Bulletin no. 36 (December 2020)

Welcome to the final bulletin of 2020. A year to remember, for many wrong reasons perhaps, but also – I hope – some good ones for you.
We are now back in Tier 2. Diana Pavey, our Groups’ Coordinator, will be exploring with conveners which groups can resume some activities under the restrictions this tier places on us.
It is encouraging that you have found so many positive ways to keep involved during the latest lockdown. We are fortunate in having some wonderful outdoor spaces nearby where we can exercise and/or meet up with a friend for a daily constitutional: notably Alexandra Park, Priory Park, Highgate Wood, Queen’s Wood and Finsbury Park. I am sure things will pick up again in the new year and bring as near-to-normal activities as restrictions allow.
You will have recently received a renewal notice for your membership – I am very pleased we’ve been able to offer a reduced rate to nearly all our members and very much hope you will renew. If you have any problems with the renewal process please contact Charlie Sharp on membership@cedu3a.org.uk.
In December we have our final online talk of the year – the inimitable Peter Webb on his day with Salvador Dali. For details of currently planned January talks click on the links under ‘Online talks’. More will follow.
As always, I hope you enjoy reading this bulletin. In CEDU3A we have been so fortunate with the energy and will to engage shown by the conveners, trustees and other volunteers and of course you, our members. We can be proud of what we have achieved as a U3A during this challenging year.

Although it will be a different kind of festive season for us than we are perhaps used to, I’ll end by wishing you all a good one and a happy and active new year.
I look forward to seeing you in 2021.
Take care and be safe
Any queries please email Sally at chair@cedu3a.org.uk

Online talks

Tuesday 15 December 2020
Peter Webb : My Day with Dali


Tuesday 12 January 2021
Bernard Lockett : The Heritage of Gilbert and Sullivan


Tuesday 26 January 2021
Gaye Illsley : Advice session on Lasting Power of Attorney


Coming soon – our next newsletter

Do you have any stories for our next newsletter? Have you written a book, poem or short story, painted a picture or self-portrait, taken some great photographs? Has your group found an exciting way to inspire you and keep together during the lockdown? Have you taken up a new craft or skill? Do you have an interesting local history story or a reminiscence of the local area? The deadline for the next newsletter is 20 December: please get in touch soon with your stories at news@cedu3a.org.uk.

Assistant Treasurer

The Executive Committee is looking for a volunteer for a new role, assisting the Treasurer in handling CEDU3A’s financial affairs. No special financial experience is necessary, but it would help if the person is familiar with using spreadsheets and the budgeting process. The work is not complex but attention to detail is key. If anyone is interested in finding out more, please email Andrew Sich at treasurer@cedu3a.co.uk.

IT Support for members

Lockdown, along with the fact that many services are now only available online, has increased our dependency on IT. We are aware that some members may need support with using Zoom, organising/storing photos and/or mobile phone use. We can’t help with acquiring or setting up equipment, but we are pleased that several members have volunteered to be IT Buddies and offer advice over the phone.
If you need IT support or if you can offer IT support over the phone, please contact Jenny or Beatrice, our volunteer coordinators, on volunteers@cedu3a.org.uk. We will try to match your needs to the skills of the volunteers.

Group updates

Some outdoor groups had restarted before the latest lockdown and had other activities planned. These had to be cancelled at short notice, but in general after 2 December we will now move back to where we were before the second lockdown. Walking groups will be restarting – both Longer Walks and Middle Distance Walks. Birdwatching, Outings groups and other groups meeting outdoors will be able to do so under the ‘rule of 6’, all socially distanced. Sports groups meeting indoors – Badminton and Table Tennis will not be able to play and sessions at local Centres have been cancelled much to the disappointment of would be players.
Use of Zoom flourishes, along with WhatsApp and email, keeping us in touch, and of course we should not neglect phone calls and messaging. Many groups continue to use a combination, which is important where members are wary of Zoom, want to catch up having missed a Zoom meeting or simply want a chat. With these virtual meetings some groups have been able to admit more than the usual group number.


To mark the seasonal changes, some of us did a ‘One Hour Wardrobe Declutter Challenge’. We discussed feedback from this activity and distilled ideas to take away. Someone had even found a leak behind the wardrobe that might have caused a lot of problems had they not tried to declutter. There were many useful suggestions, from ‘If it’s part of my identity and I’m still interested in the topic, I keep it’ to ‘I’m 80 years old, how many more books will I be able to read…’. We all agreed ‘You have to prune things in order for them to grow!’.

Italian conversation 2

This group has a few vacancies and would welcome new members who speak a little Italian. It has an informal approach that starts with a chosen subject for discussion which members decide on before each meeting and each member comes prepared to say a few words. The group is always looking for new topics so should be able to include any subject that interests you. If interested please contact the convener, Mick Breheny, via the Italian Group 2. Currently meeting on Zoom every fortnight on Tuesdays at 2pm.

Quiz Host wanted

We are looking for a quiz host to help deliver our online quizzes. Our quizzes are great fun even when they are run via Zoom. If you are able to help with this by putting yourself forward or recommending some one to us, please contact Charlie Sharp on membership@cedu3a.org.uk

Becoming a Group convener

Have you thought of becoming a Group convener? This could be for a new topic, or a second group for one fully subscribed. Simply email Graham Bennett on newgroups@cedu3a.org.uk and he will guide you through the process. (Six groups have started since March, most using Zoom.)


We were honoured recently to be approached by U3A headquarters, asking if they could arrange a professional photoshoot of one of the outdoor bead felt-making sessions for their archive. A CEDU3A photograph that had been posted on Facebook had managed to find its way to the National Office and although rain forced the postponement of the visit until the spring, it reminds us of how far Facebook can reach. Please do join our group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/300181150556772

Coffee morning

There are a couple of spaces available at the next virtual coffee morning at 11, Friday 4 December. If you would like to meet other members for an informal chat, contact Jacki at https://cedu3a.org.uk/coffee-mornings/.