Coronavirus update 30 March 2020

Thanks to so many of you who have written to show your appreciation of the newsletter and the encouragement it has given.  We are sending out an update like this each week, so if you would like to add anything of your own you can contribute to the next one.  Please send it to our usual email address as we can pick it up.  If you know of a “computer shy” member, please share the contents of this newsletter with them.   We also want to be able to contact those members who don’t have emails by telephoning them.  If you would like to adopt some “buddies” for the duration of this situation, please let us know and Naomi will pass on specific telephone numbers.

The end of this week would have been the end of term and our AGM would have happened on Monday, 30 March.  This obviously now hasn’t taken place.  Officially we have until June to hold it, but that seems unlikely too.  We have been assured that the Charity Commissioners will not penalise any organisation for failing to comply under the current circumstances and as soon as we are able to reschedule it, you will be informed.  Meanwhile the current committee will stay in place.  When we do hold our AGM it will not take place in the Peter Samuel Hall but in the Town Hall.  Our lease for the Peter Samuel Hall expires in July and we have not been able to renew it.  Future Monday talks will take place in the Town Hall, but more about that later.

Back to our classes.  Some of our coordinators have already embraced the wonders of modern technology using programmes like WhatsApp, Skype and Zoom and are conducting their classes on line.  Gilli Vafidis has done a most fantastic job of bringing it all together and has produced a timetable showing what’s on offer.  If you would like to be involved,  get in touch with Gilli through our Office email address and she will add you to her list.

Of course, not everyone wants to get involved with too much technology, so there are other ways to pass the hours and brighten the day.  You may like to try a quiz provided by Gerta.  The answers will be published next week when there will be another one for you to try. Ken Baldry has also set up a link to his own newsletter and a chat line.  Maxine Jason who is the coordinator of the Monday Art class wants to encourage you to use your creative talents to create your own collage.  Remember if you just want to have a chat, you can always phone Diana King or Amalia Michaels.  You can find their contact details by emailing the Office.

There’s lots more on theU3A National website, but we don’t want to drown you with too much information.  There’s time for that in the next mass email next week.

Although no-one can have any idea when things will become normal again, there is some good news.  It’s better to have plans, even if we have to abandon them, than not to have any plans at all. Susan Kwok is preparing our usual Summer programme with the hope that it can start in August – do get in touch on our usual email address if you would be happy to participate.  The other piece of good news is that our Easter Conference will probably happen but will become an Autumn Conference.  The booking of the Main Hall from 15 to17 September has yet to be confirmed.

Many members have expressed concern about Jo Rapkin who runs our cafeteria and our thanks are due to Susan Cohen who has indicated that she is prepared to organise a collection to help Jo through this difficult period. She has a bank account which will be used exclusively for this collection and would prefer to receive donations by electronic transfer – details can be supplied.  Cheques will also be welcome. This gift would not be officially regarded as a charitable collection by the Charity Commissioners, so charity cheques cannot be encashed.

Thank you everyone for coming together at this difficult time.  Take care, wash your hands and KEEP WELL!

From the U3A in London team.