Wales u3as

Keeping in Touch and Keeping Busy

Hello Everyone,

I hope you are all safe and well in this time of concern.
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Wales Short Story Competition 2021

The theme of the competition for 2012 is 'Freedom'.

  • The competition is open to current members of all Welsh u3as.

  • Entry is free but limited to one story per person and must not have been published previously.

  • Entries must be received between 1st July and the 31st August 2021. You can send an entry it in as soon as it is ready, preferably not on the last day.

For rules of the competition click here .

For an entry form click here.

For a poster announcing the competition click here.

Download the Castles SLP Photography Competition 2021 Calendar here

I am very pleased to announce the winner and runners up for the Wales Short Story Competition 2020:

Winner : Tina Lukey of Flintshire U3A with ‘Will’s Important Day’ - read the story here

2nd: Margaret Preston of Prestatyn, Rhyl and District U3A with ‘Aunty Gwen’ - read the story here or listen to Margaret reading her story here

3rd: Jo Shone of Flintshire U3A with ‘Going Down!’ - read the story here

Other shortlisted stories in author First Name, alphabetical order:

Anne Beese, Ebbw Vale u3a, 'The Guardian of Cadair Idris'
Caroline Limbert, Porthcawl u3a, 'Safety Net'
Christine Green, Chepstow u3a 'Will Ye Go Lassie Go'
Derek Beddow, Penmanemawr u3a, 'A Shadow of Doubt'
Jan Davies, Porthcawl u3a, 'Will's Way'
Maureen Jones, Llandrindod Wells u3a, 'Mountain Thyme'
Simon Durrant, Monmouth u3a, 'Park and Ride'

The overall winner will be announced in an online event on November 11th. The top three stories will be published here after the event.

The NEW u3a Branding: See it here on the u3a website .

Radio u3a has launched: listen here on YouTube Radio u3a
There will be another pilot episode in November. We hope you enjoy our first broadcast. Please tell your friends and colleagues to tune in! If you have an interesting story to tell - get in touch - you can email us at '
Remember to subscribe, so that you don't mess an episode.

u3a Recruitment Campaign:
Our u3a movement is suffering from two sorts of recruitment problem. There is a long term slowdown in the growth in membership of the movement and the proportion of newly retired people joining the u3a is in decline. These long term trends are being exacerbated by Covid.

The Third Age Trust has created a Recruitment Working Group which reports to both the Development Committee and CEAC. I am pleased to say that RTs and RSTs from 3 regions are represented on the Working Group. We are currently planning on the assumption that there will be three phases of the campaign: Pathfinder, Trailblazer and Main Phase. You can read more and download the related documents here

Keeping in touch with each other:

u3a Office: Keeping in Touch with the movement click here

u3a Office: Running your U3A during Covid click here

u3a Office: Covid-19 AGM Advice click here

u3a Office: Latest Covid-19 Advice click here

u3a Office: Learning - the latest National learning initiatives, with new ideas coming on stream on a regular basis. click here.

u3a Office: Events - online educational events, offered on a first come first served basis click here

u3a Office: Technology Help - for 'How to guides ... ', Zoom tutorials and more click here

Trust u3a is becoming very popular with new members and members of existing U3As.

Here in Wales:

Wales Castles Shared Learning Project: there is a write up in the September edition of TAM!

Welsh Gvt: Covid-19 latest click here

Wales Conference 2020 postponed:
I have taken the decision to postpone the Wales Conference until
May 2021. I have spoken to the Metropole Hotel, if we cancel , we will be charged the at full amount, as it stands with a new provisional booking we won't be charged and the date can be move if needs be.

Keeping busy and involved:
At national level, National Office staff and volunteers and Subject Advisers have been putting some ideas, activities and content together for us to use until we can get back to normal operation.

A very popular none from the start has been Living in Unprecedented Times

We also have 'Made it Make It', U3A Eye (potography) . The latest is the Creative Covid Collaboration
There is the popular U3A: Keeping in Touch 'closed' Facebook group, the U3A Day 'closed' Facebook group and the new U3A Creative Covid Collaboration 'closed'' Facebook group. There is also a Craft U3A 'closed' 'Facebook group. By 'closed' Facebook group I am referring to the fact that they are closed to the general public. Any U3A member can request to join a group. You will be asked a VERY simple question.’

National Office are also looking for volunteers to support U3As within the region remotely, in a variety of ways at this difficult time. If you think you would like to volunteer please contact me

In the meantime, there are many web based sources of learning content information and activities.
Among them are YouTube, Ted Talks, Vimeo and many others which can be viewed on PCs, tablets, smart phones and other smart devices. Smart TVs will allow you to download some of those apps.
Radio Garden is radio stations from around the world, you can listen to them. You can zoom in or out on the Earth and if you centre the white circle on a green dot (representing a station) you can hear what they're playing.

I would be interested to hear how you and other members of your U3A have been keeping in touch with each other.
I know some of our U3As in Wales have Facebook groups and other Social Media which is a perfect way of keeping in touch at the moment. Some are using Skype for video chatting, good for groups of up to ten people. There is also Google Hangouts , Google Meet and Zoom which is another one that is free for shorter meetings. Jitsi Meet is another possibility for U3A members that want to stay connected. Other U3As are using email, WhatsApp on their phones and other technologies.
However, I am very aware that not all of our members do. There is always the phone I know.
My concern is keeping in touch with those members that might become totally isolated, especially those that live in the more remote areas.
If you have used any strategies for keeping in touch with them, please let me know.
I know that many of our U3As hold quizzes and it would be great if they could share some here.
If anyone produces crosswords etc they would be good too.
I would also welcome any other ideas and suggestions for from you.

Send them to

Keep in touch, stay safe.

Chris Winner,
Trustee for Wales

You can also leave a message on our Padlet board click here