East of England U3A Region

Information

To find a U3A near you please look at the U3A List page where you will find links to U3As listed by counties. Click on those that you are interested in to find out about their activities and joining information.

East of England Region needs you.
Jeff Carter (East of England Regional Trustee) and Sam Mauger (Chief Executive of the Third Age Trust) need your help.

We are looking for volunteers to assist with starting new U3As across the region. We need people who are willing to travel across their county, and who can give the benefit of their experience to people who want to enjoy U3A life in their own town or village. You will be volunteering in pairs, so you won't be working on your own.

You will receive full training and your travel expenses will be reimbursed, but crucially you will be helping the movement to grow and flourish which we hope will give you some enjoyment in return. Jeff will be holding regular team meetings for volunteers once they are part of the team, so you will get to meet the other volunteers who are helping too.

Please do think about it, and if you feel you can give some of your time, then please contact Jeff Carter

Introduction to your Regional Trustee
The role of a regional trustee is twofold with my first priority being the NEC as this is the body that is responsible for the running of the Third Age Trust which is a charity in its own right as well as a company employing staff.
As I live in Croxley Green which is in South West Hertfordshire and hence only just in the region the geography of the area is also another learning opportunity for me.
As a regional trustee I have to also represent the views of all the U3As in the region, currently about 140 and growing. I am also there to offer advice and support where I can. Inevitably with the number of U3As it is impossible to visit you all, so the local networks will be a vital link for me. However feel free to contact me direct via e-mail.
There is a lot going on nationally right now, especially the consultation on the governance of the trust. If you cannot get to any of the network consultations then let have your views and I’ll pass them on.
This is the second largest region in the country in terms of numbers of U3As with significant distances from one side to the other. If I am to fulfil the support role to both new and existing U3As then it will be much easier if there are people in the region who can assist me. Whilst there are some Regional Volunteers (RV) more are needed as many hands make light work. All RVs receive training in how to help set up new U3As although this knowledge is equally valuable when offering advice to existing ones. All expenses are paid so if anyone is interested in assisting me by becoming a new RV please let me know. Jeff Carter

Research using Robots
Are you interested in finding out about research in the area of home companion robots? You now have the opportunity to find out more about the University of Hertfordshire’s research by viewing a video about robotic home companions and specifically on how novice users can quickly learn to teach/programme such a robot. The video was recorded during the Home Robotics event organised by University of Hertfordshire as part of the 2016 UK Robotics Week (supported by EPSRC and the UK Robotics and Autonomous Systems Network). The Robotics event involved university students from around the UK studying in different fields including humanities, social science, business, journalism and traditional sciences. The students visited the University of Hertfordshire Robot House to learn about the state-of the art Home Robotics as well as how to teach and program a home companion robot. We are interested in how members of the public respond after watching this video of a real robot performing tasks that we might expect to see carried out by robots in the future.
To assess this response, we have created a short questionnaire which we would ask you to complete after watching the video. Note that it is not compulsory to take part in the questionnaire, however, watching the video and filling out the questionnaire should only take roughly 7 minutes. Please click on the link below to proceed to the video. The link will only be available until 30th September, 2016.
https://goo.gl/forms/emFHcaxG6vQTlYUB3
For informal inquiries please contact Dr. Kheng Lee Koay, University of Hertfordshire (k.l.koay@herts.ac.uk)

Be a guinea pig to find the links between genes, the environment, health and disease
The Cambridge BioResource is a panel of around 16,000 volunteers, both with and without health conditions, who are willing to be approached to participate in research studies investigating the links between genes, the environment, health and disease. Volunteers who join the Cambridge BioResource donate their DNA via a blood or saliva sample which is used together with other information, such as gender and ethnicity, to match them to specific research studies. Volunteers are free to choose which studies they would like to take part in, allowing the CBR to provide researchers with groups of participants, tailor-made to the research study. They’d love to hear if you have any questions or comments so please get in touch!If you are interested in taking part or undertaking research yourself please contact cbr@bioresource.nihr.ac.uk or at Cambridge NIHR BioResource Box 299, University of Cambridge and Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Hills Road, CAMBRIDGE, CB2 0QQ, Telephone: 01223 769 215 or contact me on 07899903974/email patricia@worgan.co.uk Patricia Worgan

Bar Code System for Registration of Attendance at General Meetings.
St Albans U3A has produced a description of how the Bar Code system works. They find it very helpful, not just as a management tool but as a way of cutting down on queueing times at registration.

!!!Calling all Essex Historians!!!
Are you be interested in taking part in an individual group project or a Shared Learning Project? Find out more about Industrial Air Raid Shelters around Essex Jane Giffoud, a member of Halstead U3A has a project to do with Industrial Air Raid Shelters. I met Jane earlier this year and saw a wonderful complex of these shelters which were used by the Courtauld's Factory in Halstead in Essex. They are now under threat from housing development and Jane is part of a group trying to get them preserved as a museum. She is trying to find out about all the Industrial Air Raid Shelters that might still remain in Essex and inviting U3A members to tell her about any they know of in their locality. This could be a stand alone piece of research for a U3A or might be a SLP. If you would like to get involved or you can tell Jane anything about Industrial Air Raid Shelters in Essex, please contact Jane Jennifer Simpson.

Magna Carta Study day
130 members attended a very interesting study day on the Magna Carta on Wednesday 14th October 2015. We heard from Professor Gillingham how when King John came to the throne, he ruled over the UK and France but gradually lost most of France in a series of unsuccessful battles. It was King John's failure as a Monarch and soldier that finally lead the Knights to rebel. They'd had enough. Their problem was that they couldn't find a suitable leader to lead them and so they came up with the revolutionary, unprecedented idea of having a Charter to decree what should or should not be, rather than leave it to the whim of the King. Dr Navickas, from Hertfordshire Uni then outlined for us what effect the Magna Carta had had in the intervening years and it was quite sad to hear that it was very little! She told us that the 3 main reasons for the English going to war was 1) Money, 2) Religion and 3) the French!! It was not really until 20th century, after the atrocities of WW2, that the United Nations adopted a Universal Declaration of Human Rights. And in 1950, the European Convention on Human Rights was agreed as an international treaty to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms in Europe.
In the afternoon our speakers focused on how the legacy of Magna Carta is faring in the present day. Julian Young, an eminent lawyer spoke of his challenges against injustice especially where the freedom of the individual was concerned. And he spoke of the complexity and tension between the needs of government and the rights of the individual.
Our last speaker of the day was Graham St.John-Willey, Chaplain-General, The Grand Priory of the Knights Templar in England. He spoke of democracy and illustrated his talk with a very personal account of how he had managed to bring in a law whereby crimes against children committed abroad can be heard and dealt with in UK courts
Thereby showing that the spirit of Magna Carta is alive and well today as it was in 1215.