What a year 2019 was for BOPF! There was so much happening, it is difficult to know where to start. After over a decade as Chair, Judith Brown stood down and I took her place at the July AGM. I have said it so many times, but Judith did an amazing job, and really put BOPF on the map, working tirelessly to give a voice to older people in the city. Judith is still playing a key role, now as the BOPF Ambassador, and you may well have heard her on the Babbers show on Ujima Radio.
We had some extremely impressive and informative speakers at our Open Forum meetings over the year, covering a wide range of topics from Air Quality to Dementia. At the November meeting, the Bristol Mayor, Marvin Rees, spoke and answered questions from the floor, attracting an audience of almost 80. Please do tell your family and friends about the Open Forum – you have a chance to have your say, you don’t need to book, they are free, and there is even tea/coffee and biscuits included (although all donations are gratefully received!). The next Open Forum is on 27th February at 10.30am, as usual at Broadmead Baptist Church.
There has also been a lot of work going on behind the scenes. Our membership has increased to nearly 3000, as a result of a recruitment drive. Ian Quaife (BOPF Development and Engagement Manager) has been leading two really valuable projects on Transport and Housing, both funded by Bristol Ageing Better. He has been giving regular updates at Open Forum meetings and in the Newsletters (including this one), and if your are interested in participating, please do contact him. Yolanda (BOPF Finance and Administration Manager), has been working equally tirelessly, particularly on the new BOPF Website, which should hopefully have been launched by the time you read this!
I would like to say a big thank you to the BOPF Trustees, including several new ones who joined us in 2019. It is a great team, with all the Trustees dedicated to strengthening the role of BOPF, and working with many partners, including the Voice and Influence Partnership, with the aim of making Bristol an Age Friendly City in 2020 and beyond.
Finally, thanks to you as well for your continued support!
I hope 2020 proves to be an excellent year.