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CHAIRMAN'S REPORT MAY 2022
It’s been a year since I became your Chair and, as I said in my first note, it’s time to be thinking of becoming my successor. In the intervening year I have moved to Romsey, joined another U3A group and sold my car and have become a full- time cyclist. So I will be leaving at the end of my tenure!
You belong to a wonderful U3A, full of lovely people, so please put your minds to the thought of helping to run our committee.
Bob Shemilt Chairman
MONTHLY MEETINGS AUTUMN PROGRAMME
If you’ve missed the social time at the end of the monthly meetings, you will be glad to know that starting with the September meeting, tea will be available at the back of the Hall after the talk. Many thanks to Julia Whitburn for getting this started once again.
The dates we have booked for our Tuesday afternoons are:
Tuesday 13th September: Christopher Massey-Beresford will talk to us “Feting the Finns”, all about the brave Finnish people, their proud Nordic country and 100 years of intrepid independence
Tuesday 11th October: Jeremy Neville will talk to us about Jane Austen and music; given Jane Austen’s links with Winchester, should be interesting
Tuesday 8th November: Martin Webster is an ambassador for ShelterBox and will talk to us about Disaster Response. ShelterBox provides emergency shelter to people who have experienced natural disaster, extreme weather events or conflict (e.g. in the Ukraine).
Tuesday 13th December: Our Christmas Social in the Littleton Hall, fun and games and Christmas goodies to bring our programme for 2022 to a close.
We hope you find something to interest you in the months ahead.
We have some members who live in the City but don’t have a car these days (very green!). We have resumed live monthly meetings in the Littleton Hall, but these members have difficulty getting to the meetings.
If you come to the monthly meetings and might consider giving a lift to someone who’s a bit stuck, could you please let me know?
If you have no transport and would like a lift, please also let me know. I will then co-ordinate lifts and passengers.
FAREWELL TO ALL DAY WALKERS 1
I started this group with my husband Philip 25 years ago. We were told that it would not succeed as no one would want to walk so far. However in a short time our numbers increased so one of our members, Peter, started a second group The Retreads. Sometime later Dale started group 3 as numbers increased. Sadly group 1 has reached the end of the road. Eight members have died and those who are left no longer walk so far.
I thought it would be sad not to remember some of our achievements. Firstly we learnt a great many walks in the Winchester area as we all took responsibility for finding and leading walks. Planning usually took place in my home after a short walk followed by lunch.
We increased our scope by having holidays in different places in England. The Isle of Wight, Dartmoor, Exmoor and the Derbyshire Dales were some of our favourite places. We also ventured to France and enjoyed some excellent walks. These were very happy and social times.
For many years we had a breakfast picnic in midsummer. We started walking very early, then stopped for Bucks Fizz and strawberries on the way before continuing to our picnic site on Farley Mount. We cooked breakfast of bacon, eggs and sausages, using disposable barbecues.
When Philip was given a book of London walks we tried these and then started leading London walks, these became very popular. Philip produced sketches of places on the way and gave copies to everyone on the walk. I continued with these walks after he died in 2011 and I plan to continue.
I know many people have very happy memories of our walks and made new and lasting friendships. I would like to thank everyone who has supported us.
Claire Feltham, the volunteer coordinator for St Johns Winchester, has sent the following to Winchester u3a:
Through our Hand in Hand service we support those living in isolation in the community, through referrals from the local GP surgeries and County Council.
We are currently in need of recruiting more Volunteer Befrienders to befriend our growing waiting list. There is no set time, just an hour a week will suffice to check in on an elderly person to see how they are doing. We offer full training and ongoing support to our volunteers throughout their time with us.
RETIREMENT = LOSS OF IDENTITY
Some of our generation are very wary of Facebook, but used with discretion it can be interesting and entertaining. On one Facebook group: u3a Keeping in Touch I spotted this discussion started by Holly Bourne on 30 October 2021:
I’ve been having a discussion about encouraging more members to join the u3a and the conversation took an interesting turn.
Have you ever thought about how we lose our identity when we retire? We no longer have a job title and when you fill in a form that asks for occupation all the retired people are lumped under one category of ‘Retired’.
When you think about the diversity of our members how do we change things so that we're not just retired old people? We're retired plumbers, doctors, accountants, care workers, lots of nurses in our u3a, teachers, shop assistants, project managers.
How do we reclaim an identity and share a lifetime of experiences from every job role we've ever been in (and I've had a few over the years)?
There were a great many interesting points raised – but you’ll have to go to Facebook to read them and possibly contribute!
I am writing in response to the article
‘Retirement = Loss of Identity’ in the December 2021 Newsletter
It concerns me that anyone should think that they lose their identity when they retire! Why should they? However it is of greater concern that in the knowledge that the years are rapidly passing us by, that we do not prepare ourselves for these retirement years. Shame on us. It is only two or three generations ago that our ancestors, working long hours 6 days a week, with minimal holidays, if they could afford them, were expected to work until they dropped.
Most of us have grown up within the welfare state, in centrally heated houses, with educational opportunities and have had days of leisure throughout our working lives; as a generation we have had ample opportunity to think about the days ahead of us when we will not be required to work. No, life does not always run to plan but we have libraries, museums, leisure centres, an abundance of recreational clubs and bus passes for travel; not to mention the recent advantages of learning to use the computer and the internet…………. we just need to decide what we would like to do with these precious years. Forget about those who seem unable to recognise, respect and value the contribution that retirees, senior citizens, make within society. They are not worthy of a second thought. Their ignorance is their problem.
For those concerned about reclaiming their identity, I say ‘Fulfil your inclinations, hold your head high, and be yourself’ No reclaim of identity will be required. You will be recognised for the person that you are.
April Wood Ashton
HELP! WHO HAS THE u3a PROJECTOR?
I lent out the u3a projector and laptop before lockdown for a member to use at her husband's funeral. Now I can't find where I made a note of who borrowed it. Does it ring any bells? Another group need it so if you are the one please get in touch with Freda to have it back.
MOVE MOMENTUM GEM CLASSES
Move Momentum are launching a brand new GEMS, over 65's dance class, on the 8th July. GEMS is a friendly and relaxed dance class for over 65s which includes a mixture of seated and standing movement with a focus on going at your own pace and having fun.
Our new class will be located at St Barnabas Church, Weeke, Thursdays 10-11am. We provide tea, coffee and good social chat afterwards, plus we are running the new class totally free throughout July!
Move Momentum also offer many other classes, so here's a reminder of those!
We have a current GEMS, over 65's, dance class held on Tuesdays 10-11am at Unit 12, Winnall Valley Road, which hosts a great cafe for our after class social chat!
We also run various classes through our Liberate Dance company! An exclusively wheelchair-based dance company believing in celebrating the freedom of movement a wheelchair brings to people with disabilities. We currently offer Liberate Youth classes, Liberate Adult, Liberate Online and even a Liberate Workout Class!
The ultimate goal for Move Momentum is to reach as many beneficiaries as possible, and help all groups of people who may find the joy of dancing less accessible. So it would be great to have your assistance in spreading the word!
T: 01962 809234
BARCLAYS DIGITAL EAGLES
u3a Headquarters have teamed up with Barclays Digital Eagles to provide a week of online training for u3a members, beginning on 19 April.
See below for the title and dates of each session and click the button for more detail.
u3a Internet Basics
Monday 19 April, 10am – 11.30.
u3a Digital Safety
Tuesday 20 April, 10am-11.30 or Tuesday 20 April, 1.30pm-3
u3a Online Entertainment
Wednesday 21 April 20, 10am-11.30
u3a Alternative Ways to Bank
Thursday 22 April 10:00-11.30 or Thursday 22 April 1.30pm-3
An Introduction to Digital Wings
Friday, 23 April 10:00-11.30
Maths Events ➖➕✖➗
We have two Maths events coming up for maths loving u3a members.
See all our events on the events page of our website, which we are adding to and updating all the time.
Run for the World
We have an exciting opportunity for you to support the u3a movement while keeping fit.
The Third Age Trust has partnered with Run for the World - an organisation which hosts virtual running events They have monthly events and 'Open' events that you can compete in your own time.
We are one of two charities that Run for the World are donating part of their profits to. You can see how much money is being raised and find out more on their website.
FREE GRESHAM HISTORY TALKS
We have received an invitation from Lucia Graves, of Gresham College to attend their free public online lectures. They can be watched both at the scheduled time and afterwards (online).
You can read more about Gresham College's free public lectures since 1597 here.
Of general topical interest, as well as the straight history lectures coming up this year, there is a lecture by Professor Chris Whitty on the history of Vaccination, and how it has transformed healthcare, and an old series on epidemics by the historian Professor Richard J Evans, that you may be interested in.
You can register for any lectures using an email address, and will get a reminder 10 minutes before the lecture is due to start.
History One-Off lectures 2021
The South Sea Bubble of 1720 by Helen Paul, 1pm, Tues 30 Mar 2021
Napoleon: Shadows & Gardens by Ruth Scurr, 1pm, Thurs 6 May 2021
Theatres of War: Crusade, Colonialism and Chivalry in the Middle Ages by Nicholas Paul, 1pm, Thurs 3 June 2021
History Series with lectures still to go in 2021 (you can watch the earlier ones online now)
A series on Darwin by Jim Endersby (all complete now).
The Politics of the Courtroom by the writer and QC Thomas Grant looks at things like the state appointment of judges, and the 'political lawyer' from Apartheid South Africa to contemporary Britain. Next lecture is on the Politics of Judging, 6pm, Mon 29 Mar 2021.
You can see everything History-related here.
You can sign up Gresham's email newsletter here: https://www.gresham.ac.uk/newsletter/.