Meet Ursula Stone from The Flower Bank

Meet Ursula Stone and find out more about the work she does in the Barnet community through The Flower Bank .

She originally set up The Flower Bank at home repurposing flowers beyond their sell-by date donated by supermarkets and other businesses.

This enabled her to supply arrangements to dementia centres, care homes and private customers, as well as occasionally “flower bombing” park benches and other public places

The aim of The Flower Bank is to reduce waste in the flower market by working with retailers, florists and suppliers to turn end of shelf life flowers into beautiful arrangements. 

In addition, they receive and restyle beautiful wedding and event flowers that will be discarded at the end of a day. The arrangements are made by young offenders who are looking to change their lives and improve their career prospects. These arrangements are then delivered to care homes, day facilities and community buildings for all to enjoy. 

Join us on Tuesday 18th May at 5pm

If you have Zoom already then join using the ID otherwise click here to join.

Date: Tuesday 18th May at 5pm
Meeting ID: 944 1939 6278
Passcode: No passcode required

Ulla’s story during the Pandemic

My life as a care home worker during the last year 

On the surface little has changed. I have travelled daily to my work place as before but the daily challenges are totally different. Literally overnight my colleagues and I were the main human contact in our residents’ lives. We became responsible for managing the massive change in particular in their social interactions, hopefully softening the many restrictions they faced. The hardest part has been to communicate why their life has been turned upside down and that COVID is a real and serious threat to their life. 

My work place became more like my second home and the residents my second family. Balancing this whilst remaining professional and with the restrictions, including social distancing, has been a constant challenge but an extremely rewarding one at the same time. 

I also lost my preferred leisure activities and had to find an alternative way to manage my work life balance. This has made me more domesticated at home and I have enjoyed the closer interaction with my own family. 

I think I am lucky in my choice of second career as a social care worker. It has allowed me to maintain as much normality as possible and at the same time rewarding me with a real feeling of satisfaction and hopefully I have been able to make a positive difference. 

Ulla Chisholm, Community Link Worker, Richmond Fellowship Colindale Services. Member of BSA Exec. Committee


Caring for Barnet Seniors during the Pandemic

We spoke to Age UK Barnet about their organisation during the pandemic and what it meant to them and how they adapted to support Barnet seniors and this is what Helen Newman, Chief Executive, had to say:

‘It has been a challenging year for older people in our borough but we’re proud that Age UK Barnet’s staff and volunteer team have been there for them. We adapted all our usual services when the first lockdown began: we set up shopping and prescription collections; our bus was on the road delivering food parcels and hot meals; our handy person team carried on doing essential jobs (in full PPE); and our falls prevention team even went door to door to inspire people to keep moving. 

Our befriending programme continued over the phone and we reached out to more people with regular friendly phone chats. We used modern technology to maintain art classes, singing, craft groups, exercise and cookery sessions and we helped those older people not online to get connected – including 83-year-old James who sent his first ever email.  

And throughout, the Later Life Planning advice team has done an amazing job, helping people get the support they need, be it with feelings of loneliness and isolation or practical issues such as benefits, housing, care options or, sadly,  bereavement.  

Age UK Barnet are looking forward to gradually opening up their regular face to face services and activities. And in April, they are excited to be launching their new Living Well Service, offering advice, support and activities to people with mild-to-moderate dementia and their carers.’

Visit the website or call for more information on 020 8203 5040

Age UK Barnet would like your help to plan and develop their services to meet the needs of older people in Barnet, please complete our 10-minute online survey.  They would really value your experiences and views! 

Take the survey here:

Or call for a paper copy 020 8203 5040

Age UK Barnet Classes

Age UK has several fun and engaging online groups for over 55s and all for free! 

Visit their website for more information.


Indian Cookery: 11am. Cook along with Saj on Zoom or just observe.  You will be sent a list of ingredients a few days before the session to give you time to buy them. Email to join the group.

Bollywood Dance (women only): 11.30am – 12.30pm – fun uplifting moves with Etka (teacher). For more info and the Zoom link, phone Wendy on 07741 877 027 or email her on


Seniors Choir: 11am-12noon. Choir master Jenny La Touche leads a weekly online choir session on Zoom. For details on how to join in and receive song sheets, email or phone 07798 622832.

Bollywood Dance (women only): 11.30am – 12.30pm – fun uplifting moves with Satish (teacher). For more info and the Zoom link, phone Wendy on 07741 877 027 or email her on


Watercolour art group:10-11.30am – every Thursday. Cost is £5 each week to cover the price of a watercolour pallet, brushes, A3 paper and pictures of what will be painted each week, which can be delivered to you by a member of Age UK Barnet. For more information please call 07502 989 403 or email

Book group: 10am-1pm Do you enjoy reading and discussing novels or non-fiction books with friends? Why not join our new online book group.  which is chaired by a volunteer facilitator.  Please contact Howard Chapman ( to share ideas, or to register your interest in joining the group.  We are looking forward to hearing from you and sharing our love of reading 

Cakes and Bakes baking course: 2.30pm-4pm – Wednesdays – takes place every two weeks. Make biscuits, cakes and bread and other tasty bakes. Email to join the group.


Men’s Newspaper Discussion Group: 11.30am. Discuss the hot topics in the news each week in this weekly online get-together. Email to find out more.

Four week beginners ‘taster’ watercolour course: 9.45-11.15am – every Thursday. Cost of course is £20 to cover the price of materials, which can be delivered to you by a member of Age UK Barnet. For more information please call 07502 989 403 or email


Knit n Natter: 10.30am – our regular Friday knit and natter group has gone online. Contact for more info.

Zoom keep fit (standing or seated): 11.30 am.  Fun, upbeat exercise session for all levels of fitness with our Wendy. For more information and the Zoom link, contact Wendy on or 07741 877 027.

FREE Seated Yoga Classes

Relax, stretch, chill, enjoy!

We are now starting a regular Seated Yoga class. Join us each week on Tuesdays from 11.30 am for one hour. These classes are free to our friends and supporters.



HOST: KATHRYN JACKMAN. Kathryn is a senior practitioner working with adults and children. She is a member of the British Wheel of Yoga and Integral Yoga trained teacher. 

VENUE: Join Zoom Meeting
Or enter Meeting ID if you have Zoom already. Meeting ID: 916 0309 6408

We look forward to seeing you there! As always, bring along refreshments and be ready for some fun exercise!

Mental Health in Later Life Online Event

Join our talk on Zoom on 16th March at 5pm hosted by Oliver Steadman, Campaigns Officer from Independent Age

Oliver will talk about their policy and Influencing work on mental health. 
He will also give an overview of their latest research on mental health in later life. The report looks at key events that could affect someone’s mental health, barriers to accessing treatment and make recommendations for what needs to change. Independent Age campaigns to improve the systems that older people rely on and will explain how BSA members can get involved. He will also reference the information and advice services Independent Age offers.

If you have Zoom already then join using the ID below otherwise click here to connect.

Date: Tuesday 16th March at 5pm
Meeting ID: 921 2705 7229
Passcode: No passcode required

BSA awarded a National Lottery Funding grant

Barnet Seniors’ Association (BSA), has just been awarded a grant by the National Lottery Community Fund for a special Covid recovery programme.   Popular free, chair-based yoga classes are already on-line weekly for the next 12 months –  and more is to come.  

This grant will now allow BSA to publish a new refreshed version of The Insider, a full-colour publication, promoting a healthy, sociable life-style for senior citizens, delivered to local residents, surgeries, libraries, care homes and community groups by volunteer ‘Street Champions’.  It will also be circulated on-line and sent via email to members who are registered to receive emails from us.

In liaison with Barnet Council, BSA normally runs Silver Sunday and an all-day Spring Assembly on topics encouraging well-being.  A special free Tea-party is now scheduled for June/July. To join in or to find out more call 020 3778 0151 or email

National Lottery
National Lottery Community Funding

PAiL – Winter COVID Survival Guide – For Older Londoners

Positive Ageing In London has put together this Survival Guide for older people living in London. The guide consists of useful information collated from around the internet, some of which has been shared amongst the PAiL community and committee members in previous newsletters and campaigns. It is created to provide a directory of useful links with tips and guides that assist older people during this immensely challenging pandemic period. The guide is broken down into these sections:

Click here for the full guide.

  • Staying physically healthy
  • NHS Information
  • Staying Mentally healthy
  • Things to do (Ways in Which to Stay Involved from Home)
  • What You Can do in Your Locality / Community
  • How to Stay Safe at Home / When Going Out
  • Links – Good News Stories, Campaigns, Sources of Help, Things to do, Ways to Stay in touch The BBC has produced a short video explaining the special rules that apply over Christmas and gives practical advice. See here

TFL confirms route of 383 extension to Finchley Memorial Hospital from 31 October

·       Trial of bus route 383 extension to Finchley Memorial Hospital to begin this Saturday 31 October

·       Barnet residents will have easier access to the hospital and health services that recently relocated to the site

·       Residents to have their say on the extension when a full consultation is held in early 2021

Barnet residents will be able to travel more easily to Finchley Memorial Hospital as the trial of an extension to bus route 383, from its current Woodside Park terminus to the facility, gets underway this Saturday 31 October.

The Mayor asked TfL to review hospital bus services in 2017, and in the light of coronavirus these services have been reviewed further. The pandemic has led some NHS Trusts to reconfigure services across their sites and the proposed bus route extension to Finchley Memorial Hospital is a temporary measure in response to this by serving the changing demand.

From Woodside Park station, the current terminus, the route will run back along Woodside Park Road before turning on to North Finchley High Road and continuing via Granville Road to Finchley Memorial Hospital, where it will terminate. The route will stop at all stops along the way, including North Finchley town centre where customers can change to and from a range of other routes serving many parts of north London.  

The route, operated by Uno bus, will continue to run from Monday to Saturday and the frequency will remain the same, with a service every 30 minutes between 06:00 and 20:00 from Finchley Memorial Hospital and departure times from Barnet, The Spires remaining the same (05:35 to 19:35).

TfL has been working closely with the Community Health Partnerships to implement the extension, which has included making some changes to the way the car park at Finchley Memorial Hospital operates and the installation of a new bus stop and stand. 

Any permanent changes would be subject to full public consultation, which will take place in early 2021. 

Geoff Hobbs, Director of Public Transport Service Planning at TfL, said: “Our aim is to provide the best bus service possible for customers, and this involves the constant review of the network to ensure that it responds to changes in the city to meet customer needs. The pandemic has led to a sudden change in local healthcare provisions, including in the Barnet area.  We hope that this trial extension of the route 383, which provides better access to the Finchley Hospital, will help people get to work and access healthcare facilities. We look forward to hearing feedback from the community when we launch the consultation.”

Andrew Meakin, Regional Property Director at Community Health Partnerships, who manage Finchley Memorial Hospital said: “We are thrilled to see the number 383 extension to Finchley Memorial Hospital will be up and running in the coming few days. 

“We have worked jointly with North Central London Clinical Commissioning Group and our local NHS LIFTCo partner to lobby and support this initiative.

“The new extended route stopping directly outside the hospital will provide a much needed accessible solution for visitors, especially for vulnerable and elderly patients, who use the facility.

“With the additional transport links to the hospital we hope this will reduce the amount of traffic within the hospital grounds and surrounding areas, and also improve parking facilities to free up more spaces for those who cannot use public transport or come from further afield.  

“With the appropriate safety precautions implemented at this current time, we hope many patients and visitors to the hospital will utilise this new service.”

TfL’s extensive anti-viral cleaning regime across the transport network includes using hospital-grade cleaning substances that kill viruses and bacteria on contact and provide ongoing disinfection.  More than 1,000 hand sanitiser points have been installed across the network for everyone to use and firm action is being taken against the minority of customers who refuse to wear a face covering without an exemption.  Single decker buses, including those on route 383, remain limited to either 11 or 14 passengers, depending on bus size, in order to maintain social distancing.

TfL has regularly tested for coronavirus on the transport network with no evidence of the virus found to date and, last month, a new testing plan with Imperial College London started. This work involves independent monthly air and surface sampling, on both the Tube and buses. The results from the first round of collaborative sampling in September have already been received and were, again, all negative for the presence of COVID-19.

  1. Buses will operate Monday to Saturday, with a service every 30 minutes (two buses per hour) between 06:00 and 20:00 from Finchley Memorial Hospital and departure times from Barnet, The Spires remaining the same (05:35 to 19:35)
  2. For more information visit

TfL confirms trial of route 383 extension to Finchley Memorial Hospital from 31 October

Get involved with Chickenshed through living letters

Join us at Chickenshed for this four week programme which is completely free.   We would like to connect people, especially from different generations as we have so much to share – so many stories to tell each other.
Our young members ages from 13-24 told us that they wanted to connect with people – they wanted to chat and communicate and ideally grow intergenerational friendships with people that, like them, could be feeling a little alone and unsure of the future. They were missing ‘people! We are all experiencing change in our lives – no matter what age we are – and it is good to share these experiences with each other.

We will guide you through the process and give plenty of support.
We would pair you with a writing partner from Chickenshed’s Young Company.  We don’t tell them anything about each other – but we ask them to start their letter:
“To look at me you’d probably think …” and then we ask them to write something about themselves.
The participants then write to each other over a four week period and after four weeks we introduce on Zoom.  Once they have been introduced we ask the participant to join our social network and we have I believe 100+ on that, and we chat, have coffee mornings etc.  So it becomes a bit of a community – we call it The Space Between Us – because everyone believes that there is a huge space between the generations, but actually when you start to speak and chat, the space is very very small.  Once this virus is under control, or over, we will be inviting The Space Between Us members to Chickenshed – and we have various workshops, the choir, coffee mornings and meeting-ups. 
Visit the website to find out more