The 2020 ‘Armchair’ AGM


We said this year’s AGM would be a little bit different and it was! Instead of being in the same room, we were together online, to hear about BEA’s year and our aims for the future once infection rates allow us to be in-person again more often. Watch the full meeting here.

After 8 years on the Board, our Chair Stuart Quin stepped down alongside Vice-Chair Caroline Gruen. We can’t thank them enough for their work over the years. Stepping up to Chair the BEA Board, we welcome Toby Parsons and look forward to working with him.

Stuart Quin, Chairing the hybrid AGM from Bramley Lawn with attenders on zoom.

Special guests, the Lord Mayor of Leeds and BEA’s Patron Rachel Reeves MP welcomed the members, volunteers and supporters of BEA to the AGM, before official business to report back on the year just gone from a strategic, financial and operational perspective. The Lord Mayor of Leeds reminded us to stay active and stay connected and since she is such a positive person we all agreed to do exactly what she said! Rachel Reeves MP reflected that reducing social isolation – has almost never been so important – and thanked the BEA team for adapting to the pandemic to keep people together, safe and as happy as can be expected.

As is traditional at our AGM, BEA celebrates volunteers who have undertaken many years of service for local older people. Our long-service award might be a humble coffee mug, but we don’t give them out easily! BEA would like to thank the following volunteers for their many years of remarkable dedication to local older people:

Joan Lockett (26 yrs service) Jennifer Evers (26 yrs service) Joan Haigh Stanley Farrar Sally McHale

A big thank you to Fuzzy Jones, our technical trouble-shooter and problem-solver – for turning our challenging idea into a smooth-running afternoon.

Reducing social isolation in Leeds

Bramley Elderly Action is delivering a pilot project funded by Leeds Time to Shine to reduce social isolation and loneliness for local olderTime To Shine Logo people. Working in a person-centred way, this project has been helping older people to address the barriers preventing them from enjoying an active life.

BEA is now looking to recruit a dynamic social worker to join our team to co-ordinate, deliver and evaluate the project for six months from May-November 2018.

We’re looking for someone who is passionate about making a difference to the lives of older people to become our Community Social Worker.

The post is for 35 hours per week. You can download a job description, application form and all other key information HERE.The closing date for applications is 12 Noon on Monday 26 March.

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

Are you a Co-op member? You can help BEA

Bramley Elderly Action will receive much needed funds from the Co-op Local Community Fund between now and September.

!% of the price of all purchases of Co-op branded products made by members at Swinnow Co-op, Swinnow Lane, during that period will go to local causes, including BEA. This also applies at some local Co-op funeral parlours.

Please consider becoming a Co-op member if you shop at Swinnow Co-op.

Many thanks to the Co-op.

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


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.


Money Buddies comes to Bramley Lawn

Bramley Elderly Action is delighted to announce that Bramley Lawn will be hosting a Money Buddy service from August 2nd.

Money Buddies are trained volunteers who offer a free, confidential, independentMoney Buddies Logo service for anyone with money problems.

A Money Buddy will not judge you. They can support you and help you learn how to deal better with money. They can support you, with a wide range of issues, for as long as you need them.

Read about one of the regular Money Buddies.

A Money Buddy will be available at Bramley Lawn every Tuesday from 2.00-3.00, to help with money problems. A Money Buddy volunteer can help you with all of the following:

  • Check what benefits you may be entitled to from the government, to maximise your income
  • Make sure you are safe, by identifying any immediate risk, and refer to a specialist if necessary
  • Deal with loan companies, including helping to write a Financial Statement to creditors
  • Plan a budget
  • Find the best energy deal
  • Switch energy providers online
  • Apply for grants to get electricity or gas arrears written off or reduced
  • Apply for Discretionary Housing Payment (if you are affected by the bedroom tax)
  • Give you money saving tips
  • Get grants towards repaying arrears in water rates
  • Report loan sharks, safely and confidentially
  • Open credit union accounts online
  • Gain and develop confidence in yourself

You are very welcome to take part in our regular Games afternoon if you are waiting to be seen by a Money Buddy.

Leeds Money Buddies is managed by Ebor Gardens Advice Centre.

What is ‘age’ to you? See us at Kirkstall festival

What does ‘Age’ mean to you?

We hope you have seen our new poster – Age is just a number – starting to appear in all sorts of places around Bramley, Swinnow and Stanningley.'Age is just a number' poster

Come and find us at Kirkstall Festival on Saturday 9 July, tell us what ‘Age is…’ for you, and get a free badge. We’ve got a stall full of information, with friendly staff and volunteers, next to our neighbours OWLS.

We’re also running a Tea Dance tent at the festival, with an aaccordion player, a ukelele band, a sing-along and bingo

Come and take part, come and say hello.

Woman of Steel!

Bramley Elderly Action member, Betty Cole, has been officially recognised as aBetty Cole with medal
Woman of Steel!

Betty, now 93, was one of thousands of women who worked in Sheffield munitions factories during the Second World War, in what had been considered ‘men’s work’.

All the surviving ‘Women of Steel’ have been honoured with a special medal. Betty was among about 100 survivors who took part, with approximately 2,000 family, friends and public, in a ceremony to unveil a statue to the women in Sheffield city centre.

WomenOfSteelMedalBetty worked on a lathe in the small factory for three years from the age of 19. She has very good memories of her time there: “We all got on very well, and had some good times…with no men around!”

Betty was very happy about the statue, saying that what the women are wearing was exactly right.

Remembering the Somme: Bramley War Memorial, Friday 1 July

77 service personnel from Bramley, Stanningley and Rodley died at the Battle of the Somme, 26 of them on the first day, July 1st 1916.

There will be two events at Bramley War Memorial (Bramley Park, LS13 3JZ). onSomme Remembrance Poster Friday 1st July to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the battle. Bramley Elderly Action is offering free transport to any BEA member who would like to take part in either of these events and who needs transport to get there.

7.25 am – Act of Remembrance and bugler
A bugler will sound the Reveille, followed by a two minute silence and then the Last Post. Please note that there will be no seating for this event.

10.45 am – Service of Remembrance and bugler
There will be a Service of Remembrance, with the creation of a Field of Remembrance with individually named crosses for each of the local service personnel who fell in The Somme and the laying of a wreath.  A bugler will sound the Last Post before an Act of Remembrance at 11.00, followed by Reveille.  We expect the service to finish by 11.15.  Anyone who had a relative who fell at the Somme may come forward to lay a wreath or cross. There will be limited seating available for those who need it.

Bramley War MemorialPlease assemble 15 minutes before each event. Please phone 0113 236 1644 if you need transport to get there, and/or if you need a seat for the Service.

In total over a million people were killed or wounded at the Battle of the Somme from July-November 1916. The British Legion has launched a special Golden Poppy Appeal for The Somme.

Can you help us grow and thrive?

Could you use your skills and experience to help our charity grow and thrive?

Bramley Elderly Action is looking for new volunteer Board members to support our work, creating opportunities and empowering people aged 60+ in Bramley, Swinnow and parts of Stanningley.Memebers of the BEA Board, April 2014

Our hope is to bring in new skills and people with a passion for tackling social isolation amongst older people.

We would particularly like to hear from anyone with superb experience in Finance, HR, marketing and law, and who knows and is committed to the area, to support the charity to further our aims and values, and our ambitions for the future.

Please get in touch with Lee Ingham (see below) to arrange a chat.

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