Past Lord Mayor of Bristol Cllr Lesley Alexander dedicated her year as Lord Mayor to establishing new Retirement Clubs and supporting existing centres for retired people across the city of Bristol by visiting as many as possible following the success of Begbrook Retirement Club which she set up in her own ward of Frome Vale from spring of 2014 after posting 750 flyers in the Begbrook and Stapleton area.
Identifying the need to run Retirement Clubs from once warden controlled sheltered housing buildings and later changes which meant wardens just visit those most in need, the once popular community rooms have been left fairly neglected about 95% of time.
These community rooms with kitchens and toilets are ideally sized and located to become reborn and in the context of Greenfinch Lodge this room was also initially developed to cater for the outside community as well for meetings, dances, birthdays, council meetings and through to church services as community rooms. Member of the Begbrook Retirement Club and active local volunteer Maureen Coles attended those original meetings back in the 1970s to plan the new Begbrook area and how the new centres will be used. Maureen and he circle of volunteers also landscaped Begbrook Green Park and ran it for thirty years as a volunteer group.
Forming the Begbrook Retirement Club seemed at first more complicated than it needed to be, it was an idea which came about after seeing a room of identical size and use owned by Bristol Council in Henleaze which was used on an evening in October 2013 for a 70th birthday celebration. Knowing the need existed to bring older people together in Begbrook with so many retired people facing loneliness, isolation and which often leads to depression, Lesley and her volunteer team got to work and started the ball rolling for a new Begbrook Retirement Club which has been growing as a movement ever since the very first meeting which had 55 elderly people attend.
Activities at and from Greenfinch Lodge include: Coach outings, guest speakers, guest entertainers, craft sessions, demonstrations, theatre trips, fundraising including MacMillan Support, games, meals, celebrations and much more.
The Begbrook Retirement Club meets most Thursday’s from 2pm to 4pm during winter and 2.30pm to 4.30pm during Summer. For people who struggle with transport there are options by various funders which help to cover costs to collect and return people to their homes and members attend from miles around.
Contact Cllr Lesley Alexander to learn more by calling 01179 651935
As Lord Mayor Lesley wanted to hear from as many areas of Bristol as possible to help them start new retirement clubs and support existing elderly clubs by attending as Lord Mayor as well.
Book the Lord Mayor to visit your retirement venue here:
In the Whitehall area of St George there’s a dedicated over 55s centre called The Beehive Centre which is very popular. Centres across Bristol which offer opportunities for older people can be found on the Bristol Older People’s Forum directory as well. Here on the Greater Fishponds area website we have a dedicated page listing every community building so people can contact the venues and find out what they offer by various groups. We link to as many websites as possible as well. Visit: www.fishpondspeople.co.uk/community-groups
- Dance Classes
- Yoga Classes
- Thai Chi
- Toddlers’ Groups
- Coffee mornings for the elderly
- Film Club
- Lunch Club – Tuesday
- Community Lunch Club – Thursday
We have a number of rooms available for meetings, parties or events. We also have two halls, connected by bi-fold doors, which can accommodate 120 people and even a bouncy castle! There are kitchen facilities, access points for the disabled and parking spaces for loading and unloading.
As well as the halls, smaller spaces available for hire include:
- Top Community Room – A large main hall with wooden flooring – there is small kitchen area
- Middle Community Room – a large main hall with wooden flooring – this room is attached to a commercial kitchen which is available to hire if the persons using it have the correct health and safety certificates. We have available in the Middle Community Room a fridge, setting up area, hotplate and sink. Both the Top and Middle Community Rooms can be opened up to make one large hall.
- Sunlife Room – Available for meetings, film clubs or community groups. Set out with comfy chairs and table. Warm cosy room with small kitchen facilities -ideal for coffee groups and meetings.
- Hairdressers – with sink, mirror, etc
- Beauty Room – with massage bed etc
There is a fully functioning commercial kitchen which could be made available to those with the relevant safety certificates and qualifications to use it. Visit: www.thebeehivebristol.co.uk/the-beehive-centre
Explore the Bristol Older People’s Forum website: https://bopf.org.uk
Brunelcare, Colliers Gardens in Oldbury Court, Fishponds.
Activities and the restaurant are open and available to members of the local community. No pre bookings are required and you can contact the scheme for further details. Community assisted bathroom facilities are also
If you live near an extra care scheme and want to find out about joining in with the activities then please contact the scheme directly.
Restaurant and Meals Provision
There is a hot meal available in the restaurant every lunchtime (this must be paid for as it is not charged as part of the rent for those living on site). Lunches are a good opportunity for tenants to get together and to meet with families and friends and with other older people from the local community.
Activities on site for the wider community include:
• Arts and crafts
• Watercolour groups
• Exercise sessions
• Cultural theme days
Please contact the centre or visit for all the opportunities available to local people aged over 55.
Off Delabere Avenue,
Colliers Garden Centre Manager:
0117 958 6336
Stoke Gifford Retirement Village will provide a new lease of life for over-55s in South Gloucestershire and Bristol when it opens in 2018.
Lifestyle at Stoke Gifford Retirement Village
Stoke Gifford Retirement Village boasts a wonderful range of facilities and activities to help you make the most of life.
You’ll always have plenty of sociable and active things to do!
Meet friends in the Bistro, or take some classes in the Fitness Suite. Visit the Library and IT Suite, which are open to the wider community, to check your emails or enjoy a good book.
There’s a Village Hall, also open to the wider community, for dances and parties, as well as a greenhouse and hair and beauty salon.
This is all available to you, along with the reassurance that, if you’re assessed as needing care now or in the future, it can be delivered to you in the comfort of your own home by ExtraCare’s staff team.
Facilities at Stoke Gifford Retirement Village:
•Reception and Main Street
•Village Hall (open to the wider community)
•Library and IT Suite (open to the wider community)
•Bistro and Bar
•Enriched Opportunities Suite® (to support residents with dementia)
•Fully Accessible Toilet Facilities
•Laundry and Launderette
•Greenhouse and Landscaped Gardens
Join the Freemasons or the Womens Institute?
Stapleton and Downend both have Freemasons buildings as part of Gloucestershire Freemasons and men of all ages can join for a world of new adventures and friendships. Visit: https://www.glosmasons.org.uk
Frenchay the Womens Institute welcomes new members.
The Women’s Institute (WI) was formed in 1915 to revitalise rural communities and encourage women to become more involved in producing food during the First World War. Since then the organisation’s aims have broadened and the WI is now the largest voluntary women’s organisation in the UK. The WI celebrated its centenary in 2015 and currently has almost 220,000 members in approximately 6,300 WIs.
The WI plays a unique role in providing women with educational opportunities and the chance to build new skills, to take part in a wide variety of activities and to campaign on issues that matter to them and their communities.
The WI is based on the ideals of fellowship, truth, tolerance and justice. The organisation is non-sectarian and non-party political. WIs are charitable and everything they do must be consistent with that special legal status.