Gardening sessions return to the community

Alive are delighted to be able to support people, in the community of Lawrence Weston, to get growing again!

We will soon restart Therapeutic Horticulture sessions at Blaise Weston Court with members of the Lawrence Weston Community Gardening Group.

For the past few years we have met weekly at Blaise Weston Court, and since having to suspend the sessions, the group members have been desperate to get stuck in again! From October members will be supported in 121 sessions tailored to their interests and capacities; with bitesize activities such as sowing seeds, pruning shrubs, making bird feeders and tending to our vegetable gardens.

Over lockdown many elderly people have become further isolated from family and friends, as well as the outside world. We will help reconnect people, both socially and with nature, chatting and reminiscing, growing plants and watching birds and wildlife in the grounds.

Socially distanced Covid safe sessions will run every Wednesday come rain or shine, taking shelter in the centre’s memory room in poor weather, offering a choice of mobile or seated sensory activities.

We hope to be able to open this up to the public eventually and are working hard on making it safe and sticking to COVID-19 Government Guidelines.

If you would like to register interest for when this does open up you can contact Alive on 0117 377 4756 or

Help us crowdfund for our allotment toilet!

Alive has been gifted an allotment by the kind people at Charlton Road allotments in North Bristol. Over lockdown, a team of volunteers has worked tirelessly to turn a barren plot into a flourishing allotment, though to be able to use the space to support those living with dementia a small amount of funding is needed to provide suitable toilets.

The plot will aim to support those living with early-stage dementia to enjoy the therapeutic benefits of gardening without the pressure of maintaining a whole allotment.

The allotment will also have a social shed for tea and cake and a space for carers and loved ones to relax and chat to other people in their situation. Weekly workshops for those living with more advanced dementia will also take place.

The compost toilet will be suitable for wheelchair users and will allow us to run horticultural therapy sessions on the site.

Donate to our crowdfunder here.

Anything over our goal will be used to build sheds to socialise in and store our equipment. Anything more will be used to pave parts of the allotment to make it more accessible.

The team are also looking for donations of equipment, tools and building materials. If you are able to help with any of the following items we would be incredibly grateful.

  • Edging shears
  • Pruning shears
  • Strimmer
  • Hard-wearing dustpans and brushes
  • Buckets
  • Dibbers
  • Shovels
  • Potting trays/modules
  • Bamboo canes
  • Concrete Slabs
  • Bird boxes / tables / baths
  • Sensory decorations / garden ornaments
  • Garden seats / stacking chairs
  • Plastic crates
  • Garden bench
  • Timber (eg scaf boards, decking, anything for making raised beds)
  • Compost
  • Labels
  • Twine
  • Horticultural grit
  • Horticultural sand
  • Seeds
  • Bulbs
  • Seed trays
  • Sheets of perspex
  • Horticultural fleece
  • Weed suppressant sheets
  • Netting, both fine to keep butterflies off and wider for birds
  • PVC wire mesh
  • A boot scraper
  • Wire
  • Tomato grow bags
  • Old bottles from water coolers

For more information about getting involved with our dementia friendly allotment, either as a volunteer, person living with dementia or as a gardener then please contact our Community Engagement Manager on or call our office on 0117 377 4756.

Supporting you in Activity

Care Homes have worked so hard through the recent pandemic in caring for their residents. Alive and The Bristol Dementia Wellbeing Service have come together to provide online support, ideas and inspiration to Care Homes to help them continue to support their residents in meaningful activity. With two different forums, they aim to ensure the whole home approach to activity is maintained through these challenging times.

Activity Cupboard

Aimed at care and activity staff, this 2 hour long forum will provide activity ideas and inspiration for those who are delivering activity on a day to day basis. Find more information here

Book Today: Thursday 20th August, 2020 09:30-11:30
Wednesday 16th September, 2020 09:30-11:30

Managers Forum

This shorter, 45 min forum looks at the importance of maintaining good activity and how to deliver in the current restrictions and limitations. Find more information here.

Book Today: Wednesday 26th August, 2020 at 15:30
Wednesday 16th September, 2020 at 15:30

For further information contact Alive on 0117 377 4756 or

Telephone reminiscence

As part of the Support Hub, at Alive we are able to offer small groups of older people time to chat together on the phone.

Using a teleconference facility, we can link up people in their homes to have a group chat. All people need to do is to call a number we will give you, and we can link you all up.

We are leading reminiscence groups – talking about sport, home, jobs, holidays – all sorts of things and just loving hearing all the stories and laughter. We are approaching existing memory cafes and local groups that are already set up to see if they would like us to lead them for free. It’s a great and simple way of keeping people connected. We can also do zoom sessions and incorporate exercise and gentle movement too.

Please email or call 0117 377 4756 if you know of a group that would like to take part. We recommend 6 people maximum for a teleconference group, so if your group is bigger, we can run a couple for you to ensure everyone is still connected.

We want people to stay connected and keep chatting, and this is a great way of doing that. Hope to chat to you all soon!

As part of The Virtual Activity Hub, we are offering individuals the chance to dial-in for a chat on a Wednesday morning at 11am. These chats are completely FREE: funded by St Monica Trust and form part of the Support Hub for Older people, which is convened by Age UK Bristol.

Please email or call 0117 377 4756 if you or a loved one would like to be involved.

Bristol Support hub – charities come together

We are so pleased to be involved in a collaboration of local charities to form a new Support Hub to help older people and their families cope with the impact of the Coronavirus in Bristol.

The Support Hub will provide a range of different services for older people including practical, social and emotional support, such as shopping and weekly social phone calls, as well as virtual activities that older people can do from the safety of their own home.

Working with other Bristol charities is something our new CEO Isobel Jones is really passionate about.

It’s been brilliant to be part of a collaborative group of charities in Bristol all pulling together at a time when older people need us most; this will help us all to support the most vulnerable older people.

Isobel Jones CEO Alive

Due to social distancing measures, there is a risk that some older people will feel lonely and socially isolated during this period.  We feel it is important to think about social opportunities to keep older people connected while they are at home, as well as dealing with practical issues.  As a group of charities, we are offering virtual activities such as shared reading, reminiscence and Tai-Chi sessions – people can get involved either online or over the phone.”

The helpline for the Support Hub operates from 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday.  Sometimes the helpline will be busy so if messages are left on the phone or by email out of working hours, we will always respond as soon as possible.

You can find out more about the Support Hub on the Age UK Bristol website. To get in touch with the Support Hub please ring the helpline on 0117 929 7537 or email

The Support Hub is made up of:  Age UK Bristol, Active Ageing Bristol, Alive, Bristol Ageing Better, Bristol After Stroke, Bristol Older People’s Forum, Independent Age, LinkAge, Oasis-Talk, St Monica Trust, The Marmalade Trust and WE Care Home Improvements.

Alive and direct!

Free online activity sessions via zoom…

These strange times have bought many challenges to us as a charity. Financial, logistics of working from home, furlough to name but a few. But our main challenge has been the fact we can’t be with you in care homes and support you.

We are missing all the amazing older people we work with, and the carers we help and support and we want to be there with you.  Many of our staff are now furloughed, but one of our funders, the Rayne Foundation has provided us with funding to keep Nikki our Services Deliver Manager working. This means we can deliver training and activity sessions for free over the next few months via Zoom (all from Niki’s front room – so you may get to meet Berkeley the dog!).

We understand for many homes this is just not an option. We understand you are isolating residents, dealing with staff shortages and in some cases, dealing with the tragedy of the virus and are our hearts go out to you.

But for those who want to and can, we are here for you. Our Alive and Direct sessions will hope to bring a little bit of joy to your residents and support for your amazing staff. Through Zoom we can deliver a session to a group of residents, and we’ve found our guided reminiscence sessions work really well as it enables space for conversation and chat. We can also bring different homes together at the same time – or if residents are in isolation we can connect them up to the same session so they can join in?   We can help you set them up too, we can go through what you need, just a TV, a laptop/ipad and a connecting lead.

Our recent trial sessions in one home have been a great success. Irene, who doesn’t usually come out of her room and struggles with her vision and her hearing, said “it had made her day and that it was beautiful!” Jean has advanced Parkinson’s but was clapping and singing along – which she doesn’t normally do.

If you would like to trial one, we are offering them all for free thanks to the Rayne Foundation.  They are easy to set up, and we can help you through the process.  Please just email or call us on 0117 377 4756  and we can set up a link and see how it goes!