Joining a Zoom meeting
During the period while group and open meetings are suspended, members are able to stay in contact using Zoom software. Instructions as to how to set up an account and join Zoom meetings are HERE
The previous updates to the membership are now lodged in Latest News.
We are nearing the end of lockdown 2 but we have been placed in Tier 2 from December 3rd with the number of cases of Covid-19 in Milton Keynes rising as are hospital admissions. The news of a vaccine is positive but the roll out will take many months and so unfortunately Milton Keynes u3a remains closed and at the November meeting the Trustees decided that the decision to follow the Government Guidelines notified in the last letter will continue for the foreseeable future. Outdoor meetings must follow the Rule of 6 from different households with Zoom Meetings continuing as before. We need to work together and follow the guidelines and attempt to get the infection rate down before Christmas.
We know that some members do not agree with our decision about the rule of 6 but we do not make the decision lightly and we are genuinely concerned about the safety of all our members. Please note our Code of Conduct states ‘Members are expected to reflect the current organisational policy of Milton Keynes u3a regardless of whether it conflicts with their personal views’
Thank you to all who have replied to the news of the membership extension by 3 months. Several have enquired why we made this decision when MKu3a offers great value for money, under 30p per week. The Trustees received a few enquiries from March about a reduction in subscriptions as we were closed. In earlier letters we explained that our outgoings had not changed and in fact we were offering extra virtual Open Meetings at no cost to the attendees and that the Membership subscription were not used to run groups. In October the Trustees discussed the impact of the crisis at length and decided that in the interest of keeping the organisation viable once we were out of the current crisis and the reserves of funds available this would be a ‘thank you’ to all of you who continued to support the association by remaining members. By continuing your membership, you will be able to join groups and try out new activities and keep yourself active during these winter months.
Virtual Open Meetings
These meetings have been a great success and more members attend them than came along to The Oak Tree Centre monthly. The speakers are varied to cater for all tastes, (hopefully) and with very few problems along the way. Thanks once again to Dave and Lynne for continuing to work for us all to bring the speakers into our living rooms.
The details of these meetings have been moved from the list of Interest Groups to the Diary area of the website. We are now able to use a further feature of our splendid website to cater for events, cutting the administration down considerably.
Our choir will be performing virtually for us on 16th December. Well done to all choir members I hear it is no easy feat coordinating the practices and a run through with Dave is planned shortly! We are in the process of organising a festive quiz to be played after the concert. No prizes but hopefully a bit of fun in these dreary times and get our grey cells working. So, add it to your diary, sign in to attend when the details are announced and pour a cheery drink and join in. Feel free to don a festive jumper and Santa hat. Again, no prize – sorry
Committee Positions and AGM
Plans are in place to review our Constitution to allow the AGM to be held either as a virtual or hybrid meeting, when necessary. Once the review has taken place, we will ask the membership to vote on the changes. These amendments will give us the flexibility to hold the most appropriate meeting for the stage we are at in the pandemic. Many suitable venues are closed and may not be available for hire in March and we are aware that some members may still be hesitant in attending gatherings and we fully understand this.
We are lurching towards March when several places will become vacant. The current Trustees were planning to have a face to face meeting to discuss the way forward, but this is now not possible so please consider joining us on the committee by emailing to find out what it involves. email@example.com
I now have in my possession over 250 hats for refugees and the homeless as the knitters amongst you continue to keep busy knitting. Thank you. I will send these to the relevant distributors as soon as I feel confident to visit a post office. There are safely stored but space is running out here so please can you change to something different.
With Christmas looming and hands happy to continue knitting to while away the many boring hours I have checked out free Christmas patterns from the web. In fact, there are lots of free knitting patterns to choose from.
Christmas Patterns for crochet or knitting can be found on
Amanda Barry also has free patterns online
www.thebigknit.co.uk/knitting-patterns has patterns to raise funds for Age UK. These cute bottle toppers can be delivered to any Age UK charity shop and will be popped on Innocent Smoothie bottles in October 2021. Each sale of a ‘topped bottle’ raises 25p for the charity. A great use for the small amount of wool left over from earlier projects.
Knit for Peace has a pattern for a rather fetching dressing gown made up from knitted squares
Thanks to Volunteers
MKu3a would not exist without the commitment of all our volunteers. These include the Group Leaders, the administrative and website team and the Trustees and our thanks are extended to them all. The Trustees meet monthly via Zoom and the others are working from home. How times have changed!
Best wishes to you all, stay safe, and we are looking forward to seeing you all as soon as possible
Lesley Sparks, on behalf of the Trustees
Milton Keynes University of the Third Age
If this is your first visit to MKU3A, welcome! We hope you will return regularly. There is a wealth of information on the site
What is The University of The Third Age?
The word University is used in its original sense of people coming together to share and pursue learning in all its forms. There are over 1000 local U3As, all individually registered charities. They are all members of the Third Age Trust which is their national support and advisory body in the UK. The current strap line that sums up our objectives is "LEARN, LIVE and LAUGH"
U3As are autonomous, self-help organisations run by the voluntary efforts of their members. They are self-managed lifelong learning co-operatives for people who are retired or have time to pursue their interests or leisure activities with others. Opportunities are provided for members to share learning experiences in a wide range of interest groups and to pursue learning for fun, not for qualifications. There is much more information on the U3A National Website including member benefits and group resources. To get the best from that site you will need to set up an account with a username and password.
The charitable aims of MKU3A are:
- The advancement of education and, in particular, the education of older people who are retired from full time work, by all means, including associated activities conducive to the learning and personal development in Milton Keynes and its surrounding locality.
To view the U3A National Vision and Mission Statement please click here
To View the Principles of the U3A Movement please click here
The Wordle below will give you a first feel of the range of activities in the MKU3A. For more detail please go to the Interest Groups Page from the main menu.