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Christmas with the WEA
If you are going to be alone at Christmas but have access to Zoom do take a look at the WEA website. The WEA South West team will be providing free activities on Christmas Day for anyone who is isolated, on their own or who can’t see their families. These activities will allow people to chat with others, providing social and emotional support. Activities will take place on Zoom, meaning you can engage in a safe space from the comfort of your own home. There will be a timetable of events from 9am to 9.30pm and you just click on the Zoom link to join at any point in the day.
Also, in the run up to Christmas, WEA's knowledgeable tutors will be running a series of daily lectures at a cost of £5 per session. They will take you through a topic or strand of history, some with a distinctive Christmas theme. These include Christmas and the Victorians, Christmas Celebrations in Medieaval and Tudor Times and The Legends of King Arthur.
News from The Third Age Trust
National U3A is offering a number of workshops, webinars and interactive sessions delivered via Zoom, by members for members, which are free to join. These include 10 week courses of bridge for beginners and improvers, "cryptic crosswords explained" and an introduction to yoga. Booking is required.
The Winter Learning Programme is worth a look - it includes a poetry competition, U3A radio podcasts, a weekly quiz, maths challenges, mindfulness sessions and a diary project. And have you visited the Third Age Trust Youtube channel?
NETFLIX FILM GROUP
Cheryl Loy-Hancocks has started an online group (no face-to-face meetings) to fill up the dark winter days. It is for anyone interested in watching movies at home on Netflix, and then meeting via Zoom to chat and share impressions over an optional beer or glass of wine. The film(s) will be selected in advance by the group members. To participate you need a Netflix subscription which costs as little as £5.99 per month - about the same as one trip to the cinema - and be willing and able to join in with a monthly online Zoom video call.
If you are interested or would like to find out more, contact Cheryl Loy-Hancocks.
A Message from our Chair regarding advice for restarting and running groups during Covid-19
New guidance about running groups during Covid-19 is now available on the national U3A website. Some face to face activity is possible under this new guidance and the Committee wants to support group leaders and members to participate in their U3A interest groups as much as possible as lockdown is eased. Many of our groups meet in members’ homes and we have to accept that it is unlikely that this will be allowed for some while to come. Despite this we want to be as creative as possible about enabling activities while following all the government rules, and keeping everyone safe and well.
Please read the Chair's full statement for guidance on moving forward. And if and when you decide to resume your group's activities please do remember to let the Website Editor know so that she can update your group's page.
Climate change: it hasn’t gone away!
You may have been at the Bristol U3A meeting at the end of last year when Steve Heigham spoke about climate change and what he and others were doing to contribute to keeping the issue on the agenda. National U3A publications show that several U3As have a Climate Change group and that there is a national U3A subject adviser too. The groups seem to run in different ways- some members researching and sharing information type meetings on such topics as recycling, carbon footprints, vegetable rich diets, electric vehicles etc whilst others are more action focussed, researching issues and then writing to newspapers, contributing to on-line forums, writing blogs etc.
Is anyone else interested in exploring setting up a U3A Climate Change group with one of our members, Jan Brunwin, in North Bristol? Initially we could explore possibilities via a Zoom or Skype virtual meeting, or using email or WhatsApp. If you are prepared to help with this please contact Jan Brunwin.
There is a group of seven U3A members who have been taking mandarin lessons for nearly two years, with slightly varying abilities. They need a mandarin speaking person to lead and guide them in the hope of persevering with learning the language. They have been using the BBC “Talk” Mandarin Chinese using Pinyin, the official Chinese system of using Roman script to represent the sound of Chinese. They could meet on Zoom (while restrictions are still on) either weekly or fortnightly. If you can help please email the Language Groups Coordinator.
Do you have ideas for making it easier to walk and cycle around your local area?
The Council has created a “Getting Bristol Moving Active Travel Map” on which anybody can submit ideas for improvements to the walking and cycling infrastructure. You can highlight safety concerns and request physical changes to Bristol streets, such as putting in place a one way system on high streets for people to socially distance, parking restrictions to widen cycling provision and reallocation of road space for active travel.
Do have a look at the map and see the sort of issues people have already raised. Even if you do not have anything to add you can “like” an idea that has already been submitted and hopefully this will convey to the Council that there is more support for that particular proposed measure.
New Group Leaders needed for Language Groups
We need to find members who speak French, Italian and Spanish who are able and willing to start up new language groups for beginners. We have eager people on waiting lists all ready to join you. If you can help and are interested contact Hilda, our Language Groups Coordinator.
We Are Bristol Helpline
A dedicated free telephone hotline has been launched in Bristol to help the city’s most vulnerable citizens during the coronavirus pandemic.
The We Are Bristol support phone number – 0800 694 0184 – is now live and is free to use. It will offer a potential lifeline to isolated and worried residents across the city.
Call handlers are available from 8.30am-5pm, Monday to Friday and 10am to 2pm Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays to provide support for people with a wide range of needs, including obtaining food supplies, other essential items and medication. They can also help arrange follow-up support with different organisations.
LinkAge has rounded up the latest advice on staying healthy and happy while you self-isolate during the Covid-19 pandemic. They have tried to stay relevant to the Bristol area where possible. Please note the advice may change rapidly.
Age UK Bristol has set up a Helpline and the number is 0117 929 7537.
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.