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Update from BOPF Chair

I hope you remain safe and well, and are enjoying some greater freedom with the easing of the Covid lock-down. However, I think we are all acutely aware the position can just as easily go into reverse, especially as the autumn approaches, so let’s hope that everyone behaves sensibly and that can be avoided.

In addition, at no stage should we forget the fantastic work that those in the NHS and Care sector are doing, and as I have said before, this needs to be reflected in a more concrete way in their pay and conditions of service.

We also hope you have found the recent Bristol City Council/ Bristol Older People’s Forum Coronavirus Newsletter useful. It is the first in a series of three to be sent out over the coming months.

What Else Has Been Happening?

As I reported last time, despite the lack of BOPF Open Forum meetings, there has been a lot of activity going on behind the scenes as we continue to work closely with our many partners, especially through the Support Hub and the Voice and Influence Partnership. We also continue to link up with the Council on several fronts, and are pursuing a number of projects for which we are grant funded, including the Transport and Housing Challenge Projects, Bristol Join-Up Project, and the Challenging Ageism Workshops.

If you haven’t yet seen the Housing Survey Report, it’s well worth a read, and we recently had a very productive Zoom meeting about it with the Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Paul Smith. Here is the link to further information: https://bopf.org.uk/bopf-housing-survey-report/

We have also been lobbying, on behalf of BOPF members, on a number of important issues, including free TV Licences for the over 75s, the Ethical Care Charter, the impact of Covid-19 on Care Homes, and the need for older people to still have the facility to telephone GP surgeries for repeat prescriptions.

24th September Open Forum

We haven’t yet made a decision about the next Open Forum meeting, which is also our AGM, and whether it is feasible to hold a more ‘limited’ meeting at Broadmead Baptist Church, where members would need to book in advance. We want to see how things develop over the next few weeks, but please be assured that we would only proceed if we were sure that it was practical and safe to do so. The other alternative would be a virtual Zoom meeting, so this is something we are currently exploring. As soon as I know more, I will update you.

Support Hub and Helpline

As I have previously mentioned, BOPF has been working closely on the Support Hub with Age UK and over 20 other local charities to ensure that coordinated, relevant and up-to-date information and support is provided to older people in Bristol during this emergency. Just a reminder that the Helpline number is: 0117 929 7537. You can also look on the Support Hub website:

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/bristol/our-services/support-hub/

There is as well the Bristol City Council ‘We Are Bristol’ Helpline for support at this time: 0800 694 0184.

Take care.
Ian Bickerton
Chair, BOPF