Stoke-on-Trent South

News Items

MEMBERSHIP

Membership is still increasing and at the last count stood at 341, which is 11 more than last month, so the positive trend is continuing.
Now that most groups are resuming their activities, we are able to spread the word and numbers should continue to rise.
With groups returning and attendances starting to increase, it would be appreciated if Group Leaders could please check that attendees have current membership cards.

If you have friends or relatives thinking of joining, application forms can be obtained from our website or from Membership Secretary Alan Stevenson, by ringing: 01782 395760 or by emailing: a.stevenson09@btinternet.com

You can also find us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/StokeSouthU3A/

GROUPS SUMMARY

There’s more good news this month with both membership numbers and activities increasing.

We now have a new leader for our Ukulele Group and meetings are finally starting. Ukulele playing has seen a revival in recent years and we are very hopeful that it will appeal to members.

Flower Arranging is now able to restart at a new venue and there’s also the possibility of other new groups, so we hope to be bringing you positive news on these by early 2022.

Coach trips have been suspended for now but should be resuming in spring, by which time most members will have received their Covid19 booster jabs, and if monthly meetings have resumed, it will be easier to collect deposits.

The committee are currently considering ways to accommodate sufficient members to reintroduce monthly meetings and organise the AGM.

Other items under consideration include an offer by Mirthy.co.uk for a free, 3 month subscription for our u3a members to access Mirthy’s on-line learning and events.

In addition, Joe Neilson is liaising with the Chess National Advisor regarding the best way to set up an on-line chess group for our u3a as part of the national group. If you are interested in this Joe can be contacted on 01782 852042 or by email to: joeneilson6@gmail.com

Please use hand sanitizers and antibacterial sprays when attending meetings to help limit infection.

ALLOTMENT GROUP

This is a very small group who share a double plot on a gated site in Blurton. One of their members has recently left, having taken up an offer of employment. If you would be interested in joining the group, please contact Group Leader Frank Siddall on 07974 119922 or Mike Cresswell on 01782 658002 for further details.

GIMP APPLICATION SOFTWARE FOR PHOTOGRAPHY

Would you like to learn how to improve and develop your photography skills using computer technology? GIMP is application software similar to Photoshop, and it is free to install on your computer. Joe Beeston has offered to lead a new group if there is sufficient interest.

Please contact Groups Co-ordinator Val Greatbatch on 07881 367509 if you would be interested in this and she can then arrange a meeting to discuss suitable times and venues.

POSSIBILITY OF A NEW WHIST GROUP

We have a member who is very keen for us to start a Whist Group and we would like to hear from any members who would be interested in joining.

If this is something that appeals to you, please contact Val Greatbatch on 07881 367509.

IS ANYONE INTERESTED IN BOARD GAMES?

Would anyone like to lead or join a Board Games Group, or even a group specifically for one particular board game, such as scrabble, draughts, chess, backgammon, etc? If this idea appeals to you, please contact Val Greatbatch on 07881 367509.

U3A RADIO

The u3a Radio Podcast is broadcast on 17th of each month but you can view them all via u3a’s YouTube channel.

If you have a story to share, you can email it to: communications@u3a.org.uk

NATIONAL U3A NEWSLETTER

You can still sign up on the national website at https://u3asites.org.uk to receive the National Monthly Newsletter by email and it’s worth a look.

BE INVOLVED IN THE FUTURE OF THE THIRD AGE TRUST

Following a presentation at the AGM 2021 the Third Age Trust is launching a consultation exercise to give all u3a members a say in the development of a future strategy for the movement. The findings of the consultation process will hopefully be considered by the end of the year and firm proposals will be in place early next year.

If you are interested in taking part in the consultation please view the Working towards a Strategic Vision document and email strategy@u3a.org.uk to find out more.

DOREEN’S FRIENDSHIP GROUP

Doreen has been holding Friendship Group meetings at Central Hall for a number of years and has organised numerous coach trips and holidays for its members.

The group is not part of u3a but some members may be interested in participating and Doreen would welcome new members. The group meets in Central Hall for a chat and a cuppa on alternate Wednesdays and her group is said to be “for the young at heart over fifties”.

If you would like to know more, please call Doreen on 01782 373369.

LOCAL HANDBELL TEAM RECRUITING NEW MEMBERS

The Inn Ringers are a handbell team based in Stone and they are hoping to recruit some new bell ringers. The ability to read music is not required but you do need a sense of rhythm; commitment; enthusiasm and a sense of humour!

The group practice every Monday evening from 7.30pm at St Luke's Church Hall, Tittensor and they would be happy to invite people along for an insight into what they do.
For more information you can visit their web site: www.theinnringers.co.uk or contact Paul Mellor by email to: paulmellor@aol.com or phone Rowena Dawson on 07816 545713.

DO YOU HAVE UNUSED IT EQUIPMENT?

Life is becoming increasingly digital and many services need to be accessed online. Whether it’s for banking, shopping, applying for jobs or looking after our health, most of us need to own a digital device. The digital world has also become increasingly important in the fight against loneliness and isolation. VAST, The Community Foundation for Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent City Council and local IT partners have set up a recycling scheme to help the most vulnerable members of our community to get connected.

If you have a laptop or tablet you no longer need, you can easily donate it by taking it to one of the convenient drop-off points. Further information can be found at: https://vast.org.uk/donate-i-t-stoke-on-trent/

TOGETHER WE'RE BETTER - MENTAL HEALTH IN STAFFORDSHIRE

The Community Foundation for Staffordshire are aiming to help people with their mental health issues and want to hear from people who use mental health services in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. They would like to know: • What services you use • How well those services support you • What could be improved.

They also want to hear from people not currently using their services who might benefit from some help or support. They are keen to hear from anyone who: • Is currently receiving care, support or treatment • Has accessed mental health services in the past • Has not accessed services but may need support, care or treatment • Is a relative or carer of someone receiving care, support or treatment • Is a provider of mental health services or a provider that supports service users who access mental health services from the NHS, voluntary or private sector • Is a public sector body (NHS and others) • Is an employer providing or signposting employees to services.

The information provided could help to review and shape how mental health and wellbeing services are provided in the future. You can access the survey from the following link or you can call 0333 150 2155 between 8am and 4pm, Monday to Friday.

https://nhs.researchfeedback.net/s.asp?k=163292016757&dm_i=1T5F,7L3HU,E1WZEA,U VXEP,1

FREE FILMS AT THE MITCHELL ARTS CENTRE

The Mitchell Arts Centre in Hanley are showing free films from the Staffordshire Film Archive during November (19/11/21), December (7/12/21) and January (11/01/22). Please see the Centre's website for film titles.

A selection of more free films from the archives will be shown during 2022.

INTERNATIONAL GILBERT AND SULLIVAN FESTIVAL

2022 Shows scheduled at Buxton Opera House from 30th July to 6th August 2022:

Matinee performances commence at 2.30 pm. Evening performances commence at 7.30pm.

Saturday 30th July IOLANTHE, NGSOC (mat and eve)
Sunday 31st July THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE, NGSOC (mat and eve)
Monday 1st August THE GONDOLIERS, Forbear! Theatre (eve)
Tuesday 2nd August THE MIKADO, Peak Opera (eve)
Wednesday 3rd August HMS PINAFORE, NGSOC (mat) IOLANTHE, NGSOC (eve)
Thursday 4th August EXPRESS G&S, Charles Court Opera (mat) PATIENCE Charles Court Opera (eve)
Friday 5th August UTOPIA, NGSOC (eve)
Saturday 6th August UTOPIA, NGSOC (mat) HMS PINAFORE, NGSOC (eve)

Prices are as follows: Dress Circle - £39 pp. Mid Stalls & Upper Circle - £32 pp Front & Rear Stalls; Gallery - £29pp Upper Circle Sides with restricted view - £19pp Group discounts of 10% for 15 – 29 passengers per performance and 15% for more than 30 passengers per performance.
Booking requests for large groups can be held without charge but a review would be requested around the end of February 2022.
The Box Office is open for Group Bookings: Tel: 01422-323252 or www.gsfestivals.org

G&S Opera TV is available at home at any time – see details at: www.gsopera.tv

Items for publication in the next newsletter will need to reach Fay Howell by Friday, 19th November, 2021.
Tel: 01782 658659 or email: hfhowell@live.co.uk