(see Events page for details of our Virtual Monthly Meetings and any other Dates for your Diary)


When might group meetings be able to start?

This depends on the group and of course is up to the group leader(s), but meeting in person can only restart if it is possible in a way that follows government guidance at the time. So, it also depends very much on when and how much the current government guidelines are relaxed for meeting people from outside your household.

The latest Covid-19 guidance sent to U3As by the Third Age Trust (national body for U3As) restates the current government guidance, with interpretation to how it relates to U3A groups and members – see the link on the right- U3ACovid19Guidance290720vs4.pdf
This is particularly relevant for group leaders, and committee (who have seen and discussed all the advice updates we’ve received), but members might also be interested. At the moment that guidance still limits meetings (from more than two households) to only up to 6 people, with social distancing, and this might well be impractical for most groups.

The exception is sports groups where the sport governing body has developed guidance outlining how their sport can be conducted safely. The government has issued guidance to sports bodies on how to do develop sport-specific guidance and a number of sports bodies have done so. The Croquet Association is one, and as a result the Croquet group are looking into starting meeting again, with a limit of 6 people on each of two separate croquet lawns. The Ramblers Association has also just announced that it has developed guidance, for its walking groups, on how to organise group walks with up to 30 people, so we will be we are studying this to see if it can be used to enable some Furness U3A walking groups to restart their group walks.

Of course, all this depends on how much the government has to ‘squeeze the brakes’.

Peter Quiggin
Furness U3A Chair

(If you are not in a group active in this way, or you just feel isolated and would like to get in touch with others, then feel free to contact our welfare person Lucy Chilton, welfare@furnessu3a.org or myself, chair@furnessu3a.org. I and Ann Wilson, %sysadmin@furnessu3a.org% can also help if you want help with any of the various internet ways of keeping in touch – email Zoom, WhatsApp, Facebook etc.)

Our Groups Organiser has sent this report on groups in lockdown:

After Peter and Ann organised a Zoom meeting recently to discuss whether, or how, members were keeping in touch it seems that our indefatigable and resourceful Group Leaders are busier than ever.

Many Group Leaders send out regular ‘keeping in touch’ emails to group members as well as telephoning some people who are do not have email. Others have created Newsletters, quizzes, crosswords, on-line art galleries, Facebook pages and are doing some of the free MOOC courses (available on most subjects under the sun.)

The list is amazing and I hope this will give those of you who couldn’t be part of the Zoom meeting some ideas for keeping in touch not only with those who have become friends but also those members who perhaps live on their own and do not have “the technology”.

For some groups it is not feasible to maintain regular contact during Lockdown but it is obvious that their members are raring to resume activities as soon as they can.

If you didn’t attend the Zoom meeting but are keeping in touch with your members please let me know so we can pass on good ideas. I realise that this is a lot of extra work for Group Leaders so if you would like any support to set up Zoom meetings, or other contact, please get in touch by email or telephone ( I am not out a lot at the moment)

Liz Hill - groupsorganiser@furnessu3a.org



David Livingstone Project Online Event

The THIRD AGE TRUST is planning an online talk exploring the David Livingstone Project.

The Glasgow birthplace of the Victorian explorer, abolitionist, doctor and missionary has undergone a transformation and will open in 2021.

Elena Trimarchi, the project's Learning and Engagement Manager, will discuss the authentic stories that make Livingstone such an enduring character.

The talk will focus on the David Livingstone Birthplace, located just outside Glasgow, which is undergoing a huge transformation of the birthplace of the famous Victorian explorer, abolitionist, doctor and missionary. The Project will see a new museum exhibition and visitor centre open in 2021, as well as the preservation of the A-Listed building, where he was born and which was also a former working textile mill, located in a scenic location on the banks of the Clyde.

Elena Trimarchi, Learning and Engagement Manager, will speak about this transformative project and discuss the stories that make Livingstone such an enduring character, from his humble beginnings working in the mill to the exploration of Sub-Saharan Africa. Elena will also share some of the museum’s ongoing efforts to decolonise the narratives around Livingstone, which includes researching and telling the stories of the African people who worked with and helped him throughout his expeditions.

Join us to find out more about this fascinating piece of history. We look forward to having the opportunity to speak to the U3A membership about this exciting project. We have 3 dates for this event:

Thursday 27 August
Thursday 3 September
Thursday 10 September

U3A Energy and Climate Change Conference postponed a year

Cumbria Network of U3As is planning the 3rd Energy Conference : “Strategies for Tackling Climate Change”. A host of eminent speakers will cover current progress and the actions needed at international, national and personal levels to reach the IPCC target of net zero carbon by 2050 . Watch this space!

This conference was being organised by the North Cumbria U3A network and was planned for 9 October 2020 at Rheged (near Penrith), but they have decided to postpone it for a year, and it is now provisionally planned for 8 October 2021.


U3A Day

We are planning a significant publicity event in Barrow; Update: it is now planned for Wednesday 2nd June 2021, coronavirus situation permitting. This is a new annual national U3A Day that national office is promoting, and U3As all around the country will be supporting it by holding events that same day.

Your U3A needs U and your ideas

We also need to raise the profile where we can of the U3A in advance of the U3A Day and it would be helpful that where you identify locations where we can put up our generic U3A posters that you put them up for us, such as in your local library. I can supply the posters and even the drawing pins if you want. Again email or phone as above. Thanks in advance for your ideas and actions.
Harry Knowles, Publicity Officer



The U3A was treated to a fascinating talk by Steve Halliwell on the history and geography of the isles of St Kilda (Click on a picture to enlarge)

Steve Halliwell Remains of Village on St Kilda St Kilda Dwellings
St Kilda Parliament Spinner on St Kilda Fisherman on St Kilda



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