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Government Update - Official guidance on what you can and can't do after the latest lockdown changes is here. Note that if you are over 70, however fit, you are still vulnerable to Covid-19 and should limit your contact with other people outside your household. if you have been advised to shield by the NHS or your GP there has been some limited relaxation and full details are given in the linked pages.
Our U3A Chair's Keeping in Touch Message 1, sent 24 March 2020
Dear Fleet U3A member,
What mad times we are living in! I trust you and your families and friends are well and keeping safe from the virus. Although we have to remain physically distanced from each other for our own and others’ safety there is no reason why we can’t increase our connectedness as a U3A. That is the reason for this note to you.
First of all, thank you for registering your email address with Fleet U3A so that we can contact you. We did have 130 members for whom we had no email addresses and even some where we had no telephone number! The committee have been contacting them all, even writing letters, to make sure they are all right and are aware of the shutdown.
I was not surprised to find out that most already knew that everything was on hold until further notice because their Group Leaders had been in touch with them. They were all very pleased to have the contact from their GLs and from the committee. Some did have their own email addresses after all and some had a family member or friend who could be their e-buddy. We are delighted to be in touch with them for the first time with this note.
Some members that we contacted said they would benefit from a regular, perhaps weekly, phone call from a U3A member just for a chat during these strange times. If you or someone you know would fall into this category please let me know and I will set up a regular phone call to you. I have a few volunteers already who would be willing to telephone an isolated fellow member occasionally. Of course, it goes without saying, that if you have time to join the volunteer band of callers please let me know that too.
Fleet U3A has set up an interactive Facebook page for those of you who use Facebook. It is called ‘Fleet U3A Members Group’, so please do join in and see all the interesting posts so far. We will of course be sending out the monthly newsletter as usual and Sandy, our Editor, is compiling it as I write. She is looking for articles to fill her pages so please write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You will not be surprised to learn that the national U3A Day has been postponed from June to October. I’m sure we all hope everything will be back to normal by then. Many thanks to all those members who offered to help with the organising of Fleet U3A’s efforts for the day. You will guess why I haven’t been in touch! However, I do have your details and I will call on you later in the year when we hear about more definite plans for the day in October.
Although many of us are finding this self-isolation difficult and frustrating, and I count myself as one of those, just think how marvellous it will be when this is all over and we can be together again in our groups and at Monthly Meetings. I console myself in these difficult times with the joy I will feel when I can speak to you all again in person.
Be strong, keep in contact with one another but most importantly, keep safe and well.
Chair, Fleet U3A
Message from our Committee Chair, sent to all members with email on 16 March 2020
Having just listened to the Prime Minister’s Corona Virus news briefing it appears that the time has come for Fleet U3A to take action. Everyone, particularly our age-group, has been advised to engage in ‘social distancing’ and to avoid non-essential gatherings. It is with regret that the committee of Fleet U3A must advise Group Leaders to cancel all group meetings until further notice. We will cancel all venue bookings as soon as we are able.
The Monthly Meeting on Wednesday this week will not take place and other planned meetings in the next few weeks are unlikely to happen. The committee are aware that the Visits Group would normally be selling tickets for upcoming visits at the Monthly Meeting and obviously this will now not be possible. An alternative method for booking and paying for visits will be decided as soon as possible.
Please everyone, be aware of members who live alone and try to set up regular contact with them to ensure they remain in good spirits during this unusual time. Knowing how resourceful and inventive we are in Fleet U3A I expect to hear of all sorts of wonderful whizzy ways to keep in touch with fellow members.
Fleet U3A committee will keep you informed of any decisions we make in the future regarding group and general meetings. Please do contact any one of us if you have a question you think we can answer.
Please be careful of your own safety and good health and avoid taking risks with either.
Group Leaders, please make sure that your group members without access to email hear about this note to all members. Thank you.
March 16th 2020
The impact of the Coronavirus situation on Fleet U3A Visits
Carole Matthews of the Visits Group has provided the following information, sent to all members with email
Visits already booked for the coming few months are being investigated to see what alternative arrangements may be necessary and/or available.
Various options are being explored depending on the visit in question and members who have already booked on these visits will be contacted directly by the Visits Group as soon as the options or new arrangements are known.
The January 2021 Sonning visit should have been booking from this Wednesday at the Monthly Meeting that has now been cancelled. The Fleet U3A Committee has agreed to fund reserving the relevant number of seats for the Sonning visit because these have to be reserved now. However, actual member bookings for the Sonning visit will not be possible until our meetings resume, whenever that may be in the coming months.
Please be assured that the Visits group are doing everything they can to secure alternative arrangements for visits where necessary. The details may take some time to sort out and those with bookings will be contacted directly by the Visits group as soon as the relevant information is available.
Please keep an eye on the Visits section for changes and any announcements.