Recent Group Leader Emails Etc

Group Co-ordinator is John Craig email



On 7th May 2021 the following message was sent to all Group Leaders:-

Dear Group leader,

Thank you for the information that you sent in response to my last request, giving details of the activities of your group during lockdown and how you were keeping in touch with your members. These were included in the March Newsletter as promised.

The editors are now looking ahead to the June Newsletter and would be delighted to have more news and updates from groups. It may be that some of you already are making plans to meet up in person with your group as restrictions ease, or maybe you are planning to continue with your Zoom meetings for the time being. Either way, it would be good to hear from you – a few lines is fine if you feel you haven’t got much to say! But it does make for interesting reading, especially for those members who have felt out of touch or perhaps do not have access to the Internet.

Please could you send me contributions by Wednesday 12 May, so that I can meet the copy deadline? As before, please send e-mails plus attachments to me at - don’t just press ‘Reply’ or they go to Barrie and he has to forward them to me. Thank you to all of you who followed these instructions last time, and thank you to all of you who sent contributions.

We hope that before long we shall be able to meet up in person, and that outings/visits/walks can all take place again as before.

Thanks and best wishes


Julia Whitburn (Groups Secretary)




On 21st March 2021 the following message was sent to all Group Leaders:-

Dear Group leader,

March 2021

The committee would like to thank you for all your work with your group, especially during the last difficult year, in keeping in touch with your group members and in many cases organising Zoom meetings or other forms of communication. This has meant a lot to U3A members, particularly those living on their own.

You will know from the most recent U3A Newsletters that the AGM has been postponed until 8 June 2021, and will now be held as a Zoom meeting. More details and Zoom invitations will be sent out in due course. But I wanted to flag up the worrying situation that we have in Winchester U3A. Freda Bates and Lianne Hill (Chairman and Members’ Secretary respectively) will be standing down at the AGM and we urgently need to find replacements for them and also additional members of the committee. One member of the committee has recently retired due to ill health which will leave a committee of only five. You will appreciate that this is insufficient to run an organisation with 1300 members.

It is clear that we need more committee members. It is also clear that we have a large number of members like yourself who have demonstrated successful organisational skills with your group(s) and would be ideal on the committee, as you already are very experienced in the ways of Winchester U3A. Being a member of the committee is not particularly onerous; the committee meets only six times a year. You could be a member ‘without portfolio’ i.e., without any particular responsibilities or position, and we would be delighted if you would agree to be nominated for the committee. But as I say, our urgent need is for a Chairman or Members’ Secretary. If you could see your way to agreeing to be nominated for one of those positions, please contact Freda () or David Boddy () as soon as possible. Job descriptions for all committee positions can be found on the U3A web site.

If you do not feel able to volunteer yourself, perhaps there is a member of your group who you feel could contribute in this way? If so, please consult them and let us know. We are a very supportive and friendly committee – there are just not enough of us at present!

Best wishes


Julia Whitburn (Groups Secretary)




On 10th February 2021 the following message was sent to all Group Leaders:-

Dear Group leader,

Once again, we are looking for reports from groups to include in the next edition of the U3A Newsletter.

Many of you sent really interesting reports of your activities in response to my last request which we included in the Newsletter.

I would really appreciate any additions/updates from any groups – it could just be a couple of sentences or longer if you wished.

Could you let me have contributions by Thursday 18 February please?

I look forward to hearing from you; it is really impressive that so many groups are managing to be so active (on Zoom) given the circumstances.

One small request, however; if you are replying to me could you please send the e-mail to and not just press reply? (if you press reply, they go to Barrie and he has to forward them all to me)

Thanks and best wishes


Julia Whitburn (Groups Secretary)




On 16th November the following message was sent to all Group Leaders:-

Dear Group leader,

The next U3A newsletter will be published in early December, and it would be lovely to be able to include news from groups who are managing to function at all during these strange times.

If your group is meeting on Zoom (or other virtual means), could you let me know please? And perhaps you could add a couple of lines about how it is all working and how you are overcoming difficulties?

Copy to me by Thursday 19 November please.)

Thanks and best wishes


Julia Whitburn (Groups Secretary)




On 24h June the following message was sent to all Group Leaders:-

Dear Group leader,

We hope you are well and enjoying the good weather. Thank you to those group leaders who sent in descriptions of how they were keeping in touch with their members during lockdown; these were extremely interesting a few were included in the June Newsletter. (Please note that the next Newsletter will not be until September, with copy deadline 20 August.)

I attach two items:

For your information, I am sending some advice from the South East office in case you find it helpful


A message from Freda Bates regarding further reporting on activities.


Do please continue to get in touch with any questions or any changes for the groups list.


Best wishes to you all and your members

Julia Whitburn (Groups Secretary)





On 18th April the following message was sent to all Group Leaders:-

First, we hope you are well – that is the top priority at the moment.

Second, I know that many of you have been keeping in touch with your members, even though it has not been possible to meet for some weeks now. This is much appreciated, and also can be an important contact and support for members, especially those living on their own.

Third, we are thinking ahead to the next newsletter which is due out in early June. It would be very good to be able to include reports from group leaders as to what they have been doing to keep in touch with members, and any on-line activities that you have been able to organise. Short reports of a single paragraph would be welcomed. Could you send your reports to our chairman Freda Bates in the first instance please ( )? Copy deadline is 20 May, but it would be helpful if you could let Freda have reports at least a week before this so that she can assemble them.

Finally, you may wish to look at the web site of the national office for the University of the Third Age (,uk ) for their information and advice.

Thank you again for all you are doing at this strange time.

Best wishes

Julia Whitburn (Groups Secretary)





The following message was sent to all Group Leaders on 17th March:-

Dear Group Leader,

With the best interests of all our members at heart the committee have decided to cancel the April and May monthly meetings and re-schedule the speakers. This message will be put on the website. We will make every effort to keep you informed about developments for subsequent months.

We are relying on group leaders to pass on this information as not all our members use the internet. Given the diversity of our groups, their members and their venues we ask group leaders to consult with their members and make a decision to meet or not on this basis. A possible outcome of this projected lockdown is depression and feelings of loneliness and isolation. Please keep up everyone’s morale with phone calls and emails etc as much as you can. Already the brighter light and welcome spring flowers are helping to lift our spirits until, in the words of Vera Lynn, “We’ll meet again!” and not before too long I hope,

Freda, your chairman.




All existing Group Leaders should have received the Latest version of the Group Leaders Guidelines. A copy is available.




The minutes of the Group Leaders meeting on 23rd May 2019 are now available. It is important that all Group Leaders read the minutes whether they went to the meeting or not.