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Mawdesley u3a Give It A Go

28 June 2023

Mawdesley u3a member Karen talks about the 'Give It A Go' group in which members try new things together.

Mawdesley u3a member Karen talks about the 'Give It A Go' group in which members try new things together.

During Covid, I went walking with the Chair of Mawdesley u3a, Christine. I have always wanted to throw a pot – like the Great Pottery Throw Down – and Christine said she would too. So we initially organised for a group of us to go and do pottery.

Several canoes with two people in each about to leave the bank on a river on a sunny day

That's how the Give It A Go group started. It’s about doing the things that you’ve always fancied doing. I’m quite an adrenaline fuelled person but the things we do are not always adrenaline fuelled. There’s loads going on. It’s trying to be a bit diverse and think of things outside the box.

Two women standing next to each other, holding sticks with butterfly shapes at the end - an example of willow weaving.


We’ve gone zip wiring, paddle boarding, willow weaving, bell ringing and steel drumming. Recently, we went handbell ringing and now that might become a new group. We’ve done quite a few things.

We also did a gong bath taster session. You all lie on the floor and shut your eyes. There are different sized gongs and you get the vibration through the floor or through the air. They use the gong for about an hour non stop – it’s a very odd sensation. It’s very relaxing, very weird. It was really good.

A woman standing in front of a dramatic view. She is wearing a helmet and is standing in front of a picture frame that says 'I flew velocity.'

The zip wire was in Snowdonia. You don’t know how fast you’re going until you get near the ground because there’s no perspective. And then the group has the experience to all chat about on the way homeA group of people inside a chapel. One of them is holding the rope that is used to ring a bell

The thing is that members may be on their own but they don’t want do these things on their own. From a group perspective you gain confidence from other people. We don’t take it too seriously. When you’re trying something new and you’re part of a group, you have a real laugh. It’s uplifting when you have a try. Playing the drums was very fun. Thinking of the pattern of drum is mentally hard – it’s a good challenge. Same with the handbells - it’s a kind of rhythm. Learning new things works your brain in a new way.

A woman doing indoor sky diving - she is inside a room, her arms are outstretched, it looks like she is flying. A man to the right of her is steadying her.

If you wanted to set up a similar group, I'd say speak to your members and see what ideas they have. We had about thirty different ideas. Members came up with all sorts of things. It might stimulate someone to do something or join something they’ve never thought of doing before. And you learn things. Did you know that steel drums can go out of tune? We learnt that in our session!

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