Welcome & Chair
WELCOME TO THE EASTLEIGH DISTRICT U3A
For those of you who have not yet joined our happy band,let us explain what the U3A ('University of the Third Age') is all about.
For a start, it is not a University! We don't give out qualifications in the shape of degrees or anything like that. Neither do we ask for a certain level of qualifications before you can join us. Qualifications, or no qualifications, or anything in between, it makes no difference; your level of education doesn't come into it! University here is only really used in the sense of 'universal' or 'for all'. Lots more about the U3A ethos in '500 Beacons', the U3A story, available by mail order or you can borrow a copy!
You can also look at the U3A's central website, run by the University of the Third Age Trust. Click on the U3A yellow button at the top right of this page for a full run-down.
The Eastleigh District U3A
is continuing to grow in size and have a range of activities to offer you. So if you are retired or semi-retired and live in the Eastleigh area of Hampshire why not come along to one of our open meetings and get to know us.
We currently meet every third Wednesday in the month at 2pm at the Fair Oak Village Hall Shorts Road Fair Oak (approximately 2.5 miles from the centre of Eastleigh) with a talk or another subject. Also we offer a range of study groups and leisure activities, these may be based in Eastleigh Town Centre, in a member's home or at the Fair Oak village hall.
If you are new to the area, one way to find your way round is to join us! Eastleigh was at one time one of the leading railway centres of the UK, with an enormous works close to the Town Centre. There was also a major cable works, Pirelli, based in Eastleigh. However, the importance of the railway works declined over time and the various sites previously used by Pirelli are now all housing estates. The railway works did close down a few years ago, but luckily the sheds etc, remained and over time these have become fully utilised again for railway related work (train refurbishment, etc) and associated specialist firms.
Eastleigh is also the home of Southampton International Airport, which in its early days as Eastleigh Airport, played an important part in the development of the Spitfire fighter plane.
The Town has continued to thrive as a centre for shopping and business located conveniently halfway between Southampton and Winchester.
Join us on one of our Outings, to look behind the scenes at what makes things tick, perhaps at what the general public doesn't get to see. You could have joined us on four day trips to the heart of Snowdonia, or Lincolnshire, or to Monet's Garden, or Cork in Southern Ireland or most recently the Yorkshire Moors. You missed the opportunity to travel with us on one of our popular New Year breaks visiting Shropshire and the Severn Valley; Great Yarmouth; and the latest in Ilfracombe. Many of us are still talking about the very enjoyable Easter Break on the Isle of Wight.
Locally we have visited the Esso Oil Refinery, had a back stage tour of the Mayflower Theatre then traveled to Bristol to visit the S.S. Great Britain and marveled at the Carpet of flowers in Arundel Cathedral,
Come to London with us, we've been on a guided tour of the Albert Hall, a visit to the Houses of Parliament, the Thames Barrier, a look at the restored St Pancras International - we will return!
Come with our Theatre Group to the best shows that Southampton, London and other towns and cities have to offer.
Join some of the other groups we have on offer to enjoy yourself and make new friends at the same time. Can't see a group you would like to participate in, well join us and help start one that you would like.
An inspiring letter from Sandra Gregory – Chepstow U3A
I have never minded my own company, led a very full life at School and then College to study Podiatry.
I became my Mothers full time carer. My life was filled with hospital appointments for her, often giving her injections, worrying when I had to leave her to go shopping.
When she died I was left with an empty house, my beloved dog and the occasional how are you? from other dog walkers and a few neighbours. I would attempt to strike up a conversation with complete strangers when shopping.
If anybody happened to say hello or smile at me I felt grateful because often I felt invisible.
One day I woke up and thought right, you must make an effort to meet people. I took the plunge and joined my local U3A to learn how to play Bridge.
I felt lonely at the first monthly meeting, BUT, then a lady sat next to me, smiled and asked if I was a new member. We then talked between speakers. She told me afterwards that she hadn’t recognised my face and presumed I was a new member and remembered how she felt at her first meeting and that is why she sat next to me.
I now play Bridge regularly, have made many new friends, regained my confidence and self esteem but always remember that many people of all ages are often going through what I went through.
If someone tries to engage you in a conversation, especially an older person, do try and remember they might be feeling lonely and isolated.
Chair report Sept/October 2019
What a Summer it has been, such variable weather patterns, no time to get bored! High heat temperatures interspersed with rain for the garden, cooler days, more heat then high winds, torrential rain and thunderstorms topped off with awful flooding in Yorkshire and Cheshire. One wonders what else is to come with global warming.
I would like to thank all of you who made it to our Summer Social and took part in the quiz and photographic competition. More clotted cream needed next year for those delicious scones. You all, cheerfully, took part in our unexpected fire drill and we were all out in 6/7 minutes with no accidents or panic attacks, though our own Fire Warden disappeared which gave me a moments panic! Well done everyone. Next year our summer social will be held in August, when all of the hall is available.
As we all get older our hearing, sight and bodies gradually deteriorate but some of our members have severe problems. If you or someone you know does not attend our open meeting because of a severe problem let us know and we will do our best to help if we can. For instance we can reserve seating at the front for sight and hearing issues.
We are fortunate to have a volunteer, Barbara Davidson, to organise the tea and coffees at our open meetings but she needs a regular supply of Volunteers, at least 4 each month. Please offer to help in the kitchen, otherwise we cannot provide this facility.
We still need Volunteers for our Committee otherwise none of this newsletter will be of any relevance because Eastleigh District U3A will have to close.
Super Sleuthing, have you tried it?
Such fun trying to solve the clues in order to escape from the room within one hour. It is a combination of observation, solving riddles, working as a team to hopefully beat the opposition. We haven’t quite managed to get out in time but maybe next time. I rather liked the throne.
Chair report July/August 2019
Early Summer, don’t you just love it, everything fresh with new growth. When I was young, about 70 plus years ago I could never understand why my parents wanted to take a drive around the countryside, it was so so..so boring! Now, I just love walking and driving in the countryside enjoying that freshness. Of course, unfortunately the amount of cars on the roads do spoil the driving part. Oh for the good old days.
Now for something completely different. September is not only the beginning of autumn but the time of our AGM when you, the members must choose a new Committee. Before that happens though we need to have some nominations for that Committee because we have three positions to fill in order to operate. Myself, Sue and Pat have come to the end of our terms of office so have to retire. In order to function as a charity and as a U3A we must have a Chair person, a Vice Chair, a Secretary and a Treasurer. Sue our Treasurer has another 2 years until she must stand aside but we need the other three. We also need someone to co-ordinate the kitchen volunteers at our Open Meetings as Dawn is standing down.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my 4 years of Chairmanship, I have learnt a lot, met a lot of lovely people and had great help from previous chairs. I have also had help and advice from the members of the Southampton & District Network and, of course, the 3rd Age Trust. This would be the same with any Committee role so any new Committee will have all the help they need. The Committee has had a lot to do in the past 2 years, with legal changes, Charity registration, 6 policies to put together and the setting up of the Beacon system. Things have settled down now and should stay that way enabling the Committee to meet every other month instead of monthly. Those of us retiring will be available to help and advise if required, we will still be members.
As a reminder to you all, our Membership fee of £15.00 is extremely cheap for what is provided but the reason for this is that we are run by the members for the members, in other words by Volunteers. We have over 200 members, there must be a few of you capable of volunteering so, please all you younger retirees, volunteer to keep it going so that we can all carry on having fun, learning new things and making new friends.
Enjoy the Summer and I look forward to seeing many of you at our open meetings and group activities during the summer months.
Chair report May/June 2019
At the time of writing this note Spring is here and a new life begins again. Often this time of the year I wish that April was the beginning of a new year rather than January it seems much more appropriate to me. Everything is fresh and new, the weather is beginning to warm. We are all looking forward.
Talking of summer, as you can see in this lovely colourful newsletter which Lorraine cleverly puts together, there are many events and groups activities organised by all our willing volunteers.
Remember without volunteers this U3A will not function and come September we will need new Committee Members to bring fresh ideas and take the organisation forward into yet another decade.
There has been much happening over the last couple of years with changes to how we, as a charity, have to work, but now we are expecting a quieter time for the Committee, so don’t be a shy or timid volunteer it is very rewarding.
In the meantime, thank you to all of you who put in the time and effort to make everything work so well.
Chair report March/April 2019
What new changes will 2019 bring one wonders? One of the most inevitable things in life is that change happens whether we like it or not and this will apply to Brexit too. We do not have crystal balls so have to embrace change when ever it happens and whatever it might be.
Many things have changed within the U3A Movement over the last couple of years so I guess there will be more in the coming years. One of the good changes, I think, is that all U3As are experiencing more and more new members and Eastleigh District is part of this trend. We have had a steady increase in our numbers and we welcome these new members’ input and ideas as they join our great activity groups and events.
One thing I would not like to change is that Eastleigh has, and deservedly so, a reputation of being a friendly U3A. Let us hold on to this reputation by continuing to welcome any new comers to our Open Meetings and Groups so if you see or sit next to a new face please help them feel at home, make them feel really special and answer any questions they might have.
I wish you all a Very Happy and Healthy Year ahead.
Chair report Jan/Feb 2019
Only a few more days to Christmas, the time for rejoicing with family and friends. If you know anyone who is alone, please ensure that they are not forgotten especially on Christmas Day. I wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
As a new year approaches there are some new group possibilities, i.e. Singing for Pleasure, Investing for Fun, French and Bridge are just some of the ideas that have been suggested. For all those of you who are artistic how about designing and making mosaics. Your Committee will do what it can to get groups up and running however, as usual, these groups need members to help get these up and running, the Committee can’t organise them all. I am reminded of a story I came across many years ago which many of you may have heard before
There were four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody
there was an important job to be done
everybody was sure that somebody would do it
anybody could have done it, but nobody did it
somebody got angry about that because it was everybody’s job
everybody thought anybody could do it but
nobody realised that everybody did not do it
It ended up that everybody blamed somebody when nobody did what anybody could have done.
In the meantime enjoy the Christmas and New Year festivities, have fun, stay safe and keep well. See you next year……….
Chair report Nov/Dec 2018
A New Year starts for Eastleigh District U3A
As we start a new financial year we looked back over a very busy year for Eastleigh District U3A. We had changes to Data Protection, changes to our Constitution and a new system of Membership Management. We had increased activities, with new groups starting, many lovely visits to interesting places, great holidays and quality speakers at our Open Meetings. As I have said many times before, Volunteers are the life blood of any U3A and I want to take the opportunity to thank all our wonderful Volunteers and especially to thank all our Group Leaders and their helpers for their hard work throughout the year.
Membership numbers have stayed fairly static again this year but we expect that to increase as the Third Age Trust raises the profile of the healthy benefits of membership of the U3A. Therefore this year will be a good time for us to promote the benefits to all those 3rd agers in our area.
Eastleigh here we come………...
*TO VIEW CHAIRS'FULL ANNUAL REPORT SEPTEMBERS 2018 AGM, PLEASE CLICK ON LINK IN RIGHT HAND COLUMN
Chair report Sept/Oct 2018
What if we told people that the solution to loneliness could cost just £15 per year?
We, the members of a U3A, know that we have joined a community of people of a certain age who share knowledge, fun, trips and exercise. I’m sure we learn something new most days and all at the same time as enjoying friendship and companionship. Are we lonely? I am sure that the great majority, if not all, of our members are happier, healthier and fitter because of the U3A activities.
The Third Age Trust has produced a research document called “Learning-Not-Lonely” showing that living life, expanding horizons and challenging conventions has a positive, cost effective impact on older peoples’ lives. Perhaps the solution to loneliness could be the cost of joining a U3A membership per year. Learning-Not-Lonely available from www.u3a.org.uk or a copy from your Chairman.
Keep up the activities…….
As most of you already know, we are introducing a new Membership system for 2018/19.
Every Member will receive a new Membership Card as shown which will be unique to each Member with a Membership number that will remain the same each year.
To check-in at each Open Meeting you will need to have your card ready, as it will be scanned, instead of your name being ticked off on a sheet.
More details will be provided at the September AGM.
Chair Report July/August 2018
Welcome to Summer it seems finally to have arrived and I hope you all have plans to enjoy it while it lasts.
GENERAL DATA PROTECTION AGAIN
YOUR LOCAL HISTORY GROUP NEEDS YOU!
Without you, the Members, we would not have a U3A and whilst thinking about that reminded me that your Local History Group are appealing to all members who grew up in and around Eastleigh, Chandler’s Ford, Bishopstoke, Fair Oak, Horton Heath etc to share your stories with them. One of our long standing members was the first to volunteer and kept us enthralled throughout the two hour meeting with her childhood tales of growing up in Eastleigh pre and post war. This was followed by her teenage years, getting married and general information about working and shopping in Eastleigh. In time it is hoped that a readable document can be produced with all the stories and information provided, subject to consent of the providers to share this with the rest of the Membership.
Chair Report May/June 2018
I am sure you are all aware of the news about issues regarding our personal information being used and abused. The Data Protection Act 1998 has been around for 10 years but has not been strong enough to protect our personal information being used for purposes other than intended. New regulations come into effect on 25th May. Please be assured that we will do everything we can to protect the information you give us and make sure that others with whom we have to share it will do the same.
As in the Data Protection issue above the Committee works behind the scenes on your behalf in many different ways, but can’t be expected to continue forever! As usual during the summer I will be looking for members to put themselves forward to help take some of that responsibility. If you are unsure of what is involved why not come to one or two meetings as an observer. We spread the workload so it isn’t too onerous upon one person.
So what else will be new this year. Your Committee has decided to move towards a computerised membership system for administrative purposes.
A user friendly system endorsed by Third Age Trust and good value for money. We envisage that the system will speed up the booking in process of our Open Meetings and simplify the membership renewal process.
Eventually members will, if they wish, be able to manage their membership details themselves and also book into Groups and Trips etc all on line.
Good luck and good health for 2018