Welcome to that time of year - yes its December and it will be Christmas very soon!
In this months blog we have a winter based word search, some Christmas colouring and some ideas for presents and some yummy recipes and much much more.
Food Glorious food
We all love some good food this time of year. Now it's super easy to get carried away and buy lots of food but here are some winter recipes that will give you that wonderful warm feeling this winter and keeps you buying to what you need as well. Check out the BBC Good food Winter warmer recipes
The big day - Now Christmas itself can be a challenge in knowing what to have. But here I have found on the BBC Good food a Christmas day planner Plan in advance and remember to take the list when out shopping, so that not only are you keeping an eye on your budget but also you are helping the planet by only buying what you need by reducing food waste.
Drinks - Here are some Winter Drink recipes to add something special to your dinner this winter.
Recycle this year
Along side helping the planet with our reduced food waste, we can help by recycling. This time of year may not instantly come up when talking about this subject but here are a few ideas.
Wrapping paper - From South Gloucester Council Do the scrunch test - If the wrapping paper you use stays scrunched (when put in to a ball) then pop it in to the recycling green box/bag. If not then either re-use if its in good condition or pop it in the black bin.
Re-gift - Got a gift maybe earlier in the year that you didn't like but its in tip top condition? Then gift it to someone else. Or even donate to local charities.
Old books or DVDs? - Got some books or DVD's that are in very good condition and you don't want any more. How about make a simple mystery box for someone. Wrap up the book/DVD along with maybe some sachets of hot chocolate, coffee or even tea. Add their favorite chocolate or Chocolate coins. Pop it all in a box or a gift bag and for a small price you have a wonderful present for someone.
Gifting can be hard, but maybe you are on a budget and not having to buy lots for someone. Now if say you have a few of you meeting up over a nice lunch on Christmas day, why not do a take on Secret Santa. Simply get everyone to choose a name secretly, but alongside their name why not add their favourite colour. For example you could do for someone who likes orange you could get a terry's chocolate orange, an orange shower puff and some orange shower gel. Of course set a budget that you know everyone can afford and maybe set some rules. But most of all have fun. At the time of publishing the products I have listed max cost was £5.
At this time of year unfortunately fraudsters are on the prowl and all of us can be easily duped. Especially if we buy things online as we get some text to say our delivery is out. So here are some top tips on how to stay safe this time of year. Here is a guide from Which? Ultimately if something doesn't feel right then double check before you click. Also if you need assistance you can report calls, texts, emails and if you are a victim report here to Action Fraud
Remembering at Christmas
Many of us have lost loved ones at Christmas and it can be difficult time. Check out this wonderful guide on ways that we can remember those who are sadly no longer with us.
Check out our activities page for some Christmas colouring and winter wordsearch
Wishing you a wonderful time...
First up I want to thank everyone for reading this blog, I hope you enjoyed it. For those that celebrate Christmas I hope you have a magical time and that a certain Mr Clause pays everyone a visit.
But to all I hope you stay safe and warm this time of year and see you all in 2022!
Photo taken by AbbotsWood Action Committee member(s)
Welcome to Novembers blog, this month our main theme is remembrance but we will have an element of fireworks and dare I mention Christmas?
Take a minute..
On November 11th our nation will fall silent at 11 am for all those who died during World Wars and recent conflicts. Note as remembrance Sunday falls on the 14th our national silence will also happen on the Sunday as well as the Thursday.
The poppy - Ever wanted to know some facts about the Poppy for Remembrance. Here is a factual guide to poppies from the Royal British Legion
Make your own - Take a look at this Craft n Home site for their free printable templates on making your own, poppies.
Candles - Lighting a candle on the evening can be a way of remembering those we have lost. Or even use it as a way of those we have lost personally and recently not just in conflicts. Whilst a tealight will do if your feeling crafty check this out on how to make your own
Poems - I find sometimes writing a poem or even a short story about remembrance is a nice way to reflect or even remember either a family member or our ancestors who have served or are currently serving.
Here is mine that I wrote back in 2016.
Where armies once fought the poppies now grow
Where bombs once dropped we now stand
On the eleventh day at the eleventh hour
We will remember those who gave their all
Where tanks once drove we farm our land
Where trenches were dug we build our homes
On the eleventh day at the eleventh hour
We give thanks to those who bravely faced the horror of war
Where soldiers once marched we walk to work
Where prisoners were kept children run free
On the eleventh day at the eleventh hour
We will never forget and give thanks to all that fight for our freedom yesterday and today.
Have a go and please feel free to share with us.
Remembrance Sunday - On the 14th St Marys church in Yate will be holding its annual remembrance service and parade. Abbotswood Action Committee will be taking part and will be laying a wreath.
Remember remember the 5th November
Fireworks night will be soon upon us.
Be safe this year, here is the Avon and Somerset Fire & Rescue safety guide
Have fun indoors as well as outdoors here are some firework recipes to sparkle up your evening
Ever wondered the history of Bonfire night check out this guide to it from SKY History channel
Dare I mention Christmas?
Okay I know its only November, but on 27th we do have our Christmas Fayre, so please do join us. To get up to date information check out our Facebook and twitter feeds
That's all for now and I will see you all in December for a Christmas special x Pen
Welcome to our October blog. I hope you have enjoyed Sustainable September daily posts and that you have found them useful.
During this time of year, there are still lots to do despite it feeling a little bit nippy and the early darker nights.
Don't forget to change the clocks back on Halloween!
Animals - We can still spot many whilst going out and about here is a really useful guide from National Geographic Kids click here
Halloween Party ideas - Halloween can be fun, here are some ideas on what you can do this Halloween. Make your own game Tin Can Bowling
Make your own costumes with these ideas
Of course spooky food, not sure to do with a pumpkin here are some yummy pumpkin recipes
And some spooky food for Halloween ideas and recipes.
If you do go out trick or treating please pre-arrange where you go so that you keep safe. We have a couple of posters from the Daily Post for you to put up one that welcomes Trick or Treaters and the other doesnt. Please do have fun and stay safe. Check out our printables page for the posters.
Enjoy your October and we shall see you in November
Welcome to September’s blog which is all about sustainability. Look out from the 1st September our daily posts which will over the month will give you 30+ ways of how to be sustainable. Please do let us know your ideas as well as every little helps.
What does it mean to be sustainable? - There are many ways we can be sustainable in our lives.
Clean up and Clear out
We can litter pick to help keep our playgrounds, streets, green spaces clean and tidy. Don’t forget to recycle too which is a great way of being sustainable in the home.
Having a good clear out of the old toy box or shed? We can share things, so like Swap shop is coming up so why not grab that old appliance or toy that you don’t use anymore and let someone else use it? Plus pick up something that would be ‘new’ to you.
Homemade foods can taste amazing, but it helps us be sustainable as you can use the fruits off trees such as apples to make yummy apple pies or jams. In our 30 Day posts look out for some useful recipes that will help you be sustainable in the food department. When you’re out doing your food shopping or online make a list this way you only buy what you need, what a great way to reduce your food waste.
Check out this great list of things you can do with recycle materials such as an egg carton
Puzzle time – Check out a brand new Sustainable September word search on our activities page
Made via thewordsearch.com
There will be some sustainable activities taking place this September:
4th - Swap Shop 10 - 2pm
11th - AAG and Wapley Bushes Conservation Group on their ‘Honey and History’ walk Meets at St. Nix, 10.30am.
18th - Pop along to climate cafe in Chipping Sodbury. Find out more about the climate emergency and what steps you can take to lend a helping hand
25th - Join Gnorra and Gnorrman Gnome on their adventure in Abbotswood 1 – 4pm. Follow their adventure and see what British wildlife you discover with plenty of extra fun and games along the way
Please do follow us on Facebook, Twitter and now Instagram!
Facebook and Twitter @AAGBlog001 page and Instagram follow AbbotsWood Action
Have a great Sustainable September and I will be back in October for a spooky theme! Enjoy Pen x
Well it’s officially the summer holidays now, August has arrived. But what can we get up to over the summer?
In Yate alone we have plenty going on check the wonderful schedule from Yate Shopping Centre.
See picture below.
Keep an eye on their facebook page for updates https://www.facebook.com/yateshoppingcentre/
The summer of sport still continues with the Olympics. Ever wondered what the Olympic Rings mean? Check out this very useful guide from the International Olympic website https://olympics.com/ioc/faq/olympic-rings-and-other-olympic-marks/what-is-the-meaning-of-the-olympic-rings
Also ever met an Olympian? Or done an Olympic sport? Let us know!
If you cant get away this summer alongside the great free activities in Yate. We have some great activities here that you can do in your own home and or garden
How about making your own bird feeder? https://www.wildlifewatch.org.uk/make-bird-feeder
Why not build your own den? https://www.noaandnani.co.uk/den-building-ideas-for-the-best-dens-ever-i43
And why not have a go at making your own ice lollies? https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/5-best-ice-lollies-kids
Of course we have all our wonderful printable and puzzle pages, so please check them out
If you are able to get away even to the beach check out this useful guide on what you can find.
Please do stay safe https://rnli.org/safety/beach-safety
And don’t forget you can get a free wristband from the RNLI “Parents or guardians are being invited to write their mobile phone number on a free paper wristband which is available at the lifeboat and lifeguard stations. If and when a child is unfortunate enough to become separated from the adults he or she is with, lifeguards can simply ring and reunite them.”
Don'f forget we are on Twitter so please do follow us @AAGBlog001 https://twitter.com/home
Tag us with #AAGBlogSummer with the fun you get up to.
Regardless of what you get up to this summer have a wonderful time and have fun. Will be back in September for Sustainable September and some more exciting activities
Stay safe, have fun Pen x
Welcome to July’s blog, I hope that you all enjoyed the 30 Days Wild in June and had lots of fun.
Not only did we have 30 days of Wild, but on the 21st June was the summer solstice which you can find all the history from the history channel here
So with it now being officially summer what can we get up to?
This is a summer of Sports
Football – Whilst the trophy went to Rome, what a wonderful Euro tournament with England making the final and of course it’s not long until the new football season begins, or having a football themed party? Check out these free printable(s) from Epson.
Cycling - The Tour De France has indeed begun too ending 18th July. Cycling is not just for the professionals, it can be a great form of exercise. Why not go for a bike ride this summer, but please check out this really helpful guide on keeping your bike safe from the Avon and Somerset Police. https://www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/crime-prevention-advice/staying-safe-on-the-road/keeping-your-bike-secure/
Not sure where to go here is a guide for a route in the local area https://cycleplanner.betterbybike.info/leisure-rides/Chipping%20Sodbury%20and%20Yate%20Loop
Tokyo Olympics – Did you know that there are multiple sports in the Olympics? A full list can be found here https://olympics.com/tokyo-2020/en/sports/ Let us know what your favourite sport or how many Olympic sports you have tried?
Of course it would be remiss of me not to add tennis – Wimbledon. https://www.wimbledon.com/
Apart from the odd rain, strawberries and cream make a lovely tea. Why not have a go at making this cake? https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/strawberry-cream-tea-cake
For those who are not too sporty, we have plenty of other activities that you can do as well.
Here are some free downloads from Epson for you to enjoy, which include animals, photo frames and some puzzles. Click on Printables for more.
Also for those of you who enjoyed the getting out with the wild themes please do take a look at these activities here from Wildlife’s Trusts Wildlife Watch page https://www.wildlifewatch.org.uk/activities
I hope you have a great summer and I will back in August with another summer focused theme
Thanks for reading and please do send us feedback as we love to know what you think
As we hit halfway through the year it’s a good time as any to take some time out and look after ourselves.
This month we have an exciting event of 30 days Wild!
We also are letting you know what’s on your doorstep in terms of support and wellbeing, and there is also a bit of colouring – yes us adults we can do this too.
What does this mean? Well according to good old Google © it means “the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy.”
How can we achieve this? First up it is looking after our health both mental and physical. Mentally we can do things to help ourselves, - talking is one of the greatest things that we can do and if you are on the end of a friend or family member who needs to talk then listening is the other greatest gift we can do. But sometimes we do need some extra help. So don’t forget – here in Abbotswood we have Take 5. This is a referral scheme please contact Alex for more details.
Our partners Southern Brooks has a lots of wonderful resources so take a look here https://southernbrooks.org.uk/wellbeing/ and have some great workshops coming up so please do check them out. Don’t forget NHS has a section https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/self-help/guides-tools-and-activities/five-steps-to-mental-wellbeing/.
If you are struggling in any way then please do not hesitate in seeking help.
30 Days Wild
A great way of looking after ourselves is being at one with nature. In the words of Chief Scout Bear Grylls “Nature is a great healer” and its true, getting out and about can really help physically and mentally.
So this month we have 30 days of Wild coming up. On the 19th June we will be holding our very own event, so please keep checking our website for further details. Also each day on Facebook and Twitter we will be posting a Wild Nature theme every day, so don’t forget to follow us there and see what exciting Wild Adventures you can do this June.
How else to help ourselves?
Taking a few minutes a day can help us in all sorts of ways.
To do this find five or if you can ten minutes to meditate there are tons of free apps and meditation online such as this one provided by Calm.
Or even colouring can help us take a moment out of our day, as I said at the beginning its for all ages
Here at just colour https://www.justcolor.net/ you can find lots to do, but I have found a nature one to with our wild theme enjoy.
Hope you have enjoyed this months blog and please do take part in the 30 Days Wild.
Welcome to the second of my monthly blogs, I hope that this finds you well and safe. So let’s grab a brew and settle in to the May edition of the Official Abbotswood Action Group Blog.
How to be at one with The Force this May? The Force is very much finding balance, so this month I have for you a little music, a little challenge and a word search for you all to enjoy.
For me May begins with a bit of music, Scottish band Runrig do a wonderful song called May Morning, which for us Riggies (supporters of the band) is a bit of a ritual when it comes to 1st May. Never heard it? Check it out on YouTube.
Why this song? As we know the lighter evenings are here, hopefully alongside the warmer weather too. But for me it’s about coming out of the winter and enjoying spring and then summer by getting out and about which brings me on to our little challenge.
A Fond Farewell...
Before I delve in to our little challenge, I would like to take this opportunity to send deepest sympathies to the Queen and the Royal Family.
HRH Prince Philip, The Duke Of Edinburgh was passionate about all sorts of things from wildlife to the Royal Navy and of course volunteering. Not only that but he has left a wonderful legacy of the Duke of Edinburgh’s award which has and will continue to change lives up and down the country.
If you have never done or even heard of the Duke of Edinburgh Award before. It is split into sections – Volunteering, Physical, Skills and then an expedition at the end. If you are aged between 14 & 25 and interested in doing this please do check out the Yate options click link or if you run a group then check out the same links for options on how to run the award scheme.
With the award in mind, don’t forget you can do all these elements without having to do the award itself and regardless of your age. This month we are challenging you all to take part in getting out and about.
With the lighter evenings and hopefully sunnier days I love getting out and about and doing virtual walks/runs. That's the inspiration for the 'BE AT ONE WITH THE FORCE THIS MAY' challenge.
All you need to do is go out one day or evening and go as far as you can. Simply log by sending us photos or if you have a tracking app on your phone or device then please do send us a screen shot of your achievements. In return we'll send you your challenge certificate.
Have a twitter account? Tag your distance with the hashtag #AAGBlogChallenge For this Be at One with the Force this May Challenge you do not have to go far at all, sometimes I do 5K or even 2K for a little time out, so enjoy and do what you can and please follow current COVID guidelines.
Some Extra Fun And Games...
Over the next few months look out for new skills to learn, and of course any time you can drop in or email us for plenty of volunteering opportunities.
Tweet Tweet - We are on Twitter –. Not only will there be an instant link to this blog, but there will be more exciting posts and updates as we go on through the year, so feel free to Tweet us at https://twitter.com/AAGBlog001. Keep an eye out for any hashtags in our activities and blog posts. And please do tag us on Twitter so we can see what great activities you have been up to.
It would be very remiss of me not to mention Star Wars with May 4th being 'May 4th be with you' or should I say 'May the Force be with you'. If you are on Instagram this account will be taken over by a little Stormtrooper so do check out the Stormtroopers adventures click here (from 1st May)
As a little something extra this month I have designed a word search based on the award part of this blog. Please have a go! With thanks to https://thewordsearch.com Don’t forget to feedback as we love to hear what you have been up to as well as what you think of this blog.
Thanks for reading and see you next month for our blog which will focus on wellbeing.
Take care and stay safe Pen x
Hi everyone welcome to the new monthly blog. To start us off is Easter which is on Sunday 4th April which in the words of the Easter bunny is soon going to hop around!
Now Easter isn’t all about the chocolate (I know I gave up chocolate for lent too) but don’t worry this blog will cover chocolatey goodness. But deep down it’s about having a special day and for some there is the religious focus of the resurrection of Jesus.
Like most holidays and special days there are lots of different choices out there and to be fair it’s not easy to know what to get or what to do. Especially with this year where we can’t do absolutely everything we want or would normally do. But have no fear, I am here to take you on the Easter journey and give you some ideas for making this Easter extra special.
‘Easter on a budget’ it does not matter what budget you have. The ideas I have included in this blog you can tailor to your budget, plus I have added in some little freebie downloads and recipes which you can use for Easter or even tailor to any special day. Preparation is key, but the hardest part I find is deciding what to do, with so many choices out there it can be a little daunting. Within this blog I have come up with some examples of what you can do to make it special.
One way is to break Easter up in to manageable chunks, maybe go with the flow of the day. For example I have broken it down in to these areas breakfast, Easter treats and of course fitting in an Easter themed treasure hunt. Now to keep to your budget and in preparation write a list before you go out in to the supermarkets, decide what you are having so that you keep to your budget. Or even just use what you have already.
Easter is special regardless of what you spend on it and that’s what matters.
Eggs – no not the chocolatey kind just yet, but ordinary eggs. Get your colouring pencils out or any pen/pencil will do for this. Simply boil the egg to your requirements (here is a recipe should you need it) and voila we have an Easter themed breakfast. Or simply download an Easter picture and pop it near everyone’s favourite breakfast and colour it in and use them as placemats. Fancy chocolate at this time? Sure why not make a cup of hot chocolate and toast some hot cross buns.
Check out the this fab set of free Easter colouring links from Crayola click here to help make breakfast Easter special.
Making Easter treats can be fun for all the family. I personally love making Easter nests, don’t tell the Easter bunny but it’s not all about rabbits, Easter is often associated with chicks. Here is a recipe for Easter nests click here, now you can use cornflakes or even Weetabix just replace the shredded wheat for your cereal of choice. Why not make this extra fun and have a little picnic by making some sandwiches and nests which will make for a great fun lunch.
Of course this year we can’t go out to a pre-planned hunt, but there are lots of wonderful ideas out there, so I have put together an idea but just tailor it to you and your family that way you will have a lot more fun. Great hiding places can be found inside and outside even pots of daffodils can come in handy. Click here for the idea.
The key to any special day is just to enjoy it, hopefully the sun will be shining and we can all enjoy a bit of sunshine on Easter Sunday and the bank holiday. Have fun that’s the main thing and take photos, I would love to see your colouring, egg designs, rabbit masks or whatever you do!
That’s all for now readers, which leaves me with one last thing to say which is to wish you all a very Happy Easter and thank you for reading.
Until the next post – Have fun, stay safe and take care Pen x
Just like Pen said, we'd love to see what fun you've been up to! Email us your photos or visit us on Facebook. Any photos submitted will be shared in our photo gallery. Enjoy!
There's a new blog in town!
Hi everyone we have some fantastic news, dropping right here on our website is a brand new monthly blog. You've all seen our Sustainable September blog... We've decided it's time to go big and bring you posts all year round!
Hopping shortly on to our website will be the fantastic new post ‘Easter on a budget’.
Make note of the date Monday 29th March and get ready to read all about it!
A message from the author...
Hi everybody, my name is Pen and I have been entrusted in bringing you The Official Abbotswood Action Group Blog. Each month I will be bringing you a wide range of subjects that will cover all sorts, from seasonal such as my first post ‘Easter on a Budget’ to things we can do in and around our community. I can’t wait for this to go live, but most importantly after each post please let us know what you think as this blog is very much for you and our wonderful community. So until my first post goes live stay safe and take care.
Our current author is our AAG Committee member Pen Bailey. If you would like to be a guest blogger please do contact us here at AAG