This page contains the latest U3A information about Coronavirus and links to various sources of information.

29th October
Herts Network of u3as Ralph Vaughan Williams Zoom Presentation Friday 20th November.
Herts Network are running a Zoom presentation on Ralph Vaughan Williams on Friday 20th November at 10:00. A flyer is attached containing further information.

The event is open to all members of u3as which are part of Herts Network so please forward this invitation to all of your members.

Due to problems with previous presentations where Zoom would not allow more than 100 attendees to join the meeting, we are holding a test meeting on Monday 16th November to confirm that we can host more than 100 attendees. We are confident that the previous problems have been resolved but the only way we can finally prove this is by hosting a short meeting with over 100 attendees. This test meeting should only last 5-10 minutes.

Registration for the Ralph Vaughan Williams presentation is via the link below, where members are asked to enter their name, email address, and u3a, before submitting the form. The form also asks members if they are able to attend the test meeting on Monday 16th November. Note that it is essential that we get enough attendees for the test meeting otherwise we will be forced to restrict numbers for the RVW presentation.

Here is the link to the registration form:
RVW Presentation

24th October
Update following the AGM.

Following the AGM on Tuesday morning Bernice have been asked to convey some information to those groups who are meeting face to face.

A number of groups are meeting at venues and it is important to stay safe by making the venue aware of the group by using the Track and Trace system. The group leader, or a nominated member, should log into Track and Trace and a record of all those attending the group should be kept, including the date of the meeting and members telephone numbers. Should Track and Trace subsequently contact the group leader, or nominated member, then it is up to them to contact all the appropriate members and advise them to isolate. Each member should then contact people with whom they have been in close contact.

In view of this, an additional section should be added to the Risk Assessment Form asking members to confirm they are agreeable to this and also confirming they are prepared to isolate for 14 days if necessary.

10th October
Bushey & District U3A have organised a cruise to Iceland next year. There are spaces available. If you are interested and would like further details please contact Denise Piddington, email

14th September
The September Newsletter is now available. It can be found from this link. September 2020 Newsletter.

9th September
DAVID HOCKNEY PRESENTATION BY PETER WEBB. This presentation is available on YouTube for a month. Follow this link to see it. David Hockney Presentation.

20th August
The August Newsletter is now available. August 2020 Newsletter.

14th August
A General Meeting will be held in September using Zoom, watch out for details.

Membership renewal is imminent. Watch out for an email or letter. Because of the reduction in activity due to Coronavirus membership fees will be halved.

28th July
Details of a talk on Treasures at the British Museum. This talk supports Prostate Cancer UK. Details can be found here British Museum talk.

27th July
Beware of Track and Trace scam.

The scam is this: You receive a call stating they are from the NHS track and trace saying you have been in contact with a person who has contracted COVID19. You are told you must isolate for 7 days and take a test. You are also told you must take the test in the next 72 hours and they ask for an address to send the kit to.

If you ask who the person is who has the COVIS19 positive test you are told this information is confidential.

Finally they say they just need to take card payment details so they can send you the kit. When this is queried as test should be free you are told "afraid not there is a one-off charge of £50.00".

At this point you should put the phone down.

21st July
The July Newsletter is available. July 2020 Newsletter

21st June
The June Newsletter is now available. June 2020 Newsletter.

20 June
The Third Age Trust has provided Guidance on Covid-19, Third Age Trust Covid-19 Guidance and Risk Assessment for Outdoor Activities, Outdoor Activity Risk Assessment.

18 June
The Third Age Trust has re-arranged it's AGM. Details can be found on this link Third Age Trust 2020 AGM Notification.

6 June
Follow this link Hospital Redevelopment for information on local hospital redevelopment plans and a request for input. This is followed by information about Carers in Hertfordshire.

Details of Test and Trace in Hertfordshire can be found by following this link Test and Trace.

Interested in how to use Zoom for virtual meetings. Then follow this link Zoom Tutorials for information on how to access U3A tutorials on using Zoom.

27 May
Something to amuse Stop Press 3.

22nd May
The May Newsletter is now available May 2020 Newsletter.

A U3A Guide to Accessibility and Inclusion has been published Guide to Accessibility.

8th May
Health Update 8th May

7th May
Another Bulletin to amuse Cheerful Bulletin 9

25 April
The Newsletters are now accessible directly from the menu at the top of the website pages.

23 April
The April Newsletter is now available. April 2020 Newsletter

22nd April
A new booklet on Scams is available, the Little Book of Big Scams. Check out the Scams page, which can be found from the Links page.

21st April
Something to keep you amused. A Bulletin from another U3A. Cheerful Bulletin 7.

16th April
A new website called Greysnet has just been launched with the support of the National Lottery Community Fund to help older people all over the country to stay connected and keep mind and body active during the current Coronavirus lockdown. It's called Greysnet and you can find it at

Greysnet is a dedicated online space where older people can chat with one-another through a public forum and find out about all sorts of events and activities they can get involved in while self-isolating.

I am a member of the U3a, and like many, are among the group that was asked by the government to stay at home for several months. I live alone and within days, I felt depressed, lonely and cut off from society, so I started WAC-19. It is an initiative to help all those feeling isolated at this time, and who may be separated from family and friends. Each day, a new short story is published on the website, selected to bring a smile to the face and lift the spirits.

Top stories this week are:
A New Chapter: Ralph contemplates a fresh start
Pomegranate: An evocative story about a cat that came to stay
No Time for Tea: A true story, the spirit of the Blitz

The project is gathering pace. Gyles Brandreth has mentioned the website in his Twitter feed and listeners in Devon, Berkshire and Wiltshire recently heard me talking about the project on local radio.
If any of your members wish to contribute a story, the guidelines are on the website.

The stories can be found on

15th April
Scam Awareness Update from OWL

We continue to receive reports from our members on the scam emails/phone messages they have received since the COVID-19 Pandemic outbreak, some of these relate to scams we have seen in the past: TV Licence renewal: Washing machine out of Warranty: HMRC refunds/demands, and many more.

Attached is a link to the Little Book of Scams, although not COVID-19 related,it does cover off the most common scams we are receiving. All scams you receive should be reported online to

The website also has useful information on the different scams,please take time to visit and study the advice given.

Little Book of Scams

Online Watch Link - OWL
If you are not already signed up to OWL you can get the latest local crime alerts by going to this website.
Online Watch Link.

14th April

Hertfordshire Local Resilience Forum - stakeholder update 10 April 2020

A message from Darryl Keen, Director of Community Protection,
Chief Fire Officer and Chair of the strategic coordination group of the Local Resilience Forum.

Dear stakeholder,
This is the third update from Hertfordshire’s Local Resilience Forum, a multi-agency partnership of local public services working to coordinate our approach to COVID-19.

Essential NHS services remain available to everyone who needs them
The vast majority of the public in Hertfordshire are protecting themselves and others from coronavirus by staying at home, in line with government guidelines. However, essential NHS services are still available for people who need them. No-one should put off contacting their GP practice or dentist if they are concerned about their general health or have a worrying symptom which needs checking out.

Hertfordshire’s GP practices have put in place telephone and video appointments, and when it’s necessary, face-to-face appointments can still be carried out with a GP or nurse in a setting that is safe for both patients and staff. Please use your own networks to spread this important message. Some primary care leaders have reported that for example they are not seeing the number of children or hearing from the number of adults with cancer symptoms that they would expect in normal circumstances, with patients fearful of attending GP surgeries.

Those who are concerned that they have COVID-19 symptoms should go to the website to check out their symptoms and get advice and information about what to do next.

West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust
Following the critical incident at Watford General Hospital last Saturday 4 April, efforts continue to boost the hospital’s oxygen capacity and explore mobile supplies.

In the meantime, oxygen usage – which has doubled over recent weeks – is being monitored very closely. Hertfordshire Constabulary and the East of England Ambulance Service Trust, together with the Lister, Papworth and Addenbrooke’s hospitals (which all accepted transferred patients) provided steadfast support during the incident.

The trust is caring for around 200 patients who are confirmed to have COVID-19 or are awaiting results. In addition, its respiratory team is supporting patients at home through a virtual hospital model using digital technology to make secure video calls to patients. More than 400 patients have been seen over the last three weeks; it’s estimated that at any one time, 14 more patients might need beds in the hospital if they were not being monitored through the virtual hospital.

Staff testing for COVID-19 has begun and is phased, with clinical staff from Intensive Treatment Unit (ITU) and Emergency Department (ED) being tested first.

East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust (ENHT)
ENHT is currently caring for 65 patients with confirmed COVID-19 in the hospital. The trust has prepared well to care for patients with COVID-19, and for those with other needs without COVID-19. Many changes have been focused at the Lister as our main receiving hospital for COVID-19 patients, including:
• a new triage system for patients arriving at the emergency department.
• ward and area moves to allow for appropriate cohorting of COVID-19 and non COVID-19 patients.
• cancer surgery moving to independent partner hospitals.
Many other changes have taken place across the trust, namely:
• Mount Vernon Cancer Centre has set up a patient advice line, are carrying out home pharmacy deliveries, and have relocated the brachytherapy service.
• The Urgent Care Centre at Welwyn Garden City’s New QEII Hospital has increased staffing to treat people with minor injuries who would previously have visited the Lister.
• Virtual and phone appointments are taking place across the trust.

Testing for healthcare staff
Testing for COVID-19 is already underway for priority staff in hospitals and the ambulance service. We are rolling out a huge testing programme across health services to increase the number of staff who are available to work.

We’re seeing considerable pressures on the health system due to high numbers of staff being absent with suggestive COVID-19 symptoms or self-isolating for 14 days due to a household member having symptoms. Testing symptomatic employees and household members will allow people to return to work if they are clear of COVID-19. Hertfordshire Community Trust and Central London Community Healthcare Trust are providing this testing in local centres and significant additional laboratory capacity is in place to process the results. Hertfordshire Urgent Care is doing the staff booking and follow-up. The next wave of testing will be extended to include the mental health and community healthcare workforce and GPs.

Residential care homes
Hertfordshire County Council is temporarily re-opening two care homes – Nevetts in Buntingford and The Fairway in Oxhey – to provide additional bedded capacity to the local NHS for COVID-19 patients. These buildings will have been brought back from closure to operation within three weeks and provide 85 beds.

The council has also worked with other local care home providers to secure over 250 additional residential and nursing home beds countywide for onward discharge from hospital or short-stay in the case of family carer arrangements breaking down. These will be funded by the pooled grant with the local NHS.

Support for people who are ‘shielding’
Hertfordshire County Council is coordinating support for people who for health reasons are ‘shielding’ for 12 weeks, as well as others that need extra help in the community – providing food and medication, advice and support. This is being coordinated through the HertsHelp information and advice service.

The council is also managing requests for food to support other settings, including hostels and foodbanks, which are experiencing a significant increase in demand.

To date, over 6,000 volunteers have come forward and 2,000 have already been deployed, supporting the public to get the food and prescription medicines they need, and keeping in contact with those who are at risk of becoming lonely or isolated.

Emergency services update
Your blue light services remain ready to respond to emergencies in the county 24/7 – as always.

Mutual aid training has begun, with some firefighters being trained to work with ambulance crews. In policing, resources remain in a good position with our volunteer Special Constabulary offering a strong reserve if needed.

While the long Easter weekend is usually a time for families and friends to get together, Hertfordshire Constabulary will continue to ask people to respect the social distancing guidelines. You may see police officers in parks and open spaces, checking that everyone is taking their daily exercise responsibly.

If you are concerned that you have seen a gathering which contravenes the guidance, we would encourage you to contact us using online reporting methods. This will help to relieve some of the pressure on our emergency lines and resources, and allow for a quicker response to urgent 999 calls.

Nationally we know that incidents of domestic abuse are likely to rise as the lockdown continues. Please share our social media messages as we ask victims to still call 999 if in immediate danger and, if unable to speak, to alert us silently by dialing 999 then pressing 55.

District and borough council update
Changes to waste and recycling services and the closure of car parks in response to poor social distancing remain an ongoing challenge across the district and borough councils. Some districts and boroughs have distributed COVID-19 information leaflets to all homes as business-focused communications to ensure local businesses are accessing necessary support.

A significant amount of communications is being planned to keep communities informed and reassured.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
One of our Local Resilience Forum’s sub-groups is reviewing the availability and supply of PPE for all health and care providers, including schools and pharmacies, to ensure that it is being distributed appropriately. Emergency packs have been issued to home care and residential care providers and stock received from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) will be shared out to meet the immediate needs of a number of organisations in the coming days.

Public Health at Hertfordshire County Council is consolidating PPE usage guidance into a single, easily accessible format with guidance being developed regarding disposal. We are currently finalising a process for managing a surge of offers from local businesses and other organisations to manufacture PPE and will be able to share contact details for this soon.

We need you

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting individuals and communities in many different ways. If you become aware of someone who needs support and you’re not sure how best to help them, please refer them to the HertsHelp advice and information service. Either call 0300 123 4040, text hertshelp to 81025, minicom 0300 456 2364 or email

As a local stakeholder with your own community networks and influence, we need your help to get across the lifesaving ‘Stay Home, Save Lives, Protect the NHS’ message to the public in your area. Please follow @NHSuk and @GOV.UK on twitter and share their public messages.

7th April
During these unprecedented times, the Third Age Trust has been looking at different ways to support our amazing U3A community. We wanted to enable and support U3As, members and Interest Group leaders, to stay active and connected with each other.

To this end, from today, Monday 6 April 2020, we have launched three online discussion forums so that you can share ideas and support each other. Thanks to the Beacon users, we are doing this by extending the existing (and successful) Beacon User Forum to all U3As, regardless of whether or not you are using the Beacon management system at your U3A yet.

It is easy to get started. All you need to do is visit the forum website at
U3A Forums, click the 'register' button and fill in your details.

If you are not familiar with online forums, we have prepared a Forum how-to guide to help you get started. We welcome your feedback on the guide.

4th April
National Newsletter sign up. The Trust is using the National Newsletter to keep members informed on the latest government advice concerning coronavirus covid-19. It is also filled with information, stories and advice from across the U3A movement on how to keep safe and occupied during this difficult time. Follow this link to sign up
National Newsletter.

26th March
Following the Government and NHS announcement, the Third Age Trust has created a dedicated page on the national website to keep you up to date with the latest guidance and advice - both general and specific to U3A.

This can be accessed used this link Third Age Trust Latest Advice

Living History in Unprecedented Times

U3A members are being asked to help craft a shared learning project where they create living history of this extraordinary time.

The project will look for personal thoughts, ideas and reflections on how this feels to you and what you are doing to deal with it. Members may want to keep an electronic diary or to find a little note-book which you can have close at hand to scribble down thoughts as they come.

We are asking people to write up anything they think relevant to having to be at home and your thoughts and reactions. You may wish to write something each day for example, or once a week or simply when something of note happens. You may read an article, book or see a programme which triggers some ideas or thoughts.

We are also looking for ideas and reflections on how you are keeping your interests going if you are online and if you have access on your television, radio or via the internet.

It's also pretty important to think of good things that happen so in the journal make an effort every day to list five things that gave you pleasure however small.

We will be expanding our support of this project in the coming days including suggested questions that you could ask yourself to help structure your thoughts.

We are currently recruiting volunteers to be contact points to offer support and advice.

If you want take part - please keep in touch with us. At the moment share your ideas at but in the next few days we will have a dedicated email address for this living history project. So keep checking the website and national newsletter.

We look forward to hearing from you.

The Third Age Trust have produced a Question and Answer summary of advice. This can be found at
Third Age Trust Coronavirus Q&A.

Cheerful Bulletin 7
Amusing bulletin from Wanstead U3A
Cheerful Bulletin 9
Another Cheerful Bulletin
Health Update 8th May
Local health update
Stop Press 3
A collection of amusing items
Zoom Tutorials
Information about U3A Zoom tutorials
Forum how-to guide
Guide to using U3A Forums
Hospital Redevelopment
Herts Valley Commissioning Group paper on hospital redevelopment and Carers in Hertfordshire.
Little Book of Scams
Link to OWL Little Book of Scams
National Newsletter
Link to National Newsletter sign up page.
Online Watch Link
Link to the OWL - Online Watch Link
Outdoor Activity Risk Assessment
Third Age Trust Outdoor Activity Risk assessment leaflet.
Test and Trace
Information on Test and Trace in Hertfordshire
Third Age Trust Latest Advice
Third Age Trust page on National website with latest guidance and advice
Third Age Trust 2020 AGM Notification
Notification of the 2020 AGM of the Thirs Age Trust
Third Age Trust Coronavirus Q&A
Third Age Trust Q&A page link.
Third Age Trust Covid-19 Guidance
Third Age Trust Guidance on Covid-19 200620
U3A Forums
Link to U3A Forums on the Beacon site.