Autumn courses and workshops

Many of you have signed up for Autumn courses and I just wanted to highlight a few of the short courses, workshops and Saturday courses we still have coming up in the Autumn term.  I know this year without our usual course guide finding courses is a bit different and you may not have spotted these online.

We now have online Bridge courses starting soon, Pastels at Stoke Lodge, online History lectures Music Appreciation, Embroidery and Willowcraft and a whole range of Language ‘add on’ courses such as book clubs, film clubs and language days.

You can find more details on these short courses by clicking here.

Remembering Pavla

Last month we received the sad news that our dear friend and colleague Pavla passed away unexpectedly.  Pavla was a wonderful French tutor and a much loved part of the Adult Learning family.

Due to current restrictions we were not able to gather to remember and celebrate Pavla’s life as we would have liked. For now we hold her in our thoughts and when time allows we will arrange to plant a tree at Stoke Lodge in her memory.

Her family have received many lovely memories and messages from her friends and learners and I am sure this has given them some comfort at this very difficult time.

Black History Month

October is Black History Month.  We all know History is a vast subject and so many of us only study or understand about small pockets of history.  I know for me school history was the Romans, Victorians, Tudors, the Second World War and not much else.  I think Black History Month is a great opportunity to fill some of the gaps in my knowledge of the world and also think about some of the bits I do know from a different perspective. You might like to look at some of the links below.

Everyones favourite Playschool presenter – Baroness Floella Benjamin – A Windrush Story
Celebrate black composers with Lenny Henry and Suzy Klein on BB iPlayer
NASA mathematician  – Katherine Johnson – A Lifetime of STEM
or why not listen to Oti Mabuse pick out her top 5 moments of Black history from the Horrible Histories programme.  Not just for kids!

Bristol Life Awards

Some of you may know we were one of the finalists in the Education category of the 2020 Bristol Life Magazine awards.

The celebration was held virtually and though we weren’t the final winner we are delighted to be recognised as one of the finalists.

I hadn’t prepared a speech but if we had won I would have wanted to thank the always amazing staff team of Marlis, Veronique, Maria, Sam and (most recent addition) Kieran who have worked so hard during these unprecedented times.

I would have thanked all our wonderful tutors who have ‘turned on a sixpence’ to change the way they offer courses and meet some major challenges.

I would also have thanked you, our learners.  You continue to be an amazing army of support for Adult Learning and we are so pleased that so many of you have been able to continue learning with us this term.

And I still want to thank all those people so HUGE thanks all round – it really is an honour to be a finalist!

Continuing to stay safe

Obviously the increase in covid cases and the changing restrictions is very unsettling and worrying.   Although Bristol has seen a rise in cases since last week our infection rate remains lower than the England average. You can see the latest information from Bristol City Council here.

At Stoke Lodge we are following all the guidance from the council and for Education settings. The centre feels very quiet with some courses continuing online and those courses taking place on site are in well spaced out classrooms with plenty of sanitising materials on hand.

As well as looking out for the covid symptoms of temperature, cough and loss of taste or smell it is also important to look out for how we are feeling, we maybe having a moment of worry, of loneliness or not sleeping.  Its ok to be not ok.  Reach out to your support networks, talk to people, take a walk outside if you can and try to take a break from watching news (its often the same message repeated throughout the day or even week).

If you need more tips or need to contact someone for support you can visit NHS advice
or get support from MIND

Kind regards

May you fall in love with October and all the beauty it brings,
May your life be as colourful as the turning of the leaves,
On each blessed autumn day.  ― Charmaine J Forde