Leigh & District


This is where we'll keep you up-to-date with all the latest news - even the occasional bit of gossip!


Due to the current situation regarding the Coronavirus pandemic and the latest information from government, we have reluctantly taken the decision to suspend ALL our U3A activities at Leigh Miners until at least September 7th, though this may be extended depending on how the situation develops. Please continue to check this web site for any updates.
If you have friends who normally attend groups & meetings but are not on email could you please pass this message on.
As far as renewals are concerned, I would ask that you renew online via our web site Renewals page.
On behalf of the committee we hope you are all OK and staying positive and that we are all back to normal business as soon as possible.

Speaker for May
Our speaker in May was due to be Mike Heath, who is also a member of our U3A. However, since our May meetings are extremely unlikely to go ahead, he has kindly given us an abridged version together with photographs along the Fort William to Mallaig railway line - Fort William to Mallaig Train Journey. Many thanks to Mike for doing this for us!

New U3A Discussion Forums
During these unprecedented times, the Third Age Trust has been looking at different ways to support our amazing U3A community. They wanted to enable and support U3As, members and Interest Group leaders, to stay active and connected with each other.

To this end, they have launched three online discussion forums so that you can share ideas and support each other. Thanks to the Beacon users, they are doing this by extending the existing (and successful) Beacon User Forum to all U3As, regardless of whether or not you are using the Beacon management system at your U3A yet. It is easy to get started. All you need to do is visit the forum website at https://forum.u3abeacon.org.uk, click the ‘register’ button and fill in your details. From there you will be able to explore the forums and get involved in the discussion. If you are not familiar with online forums, there is a how-to guide to help you get started.

There will be three forums that you can join:

  • Learning – discussions around subjects and all forms of interest and learning
  • Our U3A Community – discussions arounds how we support each other
  • Beacon – discussions around using Beacon, the U3A management system

This is just an outline of what the forums are about because it will be led and developed by you when you join and the conversations that are happening.

A volunteer team will moderate the site and support you to use the forums in a safe, positive and productive way.

Wigan Council - Suspended Services
Due to COVID-19 outbreak there are some council services that are currently suspended until further notice. Please click on the link above for details. By the way, if you or a friend live alone and need assistance, Wigan Council can help. Please contact them on 01942 489018.

Social Isolation - Two Poems
One of our members, Theresa Dexter, has sent in two poems she has written about social isolation & the current situation. We thought we would share them here. Please click on the link above or to the right to read them.

Newsletter, Summer 2020
Our Summer newsletter is now available from the link above or on the right. The latest U3A National Newsletter is also available from a link on the right as is the new National Newsletter Express.

Coronavirus Advice from TAT
Please click on the link above or on the right for the latest advice from he Third Age Trust.

Concessionary Travel in Greater Manchester
Just thought we would share this bit of information from Transport for Manchester...

Those in receipt of a concessionary travel pass for Greater Manchester, from 1st February 2020, will no longer be able to use it to travel by rail or Metrolink unless they purchase an addition to their cards costing £10 per year. Customers will be able to pay early from 5 January 2020, to make sure they are ready. If users pay early, they will be covered for one year from 1 February 2020. After 1 February they’ll be covered for a full year from the date you pay:

  • in person at a TfGM Travelshop
  • in person at a PayPoint shop (available from 25 January 2020)
  • online at getmethere.com

To buy online, users will need to link their concessionary pass to a get me there account and can find more details and a step-by-step guide at getmethere.com/add-a-card.

Once users have paid online, they will need to touch-in with their concessionary pass at a Metrolink smart reader within 14 days, at any tram stop, and their pass will be updated to show they have paid to add tram and train.

GM Network Quiz
Well, our quiz team were one of 11 teams at Eccles Town Hall on 5-Nov for the annual GM Network Quiz. Question categories were History, Art & Lit, Music, Gen Knowledge, Sport, "Saints & Sinners" plus some film title anagrams and Dingbats. The team from Glossop won with 110 points but our team were a very creditable 5th with 104 points. Well done to Jo Downs, Steve Fletcher, Pauline Needham, Dorothy Rylance, Ann Smith & Duncan Stirzaker! Many thanks also to Bob Sullivan for being first reserve and helping out on the day.

On Your Bike
When did you last go for a bike ride? This is a new project via Wigan Council that includes:

  • Taking cycling out into the community with their mobile bike pod (including some electric bikes)
  • Recycling of old bikes and providing affordable bikes
  • High quality training such as Learn to Ride, Road Rider Ready and Ride Leader
  • Bike maintenance courses

Sessions are suitable for all abilities including complete beginners. Please click on the above link for more details.

Emergency Contact
If you haven't already provided them, please ensure we have your emergency contact details by sending the following to our Membership Secretary:

  • Your name & membership number
  • Emergency contact name
  • Relationship to you
  • Emergency contact phone number(s)

Please also remember to fill out the emergency contact details on the back of your membership card.

In My Own Write
U3A In My Own Write showcases fiction and non fiction books that have been written by members of UK based U3A's.

Age UK Community Reporters/Storytellers Project
Age UK Wigan Borough are starting a new project in conjunction with a company called Yellow Jigsaw. They are looking for people aged 50 and over to become ‘Community Reporters’ and ‘Storytellers’ and are keen to see if any of our members are interested in getting involved.

Please see the flyers below for some more information. They are particularly looking for people who have overcome social isolation in some way, such as retirement, bereavement, moving house, change in financial circumstances etc and are now living a life where they are active and social, or people who have a ‘defiant’ attitude towards ageing and challenge stereotypes and attitudes.

If you want to have a chat about it, you can ring Liz Blagburn at Age UK Wigan for more information, her number is 01942 615895. She works Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, or you can ring Grace at Yellow Jigsaw who is leading on the project, she is on 07859 177499 and works Monday - Friday.

Wigan & Leigh Pensioners Link
Pensioners Link was established in 1988 and was the vision of two pensioners, Alan Taylor and Peter Kenny. An important element of their vision was to see organisations and people linked together so as to provide maximum benefit for older people. Their aims are to:

  • Maintain independence and well-being
  • Reduce isolation
  • Stimulate social interaction
  • Access information and services in the community

Reciprocal Agreements
We have reciprocal agreements with both Wigan and Ashton-in-Makerfield U3As, which means our Leigh & District members can attend Ashton & Wigan activities without having to join either of those U3As (and vice-versa of course). You would still need to pay the relevant group session fees and any trip costs, but you should only need to prove you are a current member of Leigh & District U3A by showing your membership card.
Please see the Ashton-in-Makerfield and Wigan web sites for more details about their activities.

Gift Aid & Membership Details
Would members please note that we ask you to complete a membership form and a Gift Aid declaration only once, at the time of joining. However, we are aware that personal circumstances change and members may come out of or into a tax-paying situation. If your circumstances, in this respect, do change, we would be grateful if you would let us know and then the Gift Aid claims we make on your behalf are as honest and accurate as we are able to manage. Again, should other details change, e.g. address, telephone number, email address etc., please inform us accordingly and our records can be updated or even update them yourself using our Members Portal. All the information we hold in your respect is for admin purposes only, and is kept securely and maintained in accordance with Data Protection provisions.

Research Projects
The National U3A are currently promoting research projects. If you would like to be involved, please take a look at the U3A Research Projects flyer as a starting point.