Hear this page!
Over the last few months our ever-changing language has acquired new expressions, such as ‘new normal’, ‘COVID safe’, and ‘social distancing’. Innocuous little words, yet what an impact on our daily lives! It is now almost certain that, until 2021, we won’t be able to meet indoors in our interest groups without breaking government guidelines. However, several groups are finding imaginative ways to work together on projects and learn new skills, and convenors are using initiatives to stay in touch with their members and to keep up group activities. But please remember to do your own personal risk assessment for any group meeting or activity.
Thank you to the 53 members who attended our AGM on Zoom, thus ensuring that our organisation remains legally able to function for another year. I hope that in the coming months two or three more of our 300+ members will consider joining the committee and help to keep our U3A moving forward. I am delighted to announce that Pam Young has been successful in a bid to fund ten Kindle Fire tablets. These will be available for loan to any U3A members who may not otherwise be able to access the internet.
Returning to the theme of language, I’ve noted that U3A National Office is using the term ‘movement’ to refer to the U3A rather than ‘organisation’ (which is what I’ve always thought of it as). This has led me to wonder how we might debate this and any other issues on which members may like to seek clarification at this time. Is there a place for a discussion topic on our new website, on our Facebook page or maybe in a 30-minute spot before the Zoom talk at our virtual coffee mornings? If you have any thoughts about whether we’re part of a movement or a national organisation, or ideas about how we could develop a discussion on it, please email or speak to any committee member or me. In addition, I would welcome any ideas for more ways in which we can help our members to engage with the technological world that so many of us take for granted. I look forward to hearing from you!
John Batt, September 2020