17th July 2020
Dear Fellow Member,
Life is getting better and most of us are enjoying a resumption of freedoms once taken for granted, and which are now gratefully accepted.
It’s been for many a long haul- the pandemic has affected people in many different ways; some have welcomed the break from the pressures of everyday life, some have taken the enforced break to complete tasks left undone- home maintenance being one, and some have made longer lasting changes to attitudes and life styles. For those who are unable still to leave home, either by choice, or because of fear of infection, these have been difficult times and our sympathies go out to those in this situation.
I have been in touch with a number of U3A members to assess how and when we might reconvene. The general response has been one of understandable caution and the need to remain safe. Any reopening will not happen until we have Government and PHE approval to do so, and we are also encouraged to do so by the U3A Trust in London. We will also be watching what other, similar clubs do. Overall, though, it does seem unlikely that we will be opening our doors for some time yet. A partial opening, or letting only a limited number of volunteers to attend might be problematic. The issue of Groups will be decided on an individual basis and provided they can resume within the official guidelines there seems no reason why they may not open quite soon. In this regard, we will take advice on insurance aspects and social distancing capabilities. Open air clubs would probably be the first.
I have been enormously impressed to see that, despite the closure of U3A for a number of months, the overwhelming majority of members have paid their subs for 2020. I think this is a testament to your loyalty and commitment to the club and I thank you most sincerely for this. When the accounts are drawn at the end of the year and we have a resultant surplus, we will seek ways or return these monies to the membership. The Committee will decide on appropriate action once there is more clarity about the future.
On a happier note, we have received a number of reports of how members have spent the time during lockdown. These are included as an appendix. So many people have really benefitted and you may wish to look down the list, tick off those which you have done yourself, and perhaps, even, resolve to copy some yourself!
I hope we shall meet again soon,
WHAT DID WE DO IN THE LOCKDOWN?
Making bread and quiches, creating “fakeaways” i.e. replicating pizzas and burgers as good as takeaways. Honing baking skills
Creating garden ornaments from old horseshoes
Painting inside and outside during the warm sunny weather
Planning 2021 holidays, many now in the UK
Making PPE for the care sector
Meeting friends for either distanced or virtual tea or coffee times
Getting to know neighbours and your street
Learning to cook new dishes
Making window seats from reclaimed wood
Learning to operate Zoom
Keeping Amazon busy- what do we do with all those cardboard boxes?
Learning to cut one’s own hair. Never as good!
Appreciating all those people who have consistently served us
Sorting out studies and clothes
Rationalising one’s photos
Sorting out legal paperwork – wills, powers of attorney etc
Looking after your teeth just that much more
Being that much nicer to friends and family
Watching too much TV especially box sets, Amazon Prime and Netflix
Keeping U3A and some groups alive
Learning patience and the art of queuing
Learning how to relax
Building up strategic stocks in case of a second wave
Running down stocks of alcohol
Learning to play bells online without the whole town hearing the noise!
THE LIST IS BY NO MEANS EXHAUSTIVE. THANKS TO ALL WHO CONTRIBUTED.