A photo of a hoverfly shared by John of Blackwater u3a onto the u3a Keeping In Touch Facebook group.


Dear <<First Name>>,

It is great to hear that many u3as are getting back to face to face as well as online meetings. I hope that you all manage to enjoy the summer weather wherever you are in the movement.

As you can see below in the newsletter,
there are many exciting initiatives happening within u3as using the skills of our members, everything from knitting to quizzes to boules. 

If you are a member of a committee, please check that your u3a has voted in the current elections for officers for the Board of the Third Age Trust. Also if you are in the London or East Midlands you can vote for the Trustee for your region and in Wales you can vote for the Trustee for your nation.

The Trustees work very hard to ensure that everything the Third Age Trust does supports u3as across the movement.

I wish you all a very happy and sunny July.

With regards,
Sam Mauger
Chief Executive
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In this issue...

Run for u3a
Seaham u3a yarnbomb their railway station
Join our laughter yoga event

News from the Trust

Virtual Running Event

Run for the World is holding a special charity event for the u3a movement. You can choose from 3km, 5km, 10km or 21.1km to complete in a single activity anytime before the end of 2021. Best of all, 25% of the entry fee will go to the u3a movement to help provide equipment and opportunities for exercise and sport groups. Find out more about how to take part on our website.

u3a gets moving

Why not check out Learn, Laugh, Move, the learning initiative in which u3a group leaders share the joy they get from their fitness groups. This month focuses on Folk Dancing and previous activities include yoga and cycling. Have a look and if you're the convenor of a physical wellbeing group at your u3a, let us know what you love about your group. 

See more from the learning team further down the newsletter.
Your Stories

"I saw this on a wall in Epsom recently:  “There is no situation, no age, no condition where exercise is not a good thing.”  OK, it was part of a plug for a gym group, but it struck me as relevant to u3a.

In Edinburgh u3a we have a jogging group which meets for a gentle jog in different parks and byways around our city.  We wear whatever clothing we want,  run at our own pace and walk when we feel like it.  No pressure!  There is a social dimension, of course, with refreshment after the run, and now we are all evangelists for jogging.

- David, Edinburgh u3a

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Bitesize Newsletter

u3a news 

Yarnbombing Brings Smiles to Seaham 

Seaham u3a's 'Knicky Knack Knitters' decorated their local railway station with knitted and crocheted displays, many of which reference Seaham's history. The display took a year to make and three hours to put up at the station. The group felt it would be a great way to lift spirits locally. Read more on our website.

Foyle u3a get bouled away

As part of Foyle u3a's Summer programme, they hosted a French Boules Day. Members were given a crash course in Petanque - over 40 people came and it was such a success that a Petanque group has now been set up.

Stourbridge u3a Are Blooming

Stourbridge u3a volunteers have been active during lockdown helping to keep things bright and cheerful. The town is entering the Heart of England in Bloom competition and Stourbridge u3a have taken responsibility for planting, watering and tidying an area.

Croydon u3a Get In The Football Spirit

In an exciting month which saw the England male football team get to the final of the Euros, Croydon u3a showed their support for the team by wearing the England colours whilst doing chair yoga. 

Learning News

Below is a snapshot of the learning initiatives on our website that members can involved with.

Cook the food of India and Pakistan

Our journey around the world through food continues and this month focuses on family recipes and fusion creations from India & Pakistan. Try u3a member Jayam's chickpea curry recipe below and find more on the Cuisines of the World page. 
Gujarati Chick Pea Curry
  1. Warm 2 tbsp of oil in the pan.
  2. Add a small cinnamon stick & ½ tsp of whole cumin seeds
  3. When the cumin seeds brown, add chopped fresh ginger & garlic and green chilli paste.
  4. Add 1 tin tomatoes and immediately add ½ tsp. turmeric & chilli powder and add 1½ tsps. dhania powder & garam masala. Add a pinch of salt.
  5. Add 2 tins chickpeas and 2 or 3 pre-boiled potatoes. Stir well. 
  6. Add coconut milk. Simmer for a while on medium heat, stirring occasionally.  
  7. Add sugar & lemon juice to taste.
  8. Add chopped fresh coriander leaves at the end as a garnish.
  9. TASTE IS A MUST!  Adjust salt, lemon or sugar if needed.  

Upcycle Your Wardrobe

u3a members have been turning their old clothes into unique new garments in our Upcycle Your Wardrobe challenge. Upcycling is a budget friendly and sustainable alternative to fast fashion and a great way to learn new skills. Take a look and have a go yourself. 

Photo: Catriona of Hamilton and District u3a
Academics at University of Birmingham, UK, have worked together with the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, to create an online course (MOOC) entitled ‘Healthy Ageing: Concepts, Interventions and Preparing for the Future'  hosted on the FutureLearn platform. Find out more.

News from the Board

Richard Teare, Hilary Jones, Sam Mauger and Ian McCannah at the first in-person meeting for the current board earlier this month.

Chair of the Third Age Trust, Ian McCannah

"At the turn of the month, and following the Covid guidance, the Trust's Board of Trustees met in person for the first time since March of last year.

The location was Kenilworth in the West Midlands. We all appreciated the opportunity to catch up with one another face to face after such a long time of meeting virtually. The chance to meet six new regional trustees elected last autumn for the first time was valued by all.

During the meeting, work started on some key issues for the new board, elected at the Trust AGM next month, to consider - a Strategic Plan that will take account of challenges posed by the pandemic to the Trust and the wider movement; a Digital Strategy that will encompass further development of the Beacon membership system and the technology requirements of the u3a Office; and, an online platform that will bring together a number of virtual learning offerings, including Trust u3a.

The meeting in Kenilworth was also a rehearsal for the AGM on 26 August. Members will have the option to attend physically or virtually - for more information see our previous mailing on the subject.
Your Stories

Ashingdon and Rochford u3a have been working with Rochford District Council to contribute to a tapestry which is a visual display of over 1,000 years of local history. There are ten panels, each 2ft by 3ft.The community project was created over 20 months. It is currently being displayed in Rochford between 27 July and 7 August - book now. 

Subject Advice News

See all subject adviser updates on the subject advice page.

Subject Adviser for Film

Claire has joined us as a Subject Adviser for Film. Claire coordinates a Talk About Film group, at Belper u3a, pictured here.
She says “how many of us were sustained by bouts of film-watching during the lockdowns? Aren’t films a fascinating window on the world, and on all kinds of human relationships? Whether you’re in an existing u3a film group or are new to the u3a, if you would like to share thoughts, questions or ideas I look forward to hearing from you.”  You can contact Claire on her Subject Advice page.

Do you love chess?

Why not join the new u3a Chess Network, organised by Chess Subject Adviser, David. The Chess Network aims to help and encourage new Chess Clubs, to share information between each other, and to encourage online chess groups. 
Find out more about the u3a Chess Network on David's Subject Advice page.

Congratulations Mac

Mac McKechnie, Subject Adviser for Walking Cricket, has  accepted a role with IMAS (International Mixed Ability Sports) to spearhead Walking Cricket as an activity. Part of IMAS statement of purpose is to support “where age is a barrier to mainstream sports”  and Mac will be using the opportunity to fly the flag for u3a.

National Events

You can find lots of events on our online events page. Here is a sample:

Laughter Yoga

Tuesday 20 July 10am 

Judith of Edinburgh u3a is leading a workshop on Laughter Yoga, designed to introduce members to the many health and social benefits that laughter brings us.  

Veg On Fire! Tips for the Perfect Vegetarian BBQ

Monday 16 August at 10.30am

Chef Alex from 'Vegetarian For Life' will be joining u3a members once again, this time sharing vegetarian barbeque recipes.
On the menu is Imam Biyaldi, black bean burgers, and a pasta salad.
u3a Science Network virtual meeting

Join the Science Network on Wednesday 11 August from 10.30 - 3.00 for this free learning event with member led presentations on Extra-Terrestial Intelligence, Gunpowder Technology and Flint. Find out more and book your spot on eventbrite.
We're still receiving stories of how u3as spent u3a day, like Isle of Wight u3a who walked the coastal path, leaving blue and gold pompoms along the way.

40th Anniversary

Thank you so much for all the interest we have had in the 40th anniversary quilt competition. The competition is open for entries between August and November, but discussions are already happening on our closed Facebook group so do join to share ideas and your progress.

Find out more about the competition and how you can get involved on our website. 
Your Stories

"We've been organising monthly interu3a quizzes for over a year now. Each team can have up to four members. Some form a WhatsApp or Facebook group and video call during the quiz whilst others use Zoom private chat and some phone each other. No prizes but plenty of competitiveness!

Our next quiz is on Wednesday 28 July at 7pm. For more information and an entry form visit Ayr u3a website. "

- Linda and Ian, Ayr u3a


Find this and more on Sources now and contact us with your stories.
"Two and a half years ago I joined the paddling group run by East Antrim u3a. The fact that I was blind proved no barrier. The organiser of the group sent me written descriptions of the various strokes which the other members would have learned through diagrams or visual demonstration. We have been on many different rivers in Northern Ireland, on peaceful waters amongst birdsong and, often, in the sunshine."
Read more about David's accessible u3a paddling group on our Sources blog. You can also find an article from the ethics working group about how to respond to research requests.
Research News 

We have been contacted by researchers looking for anyone aged 50+ who has experienced a fall during the pandemic and is interested in sharing their experience. The study takes place fully online, with phase 1 in the form of an online survey and phase 2 as an optional follow-up interview for those who would like to share more. Take the study.

Social Media News

For news about local u3as' activities, national learning opportunities and events, social media is the best place to hear it first. Follow us by clicking the buttons below and become part of the conversation by joining our Facebook group, u3a Keeping In Touch.
Click the buttons below to see our social media profiles and follow us.
Teignmouth u3a Chair David met Freddie Flintoff this month and used the opportunity to tell him about the benefits of u3a.

Media News

"As a trustee of the u3a, I see everyday evidence of members in their 60s, 70s, 80s who believe in an active life and act out their years with excitement and innovation; full of learning in a social environment with their friends."
This month, Allan, Trustee for the West Midlands, featured in Private Eye's letter page (quoted above) and the Heatons Post published an article about Heatons and Reddish u3a's ukelele performance on u3a day.

Has your u3a featured in your local media recently? We'd love to hear about it.
For support running your u3a including, Trust Volunteer Induction (21st July), Zoom tutorials and help to get online with taster sessions ‘living in a digital world’, see our online tutorials.


Congratulations to Bridgend u3a members Sam and Mary who recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary and received a card from the Queen.

We're also wishing an international congratulations to Rhonda, the President of u3a Toowoomba in Australia who was recognised on the Queen's Honours Birthday List. Find out more about the International Committee on our blog.
Volunteering Opportunity

We've been contacted by NHS Volunteer Responders who are looking for more Steward Volunteers to support at vaccination sites.   Steward Volunteers support with the efficient and safe movement of patients through vaccination sites, ensuring that social distancing measures are in place and identifying people who require additional support. To find out more go to 

In Focus

Barry, Thorpe Bay u3a

I’ve been an official police volunteer in the Scams Protection team since June 2020. It all began in 2017 when the then Chief Constable of Essex came as a guest speaker to our u3a.
He brought with him another colleague who spoke to us about cyber crime and the impact on the older generation. As my working life had been spent in IT, when chatting after the talk, I asked if I could work with the police and develop a seminar for Thorpe Bay u3a to help people know what to look for. He readily agreed.

Working around my kitchen table, I developed a half day seminar with the Head of Protection and Prevention. I started doing presentations with live demonstrations to Essex clusters of u3as and this led to me presenting at the u3a AGM in 2018 and 2019. I've been doing the sessions as webinars now - and have been doing one every month for u3a nationally too. I think it helps that I myself am a member of the demographic we’re trying to reach so it’s easier for me to speak in non-technical language that older adults will understand.

I continually have success stories where people come to me and say, ‘Barry I spotted this, this is a scam isn’t it.’ It’s great, it makes me feel it’s all worthwhile. 

Barry's next national webinar for u3a members is on 28 July. Book now on our online events page.
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