Northumbria Region U3A

Focus on ...

This page is intended to give concise information about various and diverse topics that will be of general interest to members of the Northumbria Region. The most recent information is at the top of the page, the oldest at the bottom.

If you, as an individual or representing one of the U3As within the region, would like to submit a topic for inclusion then please click here website. Latest additions are at the top of this page.


Slow Ways

This initiative has been designed to create a national network of walking routes connecting all of Great Britain’s towns and cities as well as thousands of villages, using existing paths, ways, trails and roads.
All of the route information that’s collated will always be free to browse, search, view, share and download.

Find out more here: Slow Ways Project

Or click here: Slow Ways Website

Cecilia Coulson


The Countryside Code
Here is the new Countryside Code leaflet: Countryside Code


Measure Your Carbon Emissions
A new tool has been developed to give small communities data on their carbon emissions that is easy to interpret and share, giving a clear idea where local community-based action could really make a dent in emissions.
Impact Tool, 5/4/21


I am Chair and Newsletter Editor of the Wanstead and Woodford u3a and since coronavirus broke out nearly a year ago I have produced a publication each week (43 so far.) These are not necessarily for u3a members although that is how they started. The publications are usually 3 pages of jokes, cartoons, poems, and many other topics( no specific u3a news) mainly related to the 60+ age group. I now have about 7000 'readers' and many pass them on to other people or nursing homes etc. I thought it would just be a few editions but it has spread like topsy!

Many of my readers are Chair or Newsletter Editors or Regional u3a contacts and they invariably send them out to all their members ( or copy articles for their own newsletters) I put no Copywrite on these publications as I am happy to let as many people as possible read them and get some humour in their lives in these dreadful times. If I feature an article or poem etc I will give the source e.g. 'originally published in The Daily Mail'.

I thought you or your members may be interested in receiving the publication by email each week and if so just drop me an email (click the name below) and I will add your name to the list.

Philip Joiner, 1/2/21


Wellbeing and Looking After Yourself

Wellbeing Links Looking After Yourself

Kelvin Rushworth, 31/1/21


Making Your Voice Count - Voice Global

We all like to have our say on things. After all, we haven’t built up all those years of experience not to feel like we have something to share with others. And, while many of us may be content to shout at the TV or radio, some of us are taking advantage of modern technology to have our say online. Not all of that is just about commenting on social media. Some is directed at improving society and the way we live now and into the future.

One great forum, for helping people just like us, is the Voice platform based at Newcastle University. By joining the u3a group on the Voice website, you can actively contribute your own experiences and ideas both to improve academic research into the health of our ageing population and to design new products and services to make our lives better.

And, all 10,000 u3a members in the North East can be at the heart of the Voice movement. David Pattinson, of Tynedale u3a, has recently been invited by Sandi Rickerby, the Third Age Trust’s North East Regional Trustee, to become the liaison between Voice and the u3a movement.

Why not sign up for Voice and then apply to join the u3a group on the system and share your ideas and comments. We are just at the start of the process of using the power of the u3a movement to help make things better. Come and join us using the link below. Together we really can make a difference.

You can find Voice at this link:

or click this link to view a pdf: Voice u3a group

David Pattinson, 4/1/21


Royal Volunteer Advice Leaflet

Click the following link to read advice on a number of topics. Some things you will already know but a gentle reminder at this time of year will not go amiss:

RVS Winter Advice



Smartphone Updating

This one page document from NERSOU (North East Region Special Operation Unit) reminds us about the importance of keeping our phones and tablets updated. To actually read the November Security Bulletin requires following the (somewhat obscure) small-size dark blue link near the top left of the leaflet.

Android Security



Offer of Virtual Talks for U3As

Two people have kindly offered to give talks to U3A Science groups using video conferencing:

1. Jane Sellwood, Reading U3A, has offered a topical talk on "Virology of Coronavirus - COVID-19".
Jane was due to give this talk to the U3A Science Network Annual Meeting in August ( but the meeting has had to be cancelled for this year.

2. Barry Zussman, Torridge U3A (Bideford, Devon) has offered a "tongue-in-cheek" review of the IgNobel awards, which are awarded each year.
( He has several talks.

If you are interested in either of the talks, please contact the people directly. Obviously they would want your U3A to host the talks.

Best Wishes
Mike Hollingsworth
U3A Subject Adviser for Science


I have just discovered the Healthy London Partnership which has a range of interesting resources about social prescribing, especially, I like the animation!

Social prescribing - Healthy London Partnership
Social prescribing is a way of linking patients in primary care with sources of support within the community. It provides GPs with a non-medical referral option that can operate alongside existing treatments to improve health and wellbeing. Visit our social prescribing and self-care wiki-style resource for the latest evidence and share your knowledge People are living …
Kelvin Rushworth


The Oldie

OFFER TO NORTHUMBRIA U3A MEMBERS: GET 12 ISSUES OF THE OLDIE FOR £12 - a saving of £42 - and a free book worth £7.95

I am the Editor of The Oldie magazine, which was started 25 years ago by the great Richard Ingrams, the former Editor of Private Eye. The Oldie has developed an extraordinary talent to amuse and educate, with some of Britain’s greatest writers gracing its pages: Craig Brown, Gyles Brandreth and Virginia Ironside.
You won’t get retirement advice or tips on fighting old age. Oldies aren’t grumpies, but we are liberated by age to say the unsayable. The Oldie has no political agenda. You will get buckets of laughs. Have a look at our website

I have a very special offer for U3A members….
They can have 12 issues for £12* and a free copy of The Very Best of The Oldie: The First Twenty-Five years, worth £7.95. This is a saving of £42 on the cover price. If you’d like us to send you a free sample copy, please email James Pembroke at or visit: OR call 0330 333 0195 and quote U3A19

Very best

Harry Mount

  • After the first 12 issues, the subscription rate will increase to £42.50, which is a saving of £11.50 on the cover price.

The Oldie magazine, Moray House,
23/31 Great Titchfield Street London W1W 7PA

Tel: 020 7436 8801


Volunteering Opportunities - See Around Britain

See Around Britain is a registered charity which has set up a website, with the intention to provide photographic and detailed written information regarding a large variety of public venues throughout the UK. The information we provide gives a brief description, along with contact details, transport information and accessibility information so that potential visitors, including those with disabilities, can decide whether or not a venue is suitable for their particular needs.

The charity currently has a number of exciting volunteering opportunities available and we feel they could be of potential interest to U3Ar members. In particular, we are looking for volunteers to write venue descriptions to accompany the backlog of photographs of various venues and/or submit photos or videos of new venues themselves, all of which can be done from home and online via our website. There are online video tutorials available to help volunteers, but we can also provide additional support via email if needed.

If you feel this would be of interest we would be really grateful to hear from you (contact email address: and/or Alternatively, you can register interest and join directly via the website’s volunteer section at the bottom of the About Us page,

Cara Crockett, See Around Britain



Northumbria Region has run some Cyber Security courses recently, but in case you missed them or want to find out even more the Open University has released a free course in cyber security on their OpenLearn website.
The following is an extract from their site:

Our lives depend on online services. Gain essential cyber security knowledge and skills, to help protect your digital life.
We shop online. We work online. We play online. We live online. As our lives increasingly depend on digital services, the need to protect our information from being maliciously disrupted or misused is really important.

This free online course, Introduction to cyber security: stay safe online, will help you to understand online security and start to protect your digital life, whether at home or work. You will learn how to recognise the threats that could harm you online and the steps you can take to reduce the chances that they will happen to you.

With cyber security often in the news today, the course will also frame your online safety in the context of the wider world, introducing you to different types of malware, including viruses and trojans, as well as concepts such as network security, cryptography, identity theft and risk management.

This course has been developed by The Open University with support from the UK Government's National Cyber Security Programme and can be accessed free of charge.

Click here to go straight to the relevant web page: Cyber Security Course