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Registered Charity Number: 1079934


The programme of speakers and activities of Interest Groups are subject to change or cancellation at very short notice due to the rapidly changing guidance around Covid safety measures. The safety and well-being of our members and providers are of paramount importance; apologies for any disruption that may be necessary.

Dear Members,

Welcome back and a very Happy New Year to you all.

The last two years have been difficult for all of us and it is so nice to be able to enjoy face to face meetings again, let us hope this continues to be the case and that things will improve for all of us this year. At the moment, this progress is looking to be in jeopardy because of the emergence of the Covid Omicron variant; however we will monitor the situation and take on board the current advice and safety measures to keep everyone as safe as possible. With this in mind we have cancelled our first meeting on January 5th until we see how this situation develops. We are being encouraged to take Lateral Flow Tests if we are going to be mixing and socialising outside our own immediate family: I think any mitigation measures we can take go some way to protecting each other.

Being able to come back to the Salvation Army Centre and use their facilities again is a real treat. The re-vamp of the social space where we can enjoy coffee and a chat is particularly welcome; I think we are spending more time socialising after meetings because we have such a nice space to use and this is great.

Since we started meeting again in September we have some new members which is really good news; if we want our U3A to not only survive but thrive, it is important we try to recruit. If you have friends or neighbours who you think may be interested please invite them along for a “taster”. Further to recruitment I am keen to strengthen our committee and try to build in some succession planning moving forward. We always struggle getting enough people to come on to the committee and the result is committee members are doing more than one role just to keep things ticking over; this isn’t sustainable in the long term. It would be really beneficial if some more people were there to share the load and shadow for example the secretary, treasurer, speakers and newsletter; I feel that by adopting a collegiate approach we will go some way to future proofing our group.

Our survey of Interest Groups show that there are a range of possible interest groups members would like to see. If you feel you could offer some time to lead a group please let us know; none of this needs to be onerous, you do not have to lead a group on your own you could share the responsibility with another person (or two). Please give this some thought.
We have another interesting programme of speakers this term which I hope you will enjoy. If you have any ideas for speakers in the future, please contact any committee member; we are always on the lookout for future possibilities.

Kevan Baker

Please refer to our website for latest news and calendar updates
Kevan can be contacted on 07851 482822 for any U3A related issues

GENERAL Meetings:

• Wednesday 5th January. CANCELLED The twelve days of Christmas.
Maureen will talk about the customs and traditions of a Polish Christmas and Lyn and Kevan will focus on traditions, folklore and stories nearer to home.

• Wednesday 19th January. Roman West Cumbria. Jane Laskey
Jane is visiting us from the Senhouse Roman Museum in Maryport. Most of the objects in the museum derive from the fort at Maryport and the Roman settlement attached to it. The museum displays the largest group of Roman military altar stones and inscriptions from any site in Britain and unique examples of Romano – British sculpture.

• Wednesday 2nd February. Blood Bikes Cumbria. Ian Walby
These dedicated volunteer riders and drivers serve the hospitals in the north of Cumbria.

• Wednesday 16th February. AGM followed by refreshments.

• Wednesday 2nd March. Janice Murray, Artist and Anne Timpson, Community Arts Provider
Handpicked Productions is a new Community Interest Company that will work collaboratively with communities and artists to develop a range of visual and performing arts opportunities for people of all ages. These will include workshops, performances, festivals and events, exhibitions and play days.

• Wednesday 16th March. Mike Smith BHD and Me.
Mike is a writer living on the edge of England where he writes poetry, essays and short stories. His work has been widely published and performed in the UK, USA and Hong Kong

• Wednesday 30th March. Keep the Home Fires burning. Alan Gillon
Alan is the Learning and Public Engagement Manager at the Beacon museum. Alan has spoken to our group in the past and we can look forward to an interesting and informative afternoon.

• Wednesday 13th April. Great North Air Ambulance
This dedicated team of Cumbria based paramedics, pilots and doctors respond to emergencies across the county and have saved countless lives.


SCIENCE Group: This group meets on the third Monday of every month at the Chase Hotel at 9.45
• Monday 17th January. Leslie Webb "The Life of a Carbon Atom" The talk is followed by a lunch
• Monday 21st February. TBC
• Monday 21st March. TBC
NB: Please keep checking the website for any updates.

ART APPRECIATION: These meetings vary depending on availability of our providers Mike Fossey and Joan McMurtry. For more information please contact Maureen Monkhouse 07902727209 or Lyn Baker 01946 62635

Many thanks go to Margaret Hildrop who organised and led this popular and successful group for many years.

GOOD READING Group: This group meets monthly, for further information please contact Margaret Hildrop 01946 883351

FRENCH Group: Anne Dick 01946 61027. This group has not started up again yet, starting date etc to be confirmed.

LET'S TALK Discussion Group: This popular group is currently not running but we would like to start up again. If this is something you would like to be involved in and be happy to take on some of the organisation, please speak to any committee member.

WINE APPRECIATION Group: Many thanks to Pon Smith who ran this hugely popular and successful group for many years. This group will continue but final decisions as to how this will go forward are yet to be confirmed.

QUILTING Group: Jennifer Hocking 01946 695682. This group meet each Wednesday morning in Embleton 9.30 – 12.00

MAHJONG: Jennifer Hocking 01946 695682. This takes place in a member’s home in Whitehaven, alternate Wednesday to the U3A meeting. 2.00 – 4.00

VISITS Group: Jennifer Hocking 01946 695682. Coach Holiday: September 19th for five days to Pembrokeshire Cardigan Bay. Please speak to Jennifer or Judith.

SUNDAY LUNCH Group: Judith Jordan 01946 693493

Date Venue Time
Sunday Jan 30th Trout Hotel Cockermouth 12.00 for 12.30
Sunday Feb 27th Chase Hotel Whitehaven 12.00 for 12.30
Sunday March 27th Golf Club Hensingham 12.00 for 12.30
Sunday April 24th Kelbank Hotel Gosforth 12.00 for 12.30
Sunday May 22nd Hunday Manor Hotel 12.00 for 12.30

There are some other groups which are not actually U3A, but members are welcome to attend, these include:
• West Cumbria Active Zone every Wednesday 10.00 – 12.00. Please speak to Judith Jordan for further information

West Cumbria U3A COMMITTEE Members 2019

Kevan Baker 01946 62635
Lyn Baker 01946 62635
Jennifer Hocking 01946 695682
Maureen Monkhouse 07902727209
Cath Blinco
Patricia Hindson
Donna Graham
Douglas Gilmour
Ann Bailey

If you have any suggestions or comments please note them down and pass them to our Chairman