Newsletter Leader


September 2020

Hello lovely U3A people,

I hope you’re all surviving our current predicament in good health and looking forward to the time we can get together again.

No doubt we’re all having new experiences and some time in the future we’ll think, “I wish I’d kept a diary.”  I have made some diary entries. Mostly they seem to concern food. I’m not sure why that is but a psychologist would be able to explain it. We’ve always tried to avoid wasting food but we’re doing it now more than ever. So, when I spied a packet of Weetabix at the back of the cupboard and an overripe banana I just knew there would be a recipe on the internet. Unfortunately I forgot to put the egg in the cookies. Having tasted a couple and a day having elapsed they hit the bin. And promptly bounced out again! I exaggerate, but not much. If you ever run out of tennis balls I’ll send you the recipe.

Kind regards,



August 2020

First of all I’d like to say thanks to those who sent in their votes for our virtual AGM. We had 201 returns which may be highest number we’ve ever had.  Thanks also to those who came to our Zoom AGM on 16th June. It was really nice to see so many familiar faces. It made me realise just how much I’ve missed seeing you all at our usual coffee mornings and speaker meetings.  As to speaker meetings, we’ll be holding our first speaker meeting via Zoom on 15th September, when Frank Nicholson will be talking to us about “Ancient Humans in Britain”. We’ll be sending out details in the near future, of how to register your interest so keep a look out for that.

Hopefully by the time you read this the weather will have improved and encouraged us all out into the fresh air. As my mother would have said, “You won’t melt if you go out in the rain.” Even so, the prospect of getting wet before you’ve walked a hundred yards is not enticing, but tomorrow, I’ll be braving the rain and venturing outside.  Ah, tomorrow, when so many things get done. My only plan for tomorrow is to pick up my new glasses. After that, I'll see what happens :-)

Stay safe, stay sane.

Regards,   Viv


July 2020

I hope you are all well and making the best of lockdown. I’m finding it a bit of an emotional roller-coaster; one day enjoying the peace and quiet of fewer cars and no cold callers and the next depressingly frustrated at not being able to just see friends for a coffee and a chat. Zoom and Skype et al have their limitations, especially if your family is like mine and they all have something to say, usually all at the same time. Still, mustn’t grumble. (I know. I just did).

Despite the fact that we’re not meeting we must still pay for Third Age Trust membership, Beacon, and TAM magazine as well as other expenses so I’m glad to see that most of you have renewed your membership. The committee is still working away in the background and once the AGM is over we’ll be looking at what we can do within the confines of the current guidance. Do keep in touch with your U3A friends, particularly nominated email buddies who have volunteered to deliver the newsletter.

I’ll leave you with this thought. There are few guarantees in life but a blue sky is azure thing. All the best, Viv

June 2020

After consideration of the guidelines issued by the Charities Commission, the Management Committee has decided that the Annual General Meeting will go ahead as planned on the 16th June. We'll be using online and phone voting as we did for the Special General Meeting.

The agenda, associated papers and a separate voting slip will be sent out on the17th May. Any questions may be submitted until the 25th May. Responses will be provided before the AGM.  Only fully paid up members are eligible to vote. If you haven't already done so, please follow the instructions given below by the Membership Team to renew your membership by BACS or post before the 31st May.

Due to the timing of our SGM we were apparently the first, and only U3A so far, to hold either an AGM or SGM accepting online voting. The Third Age Trust are hoping to use our work on this as a case study to prepare a tutorial to help other U3As. We hope the online voting system for the AGM will prove as successful as it was for the SGM. Thank you for your continuing support. Regards, Viv

September Newsletter 2019

Hello lovely U3A people,

For the past seven years a leading arts and mental health charity has been running weekly art workshops for people experiencing depression, stress or anxiety. The impact has been outstanding. An evaluation revealed a 71% decrease in feelings of anxiety and a 73% fall in depression; 76% of participants said their wellbeing increased and 69% felt more socially included.

Kurt Vonnegut said in his autobiography, A Man Without a Country: “Practising an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow.  For heaven’s sake, sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”

Your U3A has various dancing groups, poetry group, a singing group, and lots of other creative endeavours which we’ll be showcasing later this year. The Communications Team will also be doing their creative best by revamping the newsletter. Be sure to look out for your copy next month.                                 Best regards,  Viv

August Newsletter 2019

Hello everyone.

Our new committee members are on a mission - to get to know our U3A and help improve it. A recent survey has shown that we need to increase the number and variety of interest groups and ensure that every member has the opportunity to join a group of their choice. Lance Houghton, who is joining Sandra Garston as Group Leader Representative, will be visiting groups to get to know how they work. Jim Harrison, our newly appointed Communications Team Leader, will be looking for interesting items for the revamped newsletter and Pauline Pritchard, will be working with Jan Johnson dealing with all things membership. Please say hello when you see them. If you would like to start a new group Lance and Sandra would love to hear from you. If you have a news item speak to Jim and if you have any membership queries Pauline and Jan are happy to help.

Best regards, Viv