Newsletter, August 2021

Monthly U3A meetings

We had our first monthly meeting of the year during July, in which Christine Carter gave us some tips on being bold and dealing with stress. Our next monthly meeting will be on Wednesday 18th August at 2pm with Simone Balani – the Timely Historian.

How many animals were awarded medals for gallantry and devotion to duty during the Second World War? Which wartime leader had a penchant for collecting porcelain pigs? What inspired the Royal Navy to name some of its formidable warships HMS Buttercup, Coriander and Tulip? And how were the CIA, the Red Cross and the Vatican involved in escape of thousands of Nazis from Germany in the immediate aftermath of the war? The history of WWII is woven into the fabric of our national identity, but this talk aims to demonstrate that there are always more WWII stories – sometimes uplifting, sometimes uncomfortable – to unravel!

Simone was brought up in Slough and read History at St Andrews. She has worked as a secondary school teacher in the UK and abroad, and is the creator of The Timely Historian podcast.

Future meetings on Wednesday, 15th September with Ramesh Kukar, and Wednesday, 20 October – TBA

Can you help us?

We’re happy to welcome Beverley Edwards to the Committee in the role of Groups Coordinator.

The Committee would love to find volunteers to fill 2 more roles. The first is Membership Secretary, who will be responsible for ensuring that the member details on our database are accurate and up to date. The second is for a Publicity Officer, who will help compile future editions of this newsletter and publicise our activities to seniors in Slough.

Either of these roles will occupy only a couple of hours in an average month. Please contact Bob Pedley if you would like to help us in this way.

U3A Group updates

We are pleased to say that we are restarting some of our face-to-face activities in a hired hall on alternate Mondays: table tennis, badminton, bridge, scrabble, and carrom.

Ukulele – Herschel Ukes is at last back to rehearsing together after many months of zooming. Our usual rehearsal space is being renovated, so we’ve been meeting in members’ gardens and (most recently) in St Laurence Church. And we have our first gig at a community arts event at the Horlicks Quarter on 18 September – a big day for us!

French Group – The Intermediate-level French Group meets on the Ist Friday of each month. If Trivial Pursuits is your favourite party game…. come and join us. We are now the proud owners of an almost vintage edition of the game, so the questions are quite relevant to our era BUT all in French. Understanding the question is our primary objective!! We also do play- reading, swapping news, translations and try to remember some new vocabulary. Our latest initiative is to learn a poem–that should be interesting!

German Group – The Beginners German Group meets every 2 weeks and its members are very enthusiastic. Our attempts at Bingo are impressive and have given us numerical confidence as we take turns at being caller. We try to learn some rules of grammar, increase our vocabulary, play word games and read stories. We may not be ready for exams in the foreseeable future but we enjoy our meetings!!!

The Gardening Group meets monthly. A visit to Church Gardens, Harefield was a real treat for June – the owner talked about the history of the garden and her passion for restoring it, while making it as eco-friendly as possible. We were fortunate in that the rain dried up for our tour, and we were royally entertained by her description of the work they have done and continue to do as a family.  Do try and attend an open day! In July Elaine kindly showed her garden, and provided teas. Our August meeting is on Monday 23rd at 2pm at 196 Langley Road, when we are going to look at propagation.

Please tell us if you would like to join one of these groups, or if you would like to find out more. We’d also love to hear if you have any ideas for groups or activities which we don’t do at the moment, but which would interest you (or your friends). Either way, please click here.

U3A Events

National and regional U3A groups are continuing to organise courses and seminars for U3A members – currently these are all online. Websites are frequently updated, and events get booked quickly – so check regularly.

U3A Thames Valley click here for moreOcean Circulation & Climate Change.      •     Harvest Flowers
U3A London Region Click here for moreEnglish Country Church.      •     Classical Swing in the Twenties •      Summer School

Health and Support

The Thriving Communities Project – If the last year has left you feeling alone and isolated and needing some extra support and a helping hand, this is for you. Thriving Communities brings together the best selection of activities for you to enjoy and take part in. Coming up soon – a six week painting and drawing course, starting on 24th August in the Observatory Shopping Centre. Click here for the full program. Or call 01753 944198 for details

Cancer Support Network supports people with cancer at any point along their journey, as well as supporting the wider family network. The scheme is for anyone with cancer, or those supporting them, providing advice, exercise, and social sessions. Our first monthly Meet up / Coffee and Chat Session will be at Bentley Education Centre, Hershel Park in Slough on Thursday 9th September – 10.30am – an opportunity to meet up with others who know how you feel. Subsequently on 14th October and 11th November. Call 01344 304 404 or click here for our website.

Slough Carer Support is organising a talk on “Understanding Loss and Bereavement” on Thursday, 16 September. If you are – or were – a carer, and think this might help you, then sign up here. Or Telephone: 01753 303428

Berkshire Vision is a charity which supports people with impaired vision. Their  August program includes rock climbing, golf, football and wine tasting, as well as a number of online social groups and quizzes. 0118 987 2803

Easing of lockdown will allow us to get back to the people and things we love, but it’s OK if you feel worried about going back to something more “normal” as lockdown restrictions loosen. Here are top tips for taking care of your mental health as things change: –

Go at your own paceDo not avoid things entirely
Get your information from the right sourcesDiscuss any changes with others
Make time to relaxChallenge unhelpful thoughts
Tell someone how you feelPlan social occasions
Find routine where you canWrite down your thoughts
Focus on the presentRead more tips here

What’s on around Slough?

Slough’s 50+ Forum. The first Forum open meeting will be on Thursday 16th September – topic TBA. Our latest newsletter is here.

Meet the Community Sessions These short lunchtime sessions are delivered in partnership by the Slough Faith Partnership and One Slough and give you the opportunity to learn about the cultures and religions that make up Slough.  Coming soon – Hindu Community – 18 August; Sikh Community – 25 August. Full list and booking – click here.

Slough Cooperative Film Society are planning on returning with a new season of films commencing Tuesday, 21st September at Datchet Village Hall. It’s been nearly 18 months since we were last able to welcome you to our film screenings. Six films will be shown fortnightly until December. Details of films and safety measures to follow soon.

Bridesmaids – Outdoor Cinema at Black Park. Book tickets with your friends, bring a picnic and enjoy this hilarious rom-com under the stars at Black Park! Friday, 3 September at 6pm Book tickets here!

Apna Virsa Slough – Are you 50+ and looking for a fun way to exercise? Join our Bhangra in the Park session followed by a picnic. Date: 26th August from 10.15am- 12 noon. Venue: Upton Court Park. Call  07598 333336. Pack a small picnic, we will have it the park after the dance session. Please bring your own mat and a bottle of water.

National Gardens Scheme enables you to visit private gardens all over the country – while raising funds for health charities. Here are some near Slough: –

  • Silverwood – Rickmansworth. A well-designed wrap around garden of 1-acre with beautiful mature oaks dating back hundreds of years, and generous borders stocked with a variety of interesting plants. The grounds were formerly part of the crown estate used by King Henry VIII for hunting deer.
  • Hall Grove School – Bagshot. Formerly a Georgian country estate. Mature parkland with specimen trees. Historical features include ice house, recently restored walled garden, lake, woodland walks, and azaleas.

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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