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Spotlight On: Saxon Shore u3a member Marian

In the u3a national newsletter each month, we focus on one member’s experience. This month, we spoke to Saxon Shore u3a member Marian.

At the age of 60 my husband left me, leaving me devastated. Added to which I had to move. Not a clever age or state of mind and emotions with which to make new friends.

Luckily I plucked up courage to go along to my local u3a –  Saxon Shore and I have not looked back since. I encountered a host of lovely, friendly folk who encouraged me to join in various activities and groups and I have made some fabulous long lasting friendships.

I volunteered to teach beginners how to play chess. I joined a Creative Writing Group and when our leader moved away, I somehow became the new group leader!  We all enjoy this so much that we meet every week.

I am also part of the gardening group where we discuss gardening problems, swap plants and volunteer at the Age UK home in Herne Bay to tidy up their garden once a month.  We have a very active leader in Joanna who also organises visits to gardens featured in the National Gardens Scheme.

I am also part of the Bus Pass outings where we head off somewhere for the day using our bus passes and getting to our destinations for free.  Then it’s a look round and a good lunch  before coming back home on the bus.

The buss pass outings and garden visits are usually just once a month – come rain or shine!

I belong to a craft group which meets fortnightly and everyone does their own thing, be it painting, drawing, sewing, knitting, crochet and in my case, card making.  The benefit is to be able to do your hobby in company instead of on your own at home.

I also belong to our Family History Group which meets fortnightly and we can help each other with difficulties encountered when researching family members.  There is a range of experience so those of us that have been doing it for longer can help those who have just started.  There are over 20 members in this group and we meet in a local church hall, whereas all the other groups are held in peoples’ houses, thus making it cheaper to run.

And, finally I have joined a learning Spanish group which also meets every two weeks.  Although I did Spanish many, many years ago, I have forgotten a lot so it is nice to refresh my knowledge at a nice comfortable pace!

I’ve even been on the committee as Secretary for the past two and a bit years, getting us through 3 AGMs including doing it via zoom and emails.

That just about leaves time to take my rescue dog out for walks,  spend time cuddling up with my three cat and having lunch out with my new girlfriends.  The housework tends to take a back seat these days!!!

All I can say is ‘Thank goodness for the u3a – it pulled me out of a deep dark place and into the light.’

In the u3a national newsletter each month, we focus on one member’s experience. This month, we spoke to Brighton & Hove member Bonny.