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South West Region Newsletter
The October edition of the South West Region's bi-monthly newsletter is now available. Inside you'll find useful information about upcoming training on how to run hybrid meetings (face to face meetings with a Zoom option for those unable to attend in person) plus an insight into how the central office plans to celebrate 40 years of u3a in the UK.
The South West Region covers the counties/areas of Bristol, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Isles of Scilly and the Channel Islands, so is the largest geographical Region in England. It consists of 133 u3as, some large, some very small. Most of them also come together to meet with other local u3as in one of 15 Networks where they can share ideas, help each other solve problems and organise joint activities.
Potential new interest groups
Here are some proposed new groups - further details can be found in recent newsletters or use the links below to email for more information.
Tap Dancing - Depending on the level of interest, this could be either a mixed ability group or a Beginners group plus a group for members who have tapped before. Probably weekly or fortnightly, in either Downend or Fishponds. Contact Veronica.
Evening Live Performance group – If you interested in performing live music there is a plan to start an evening “open mic” group on Zoom (possibly Friday or Thurs) for members interested in developing their skills in a supportive environment where we perform and learn together. Unlike folk clubs, there would be no restrictions on the kind of material we perform, and if you want to go semi-acoustic that’s OK as well. Contact John Beveridge if you are interested in joining as a performer, an audience member or someone to help him with the admin.
Flower Arranging - We hope to start this group fairly soon. Just think how much you might enjoy creating your own Christmas wreaths and arrangements. No particular knowledge needed. Members would learn from each other, books and on-line tutorials. Contact Judy
Origami - A fascinating art which can be easy or complex depending on the model. No special knowledge is needed; members will learn from each other, books and on-line tutorials. The British Museum has some excellent suggestions and instructions. Ideally the group would meet in each other’s homes so the location will depend on where the members live. Contact Judy
Crochet - Would meet up once or twice a month, probably in a cafe, with a view to mastering the art of crochet. We are looking for people with a certain amount of skill, as well as complete beginners. Hopefully members would learn from each other, from books, YouTube videos and on–line learning courses. The aim is to have a friendly group who chat together whilst working on their crochet. Contact Judy
Rock and Roll - This group would meet probably once a month to listen to Rock and Roll and maybe music of the 40s, 50s and 60s. Dancing optional! Contact Judy
Badminton - possible venues would be Easton Leisure Centre or St Paul's Academy, both of which are central and have parking. Contact Cheryl
Curry Group - A group aimed at people who like making and eating curries. The making is important, preferably from basic ingredients, not ready-made sauces. A chance to research and try out new recipes, or introduce others to old favourites. Having made your dish, we will meet up at member’s homes in turn to share our creations. The host provides plates, cutlery, rice, naans, pickles, etc. The meetings will be at lunchtimes. On occasions we will also visit Indian restaurants which could be in the evening. The group will be limited to 10 people - contact Roger Saxon
Rummikub - There are two types of Rummikub. One is a game similar to scrabble but much more fun, and the other is based on numerals and is also great fun. Contact Fiona if you are interested in joining these new groups in Longwell Green.
Studying Ancient Greek Philosophy - contact Bea Hansen
A Russian Language Group and a new French for Beginners Group - contact Hilda Ball, the Language Groups Coordinator
Volunteering with the Alzheimer’s Society
The Alzheimer’s Society runs a volunteer companionship service which matches people living with dementia in Bristol to volunteers who have a shared interest. The aim of the service, called Side by Side, is to support people living with dementia to retain hobbies and stay connected with their community.
The Society is hoping to recruit more volunteers. They will support the befriender and the person with dementia to meet and engage in an activity. This could include a walk in the park, visit to a local museum/garden, going for a bike ride or for a coffee and a chat in a local coffee shop or at home.
For more information, get in touch with Sarah Swift, the Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 07821824630.
Volunteering opportunities with Oxfam
During these uncertain times Oxfam’s work to tackle global poverty is more vital (and more challenging) than ever before. They are looking for volunteers to help raise money in their Bristol shops to support and empower some of the world’s most vulnerable communities. There are a range of roles to suit all interests at their 3 standard shops, 4 bookshops and their specialist online shop. Whether you crave the hustle and bustle of a busy shop floor, or prefer a quieter office-like environment, there is the perfect role for you. For more information and to apply please contact Morgan Kuivala at email@example.com.
Here is a link to the volunteering page on the Oxfam website too. There you can find out more about volunteering for Oxfam and can apply directly to any specific shop (or other Oxfam project) if you prefer to go direct.
Dementia Volunteer Mentor Roles
Do you have lived experience of caring for someone with dementia? Could you help another unpaid carer by sharing your experience? Can you regularly spare 2-3 hours (Monday to Friday, daytime)either weekly or fortnightly?
The Carers Support Centre is looking to recruit Dementia Volunteer Mentors who will offer 1-2-1 support to carers who are new to their caring role following a recent diagnosis, or who may be struggling in their caring role.
The support will be via telephone, Zoom or even email (to suit the carer). The sessions will be goal focused and volunteers will receive specific training around Goal Planning & Problem Solving using a CBT based approach. Induction, on-going training and support and phone expenses will be provided. Successful applicants will need to provide two references.
For more information, contact Debi Amor, Mentoring Support Worker on 07716 288407 or email debiA@carerssupportcentre.org.uk
Bristol u3a Newsletters
If you are a member you can download and read recent Newsletters here. If you have forgotten the username or password contact the Website Editor with your membership number.