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!

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

 

Volunteers needed for rewarding roles

Bramley Elderly Action is actively looking for volunteers for a variety of rewarding roles, all of which support older people in the local community to remain healthy, independent and involved.

BEA volunteers outing, 2015

We are seeking people for the following roles:

Group leaders

Group leaders work with members of a group to agree a programme, in some cases invite speakers or entertainers, set up whatever is needed and make sure everything runs smoothly. They need to be good organisers, friendly and very welcoming.

  • We are currently looking for a group leader for the Friendship group, which runs talks, activities and outings for anyone wanting friendship, who may be lonely and would like to meet people. It meets once a month, in the day time on a Wednesday. The leader would also need to spend some time on organising it between meetings.
  • We are likely to be looking for other group leaders in the near future. Please get in touch if you may be interested.

Facilitators

Facilitators help organise and run group sessions, ensuring that everyone in the group has the opportunity and encouragement to be involved in the session. It helps if you have some experience of working with groups.

We are currently looking for facilitators for:

  • Reminiscence group, which meets weekly on a Thursday evening, to help people remember the things and events that are important to them through speakers, memorabilia, discussions and outings. We are looking for a few volunteers to share this role. It may particularly suit people with an interest in local and social history.
  • Men’s group, which meets every other Friday morning. We needed to facilitate the sessions, help identify and provide for members’ interests and encourage the group to open up to new members.
  • Tea dance – facilitator for the Wednesday afternoon tea dance from early April, to organise dances and support and encourage members to get involved.

Group support – Bingo

 We are looking for someone to support the group leader, particularly in taking registers, collecting money and selling tickets. Bingo takes place every Thursday morning.

Drivers

Volunteer drive our minibuses and play a crucial role in helping our members take part in activities.

We are currently seeking drivers:

  • for BEA, especially on Thursdays
  • for Bramley Lawn on a Saturday
  • for OWLS (Older Wiser Local Seniors, which supports older people in Headingley, Kirkstall and Hyde Park) for a Friday lunch club every two weeks. You need a full, clean driving licence take on this role.

Bus buddies

Bus buddies work with our volunteer drivers to help our members get on and off the minibus, and ensure that they have a safe, comfortable ride. We are currently looking for bus buddies during the week for both BEA and OWLS.

Kitchen helpers

We are currently seeking kitchen helpers to volunteer at Bramley Lawn during the day on Saturdays, and once a month for our vibrant Restaurant night, which includes waiting at tables.

 Administrator

We are seeking a volunteer to help with all sorts of administrative tasks at Bramley Lawn during the week

Dementia buddy

We are seeking a volunteer who would like to drive and offer one-to-one support (not personal care) for on Remember Thursdays, our weekly day at Bramley Lawn for people with dementia.

Please phone our volunteer co-ordinator Maureen on 0113 236 1644 if you would like to discuss any of the roles.

First class treatment for Bramley elders’ buses

Bramley Elderly Action have announced a fantastic new partnership with bus company First in Leeds. The innovative agreement will see First Bus supporting BEA in the running of its three minibuses.Lee Ingham with Liam Graham (First Bus)

First Bus, who have a major depot in Bramley, will supply fuel, clean the minibuses and will also give information and training to BEA’s volunteer drivers. The company will also look at other ways to support BEA.

Lee, Barbara and Rebecca with First Bus staffBEA run a large range of activities, groups and trips to support local older people to remain active and independent. Their minibuses play a vital role in helping members to get involved.

Lee Ingham, General Manager of Bramley Elderly Action, said:

We’re absolutely delighted to take First Bus aboard as a BEA Corporate Sponsor. They will be a great asset to us and our members on our journey. We hope this will be a model of how we can work with local businesses, through the sharing of their expertise.

Bob Dorr, Business Manager at First in Leeds said:

We’re very pleased to be able to offer the excellent knowledge and expertise of our staff to support people in the local community in a real and effective way.

Rachel Reeves, Member of Parliament for Leeds West said:

Earlier this year Bramley Elderly Action were speaking to me about the ever increasing costs of keeping their mini-buses on the road and I had the idea of getting in touch with First to see if they might be able to help. I am thrilled that this initiative has come together, it is wonderful that First, with their depot in Bramley, take their local connections so seriously.

Bramley Elderly Action are very interested in hearing from other businesses who have something to offer the local community and would like to consider becoming a BEA Corporate Sponsor.

BEA are also looking for new volunteers to be minibus drivers and escorts, who support older people on trips. This is an excellent opportunity to use or develop skills, meet people and gain enormous satisfaction from putting something into your community. As Lee Ingham said:

We’ve got fantastic support for the fuel, now we need some more drivers to use it!

Please phone BEA on 0113 236 1644 if you may be interested in being a volunteer driver or escort.

“Bramley Elderly Action gives people the opportunity to try new things”: Rachel Reeves MP at our AGM

Bramley Elderly Action held a well attended Annual General Meeting on Saturday 10 October.

The meeting, at Bramley Band Club, was attended by approximately 90 BEA members who enjoyed the food, the chance to get together with old friends and the opportunity to pick up their copy of the new BEA calendar.

Rachel Reeves MP speaking BEA's AGM 2015 (YouTube)

Rachel Reeves, MP for Leeds West and BEA Patron, said: “Bramley Elderly Action brings out the best in people, gives people chances and the opportunity to try new things”. She also noted that it was the anniversary of her lawnmower race (which she’d certainly never tried before!) at the opening of Bramley Lawn. (You can see the whole of Rachel Reeves’ speech.)

We are encouraging members to try something new, which has been a huge theme of Bramley Lawn, and is very much reflected in our annual report.BEA calendar 2016 front cover

Lord Mayor of Leeds, Cllr Judith Chapman, also addressed the meeting. She particularly thanked the BEA volunteers and encouraged new people to volunteer.

There was a lively question and answer session, with members interested in a range of topics, including the need for a new minibus, new volunteer drivers and escorts and concerns over the future of Bramley Community Centre.

One of the highlights of the day came when Rachel and Judith presented long-termSally and Rose receive long service awards service awards to Sally McHale and Edna Rose, who are standing down from the BEA board, having been involved from the very beginning 21 years ago.

BEA General Manager Lee Ingham was particularly pleased to acknowledge the recent fundraising efforts of a group of 19 members, supporters, volunteers and staff in raising more than £2,000 through walking the Three Peaks.

Please get in touch if you would like to volunteer for BEA, or take part in fundraising.

Reaching the Peaks

Congratulations to every one of the 19 walkers, aged 17-66, who took part in the Three Peaks Challenge for Bramley Elderly Action on Saturday 26 September. It was a beautiful day and there was a fantastic team spirit throughout the 24 mile walk.2nd peak, Whernside

 

The group of volunteers, staff and supporters raised about £2,000 (with Gift AidSupport BEA contributions). It’s not too late to add to this great total, just go tobit.ly/bramleyea36 if you would like to donate. All money goes to help BEA in our work supporting older people in Bramley, Swinnow and Stanningley to remain healthy and independent.

See our Facebook page for more photos of the Three Peaks Challenge.

A very happy ZoeGet in touch with Zoe (Volunteer Co-ordinator, Fundraising), seen below jumping for joy, if you would like to get involved in raising funds for BEA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

We ask you to type into a form so that our email address is not picked up by spammers.

Want to get out more?…and help others get out too?

Do you have a bit of spare time? Would you like to make a real difference for older people in your community?

Bramley Elderly Action is currently looking for new volunteer escorts to help our members get out and about to lunch clubs, activities and trips.Volunteer as an escort

Volunteer escorts play a crucial role. As an escort you would help our members get on and off the minibus, assist the driver with wheelchair users and collect the fares. As an escort on half day and full day trips you would act as a companion to support members to get the most out of the trip, and you may support a wheelchair user.

As a BEA volunteer you will know that you are making an important contribution to the community as a whole, and to improving the lives of individual older people. You will have the opportunity to take part in some activities yourself, go on trips and get a free lunch if you are an escort to a lunch club.

You will probably also make new friends!

We are generally looking for a minimum commitment of 1-2 hours a week. At the moment we especially need escorts for Tuesday afternoons and Thursday mornings. However, do please get in touch if you may want to help on an occasional basis.

If you would like to talk about being a volunteer escort, please speak to Rebecca or Maureen on Phone 0013 236 1644 for a chat. You may be able to come along and see for yourself what it involves, before making a commitment.

BEA is also looking for volunteer drivers. Please get in touch if you may be interested.

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.