One member’s story:
I first found out about Bristol Older People’s Forum (BOPF) from Judith Brown who was then Chair of Greater Bedminster Older People’s Forum (GBOPF), she told us about BOPF. I went along to one of their meetings where everyone was very friendly. I learnt a lot from the speakers and also what other members had to say about future events and also concerns that they brought up regarding older people.
I used to be very shy and wouldn’t walk into a room on my own, let alone speak up at a meeting. I started asking speakers questions and brought up concerns I had or anything I knew which could benefit older people.
I brought up one great concern of my own which was School Road Respite care in Brislington for Adults with Learning Difficulties (AWLD) where my son went, the Mayor was proposing to close it to save money. BOPF was very supportive to me and I know members brought up the subject at other meetings which was very kind of them as it affected many AWLD and their Carers. I also learnt that I had to try and do what I could to save it, I went on Radio Bristol and wrote to The Post. Sadly the Mayor had his way and it closed down.
It was through BOPF that my husband and I went to Aardman Animation Studios to be interviewed for the Bristol Ageing Better animation film. Unfortunately we weren’t picked to be a character but we have a memory to last us a lifetime as we were very privileged to be shown around the studios, at the time they were preparing the Shaun the Sheep so we had a preview of some of them before they went on show to the public.
My husband is now Chair of GBOPF and I am Secretary, I write the newsletter and invite speakers to attend. So as you can see BOPF has given me so much confidence to do things that I never thought I would ever do. So Thank You to BOPF and also to Judith who has also encouraged me to do these things.
I look forward to receiving my BOPF Newsletter which is always very interesting and helpful. It also has so many useful telephone numbers, so I keep it handy by the phone as people often phone me up asking for a telephone number if they need help or to enquire about something.
Chris Pratley, BOPF Member