Hello everyone,

I just wanted to take a moment to wish all of you a peaceful and happy Christmas break.
I am sure many of you have had your plans disrupted and I do hope you are able to find a way of connecting with your friends and family at this time.

This year feels a bit like a whirlwind we were all caught up in and whilst the wind has not quite died down yet, there is much to celebrate and be proud of.

For me these periods of lockdown have made me think more about the things that are important and valuable to me.

Its been great to see a refreshed community spirit, with people checking in on each other and offering support.

Many of us have been reminded of how precious our outside space is. Our gardens and parks have aided our mental health as we watched the leaves turn brown and the seasons change.

We should all be proud of the support we showed our frontline NHS staff. Clapping on our doorsteps to let them know we were thinking of them and appreciated them.

Here are a few other highlights we shouldn’t forget:

  • Captain Sir Tom Moore raised £38.9 Million for NHS Charities.  Not stopping there, his family continue to support him on his mission ‘to get as many people as possible walking, talking, spreading hope and easing loneliness’.
  • Footballer Marcus Rashford successfully campaigned for free school meals for 1.3 million children to be extended over the summer break and raised awareness of child food poverty.
  • Reduced travel has meant air quality has improved in Bristol and across the UK.
  • Despite the pandemic Bristol Balloon Fiesta still filled the sky’s with colour.  A recorded nightglow is still available to view on the BBC website.
  • Around 300 rough sleepers in Bristol were moved into hotels and hostels with homeless charities saying the lockdown had given them ‘unprecedented opportunity to build relationships’.
  • And many of you continued to learn with us online!

Of course, the challenges are not yet over but there is much to be hopeful for in 2021.
Stoke Lodge will be open this week until Wednesday 23rd December and will reopen on Monday 4th January.

Spring term courses can be seen on the BristolCourses website and on our online booking pages.

So, from me and all the staff and tutors at Bristol Adult Learning I wish you a happy, safe and peaceful Christmas and look forward to seeing you in the new year.

Kindest regards