Photography without the Phaff
If you enjoy taking photos and are less interested in the technical detail of f-stops, ISO numbers and hyperfocal distances, then you might like to join Photography Group 4 (Happy Snappers). The group meets fortnightly for a photo shoot in a photogenic location (recently the Transport Museum and the village of Killearn). The outing will normally involve lunch or coffee and cake, and a bit of chat about the photos we’ve taken. While we are a friendly little group who don’t take it all too seriously, we do get some decent results and find it a good way to sharpen our skills. Where a bit of technical input would help, we are lucky to be able to call on the Group’s Convenor, Jim Wilson’s knowledge and expertise.
Further details can be found on the new Group Page and make contact through the Messaage Bird on this or the Group Page.
The monthly Newsletter is a lively and informative publication prepared by the members of the BaM u3a. It welcomes and relies upon contributions from members and coordinators of Groups concerning their meetings, past and future, as well as any other information that is considered should be shared with the membership. See the latest Newsletter for examples (available to download from Welcome or Links pages}.
To this end a generic email has been set up to encourage contributions
so get typing and fire them in (please).
SCAM SCAM SCAM
Scams have become increasingly common over the last few years and particularly with the rise in internet usage and payment procedures associated with COVID-19 restrictions.
Information leaflets have been produced by U3A Scotland and by RBS outlining the nature of most of the scams and ways of protecting against them.
Links to this information can be found at top right on this page.
Which Magazine are currently reporting an increase in scam messages advising that the recipient has been in contact with someone with Covid and that they should order a test kit. The message tries to direct you to a fake site requesting payment for the postage. This is a scam looking for your card details and the Government sites do not ask for payment of any sort.
Covid - 19
As some other u3a Groups are moving towards or experimenting with hybrid meetings some information has been published on the Trust's website called "Let's Talk Tech". The information contained therein is not official advice about what to buy and how to use but rather gathers shared experience and information from the "Let's Talk Tech" members.
The website can be accessed by clicking Lets Talk Tech.
Protocols for Resumption of Safe Meetings
The u3a BaM Committee have recommended that individual members perform a COVID 19 Rapid Antigen Lateral Flow Test before attending any u3a meetings and that the Government Rules and Guidelines be strictly adhered to in the event of an adverse result.
As we move through the steps to ease lockdown it is imperative Government guidelines are followed. A road map has been published and we all must adhere to the latest advice whilst planning any permitted return for members in our various interest groups. In line with this and in anticipation of the permitted return the u3a Trust has produced two Risk Assessment Checklists that are required to be used in addition to an attendance register.
Much of the advice covers every day precautions we have been following for the past year.
Please let our Groups Coordinator Allan Thompson know if you plan any meetings, this enables the committee to be kept informed on group activity.
Please click Groups Coordinator to message
The 2 checklists & register are available to download from the Links top left of this page.
- Link 1 is the Group Register: the Convenor should list the names and contact numbers of members attending and retain for 21 days in case of its being required by the Test & Trace system. You need not pass onto the committee; it is the group’s personal record.
- Link 2 is the Risk Assessment checklist for the Convenor to complete prior to the meeting. Once you have completed, please send a copy to all members of the group for them to keep.
- Link 3 is the Personal Risk Assessment checklist; this needs to be sent to all members of the group to complete and retain, they are not required to return it to the Convenor. It asks that consideration be given to published health requirements and your own household circumstances and as such could include personal information.
Whilst no specific guidance has been given, repeated meetings of a similar nature could be considered as one and the same event and so the Risk Assessment checklists completed once should suffice. Attendees may vary so the register should be completed for each outing.
These protocols may on initial reading appear onerous, they have been produced by the Trust with the aim to keep members safe whilst allowing physical outdoor meetings.
Please be assured advice is available should you as a Convenor or group member need any support.
Monthly Meetings on Zoom
The branch now has a Pro Zoom licence and so our monthly meetings have restarted in Zoom format. Whilst there won't be an opportunity to chat with friends and make new ones, there will be a speaker and a Q & A session.
If you have yet to use Zoom you will need to download the app onto your phone/tablet or PC. It is free and simple to set up. We have members willing to offer one-to-one help in the use of Zoom.
See the Events page for dates of future meetings and details of speakers.
Scottish Government Advice
Click Covid-19 Government Advice here or under LINKS (top right) or go to https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-protection-levels/
We may now walk outwith our Local Council boundaries.
Please follow social distancing and consider the guidance on car sharing. The Convenor will be required to take a register of the participants and retain for 21 days in case needed for Track & Trace.
At present, there is no mandate from the Government that people must have the vaccine therefore the Trust is not issuing any requirements that members must have the vaccine or that they can’t take part in activities without having had their vaccines. We will continue to watch the government guidance on this matter.
Corona Advice from other Organisations
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 some Groups have restarted some activities, many are unwilling to meet physically and are continuing to function remotely using a range of electronic media including Zoom video conferencing, WhatsApp, Facetime, Skype and email.
Please click on Group Page or Events Page for latest details.
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.
u3a in Scotland
Newsletter from Ann Keating, Trustee for Scotland
The September 2020 Trustee Newsletter can be found on the u3a Trustee page of the U3A Scotland Website; click on u3a in Scotland to be taken there.
u3a in Scotland Newsletter
The latest edition of the u3a in Scotland Newsletter is available to read under by clicking u3a Scotland Newsletter 2021 Q3.