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Update from BOPF Chair

I hope you are keeping well and managing to endure this seemingly endless Covid period in our lives. However, there is at last some really good news with the development of what appears to be an effective vaccine, which is now starting to be rolled out. It is of course vital that as many people as possible do get vaccinated. I will certainly be one of them, when it is my turn! I am sure we all hope that by the summer we will have returned to some semblance of normality.

We had another excellent virtual Open Forum on 26th November, with double the turnout we had for the September event. Our keynote speaker was Asher Craig, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Communities, Equalities and Public Health. Asher gave a very comprehensive and clear picture of what was happening within Bristol City Council, and beyond, focusing particularly on the challenges resulting from the pandemic. There were also brief presentations from BOPF Trustees Trish Mensah and Tony Wilson about an Activist Memories Project, and from Julie Boston and myself on the many benefits of Walking for Health. Finally, there was a lively interactive session (where we went into break-out rooms), led by Ian Quaife, on Life Under Lockdown.

Please do come along to our next virtual Open Forum on Thursday 25th February at 10.30am, when our key speakers will be Jan Shortt, General Secretary of the National Pensioners Convention, and Verity McLelland from Diabetes UK. We will also have in attendance Darryl Collins from South Gloucestershire Over 50s Forum.

Finally, I wanted to mention that the Trustees have agreed we will particularly campaign at the present time on behalf of older people on the following four areas: Social Care; Pension Credits; Clean Air, and Pavement Safety. These are all priorities that have been previously identified by BOPF members. This doesn’t of course exclude campaigning on other key issues, but does give us a focus over the coming months.

The strength of BOPF is its membership of 3000 older people in the city, and any ideas, comments and contributions you may have, are always welcome and valued. We’d love to hear from you.

Best wishes.

Ian Bickerton
Chair, BOPF

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