31st July saw Brunelcare’s Colliers Gardens extra care housing scheme, in Fishponds, Bristol, launch  their special ‘Bristol Meets the World’ food and nutrition project which is being run by Bristol and Avon Chinese Women’s group and is supported by the Bristol Ageing Better ‘Building Blocks for Wellbeing’ programme.

The project takes the form of a series of cookery classes. Bristol and Avon Chinese Women’s Group arranged the traditional ‘ Chinese Tea Ceremony’, performed by Yi Zeng, to launch the classes Brunelcare is going to run.

Tea ceremonies are a major aspect of the Chinese culture. In daily life, tea is used for medical purposes and also for daily pleasures. During the ceremony  different types of tea and their meanings were explained. For example, dark tea symbolizes the wisdom of the elderly, and Wulong tea is said to resemble the perseverance of philosophers.  At the end of the ceremony, guests were invited to try the tea and joined in with a Q&A session. Residents from Brunelcare’s Colliers Gardens attended the event and experienced the traditions of preparing tea, together with tastings and aromas to evoke the senses.

The project will take place over the next two years, with each of the partners; Brunelcare, 91 Ways, Carers Support Centre and Hanover each running workshops for their clients. There will be a total of 81 monthly sessions provided by the partners during this period; focusing on cooking demonstrations, participation and involvement, and story-telling.

The project is intended, through collaborative working, to reduce social isolation and loneliness, improve self-esteem and health and cultural awareness and raise public awareness of diversity in the city. Brunelcare will be inviting residents from Colliers Gardens to join their sessions, as well as other members of the local Fishponds community.

Julie Walker, Centre Manager for Brunelcare’s Colliers Gardens, said:

“This enchanting tea ceremony was the perfect launch to our food, nutrition and cookery classes we are going to be running – helping people in our local community ‘meet the world’ through food and to meet new friends. I had no idea until today that having a cup of tea can be so relaxing, allowing time to think about how the tea was made and learning that in Chinese culture it has so much meaning!” 

To find out more and to join the sessions please contact Brunelcare’s Colliers Gardens team on 0117 958 6336.

Note: This article can also be provided in Cantonese or Mandarin translation

Press coverage:

National Care Forum (web), 6 August 2018 

Bristol Post, 8 August 2018

The Week In, 8 August 2018

Colliers Gardens Chinese tea ceremony

Yi Zeng performs Chinese tea ceremonyJulie Walker, Anne Su, Yi Zeng

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