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Hello all Winchester U3A members
I thought I had better introduce myself in this first month of my having taken over from Freda, to whom we all owe a great debt of gratitude, by having remained as Chair for an extra year beyond her allotted tenure, in order to maintain the u3a in Winchester.
I am relatively new to Winchester, although not to the u3a, having arrived two years ago from Eastbourne, where I was a member of a German and Canasta group and ran a Cryptic Crossword group, which had two puzzles printed in the u3a magazine (Third Age Matters).
In this first newsletter of my tenure, I want you to be thinking about the success of the u3a which lies in the strength of its membership and the dedication of group leaders and organisers to maintain the spirit of friendship and learning that the u3a allows. Please be kind to your organisers and hosts, don’t take things for granted, and think about all the members of the Committee who are working hard to keep us afloat. Most of all, think about 2023 and my departure and whether you can get involved to help run this great idea that brings us all so much pleasure.
Bob Shemilt Chairman
Throughout the pandemic, the committee of our u3a has acted to protect our members as much as we can. When Covid-19 struck, we had to suspend our monthly meetings: later we resumed with online meetings using the Zoom platform, and this has allowed us to have speakers from all around Britain, with subjects we couldn’t have covered locally.
We have one more online meeting this year, and it’s on Tuesday 14th December starting at 2.15 for 2.30. Julia Whitburn is organising a Christmas festive quiz for us all, and Freda Bates will host the meeting with Julia. You’ll be invited to provide a nibble or two for yourself, maybe a drink (mince pies and tea anyone?) and we will see what we can do to make it cheerful and nice.
Although we still have very high rates of Covid infection in Winchester, there is now quite a lot of evidence that the booster vaccinations provide a very high level of protection, so we are going to try meetings in the Littleton Hall again starting in January 2022. There will be new conditions for all of us, not least because the Hall itself has extra measures in place to protect us all. I’ll spell out the conditions when we invite members to each meeting, as the conditions may change from month to month.
We hope to publish more details about the new year meetings before long and we will do our best to provide members with an interesting programme. Here are the dates for the first meetings-
Tuesday 11th January 2022 starting at 2.30, doors open from 2.00.
The subject of this meeting will be “Electricity”, and our speaker, in person, will be Michael Etherington. We had planned this way back in 2020, pre-Covid, but now perhaps it may actually happen!
Tuesday 8th February 2022 starting at 2.30, doors open from 2.00. Subject & speaker to follow.
...and then you’ll get an invitation to each meeting. For the time being we’ll need to know in advance if you’re coming.
Also, if you’d like to come but can’t easily get to the Littleton Hall, please let us know, we might be able to assist in some way such as another member giving you a lift.
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.
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 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 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
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.
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/.