Could you do more with your life?

Published on: 03 Aug 2013

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WHILE you are sitting in your deckchair in the August sunshine, ask yourself these questions: am I doing enough with my life?

That is the challenge to older people in Downend this summer in the run-up to an initiative starting in the area next month.

Organisers of Downend Connect want people to think about what they do, whether it is enough and what else they might like to try.

They are also encouraging retired people to consider what the barriers might be that are stopping them from being more active.

The Downend area is rich in possibilities for social, community and physical activity – look at the What’s On pages in Downend Voice for just some of the options.

But if there are other things that people might like to become involved in, it is the aim of Downend Connect to make these happen.

Downend Connect is being led by Downend and Bromley Heath Parish Council and South Gloucestershire Council’s community engagement team, supported by Downend Voice.

It will be launched on September 11 with a taster day hosted by Hanover Housing Association at its Badminton Gardens development in Beaufort Road from 3-6pm.

Badminton Gardens was built in 2011 on the site of the old Blackhorse Primary School and comprises 63 flats in an Extra Care scheme with 24-7 on-site care staff.

Its facilities, which include a lounge, café bar and restaurant, garden, activities room and hairdressing salon, are open to people in the community and the whole site is accessible by wheelchair. The café is open from 10am to 2pm and the restaurant is open noon to two.

Social activities include coffee mornings, quizzes, bingo, music and film nights organised by the manager and social committee.

The Friendship exercise club meets on a Friday afternoon between 4pm and 5.30pm and there are monthly music sessions.

Paul Foss, a resident, said: “There must be many residents in the area who are still unaware that Blackhorse Primary School has moved to a new building and that a smart new apartment block has taken its place. Come along and you’ll find there is a lot going on here for the community.”

Sue Jaques, of South Gloucestershire Council, said Badminton Gardens was keen to become a hub for community activity.

“We hope people from the neighbourhood will come forward with their ideas before September 11 as well as coming along on the day to find out more,” she said.

The taster day will bring together all the agencies that have contact with retired people and the local groups organising activities already.

You can contact Downend Connect with suggestions for new activities by calling 01454 862350 and leaving a message or by emailing cchengagement @southglos.gov.uk.

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