WPU3A Latest Headlines (public content)
The Covid-19 crisis
There is still plenty going on at Watford Park U3A, although we must all continue to endure social distancing restrictions, cancellation of large face to face meetings, postponement of scheduled trips and so on. We have to accept that most of us are in the vulnerable age range so we need to remain vigilant and cautious about the activities we take part in.
Necessity is the mother of invention. New ways of operating have been learned and introduced. Many members now take online Zoom meetings in their stride - perhaps that is really what we mean by "the new normal".
Monthly meetings with invited speakers are continuing on Zoom. Members will receive invitations by email a few days in advance.
Many study groups are continuing to meet in small groups outdoors or online through Zoom. See the Group pages for details.
So despite everything, the message is to make the most of the many things that are still on offer at Watford Park.
Things to do
If you are stuck for something to do you will find lots of ideas in the "Online entertainment sources" section of the Useful Links page.
If you need help or support then you may find useful contacts on the Covid-19 - Local Support page.
You may be in the unfortunate position of having paid for something that has had to be cancelled or is in jeopardy and hoping that you get your goods or your money before the supplying company goes out of business.
The good news for our members is that the Watford Park U3A is not going to go out of business. We will be able to weather this storm and will still be here when this crisis is over, and so will your money.
Initially we held on to payments in the expectation that the Covid travel and gathering restrictrictions would soon be all over and trips could be re-planned and re-booked. However, late in 2020, with still no end in sight, our treasurer decided to bite the bullet and embark on the enormous task of issuing refunds by bank transfer for all bookings for the events that had to be cancelled in 2020.
The situation now is that refunds have been issued for all trips and events, with just a few exceptions where members explicitly opted to leave their money and booking with WPU3A, in expectation of the event being resurrected. The Garden group trip to Borde Hill is a case in point.
These were disrupted during the early months of the Covid crisis and it still isn't possible to hold face to face meetings at St Luke's.
However, monthly meetings are being reorganised to take place online using Zoom. Zoom meeting invitations are being emailed out to all members.
A new world of online meetings beckons, allowing us to reach out to talk to each other from the confines of our self-isolation. There is a new Online meetings Help page to share the knowledge we are gaining about how to do it.
Some Groups are continuing activities using Zoom and other online meeting technologies. Only the individual Study Group Leaders know the very latest situation for their group so you need to contact them directly.
Outings & Trips
The latest position on all trips is in the Events List. This is only available to members of WPU3A so you will have to login to get there.
These will continue to be produced through the shutdown. Paper distribution presents a major challenge of course. Electronic distribution is probably the only practical answer. The Newsletter will continue to be emailed out by the Membership Secretary as soon as it is ready but you now have another option. Once logged in as a WPU3A member, you can download your Newsletter from this website and read it at your leisure - hover over News to make a dropdown list appear, then click on Monthly Newsletter. Even more great news: past copies of the Newsletter are available for members to download from the website. Just look in the Newsletter Archive. With all those past copies you will never be short of something to read during the lock-down.
National U3A Events
You may know that it was planned to have a national U3A Day to advertise the movement and make people aware of what we do. That was planned for 3rd June 2020 and some ideas had been floated for our U3A. However, the Third Age Trust cancelled that event and rescheduled it for 1st October 2020. That date has also passed and as yet there is no new date announced by the Third Age Trust.
Herts Network of U3As
Several of their planned events have been hit. However, like many organisations, the Herts network of U3As is using Zoom to broadcast talks and to organise regular meetings. For the latest situation on individual events see the Herts Network of U3As Events page.
Watford Park website
Finally, don’t forget about the Watford Park website. If you are reading this you have found it!
As the Reverend Awdry would have said:” It’s a very useful engine”. You can now use it to easily email Study Group Leaders and EC members. If you have a question, a suggestion or idea, or any useful piece of news that you think should be communicated out to members then do please let someone know.
Study Group Leaders, it's a great tool for emailing out to your group members to let them know what is happening. Even if you don't have any good news right now, you should get ready for the great awakening and resumption of activities.
[Last updated 24 Mar 2021]