Monthly Meeting – Tuesday 13th October 2015
Talk by Catherine Mitchell - "The Winchester Hub"

We had a lively and interesting presentation given by Catherine Mitchell, manager of the Winchester Hub, which is a charity attached to the University of Winchester.

The overall aim of the Hub is to give the students a taste of what it is like to become involved with their communities, not necessarily so that they go and work for a charity when they graduate, but so that they have an awareness of what is happening within the not-for-profit sector and the importance of the role of the volunteer in all areas of social involvement. This experience may influence their decision- making in later life and therefore encourage businesses to be more philanthropic.

Students are encouraged to become involved by volunteering to help organisations within the local community. These activities may include going into schools to help children to read, helping with specific community projects, knitting for charity or helping older people. Participants can offer their skills where they are needed, and may have a short internship with a charity or social service to gain a deeper knowledge of its activities.

What could be our role as Winchester U3A in all this? The Hub would like us to offer our skills and experience to help it achieve some of its aims. It wants to recruit volunteers from within the U3A to help their young participants. For example, some of us could sit on panels to assess students’ projects, liaise with students by offering guidance where needed, or open up some of our groups for students to share in specific, short term U3A projects. Participation in projects organised by the Hub will give us an insight into the work of Winchester University and fits into our proposals to build up a partnership which we hope will be to our mutual benefit.

With that in mind, the ‘Postcard for Stanmore’ project is a current example of where we could help. The Hub would like U3A members who are interested in local history and technology to work as part of a team to gather information about Stanmore.

Interested members should contact Diana Hellsten, U3A Co-ordinator, who will put them in touch with the relevant persons. We are hoping for a positive response to this call, as it would be wonderful to join with the young people in pooling skills and knowledge, and truly crossing the age divide to benefit the community.

Diana can be reached on or email.

The Hub's website is (

Margaret Henstock
Vice Chair