarecrow Trail has been developed in partnership with Bramley Grows (a group of residents interested in making Bramley more edible and more fun), and supported by International Day of Older Persons.

 

The scarecrows are coming!

Scarecrows are coming to Bramley, Swinnow and Stanningley.

The scarecrow trail will be in place from Monday September 26 to FridayScarecrows September 30.

The theme for the scarecrows is  ‘arts and culture’, so they are likely to be writers, artists, musicians, performers, sportspeople or fictional characters.

To take part in this free event you can make a scarecrow, host one, sponsor one or donate one.

Scarecrow iconJoin us for Scarecrow-making at Bramley Lawn during the Fun Day & Scooter Rally on Saturday 17 September, 11.00-5.00. Or ask at  Bramley Community Shop for rags to use to stuff your scarecrow, and see what clothes and other decorations they have in the Scarecrow dressing-up box.

If you’re not up for designing you can visit the scarecrows on the trail and choose your favourite. The scarecrows will be judged by visitors to the trail, with winners being announced at Bramley Challenge  (Bramley Lawn, 12.00-4.00 Saturday 1 October).

Call us on 0113 2361644 or email us and let us know if you are making a scarecrow.

The Scarecrow Trail is in partnership with Bramley Grows and is supported by IDOP 2016 (International Day of Older Persons).