From the Incoming Chair of Bristol Older People’s Forum, Christina Stokes
I am honoured to have been elected by the Trustees as Chair of BOPF for the coming year. I have been treasurer of BOPF and a Trustee for the last 2 years so I have been party to agreeing the strategic direction of the organisation during that time. I do not intend to try to make any major changes in the short to medium term.
Changes are happening already, however, as we have just received 4 year funding from Bristol City Council. This funding reinforces the things which we already do, such as the Open Forum meetings, The Meetup Mornings and the Challenging Ageism Workshops. What it also does is introduce other strings to our bow with the IT Champions project aimed at enabling older people who do not currently feel confident to use technology to do so and the Older People’s Advisory group. The other thing this funding does is give four years security to our staff. I would like to thank our current staff, Ian Quaife and Yolanda Pot, for their flexibility over working hours during the transition from our old funding to our new funding.
The Trustees are also working with the staff to apply for further grants to fund both more hours for our current staff and to employ further staff to improve what we offer to members even further.
I am keen that our members feel that they are an integral part of the organisation as members. This means that I am really keen to hear from our members about anything you think we should be doing or doing differently; services you feel are missing, campaigns you think we should pursue, speakers you would like to hear at the Open Forums or the Meetup Mornings or anything you would like to see happen at he Open Forum that doesn’t happen now.
One example where someone may be able to contribute is that we currently have a vacancy for a Treasurer. It is not an arduous task as most of the detailed work gets done by Yolanda. You just need to understand figures. If you think you can help please get in touch.
We are an organisation of and for Older People and that is our strength.
I look forward to speaking with many of you over the next year.
Chair, Bristol Older peoples Forum.