Rayleigh Grange


Coronavirus Up-Date


At the time of writing the vast majority of our members have been placed into a higher tier resulting in tighter restrictions due to the increase in Covid-19 cases.

As I live within the Southend Borough Council we have, so far, not been included in the increased restrictions, but I expect that we won’t be far behind.

Away from the doom and gloom, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the committee who are working behind the scenes to ensure we are updated on National policy, contact is maintained with Rayleigh Grange Community Centre and, of course, ensuring our finances are in order. New member enquiries have to be dealt with and our speakers have to be postponed. Contact is still being maintained with our Group Leaders and our Website Editor endeavours to keep you updated with news and events online. Finally, please send pictures and a short article to assist our Editor who is having to produce a newsletter with very little information.
Please don’t forget to keep in touch with those who you know are on their own and would perhaps welcome a call. If anyone is in need of assistance please contact any committee member and if we can’t help then I am sure we will be able to locate someone who can.

Please keep yourselves safe and well.

Bob Farrow
1st Nov 2020

Coronavirus Up-Date


I hope you have all managed to cope not only with the Covid restrictions, but also with the extreme heat wave we had recently. Unfortunately, I am not able to bring good news with regards to the resumption of our monthly meetings. The Rayleigh Grange has now re-opened with very limited admission. We would only be allowed a maximum of 15 in the small hall and a maximum of 30 in the larger hall, with NO cross contamination. We will obviously update you as and when this changes.

We have also not been able to hold our Annual General Meeting in the normal manner. You will all have received all the relevant information by email or hand delivered concerning the AGM and we will be holding this via Zoom on 1st September 2020. Any relevant updates will be posted on our website.

Just a gentle reminder about our Facebook page. It’s easy to join (trust me if I can then anyone can) and is another way of keeping in touch.

Please keep safe and well.

Bob Farrow
1st Sept 2020

The Rayleigh Grange U3A Committee held a committee meeting by Zoom on Tues 28th July. There seems little chance of any monthly meetings at least until the New Year. We have cancelled all bookings at Rayleigh Grange Hall until December 2020. They are opening in September but only for a maximum of 30 people at a time which will not be sufficient for our monthly meetings. We continue to hold committee meetings by Zoom.

We would be interested to hear what if anything any groups are managing to do in the current circumstances - please respond to this email as it may give ideas to other groups.

The AGM will go ahead as planned on Tuesday 1st September 2020 via Zoom. You have been emailed previously about this (on 8th July). If you require any further details please email Gillian Lilleker, our Secretary (rgrangeu3a@outlook.com).

For those that didn’t know, Jackie Dillnutt is taking over from Pam Green as the Social Secretary and Maureen Cheesewright has taken over as Group Leader for the Friday Photography Group.

We will continue to keep you up-dated via Ann's Monthly Newsletter and emails.


Coronavirus Up-Date


The recent amendment to our lockdown restrictions will hopefully allow some of you to be with loved ones and have the opportunity to stay overnight within the permitted “bubble “.

This is a small step in the right direction, but I feel it will be sometime before our lives return to "normal ". On this note we have had to postpone our AGM until October and, consequently, all of our Committee members will remain in post until then. I have serious doubts as to whether we will be able to hold this at the Rayleigh Grange so, therefore, we may well have to hold a virtual meeting using Zoom. We will obviously keep you all updated and ensure that all necessary information and proposals are circulated appropriately.

As I mentioned last month, Rayleigh Grange U3A has now set up its own Facebook page which is only available to Members. As a “You will never get me on Facebook” die hard I was persuaded to take the plunge. I found it quite easy to set up my profile, apart from when asked my ‘status’, I answered Married. Apparently I should have included a date because when I first logged in there was a banner stating “Bob Farrow married today”. My children were somewhat amused by this and Lyn didn’t realise we had divorced!

Please take care and keep safe.

Bob Farrow
26th June 2020

**Proposal to cut fees for next year**

Following the last committee meeting held via Zoom on 26th May, it was decided to propose a reduction of the membership fees next year from £12 to £5, subject to approval at the next AGM, to account for the lack of activity this year due to coronavirus.

It was also decided to postpone the AGM from July until October. If an AGM is still not advisable come October, the committee shall consider holding it via Zoom.

The new Rayleigh Grange U3A Facebook Group now has 63 members. Even our 'die-hard' chairman, Bob 'I'll never join Facebook' Farrow has joined and keeping up to date with new posts.

John Meggison
Website Editor
9th June 2020

New Facebook Group launched

A new Rayleigh Grange U3A Facebook Group has just started. It is a 'Closed' Facebook Group and will only allow members of our U3A to join the group. All members of the group will be able to make posts but no-one outside of the group can see what is being posted. It will be a resource for our members to share and exchange ideas, news, stories and experiences.

You need a Facebook profile to join. Search in Facebook for 'Rayleigh Grange U3A' and click on 'Join'. We will check you are a current Rayleigh Grange member by asking your email address for confirmation and then allow you access. Any queries please contact John Meggison, the Website Editor, via the 'Contact' tab above.

John Meggison
Website Editor
14 May 2020


Coronavirus Up-Date


Hopefully, by now, you have become reasonably well-adjusted to the lockdown situation we are having to deal with. Gardens are probably now well-groomed and perhaps loft space has been tidied up.

I sincerely hope that none of you have contracted Covid 19 and are not finding the isolation too hard to deal with.

We have, hopefully, contacted all of you either by email or telephone, enquiring if any assistance is needed. To date we have only had two members requesting assistance, but please feel free to contact us via the Rayleigh Grange U3A website if we can be of assistance to you. Our Website Editor, John Meggison, has details of members who are able and willing to assist.

Please keep visiting the website where you will be kept updated. Take care and keep safe.

Bob Farrow
April 2020

Coronavirus Up-Date

In view of the current restrictions imposed by the Government all Rayleigh Grange U3A activities and meetings will cease for a minimum of 3 months (as from 20th March 2020).

Please view the national U3A website for up-to-date information and also interesting ways to keep ourselves occupied:
Visit: https://www.u3a.org.uk/ or click on the 'U3A' button at the top right of this page.

The newsletter will continue to be published and circulated by email and post.

The Committee will be having a 'Zoom' committee meeting on Tuesday 28th April 2020.

April 2020

Welcome - Rayleigh Grange U3A

In 2009, following a launch meeting at Rayleigh Grange, which had been organised by Rayleigh U3A and the national office, several volunteers came forward to start a new U3A. Those volunteers – Lillah Akerman, Ann Rawlinson, Margaret Halloran, Julia White, Sue Mahoney, Alan & Viv McKeown, June Cross, Jacqui Butcher, Irene & Stan Reynell - met up on 13 March 2009 at the Hungry Horse in London Road, to form a steering committee and Rayleigh Grange U3A was born. Lillah became our first Chairman and the group of 11 our founder members.

The name Rayleigh Grange was chosen, as our monthly meeting is held at the Grange Community Centre, Little Wheatley Chase, Rayleigh.

The initial membership of 39 at our first monthly meeting has grown steadily and we now have just over 300 members.

U3A stands for the University of the Third Age but is not a university in the academic sense – no qualifications are required and none are given. The U3A provides an opportunity through self-help to widen our experiences and knowledge. There are now over 1000 local U3As all over the UK with over 425,000 members.

We are a lively organisation with members drawn from Rayleigh and the surrounding area. Our main activities centre around over 50 interest groups which draw upon the knowledge and expertise of our members. These are held in members homes and venues around Rayleigh and offer educational, recreational and physical activities for those who are retired or no longer in full-time employment.

Rayleigh Grange U3A is run by an elected committee of 15 members. Our AGM in July 2019 saw elections for a new Committee, new members joining those remaining to take Rayleigh Grange U3A forward for another exciting year of speakers and events.

Each local U3A is autonomous and develops its own distinctive features but is able to call upon national and regional parts of the organisation for help and advice.

Rayleigh Grange U3A is affiliated to the Third Age Trust and upholds its aims and principles.

Subscription is only £12 a year which includes:

  • Entrance to our interest groups
  • Monthly meeting with a Guest Speaker - held on the first Wednesday of each month (excluding January,July & August)
  • Refreshments at the monthly meeting
  • Five copies of the national magazine “Third Age Matters”
  • A monthly newsletter or bulletin

Interest groups normally meet in the home of the leader or a group member and 50p is payable for refreshments. Additional costs may be payable when groups meet in a hall or if other fees are required.

Guests are welcome to attend our monthly meeting and the guest fee is £3.

Please see our Emergency Cold Weather Policy.

Rayleigh Grange U3A is a Registered Charity Number 1165092.