Newsletter, January 2021

Vaccinations

There are now several centres in Slough which are administering vaccinations. In a poll of U3A members administered on 8th January 2021, 15% said they have received a vaccination already.

Reliable information

Do you know where to get trusted info on COVID-19 that you can pass on? Join Claire Giacobbe & Sam Hussain on Wednesday 13 January, where they will guide you through a presentation covering the issues that communities are facing getting messages across. Book now on either session at 10am or 2pm

Shielding

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable, you are advised to shield during this national lockdown. This means you should stay at home as much as possible, however you are encouraged to safely go outside for regular exercise and you should attend all medical appointments. Don’t be nervous to reach out to friends, families and neighbours for support at this time for help picking up food, medication or keeping in touch more regularly.

If you are shielding, you can access priority shopping slots to seven national supermarkets at National Shielding Service: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-shielding-support. or you can also request support from One Slough’s community response team on 01753 944198 Monday to Friday from 9am – 4pm

U3A Events

National and regional U3A groups are continuing to organise online courses and seminars for U3A members. Here is a selection – the websites are regularly updated so check regularly for new events. All activities are free.

U3A Thames Valley – click here for more  Inspiring Photography – Hooray for Hollywood – Butterflies and the Environment
U3A London Area – click here for more  How to Control Stress – Chinese Art – Poetry of John Keats
Third Age Trust – click here for more  History of fairy tales – Van Gogh in Arles – Cookery for Burns Night – Unification of the British Isles (Geology, not politics!!) – Maths puzzles….. and many more!
Zoom Tutorials – Weekly Zoom tutorials are up and running! Book your place on the online events page now.

U3A Groups

These are our active groups during the current lockdown. Most of them are using Zoom to keep going: –

Book ClubFrench IntermediatePlay Reading
Creative WritingGardeningPoetry in Action
Current AffairsGermanPractical Philosophy
DrawingPilatesUkulele

To find out more about U3A activities, please check our website – https://u3aslough.wordpress.com/activity-groups/

Volunteering opportunities

If you’ve got time on your hands – and who hasn’t at the moment? – then consider helping out in some way.

Missing Maps – Putting the World’s Vulnerable People on the Map

Each year, disasters around the world kill nearly 100,000 and affect or displace 200 million people. Many of the places where these disasters occur are literally ‘missing’ from any map and first responders lack the information to make valuable decisions regarding relief efforts. Missing Maps is an open, collaborative project in which you can help to add detail in map areas where humanitarian organisations are trying to meet the needs of vulnerable people. https://www.missingmaps.org/

Wellbeing Friends

Being lonely can be hard and scary at times. For a start there’s nobody to share happy, sad, or worrying moments with – and one day just merges into another. A Wellbeing Friend is someone on the other ned of the phone, ready to chat and provide support when needed. There are currently 31 Wellbeing Friends volunteering with Slough CVS, calling 78 clients. Find out more about becoming a Wellbeing Friend by emailing yvette@sloughcvs.org.uk

Vaccination and testing centres

Slough CVS is looking for volunteers to help keep things moving at our local vaccination and testing centres, enabling the professional staff to concentrate fully on their roles. This might involve marshalling cars in the car park, administering screening questions, reassuring patients and answering questions, or directing patients between one area and another in the centre. You can sign up at https://oneslough.org.uk/volunteer

Wellbeing Friends

Being lonely can be hard and scary at times. For a start there’s nobody to share happy, sad, or worrying moments with – and one day just merges into another. A Wellbeing Friend is someone on the other ned of the phone, ready to chat and provide support when needed. There are currently 31 Wellbeing Friends volunteering with Slough CVS, calling 78 clients. Find out more about becoming a Wellbeing Friend by emailing yvette@sloughcvs.org.uk

Mentor and motivate

More than 380,000 children have been stuck in lockdown without a single book. Reading charity Bookmark lets volunteers book flexible 30-minute virtual reading sessions with children under eight to help them to succeed in school, while The Access Project works with GCSE and A-level students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

St John’s Ambulance Vaccination volunteers

Our vaccination volunteers will deliver these vital jabs, and take care of people before and after they receive them. No matter where you live or your level of clinical experience, we will train you using our longstanding expertise and welcome your interest in the different opportunities available.
https://vaccinationvolunteers.sja.org.uk/roles/volunteer-vaccinator.html

Things to do when you’re home and blue

Photography – u3a Eye

Over the last year, u3a members have been consistently submitting incredible photos into our photography challenge, u3a eye. Why not have a look through the u3a eye page to see all the themes so far? https://u3a.org.uk/learning/national-programmes/u3a-eye

Creative Classes

If you are looking for something fun and creative to do to help dispel the boredom of those dull winter days, we’ve got just the thing for you! Arts organisation Kaleidoscope will be kicking off the new year in style with a brand new programme of online creative classes and workshops exclusively for older people. The classes will cover a selection of colourful and creative pursuits from sketching to singing, movement to mindfulness. https://greysnet.com/category/classes/

What’s on around Slough?

Active Slough – we’re continuing our online program into Lockdown 3, which now includes fifteen free weekly 30-minute activity sessions! All broadcast for free from the Active Slough Facebook page using local instructors Click here for timetable

Burnham Beeches – 2021 Event diary now available! The 2021 event diary is now available. We are hoping more of our events will be able to go ahead this year than did last year, although they may still be subject to change due to Covid restrictions. You can pick up your copy of the event diary from the information board outside the fenced cafe area, or download a copy from our website.

RBWM Library Service are thrilled to host (albeit virtually) bestselling author Holly Bourne for our first author talk of 2021! As a proud feminist and passionate mental health advocate, Holly’s talk will cover a broad range of topics in relation to our own mental health and wellbeing. To register for this free online event visit: https://holly-bourne-mental-health.eventbrite.co.uk

Slough’s Talking Newspaper is updated every week. Please find below a link to the latest digital edition – the first of 2021!  (The link is the same every week and can also be accessed via Alexa). 
http://www.bwbf.org.uk/player/?url=http://www.bwbf.org.uk/localtns/sloughtn/TOPD_playlist.pls

The National Gardens Scheme is still functioning – you can book now to visit a garden later in the year – something to look forward to. A gentle walk in a garden or park is allowed under lockdown rules, and it will benefit your physical and mental health. How about one of these?

U3A Principles and Membership

Slough U3A is a co-operative of older people, generally who are fully or part retired. Our members enjoy and share educational, creative and leisure activities. We are proud to be a dynamic group; we have built up a range of activities and groups enabling our members to learn new things and enjoy active retired life.

We welcome new members.

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