For Facebook users, see the group https://www.facebook.com/groups/U3AKeepingInTouch/
Lots of U3A members from all over the country, very friendly and fairly busy group
Lots of U3A members from all over the country, very friendly and fairly busy group
The latest information from our Secretary is now on the COVID-19 page
Please look after yourselves.
The latest information from our Secretary is now on the COVID-19 page
Please look after yourselves.
If you haven’t already done so, we would really like you to pay your subscription now please. It is clear that we won’t be able to open the Coffee Morning Membership desk any time soon, but as explained last time, the funds are running down much faster than normal, because there is no income from Room Rents (the meeting £1s) but outgoings are much the same as ever. We will survive if members pay their dues, but only just. Our ‘rainy day’ Reserves are already very depleted.
You can pay:
Community Centre Supporters
Still on the financial front, a few Groups decided early in the pandemic that they would continue to collect their ‘room rent pounds’ in aid of the Community Centre, even though (or because) it has been impossible to hold meetings there.
Well, U3A has been doing our bit to sustain the Centre by electing to continue to pay our rent, albeit at a lower rate. But it is clear that can’t go on for ever, because little or nothing is coming in.
If the Groups concerned would care to send in their donations to Treasurer Les Hughes (remember, this is completely voluntary), he will ring-fence them for rent purposes, and it will allow us to maintain our support a little longer. Les is at 106 Carlton Mansions, Beach Road, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1SW. Make sure cheques are payable to ‘Burnham U3A’.
Or you can pay in by Bank Transfer: The bank account sort code is 30-98-90 - Lloyds, account number 18317960. Use your Group name as the ’Reference’ and Les will know what it is about.
All the following are cancelled till further notice
The Community Centre
The Community Centre, which is such an asset to the U3A, is having financial problems. The roof needs repairing, and one of the outer walls needs work on it too.
For this reason, the Centre's Committee has decided to put up the rent we pay for the use of the Centre. It will be increased by 5% from this April.
This will mean a small increase in the money we collect for Groups to use rooms, and also in the price we charge for drinks at the Thursday Coffee Mornings. The actual amount will be determined by the Committee and will not happen until sometime after it and we manage to open again.
Some members are under the impression the U3A owns the Community Centre. This is not so, it belongs to Burnham via the Council. It is an amenity for everyone, but the U3A would have a much more difficult time if it wasn't there.
It now has its own website : http://boscommunitycentre.btck.co.uk/
A warning from our Treasurer Les. He says:
"I have just received a scam e-mail aimed at the over 75s. It informs the recipient that their direct debit in respect of their (previously free) television licence has failed. It then has a very convenient link to reset the debit which goes I know not where.
"The free licence has been extended by the licencing authority to the end of July and they confirm on their website that there is no need for a current free licence holder to do anything at the moment as they will write to everybody concerned in good time. Whilst there are a couple of giveaways it will probably be all to easy for a number of our, sorry my, age group to happily send their bank details to whoever is organising this.
NEWS FROM MEMBERS
From Joan Webb
Dear friends, this is a message to thank so many of you who have wished us well and made life somewhat easier for us during these past months, especially since my accident giving me fractured pelvis. A special thank you for the help and true friendship of the writing group. Sincerely Joan Webb.
Joan is back at home and caring for Tony. We wish her well and hope she can be back playing Table-Tennis again soon
From Janet Hill, still fundraising for the Community Centre from her front garden at 15 Westfield Drive. She will continue to sell books till the end of August, after which she will return them to the Community Centre shelves. From then on she will continue but just with Jigsaw Puzzles at £2 a time. Best ring in advance- 782337.
From Kath Hoyland
FOR SALE : Black leather electric riser/recliner chair. One careful owner. £250. Proceeds to go to the Community Centre Roof Fund.
More info from Kath Hoyland 01278 783995
Re Pat Thick. I regret to inform you that Pat Thick died on the 7th September
Our commiserations to all her family and friends
Test and Trace Scam. I have mentioned the free Scam Alert service from the publishers of Which? before (sign up here), so most of you, dear readers, should be on high alert. I don’t want to make the Bulletin into a scam news sheet, but sometimes the sheer brazenness of the criminals merits a remark or two. There are now ‘fraudsters pretending to be from the NHS trying to con people out of their personal details. More than 600,000 emails have been reported to the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) since the start of the pandemic.’ We shouldn’t be surprised. Read more about it here.
High Street Research Project
The health of our High Streets was already a hot topic before the pandemic made matters far worse. Another recommended free sign-up for U3A members is the Third Age Trust Online Newsletter, and if you already receive it, you might want to take part in this project, which will go live in September. Details of the scheme are (hopefully) in the document attached to this message.
‘Please Give Me Space’ -Official Cards and Badges
The lockdown measures have been eased a lot, and there are signs that already some people are getting careless, which is no help to those of us who have only recently been ‘released’* from self-isolation because of special health vulnerabilities. These cards and badges are available here on the Government website, and can be printed out to wear or display on a smartphone screen.
*If you missed the announcement, you can read the full details here, or an ‘easy-read’ version here
The National U3A High Street Project
My name is Peter Cox, from North London U3A. (Peter Cox email@example.com) I’m a member of the U3A Research Committee and have been asked by Ian McCannah, Trust Chair, to seek the help of Regional Trustees, Network and individual U3A chairs, etc to launch this national research project, to which the Covid-19 pandemic has given a sudden urgency.
This summer it has become very clear that Lockdown will lead to profound changes in shopping habits. As a consequence, every shopping area seems certain to look very different, very soon, which will fundamentally affect local communities in ways nobody can yet anticipate.
The project is being managed by the Trust’s Research Committee. The plan is to produce a landmark report for publication by the Trust in 2022, so helping to raise the U3A’s profile in our 40th anniversary year.
The Project will begin with a quick survey to give us a baseline at the beginning of Lockdown in March 2020, against which we’ll be able to measure the changes. The timescale is of necessity short because the situation is changing rapidly. I appreciate that Regional Trustees, Network and U3A chairs are already stretched, and that a number of RTs are stepping down at the AGM, but I would be very grateful for your help, as soon as possible, in encouraging U3As to participate in a simple survey during September.
We aim to produce a report for the Board by the end of December 2020 that describes the pre-Pandemic state of Britain’s shopping locations. In early 2022 we will then be able to construct a final report that looks in depth at the impact of the Pandemic, as part of wider research.
The U3A Volunteers’ Task
We would ask participants to choose a small number of shopping streets in their locality. That may mean for example a main street, a local parade, and a small centre. They would walk along them, noting down three items of data about each property: street number, name, and type (e.g. 171-5, Budgens, supermarket), and photographing the shopfront. They do the next stage at home. We’ll provide a list of ‘property type’ codes, and a simple form on which they will enter their data and the matching code. We would like the majority of volunteers to complete and submit their data by the end of September. From our own trials we calculate that a pair of U3A members can survey a street of 100 shops in two hours and do the data entry at home in half a day.
What we’re asking you to do
We appreciate that there are variations between regions in the country, so you will know how best to achieve what is required in yours. That is: to identify a minimum of a dozen U3As, each with around 5-10 volunteers, willing to participate in the data recording exercise during September. Please ask each U3A to send me a Project Leader’s contact name and email. We will send them a link to an online volunteer registration form to be completed, ideally by the end of August, so that we can send out the information packs in time for volunteers to complete the recording by the end of September. All personal data will of course be subject to standard U3A Data Protection regulations.
This has the potential to prove a really influential study, one that will eventually allow every U3A the opportunity to contribute. We do hope you agree and can find the time, in your already busy schedule, to encourage U3As in your area to contribute to this vital preliminary survey in September – and help us to get it right.
At its meeting on 10th August 2020, the Committee decided, that since it remains both illegal and undesirable to attempt to hold a quorate AGM in any premises currently available in Burnham, and in line with the general advice to Charities on the Coronavirus published this year by the Charity Commission, we would abandon our intentions to hold an AGM this year. Essentially this is because the Constitutional requirement (in clause 14.i) to hold an AGM is overruled by a temporary statute that makes meetings of the size required illegal.
Our current intention is to combine the 2020 meeting into the regular meeting that is due to be held in May 2021. The effect of this is that the period of office for committee members elected/re-elected in May 2019 will end after 2 years, not the normal one year. There are no Special Resolutions that would need to be put before a 2020 AGM. The only other outstanding duty is the approval of Accounts for the year 2019-2020. This will be necessarily have to be deferred until the 2021 AGM. However, the Treasurer’s Report and Final Accounts for that period, have been prepared by our Hon Treasurer Mr Les Hughes and examined and certified by the Examiner, Mr Rob Carey. I would draw your attention to the endorsement by Mr Carey which your committee entirely support. These will be published in the next Magazine.
RUNNING BURNHAM U3A
We have a Committee, which has 3 important officers, the Secretary, the Chairman and the Treasurer. The rules of the TAT have limits as to how many years one person can hold an office without a break. There is good reason for this, it stops an individual from taking over and it encourages other members to get involved in running the U3A.
Now I have agreed to be Chairman for one year. I have enough to do with producing the magazine, running the website and also my Groups to agree to do it any longer than that.
Gary is asking for someone, maybe new to U3A, to ‘understudy’ what the Secretary does for when he has to stand down. We do have a nearly full committee, but most of those have been doing it on and off for a long time.
What this boils down to is, we really would welcome new ideas. We know we have new younger members, many of you must have had some experience of Committees during your working life, and your expertise (however small) would be valued.
If at any time we have no-one to be an Officer, the whole U3A would have to close. Whichever bit you joined for will no longer exist.
You would be very welcome to attend committee meetings as an observer, just to see what goes on.
We have over 600 members, of whom at least half should be reasonably young and fit! So where are you ?
Please contact your Group Leader to find out if your Group is running or has been cancelled
So When Can U3A Groups Start Up Again? Part of the answer is that many Groups never stopped, as mentioned in previous Bulletins; they just decided to meet in different ways! The rest of the answer is more complicated, but here goes:
1. Expect everything to be different, in big ways and small ways. It is clear that many small restrictions (e.g hygiene, handwashing, masks) will be with us for many months, possibly years. The bigger restrictions (on meeting sizes, and activities) may get changed, so look out for announcements, and devise ways to adapt. It will be a long time before things return completely to ‘normal’ so you could even consider completely new Group activities temporarily, better suited to pandemic conditions. (Example: Table Tennis is -er- currently off the table indoors, and impractical outdoors, but members enjoy it for the fitness and coordination benefits. How about a temporary switch to an outdoor game that is permitted? Croquet, Boules, and Walking Cricket require minimal equipment and might fit the bill in the meantime.)
The activities that will take longest to return to normal will be the large-scale gatherings; Coffee Mornings and Evening Socials. When we are clear to restart these, you’ll be the first to know!
2. Different Rules for different activities.
Keep Fit, Table-Tennis and other Physical Activity Groups, including Singing and Drama: These activities remain impractical indoors, because of social distancing, or (in the case of singing, and performing) subject to an outright ban because of the risk of spreading the virus through deep breathing. But for the fitness activities, although the (various) community halls cannot host you for the time being, you could consider arranging meetings outdoors, while the weather is fine. Easier with some activities than others, I know…
Groups that normally meet in Private Houses.
You are not supposed to meet indoors at the moment, but up to 6 can meet in any outdoor space. If your group is bigger than this, consider dividing into sub-groups, or having some members take part remotely by video, perhaps in rotation.
Outdoor non-Sporting Activities
Walkers and Villagers can start again, with a few adjustments (Split into sub-groups? Don’t share cars. Check whether Refreshment Facilities have outdoor tables or require advance booking). Lunch groups probably fit this category too.
Consider a new activity. The Gardening group is overdue for reviving, but don’t think in terms of its ‘old’ activities or the previous scale of membership. Start with half-dozen like-minded members, meet outdoors, and extend as the rules allow…
Groups that normally meet in the Community Centre
As long as your activity is not one of the ‘currently banned’ sort, you can discuss meeting again. Contact Ken. Expect to be in a different room (room 2 or 3), with different seating arrangements, and maybe not meeting every week. Some Groups have already made their arrangements: Painting for Pleasure, Book 3 and Patchwork 1 are believed to be amongst them.
3. There are more things that the Group Leader needs to do. Can you help him/her out? The Third Age Trust has just published a set of Guidelines which you can read here, but they can be summed up as:
Holidays. Lynn Mathews and the rest of the team have decided this is too difficult for them to manage under the current circumstances.. All outstanding moneys have been dealt with.
If someone would like to take this on once the Covid-19 is under control, please let the Committee know. Lynn will give any help needed.
La Table Française has resumed meetings at the Dunstan House (meeting outside), and Robert will be back in charge at the end of August. In the meantime check first with Geoff@burnhamU3A.com (787003)
Yoga , It is with much regret that I have to cancel the yoga classes. Robert's chemo begins shortly and we will have to self-isolate for 6 months. I can't tell you how sad this makes me but obviously his health comes first. Hopefully you will continue to practice and I will be back to teach again next year.
From Gerry Richards
Bus and train trips are a thing of the distant past for most of us at the moment, and sitting with a face mask on for a long journey is not something we want to do for pleasure. So this note from Gerry won’t surprise anybody:
‘We have been holding off having to say it, but now have to acknowledge that in light of the recent rise in Covid cases we must bite the bullet and let everyone know for definite that there will be no further day trips this year.
‘There was some hope that we would have trips later in the year, but most people I have spoken to are not willing to sit on a coach this year and probably not until there is mass testing or a vaccine.
‘Would you kindly send a message out to this effect and also ask members to let me know if they have not received the refund they expected. Best wishes Gerry.’
Ukelele , I would confirm to you that the Ukulele Group is buoyant (I was going to say thriving but with the lockdown that would be exaggerating).
However we hold 2 hour Zoom sessions on Monday and Friday mornings when the majority of our members get together to maintain a regular contact, enjoy a chat and put the world to rights, and fight the vagaries of the Internet to play some music (but not necessarily together).
With the current restrictions on indoor meetings, limited number gatherings etc, we cannot visualise a situation when we might get together in person to play, so we expect to be meeting on Zoom until 2021.
Table Francaise (FR conversation) restarting late Aug/early Sept subject to weather (meeting outdoors at Dunstan House)
Painting for Pleasure Jane Lee has attempted to keep this running, but the constraints and restrictions have made this too difficult. This Group will be stopped again for now
More Additions to Group restarts
Table Tennis 1 (BAY Centre, Weds PM) Contact John 787200 or Martin 783012
Brush Strokes Contact Sue 792021
French 3 (Temporary contact Geoff@burnhamu3a.com)
French 4 (Contact Robert 641853)
You will be given all the support you need to start a group so why not give it a go?..........after all the success of our U3A is in the strength of the groups.
Please register your interest by signing the flyer in the Community Centre
The lockdown has been eased enough for us to distribute a Summer 2020 edition of the magazine; which for some of you came soon after the ‘April-May’ edition that had to put on ice when Covid-19 intervened. Our ‘usual arrangements’ had to be changed, but many thanks to our stalwart band of deliverers, every one of whom put them into letterboxes as usual.
Harriet apologises for the small print on certain pages of the latest edition; she hasn’t bought shares in Specsavers; it seems the text size got ‘lost in translation’ from .doc to .pdf !
The next edition is labelled Autumn, and will be with you soon. Any further editions will depend entirely on Editor Harriet getting contributions to fill it. What she would particularly like are contributions from the Groups that have been meeting during the pandemic; (what have you done, how have you coped?) not to mention the Groups that are thinking of restarting, (when, how?) and even from those who haven’t met- (what have you missed most?) Photos, stories, all welcome. Join in writing the history of these extraordinary times!
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