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Welcome this year's
 Uplifting Newsletter

Thank you to everyone who has contributed uplifting stories for the website and recent Uplifting Newsletters we have started to produce. We have had such a good response that I've had to put a few aside for the next newsletter,  which is great, keep them coming. You are making a difference and putting a smile on people's faces. 

Yesterday it was a delight to be invited to talk to Anna King on her programme at BBC Radio Gloucestershire.  Anna shares my passion for uplifting stories so I was very excited to connect. I also enjoy hearing her most amazing chuckle to brighten your day. The programme should be available until the end of the month  Listen here at around 2hr 16min in.

So this edition comes packed with ideas to help you with motivation, including Sally's word search to keep your brain busy... enjoy!

Best wishes, Ceri Longville, Creative Director

Send in your story
5 Tips for Lockdown

This has to be the worst of the three lockdowns far for many reasons. The mornings and the evenings are dark and we are missing the lovely sunlight we had in the first lockdown. It’s colder which makes people more miserable,  we are not moving around as much and we don’t know how long it will be
This new strain is more infectious and more people are getting it so lets have 5 things to do to help us get through it.

1. Do some sort of exercise. Whether it is a short walk outside if you can or some sort of exercise in your chair if mobility is difficult and for those fit eager beavers…Get on to You tube and do a solid work out! Or Yoga, Zumba or Pilates. You can find everything on YouTube!

2. Ever tried meditation? Nor me! But a friend has said it has helped her when she has begun to feel low. Concentrate on your breath in and out. You don’t have to sit in a funny position! Just sit or stand where you are and concentrate on your breath in and out for 5 minutes or however long feels right. Don’t do it before you go to bed. Apparently it can energise you!

 3. Do something arty!! Now, it doesn’t have to be too difficult! We are not all arty so I have started colouring! I am loving it! I got some cheap colouring books and crayons from the Works as Lockdown approached and I find it very therapeutic! You will have to order it all from Amazon now…if you do please use Amazon Smile and register with a charity so that they get a percentage of your spending! Can I urge you to choose one of our fantastic local charities in Gloucestershire!!! 

4. Check on a Friend! If you are feeling down, one of the most useful things you can do to make yourself feel better is to check on someone else and make them feel better. An act of kindness will make you feel better, make them feel better and Joy is twofold. 

5. Sort those cupboards out!! You know there are piles of things or boxes of stuff that you haven’t gone through for a long time. You put it off but now is the time. Go through it…if you haven’t used it for the last year or so …do you need it? Clearing out will make you feel better so I hope you have a garage to put it in until the charity shops are ready to take it!

Happy Lockdown Everyone!

Julie Kent MBE, Gloucester
Do the exercise you love!

I caught up with Michael Baker from Dursley. He described to me that he had some very fond memories of his days at Dean Hall school.

"I got on with all the tutors and the headmaster. There was Mrs walker, Mr Taylor, Mrs Goodworth, Mr Bower, Mr Marston and also there was nurse, her name was Mrs Hughes. Our headmaster was  Mr Bladon, Mr Taylor was our woodwork, metalwork tutor, Mrs walker was our math and English tutor. Mr Marston was our reading, writing tutor. Mrs Goodworth was our French, German tutor."

bikes"After a  few years had passed, my old school mate Richard Thomas. We got on our bikes to cycle to Dean Hall school reunion. I was able to see my old tutors and headmaster, clinical nurse again, which it was nice, a very enjoyable day at Speech House, Forest of Dean. I recalled happy days of my life and memories of Dean Hall school.

However Mike, made it clear how much hated PE in school. 

"When we had Games, I pulled out of swimming Olympics against other school because I couldn't swim! I had to sit on the side of the swimming pool to watching the other children doing the swimming Olympics against other schools."

"We had to do cross country running through the forest tracks, myself and two other boys we found out to where the shortcuts were in the forest tracks, we used to walk the shortcuts, "

So when I asked him if he'd found an activity he liked as an adult, his response was clear:
"Going on walks with my partner, Sally.".

The word 'exercise' can bring back unwelcome memories of school sports if we didn't enjoy it.

It's so important to find and do a physical  activity we enjoy.

You may find inspiration from these organisations within Gloucestershire.

Active Gloucestershire 
We Can Move
You're Welcome Website - inclusive sport and leisure section

Mike Baker, Dursley 
Ceri Longville, Gloucester 

Accessible Yoga with Sarah

When you hear the word yoga, a lot of people think of what they see on social media: flexibility, handstands on beaches and people contorting their bodies into pretzel shapes. But yoga is so much more than that – it’s about finding stillness in your mind and connecting with your body and breath. The images we see of yoga make it look exclusive – it’s for people who are thin, flexible, fit, and able-bodied – when in reality, yoga should be inclusive and for everyone.

I offer accessible yoga classes, which means I teach chair yoga, bed yoga, mat-based classes, pregnancy yoga and restorative yoga – to enable anyone to practice yoga. My style of teaching is centred around giving people choice and autonomy in their practice. As a teacher, my role is to guide people through a sequence, but give a variety of options so they can find what feels right for them.

Bed yoga? Chair yoga? Yes, you can practice yoga in a chair or in bed! I teach a chair yoga class at a local care home; we sit in a circle in comfy chairs and enjoy some movement and meditation together. I also teach more dynamic chair classes which are great for people who struggle to move from standing to the floor (and back again) easily, wheelchair users, and people who experience chronic fatigue or pain.

Bed yoga is ideal for people who must spend a lot of time in bed, people who have mental health conditions and find it difficult to include exercise into their daily lives, and it’s also great to help you fall sleep or wake up

Ultimately, if you can breathe, you can practice yoga. Even if it’s just 1 or 2 minutes of being aware of your breath – it’s all part of the practice. If you’ve not tried yoga before because you’re worried that you’re not flexible/thin/fit enough, there are options out there!

Now more than ever, it’s so important that we look after ourselves and practice self-care. I genuinely believe that everyone is worthy of and deserves to find some rest and stillness in their lives, and yoga might be a great way for you to experience that.

Sarah Vallance (She/Her & They/Them), Cheltenham

Accredited Yoga Teacher

Find out more:

Online classes:

Follow Sarah on social media:

Wotton Window Wanderland

Since 2015, Winter Wanderlands. (a not-for-profit organisation) has been dedicated to reducing social isolation and fostering a sense of community.

Winter Wanderlands, create a festival of light and colour, where people transform their neighbourhood into a magical outdoor gallery of unique displays in their windows.

Wotton-Under-Edge had its first last year. It is organised locally by volunteers, to enable the community to develop a successful Wanderland and take pride in where they live.

Everyone and anyone can take part by design a window display, or just enjoying looking around at the Window Wanderland.

The next Wotton Window Wanderland is 5-8 February 2021 – theme is The Wotton Community.

Here are some photos from last year. Look forward to seeing and sharing this year's decorations.

Find out more here
Thank you Martin Clarke, Wotton-Under-Edge for sending these photos.

Sports Word Search

As well as exercising our bodies in lockdown, it is also good to exercise our brains. Here is a word search, with words related to sports in it.
If you send your answers to, we will announce the winner/s and answers next time.

Download Sally's sport wordsearch here

By Sally Hayward

Meet Guide Dog Pup, Olli
We were all devastated when Olli, one of our lovely active founding members of Write Up Your Street, died so suddenly last year.

This news gave us a lift:
olli guide dog
 "Olli had been part of the Cirencester Guide dogs for many years. He was a great supporter and fundraiser.

The national guide dogs have a name the puppy scheme where if you raise 5k you can name a puppy

The Cirencester group thought it would be a nice tribute to Olli to try and raise 5k and name a dog after him. "

Katrina Brown, Cirencester.
Your Links that we Love!
And Finally!

Please reply with a picture of your pet, we'd love to share it!
Please spread the cheer forward to friends 

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