The speaker at our meeting yesterday was Ken Heathcote who gave us, at times a very intimate insight into his life and condition. Ken explained how his assistance dogs, first Petra and currently Piper have transformed his life. Piper is a gorgeous and clever four-and-a-half-year-old assistance dog. He is very obedient and gave us an energetic demonstration of some of his skills – retrieving, pushing, pulling and even speaking - all on command. Ken talked about the charity which funds and trains assistance dogs “Dogs for Life” (formerly Dogs for the Disabled) and explained that the demand far exceeds the supply of trained dogs. Last year for example the charity received 4500 enquiries for assistance dogs and yet the charity could only produce 60. Despite his condition Ken leads a busy life not only speaking for the charity but he also walks three dogs daily and is a wheelchair gardener.
Last Sunday over 60 of us enjoyed an afternoon tea at the Centre catered by Ann Mills and followed by entertainment provided by a number of very brave but talented fellow Ravenshead U3A members.

Following on from Sunday we are thinking of organising some sort of talent show (not a competition) next year. So, we are calling all jugglers, singers, magicians, poets, musicians, dancers, stand-ups and others. If you have a ‘talent’ please don’t be shy – do let us know.

Your committee is keen to hear from you. Are there things we could do better or differently? Do you have any comments, ideas or advice? Are there any trips you would like us to investigate? Do you have any ideas for new interest groups? We would love to hear from you. Please speak to any member of your committee.

Our September meeting will be our “Groups Showcase” – an opportunity to see what many of our interest groups get up to, how they have grown and what they have achieved. Please come along - have a look and have a go. You may even be persuaded to join some of them. On the other hand, if you have an idea for a new group then Margaret Craddock our Groups Co-ordinator will be very pleased to see you. Alternatively you may contact Margaret on 01623 467704 or by email macraddock49@gmail.com

Ravenshead U3A Quiz Night (with Fish and Chip Supper)
Friday 20th September 7.00 p.m. Ravenshead Village Hall
Tickets: £8.
There are a few tickets available. Please contact Judith Moore on 01623 797529

Up to 2,500 stands. The largest event of its kind in Europe. As seen recently on TV.
Friday 11 October
Community bus £5
Buy your own entrance ticket £5
10 a.m. leave Sherwood Ranger
Leave Newark at 3 p.m.
There are places remaining so if you would like to go please contact Chris Dean on 01623 792004 or by email to childad38@gmail.com

First Aid – two-hour British Red Cross training
There has not been sufficient interest so far to set up a new session – we really need at least 12 people – so if you are interested, or even if you attended last year and wish to refresh your skills, please let me know.

Chess and Backgammon Group
This group is looking for members to boost their number. Chess players are especially welcome.
The group meets every 1st and 3rd Monday at 10 a.m. at Jan Fraser’s house.
For more information, please speak to Jan on 01623 473078

Thursday Walking Group
You are invited to join this group every 4th Thursday afternoon.
Maximum length of walks 5 miles.
If you are interested, please speak to Graham Munro or Paul Craddock.

Christmas Lunch – Tuesday 17 December at Portland College
Please reserve the date in your diaries. We don’t have a price yet from Portland but tickets will be available from October onwards.

U3A Diaries
These are available from the Third Age Trust online shops at https://www.u3a.org.uk/

Holiday to Southern Ireland
Ashfield U3A are planning a seven-day holiday in June 2020. Caroline Rhoades, their holiday organiser, is taking names only at this stage. Please see the attached information from Caroline and if you are interested please contact her direct.

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Best wishes
Maria Gabrielczyk