South East Region

Great Ideas

Ideas for running interest groups at your u3a whilst coping with the current Pandemic can be found on the From u3a Office page.

Group Leaders Handbook – have one available in case anyone comes forward to lead a Group. You could have Zoom only groups. e.g. Sign up for a free course then meet up on Zoom weekly or fortnightly to discuss. Zoom is free for 40 minutes. Then you can sign in again on the same link. Start a new online group – then sell it – as a way to recruit new members.

Trust u3a is running 30 Interest Groups online – so lots of ideas there.

radio u3a Podcast this is the latest episode. All episodes to date are also available on the u3a YouTube channel

Online visits you might enjoy

The Heygo virtual tours are now fully active online. This week there are tours around the Amsterdam Tulip festival, Budapest at night, the Canadian Rockies and salsa dancing in Quito! If you haven't tried these virtual tours yet then please have a look at Heygo virtual tours.

Hampshire Archives and Local Studies and Wessex Film and Sound Archive have just launched their new season of online events. Tickets are available at Hampshire Archives. (Thanks to Andrew Flanagan for this information). Here are the scheduled events

  • Making History: Making Movies | amateur filmmaking – then and now Thursday 13 May, 5.30-6.30pm an online workshop designed to introduce you to the origins of amateur filmmaking in the region and to think about how you could contribute to the archive of the future.
  • ‘Our people were ‘Chapel’’: Records of nonconformist churches for family and local history Monday 17 May, 6-7pm
  • Preserving memories: How to start an oral history project Monday 28 June, 6-7 pm
  • ‘Here be hogs’: Maps for local and family history in Hampshire Monday 19 July, 6-7pm
  • Red tape and sealing wax? Using old title deeds for local and family history Monday 16 August, 6-7pm
  • From Winchester to Barchester: Anthony Trollope’s links with Hampshire Monday 27 September, 6-7pm
  • ‘Mutinous and quarrelsome’: Sources for researching the Civil War and Interregnum in Hampshire Monday 18 October, 6-7pm

Art for Wellbeing Course
Mental health and wellbeing is in all our minds especially relating to the pandemic and how the isolation for so many has led to depression and anxiety for so many. As an art teacher and more recently as a facilitator I have been using art, journaling and creative writing to help people recover. I have worked with immigrants, young carers and people with Alzheimer’s and feel that my creative courses can offer people something tangible and positive, moving forwards.
I am now looking to work more widely on a freelance basis. It would be good to discuss the merits of using art and creative writing for wellbeing and recovery, with the possibility of running a course with a U3A.
Richard K Potter BA Hons PGCE MA Mobile: 07999585769 and
Courses normally last ten weeks - 2hrs per week - and cost £150. A day workshop costs £230, which includes materials.

The Job of a Laughtime Talk
Brad Ashton International TV Comedy Scriptwriter.
7, Abbotshall Avenue, Southgate, London N14 7JU  Phone: 0208 886 5343
I have recently given 45 comedy talks via zoom to groups like yours. They were very successful as the feedbacks will verify. The talks are aimed at cheering the audiences up in these times of so much gloom and doom. My talk is entitled THE JOB OF A LAUGHTIME in which I recall the fun I have had writing either Radio or TV series for top comedians including Tommy Cooper, Les Dawson, Dick Emery, Frankie Howerd, Bruce Forsyth, Hylda Baker, Hattie Jacques, David Frost and Bob Monkhouse.  The talk contains many humorous backstage stories with some startling surprises. My special fee for a zoom talk for charity groups such as yours is just £75.   If you are interested, please phone or email me to check my availability.

Supporting Health Decision Making Talk
Dr Lynda Ware is a Senior Fellow in General Practice, Cochrane UK which is an international network dedicated to providing high quality evidence to support health decision-making worldwide. It is a not-for-profit organisation and in UK is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and hosted by the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. She would be very happy to give a virtual talk to any of your groups. She would be delighted to step in at short notice in the event of a cancellation. There is no charge for this.

Grandma Abson's Traditional Baking Talk
Meryl White is a Speaker on Heritage Themes.
‘I have been delivering numerous talks and charity events on heritage baking themes to community groups for about 10 years across the north of England. At the end of last year, I moved from Yorkshire to Claygate, Esher, Surrey to live near my family. Since the first lockdown began in March 2020, I made all my talks available to groups who are able to host virtual meetings on Zoom or similar platforms and I have been delighted with the fantastic feedback.’ See Heritage Themes.
The fee for a talk delivered by Zoom, hosted by the group, is £50. When we are allowed to have meetings again for me to deliver talks in person, the fee is dependent on the distance I have to travel, number of people attending, equipment etc.

U3A Photography and Affinity Photo
I am group contact for the HVU3A Photography Group. We also now have a sub Group for Affinity Photo (using the photo editing tool). Both groups have been meeting monthly on Zoom for the past six months. I am writing to ask if any of the Groups in the Network have Photography or Affinity Groups. We would like to find out if there is any interest in having cross Group Zoom meetings to share experiences, expertise and challenges.
Alison Baker.

Wine Tasting
A u3a has recently set up a Wine Tasting Group. One Member undertook to buy all the bottles of wine and deliver them to people's doorsteps where money was available. The wine label was covered so no cheating. Then on a Zoom call the participants opened the wine and discussed the taste. Apparently a good time was had by all! Another idea would be to each have a bottle of wine in front of you at the start of the Zoom meeting and open it and taste it and discuss it with the group - each taking it in turns.

Film Group
Choose a film that is streamed for free - all watch it - arrange a meeting to discuss it - with refreshments perhaps.

Opera Group
Choose an opera that is streamed free of charge - all watch it - arrange a meeting to discuss it - with a glass of wine perhaps.

Author offers to give talks to u3as
Bradford U3A member Ranjit Arora has written semi-biographical novels about growing up in India and her career in teaching and educational research. She is happy to give Zoom talks to u3as on her experiences. [See P 20 TAM Winter 2020] - Contact Ranjit here

Refresh your Driving Knowledge and Skills
If your u3a or Network would like to request a Driving Post Lockdown webinar or Confident Driver presentation, please contact your Regional Trustee. [P43 TAM Winter 2020].

Zoom Talks
Are you looking for ideas for talks on Zoom? Here are some Zoom Talk Ideas.

u3a Facebook page ‘Keeping in Touch’ – when asked for ideas for Zoom talks - there were 95 suggestions – check them out.

Zoom Talk available from John Hope at £50 a time.
(He comes recommended by the WI and Probus.)
Time Through the Ages.
A journey through time telling over the centuries showing the development and improvement of time telling devices from the sundial through to the atomic clock.
Includes the rise and fall of the industry in the United Kingdom. for other subjects click here

Live performances of songs BUT with the histories and stories about the songs told supported with fascinating visuals: all shared through zoom.
And there’s plenty to join in with! Over 90 U3As nationally (and internationally!) have so far enjoyed a show: if you would like to receive full information, please contact Fools Gold Acoustic.

If you wonder what a show is like, please have a look

Steve & Carol Robson
Fool’s Gold
Acoustic Music - Acoustic Musicians
tel:0795 7948116

Zoom Plays
Reigate & Redhill u3a have produced several Zoom Plays -Gallery Reigate & Redhill u3a Surrey The most complex was the "Zoom play "The Front Window". It was scripted, rehearsed and recorded, cut re-rehearsed all on Zoom and then heavily edited. A link to it was included in the June u3a national newsletter.
Other shorter individual pieces have been rehearsed on Zoom, recorded on laptops or tablets then edited with titles, music, images etc.
The keys are scripting, rehearsal and editing. Quite a lot can be done using imovie or equivalent. For the more complex piece (The zoom play) I used Final Cut Pro X on my iMac.
A number of other pieces are in preparation including autobiography, monologues, sketches and so on. Our intention is to keep a rolling programme going for as long as we have the energy - Mike Cockett, Chair.

Chis Wright is the u3a National Subject Adviser for Quizzes – he has lots of quizzes available if you ask – ( TVN recently ran a Quiz Study Day – including the History of Quizzes.)

Future Learn course - free
( The added value of the interest group is to make the course into a shared learning experience where members can discuss their ideas, impressions and reactions e.g.. How to Adjust to retirement etc. There are lots of other sources of free on line courses, including the Open University, Ted Talks etc.

Jokey prizes. Members can Invite their families and friends along to an event – award jokey prizes for new recruits, who can attend 1 or 2 group meetings before they join.

Treasure Hunt/s – around your town/neighbourhood.

Murder Mystery – in the local park – small groups – however many is allowed. (currently 6)

Family History – you don’t have to be an expert or have an expert to do research in your Group.

Tai Chi - you don’t have to be an expert or have an expert to do research on line with your Group and help each other.

Poem Exchange
Send a poem to the person whose name is in position 1 (even if you don’t know them), with the email subject ‘ A Poem Exchange’.[ It should be a favourite text/ verse/ meditation that has affected you in difficult times. Or not. Don’t agonise over it. If you’d like to send a poem in your own language and provide a translation.]

After you’ve sent the short poem/ verse/ quote etc to the person in position 1, and only that person, copy this letter in to a new email. Move my name to position 1, and put your name in position 2. Only two names should show in the new email. Send it to 20ish friends, BCC (blind copy).Seldom does anyone drop out because we all need new pleasures. The turnaround is fast as there are only two names on the list, and you only have to do it once.

Swap Shop
Swap ideas with other local u3as as to which groups work at the moment

Zoom Talk
Mark Thompson .Mark Thompson co-presented BBC Stargazing Live with Brian Cox and Dara O’ Briain. He now covers science news on GMB, writes books, hosts a podcast called ‘The Pocket Astronomer’ and perform science theatre shows. He can be booked to perform an astronomy talk via Zoom to your members. It would last an hour and take you on a guided tour of the Universe.The charge is £50 for the talk and numbers would not be limited. ----------------------