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


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.

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.


Moving ceremonies mark Somme centenary

Two moving ceremonies at Bramley War Memorial brought the local community together, to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the Battle of the Somme, on Friday 1st July.

The day began with an Act of Remembrance at 7.30am, the exact time the battle began 100 years ago. The Reveille was sounded by bugler Sally Clark, who also ended proceedings poignantly with the Last Post.

Somme Remembrance - BEA YouTube

A longer Service of Remembrance took place from 10.45am, again with a bugle sounding.

Readings remembering the suffering and those who died form the local communityNorah Gibson doing the reading included those from Cllr Caroline Gruen, Norah Gibson and the Reverend Paul Crabb.

Both sessions were extremely well attended. The audience included war veterans and families, of all generations, of those who died. Many Bramley Elderly Action members were present.

A total of 77 people from Bramley, Stanningley and Rodley died at the Somme. The battle lasted until November 2016.

Somme Memorial Crosses

People with family members who died at the Somme were invited to lay individual crosses at the memorial.

Several shops in the parade opposite the memorial had window displays about the occasion.

The event was organised by the Friends of a War Memorial for Bramley.

Bramley War Memorial Logo



New programme of sing-along movies at Bramley Lawn

After the Sound of Music and Jungle Book, Bramley Lawn is to host a series of singalong film afternoons for the old, the not so old and the very young to join in with.

The films, all starting at 1.30, are free to attend (donations welcome).

Mary Poppins film posterSingin in the rain film posterMy Fair Lady film poster

  • Mary Poppins – Thursday 17 March
  • Singin’ in the rain – Thursday 21 April
  • My fair lady – Thursday 19 May

Please phone Bramley Elderly Action on 0113 236 1644 if you would like to book free tickets.

A grand half term at Bramley Lawn

Half term’s a great time for grandparents to get together with their grandchildren. Bramley Lawn is holding two activities during half term that give you a chance to try something new and have plenty of fun together.

Bring yourself, your grandchildren or your kids along to learn the ukelele, sing-along to the Jungle Book on our cinema screen, or fill your belly with lovely Italian treats cooked for our birthday Restaurant Night.

Ukes at the Lawn (beginners)

Tuesday 16 February, 11.00-12.00 (£2.00 per person).
After one hour, you’ll be playing a tune – and before you know it, you’re George Formby II. You can borrow a ukelele from us, bring your own, or use our button-press ukeleles designed to make it easier to change chord, and especially good if you have trouble with manual dexterity. Bring everyone, this is an all-ages, and very fun session for beginners.
Ukeleles provided but we’ll have a limited number so if you want to bring your own please do.
Please reserve a seat – email catherine.bramleylawn@gmail.com or phone 0113 236 1644

Sing-Along-Jungle Book (U)

Thursday 18 February, 1.30-3.30. (Free, donations welcome).
Forget the February rain, we’re curling up indoors with blankets and hot chocolate for a right good sing-along to the Jungle Book on our big cinema screen. With subtitles and large text song sheets so you can really sing along as these hip cats roam the jungle!
This screening is dementia friendly, and all ages are welcome – so bring the family!
Please reserve a seat – email catherine.bramleylawn@gmail.com or phone 0113 236 1644

Restaurant Night at Bramley Lawn

Saturday 21 February, from 6.00 (Pay what you decide on the night)
Oh what a night! It will be! Join us for a two-course feast, great company, shared tables and some special birthday fun. It’s a year since we started the themed restaurant nights, so we’re returning to our Italian roots to celebrate.
All ages welcome. Let us know if you’re bringing a baby so we can accommodate you.
Please book. Pay what you decide on the night. For more information Please reserve a seat – to book, or for more information, please email  catherine.bramleylawn@gmail.com  or phone 0113 236 1644.

Sing-along-a-movie at Bramley Lawn

Join in with the classic musicals!

Bramley Elderly Actions’s innovative social centre, Bramley Lawn, is screening two dementia-friendly ‘sing-along’ films, which are open to everyone.

The first two films to be screened are:

The Sound of Music
Thursday 21 January, 1.30
Still from the Sound of Music






Grandchild-friendly the Jungle Book 
Thursday 18 February, 1.30 (during half term)
Still from the Jungle Book





Please phone Bramley Elderly Action on 0113 236 1644 if you would like to book free tickets. Donations welcome.

BEA launches new website

Bramley Elderly Action has launched its own website – www.bramleyea.org.uk – to help more local older people find out about and use its services.

The new website contains details of the many groups, activities and trips we run, as well Brian Myland using the new websiteas great quotes from some of our many volunteers and information to encourage older people to get involved in the community.

BEA member, Brian Myland, aged 76, said:

“This new website means I’ll be able to get info I need out of office hours, which will be a real help to me.”

Lee Ingham, Manager of Bramley Elderly Action, said:

“We’re delighted that we’re catching up with some of our members! And we think it will be particularly important for relatives of local people, perhaps living far away, who want to help find support in Bramley. They’ll be able to Google ‘older people Bramley’ and they’ll get us.”

We’re aware that though the majority of our members may not have access to the internet themselves, they are increasingly being helped by younger family members, including grandchildren, to access vital information. Rob Cook, Communications Co-ordinator said:

“We see such ‘inter-generational’ work as crucial in efforts to reduce the ‘digital divide’, where older people can be excluded from so much information if they cannot access the net. As with our use of Twitter, the website is also an important way for funders, commissioners and local politicians to find out more about our work.”

We plan to develop the website with more personal stories, and links to what’s happening in the local community.

BEA celebrates volunteers of all ages

Staff from Bramley Elderly Action and Older Wiser Local Seniors (OWLS) came together with students from Leeds Metropolitan University to celebrate the hard work and dedication of the charity’s many volunteers, including their eldest volunteer, HelenCopley, aged 97. The annual volunteer party, held at the student union on Beckett’s Park Campus, Headingley, marks a new high for intergenerational relations within the community.

Over thirty students organised the event and were crucial in making this year’s volunteer Volunteer party, February 2013 party one of the best yet.  The volunteers were treated to an evening of music, dancing, entertainment and plenty of food. Once they had completed their hosting duties the students joined in the fun and took part in the evening’s entertainment. With pride and honour at stake teams battled it out to win the quiz and be crowned champions. The quiz was followed by a fun ‘Race Night’ with the Pig Race (including knitted jockeys) being one of the favourites.

Once the entertainment had been completed, the prizes won and the victors congratulated, the dance floor was opened up and people of all ages danced the night away. Lee Ingham, Manager of Bramley Elderly Action, said:

“The entire event has been amazing from start to finish. The students really excelled themselves and I know that everyone involved had a wonderful evening. At Bramley Elderly Action we rely so much on the generosity and hard work of our volunteers and this annual party is a perfect way to show how much we appreciate them.”

The staff and volunteers at Bramley Elderly Action and OWLS work hard all year round to ensure that the older members of the community get the most out of life. Intergenerational events such as this show how charities can bring together people of all ages for the benefit of everyone involved.

If you are interested in joining Bramley Elderly Action or OWLS as a member or a volunteer, or if you have any suggestions for more intergenerational events, please contact Bramley Elderly Action on 0113 236 1644.