From the Outgoing Chair of Bristol Older People’s Forum, Ian Bickerton
I will soon be stepping down as the Chair of BOPF. I was first elected in July 2019, and I have thoroughly enjoyed my role during that time. Not only has it been a privilege to be Chair of our wonderful charity, but it has also been a remarkable experience, with so much happening over that period. I would like thank BOPF members, Trustees, and particularly our team, Yolanda Pot and Ian Quaife, for all their support.
Subject to the next Trustee Board on 28th October, I wish all the very best to the new Chair, Christina Stokes. I have no doubt she will do a great job. Thanks as well to Tony Wilson, who has been a Trustee for 7 years, and to Pat Gregory, who are both not standing again this year, for their extremely valuable contributions to BOPF.
The Covid pandemic has been a huge challenge, and, as we all know, has resulted in a sad loss of life, particularly amongst older people. On a happier note, and despite all the restrictions, we have initiated a number of exciting and valuable research projects and events, including the Carers’ Survey, the Housing Survey, Life under Lockdown, Challenging Ageism Workshops, and Meet Up Mornings. We have developed strong partnerships with Bristol City Council, Age UK Bristol, the Support Hub, the Voice and Influence Partnership, and many other groups and organisations across Bristol and beyond.
Perhaps the best news we have received recently has been obtaining a Bristol Impact Fund grant from the Council for the next 4 years. We were absolutely delighted to hear we had been successful and this will put us in an incredibly strong position in the future to deliver a number of key research projects, such as addressing Digital Exclusion, to continue to challenge ageism and promote equality, and above all, to support almost 3000 BOPF members.
Finally, we are very aware that many of our members are not online and do not have access to Zoom, so if you have any comments on the recent AGM decisions regarding the appointment of Trustees and approving the Annual Accounts, please do write to BOPF at Canningford House, Victoria Street, BS1 6BY.
Chair, Bristol Older People’s Forum