Monthly Meetings are suspended until further notice.
Rescheduling of Our AGM to September
The postponement of our AGM originally scheduled for 19 May because of Coronavirus restrictions was a major setback for us. It has meant that our enthusiastic new Committee which was poised to take control of our U3A has been stuck in limbo. Since it is unlikely that we will be able to hold a normal AGM for the foreseeable future, the present Committee has agreed that we should follow the lead of other organisations and conduct one using an online ballot. This is a simple procedure which will involve members clicking a weblink to a ballot paper where they can approve or disapprove a small number of items, including the Treasurer’s Report, the appointment of the new Committee and any motions that have been submitted. Members who are not online will receive a hard copy of their ballot paper in the post together with their monthly Bulletin. This process will allow us to complete all of the requirements of the AGM, including election of the new Committee. Key dates leading up to the AGM in September are detailed below.
Timeline Leading up to AGM in September
Fri 17 July: Initial Notice of AGM issued calling for nominations to the Committee and for motions to be discussed. NB Although 11 members have already indicated their willingness to stand for the Committee, additional nominations are welcome.
Fri 31 July: Deadline for submission of nominations and motions.
Fri 14 Aug: Formal AGM Notice issued detailing the final Agenda, Chair’s Report, Treasurer’s Report, nominations and motions.
Fri 11 Sept: AGM voting period opens, closing on Fri 25 Sept.
Coronavirus Advice – Future Phased Resumption of U3A Activities
Now that we have moved to Phase 3 of the Scottish Government’s Lockdown Route Map, some very limited opportunities for U3A Group activities are beginning to emerge. The BaM U3A Committee will not be issuing detailed advice to individual Groups on when they can restart their activities. Instead, we expect all members at all times to adhere strictly to current Scottish Government advice which is available at Coronavirus (Covid 19) Route Map on the Scottish Government website.
As of 10 July, the regulations regarding indoor and outdoor meetings (which must observe social distancing) are:
Outdoors – a household can meet up to 4 other households at a time – up to 15 people in total.
Indoors – a household can meet up to 2 other households at a time – up to 8 people in total.
The Committee will leave it up to Groups and individuals to decide themselves if they can safely and comfortably restart any activities while adhering to these constraints. Members should be aware that the third-party indemnity insurance provided by the Third Age Trust which covers all our activities is liable to be invalidated if Groups or individuals breach Government regulations. We would like to monitor any resumption of group meetings, so please let us know if you are considering this by sending an email to the Chair of BaM U3A.
Group Activities Occurring Remotely
Although unable to meet physically, many of our Groups are continuing to function remotely using a range of electronic media including Zoom video conferencing, WhatsApp, Facetime, Skype and email.
Some of these are listed below:
Art - meeting weekly on WhatsApp.
Bookworms – sharing comments on their latest monthly read by email.
Bridge for Beginners – playing online.
Carry on Singing - sending links to songs on YouTube for members to sing along to at home.
Enjoy Opera Group - setting quizzes for its members.
Family History Workshops – organisers offering recent attendees further assistance.
French Conversation - holding regular meetings using Zoom.
IT - sending out advice to members.
Outdoor Sketchers – keeping in touch online and planning remote outdoor sketching.
Painting and Drawing – meeting weekly on WhatsApp.
Photography – members holding meetings using Zoom.
Local History – sharing material by email.
Las Estrellas – holding meetings by video conference.
Mindfulness and Meditation – extended an invitation to all BaM U3A members to join virtual sessions using WhatsApp.
Science – two Citizen Science projects offered.
Scrabble – playing online.
Theatregoers – sharing information on where to watch performances online.
We encourage other groups and individual members to be inspired by these initiatives and come up themselves with imaginative ways of maintaining contact and sharing in group activities remotely. If your group is also operating remotely but you have not yet informed the Committee, please email the Chair of BaM U3A.
BaM U3A Committee News
The July meeting was conducted via a Zoom video conference. The four members nominated to join the new Committee when we finally manage to hold an AGM, Bob Lynch, Rosemary Manson, Maureen Smith and Allan Thompson, were invited to attend as observers. Matters dealt with included: agreement to conduct our AGM in September by use of an online ballot; co-option of Bob Lynch onto the Committee with immediate effect to facilitate transfer of bank account signatories; and maintaining contact with members and promoting group activities during the lockdown. Pamela Davidson has now taken over the role of Membership Secretary from Jane Martin, who has carried it out with distinction since the launch of our U3A in 2013.
Advice for Groups Wishing to Set Up Electronic Media to Keep in Touch with Members
The Third Age Trust has set up a How to Guidance website giving advice and step-by-step instructions for U3A members who wish to use electronic media to help stay in touch. The advice covers a wide range of different media, including how to set up: a video conference using Zoom; video calls using Skype; a closed Facebook group; and a WhatsApp group.
Some ideas for keeping profitably engaged are listed below.
Members of the Science Group and others generally interested in science may wish to view the excellent lectures available from The Royal Institution.
More generally, Ted Talks offer short video presentations by experts on a wide variety of topics.
The Conversation offers short, in-depth articles written by experts on topical issues in a readable format.
There is a Virtual U3A (vU3A), supported by the Third Age Trust and aimed at people in the UK who are housebound or have difficulty getting out; it is like a local U3A Group except that its activities take place on the Internet.
The Australian U3A has developed U3Aonline with an extensive catalogue of online courses for individuals who live in remote areas or are otherwise unable to attend meetings. It is available worldwide.
The Third Age Trust has created a dedicated page on the national website to keep members up to date with advice on Coronavirus and U3A activities.
Keeping in touch with other BaM U3A members using Facebook
There is a Facebook group for BaM members to keep in touch called BaM U3A Members Online Chat. You can find out how to join on the Groups page.
Private Facebook group for members of U3As in Scotland
Anne Walsh has set up a private group on Facebook for members of U3As in Scotland. The description is as follows: This is to help members of U3As in Scotland to get in touch with other Scottish members during this lock-down period. There could maybe even be inter U3A group activities. The group can be found at U3As based in Scotland on Facebook.
WITH - DRAWING: U3A Art competition for members of U3As in Scotland
Ann Keating, Trustee for Scotland, announces a new Art Competition, open to all U3A members in Scotland. 'Keeping motivated to draw and paint is difficult when you don’t have the stimulus of a physical art group to fire up your enthusiasm. I have often found that having a goal encourages me to get something done, so to that end we are hosting an art competition.'
The competition is open to Scottish U3A members only. The work must be an original piece, produced by yourself, and can be done in any medium but must be post card sized or smaller. (The plan is to have an exhibition of the original works after the lock down so small pieces are easier to manage. Please make sure that you keep your original work.) We are asking you to submit a photo of your work, which will be used for the judging. You can submit as many pieces of work as you like by 31 July 2020. The competition instructions can be viewed or downloaded from the Links column on the right-hand side.
BaM U3A Newsletter December 2019
The BaM U3A Newsletter December 2019 can be viewed or downloaded from the Links column on this page. The Newsletter is issued once a year and lets you know what our groups have been doing over the past year, along with some wonderful photos of our members enjoying themselves.
Cancellation of U3A in Scotland Summer School 2020
U3A in Scotland Summer School 2020 has been postponed for one year until 17-19 August 2021, still at the Stirling Court Hotel on the Stirling University campus. All arrangements stay the same, and everyone who has booked will receive an email shortly with the option to transfer their booking at the same price. Four of the five subjects remain the same, but The 1820 Radical Rising in Scotland is a time-limited and funded research project, so cannot be held over. Hopefully, another history topic will be found; any ideas would be welcome. BaM U3A member David Stott has kindly agreed to transfer his course on Immunology to the new date.
U3A in Scotland
Newsletter from Ann Keating, Trustee for Scotland
The July 2020 Trustee Newsletter can be found on the U3A Trustee page of the U3A in Scotland website.
U3A in Scotland Newsletter
The latest edition of the U3A in Scotland Newsletter, which contains an article from our House and Garden Visits Group is available to read under the Links heading on the right-hand side.
Requests for assistance with research
The U3A movement strongly encourages members to engage in research in its many forms. Any requests for assistance with research projects will be listed below.
Bone health exercises
At the talk by Dr Morag Thow at the monthly meeting on Tuesday 20 September 2016, she recommended various exercises to keep your bones healthy. A PDF of the recommended Bone health exercises can be downloaded here.