Furness

News

(see Events page for details and Dates for your Diary)

PLEASE NOTE: ALL FURNESS U3A MEETINGS ARE SUSPENDED FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE, DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS: -

What do we mean by "the foreseeable future"? Given the current official advice, we think we should plan for it meaning until September, after our normal U3A summer break in late July/August, but if the situation improves sufficiently earlier, then we will of course restart activities as soon as it is deemed safe to do so.

What is Suspended? This suspension covers all U3A activities that involve meeting people: e.g. our U3A drop-ins, monthly meetings and all group meetings/trips. this means that: -

  • the planned Drop-ins on March 31st, April 22nd and in May and June are cancelled.
  • the planned monthly meetings on April 14th, May 12th, June 9th and July 14th are cancelled.
  • we are advising Group Leaders to also suspend all group meetings for the same period, and plan to resume activities in September. If this causes some groups significant financial issues, then we'll discuss it with the group leader.

What about Membership Renewals? We are also suspending membership renewals for the same period, since members won't be getting the benefits their membership provides (it would also be difficult to organise membership renewals during this time). So your existing U3A membership will continue, and the normal 2 month period allowed for membership renewal will not even start until after the coronavirus situation has improved enough for normal U3A activities to restart. We will then also review whether a reduction is appropriate to this year's membership fee, to reflect the extraordinary year that it might turn out to have been.

We're naturally very sad to have to do all this. But this extraordinary situation demands it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

FROM OUR CHAIR:

U3A-ing without Meeting

The coronavirus crisis has certainly highlighted the things that matter; as Joni Mitchell's classic song lyric put it: "You don't know what you've got 'till it's gone..." In this case, the big thing we have lost is our social contact – something U3A is normally great for, now suddenly taken away.

Whereas lockdown came suddenly and all at once, it is clear that it will be only be eased slowly, in cautious stages, and we might not be able to start holding U3A meetings again until quite a late stage in the process. In the meantime – see elsewhere in this newsletter – lots of our groups are using the internet to keep members in touch with each other and where possible, keep group interests, and we’d like to say a big thank you to the group leaders for the many good ideas they’ve come up with to make this happen.

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 to help with any of the various internet ways of keeping in touch – email Zoom, WhatsApp, Facebook etc.

Peter Quiggin

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GROUP NEWS ON KEEPING IN TOUCH

As well as having to cancel meetings and trips, our group leaders and members have had good ideas on keeping us in touch and our minds active until we can meet again. Other groups might be able to adapt some of these: -

Uke Troupe has been Zooming along nicely over the last four weeks, although not always in sync! We are so grateful to Charmian who bravely took up the challenge to host our Zoom meetings and to Lynne who agreed to lead songs for the group to play. We manage to play together by muting the sound so that only the lead player can be heard. That means that when we play no-one else can hear our mistakes which leads to greater confidence. Goodness knows what it will sound like when we do finally get together, but we won't care as it will be so good to play together again. We have not only enjoyed playing our current concert songs but have also learned new techniques thanks to Lynne and now other members of the group are also attempting to share the load. We might be locked down but creatively we're not locked up!

Casual Striders group: are asking their members to submit photos for a newsletter that they've dubbed "virtualwalks". E.g. walk leaders’ photos from walk recces they've done, or members just submitting photos from their dog/exercise walks.

Birdwatching group: The planned 3-day trip in April has been rearranged with the hotel for April 2021 instead.

Questers group: The planned trip to Beamish is cancelled, but Sheila Bull hopes to rearrange it for a future date.

Natural History group: are hoping to do a group ‘newsletter’, with photos their members take “even if it's just something in their garden that looks nice”

Friday Walkers group: Linda Marshall had the wonderful idea of asking group members to email her Radio 4-style 'Thought for the Day' ideas they’ve had, on staying positive and coping in these testing times, which she’s then regularly emailing to the group, along with other updates and information.

The Friday Walkers have been holding Zoom video sessions for some of the regular walkers in the group. It has been rather disorderly up to now as we have been coming to grips with the software, but we are getting the hang of it and I can now open it up to the rest of the group. The sessions are held on Friday mornings at 10am and last for 40 minutes. You don't need to install zoom on a laptop but you will on a phone or tablet/iPad. I will be sending out an invite on Thursdays. Also, if any U3A members would like help in setting up Zoom, please let Ann Wilson know at sysadmin@furnessu3a.org

Drawing group: have asked members to photograph completed drawings to group leader Paul Kelly, who’s circulating them to the group and passing back feedback to the originator, and they’ve had a great response.

Industrial History: One of their members had the idea of them all watching a history TV programme that was coming up, and then sharing their thoughts on it.

Food for Thought discussion group: are emailing to the group topics/issues to think about, and inviting comments for sharing between the group.

The Visiting Gardens group (before we went into "lock down") visited the gardens of the Matson Ground Estate. The day was bright but cold and we had a lovely look round including the topiary and the little stream with about three bridges, running down through the rockery to the large pond. A few of us had some fun on the swing which was hung from the highest branch I have ever seen a swing on. Spring had definitely arrived as was saw snowdrops, daffodils, primroses and cowslips, to name but a few. Hope you all manage to keep safe and sane, I'm doing gardening instead of just visiting!!!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

OTHER NEWS

Concert on Zoom featuring Andrew Wilde on Piano, 2.00 pm, Tuesday 21st July 2020

Free of charge and open to U3A members only

International Pianist Andrew Wilde will play a selection of much-loved 'evergreen' pieces by some of our greatest composers for the piano, to include works by Chopin and Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. He will introduce the pieces and their composers adding in some entertaining musical anecdotes.
Andrew studied piano at Chetham's School of Music and graduated with Distinction from the Royal Northern College of Music. He went on to win top prizes at international competitions and to play with great orchestras at major venues throughout Europe and America.
Book online for Andrew Wilde's concert Andrew Wilde booking form.
You do not need to download Zoom onto your device to attend the concert.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Advance notice of the 3rd U3A Energy Conference

Cumbria Network of U3As is planning the 3rd Energy Conference : “Strategies for Tackling Climate Change” which will take place at Rheged, near Penrith on Thursday October 8th 2020. 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!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

North West Region of U3As Summer School Newton Rigg College near Penrith Monday 24th to Thursday 27th August 2020

CANCELLED DUE TO THE CORONA VIRUS

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

U3A Day

We are planning a significant publicity event in Barrow; Update: it is now planned for October 1st, 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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

FEBRUARY 2020 MONTHLY MEETING

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

USEFUL INFORMATION

(Please note that this section now has its own page which you can access from the Menu bar)

Dates for your Diary
Tue Jul 21st

Concert on Zoom featuring Andrew Wilde on Piano, 2.00 pm, Tuesday 21st July 2020

Free of charge and open to U3A members only
International Pianist Andrew Wilde will play a selection of much-loved 'evergreen' pieces by some of our greatest composers for the piano, to include works by Chopin and Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. He will introduce the pieces and their composers adding in some entertaining musical anecdotes.
Andrew studied piano at Chetham's School of Music and graduated with Distinction from the Royal Northern College of Music. He went on to win top prizes at international competitions and to play with great orchestras at major venues throughout Europe and America.
Book online for Andrew Wilde's concert using the booking form link sent to all members in the July newsletter.
You do not need to download Zoom onto your device to attend the concert.