As Covid-19 swept across the country, Ledbury U3A closed its doors to meetings, affecting 52 active groups. The committee linked with their group leaders and members, and as local support networks evolved and matured, many U3A members were actively involved with the local community support which developed during this period.
Some U3A members proffered support. Others were in receipt of numerous acts of kindness from street communities and retailers, neighbourly “conversations” from garden to garden and a more distanced-approach – waving / signalling to a 96 year old at Leadon Bank. As Lockdown continued, many of our groups, including Bridge, Language groups, Piano Playing and Book Clubs , began “to meet.” A number of alternative methods were used including “Zoom”, “Face Time”, “Skype’, and email whilst other groups kept in touch by phone. In this way, members created their own mutual U3A support groups.
Interestingly, Lockdown proved to be a time for reflection, leveraging existing skills and developing new ones, as well as exploring a host of activities provided from a variety of sources (theatres, art, cinema, opera, ballet etc) on digital platforms. Many members who might have been reluctant users of online visual technology (Zoom, Face Time, Skype), became frequent users in order to maintain contact with friends and family.
Many members continued or developed skills during this period of isolation. This includes needleworking, a magnificent knitted lockdown blanket (photo), unexpected garden pleasures (photo), crescent creativity, with a variety of garden/driveway exhibitions, and lockdown artistic lettering (photo).
Reflections of past U3A activities and times gone by included a review of time spent on a visit to Bletchley Park, where Alan Turing automated the deciphering the coded information, previously carried by hand (photo) and a look at the facts behind Climate Change (photo.)
With the easing of Lockdown, Ledbury’s Walled Garden (photo) is now once more receiving attention from the U3A group. Walking groups have also re-started, with appropriate precautions and risk assessments.
Photo credit: Lockdown blanket – Peta McCauley.
Unexpected garden pleasures – Percy Hunt
Artistic lettering – Julia Campion and Audrey Hill.
Enigma machine – Andrew Romanowski
Temperature graph – Alan Welch
What have you and your U3A been up to? Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org