Our Virtual U3A

By | July 3, 2020

A number of Groups (and Organisers of other events and individual members) are being very innovative in carrying on remotely! See below for the examples we know about so far. Please send the Web Team examples of U3A Remote Activities that we don’t yet know about.

  • Bridge Group is doing an excellent job of keeping going virtually! See Bridge Group during the Lockdown.
  • Computer Advice –  remote support is readily available by email using webteam@aughton-ormskirk-u3a.co.uk or   elearning@aughton-ormskirk-u3a.co.uk and by phone to any of the Computer Helpers. (For all their phone numbers, see the enews sent out on 29 June to U3A members.)
  • Choir – Is it true that some U3A singers are following Gareth Malone on YouTube? See this Classic fm article on the Great British Home Chorus.
  • The Church History Leaders have been keeping their Group members well-informed and educated remotely.  Using Beacon email, they have sent out stunning photos and information on relevant topics to their members.
  • Creative Writing are very creatively keeping in touch and developing stories and poems using technologies such as WhatsApp eg see Creative Writing Group During Lockdown.  They are also running a Short Story Competion open to all members.
  • 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!
  • The Drama Group is continuing to meet via Zoom. They report …..”At the moment we are not rehearsing for our next play although we may do at some point in the future ………. we are enjoying reading plays”.
  • The Leader of Folklore & Mythology is keeping in touch with members of the Group.
  • French Conversation is conducting Zoom meetings. (There is very helpful How To guidance on Zoom on the Third Age Trust (TAT) website.)
  • Gardening Group  have been emeiling their members out most informative newsletters  via Beacon emails including quizzes, jobs in the garden and hints on where to order garden-related supplies. They also have a new  Gardening Group Gallery on the website.
  • German Conversation are keeping in touch eg by email.  Homework is made available by the Group Leader. And members seek out and send items to cheer up the others in the class.  Good idea!
  • Some members are managing to fit in a weekly round of Golf.
  • Italian – We have heard through the grapevine that the Tutor is setting homework and conducting Zoom meetings. There is very helpful How To guidance on Zoom on the Third Age Trust (TAT) website.
  • Latin & the Roman World Group is carrying on regardless while maintaining social distancing. See the Latin in Lockdown Group Post as an example of their virtual activities.
  • Philosophy – The Leader, Tim Miles, has set up an outlook email group to which group members, or others, can be added at their request. He has also had email exchanges re philosophy with group members.
  • The Poetry  Leader, we have heard, is sending members suggestions for a daily poem. If that is correct, do please send the Web Team a list of some poems that we can mention on the website for us all to enjoy.
  • In late July, Recorder Group have managed to play again …….  “in the Aughton Village Hall garden where we had lots of space (and two spectators).  It started out sunny and still, then a little breeze got up and finally the clouds began to roll in again.  But we got about 90 minutes in which was wonderful.”
  • Science Group Leaders, Jack and Alan have set up a new Group – Science during Lockdown.  It features a Daily Science Snippet, Science Jokes and Cartoons, Illusions, online Science Quizzes that any member can try out and links to Coronavirus articles.  If your Group would like to know how to produce a Quiz, contact the Web Team via the email address below.
  • Snooker cannot turn up to play but they do get together remotely to take part in quizzes.
  • Spanish Conversation – Leader, Bob Sheehan is sending articles in Spanish by email to the group on a regular basis to translate at leisure during lockdown.
  • 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!  See the Post named Play Ukulele!  if you would like to start learning to play this instrument. . Contact Leader, Tony Crimlisk, for more information.
  • At least one of the Walking Groups is considering how socially distanced Walks might be organised.
  • Watch this list for  More Ideas

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  Culture at Home Post for those missing their theatre and musical outings and meetings.

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?

Phone a U3A Friend that you haven’t seen since lockdown close of meetings.  Or email, text, Whatsapp, Zoom them or use whatever communication method you and they prefer. See above under Computer Advice for help with IT issues.

So if your Group has found a way to carry on regardless,  then please email the Web Team and we’ll add it to the above 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

Remember too the monthly enews.  If you’d like an item to appear in it, send to the enews Editor at:

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

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


If you would like to know more about some of the communication tools mentioned here and elsewhere, then there is very helpful How To guidance on the Third Age Trust (TAT) website.

Important Caveat ………….

There is often no charge for downloadable Apps and information available via the internet.  But please do remember – ‘there is no such thing as a free lunch’.

Be Aware and Use with Care!