Minehead & District

Welcome to Minehead & District U3A

Minehead & District U3A members are drawn from Minehead, Porlock, Watchet, Williton and all the outlying villages along the coast and on Exmoor.

New website under development! See News and Reports page (a link from this page). a date for the new website to 'go live' will be announced soon.

Can you help us?
Jan Lowy, our stalwart Secretary, writes:

"In May 2021, at our next AGM, I shall have to retire from my position as Secretary of our U3A, after completing seven years in the job. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time doing this work. It isn’t onerous – nine committee meetings a year, for which I prepare the agenda with the Chairman, and draft the minutes after the meeting, then send them out to the Committee. I prepare the agenda for the Annual General Meeting, and take the minutes for that too. There are also some legal requirements for the U3A National Office, and the Charity Commission, but I can help my successor with these.

Our constitution requires that a secretary is in place, and it would be illegal to carry on with our U3A without one. It is therefore essential that we find someone to join the committee and take on this job by next May. If you have some experience in this field, please help us – it would be tragic if our U3A had to fold. If you are interested, please get in touch with me, and I can tell you more about it. If you would like to attend a committee meeting (held at the moment by Zoom) to learn more about our work, we would be happy to arrange that.

Competition time! Competition for website images

Our new website needs you! Or, rather, it needs your images… The team developing our new Minehead & District U3A
website would like to use images created by members. Enter our competition and – in addition to having your work published online – you could win a prize! The website team is looking for any image that you have created that in some way reflects our U3A.

There are three categories in the competition, but FOUR prizes: gift vouchers worth £15, one for
the winner in each category, plus an extra one for the best overall entry.

Not online? That’s OK: just send in your printed photos or images on paper!

• Photograph (with caption)
• Creative artwork (with caption) – can be an image of
a painting, 3D object, textile, ceramic, drawing etc
• Logo or abstract pattern – this could become a ‘motif’ running through the website

Entries must be received by Sunday 11 October 2020 (Revised date 25th October 2020).
Judging will take place in the week of 28th Octobe (revise date), with the names of winners published in the November newsletter and images featuring in future editions of the newsletter as well as on our
new website.

Website Competition Rules
1. Criteria for judging:
(a) Visual impact – is it eye-catching?
(b) Is it relevant to U3A principles and practices?
(c) Can it be used flexibly on the website?
2. All entries must be the product of the individual submitting the work
3. An individual may submit up to five entries in each category.
4. Copyright in the winning entries is assigned to Minehead & District U3A.
5. All entries must be received at the latest by Sunday 11 October 2020.
6. Entries should be sent (via post or email) to Hilary Fisk, who will also be happy to answer
your queries. Phone number and email address are below. Send postal entries to Hilary at
Banksia, Whitecross Lane, Minehead TA24 8DG.
7. The judges’ decisions are final (judges: John Batt, Alison Andrew and Martin Fisk).

From the Chairman August 2020
It seems unlikely that we will be able to resume our traditional group meetings or the large coffee morning gatherings before the New Year. That does not mean we have to be less active, and in fact it has opened the doors to new learning and is probably making us all challenge some of our own technophobias.

We will continue to use technology as best we can, and have booked an excellent programme of coffee morning speakers on
Zoom until December, thanks to Paul Vickery. We are completely redoing our U3A website to allow for much more interactive content. The Facebook page continues to offer up-todate news and information.

September may be our time to plan to rejoin and reinvigorate our existing groups. It is also an opportunity to propose new areas of learning, create new groupings of people with shared interests, and suggest ways we can learn together, with or without IT.

Please contact any member of the committee with your ideas and thoughts or send them to the newsletter.
John Batt, August 2020

IT Champions
To help you with any IT related issues, there are fellow- members who can assist. The IT Champions are individuals with IT experience, who are willing to act as your first point of contact for ANY IT-related problem or question − for ANY U3A member. You can email your question to ITChampionsMinehead@gmail.com [or use the Contacts page] and a champion will be assigned to your case.

Virtual meetings
The initial focus for the Champions has been on setting members up on Zoom (videoconferencing). Zoom can be very useful in this respect, as we can share screens − allowing the champion to look at your screen and hopefully analyse a problem, and enabling the champion to share their screen to give a small tutorial on how to use a specific feature that may be useful. The Champions will also be writing simple guides to the main tools available. Guides to how to set up Zoom on your device are available.

See the link on the GROUPS page for details of people willing to help with getting going with some of the new ways of working and 'meeting'! Do you have a skill that you could volunteer to 'Champion'?

All members should think about joining the Facebook Group for Minehead & District U3A. There are now over 50 members using this as a way to communicate and have fun. If you have a dislike of using 'social media' prepare to put it to one side for the duration! It has a vital role to play in keeping U3A members connected. On Facebook, search for 'Minehead & District U3A' and message the admin person to add you to the group - it is a closed group to guard against unwanted content. The National Office of U3A's Facebook group Called U3A: Keeping in touch is also excellent for inter-U3A conversations and information.

Lockdown nature amble diary
One of our members, Catherine Knight, has been writing nature notes on her daily exercise walk since 'lockdown' began - She has now reached week 18! Please visit the Nature Amblers Group page for the latest instalment.

Keep up with what is going on - join the Minehead and District Facebook Group.

Help to keep active at home
It's a particularly difficult time for those of us who are self-isolating and spending a lot of time at home, with long-term health conditions or reduced mobility. I understand, as I fit into both those categories, how difficult it is to stay active at home both physically and mentally.

As our U3A's welfare officer I have been working with Somerset Activity & Sports Partnership (SASP) to look at these and other issues members have to face. SASP is now able to provide some support and send out activity packs, which include a copy of the Public Health England (PHE) booklet Active at Home. This contains guidance, and includes exercises for all
abilities, some practical advice, and useful contacts.I have been sent the booklet and a planner electronically, and I am happy to send these on to you if you email me at bzarajic@icloud.com. If you prefer, you can go to the website www.SASP.co.uk and order your pack directly. However,
for those who have no internet, you can order one by telephoning SASP on 01823 653990. Leave a message including your name and address and that you require an Active at Home pack.
Pam Young, Welfare

New to U3A? Read on...

New to the U3A? What is it?
Joining U3A leads to 'a mixture of learning and leisure in the company of like-minded people'! U3A is a UK-wide (and, indeed, international) movement which brings together people in their third age to develop their interests and continue their learning in a friendly and informal environment. You may be wondering what we mean by 'third age'! It's that time after you've finished working full-time and/or raising your family and have time to pursue your own interests, or try something new.
The U3A is a national movement, with over 1000 groups operating autonomously in the UK. There is lots of information available from the National Office - click on the 'U3A' link on the top bar.

Latest developments

There is now a comprehensive Calendar of U3A activities. Click on 'Calendar' on the top row on this page.

We are now a group on Facebook - search for 'Minehead and District U3A'! and message the admin person to add you to the group - it is a closed group to guard against unwanted content, so for once, you will need to quote your membership number...

U3A is a community of members who draw upon their knowledge and experience to teach and learn from each other. There are no qualifications to join or exams to pass – U3A is just for pleasure. Learning is its own reward. And we have fun – often lots of fun!

If you're interested in joining Minehead & District U3A, just come along to a coffee morning (see Events page). You can find out more about membership by clicking here Membership, or use the Contact page to ask Hilary, the Membership Secretary, a question.

Can you help?

We are in need of additional assistance at our Coffee Mornings, and indeed, as members of the Committee. Please do think about what you can do to assist the U3A.

Apart from the monthly coffee mornings on the third Thursday of the month there are lots of other things you can join in with.There are details of our future activities on the Events page, with a list of our interest groups and meeting information on the Groups page. You can read about the Shared Learning Projects that our U3A members have been involved with. Minehead & District U3A now has an enviable track record in completing successful projects – see the link, top right or below, for more information. Perhaps you'd like to help in our latest shared learning project, organised in conjunction with the Exmoor National Park Authority. National U3A Summer Schools take place every year in the summer. Find out more at the U3A page or see your copy of Third Age Matters the magazine of the national U3A.


West Somerset Radio – 104.4FM
Every second Tuesday of the month tune in to listen to live interviews with U3A members! The U3A slot is normally around 12.20 during Bryan Leaker's show.

If you’d like to talk live on air about your interest group and the kind of things your group members get up to, just contact John Batt.


Click on a picture below to see it full-size with more details.