As all members are aware, from March 2020 all Alsager U3A activities were suspended due to lockdown measures put in place by the Government. Over 1,000 members and 64 groups had their weekly activities curtailed at this time. As well as weekly group activities, all our holidays and trips were suspended.
Not to see this as a negative, several group leaders have been able to continue their groups in a variety of ways. New and old technologies have had to play their part.
Since late March the following groups have still been able to run and will continue to run until we are allowed to go back to normal and use the venues in the local community that have allowed us to become a source for local residents to enjoy a variety of activities.
Ancient Greek Language, under the tutorship of John Williams, has met every Tuesday on Zoom, and Short Story Group, led by Martin Stone, meets fortnightly on Friday mornings, also on Zoom. The two French Groups – Brush Up Your French with Marie Potter and French Self Help with Tansy Poole have met each week via email. Photo Editing with Arthur Harding has met via Zoom and Creative Writing is due to start via Zoom in September.
Since the beginning of July, when some lockdown restrictions were revised, other groups have been able to restart.
Knitting and Crochet with Kathleen Large now meets on Kathleen's patio.
Cycling with Eric Pemberton now rides a couple of times a month with 6 members.
Two Bowls Groups, one at Rode Heath and the other at the Institute in Alsager, under the leadership of Bob Shaw and Sean McCabe respectively, have welcomed back members.
The Wednesday Short & Moorland Walking Group with Jenny Hartley will be back in early August and Roger Hartley will be leading the Explorer Group back at the same time. (Some members of Eileen O'Toole's Keep Fit to Music Group have been able to join the residents of Berkeley Avenue in Alsager for three sessions of fitness a week, on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning.) As of early August, three Table Tennis Groups have been able to start at the 13 Club in Alsager.
The Ukulele Group and the Discussion Group are both also meeting via Zoom and there have been virtual Talk Times via Zoom, with more to come in the next few weeks. A full list of the Discussion Group topics and dates have been emailed to all members, along with information about how to access the sessions.
As the virus restrictions are lifted and further venues are allowed to open and welcome back groups, it is hoped that more of our members will be allowed and feel safe enough to go back to their beloved groups and get back to their friends and enjoy the social side of U3A.