Sandwell

Welcome

AT LAST WE ARE ABLE TO HAVE OUR MONTHLY MEETINGS AGAIN AT THE GAYTON ROAD COMMUNITY CENTRE, WEST BROMWICH. OUR NEXT MEETING WILL BE ON MONDAY 13 DECEMBER AT 1.30PM FOR A 2PM START. FOR MORE INFORMATION. PLEASE READ THE NOVEMBER EDITION OF 'NEWSROUNDUP' WHICH YOU CAN ACCESS FROM THE NEWSROUNDUP PAGE.

SANDWELL u3a - WE ARE STILL HERE, AND CURRENTLY IN OUR 17TH YEAR

Our motto is 'WE GLADLY LEARN, WE GLADLY TEACH'.

Welcome to our website which is updated regularly providing readers with an insight into not only what we do, but what we hope to achieve in the future. We aim to provide you with as much information as possible to encourage you to join us.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is an update to the existing Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). GDPR applied in the UK from 25 May 2018 and replaced the DPA. In accordance with updated regulations, Sandwell u3a confirm that members’ personal details [home address, telephone numbers, email address] are held securely by our Membership Secretary and Chairman, and are not passed onto any other individual, outside organisation, or other u3a without your prior consent. This also applies to any information you give to Group Leaders – this is held securely by them. Membership Application Forms allow you to consent, or otherwise, to your photograph being published on the Sandwell u3a website. If you have any questions or concerns about GDPR, please contact one of our Committee members [see details below and use the Contact page].

Sandwell u3a was formed in 2004 when Bob Tidmarsh, and a small group of enthusiasts, set up a Steering Committee to develop a new u3a. We became a charity in our own right in November 2006 and we are part of a large national organisation with over 1,050 groups in the UK and more than 450,000 individual members. Su3a is an entirely independent local group reflecting the aspirations of older people in Sandwell, and we now have over 130 members.

Here are a few questions and answers that might help and be of interest to you:

WHAT IS THE THIRD AGE?
The period of time after the First Age [of childhood dependence] and the Second Age [of full time employment and parental responsibility]. One in four of the UK population is in the Third Age.

WHO ARE WE?
The u3a is a group of people devoted to learning, with members all of whom are in their Third Age. This includes not just retired people, but people [usually over 50] no longer in full time employment.

WHERE IS SANDWELL?
The Metropolitan Borough of Sandwell was formed in 1974 and is one of seven local authorities making up the West Midlands conurbation. There are six towns in Sandwell - Oldbury, Rowley Regis, Smethwick, Tipton, Wednesbury and West Bromwich, and it is an ethnically diverse area with an ever-changing population. Sandwell is situated at the centre of the motorway network and local conurbation and has the highest proportion of its area given to parks and open spaces, particularly Sandwell Valley Nature Reserve and Bird Sanctuary. Sandwell is also home to West Bromwich Albion Football Club, who are currently in the Championship division.

FAMOUS PEOPLE BORN IN SANDWELL
These include: Denise Lewis, Robert Plant [lead singer with Led Zeppelin], Frank Skinner, Dame Julie Walters, Cat Deeley, Liza Goddard, Josie Lawrence, Steve Bull, Carlton Palmer, Matthew Marsden, Dean Smith, plus the late Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy, Richard Wattis, and the actress Madeleine Carroll.

WHAT DOES SANDWELL u3a DO AND HOPE TO ACHIEVE?
We learn, and by teaching and serving the six towns of Sandwell, we aim to provide day-time educational, social and creative activities for older people no longer in full-time employment, offering an enjoyable way to meet new people whilst learning new things without any pressure. No qualifications are needed to join, and no exams are taken. Su3a offers an enjoyable way to meet new people whilst learning new things.

CHARITIES WE SUPPORT
Sandwell u3a supports SANDWELL YOUNG CARERS. Rather then members sending Christmas cards to each other we ask them to donate a gift for a young carer at this time of year. This has proved very successful with both the U3A and the Young Carers and gifts have been gratefully received. [Please see the LINKS page to access their website].

We also support the 'HELP FOR HEROES' campaign and have donated treats for our troops whilst out in Afghanistan and we gave support to the 'YELP FOR HEROES' campaign to which our members very kindly donated toys, dried food and treats for the doggies out in the war zone. On behalf of the soldiers and doggies 'THANK YOU' for your generosity. [Please see the LINKS site to access the website]. The charity FORCES SUPPORT provide general maintenance around the home and garden, the work the lost family member would have done for his or her family, or the jobs that have built up while a family grieves. For more information on this very worthwhile charity, which has a base in Carters Green, West Bromwich, please go to the LINKS page and check their website.

WHERE AND WHEN DO WE MEET?
Our monthly general meetings are held on the second Monday of each month and for the next few months they will be held at the West Bromwich Community Centre in Gayton Road, West Bromwich [1.30pm for a 2pm start], and we finish about 3.30pm. The venue is easily accessible from West Bromwich town centre, Walsall and Great Barr, by bus, and free car parking is available.

Our meetings give members an opportunity to get together in a pleasant social atmosphere; listen to speakers who talk on a wide range of topics, many of particular local interest, and fulfill our vision that we would provide social, cultural and educational activities for older people in Sandwell every day of the week. Potential new members will be made very welcome, hopefully with a view to a lasting relationship.

A.G.M.
Our Annual General Meetings are held in February when Committee members can be proposed and elected by all members. OUR 2020 AND 2021 AGM'S WERE CANCELLED BUT WE PLAN TO HOLD THE NEXT AGM ON MONDAY 14 FEBRUARY 2022. Further details will be put in the January edition of Newsroundup and on this website.

MEMBERSHIP FEES
The Committee have agreed that the annual £15.00 membership fee paid in 2020 will cover 2020 and 2021 fees which includes magazine, postage and printing. New members in 2021 will pay £7.50 flexed, depending when they join. Fees for 2022 are due in January 2022 and the amount will be confirmed by the Committee in due course.

WHAT INTEREST GROUPS DO WE CURRENTLY HAVE? - PLEASE CHECK NEWSROUNDUP FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION.
In addition to our general meetings we have 15 special interest groups involved with Art, Computers, Crown Green Bowling [spring/summer only], German, History and the Environment, Holiday Greek, Indoor Bowls, Italian, Latin, Line Dancing, Literature, Music Appreciation, Play Reading, Strollers, Swimming and Ukulele. The majority of our interest groups meet in the Central Library or Town Hall, West Bromwich, and others meet in the Pavilion, Dartmouth Park and Kenrick Park Community Centre. Please check the individual group page on this website for further information. Our members are also very warmly welcomed to attend Ancestry sessions in Wednesbury library, and Indoor Bowling sessions at West Bromwich Community Centre, although they are not part of Sandwell u3a.

We also organise regular visits to local theatres and outings to places of interest, and hope to start up our Lunch Club again in 2022. In the last nine years we have taken our members on holiday to Shanklin, Cromer, Tenby, Bournemouth, Torquay, Eastbourne and Newquay. Unfortunately, due to COVID.19, we did not organise a holiday in 2020, but in June 2021 we went to Shanklin on the Isle of Wight and enjoyed a lovely break with good weather too and had a lovely 2-day break in November to see the amazing Christmas Spectacular show at Thursford.

We are always keen to hear from potential members prepared to pass on their knowledge by forming or facilitating a new group.