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Living with Covid-19 at Hutton U3A
Covid-19 continues to dominate our lives, but thanks to the efforts of our Group Leaders and Committee Members, coupled with a good dose of technology, the Hutton U3A continues to thrive during this difficult period. We know that many Groups continue to keep in touch informally, but many have also managed to find new ways to continue their activities.
Peter Knight’s photo group continue to meet. Peter sets a theme for the month and the group reviews the photos taken via on-line meetings. The group also holds on-line discussions on the work of a given professional photographer, usually using YouTube to research their work. Peter has also been giving tuition classes via Zoom, such as how to edit photos using Lightroom.
Peter Froebel has adapted the format of his STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) group, finding many fascinating lectures, articles and documentaries that group members review in advance and then discuss at his monthly meeting using Zoom.
Alastair West simply moved his Shakespeare group meetings to Zoom and they continue to be as popular as ever. In fact, the group now meets twice a month and is able to incorporate viewing filmed versions of Shakespeare’s plays into its study.
Judy’s Book group, Purple Pride, has also meet via Zoom and Judy has also restarted her History group, again using Zoom.
We are very grateful to John Nicklin for taking over the Family History group following the sad death of Mike Smith who had run this group for some time. John has restarted this month via Zoom.
Brenda Wray has kept her Exploring English Literature group going, initially by e mail (sending lists of books and short stories) and then via Zoom looking firstly at poetry and now a Greek tragedy.
Geoff Towler has kept the Astronomy group meeting via Zoom. Recently, they even had a guest speaker attending.
Money and Finance have kept in contact via email where they have been continuing to discuss matters of financial concern under the auspices of Karen Redner.
Mike Gill’s discussion group has also been running via Zoom, currently arranged by Eileen Damsell
In May, Margaret Gil restarted her Spanish conversation using Zoom and at the request of the members, she is now holding two sessions a month. Everyone has been keen to make good use of the extra time available and all are progressing well. In addition, all the group are enjoying the social contact.
Sally Adams has started monthly Zoom meetings for the Living Philosophy Group. Those who joined enjoyed the social side as well as sharing their thoughts and ideas around a topic. Sally suggested listening to a radio programme before the meeting which worked well and plans to do this again. Members' suggestions for topics are welcome and wanted. Large helpings of humour and encouragement together with support from Roy Fisher and Marion Macey to get the Zoom meetings started have made these meetings possible.
Zoom hasn’t proved as useful for the Ukulele group, however, although Sue Hammond has been sending them website links where they can learn new songs to continue to improve.
On the technical side, Roger Griffiths has offered help to any Group Leader who would welcome support in setting up a group via Zoom and Roy Fisher and Alex Hakim continue to be available for telephone computer support.
Our Committee has also risen to the challenge. Although we are currently unable to hold our monthly meetings, Sue and Eileen have arranged several great presentations and events that have been delivered directly into our homes using streaming media and Sue has already lined up a number of presentations that can be enjoyed over the coming months.
So U3A life is still continuing in Hutton although we all hope that life will return to some normality in the not too distant future. In the meantime, a big thank you to all who have found new ways to support and keep in touch with our members.