News in May 2008

Advice centre prepares to help community

Deacon Steph Ford of Southdown Methodist Centre and Jan Booth of Culverhay School, have launched a new advice centre called The Point. Community workers and residents turned up to its launch at the Methodist Centre on Friday.

The Point is to be held at Southdown Methodist Centre and Culverhay School on rotating Wednesdays.
The plan is for people from different agencies to be present to give help and advice on different weeks. For example, the Family Information Service hopes to set up a display at The Point every sixth week.
The Bath Chronicle has agreed to publish the opening times and details of who will be available at the advice centre each week. You can also telephone 01225 473284 for information.
There will be free computer and internet facilities at both the Methodist Centre and the school.
Steph and Jan expressed their gratitude for the support that they have received so far, but said that the project now needs commitment from the different agencies working in South West Bath.
In other words, The Point will be a success if more agencies regularly send representatives to supply information about their services.

Joe, 31/05/08

Sequence dancing at St Barnabas Church

Sequence dancing at St Barnabas Church, Mount Road, was one of the healthy activities on offer on Thursday – the last day of Healthy Living Week 2008.
The Come Sequence Dancing Group actually meets at St Barnabas Church every Monday and Thursday from 2pm to 4pm, at a cost of £1.50. The Thursday session was incorporated into the Healthy Living Week programme.
Sequence dancing is so called because all of the pairs dance in sequence, unlike ballroom dancing where couples do their own thing.
There is a great variety of different dances such as the Tayside Tango, the Melody Foxtrot and the Alpine Stroll which the dancers learned in their youth. The tempo and style of the music played determines the type of dance.

A lady known as Bea remembers learning to dance in the 1940s, when the prestigious Blundell’s School in Tiverton invited local girls to its dance classes – so that the young men could be taught how to dance when taking the ladies out. The girls wore shoes a size too big, as the untrained boys had a tendency to step on their feet!
The oldest member of the group is Frieda who is 93. You can see a photo of her in ballroom position here.
In this group people are free to sit down and listen to the music or dance whenever they want to. More men are needed to partner the women.
During the interval, cups of tea are served and Dance Instructor John Williams invites the ladies in turn to brush up on their steps with him. Many of the regular dancers are away on holiday, so the hall is normally more full than is shown above.
I suggested that the group devise some new dances – the Southdown Swing, the Whiteway Waltz and the Twerton Tango – but it looks like they’ll be sticking with their favourite old moves.

Joe, 29/05/08

Healthy stuff at Twerton Infant School

Twerton Infant School opened its new community building to the public last Friday.
From July onwards, the building will be open 3 days a week as a centre offering advice on healthy lifestyles to adults. On display was a board showing health issues and providing support and guidance.
Health Trainer Jo Welch will be encouraging people to exercise more and to drink and smoke less. There are plans to have some evening groups to help people who are trying to quit smoking. For more information phone 01225 831881.

Staff at Twerton Infant School showed me their organic food growing programmes, with just about every available bit of ground at the school used for the cultivation of fruit and vegetables.
Flower beds that were once adorned with hydrangias are now filled with rainbow carrots, strawberry spinach and many other interesting types of produce.
The food growing is in connection with the Government’s Food for Life partnership, which aims to teach children and parents about healthy eating.
Learning about healthy foods and how to cook them begins with the youngest children, and there are plans to build an allotment for the adjoining Nursery School. But the school needs more people to help with the gardening.
The school has sessions in which children and parents are invited to taste unusual types of fruit such as melons. Some parents who say that their children won’t eat a certain kind of fruit at home, are surprised to find that they do eat it at school.

Joe, 25/05/08

Herbal Walk at Carrs Woodland

Healthy Living Week kicked off yesterday and from the range of healthy activities on offer, I chose to go on the Herbal Walk through the Carrs Woodland nature reserve at Twerton.

A party of twelve people turned up to hear herbalist Sue Hawkey talk about some possible uses of local wild plants.
Did you know that a tea made from goosegrass can aid the flow of fluids through your body? Or that roasted dandelion root can be a good caffeine-free coffee substitute?
We were unsuccessful in our search for Bath Asparagus – a species introduced to the Bath area by the Romans.
Probably the most useful idea is to add wild garlic to soups and other sorts of meal. Although it is illegal to dig up a wild plant, you can get the garlic seed heads this time of year and sprinkle them on your garden to grow some at home.

Joe, 23/05/08

Support children’s fundraising work

Eighteen children at Southdown Junior School will be running a ‘marathon’ around their school field in aid of Action Duchenne. This is a charity that aims to find a cure for Duchenne – a devastating genetic muscle wasting disease.
Please will you support the children as much as you can?
You can sponsor the children easily and securely through a website called Justgiving. To visit the site click here.

Joe, 21/05/08

The Whiteway Community Respect Project

An exciting development for Whiteway moved a stage further today, when residents, the police, representatives from local agencies, and councillors all met at the Southside Centre to discuss the new Whiteway Community Respect Project.
Julia Ascott the project founder, explained that she was not employed by the Council but that as a resident of Whiteway she had wanted to see what could be done to make Whiteway better.

She said that there was a need to foster a positive community spirit, create opportunities for the children and improve information as to what services are available.
The project is about Whiteway people making known what they would like to see happen in their area and starting up as many initiatives as possible for themselves.
One local person commented that:”Support begins with ourselves, in each of our households.”
Julia called for people to join the Whiteway Respect Community Project, saying that by working together as one body it would be possible to have an impact.
Later in the year there will be an AGM where members can be voted into the committee – making the project fully democratic.
Representatives of agencies were given the chance to speak at the meeting. It emerged that although the Southside Centre looks disused on the outside, quite a lot of valuable youthwork goes on within.
Councillor Paul Crossley said that high visibility policing in response to some anti-social behaviour had helped to restore a feeling of security to the estate. His colleague Dine Romero said that the project seemed likely to succeed since it was a grassroots initiative.

Joe, 15/05/08

Do you know about Roundhill YMCA?

Last Friday evening I visited the gym at the YMCA Roundhill Centre, partly to write a short news piece for this website and partly to see if the facilities would be suitable for bringing my own unfit body back into condition.
The centre lies at the foot of Roundhill at Mount Road, Southdown, and although you might not think it from the exterior, the building becomes a lively arena of exercise when it opens as a gym three mornings and evenings a week.
The YMCA offers a free six-week exercise course, after which the gym costs £2.50 per session.

I gave the Friday evening workout a go under the guidance of Julian Clark the Centre Manager. The first half hour consisted of cardio-vascular work on the exercise bikes, running machine, stepper and rowing machine to exercise heart and lungs.
Then we split into two groups, with one team using the weights machines and dumbells and the other performing abdominal exercises, changing over halfway through.
It was fun to work out alongside other people and some laughing and joking went on while the calories got burnt off.

The Roundhill Centre is open at the following times:

Mondays – 9am to 12 noon and 5pm to 10pm
Wednesdays – 10.30am to 2.30pm and 5pm to 10pm
Fridays – 9am to 12 noon and 7.30pm to 10.30pm

Joe, 10/05/08

Bath City FC win the Somerset Premier Cup

Some Bath City fans that I know have had long faces recently. This is because they have failed to make the play-offs for promotion to the Blue Square Premier league, after a 1-1 draw against Bishop Stortfort.
However, Bath City have just won the Somerset Premier Cup for the first time in 13 years, beating Paulton Rovers by three goals to nil to claim the trophy.
See a photo of the cup in the Bath City FC office at Twerton Park here.

Joe, 06/05/08

People learn Makaton at Twerton

The first in a series of Makaton classes organised by the Community Learning Service began in Twerton Village Hall today.
Makaton is a simple form of sign language devised in 1972 to enable communication with individuals who have learning difficulties.

Most of the people in the class were there in connection with their line of work, although some had enrolled out of personal interest.
Makaton has a core vocabulary of 500 words. After learning some basics such as the hand gestures for “home” and “drink of water” etc, students were taught how to combine these movements to sign a sentence.
Quite a bit of the Makaton vocabulary is devoted to food, and a range of signs to indicate “cheeseburger”, “vegetable”, “curry”, “rice dinner”, “strawberry” and so on were practiced.
Subsequent lessons will be more advanced and everyone was given a Makaton manual to brush up at home.

Joe, 02/05/08


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