Our Virtual U3A

By | May 2, 2020

An increasing 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.

  • Computer Advice –  remote support by email (any time – using elearning@aughton- ormskirk-u3a.co.uk) and by phone (on Mondays and Tuesdays only, at the usual session times – see enews sent out on 8 April)
  • 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.
  • Creative Writing keep in touch using WhatsApp and are 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!
  • French Conversation is conducting Zoom meetings. There is very helpful How To guidance on Zoom on the Third Age Trust (TAT) website.
  • Gardening Group  members have been sending out most informative newsletters via Beacon emails including quizzes, jobs in the garden and hints on where to order garden-related supplies.
  • German Conversation 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 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.
  • Philosphy – 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 us a list of poems so we can all enjoy.
  • 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.
  • 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  Culture at Home Post for those missing their theatre and musical outings and meetings.

  • Watch this space for  More Ideas

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

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.


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!