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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 lock-down. There was some incredible weather in May, but, personally speaking, I don’t mind it turning a bit cooler and we definitely need some rain!

These are certainly tumultuous times. Not only have we seen in recent months the spread of COVID-19, and the amazing response from the NHS and carers, both in Care Homes and the wider community, but more recently the death of George Floyd in the US and the Black Lives Matters campaigns across the globe for race equality. Let’s hope there are positive outcomes, and 2020 is eventually remembered as a year when real progress is made on these huge intergenerational issues, as well as on addressing climate change.

What’s Been Happeing?

Despite the lack of BOPF Open Forum meetings (see below), 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, and Bristol Join-Up. On the latter, you may have seen a questionnaire about the lock-down that we are asking people to complete. We have so far received an excellent response. Also to mention that BOPF’s Development and Engagement Officer, Ian Quaife, will soon be leading Challenging Ageism Workshops, with our partners Bristol Ageing Better and Age UK Bristol.

25th June Open Forum

This is to confirm that the June Open Forum has been cancelled. We remain hopeful that Open Forum on 24th September can go ahead, but we will of course review the position nearer the time, and keep you fully informed.

Keeping in Touch

In the meantime, it is our highest priority to keep in touch with our 3000 BOPF members, both those online and those who are not. In April, we worked with Age UK Bristol on a hard and electronic copy COVID-19 Update, which contained loads of really useful information needed at that time. More recently you should have received the latest edition of the BOPF Magazine and we hope you are enjoying it, and finding it informative. Subject to funding, we hope to send out to you more magazines over the coming months.

Please do look at our BOPF Information Hub. It’s also definitely worth a scan of the BOPF Facebook Page, especially at the experiences of the lockdown by some of our Trustees and Members. If you would like your COVID-19 ‘diary’ posted, please do send it in to Ian Quaife: bopf@ageukbristol.org.uk.

Although the BOPF Trustees have been keeping in close touch throughout, we are going to have our first Trustees Zoom meeting this week, so that should prove interesting!

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