Hello to you all
It’s that time again. The clocks have changed into winter mode but the longer evenings will allow us time to follow our hobbies – or maybe try a new one. On the other hand it can be a chance to relax and get ready for the new year 2024 and everything that might bring.
Before it arrives we are about to have the December meeting at Littleton Memorial Hall on Tuesday 12th December doors open at 2pm ready for 2.30pm start.
Our Winchester u3a are always looking for members to add to the very valuable list of helpers who assist with all sorts of jobs – possibly in a ‘one off’ capacity – you will be particularly welcome during 2024 which is our 35th anniversary. You don’t have to commit to being on the committee necessarily but could be available to help when extra events are being arranged.
Finally - perhaps instead of a New Year resolution which most of us break anyway we should remember the mantra of the u3a - Learn Laugh Live.
On that note the committee and I wish everyone of you the season’s greetings and look forward to meeting many of you during 2024 and the future.
The Committee would like to remind all members to update any changes in their personal details with Marion, our Membership Secretary as soon as possible.
We have some great news for you all.
Thanks to the endeavours of our webmaster Barrie Brinkman you are now viewing our new WordPress Website. Barrie intends to stand down at the next Annual Meeting in March 2024 so I must repeat our thanks to him for all his hard work achieving this changeover.
The WordPress system is more user friendly than the old HTML system and we will be incorporating ‘add ons’ from SiteWorks which is being developed by u3a National to simplify things even further.
Whilst we have some interest from members we feel that it could be advantageous to have a team to share and maybe work on a rota system to be involved with the maintenance of the new system. We don’t know until we try.
Please make contact with either Barrie or me Joan Sherrin if you need more information.
Ideally we need members who already have experience with WordPress or are happy to learn as there is extensive training material on line and National u3a is producing guidance for siteworks.
Barrie has updated it so it is up to us all now to carry it forward into this new phase of the life of Winchester u3a.
Winchester u3a Chairman
GROUP SECRETARY REPORT
There are a number of Groups looking for new members. Groups who would welcome new members vary from Allotments, Cycling, Languages, History, Novels to Wine Appreciation - so there should be something to interest you. The Group Listing includes all the Groups looking for members. New Groups are always welcome. If you are Interested in or thinking of starting a group, please contact me: Group Secretary
TEAS AT GENERAL MONTHLY MEETINGS
Over the years individual Groups have been allocated the role of providing teas at the General Meetings. Now that we are again holding these meetings regularly and providing tea afterwards, it has been necessary for someone to co-ordinate this. I am pleased to announce that Angela Housden has kindly volunteered to do this.
With over 70 Groups the lot should fall on any one group very infrequently. The teas are important part of our socialising, enabling people from different Groups to meet and I hope that all will co-operate with Angela. The task (making tea, etc) is not onerous, with easily used equipment - including an excellent dishwasher - available. It could be regarded as a team-building experience for your group, and for those who do not normally come to our general meetings it will be an opportunity to hear one of our excellent speakers and to meet members from other groups.
John Craig, Group Secretary
THIRD AGE MATTERS
Most readers will know that the Third Age Trust publishes an excellent national u3a magazine five times a year. The Winchester u3a annual subscription includes TAM and many members have opted to receive it. If you would like to receive TAM please contact our Membership Secretary, Marion Schiesser and she will add you to the distribution list.
The current magazine (issue 54, Winter 2022) includes details of the recent AGM where the resolutions to raise the annual subscription fee every year in line with the State Pension increase were defeated, which leaves the Third Age Trust facing a deficit of £250,000 next year. This clearly means the future of the Trust, which is the umbrella organisation that supports member u3as, is in jeopardy.
If you would like to get involved in the conversation regarding National Annual Subscription rates, please sign up to the electronic newsletter at u3a.org.uk/newsletter.
There are also articles explaining how the Third Age Trust is planning to improve communications within the whole u3a (pages 4 – 7 and page 35). Liz Thackray, in her ‘View from the Chair’ writes: The Board wants to ensure that u3as and their experiences are at the centre of decision-making. Other (similar) voluntary organisations ……. Have found a way forward is to create a separate body – provisionally called a council. To get involved in the conversation please sign up to the electronic newsletter at u3a.org.uk/newsletter.
We have some members who live in the City but don’t have a car these days (very green!). We have resumed live monthly meetings in the Littleton Hall, but these members have difficulty getting to the meetings.
If you come to the monthly meetings and might consider giving a lift to someone who’s a bit stuck, could you please let me know?
If you have no transport and would like a lift, please also let me know. I will then co-ordinate lifts and passengers.
Please send an email if you’re interested, to email@example.com