Category Archives: News

News items

Membership Renewal Online:

As there will be no Horizons meetings for quite some time, you can renew your U3A Membership in one of two ways:

  • Renew online – just click on this link and follow the instructions. This is the preferred method.
  • Use the Membership Renewal form in the Magazine which you should have received though the post by now.

Culture at Home

National Theatre at Home

Watch top-notch online shows for free from Thursday 2nd April. Productions are shown every Thursday at 7pm and are then available for 7 days.

The Royal Opera House

The ROH is offering selected productions on demand free of charge as part of a wider package of online content available for audiences.

Coronavirus Suspension

Following a meeting of the Management Committee and Trustees, all Aughton & Ormskirk U3A face-to-face activities are suspended with effect from 17 March 2020, until further notice.

This government guidance on coronavirus includes ongoing and changing information about how to protect yourself or check if you need medical help, and provides advice about social distancing, staying at home and travel etc.

The Third Age Trust (TAT) has published a special new and ongoing bulletin on their website – Covid-19 News and things to do.

Message from the Chairman

Greetings.
I hope you’re all coping with this period of social distancing. The latest edition of the magazine is winging its way to you. Expect your Postman to drop it through your letterbox in the next few days. This would not be happening if it were not for the great joint effort from the Communications Subcommittee and the Membership Team. The Magazine Editor had extra work this time round, altering content as the coronavirus situation developed.  As usual, he had welcome assistance from his proofreaders. Finally all the magazines were put in envelopes, stamped and labelled and delivered to the Post Office next to Christ Church. So, on your behalf, I would like to offer them all a GREAT BIG THANK YOU. I would also like to thank Ian at the Post Office for helpfully getting this much larger number of Magazines into the system.
In the present circumstances, the preferred way of renewing your U3A membership is online; if you are unable to do that, you can use the membership renewal form enclosed in the magazine. Although we cannot participate in our normal group meetings, your membership fee is still important if we are to meet our financial obligations both now and when we can resume our activities.
Alan Starkie

Speaker Meeting News

Those of you who attended Carolyn Kirby’s talk in the Ministry Centre last year will remember that she gave a very interesting and entertaining talk on the background to her first novel, The Conviction of Cora Burns. Carolyn has written another book, When We Fall, based on the female pilots of WW2, which has been published through a small publisher, No Exit Press. She will be coming to talk to us in October (all being well), but in the meantime I have received the following email from her:

This is a very tough time for small businesses, my publisher – No Exit Press – being one of them. In order to bring in some income, the availability of my new book When We Fall has been brought forward and for a limited time the price has been cut – by 50%. So even with £2.90 p&p (which remains the same even if you order some more of the excellent No Exit Press books at half price) the cost is less than the full price if the book. Full details of this offer – which is only available if the book is ordered direct from the publisher – are here: http://noexit.co.uk/index1.php?imprint=1

 I wonder if you could put this info in the U3A newsletter? The members might be in need of reading matter for the coming weeks!

 Carolyn is also planning to produce a short video by way of an introduction to her talk, which we are hoping to be able to post on the website.  Keep an eye on the Speaker Meeting Page for further info.

Pam Ball

Your U3A Magazine

If  you have not yet received your U3A Magazine through the Post, please email:

webteam@aughton-ormskirk-u3a.co.uk

Bill Evans, the U3A Magazine Editor, has written a very interesting article about how your U3A Magazine is printed and also, for this March issue, ‘why’ it was printed:


Usually, this is the ‘timeline’ of the U3A magazine:

  • I work on it for approximately four weeks or so, before the Distribution Day – sometimes in Ormskirk, occasionally in Spain, and for this issue, in ‘Center Parcs’ near Penrith.
  • Feature pages and photographic pages are created first.
  • The ‘group copy’ is read by one or two ‘volunteers’.
  • Then the group copy is inserted and made to fit. This is the part which can take a considerable amount of time. Sometimes I have enough group copy to fill 22 pages – other times only enough for 17 or so.
  • Hopefully it leaves me on the Wednesday or Thursday before ‘Distribution Day.
  • Production then takes place.
  • It gets delivered to either myself or the Scout & Guide HQ on the Friday, or over the weekend, or perhaps the Monday before Distribution Day.
  • On (and around) Distribution Day (a specific Horizons meeting), Magazines are distributed by various methods. These include:
    • individual members turning up at the Distribution Desk at Horizons to pick up their own and maybe one or two for friends and neighbours
    • Hand delivery at members’ addresses by a team of local Deliverers
    • Handover by Group Leaders or others during Group Meetings
    • Mail Posting for the remainder

This current issue was a little different:

  • I had it virtually ready for printing but waited until our Management Committee met on Monday, 16th March
  • A decision was made to ‘go ahead and print’ . . . but I needed to completely re-jig the front cover. (Obviously lots of our meetings and events are postponed or cancelled . . . but hopefully some of the later ones may take place.)
  • This time round, our magazine left me on Saturday afternoon of the 21st March
  • The platemaker came in on the Sunday to compete his part of the job
  • Our printer delivered the job to the Scout & Guide HQ in the early evening of Monday 23rd. Here they joined the already printed labels and stock of envelopes
  • For this print issue, isolated at the Scout & Guide HQ through Tuesday and Wednesday morning, the Magazines were put in envelopes along with Membership Renewal Forms and then Beacon address labels were stuck on and stamps added from our pre-purchased stock
  • All the magazine were delivered to the nearby very helpful Post Office by early afternoon on 24th March ready to go out.

How our magazine is printed:

A little technical ‘info’ on four-colour printing:

  • If we printed only 250 or so, it could probably be printed ‘digitally’ i.e. no film or metal plates.
  • The ‘copy click’ charge wouldn’t be too excessive.
  • Most companies ‘rent’ from Canon, Xerox, etc, etc, and pay a ‘copy click’ fee for each print – usually between 5p and 10p per sheet.
  • This is because hardly any ‘local’ printer would actually have their own digital printer – they are enormously expensive.
  • Our print run of around 1,800 would cost a fortune printed this way.
  • We use two companies to produce the magazine ‘lithographically’.
  • Using the ‘hi-res’ pdf file I send them, one company makes the 40 ‘plates’: 10 pairs of A3 pages x 4-colour: cyan, magenta, yellow and black.
  • The other company collects the plates, prints the magazine and delivers them.
  • The companies are extremely efficient and they do a great job for us. Unfortunately, both these companies are being ‘hit’ like most firms are, with the Coronavirus. Jobs being cancelled, or printed and then not required, etc, etc.

TAT Advice and Info

The Third Age Trust (TAT) currently issues regular bulletins to members. Please check the TAT website regularly and, if you have not already done so, sign up to this national U3A Newsletter which disseminates advice and information quickly to all U3A members.

On a rainy day stuck in the house  during this lockdown, you might also like to pass some time browsing past issues – see the newsletter archive.

Our Virtual U3A

An increasing number of Groups (and Organisers of other events and individual members) are being very innovative in carrying on remotely! 

  • Computer Advice –  remote support by email and phone.
  • Choir – Is it true that some U3A singers are following Gareth Malone on YouTube? See a Classic fm article on the Great British Home Chorus.
  • Creative Writing – a virtual monthly meeting via emails and possibly Instagram. Still in the setting up phase.
  • Country Dancing – write in the enews of 1 Apr 2020, 10:42  “We’ve set up a WhatsApp group to keep in touch & cheer us up.”  See the enews item for contact details if you’d like to join in.
  • Digital Photography – still running its popular Photo Competition. Get snapping!
  • Gardening Group – members have been sent a most informative email via Beacon including hints on where to order garden-related supplies.
  • German Conversation are are keeping in touch by email.  And one member, at least, seems to be “spending his isolation looking up and sending things to cheer us all up”.  Good idea!
  • Italian – We heard through the grapevine that the Tutor is setting homework!
  • Science – featuring  online Science Quizzes that any member can try out.  If your Group would like to know how to produce such a Quiz, contact the Web Team via the email address below.
  • Ukulele -The ‘UKULEERS’ will still be keeping in touch with each other with items about the ukulele, including self help videos.  What a good time to learn to play the ukulele!  Contact Leader, Tony Crimlisk, for more information.
  • Additionally, remote help has been offered by a member on one of her interests – Geneaology.  See the enews sent out to members only via Beacon on Sat, 28 Mar, 09:21 for this kind offer and contact details. Maybe a new Group possibility for the future?
  • Various members have helpfully suggested the following ideas:

An item appeared in a recent enews saying “Keeping fit while isolating is extremely important.   There is no reason not to keep fit so have a look at these NHS videos”.

The Speaker Meeting organiser suggests having “a look at the TED talks website, which is packed with talks on all kinds of subjects”.  Some Meetings have been cancelled for the duration but alternatives are being planned – see the Speaker Meeting page.

There has been mention by a couple of members of a local (non-U3A) Zumba class already being run using Zoom. Perhaps some of our classes could carry on in this way?

Check out the Website’s new Culture at Home Post for those missing their theatre and music outings and meetings.

  • Any More Ideas?

If you as an individual or your Group has found a way to carry on regardless,  then please email the Web Team and we’ll add it to the list. You may inspire others to have-a-go too.  If you struggle with ideas or expertise in the appropriate technologies, again contact us.  Together, we can get creative, learn and share skills,  and at the same time help members feel more connected and less isolated.

email: webteam@aughton-ormskirk-u3a.co.uk

Note that the normal monthly enews is now being sent out more regularly.  If you’d like an item to appear in it, send to the enews Editor at:

email: enews@aughton-ormskirk-u3a.co.uk

Try to keep the enews items brief.  If it is long, send it in to the Web Team instead for publishing on the Website.  The Web Team will then provide a link to be included in your shortened enews item.

Let’s Communicate (Remotely)

As you probably are aware, enews is emailed to all members with an email address on the Beacon Membership System.  But you may not be aware that Group Leaders can send emails to all members in their Group.  A number of Groups are set up in Beacon to enable this already – extremely useful in the current circumstances. If your Group cannot do  this, contact the Web Team and we’ll explain the procedure to get you started.

Remember too that all members are very welcome to make use of our U3A’s facebook page. You can send in items to Brian Bostock, the facebook editor. And you can even arrange with him to be allowed to post info on U3A facebook for yourself. If you don’t know how to get in touch with Brian, contact the Web Team.

Website Group Leaders and Authors are encouraged to add appropriate information applying to the current situation on their Group Pages and Posts. Members of Groups with no Author can  send their content direct to the Web Team.

There are many other technologies useful for communicating remotely via social networking, web conferencing and such, that can help us all keep in touch with family and friends and neighbours as well as fellow U3A members.  Common examples, in addition to facebook above,  are Skype, FaceTime, Twitter, (the very popular) WhatsApp, (the increasingly well-known) Zoom, Echo Show and so on. Over the following weeks, we could perhaps use this website to provide info on some of these, if there is a demand.  There are also YouTube videos and TED talks that might be pertinent to your Group or other U3A activities. Let the Web Team know of your interest in learning about them and especially if you have expertise to impart.

Do return to the Website regularly as these are fast-changing times. New content will also be gratefully received.

For now …….

Stay Safe, Stay Well and Stay in Communication with the U3A.

from the Web Team (Maureen, Alan and Joyce)

Email: webteam@aughton-ormskirk-u3a.co.uk

Drama Group

We are really disappointed that our planned production for April – “Death By Paintbrush” has had to be rescheduled.  All being well we hope to perform it later in the year.

All April tickets will still be valid for the later performance and anyone unable to attend will be entitled to a refund.

Best wishes

U3A Activity Suspension

To all Members,

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, the Committee and Trustees of Aughton & Ormskirk U3A have taken the decision to suspend all group activities and Horizons at all U3A sites as from midday, 17.03.2020.

According to Government information, the isolation policy for the over 70’s could last for several months.  We will make every effort to maintain contact with you through email, Magazine, Facebook or Telephone and the Website.

We will continue to send further updates via email.

Group Leaders – please could you contact any Group member not on email.

If you know any member of your Group who may live alone, a phone call for a chat could make all the difference to their wellbeing through the forthcoming isolation.

In the meantime keep well, keep safe.

Megan Tomlinson

Secretary

Message from your Treasurer

Revised Message from your Treasurer:
Due to the Corona virus, the request for money to be deposited with the Finance team before the end of the financial year (31st March) is set aside. Please hold on to the money and deposit until the suspension of the U3A is lifted. If a significant amount of money is held and you are uncomfortable with this then please email me (treasurer@aughton-ormskirk-u3a.co.uk) to discuss how the money may be banked.
Regards,
Derrick

Health and Wellbeing Talks

 Talks CANCELLED till further notice

Member Julia Bate is organising a series of talks on matters relating to health and wellbeing over the coming months.  Julia says:

The next date for your diary is 18th March at 3pm in the Cinema Room in the Christ Church Ministry Centre when Dr Dennis Wat, Respiratory Consultant at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital will speak about the respiratory condition COPD, and I have also asked that he includes some information on sleep apnoea in his talk.

On 22nd April, we have two local Cardiac Nurses from Southport and Ormskirk Hospitals NHS Trust coming to discuss how we can help to keep our hearts healthy and they will also have some advice for anyone with existing cardiac disease. This will be at 2pm in the Cinema Room at the Ministry Centre.

If you are interested in attending either talk,  please let me know by email so that we have an idea of numbers because of limited space in this room.

Julia Bate

Contact details for Julia: Members, please refer to your monthly enews or see foot of page 16 in the latest U3A Magazine.

Forget me not appeal

Textile Group – Tap to enlarge

In mid February,  a representative from the Alzheimer’s Society, Gina Berry, came to collect all the knitted, crocheted or stitched ‘Forget me not Flowers’ made by our own Textile Group, the Creative Stitchers from Aughton Village Hall and the Knit and Natter Group from Christ Church.

The flowers will decorate the staircases at the Harris Museum & Gallery in Preston where they will be part of ‘The Unfurlings’, an events programme to support those living with dementia, their carers and families.  Events have just begun and continue until the end of May.  Everyone is welcome to attend and they are all in the afternoons.

Gina is the dementia adviser for West Lancashire and was quite overwhelmed at the numbers of hand-made flowers presented to her.  We didn’t count them but there were probably around 250.

Open Forum

The Open Forum, held on 23rd January, 2020, was interesting and several points and questions were put forward by members.  Alan Starkie., our Chairman, opened the Forum reminding members that the U3A is all about its members.  Also that the National office have now opted not to use the word ‘university’ but simply call ourselves U3A.  National U3A Day is on 3rd June, 2020 and U3As are encouraged to celebrate this day.

The change from four issues to three of the Magazine was well received and it was noted that our magazine continues to be much appreciated. Suggestions were made as to how to recoup the cost of postage.  Moving forward, newer members tend to visit the website and read enews.

It was put forward that the Management Committee and Trustees should be combined for more efficient working and members were encouraged to come forward to join Committees.

It was generally agreed that new members should be made welcome at Horizons and everyone was urged to assist in this. A ‘Meeter and Greeter’ was suggested.

Discussion about car parking took place and efforts are being made to co-ordinate activities with Christchurch School, The Ministry Centre and Christ Church.

This is only a brief outline of the Forum – a more detailed account will appear in the next issue of the Aughton & Ormskirk U3A Magazine.

Megan Tomlinson (Aughton & Ormskirk U3A Secretary)

Short Story Competition

If you would like to submit a short story of no more than 1000 words, on any topic, you could win a £25 book token and see your work in print in the August edition of the magazine. This is a new venture for the Creative Writing group and we are hoping for lots of entries, so please start writing now.

Some members of the group have offered help with typing and emailing so, if you would like some assistance, please consult Sue Watkinson at Horizons  or email CreativeWriting@aughton-ormskirk-u3a.co.uk and we’ll do our best to support you.

Read on for the full details …….

Short Story Competition Guidelines

  • The competition is for a story of no more than 1000 words and no fewer than 300, on any topic.
  • Stories should not have been published previously.
  • There will be one prize of a £25 book token.
  • Entry is restricted to members of Aughton & Ormskirk U3A.
  • The competition will close at midnight on Saturday June 27th 2020.
  • The result will be announced in August.
  • Pages should be A4 size, typed in 14 point using a plain font with 1.5 spacing.
  • Pages should be numbered.
  • The number of words used, excluding the title, should be included at the end of the piece.
  • Entries will be judged anonymously, so do not put your name on the text pages of your entry.
  • The story should submitted to CreativeWriting@aughton-ormskirk-u3a.co.uk as an attachment to an email listing the title of your story, the number of words, your name, phone number, email address and U3A membership number.
  • Your entry will not be returned, so please keep a copy.
  • Copyright remains with the author but by entering you are agreeing to publication of your work in the August edition of the U3A magazine and on the website if you win.

Two New Bridge Courses for 2020

Short Courses – (1) Learn to Play Bridge; and (2)  Improve Your Bridge

The Bridge Group will run a 10-week course starting in March for members who would like to learn how to play Bridge or to return to playing after a break from the game.

We plan to follow this up in the Autumn with a course for improving players – all members with a working knowledge of bridge will be welcome, whether or not you have been to the first course.

If you would like to find out more about either course and/or register your interest, then please ring Nick Dowrick on 07988 119 408.

Digital Photography Restarts for 2020

Check out the Digital Photography Group Page (and the Group Posts that follow it) for details of the first meeting this year and exhibitions of the excellent photos taken in past years.

Swimming at Park Pool

From the beginning of February, certain days and times will be dedicated to U3A swimmers, with the services of a Lifeguard and Instructor to help members regain confidence.  These are not swimming lessons for beginners although classes may be possible as the months go on.
My items in the magazine and the last enews attracted over 20 names, which is a great start.  If you would like to join in then do get in touch with me and I will pass on details to the West Lancs Leisure team.

This is not a group: simply U3A members attending the pool together at specific times, at normal pool prices.

Contact Sue Watkinson on 01695 422 423 or at Horizons most weeks.

Latest News – sessions start on Monday 3rd and Tuesday 4th February!

Medication Safety

NHS Innovation Agency

North West Coast Patient Safety Collaborative

on Medication Safety

On behalf of our U3A I attended a meeting of the above group on 22nd January. They are conducting a project aimed at increasing medication safety, looking at four areas in particular:

  1. The safe prescribing of medicines in primary care.
  2. Transfer of care between primary and secondary care to ensure effective and timely communication of any medication changes when a patient is discharged from hospital.
  3. Poly pharmacy (prescribing of large numbers of medication items to one patient, which increases the risk of drug interactions and can lead to failure to take medicines correctly).
  4. Medicines administration in care homes.

If anyone has any suggestions of how medication safety could be improved from a patient’s perspective, please contact me – Julia Bate, Tel: 01744 883086 – and I will mention them at the next meeting which will probably be in 2 or 3 months’ time.

Julia’s email address can be found in Bob Carlton’s January enews.

English Medieval Cathedrals – 2020 series

English Medieval Cathedrals of the South and South-east

Commencing Tuesday 28 January, for this fourth series of Church History we move to medieval cathedrals in the south-eastern extremity of England, interspersed with two visits to more-local medieval sites.

The 1st talk is on Canterbury Cathedral – part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site and mother church of the Anglican Communion, seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The Speakers are Peter Goodrich, Peter Hatfield and Peter Gateley. For further details, please refer to the Church History Group Page.

Trustees Open Forum

Following the success of last year’s Open Forum at Horizons, the Trustees now announce that there will be another Open Forum at Horizons on Thursday 23 January 2020 at 10.30.

All members are welcome. Please come along and air your views or ask questions on how our U3A is run.

We welcome your opinions and suggestions. Please put this is your diary now!

This Forum will be held in the Ormskirk Room, so there will be no Book Stall on this occasion due to space restrictions.

Search for a new Musical Director

We are a very friendly, sociable group with 35 Members and like to sing a wide range of music including; Musical Theatre, Folk, Sacred and Popular.  We enjoy the challenge of three part singing as well as a good unison sing-a-long at most of our sessions. We give one formal concert a year in the summer and organise the annual U3A Advent service. We are also regularly invited to sing at several local nursing homes.  We meet every Wednesday morning at Aughton Village Hall from 10 am until 12. (Broadly following school holidays).  We have a well organised team who take care of admin, finances and hall bookings.  We need someone who can inspire us, build on what we have already achieved and lead us along an exciting and rewarding musical path.

If you are interested in finding out more then please contact the U3A Choir Group Leader, Ann Henders, on 07847 364330.  Closing date for expressions of interest Tuesday, 21/1/20.

Please note there is no remuneration for this role.

Recent works

Here are some photos taken by Bill Soens of recent works by members of the Painting Group.

(Bill also produced a YouTube video of some of these works – watch it here)

Keeping fitter in 2020

The new Marketing Manager at West Lancs Leisure Services will be our Guest Visitor at Horizons on Thursday 9th January.  He is hoping to generate interest in specific U3A activities at Park Pool, Nye Bevan Pool and Burscough Sports Centre and wants to talk to members about their preferred sport.   He is in contact with the other five U3As in West Lancs so look forward to some competitive elements as well as keeping fitter and feeling better.  Come along and talk to him at the Scout & Guide HQ between 9.30 and 11.30 a.m.

Bridge

The Bridge Group are looking at running a short course in March or April 2020 for members who would like to learn how to play Bridge, or who would like to return to playing after a break from the game.  If you think you may be interested in such a course, the please ring Nick Dowrick on 07988119408 to register an interest.

Keyboard Advice

Starting Monday 13th January at 1.30 pm, Dave, our Digital Music Advisor, is inviting any U3A members who are bemused by their keyboards, to come to the Scout & Guide HQ.  Dave will happily advise what the ‘Keyboard Buttons’ are for.

You don’t have to be a member of the existing Keyboard Group, which recommences on 6th January.

A Message from the Membership Team

Advice from the Membership Team:

Maintaining accurate records for all our members on the Beacon Membership System is vital in order to keep you all informed.  Please let us know if any of your personal details change e.g. address, telephone number, email address so we can keep the database up-to-date and ensure you receive your monthly enews and correspondence etc.

If you become aware of a change in a member’s circumstances, please contact us so we avoid sending correspondence when it may not be appropriate.

We can be contacted via our email address:

membership@aughton-ormskirk-u3a.co.uk

or at Horizons every Thursday morning.

And did you know that as a Member, you can also update parts of your Beacon Membership Record for yourself.  Just ask the Membership Team or call in at Tuesday Computer Advice for help.

Battlefields Tour

Battlefields Tour –  September 2020

If you have an interest in history and WWI in particular, you may be interested in a five day break which has been organised for next year. The trip, which is led by a professional guide is based in the French city of Arras on a b/b basis but includes three additional meals – one lunch and two dinners. All outings and entrances are included in the cost which is £439.00.

Visits will be made to many of the famous sites of the battles of Passchendaele and the Somme with additional visits to Poperinge, Ypres, Notre Dame de Lorette and Wimereux.

For the full itinerary and details of booking arrangements please click or tap on the Battlefields Tour Flier. Or you can pick up the flier from Ken Moulton at Horizons or call 0151 526 2530.

Please be aware that this is not a U3A organised holiday so the U3A insurance will not apply. Private insurance will be required.

Jane Jones

November 26th 2019 – mid-break meeting

Prior to starting on our exploration of medieval cathedrals of the South and South-east of England in January 2020, there will be a mid-break meeting at the Scout Hut at the usual time of 14.00 on Tuesday 26th November.

This will give the opportunity for a brief preview of the 2020 programme, including the nationally historically important Canterbury Cathedral and Westminster Abbey.

As a holiday treat we will whisk you abroad to look at eight medieval French cathedrals, although separated by relatively short distance we will be able to see some of the differences between English and French Gothic, as well as show regional differences within the large geographical extent of France itself.

Speakers: Peter Goodrich, Peter Hatfield and Peter Gateley

Xmas Events & Celebrations

holly

All U3A Members Invited

 

 

“Please click on links listed below for each group to view more details of the various festive events.”

 

 

November 13th – Gardening – :  Festive ideas to help decorate your home for Xmas. Christmas from the Garden. 

November 29th & 30 Drama Production – :  Come along and “taste” our recipe for  A Christmas Pudding. 

December 3rd – Local History – :  Our seasonal meeting on.   A Winters Day

December 5th – Advent Event  – :  Come along to Christ Church at 10.30 am. for the  Advent performance form the Choir and Recorder Groups

December 6th – Wine Tasting – :  Come along to our  Wine Event

December 12th – Philharmonic Visit – :  Listen to enchanting music in the beautiful St. Georges Hall Concert Room.  Xmas with Septura

December 13th – Christmas Lunch – :  Christ Church Ministry Centre.  U3A Seasonal Social Event

December 19th – Christmas Walk & Lunch – :  Garstang  Golf Club – Walking Group D
Walking Group E


Stroke Risk

Are you at increased risk of stroke?  Take our 30-Second Test.
Earlier in the year, we had a visit by the NHS Innovation Agency to our U3A Science Group.  They demonstrated a simple diagnostic tool (the MyDiagnostick!) which can pick up an irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation or AF).
AF is a common complaint but one which can increase the risk of stroke in the older age group by five times, therefore identifying people at risk is very important. In many cases simple medication can be effective for the condition.
If you would like to be tested using this hand-held device, Joy Taylor, one of our U3A members will be at the Horizons coffee morning on 5th December. Come early and have your check done prior to attending the Carol Concert at Christ Church that morning. Alternatively if you would like your Group to be tested, then Joy is happy to come along to your usual meeting point when contacted by the Group Leader.  For example, many members attending a recent Table Tennis meeting, cheerfully succumbed!
Joy can be contacted on 01695 423694.

Christmas 2019 – Advent Event

Our U3A Choir gave a sincere and heartfelt Advent Performance on Thursday 5th December at Christ Church which marked the beginning of the Christmas season.  It was an opportunity to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas and to have a good sing!  Once again we asked for donations for the Ormskirk Food Bank and members were very generous.  The Recorder Group  also  performed at this event.

At the end of December, the choir also sang at Aughton Park and Ince Blundell Nursing Homes where we were very warmly welcomed.  This is now a Christmas tradition for us and it is lovely to see familiar faces.  Sadly, Christmas saw the retirement of our Musical Director, Duncan Roberts.  We said a fond farewell to him and wish him all the best for the future.

Local “Dementia Therapy” Course

Age UK Lancashire is launching a brand new service in West Lancashire for people living with mild to moderate dementia.

Maintenance Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (MCST) is a 12 weekly programme designed for people living with mild to moderate dementia and is the only non-drug treatment recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to improve cognition, independence and wellbeing.  Taking place in a safe group environment, participants will take part in meaningful and stimulating activities designed to maintain or increase levels of mental functioning, independence and happiness.

The initial pilot course is available to older veterans (born before 1st January 1950) living in the West Lancashire area.

Visit our website for more information:  https://www.ageuk.org.uk/lancashire/our-services/maintenance-cognitive-stimulation-therapy/

We expect a high level of interest from potential participants, due to limited places please register your interest early to avoid disappointment.  The waiting list for future courses is now open.

 To find out more or to make a referral to dementia services please call Age UK Lancashire on 0300 303 1234 or email referrals@ageuklancs.org.uk

A Film of a Book about Pie?

Come along to the Film Appreciation Group, Monday morning, 28th October to see:

The Guernsey Literary Meat and Potato Peel Pie Society (2018).

This is an historical romantic drama based on the book of the same name. In the aftermath of WW2, a writer forms an unexpected relationship with the residents of Guernsey. The film has wartime pathos, mystery and stunning photography.

 

Missing Guillotine

Have you seen or used the Guillotine that usually resides in the Scout & Guide HQ?  It has disappeared in the last few weeks.  It’s quite a large one so not easily missed or hidden from view.  Contact the Secretary  if you have any ideas on where it might be lurking.

A Tower with a View

Heritage Open Day in Christ Church, Aughton on Saturday 21 September. Church Tower open for viewing  and a talk on Christ Church History  given by U3A member, Peter Goodrich.  See the Parish Newsletter and also Posters in the Christ Church Ministry Centre

2020 Diaries

The U3A diaries are now available from the Social Subcommittee.  A useful bargain to be had at only £2.75 each.

A cheery pic of Val and Elva at the Social Desk during a weekly Horizons meeting where, at appropriate points during  the year, Summer Social and Christmas Lunch  tickets and U3A Diaries are on sale.

A Summer (and now Autumn) of Sport

There have been some wonderful sporting events to sit and watch on the TV  this summer – golf, cricket, netball, cycling.  But if you feel like being more active, we have a good number of Groups in our U3A that provide a range of opportunities for members to get going – albeit at a more leisurely pace.

And now as the days get cooler, the U3A offers a good many indoor sports at a variety of local venues to keep you active this autumn eg table tennis, badminton, various forms of dance classes, 2 types of indoor bowling, Keep Fit at various levels, Tai Chi.

Please see our Programme to browse the list of Groups on specific days of the week..

U3A Magazine Collection

The next issue of our magazine will be available for collection from Horizons on Thursday 29th August between 9.00 and 11.30 a.m.  It will contain details of group activities through to early December plus lots of other information about our U3A.

We have no one member in charge of Distribution Day this time, so the Communications subcommittee will be sorting things out on the morning.   We will be contacting the regular helpers to ask for support.

If you hand-deliver around your area do please call in for your batch of magazines.  All remaining copies will be posted out.  However, it would help to keep postage costs down if you could collect your own magazine and perhaps that of a friend or neighbour.

Some Group Leaders collect magazines for their members and we will be sending a separate email around to ask if this is possible.

A request for a member or a small group of members to organise the next Distribution will appear in the magazine.  If you feel you could help then do make the offer.  Plenty of guidance will be available from Ian Haskell and it’s only four times a year.

Try Dinghy Sailing

A new challenge for you to take on……..

Click to view poster full-size.

Second Chance

Pat Morton, who was recently featured in the local Champion newspaper, is a member of several U3A groups including Poetry, Italian and Film Appreciation. She has now turned her hand to writing, and her first published novel is titled, “Second Chance”.

When I retired from teaching I needed to do something creative. I joined the U3A then started writing. I wrote poetry, articles for magazines and two novels. I love the U3A so when I started my second novel it seemed right to set it there – although the characters are fictitious, you will probably recognise some of the settings and situations. I don’t expect to make a lot of money but will be happy if my book gives pleasure to some U3A members.

Continue reading

enews Reminder

Items for the enews should be sent by NOON on the last Monday in the month for publication soon after. So for this month, the Deadline is Monday, 26 August, at 12 noon.

Please send enews items to:

enews@aughton-ormskirk-u3a.co.uk

or

use the contact form on the web contact page selecting enews Editor from the drop-down list.

Note that if you want the same information to be published in the Magazine, facebook or the Website, you need to send it in separately to the appropriate editors.

Computer Advice Summer Break

A message from Brian Bostock (our U3A facebook Editor and Computer Helper):

It’s that time of year again when many members are on holiday, so to avoid staffing difficulties it has been decided to close Computer Advice, both Monday and Tuesday mornings after next week’s sessions (Monday 15 and Tuesday 16 July). We will reopen on Monday and Tuesday 1st and 2nd September 2019. Hope everyone enjoys the holiday period.

If you can’t wait till September to address your PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone problems, you could take a chance and pop into Horizons one Thursday morning.  There are usually one or two Computer Helpers lurking in the Scout & Guide HQ at that time.

AGM 2019

If you missed this Year’s AGM, you can read Reports from the past Chair and Hon Sec via the links in  the AGM 2019 webpage.  You can also browse for full details  such as the Agenda and Minutes.

(Also find out more about all the hard work done by the various Committees and Subcommitees year-round to keep our U3A running smoothly on the How We Work  webpage and the sidebar which appears on this and all the other ‘admin’ pages.)

2019 AGM: Chairman’s Report

WOW! ~ hasn’t the last two years gone quickly, as your Chairman, as I realise I will very soon pass the reins of office onto my successor. In accordance with our Constitution the maximum period of tenure as Chairman is two years.

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2019 AGM: Honorary Secretary’s Report

Time passes so quickly it is hard to believe that I am now coming to the end of my tenure, having been a Trustee for four years and it was three years ago that I was elected as Honorary Secretary. There have been some ­interest­ing, challenging times, but some happy ones too. The year started in June 2018 with three new Trustees elected to the Trustee Body and one new member to the Management Committee.

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Visit to Woolston Eyes – 14th May 2019

Nine members of the Bird Watching group attended this our fourth visit to this ‘Site of Special Scientific Interest’. Access to the site is restricted to permit holders and our thanks go to reserve volunteer David for unlocking the gates for us and helping with some of the sightings.

Photo taken by group member Graham Cawdell when we visited this site in 2016

 

The site is well known as the home for probably the largest breeding site in the UK for the rare black-necked grebe.  This year there are 26 of them although we only saw a fraction of this number as many were on their nests hidden among the reeds.

Amongst the total of 39 species recorded another special highlight was the sighting of a Garganay.

 

Click ‘Continue reading’ for the full list of species seen:

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West Lancashire Dementia Hub-Talk by Peter Horton

The West Lancashire Dementia Hub – launched in May and its monthly meeting – will now take place at the Age UK building (the Wellbeing Centre) in Moorgate, Ormskirk, each third Wednesday from 2.00 – 4.00 p.m.

On 19th June there will be a short talk by Peter Horton from Age UK Lancashire on ‘Local Dementia Services’.  There will be an opportunity to meet representatives of the local agencies and organisations that support those living with dementia, their carers and families.  U3A members are providing the ‘meet and greet’ service.  There will be tea/coffee throughout the afternoon.

Charity Shop Collections

We have had a kind offer to provide the following service:

One of our members (and a stalwart of the Horizons Chair Teams) is John Dixon.   As a collector/driver for The Salvation Army Charity Shop in Ormskirk, John uses his own car to collect donations from local people who, for whatever reason, can’t get into Ormskirk Town Centre.

John is offering to expand this collection service to any U3A members who have heavier items or bags of items suitable for donation.  Although his first loyalty is to The Salvation Army, he is willing to collect and deliver to any of Ormskirk’s charity shops.

If you would like to take advantage of his services then why not give him a call 01695 421178 and arrange a suitable day and time for collection.  

Launch of the West Lancs Dementia Hub

The West Lancs Dementia Hub will launch at the Wellbeing Centre, Moorgate in Ormskirk, on Wednesday 8 May between 2.00 and 4.00 p.m.  It will then take place every 3rd Wednesday at the same time and in the same venue.  Anyone affected by dementia is welcome.
A range of Dementia related service providers and experts will be there to guide and advise those living with dementia and their carers.   We will serve free tea/coffee and cake and there will be a speaker, Dr Penny Foulds, who leads the well-established Hub in the Lancaster and Morecambe Bay area.  Members may recall that Penny came to speak to our U3A last year, her enthusiasm and positive outlook were infectious.
Members of our Textile Group have been making a tablecloth with the Dementia Friendly logo on it and it is hoped that it will be complete and on display on the day.
U3A became a ‘Dementia Friend’ last year after an awareness session was held for around 50 group leaders and I have been attending the planning meetings that have led to the Hub initiative.  Numbers of local organisations and businesses are supporters too and it is hoped that the Hub will provide a joined-up service for those who need support.  We need meeters and greeters at each event so, if you are interested in becoming involved, then do contact me.
Sue Watkinson
01695 422 423