Keynsham Action Network

A member of the Keynsham community

About Keynsham Action Network

KAN was set up by local GP Dr William House.

Through building relationships with individuals and local voluntary and statutory organisations we generate an understanding of patterns of need and of inclusion and exclusion within the community. We use that understanding to work with existing organisations and individuals to promote greater connectivity, collaboration and understanding of the needs of individuals and voluntary groups and how they can be met in sustainable ways. We do this by holding networking events (and encouraging others to hold similar events) at which communication and collaboration between individuals and voluntary groups can be facilitated with a view to greater mutual understanding, better use of resources and social inclusion; by promoting the wider availability and use of local news media and social media to help people to be more aware of local opportunities; by identifying and supporting individuals and informal groups with ideas likely to improve social inclusion; by holding educational events to improve knowledge and understanding of the social, environmental and economic problems faced by the community and how these might be resolved by local action.

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Visit our website at http://www.keymshamactionnetwork.co.uk

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Keynsham Kindness Day

We're delighted to announce our Kindness Day on Monday 24th April !

Our event is supported by B&NES Supporting Communities and Wellbeinggrant funding from Quartet Community Foundation and by Aquaterra who runSomerdale.

We will invite representatives of various local groups andfind Kindness Ambassadors who can then help us spread the word and acts ofkindness, using a variety of small items such as labels, cards, friendshipbracelets etc.

At the event we will have videos by Leon Logothetis (authorof The Kindness Diaries), Orly Wahba (from Life Vest Inside) and by localschoolchildren singing their Kindness song, sessions with Bath Dementia ActionAlliance and the Samaritans. We will have a compassion circle with Deborah Janeand Wellbeing session with Jules Allan as well as a Kindness Café with HarpalDhatt who has run them in London and Nepal: so from Kathmandu to Keynsham!Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig will come along to focus on the teen age group. We hopeto have some interactive drama on the kindness theme. We are delighted thatrecently published local author Paris Brosnan will do a reading of herchildren’s book Billy Bee and the Sugar Plums.Add to that inspirational videosabout acts of kindness, songs from local band Verdisa and a mix of narrativesabout isolation in our modern world, with a rich variety of people present andwe hope a huge amount of positive energy and goodwill can be generated whichwill be the stone being cast into the pond and the ripples of a wave ofkindness can spread from there out into Keynsham and beyond.

We plan to distribute wristbands that we want people to passon was widely as possible in acts of kindness, they will have the hashtag#kindness_connects which we aim to crowdmap to see how far we can spread thekindness: A little kindness goes a longway!

Our signature colour is yellow and we hope that guests willbring along some small yellow themed items that we could use as prizes in ourTombola or simply to exchange in acts of kindness on the day.

We have set up aLocalgiving appeal page https://localgiving.org/appeal/KAN-BeKind/ to help fund further parts of our Kindness Project: if you would liketo donate or better still fundraise for us that would be great!



Tickets for our eventwill be free and available from Eventbrite at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/keynsham-kindness-day-tickets-33073970135

TRANSPORT

For guests who may have difficulty in travelling to thevenue, we are delighted to have support from Keynsham District Dial-A-Ride whohave kindly offered to help with transport for a small donation. Please eithercontact KDDAR on 01225 395321 and mention the Kindness Day or contact KAN viaour facebook page or Twitter.

Keynsham Kindness Campaign

Hello….. I’m Sarah Fox, a member of Keynsham Action Networkand I’d like to talk to you about our new project the Keynsham KindnessCampaign.

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is wasted” Aesop

Why do we need this project?

Loneliness and disconnectedness are rife in today’s societyand lead to misery, despair, and a wide range of physical and mental ailments.Literally dis-ease! Some of this is caused by a culture of media-driven fearand mistrust which only serves to heighten a sense of alienation.

Technology, like fire, is a useful tool but can easily takeover and become harmful and we’re all aware that people tend to be ‘plugged in’to their gadgets rather than interacting in a face to face way. We have losttouch with each other.

All this has generated a pervasive atmosphere of negativity.We want to turn this around and counter it with a wave of positivity

Our aim is to create a ‘CULTURE OF KINDNESS’ starting withinour town but radiating out from it like a beacon of hope.

The simplest way to achieve this is by using empathy andcompassion to generate acts of kindness.

Whist there is an element of ‘compassion fatigue’ withrecent events around charitable organisations and a degree of public mistrust,and people are also time poor, small acts of kindness are free, spontaneous andeasy to take part in.

Aside from helping other people, we want to encourageeveryone to get involved regardless of what matters to them, so kindness canmean:

• Kindnessto self: often very hard for people to do!

• Kindnessto loved ones: expressing appreciation, running a hot bath, doing a choreunasked, writing a letter or email to someone or phoning them

• Kindnessto colleagues: making a cup of coffee, praising work etc.

• Kindnessto strangers : open a door, let someone out in traffic

• Kindnessto the community : helping in a local group, shopping in local shops, donatingitems to charity shops etc.

• Kindnessto animals: your own pets (rehome a cat/dog), wildlife (feed the garden birds,or the ducks at the pond), support RSPB, RSPCA etc.

• Kindnessto the environment: picking up litter, buying sustainably sourced productsetc., planting wildflowers

All these small deeds not only help the people on thereceiving end, but also those giving the kindness, and this helps to connectpeople with each other and with the world.

Kindness cuts across age groups, social status etc. andhelps us to banish the tendency to pigeon- hole people and have an ‘us andthem’ attitude which alienates people and makes for a sense of personal andcommunity wide emptiness. As such, kindness connects and unites us all in ourcommon humanity.

What will the project look like?

Firstly, we want to start promoting the idea via our socialmedia and word of mouth. We will also go on local radio and use local press toadvertise the campaign.

In this way we want to create a groundswell of interest in‘Kind Keynsham’ almost as a brand . This will speak to one of the issues localpeople have mentioned to us, which is a sense of loss of identity within thetown, due to recent changes in the high street and all the new estates beingbuilt.

Using a similar approach to Glasgow’s hugely successfulrebranding campaign ‘Glasgow’s Miles Better’ and ideas such as the Metro’s#GoodDeed in 2015, we want to capture everyone’s attention and fire theirimagination.

We want to make our town into Kind Keynsham, the kind ofplace to be. Our logo (currently in design) will be yellow (a cheerful brightcolour) and probably feature open hands, to suggest openness, friendliness,helping hands and the text KIND KEYNSHAM. Our strapline will be along the lines“Kindness Connecting Keynsham.”

Then we want to hold a launch event on Monday 24th Aprilwhen we will invite 50 local representatives of various organisations, from theTown Council to voluntary groups, to come along and become our KindnessAmbassadors.

The first half of the afternoon will feature a special videoby author Leon Logothetis (Kindness Diaries) as well as videos of random actsof kindness and narratives about loneliness. We will also have break out groupsfor interactive drama, compassion circles etc.

Each Ambassador will be given a Kindness Kit containingitems such as a Keynsham Kindness wristband, blue and yellow post it notes,pansy seeds, bird food etc.

The second half of the afternoon we will issue an openinvitation to anyone who wants to come along and we hope the energy and ideasgenerated in the first part of the event will spread to others. Mya-Rose Craig(Birdgirl) will also be coming along which we hope will help to encourage youngpeople to be there.

From that initial event we hope to generate a wave ofkindness which our Kindness Ambassadors can help to send out into the town andfurther afield. We hope that our signature colour, yellow, inspired by yellowfriendship benches in Canada, the Jo Cox Loneliness Commission #happytochat,and lots of iconic yellow images, will become a prompt for people to take part.Depending on funds, we hope to have areas with yellow cushions in shops, coffeeshops etc. where people can sit and chat, and ‘pop-up’ Kindness Couches whichcould be moved from place to place e.g. library, GP surgeries etc. Keynsham inBloom plan to have lots of yellow flowers across the town and their bike trailto feature yellow strongly. Window decals in shops will let people know whereto find kind places and kind faces.

We hope our Keynsham Kindness wristbands will be sent allover the world. We will also set up an interactive online map where people canuse the hashtag to enter something they have done (or seen), along with picturesor videos. Maybe we can get people to take selfies with their wristbands inplaces abroad. This will generatenarratives (community reporting) that we can share on social media and also inprinted newsletters etc., and a Keynsham Kindness Column similar to the GoodDeed Feed of the Metro. We hope to get ahashtag such as #kindness_connects trending which would really put Keynsham onthe map!

We also hope this simple but powerful idea will generatelots more events, and be part of events such as the Festival of Nature andKeynsham Music Festival.

In effect, this idea is infinitely scaleable, as onebusinesswoman said to me. She may have meant in business terms (merchandiseetc.) but we feel that the social value this project brings is also limitless.

As Leon Logothetis comments in the introduction to hisKindness Diaries episodes: “Human beings can literally manufacture hope fromacts, even the simplest acts, of kindness”

KAN Celebrates our 5th Anniversary!



Who are KeynshamAction Network (KAN)?

Keynsham Action Network was set up by retired local GP DrWilliam House 5 years ago because he felt that many of his patients presentedwith non-specific ailments that actually had their origins in social problemssuch as isolation. Hence he wanted to work with other groups in the town toencourage initiatives and trends that enhance peoples' wellbeing and empowerthem to lead more fulfilled lives.

We’re a small group of local residents from a variety ofbackgrounds who work as volunteers together, with a Kan-do attitude, to findpositive energy in the Keynsham community and, by connecting people, help it totake root and spread in a broad range of activities that benefit the town as awhole and make it somewhere where everyone can feel they belong and are valued.

As our flyer explains: "KAN is about helping people wholive or work in Keynsham to come alive and to flourish through connection andpurpose."

Our activities in the past 5 years include:

Our Live Simply annual events - now an established part of Keynsham MusicFestival - Big Tent Talk by high profile speakers such as Satish Kumaron sustainability issues. We have more details and video clips on our website (www.keynshamactionnetwork.co.uk ).

Butterflies Voice Choir: ambitious collaborative projectwith Butterflies Haven, Keynsham Music Festival and Bath Spa University - gala concert July 2015 was very successfuland student Tilly Kerabina made a short documentary on the choir and livingwith Autism. The project was shortlisted for Arts and Health South West awards 2015. (http://ahsw.org.uk/userfiles/AHSW%20Prize%202016/FINAL%20AHSW%20Shortlist%20Document%202016.pdf).

We have worked with organisations such as Re: generate in aproject called Root Solution Listening Matters, to talk to people about how itfeels to live in Keynsham and what they would like to change, as well as howthey might want to be involved in making those changes.

In 2016 we set up a group supporting people with invisibleillness (physical/mental) called Silent Illness Keynsham which has met everyfortnight or so and done a wide variety of activities such as making hangingbaskets, mindfulness, art etc. The emphasis has been on positive outlook andmany of the ladies in the group have said they are socialising for the firsttime in years. We have also initiated an idea for a Keynsham Mens Shed which isbeing taken forward by Aquaterra and has just been named the Somerdale Shed.Local men (and possibly women) will be able to meet there to do activities suchas wood and metal working which will help to reduce isolation.

We are also currently involved with the CHAIN (CommunityHealth and Involvement Network) project with other groups who share a commoninterest to overcome loneliness and lack of fulfillment especially amongstolder people. The steering group includes Dial-a-Ride, WellAware, a healthvisitor for the elderly employed by Sirona Care and Health, St Monica’s Trust,Community@67), a local dance teacher and key workers from Curo andB&NES. The aim is to adapt ideasdeveloped in Scotland as the Fife 'Shine' project by the International FuturesForum to help identify health and wellbeing needs more effectively and deviseways of meeting those needs through mobilising and developing community resources.

We also have a close ongoing collaboration withCommunity@67 - with shared members and constant 'behind the scenes' contactabout ideas, strategy and action.

We have a strong social media presence on Twitter(@keynshamaction): we just reached 2000 followers!and Facebook (www.facebook.com/keynshamactionnetwork) but also have a lot of face to face contactwith people. We also run the online community hub www.keynsham.interests.me andparticipate in other similar online community pages like Ododow.

We're just about to launch our new project Keynsham Kindness campaign so watch this space!!

Keynsham's Winter Festival

As always, the Keynsham Winter Festival was enjoyed by old and young alike, the High Street was buzzing!

Naturally Santa and an elf made an appearance and brass bands gave us some great Christmas tunes as a backdrop to the funfair and stalls. We even had a return visit from Avona (goddess of the River Avon who came to the Music Festival this summer) processing down the high street after the cadets and the town crier!

Seb Bailey's DJ set gave us some great vibes and of course The Space was full of great performances from Keyford dance performance, StageCoach theatre school performance, Choirjam and a preview of Hansel and Gretel by BraveBold Drama due to show in full on December 17th.

The yarn bombing prettied up the Baptist Church (thanks to Dee from Keynsham in Bloom and everyone who contributed pom poms!) and lots of the shop fronts looked suitably festive.

As always, the Wombles were out and about keeping our town tidy!

A lovely evening, not long till Christmas now!

Keynsham's a lovely place to live!

Some of us in KAN have lived in Keynsham for half a century, others are relative newcomers, but we all love the town. Speaking personally, this is in part geographical, with the town so conveniently situated between the two diverse cities, Bath and Bristol, as well as in the midst of beautiful countryside. It is also the sense of history in the town. But primarily it is the 'small town' feel of the place, a friendly, welcoming feel that I've never experienced anywhere else to quite such an extent. It's an easy place to feel at home in! Added to that, the fact that Keynsham has 200 voluntary organisations, which make it such a vibrant community. So we're hoping that keynsham.interests.me will be a wonderful new way to spread the good news about Keynsham (not forgetting our close neighbours Saltford).

Watch this space!

Silent Illness Keynsham

Silent Illness Keynsham was set up in early 2016 by members of Keynsham Action Network with the intention of generating a vibrant support group for people in the area struggling with chronic illness, which can often be invisible and tends to exclude people from many activity based social groups, leading to isolation.




The group was promoted through KAN social media and started meeting with about 6-8 members every fortnight or so using Community at 67 as the venue. We started out introducing ourselves to each other, deciding the group name, and agreeing to place an emphasis on positivity and shared activities rather than just sitting together sharing our troubles.




Since then the group has become a strong unit, currently all ladies and we have had lots of different experiences together, including Reiki, a compassion circle, creative ink art, making hanging baskets, a talk by a psychologist about Acceptance and Commitment Therapy etc.




We were delighted when Community at 67 agreed to take over the project after the initial 6 pilot sessions, and the group remains entirely self funded at this time, continuing to meet at 67 about every fortnight.




We also had a recent visit (with Dee James from Keynsham in Bloom) to walled gardens in Cannington and Seed of Hope, an organisation that helps people with mental health issues through gardening: despite horrible weather we all enjoyed ourselves. Our most recent session was with local artist Joe Tymkow doing so very cathartic 'free' art.




Looking forward. our next session is decoupatch with Dee James and we're planning more art with Joe and probably a visit to Cannington in the Spring next year.




We're also working with Aquaterra on a project involving an allotment and a mens shed (at Somerdale Pavilion) which hopefully will be something that men with chronic health issues can enjoy. Penny is planning to ask Community at 67 if she can use your room as a venue for a meeting to invite local men at the planning stage so they can input what they'd like in the shed.




Overall,we think SIK has been a big success and we'd like to thank Community at 67 for their part in the project.