Sturminster Newton

April 2020 Letter from The Chairman

Dear U3A Members,

I hope you are all keeping well and staying safe.

It is now over three weeks since the lockdown. I really thought that things might be easing up by now, but it looks as if we will have at least another three weeks of self-isolation and social distancing - the latest news is that we will probably have to have some form of social distancing until a vaccine is found!

We are so fortunate that we live in such a beautiful part of the country, where going for a walk is an absolute delight. I must admit that, on our walks, we have had more conversations with people in the village since social distancing started than we did before!

Staying at home has enabled us to start all those gardening and DIY jobs that we have been meaning to do for ages! However with the DIY stores and garden centres closed under lockdown it is a bit frustrating, not having everything you need.

Being members of the U3A means that many of us fall into that vulnerable category, especially if there are also underlying health conditions or you are being shielded. If you are self-isolating, have a limited local support network of family and friends, and are unable to leave your home or would be at high risk if you leave your home and are in need of help, then there are various contacts who can:

Assist with essential, basic food shopping

Collect prescriptions

Walk your dog

Give a regular phone call to check all is ok

Dorset Contacts:
Volunteer Centre Dorset 01305 269214
Dorset Council’s COVID-19 Response Hub 01305 221022

Local Contacts:
Sturminster Newton Carole Jones/Stour Connect 01258 447058
Kings Stag & Lydlinch Sue Lilley 07742491098
Marnhull Marnhull Helpline 01305 490000

Or if you want to talk to anyone on the committee, all our numbers are in the latest Newsletter or on the website.

Finally, it is a great shame that we are not able to have our usual bi-monthly meetings, or meet in person in our interest groups – but that will come eventually. I really look forward to seeing you all again!

Some of our group leaders have become quite innovative, with Zoom virtual meetings, exchanging emails - and I’m sure you have been phoning each other or WhatsApping.

We are hoping to resume our programme from September unless the government advises otherwise.

So, on behalf of your committee, we wish you well and hope that you continue to stay safe.

And keep singing ‘Happy Birthday’!

Andrew Rowden