All the latest news on LinkAge

Friday 15 December

The Macmillan Taster Token Scheme comes to Kingswood

The Macmillan Prevention and Re-enablement project is working alongside a new Walking Badminton Club in Kingswood, to provide support for people who are living with or beyond cancer into becoming more physically active.

The Walking Badminton club, set up by the Bristol Jets and Bristol Sports Foundation, takes place on Thursdays, from 11:00am – 12:00pm at Kingswood Leisure Centre. The sessions are suitable for men and women aged 55+ of all abilities, with a ‘turn up and play’ element. The Walking Badminton group is fun, informal and very welcoming!

Kingswood’s Walking Badminton Coach Thomas Marshall, says ‘Walking badminton is a great way to start or return to playing badminton.  We have a welcoming and fun session based on what our players want and would love to have you join us.”

And this reflects in 60 year old new player Mike (pictured), who recently joined the Walking Badminton Club. Having played in his youth, Mike took Badminton back up after being diagnosed with Diabetes, and saw it as an opportunity to improve his fitness and socialise with others. 

Set at a slightly slower pace, Walking Badminton is a great activity to try for newcomers and is set in a supportive environment with an experienced coach. You can even continue socialising after your game with a tea or coffee in the Clifford Suite, hosted by Kingswood Leisure Centre. The cost of the session is £3 for Forever Bristol members and £4 for non-members. If you are a cancer patient; have previously had cancer; are bereaved, or are a carer for someone with cancer, and would like support into physical activity, then please call our Macmillan team on 0117 353 3042

You will be sent a tailored information pack and Macmillan Taster Tokens enabling you to attend x5 free sessions.

For more information about Walking Badminton or any of our other Walking Sports on offer (Football, Netball, Rugby, Basketball), please contact Claire Buckingham, Bristol Jets Badminton Community Development Officer on 07703 415 975 or


Thursday 30 November

Catch up with the Community Development Coordinators!

Catch up with the Community Development Coordinators and see what they've been up to this November.

Community Development for Older People Network

LinkAge’s Community Development team organised its first network morning on Wednesday 15th November at St Pauls Learning Centre.  

The main aim of the morning was to bring together the community development projects funded by Bristol Ageing Better (BAB), with the purpose of sharing, learning and finding common threads, to support each other in our work.

The morning saw BAB Programme Director Adam Rees, welcome the projects to the meeting, and give an update on Bristol Ageing Better’s work, with Community Development Coordinator Wendy Harris, then leading the morning. 

Through a variety of group activities and discussions, workers were able to hear about all of the good things that are taking place in different communities, and share some of the learning and challenges that workers regularly face, with several organisations interestingly raising similar issues. 

Those who attended the morning found the meeting a valuable space to reflect together on their work so far, and gain ideas from others to use in practice. The group also decided that future meetings would be held quarterly, and they would focus on three priorities for 2018:

Transport needs of over 50’s

How to reach those most lonely, socially isolated and unconnected over 50’s

Sustainability of our work in the future

We look forward to seeing how the future sessions help to strengthen the community development work that is taking place across Bristol. 

If you would like to find out more about this work, then please contact Wendy Harris on 07738 104 097 or

South Bristol Community Development Gathering

Monday 20th November saw the second South Bristol Community Development Gathering take place at The Factory, run by Knowle West Media Centre. The session which was organised by Natalie Campbell from Community Access Support Service (CASS), aimed to get everyone working together in a creative community space.  

The session which was led by Fiona Dowling at The Factory, gave an insight into the workshop and the facilities that are on offer to local people and organisations. Fiona had everyone working their socks off, cutting plastic and sanding wood to make their own individual masterpieces. Ben Barker an activist from Bedminster, commented that he had never seen community workers working so hard!

The session then proceeded to the reception area of the Filwood Business Park, where discussions took place on current challenges that were faced by workers. Conversations included how to reach the ‘hard to reach’, sustainability of projects and groups, being too bureaucratic, organisations being insular and not communicating, and how things change around us. Workers expressed that they would like to further explore these challenges and ways that they can overcome them. 

Discussions also included the inspirational work that workers had come across in communities, such as the services that groups are providing with little money and little resources, communities working together through cuts, and people who are making a huge difference during busy times of their lives.  

Three members of the gathering volunteered to organise the next meeting, which is planned to take place at the end of January/February 2018, so watch this space! 

If you are involved in Community Development work in South Bristol and would like to find out more, then please contact Magda Kowalik-Malcolm on 07738 104 101 or email


Tuesday 28 November

What's On this Christmas Season!


Official Christmas No.1 Concert

The Stockwood Happy Notes Choir presents the Official Christmas No.1 concert. Join for carols, festive songs and Christmas No.1 hits we know and love. 

When: Friday 1st December
Time: 1pm
Cost: FREE
Venue: Christ the Servant Church, BS14 8SP

Beehive Fair

Mulled wine, arts & crafts, raffle, tombola, xmas gifts, tea & cake and more. 

When: Saturday 2nd December
Time: 1:30 - 4pm
Cost: Varies
Venue: The Beehive Centre, 19a Stretford Road, Whitehall, BS5 7AW

Intergenerational Treefest Craft 

Stockwood residents of all ages are invited to come and create decorations for a tree that will be exhibited in St Mary Redcliffe Church, as part of 'Treefest'.

When: Monday 4th December
Time: 2 - 5pm
Cost: FREE
Venue: Southern Links Children Centre, Whittock Road, BS14 8DQ

Christmas Festival 2017

An afternoon of Christmas fun, friendship and social activity over a piece of cake and a nice cup of tea. Supported by players from Bristol City, Bristol Rugby and Bristol Flyers. 

When: Tuesday 5th December
Time: 2 - 4pm
Venue: St Monica Wills House, Bedminster, BS3 3NH

Christmas Party

A Christmas celebration for over 55s. Bring and share lunch and refreshments, carols by children from Southville Primary School and a festive quiz and raffle. 

When: Wednesday 6th December
Time: 10:30am - 1pm 
Cost: Donation only
Venue: Amerind Grove, 124 - 132 Raleigh Road, BS3 1QN

Christmas Quiz for Over 55's

A mixture of Christmas themed and general knowledge questions. Maximum of 6 people per team/table. Those not in a team will be paired up on the day. Refreshments, buffet and raffle included. 

When: Friday 8th December
Time: 2 - 4:30pm
Cost: £5
Venue: Whitchurch Royal British Legion, Staunton Lane, Whitchurch, BS14 0QF

Tickets available from St Monica Trust on 0117 305 2365

Christmas Party for Over 55's

Come and join Bristol Charities for this FREE Community Christmas Party for people over 55 living in Henbury and Brentry. Buffet lunch, raffle and entertainment included. 

When: Friday 8th December
Time: 1 - 3pm
Cost: FREE
Venue: Henbury and Brentry Community Centre, Machin Road

Booking is essential and spaces are limited - please call Jess on 07584 279 487

Festive Afternoon Tea and Carols

Enjoy an afternoon tea of sandwiches, cakes, tea and coffee, followed by a Christmas carol sing-a-long, courtesy of the Inn at Freshford.

When: Wednesday 13th December
Time: 3 - 5pm
Cost: FREE
Venue: The Inn at Freshford, The Hill, BA2 7WG

Booking is essential, so please call 0117 353 3042

Christmas Activity Lunch

You are invited to join The Beehive Centre for a Christmas Lunch, freshly prepared by our Chef. Starter, main course, dessert, tea/coffee included. Bring your own drinks. Quiz, entertainment and more!!

When: Thursday 14th December
Time: 1pm
Cost: £4.50
Venue: The Beehive Centre, 19a Stretford Road, Whitehall, BS5 7AW

Book your place to avoid dissapointment - call 0117 935 4471

Carols with Babies

The mums and babies of the 'Bring Your Own Baby Choir' would like to invite over 55s to an afternoon of festive and fun carol singing at The Elephant House. There will also be mince pies, mulled wine and tea/coffee provided. Disabled access. 

When: Thursday 14th December
Time: 2:30 - 3:45pm
Cost: FREE
Venue: The Elephant House, 1 Dean Street, BS3 1BG

St Monica Trust, Bristol Charities and The Beehive Centre are part of the LinkAge Network. 

Friday 24 November

Bristol Energy's Spooktacular Fundraising

Staff at Bristol Energy, a local energy supplier owned by Bristol City Council, got in the Halloween spirit on Tuesday 31st October, dressing up and baking spooky cakes in aid of LinkAge. 

Over the past year Bristol Energy has supported LinkAge through fundraising events, and a variety of energy saving workshops and fun activities for local older people in Bristol. 

Tilly Davis, Industry Operations Advisor at Bristol Energy said, “A happy Halloween was had at Bristol Energy! The whole team was eager to get together, have fun and raise money for a great cause so that others can also have the chance to enjoy themselves. We were able raise an amount of money that exceeded our expectations as everyone participated by baking creepy cakes to sell, dressing up in spooky costumes, and carving ghostly pumpkins! We are really proud to be able to donate £115.32 to LinkAge”.

Jo Stokes, LinkAge Manager of Partnerships, Contracts and Operations said, “We are really grateful to Bristol Energy for their fantastic support in organising this spooktacular event. Through their ongoing support we are able to ensure that the lives of older people in Bristol are enriched, and they have access to rich and fulfilling life experiences.”

Bristol Energy are also offering a fantastic deal when you switch your gas or electricity, by donating £15 to LinkAge. Switching is quick and straightforward and if you choose to switch to Bristol Energy and quote the code LINKAGE001 when you switch, Bristol Energy will donate up to £30* to LinkAge.

If you would like to find out how much you could save on your energy bills, visit:, call free on 0808 281 2222 or visit the Bristol Energy Hub on Bristol’s Harbourside. 

*£15 per fuel, T’s & C’s appl, see website for details


Friday 10 November

Our Macmillan Project is expanding!

LinkAge and Macmillan Cancer Support are working in partnership to support people aged 55+ living with and beyond cancer, their carers and supporters, to access a range of inspiring creative, social and physical activites in Bristol. 

The project is now looking to expand and partner with activity providers who organise activities for over 55's across Bristol. 

The benefits of working with the project include: 

  • Training opportunities for staff and activity leaders
  • Access to events
  • Promotional support
  • Activities listed in project materials
  • Part of the Macmillan Taster Token Scheme - attendees can access up to 5 activity sessions for free

Currently the project works with activity providers Bristol Charities, St Monica Trust and Bristol and Anchor Almshouse.

If you would like to find out more about working with the project, then please call Sally Crocker, Project Manager on 0117 353 3042 or email

Friday 03 November

National Befriending Week – John and Derek’s story


St Monica Trust’s Befriending Scheme has been running in BS3 and BS14 for over 8 years. The scheme aims to combat isolation and loneliness in over 60’s, by providing regular companionship on a weekly or fortnightly basis. 

Two people who have seen the benefits of this scheme are Volunteer Derek and Befriendee John. The pair have been matched for over a year and have seen their relationship blossom through the support of St Monica Trust's Befriending Scheme...

John’s Story

In 1936 John was born into a farming family, where he spent the majority of his life working hard on the land and caring for his animals. Whatever John did not know about farming, was not worth knowing. 

In 2015, John made the decision to sell his farmhouse and land. This is a decision that haunts him every day. He moved to an area of Bristol that he was not familiar with and found that he couldn't get used to the new noises that surrounded him. 

With very few family members that visit him, he became increasingly lonely and isolated, finding it very hard to look beyond the past, becoming very anxious about life in general, and at times feeling disempowered and not in control of his life.

Since being matched with Derek, it has given John something to look forward too, he says ‘I enjoy him coming and enjoy his surprises. He keeps me on my toes’.

John loves to enjoy a slice of Madeira cake and can find it thought-provoking to share a slice with Derek at times.

Derek’s Story

Derek has been visiting John as a volunteer Befriender since August 2016. With both having a farming background, they enjoy talking about their shared passion of farming, land and seasons, with much enthusiasm. 

Derek heard so much about John's farming past, that it inspired him to drive to John's home and take photos of how it looks now, a gesture that brought John so much pleasure. 

Derek also decided to take John on a journey back through time, showing John photos from his past travels around Australia. John jokingly says, 'I have seen the photos so many times, I know it by heart now.'

Over the past year, they have both enjoyed visits to garden centres, sharing their passion for beautiful things and watching them grow. 

When asked what Derek enjoys about volunteering as Befriender, he says ‘I enjoy seeing John smile’. 

If you know someone who lives in South Bristol and would benefit from a weekly Befriending visit, or if you would like to volunteer as a Befriender, then please contact Karen Bennett, Community Befriending Officer on 07875 406 844 or email

Tuesday 31 October

Success for the first Health and Wellbeing Cafe



On Thursday 12th October, St Monica Trust held the first ever Health & Wellbeing Café for over 55s. The event which was funded by LinkAge, aimed to introduce older people to new activities and experiences that are beneficial to wellbeing. 

Awaiting guests at the Southbank Club were two massage therapists and a chiropodist who were all available for reduced price bookings of £5 for 15 minute treatments. There was also a social space with free tea, coffee and a selection of beautiful cakes (including diabetic friendly cacao chocolates!), as well as a variety of musical workshops, including sing-a-long sessions, improvised song writing and drumming; and free sound therapy sessions involving gongs and singin