Sharing ideas across 34 U3As in Nottinghamshire
THIS MONTH WE FOCUS ON THE OUTCOMES FROM THE U3A NOTTS NETWORK ZOOM MEETING ON JULY 29TH
37 members attended and 25 Notts U3As were represented.
Ian McCannah Chair of the Third Age Trust raised the following points
Covid 19 has had a big impact on U3As and the response to the virus varies enormously from those who are doing nothing to those who are being very proactive.
Coming out of lockdown will probably be very slow because of the demographics and a vaccine will be necessary before many groups will start.
Ian will be putting suggestions for moving forward to the TAT board on August 18th and this will be made available. This will include going out into the community to recruit new members.
The next meeting to discuss further ways forward during Covid will be on Zoom on August 26th
Ian also reported on the TAT development plan 2017-2020 identify-ing the following :=
A learning hub which has been speeded up
Raising the profile of the U3A externally and linking with other organi-sations with the same charitable objectives.
To hold a conference on Positive Ageing
To ensure the U3A has a clear identity focused on Learn, Laugh, Live
A Trust U3A has been established and has around 200 members and 20 interest groups. This may continue after Covid as it provides a U3A experience for those who cannot access a group/
Beacon developments are delayed by 9 months.
A trading company has been set up outside the Charity so commercial products such as leaflets, banners and branded clothing can be pur-chased.
It is proposed to increase the capitation fee to £4 from April 2022.This will help with more investment in technology and an increase in staff. A decision will be made at the AGM on September 29th.
Further presentations and discussion focused on holding on to members during the Covid crisis :-
Proactive group co-ordinators who encourage group facilitators to provide something for the members.
Providing sample risk assessments to help the facilitators.
Extending the year so members get 2 years membership for the price of one.
Film group where the group watches a film that is streamed and then meets on Zoom to discuss.
Futurelearn courses done together. www.futurelearn.com
Further guidance on risk assessments will be provide by the TAT.
Virtual pub group on a Saturday evening and coffee bar virtual group.
Singing for fun group using Youtube.
Survey monkey is a useful tool to gather members views.
Whatsapp and telephone groups are other ways of keeping in touch.
Important to deliver bulletins/newsletters to those members who do not have internet access.
Other discussions centred on the concerns for a diminishing membership overall and an increasing age profile of the membership.
There is little recruitment amongst folk who are newly retired.
There is a national campaign with trail-blazers determined to get new members, but this is on hold until enough U3As have got on top of Covid and monthly meetings can reopen
Notts Network has a publicity group from 8 U3As. Currently employers, who have been approached, have not responded to our suggestion to include U3A in their pre-retirement processes. The group will meet again in September.
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Many of the suggestions given in the first page of Newbites this month are already being carried out by U3As within
the Notts Network. The articles below represent some of the activites just one U3A are doing—Carlton and Gedling –
finding ways to keep existing groups going, and starting up new virtual groups.
Bonsai Back in Business
The Carlton and Gedling bonsai group had been
keeping in touch through WhatsApp, emails and
Zoom meetings, but it is a bit difficult showing
off the finer points of wiring, pinching out and
root pruning though zoom – and that’s when we
can all get the technology to work. In July, we
had our first socially distanced meeting in a garden,
and it went really well. Colin and I even
managed to find takers for some of our Bonsai
cuttings. So you’ve tried everything else in your
gardening groups, now it must be time for bonsai.
If you want ideas for setting up a bonsai
group, please email me at
Film Study Group
We’ve never had a film group before in Carlton and Gedling U3A. But with cinemas and theatres
being closed we thought we’d start one off. We meet twice a month to watch a film agreed
at the previous meeting. To keep the programme interesting we alternate the selection of
film: we discuss a classic film from the history of cinema in one meeting and in the next, a
fairly recent or contemporary film.
So far we’ve been able to choose films from a variety of free streaming platforms, notably
iPlayer, All4 and YouTube. The advantage of these streaming platforms is that we don’t
all have to watch the film at the same time, they’re available to anyone with a smart tv,
internet connection or cable….AND THEY’RE FREE. People study the film at their leisure
in the two weeks between meetings.
We started off at almost the very beginnings of cinema with a couple of short films by Melies and our
latest classic was Orson Welles’ astonishing directing debut Citizen Kane. Next up is a twisty time travel
thriller: Twelve Monkeys directed by Terry Gilliam. It’s all about the attempt from the future to prevent
a global pandemic – well that couldn’t happen here could it! It’s going to be interesting comparing
the Gilliam film with the film which inspired it: Chris Marker’s La Jetee, another stunning directorial
debut. If you’d like to discuss taking your U3A’s film group on line or starting a film group, email
email@example.com. Paul Martinez
Opera Study Group
Our Carton and Gedling opera group has
taken on a whole new lease of life since
the lockdown started. We are now meeting
twice a month, instead of once as previously.
At each meeting we discuss an
opera we have all watched in the preceding
fortnight and one of us introduces the
next opera we are going to watch in the
We have been watching operas on YouTube, usually on the Operavision
website. The operavision operas are usually high quality in performance,
picture and audio. There are 30-40 operas available at any
one time and they are usually available for a couple of months each.
ALL FOR FREE. The repertoire is, if anything, particularly strong on
operas which are less well known although there are lots of popular
classics as well.
Although we are not terribly advanced technically we are making use
of the zoom facility for the host to show opera clips using the shared
screen. Our next opera is that beautiful, three handkerchief tragedy
Lucia di Lammermoor.
If you want info about how to set up an opera interest group, or if
you’d like to swap information please email me
firstname.lastname@example.org. Paul Martinez
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Phone National Office: 0208 466 6139Au3a.org.uk
Introduction from CEO Sam Mauger
Dear U3A member,
We are all at varying stages of lockdown at the moment, but
U3As right across the movement are still open and running
interest groups virtually as well as some small outdoor group
where the advice permits.
I want to make special mention of Leicester and U3As there
to say we are thinking of you during this time. If there are any
U3As not open and would like support to start some virtual
interest groups please do contact us. We have recently run
our first successful online events with the National Gallery and
members interested in the issue – please contact Age UK –
0800 1678 1602 for more detail on this.
Please feel free to call us at the national office onA
0208 466 6139
Keep sharing your interest group ideas and keep safe and well.
Very best wishes
News from the Trust
What is U3A?
U3A has launched a new promotional film – What is U3A?. The short film explains what U3A is all about and how to contact us to learn
more. It is aimed not just at the public who may not know about us
yet, but also for members to share and use during their recruitment days or when they are connecting with their local communities. We would love you to see it so if you don’t have access to the internet, maybe you could set up a buddying system with one of your U3A colleagues who has access to YouTube so they can share it with you.
Nature Watch East Renfrewshire U3A
Members of East Renfrewshire’s Nature Watch group have been sending
in photos or observations – which the convenor collects and puts into
newsletter format, then send out to the members every couple of weeks.
It has been very successful and once normality resumes we indeed to
continue by going on nature outings to different habitats.
Bolton U3A featured in the Festival of Worktown.
Bolton U3A have been working with the University of Bolton on a project
looking into the Mass Observation Project of the 1930s. Some of the
photographs they discovered were intended to be displayed in a planned
Festival in March. Instead, it became an online festival. This included
presentations from the U3A Local History Group and the U3A Stitch and Craft Group.
We want to produce a national collage to celebrate the ways in
which people have been using their craft activities to continue to
connect, learn and support each other during lockdown.
The collage will be formed of hundreds of pictures of squares,
individually designed and created by members and U3As across
the country. We will bring them all together to form a giant digital
To get involved, create your square and either submit a picture
of it yourself or get a friend to do it. The square should be 10
inches by 10 inches and you can use any colours, media or theme
you wish. Squares can bE submitted by going onto
News from the Board
Chair of the Board, Ian McCannah:
As with every U3A, the Trust’s activities have been disrupted by COVID-19. However, just as many
U3As have demonstrated imaginative ways to keep in touch with their members, the Trust has
found ways to continue with “business as usual”. Home working and the use of technology have
been the enablers. After some initial delays, key pre-lockdown initiatives have continued.A
Members are working with the Trust’s various committees on new initiatives such as support and
help for U3As post lockdown; “Building the Brand”; providing new publicity material, including in
a digital format; U3A branded merchandise, including clothing; a new national website; recruiting
media assistants; more learning material online; Trust U3A. Launching these initiatives will position
the movement positively for when the current pandemic is a matter of historic record.
U3A Social Media
U3A Keeping in Touch
Social media is a great way to connect with us and other U3A members.
The Keeping In Touch Facebook is a great example of the movementAcoming together,
to a national virtual quiz which was organised by members on this group
Subject Advice News
New Book Club Subject Advisor
Richard Peoples is the new subject advisor for Book Clubs. RichardAPeoples said, ‘I’m really excited to be the new subject advisor for Book
Clubs. I’m a member of Edinburgh U3A and have been a member of
several book groups, some general and some theme-based.
Here is a short list of novels that I’ve read and enjoyed as part of a book
group:Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh, All the Light We Cannot See by
Anthony Doerr and The Wall by Marlen Haushofer.