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Horncastle u3a newsletter: Connecting communities beyond the screen

09 May 2024

 In response to a recent article by Liz Thackray in the u3a Friends Newsletter about engaging members who do not use technology, Dee from Horncastle u3a discusses her u3a's approach.

A decorative image to represent newsletters - several paper airplanes made out of letters emerging from an envelope

I am the editor of our newsletter for Horncastle u3a, based in rural Lincolnshire. In comparison with many other larger town, city or area groups our membership is small. Currently we have approximately 200 members. As a committee we are very aware of the need to provide information and services to a wide demographic. In 2021, it was estimated that 54% of the population of Horncastle were 65 or over. While clearly there are a lot of that number who will be computer literate, anecdotally we are aware that there is still a need for the hard copy written word.

It follows that a small membership means that we have to manage our limited income accordingly. However we have taken the decision that the investment to publish a hard copy of our quarterly newsletter is an important element of our strategy to cater for everyone’s needs.

I’m sure we are not the only u3a to publish a hard copy newsletter but we set out to produce something a little beyond the standard review of groups work. The aim is to capture interest in local issues and areas of interest and to that end we include articles that cover local issues like biodiversity, at Christmas we secured some copy from a a professional gift wrapper who has appeared on TV with Kirstie Allsop, and we recently published a terrific article on restoration work at Lincoln Cathedral. Readers can also access information of the range of groups available and how to access them. We have had consistent positive feedback to our hard copy newsletter and aim to continue to invest in its publication as long as funds provide.

Obviously we also have our monthly meetings which are very well received with on average 35-50% of the membership attending each time to hear a whole range of interesting speakers.

I look forward to hearing what other groups have done to address the issue of a world that exists beyond the computer.

Read online versions of the last two editions of Horncastle u3a's newsletter by clicking on the links below.

March 2024 edition
December 2023 edition

If you are a member of u3a, we'd love to hear about your approach to keeping offline members engaged. Tell us by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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