Redbridge & District

Latest News

AGM on 22nd February: Committee for 2021-22 approved
69 members took part in our 2021 AGM which was held on Monday 22nd February on Zoom. At the AGM, the Deputy Mayor of Redbridge, councillor Joyce Ryan conducted the vote for approval of the Committee for the coming year. We said goodbye to Cliff Russell, Jill Playford and Stuart Wallman as Committee members, and to Paula Russell who has been our Honorary President for the last two years, so a few posts had to change hands. Lennart Christensen succeeds Cliff as Treasurer, while Susan Whiterow takes over the post of Vice Chair and Loretta Mather becomes our new Secretary. Liz Kite soldiers on as Chair, while Silva Chamberlain, Nicholas Levin, Howard Mather and Elaine Mitchell all remain in their posts. Thankfully, all the outgoing Committee members will be continuing as group leaders, and Stuart will still be our Zoom Administrator.
The minutes of the previous AGM was approved with 87 % of the vote, the accounts with 95 %, and the new Committee with 98 %. There were no votes against at any point. You can see the current Committee members' profiles on the Meet the Committee page.
After the formalities of the AGM, the Deputy Mayor addressed the members, and our guest speaker, wildlife photographer Bob Johnson gave a fascinating illustrated talk about his trip to photograph polar bears in the Arctic.
Posted on 23rd February 2021

February Newsletter distributed
Our February Newsletter was e-mailed to members on Monday 15th February. If you are not on e-mail, you should have received your printed copy by now - in most cases hand-delivered by Committee members because of the recent problems with the postal service. The newsletter is available for download from the Welcome page, but without contact information.
Posted on 18th February 2021

National and Regional u3a events
The following events arranged by the u3a National Office or the London Region of u3as are open for booking. They all take place on Zoom and they are all free (except for the National Gallery event):

  • Wednesday 24th February at 2.00 pm: u3a Choir: After The Storm (Session 1 of 6) hosted by Richard Keoghoe, Sandy Boden and Jane Kemp
  • Wednesday 24th February at 2.00 pm: A Taste of Japan, part 2. Talk by Derek Beddow, Gill Russell and Hilary Jones
  • Tuesday 2nd March at 10.00 am: The Art of The Album Cover (Session 1 of 4) by Lee Wellbrook
  • Thursday 4th March at 10.00 am: Seven Wonders of the World: Old and New. Talk by Vivianne Rowan
  • Thursday 4th March at 2.00 pm: Staying Safe Online. Repeat talk by Barry Linton
  • Monday 6th March at 10.00 am: Leonardo da Vinci - Would He Have Made a Good u3a Member? Talk by Catherine Stevenson
  • Monday 8th March at 2.00 pm: Egyptology: Women in Ancient Egypt. Talk by Neil Styevenson
  • Monday 8th March at 5.00 pm: Realms of Gold - John Keats, his story, and his poetry. Talk by Geoff Pick
  • Thursday 11th March at 2.00 pm: Wellbeing in Nature. Repeat talk by Susan Collini
  • Monday 15th March at 1.30 pm: Health in Turn of the Century Belfast, 1899-1901. Talk by Olwen Purdue
  • Wednesday 17th March at 2.00 pm: Fire! A Century of the Volunteer Frire Brigade. Talk by Jo Livingston
  • Thursday 18th March at 10.00 am: Turner, Mythology and the Art of Storytelling. Talk by Dr Carlo Corsato, The National Gallery. £5.50.
  • Monday 22nd March at 10.30 am: Live Cookery Demonstration: Springtime Treats with Chef Alex
  • Monday 22nd March at 5.00 pm: I can't believe we still get medicines from plants. Talk by Tony Dayan
  • Wednesday 24th March at 2.00 pm: A Taste of Japan, part 3. Talk by Derek Beddow, Gill Russell and Hilary Jones
  • Wednesday 31st March at 2.00 pm: Where Did Our Favourite Plants Come From? Talk by Marion Dale
  • Thursday 15th April at 2.00 pm: Maths On The Back Of An Envelope. Repeat talk by Rob Eastaway

More information on the National and Regional Events page where you will also find links for registering. These events tend to be booked up very fast, so you will need to be quick off the mark.
Posted on 10th October 2020, last updated on 23rd February 2021

January newsletter on its way to your mailbox
The January newsletter will be distributed today (Monday). If you are on e-mail, it should arrive in your mailbox today. If you normally receive the newsletter in the post, it is hard to say when it will arrive as service by Royal Mail is suffering from severe disruptions in our area because staff is ill and/or self-isolating. The newsletter is available for download from the Welcome page, but without contact information.
Posted on 18th January 2021

Changes to the constitution passed at SGM
At the Special General Meeting on 30th November, the changes to the constitution as proposed by the committee were passed by the members present.
82 members logged in to the meeting although some did not stay for very long. 49 members voted, with the following results:
To allow committee members to serve for six years (previously three) as a non-officer: For: 40 - Against: 3 - Abstained: 6
To have a quorum at general meetings if 10 % of members are present (previously 15 %): For: 41 - Against: 4 - Abstained: 4
The full text of the constitution can be found on the Constitution page.
Posted on 8th December 2020

u3a Winter School on Zoom
The Third Age Trust is arranging a Winter School on Zoom with eight courses raging from law to gardens. See the complete list on our special u3a Winter School on Zoom page where you will also find direct links to more information and booking.
Posted on 2nd December 2020

SGM on Monday 30th November
PLEASE REMEMBER that our Open Meeting on Monday 30th November will start with a Special General Meeting about changes to our constitution as announced in the October newsletter. The members present will constitute a quorum, and voting will take place via Zoom Polls.
Posted on 24th November 2020

November newsletter now available
Our newsletter for November has been distributed via email. If you are not email, it should be in your post soon. The newsletter can also be downloaded (without contact information) from the Welcome page of this website.
Posted on 24th November 2020

u3a Radio Podcast 2 is out now
The second u3a Radio Podcast is now available for listening, this month with interviews on creative writing, opera and much much more. You can listen by clicking the link at the bottom of this page or use this link: NovemberPodcast
Posted on 17th November 2020

Regional PR and Media Advisers wanted
Do you want to help raise the profile of u3as in your part of the world, and support the national campaign to celebrate and promote awareness of the u3a movement? We are looking for volunteers with knowledge and experience of working in a PR, media or marketing capacity to join their Regional Team and be linked to the national Communications Team. Volunteers will be part of a UK wide team with other PR Advisers. The role is home based but could include travel around the region or country, as necessary. Most meetings will be conducted online but occasional team meetings in London (when permitted) will be required, but no more than twice a year. Expenses will be paid under the Expense Policy of the Trust. For an informal discussion contact Sue Stokes, Chair of Communications and External Affairs: email or call 07931 865903
Posted on 17th November 2020

National Poetry Competition 2020
Calling on all our amazing u3a poets - you are invited to take part in our National Poetry Competition 2020 - an opportunity to get creative and to show off your poetry writing skills. The Third Age Trust is launching a UK-wide initiative to find the best humorous poem penned by one of you. The top three entries will be published in Third Age Matters magazine, which reaches over a quarter of a million households. The theme for the challenge is hobbies or interests. Given most of us have had more time than usual to engage in our hobbies this year it seems a fitting theme. You can write about a new hobby you have taken up during lockdown, jog your memory by writing about hobbies of the past or use your imagination to write about a hobby you have never quite managed to take up. Or something else related to hobbies or interests - the choice is yours. Deadline for contributions is Friday 20th November at 12 noon. For more information and how to participate, click this link: Poetry2020
Posted on 29th October 2020

Cognitive ageing research
If you want to take part in an online study related to a programme of cognitive ageing research, please visit our Research page.
Posted on 10th October 2020

Renewal approaching - New Membership Secretary
This is an advance notice that membership renewal is due by the end of October. Renewal forms will be distributed together with the next newsletter on Monday 19th October and the subs for the 2020/21 season will be £15.00 covering your membership until the end of July 2021. While we cannot offer a full service under the present circumstances, keeping the U3A running even at a reduced level means that we still have expenses to meet.
From the renewal date, Elaine Mitchell will take over the post of Membership Secretary from Stuart Wallman. Stuart will continue on the Committee as our Zoom administrator.
Posted on 30th September 2020

U3A Radio Podcast launched
The first ever U3A radio officially launched on 29th September. The National Office learning team has been working with member volunteers who are skilled in broadcasting and you can listen to U3A Radio wherever you are as it is delivered as a recorded podcast. This pilot will feature a series of interviews and features from across the movement – for the launch - all themed around looking forward. We are very excited about this project which we aim to grow and develop over the coming year. There will be another pilot before Christmas. We hope you enjoy our first broadcast. Listen here: U3A Radio or at the bottom of this page.
Posted on 30th September 2020

No quorum at SGM
Unfortunately we did not have a quorum at the Special General Meeting on Monday 21st September so the proposed changes to our constitution could not be adopted. The SGM therefore had to be adjourned and will now resume on Monday 30th November where the members present will constitute a quorum. Full details in the next newsletter.
Posted on 30th September 2020

Survey about the impact of Social Distancing
If you want to take part in a survey about the impact of Social Distancing on older people, please see the notice on the Research page.
Posted on 30th September 2020

Covid-19 and U3A
We held a committee meeting on Monday 14th September and very carefully considered the latest Government announcements concerning tightening restrictions regarding Covid 19. These new rules, together with the revelation that the London Borough of Redbridge had the highest incidence of Covid 19 among all the London Boroughs, bringing us close to a second lockdown forced us to take the hard decision not to sanction any face to face group meetings for the time being. This applies to indoors or outdoors. We would ask you NOT to meet up at all, whatever the activity.
Posted on 30th September 2020

Committee moves
Sadly, Jan Martin-Ellis stepped down from the committee last month.We wish her well.
I am so pleased to announce that Silva Chamberlain, one of our newer committee members has agreed to be first contact. She will send out information to people interested in joining our U3A and follow them up after they have joined to make sure that they are happy with us. I am sure she will do a great job.
I am also delighted to welcome onto our committee, Howard Mather. He has had a lifetime of experience in industry and the high tech world and will make an excellent Publicity Officer.
Posted on 30th September 2020

Family History talks in October
The London Region of U3As is arranging a series of Family History talks on Zoom in October. Please visit the National and Regional Events page for more information.
Posted on 17th September 2020

Group Leaders meeting in October
Group Leaders, please make a note in your diary that a Group Leaders meeting will take place on Zoom on Wednesday 14th October at 2.00 pm.
An agenda and a link to the Zoom meeting will be distributed closer to the time.
If you have any issues you would like to add to the agenda and if one or two of you would like to talk about leading your Zoom group, please contact Marilyn Hendleman.
Posted on 6th August 2020

We need your help and your skills
As you will have noticed, we have had a few resignations from our Committee lately, the latest being Andrea Yeshin who has stepped down from doing New Members Support. A huge thank you to Andrea for her tireless work for U3A. We already know that a number of our long-serving Committee members will be standing down when their tenure comes to an end at the AGM in February 2021, so by then we will be in dire need of help.
We have conducted a survey among those Committee members who are prepared to stand for re-election in order to determine the areas where help will be most needed, so please consider if you could give us some of your time.

  • Could you edit the newsletter and/or keep our website updated?
  • Would you be able to help group leaders fill in our new risk assessment forms and make all members aware of health and safety?
  • How about taking charge of the publicity? A vibrant and dynamic person is needed to spread the knowledge about U3A in the local community.
  • We also need someone to be our first responder. Who would allow their phone number to be publicised and deal with all new enquiries and possibly follow up with new members to ensure they are happy and fitting in.

We are not a service provider, we are a self-help group and your help is needed. If you have any sort of skills that could be of use on the Committee, please phone or email Liz Kite.
Posted on 23rd July 2020

Our Facebook group is suffering
In the beginning of June, we jubilantly declared We are on Facebook! because Howard Mather had kindly offered to set up a Facebook group for us and to be its first administrator. The group had a flying start and in a short period of time reached 53 members.
Sadly, this number has now been static for weeks. Howard’s - and our intention with starting the Facebook page was to be able to alert other groups in the community to use it for advertising to their members that U3A is alive and kicking and that we have a lot of different things going on. But unless group leaders and members post messages, the Facebook page will send the wrong message and eventually die a death.
If you are on Facebook, please tell us what’s going on within your groups, not just the Zoom groups but all the rest too. If you are not on Facebook, consider signing up. Most of us have been joining in meetings, tell the world about each one. We desperately need all of you to help promote our U3A to keep our membership up if we are to survive.
Liz Kite
Posted on 23rd July 2020

U3A logoVideo: U3A Life in Lockdown
U3A has produced a short video celebrating all the wonderful things, U3A members are upto during lockdown, all around the country. Watch it here: U3A Life in Lockdown
Posted on 12th July 2020

Important information to all members
The partial easing of lockdown restrictions has given rise to some confusion as to if and when physical U3A meetings and activities can restart.
In March, I wrote to you telling you that we would have to stop all face to face activities until further notice. At the moment, with fear of a second spike, the Committee has not yet seen fit to make any changes.
We do not want group leaders to take it upon themselves to interpret the government guidelines with respect to U3A. While we cannot prevent you from meeting up privately, you must be aware that you will not be taking part in a U3A meeting, you will not be covered by U3A insurance, and U3A will not be responsible for anybody catching covid-19 or otherwise endangering themselves in these circumstances.
The committee members, as trustees bear the ultimate responsibility for your health and safety in relation to U3A so I am sorry but we have to keep our face to face meetings on hold until the Committee feels it safe to restart them. In the meantime, do not forget that we have 37 groups active online at the moment and the number is still rising. In most cases you will be able to join any of these even if you were not previously a member of the group, just contact the group leader and ask,
Let me end by extending a huge thank you to everybody who helps keeping our U3A alive and kicking through this difficult time which is sadly not over yet.
Keep well and stay safe.
Liz Kite (chair)
Posted on 3rd July 2020

Open Monthly Meetings reZOOMing
Our Open Monthly Meetings will start again on Monday 29th June at 2.00 pm, but for the time being they will be on Zoom rather than the library. More information on the Open Meetings page.
Posted on 25th June 2020

Committee news
We are very happy to announce that our search for new blood to the Committee has paid off. Not only have we been able to fill the vacancy left by Maureen Nieberg’s departure, we have also been able to recruit two extra volunteers who have now been co-opted onto the Committee. This will ensure that we will still be able to fill all the Committee positions after the next AGM where we already know that at least two of the present Committee members will be leaving us.
Our new Committee members are Silva Chamberlain, Marilyn Hendleman and Elaine Mitchell. See how they introduce themselves on the Meet the Committee page. We warmly welcome all three of them onto our U3A Committee!
Posted on 25th June 2020

U3A Mindfulness sessions
U3A's mindfulness subject adviser, Nancy Taylor, has produced six mindfulness sessions for U3A members. You can try them out by visiting the Mindfulness page.
Posted on 24th June 2020

Workout with Mr Motivator
The fitness personality Mr Motivator, best known for his brightly-coloured outfits and enthusiastic work-outs, has created a six-day long programme exclusively for U3A members. Workout with Mr Motivator or the Mr Motivator page!
Posted on 23rd June 2020

U3A_AdvartU3A Advert
As we are now getting as many activities as possible online via Zoom and other platforms, it is time to spread the word that Redbridge & District U3A is functioning, and that new members are very welcome. The committee has decided that new members joining now can do so for a fee of £5.00 covering their membership until the end of October. We have produced this advert to publish on as many social media sites as possible, so feel free to copy it and post it wherever possible.
Posted on 11th June 2020

Sam MaugerMessage from the CEO
The Chief Executive Officer of U3A, Sam Mauger, has sent a video message to all U3A members. Watch it by clicking on the link on the right hand side of this page.
Posted on 20th May 2020

Virtual meetings taking off
U3A is still functioning during the Coronavirus crisis. While we unable to meet up face to face, physical meetings are suspended but more and more of our groups have moved to meeting online. Many of the meetings are taking place via Zoom — a video-conferencing software that allows you to virtually meet with others via the internet. This means that even members who are not regular members of the groups in many cases will be able to join, just contact the group leader to see if there are spaces.
Posted on 19th May 2020

Membership renewal postponed
Under normal circumstances your membership would be up for renewal at the end of July. However, these are anything but normal circumstances, so the Committee has decided to postpone the normal membership renewal deadline for three months.
Like everything else at the moment, the extension will be subject to review as the situation develops. What is clear is that your membership will not automatically end at the end of July, and you will not be required to renew until the end of October at the earliest.
Posted on 19th May 2020

Committee News
Sadly, Maureen Nieberg has decided to resign from the Committee for personal reasons. Maureen will be missed on the Committee, but thankfully she has offered to continue as a group leader and will still be doing membership support. A huge thank you to Maureen for all your excellent work for U3A so far.
Posted on 19th May 2020

During the lockdown we are distributing our newsletters much more frequently than usual. As they cannot be picked up from our Open Meetings, they are also sent by post to members not on e-mail. Until now, five newsletters have been published - 26th March, 6th April, 16th April, 30th April and 14th May. We expect to send out the next one on Thursday 28th May.
Posted on 22nd April 2020, updated on 19th May 2020

Please just because it is predicted to be a warm Bank Holiday Weekend
Observe social distancing & exercise rules
Metropolitan Police
Posted on 9th April 2020


  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home)
  • If you go out, stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people at all times
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home

Do not meet others, even friends or family.
You can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms.
Posted on 6th April 2020

Dear Members,
The latest Government advice regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) asks everybody to stop non-essential contact with others and adopt social distancing and The Third Age Trust has advised U3A's to follow the Government guidelines. Special care for people in the ‘at risk’ groups includes shielding them from social contact for 12 weeks. Counted among the ‘at risk’ group are people over the age of 70 and people with underlying health conditions.
Consequently, the Committee has decided that all activities arranged by and for Redbridge & District U3A will be put on hold with immediate effect. This decision has been taken with deep regret, but under the circumstances, as a significant proportion of our membership falls into the most vulnerable category, we feel that this is the only responsible course of action.
This means that until further notice there will be no monthly meetings, groups will not meet and any planned outings will be cancelled.
We will continue to monitor Government guidelines regarding the duration of ‘non-essential social contact’ and aim to resume normal service as soon as possible. In the meantime, we hope to increase the frequency of our newsletters as well as try to adopt other means of keeping in contact.
Take care and hopefully we will all get through this.
Liz Kite
Posted on 17th March 2020

U3A at the RI - Event cancelled
The U3A at the RI event at The Royal Institution on Monday 16th March has been cancelled. The organisers hope to reschedule the event in October.
Posted on 14th March 2020

At present there has been no advice or directions from the U3A National Office to stop U3A activities because of the coronavirus situation.
However, if a member has returned from one of the areas identified by the government website they should not hold group meetings in their own homes, or attend groups or monthly meetings until they have followed the NHS advice provided after calling 111.

If a member has contracted coronavirus, the Committee must be told immediately and all members of the group should call 111 for advice.

If a group or a group leader finds it best not to meet for duration of the crisis, it is perfectly legitimate to suspend the group meetings as long as the Committee is made aware of it. Please phone or e-mail the groups co-ordinator in case of any changes to your group's schedule.
In general, consider using hand sanitiser gel at group meetings and reduce physical contact such as shaking hands until further information becomes available.

If you have mild symptoms such as a high temperature or a new continuous cough you should self-isolate for 7 days. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital, and do not contact NHS 111 to tell them you’re staying at home. People who are self-isolating with mild symptoms will not be tested.

More information about the virus, as well as symptoms and advice, is available to view here: Corona1 or on the NHS England website here: Corona2
Posted on 14th March 2020

Coronavirus advice
The Third Age Trust has asked us to share the following advice from the
Government and NHS with you:
Typical symptoms of coronavirus include fever and a cough that may progress to a severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.
The UK Chief Medical Officers are advising anyone who has travelled to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau in the last 14 days and is experiencing cough or fever or shortness of breath, to stay indoors and call NHS 111, even if symptoms are mild. Isolate yourself and do not attend your GP practice or hospital.
More information about the virus, as well as symptoms and advice, is available to view here: Corona1 or on the NHS England website here: Corona2
Posted on 17th February 2020

First Noticeboard of 2020 available for download
The first Noticeboard of the year is now available for download from the Welcome page. Members will already have received it on e-mail or in the post. If for some reason you have not received it, a limited number of printed copies will be available to pick up from our Open Meting on Monday 27th January.
Posted on 23rd January 2020

Annual General Meeting 2020
This year's AGM was held on Monday 24th February at Wanstead Library. See the report on the Annual General Meeting page.
Posted on 6th January 2020, updated on 20th May 2020

New name for monthly meetings
As our monthly meetings at Wanstead Library have more emphasis on the speakers and/or entertainers than on the social aspect, and as they are in fact open to visitors (who are charged £3.00 for refreshments), the committee has decided that they should no longer be called Social Afternoons. Instead, in future they will be referred to as Open Meetings.
Posted on 27th December 2019

Have you signed a Gift Aid Declaration?
A Gift Aid Declaration means that Redbridge & District U3A can claim back £2.50 from the Inland Revenue for every £10.00 you pay for your membership subscription. You only need to sign the form once - i.e. not every year - and most of you have probably already done so, but if you have not, the form can be downloaded from the Welcome page of this website. The form also gives you a more detailed description of how Gift Aid works.
Posted on 23rd July 2018

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u3a Radio Podcast 2