Belfast

Notices

On this you will find Announcements from the Committee and other events/opportunities for participation which may of interest to you.

Committee News - from the September/October Newsletter
Since June we have been holding our Committee meetings on Zoom. This involved a steep learning curve for all of us, as for many of you who are also venturing into the virtual world. We are pleased to tell you that Eric Woods has agreed to be the Newsletter Editor from January 2021 and that Theresa McVeigh will very kindly continue in this role until then. Maria Curran, our new Groups Co-ordinator, has shown some Convenors how to communicate through Beacon, and this is working well. Andrew Walmsley worked hard to keep up with membership renewals and to make refunds for events which did not take place. We all appreciate the fact that many of you are moving to online payments.
We updated some policies and inserted more information on the Website, thanks to Liz Hunter, our Webmaster, so please look at it for updates. Some of us attended the virtual AGM of the NI U3A Region, met the NI U3A Trustee, Valerie Cobain, and attended online workshops from the Third Age Trust.
As you will see in the attached letter, due to Covid-19 regulations, we have made plans to hold some monthly meetings on Zoom, starting with an experimental meeting in September, at which our own Adrian Ross will do a short presentation. In October, we will run an AGM, and in November we will have an outside speaker. We know that this is all very difficult for most of us, but for now, this is the only method of meeting in large groups open to us. We hope you all remain well and we will make every effort to keep in touch.

Newsletter – message from the Editor
Dear Reader, I hope you will join me in welcoming our new Editor, Eric Woods, in January. Meanwhile, I will be helping out. The Newsletters’ schedule will change to bi-monthly, i.e. Sept/Oct, Nov/Dec and Jan/Feb., appearing at the start of that 2-month period.
Kind regards, Theresa McVeigh

AGM Update

PLEASE CLICK ON THE AGM TAB AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE FOR ALL MATTERS RELATING TO THE AGM

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Using digital platforms to stay connected
The Third Age Trust has been looking at different ways to support the amazing U3A community across the UK, to enable and support U3As, members and Interest Group leaders, to stay active and connected with each other.
To this end, they have launched three online discussion forums so that we can all share ideas and support each other. It is easy to get started. All you need to do is visit the forum website at https://forum.u3abeacon.org.uk, click the ‘register’ button and fill in your details.
From there you will be able to explore the forums and get involved in the discussion. If you are not familiar with online forums, they have prepared a how-to guide to help you get started. Your feedback on the guide is welcome.
There will be three forums that you can join:
Learning – discussions around subjects and all forms of interest and learning;
Our U3A Community – discussions around how we support each other;
Beacon – discussions around using Beacon, the U3A management system.
This is just an outline of what the forums are about because it will be led and developed by you when you join and the conversations that are happening.
A volunteer team will moderate the site and support you to use the forums in a safe, positive and productive way.

Check in and chat service
Age NI, with the support of the Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland, is offering a ‘Check in and chat’ telephone service for everyone who is over 60 in Northern Ireland, who may feel isolated or lonely during this time. The service will provide a friendly voice to reassure people, answer basic queries and link them into local services and support during the coronavirus outbreak. Anyone over 60 in Northern Ireland can avail of this service free of charge. To receive a regular telephone call from us:
Call Age NI Advice on 0808 808 7575 Monday – Friday, 9am-5pm or email info@ageni.org.

Greysnet
A new website called Greysnet has just been launched with the support of the National Lottery Community Fund to help older people all over the country to stay connected and keep mind and body active during the current Coronavirus lockdown. It's called Greysnet and you can find it at www.greysnet.com.
Greysnet website

Third Age Trust Newsletter
Social distancing does not mean we can’t carry on being social. U3As across the UK are sharing their ideas and suggestions with the Trust about keeping in touch with each other. The Trust is using the National Newsletter to pass on these ideas and to keep U3A members informed on the latest government advice concerning Covid-19. The Newsletter is filled with information, stories and advice and acts as a two-way conversation between members of the whole U3A movement. It will keep people in touch with U3A and hopefully make us all feel part of the U3A community. You can sign up at: https://www.u3a.org.uk/newsletter.

Third Age Trust Project:
Living History in Unprecedented Times
U3A members are being invited to help craft a shared learning project where we create a living history of this extraordinary time and members’ experiences during this coronavirus pandemic.
The project will look for personal thoughts, ideas and reflections on how this feels to you and what you are doing to deal with it. Members may want to keep an electronic diary or to find a little note-book in which you can scribble down thoughts as they come.
We are asking people to write up anything they think relevant to having to be at home and your thoughts and reactions. You may wish to write something each day for example, or once a week or simply when something of note happens. You may read an article, book or see a programme which triggers some ideas or thoughts. More details on the website, https://www.u3a.org.uk/

Notice of Annual Subscriptions for year 2020/21
The membership subscription for year-ending 31st March 2021 remains at £15 per person. This is the second year of a two-year reduction in subscriptions. Payment is due and can be paid through a number of channels, by cheque and online (see below).

Paying Belfast U3A for Group Activities or Membership
Please pay by Online Banking where possible.
Account Name: Belfast U3A
Account Sort Code: 95 06 79
Account Number 70004367
Use the Payment Reference Field
Enter in the payments reference field:
1. What it relates to and
2. Your surname and/or membership number.
Example 1
For example, a payment of £20 for Pilates classes by Andrew Walmsley membership number 9876.
(The payment reference field is 24 characters long – so truncate your surname if necessary) i.e.
Pilates 9876 Walmsley
Example 2
William Shakespeare Membership No. 1564 wishes to pay £10 to Book Group 3 i.e. Book3 1564 Shakespeare
Example 3
Hercule Poirot Membership No. 1920 pays his £15 Membership i.e. Member 1920 Poirot

Payments by cheques may be sent to:
Andrew Walmsley
Treasurer Belfast U3A
121 Ballylesson Road,
Belfast BT8 8JT
Please make cheques payable to “Belfast U3A” and on the back of the cheque quote Membership Name, Membership Number and what it relates to, i.e. the name of the Interest Group (Pilates, Book3 in the examples above) or Membership.
Treasurer can be contacted on treasurer@belfastu3a.org or 07801 762 115

New Membership Numbers
For those that use email, you received an email from Andrew Walmsley on Wednesday 29th January giving you your new Membership Number. Please keep note of this number – it will be needed when making a payment to Belfast U3A. For those that do not use email we will write to you in due course.

Ulster University as an ‘Age Friendly University’
Following recent discussions between the Ulster University (UU, Belfast campus) and U3A Northern Ireland Regional Executive Committee (NIREC), concerning developing greater engagement between U3A members in the Greater Belfast area and the UU, we would like your views on what might be of interest to our members. Causeway and Foyle U3As have already developed links to the UU at Magee and Coleraine. Projects have included co-operation on sport initiatives, members attending special workshops (e.g. photography), involvement in research projects etc. Pauline Prior, who is the liaison for Belfast U3A, will inform members of any public lectures or events to which we are invited. If you have any ideas on specific events, classes, facilities, or initiatives at UU in Belfast or Jordanstown, please email Pauline ASAP.

Suggestion for a RUG (Really Useful Group)
As many U3A members who have skills and energy do not wish to be on the committee but are happy to help occasionally (as at the monthly meeting) we would like to ask for more volunteers to put their names forward (with information on what they might do) for a RUG. This list of names will consist of people who could be called on for one occasion or for a short term project. If you are willing, and able, please email Moya Crunden who will be the Co-ordinator.

Teas/coffees at monthly meeting in Balmoral Hotel.
Please note that tea and coffee is now available at monthly meetings at no charge.

Change of policy regarding member of other U3As attending Interest groups of Belfast U3A.
In future Belfast U3A will expect all participants in Interest Groups or activities to be paid up members of Belfast U3A.

Newsletters: limited numbers available at monthly meetings for those who do not have emails

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Wish List for new Interest Groups
Do you have an idea for a new group you would like to see formed in Belfast U3A? If so, the committee would like to hear from you.

Do you know there is now a national u3a newsletter available to all members?
Sign up for it at https://www.u3a.org.uk/email

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GROUP NEWS

Information about what is happening within various groups over the next two months can be found in the Events section of the website

INFORMATION FOR CONVENORS RE RESTARTING GROUPS AFTER COVID-19 LOCKDOWN
can be found by clicking the link at the side of this page.

FAO CREATIVE WRITING GROUPS
Email from Allison Milligan, TSE officer based at Belfast Central:
I have been asked to contact you on behalf of Nikki Terlik our TSE officer based at Belfast Central, she has been delivering fortnightly online creative writing sessions via zoom. She was wondering if any members of our creative writing groups based out of Ormeau Road Library would be interested in joining in, as it will be a considerable length of time before meetings can resume at the branch. Nikki’s contact email address is Nicola.Terlik@librariesni.org.uk if anyone wishes to get in touch, she will then contact those participants with log on information for the Zoom meetings. The sessions generally take place fortnightly on a Wednesday at 2.00pm (next session 1st July TBC). If you could pass this information onto other participants of the U3A Writing Group, I would be most appreciative.

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New Yoga Group. Sign up at monthly meeting or contact Lorraine Walls

Walkers notice. It seems that the time might be right to respond to increased demand by forming another sub-group of the All Weather Walking Group. We are asking for expressions of interest in another Amblers-type group (to complement the existing one). Those who need a shorter, perhaps more local outing (but still including a stop for coffee) should contact Brenda McHugh to discuss how we might make this work.

If you would be willing to convene a second Brunch Group or a fourth Book Group, please contact the Groups Co-ordinator . Sign-up sheets at monthly meeting for members interested in joining the above.

The Glee Club require a back-up pianist for those occasions on which Eileen Hurley cannot attend. If interested please contact Groups Co-ordinator Maria Curran.

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APPEALS FOR HELP, OTHER EVENTS THAT MIGHT BE OF INTEREST ETC

Appeal for books
Quality Books Required by Self Help Africa Bookshop (previously known as War on Want) 24 Botanic Avenue Belfast BT7 1JQ Tel: 028 90 247773 in support of our African projects.
Please Keep us in mind if you are house clearing, downsizing or if you know of anyone who may have books to donate.

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SOCIAL/EDUCATIONAL

Notice from the Red Cross
During the present Covid-19 crisis when normal meetings of groups is not possible the Red Cross has been working on digitalising their learning platforms and would like to offer us some online workshops, all of which are delivered via Zoom.
Click here for Red Cross Courses
To book one of their digital workshops please contact: redcrosseducation@redcross.org.uk
They are currently planning for a limited number of face to face workshops to resume in September. If this is something you are interested in, please get in touch.
Alternatively you can use their free online learning resources. Everyday first aid skills
Their free first aid app featuyring simple,easy advice on 18 everyday first aid scenarios, as well as tips onhow to prepare for emergencies- First Aid App

Digital Assist Text Help
We have just received an offer of help with digital problems, from the Communities Executive at Business in the Community. You will find more information on the organisation at www.bitcni.org.uk. Volunteers offer help with specific digital problems on a tablet, laptop or phone after receiving a text from you. If there are any problems with the service please email Pauline Prior, who will try to help, on slp@belfastu3a.org. To read more about it, click on the link to the Poster on the Links page of this website.
Digital Assist Text