Dinton Pastures Country Park
WOODLEY & DISTRICT U3A : LATEST NEWS & UPDATES                                    NEWSLETTER SUMMER 2021  

Wednesday 6 October 2021 at 2pm via Zoom

Following on from her fascinating talk on Ghosts of Hampton Court earlier in the year, we welcome back Sarah Slater, a Guide Lecturer at Historic Royal Palaces and a costumed tour guide at Hampton Court Palace.

Sarah will disclose many of the 'naughty bits' of history you would not have learnt about at school!

Warning: Not for the prudish!

Mary Brenchley-Hole will be contacting members prior to the meeting to invite them to apply for a Zoom place.
GROUPS UPDATE (18 AUG 2021)  - Groups Looking For New Members

Kitchen Table Bridge
Kitchen Table Bridge are meeting face-to-face again. For the moment we arrange meetings on an ad hoc basis but hope to settle into a routine of twice monthly meetings in the autumn. We would welcome new members. We are not a teaching group but do take the time to discuss interesting hands.

The embroidery group is a group for sharing embroidery projects of all kinds and for learning from each other.

New members would be welcome with or without experience of embroidery.  It is envisaged that we will meet once a month in person from September, all things being equal.

Neurodiversity Discussion
Members of the Neurodiversity & Inclusion group, have been exploring some of the ways in which people live and learn that are often regarded as being different from the norm. They have written an article covering common, but frequently undiagnosed, conditions such as autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit disorder and dyslexia.
(See Equality, Diversity & Inclusion report below for link to the article).
New members are very welcome to join - the group meets monthly over Zoom on Fridays.

This a friendly group for social games.
It is currently full but would welcome new members from October when the new booking period starts.

Social Art and Cultural Visit Group
The Social Art and Cultural group now has a full program for the rest of the year,
Visits to Tate Britain, Reading Abbey, Basildon Park and other locations are planned for the coming months.
We have space for one or two more members.

Chess for Beginners
There is still space for one or two more people in the Chess for Beginners group.
The course will be starting in the autumn.

Sunday Lunch Groups
The Sunday Lunches Group is now three groups meeting on different Sundays. Each group has a maximum of twelve members. There is space for one or two additional members in group meeting on the 1st Sunday of the month. These groups are particularly popular with members on their own.

Painting and Drawing and Poetry Writing
Both the Painting and Drawing and the Poetry Writing Groups have space for one or two more members.

The recent easing of Covid restrictions has seen a return, by many members, to meeting up in their groups (See Group News).

Our Summer Newsletter contains a 'Thames Special' which provides suggestions for lazy lunches at Thames riverside pubs & restaurants as well as river cruises and trips to riverside estates. Hopefully the August weather will improve, enabling our members to take advantage of some of the suggestions made!

Below is information about-
- upcoming Speaker's Meeting - talk by Sarah Slater
- our Groups from Groups Coordinator, Paula Dove
- a Paper prepared by our Neurodiversity Discussion Group

Woodley & District U3A
Enjoy lazy lunches in the gardens of The Great House, Sonning

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion

In addition to supporting group activities and ensuring speakers' meetings have continued during lockdown, your committee has been working hard to put in place some of the policies needed to support our organisation. The latest addition is our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policy, (with an Accessibility policy following soon),  which we recently posted on the website. (Please note that our policies are available on the Committee Page)

We are also delighted to be able to share a paper from one of our newer groups - the Neurodiversity Discussion Group. If Neurodiversity is not a term you're familiar with, or you'd like to find out more please read on and follow the link to the web page for more information.

What is Neurodiversity and why does it matter in Woodley & District u3a?

The concept of neurodiversity has been around for over twenty years. In a nutshell, it simply means that there are differences in the way individuals’ brains work and interpret information.

Members of the Woodley & District u3a Neurodiversity Discussion Group have been exploring some examples of how people live, learn and experience the world in ways that are often regarded as being different from the norm.

You can read the group's excellent prepared paper via the link below or by following the link on our Useful information page under the section we have developed for the sharing of articles and papers produced by our members.

What is Neurodiversity and Why does it Matter in Woodley & District u3a? 

Book Group News
I’d like to finish with a lovely piece from Margaret Cain which sums up some of the joys of her Book Group and of being a group convenor.

Happy Birthday!
In July, the Book Group for Book-lovers marked its second anniversary, having met every month without a gap since forming one of the original Woodley & District u3a groups.
Even a lockdown or three couldn’t stop us: we ‘met’ on Zoom and in various Woodley parks; we went for walks as a group and organised one-to-one meet-ups - all in the interest of discussing the books we love and getting to know one another better.
Our reading has ranged from the classics, such as our very first book of the month, ‘Of Mice & Men’ by John Steinbeck, to contemporary must-reads, such as our latest novel, Kazuo Ishiguro’s ‘Never Let Me Go’. Along the way, we’ve had several Marmite books that have sparked an enjoyably lively debate.

I’m so pleased this enthusiastic group of members has managed to keep going - and so positively, too - in these challenging times. They make being a group convenor an absolute pleasure.
Margaret Cain, Group Convenor

For any queries please email me or the relevant group contact via the groups page.

Paula Dove, Groups Coordinator

GROUPS UPDATE (18 AUG 2021) - Potential New Groups

Bridge for Beginners
Are you interested in learning how to play bridge?
Anna, our Kitchen Table Bridge convenor, has offered to run a small class to teach the basics of bridge if there is sufficient interest.

The original play-reading group which generously allowed people on the waiting list to join during lockdown as they met over Zoom, is now back to its original number. As a result there is now a small waiting list.
Is anyone else interested in setting up a Playreading 2 group?

Guitar Group 3
Both guitar groups are keeping small for the moment so we have a small waiting list. If one or two more people were interested in a new group playing guitar with other players then let me know as we may have enough people to start up another group.

Folk Appreciation
If you are a fan of folk and acoustic music would you like to listen and discuss music pieces with other folkies? If yes, then perhaps you would like to help get such a group going.

For any queries about any of the groups, please email me via the link below or the group contact via the Groups page of the website.

For any queries please email me or the relevant group contact via the groups page.

Paula Dove, Groups Coordinator

GROUPS UPDATE (18 AUG 2021) - Groups Restarting  

MOTO (Members On Their Own)
MOTO 1 and MOTO 2 have been merged to form one group.  The group is designed to give our single members the opportunity to participate in outings and activities with other singles.  We are fortunate in that we have had several offers of help to convene the group and a programme of events is on the drawing board and an update will be published shortly. New members would be very welcome.

Family History
Family history groups hope to start meeting formally again soon, probably over Zoom initially. All existing members will be contacted and new members could be fitted in. Offers to help run the group would be particularly welcome.

GROUPS UPDATE by Paula Dove  August 2021

Interest groups have been keeping busy and several would love to have a few new people join them. We also have news of groups restarting and ideas for potential new groups.
As always email me, using the link below or the group contact via the Groups page on Woodley and District u3a website..

Paula Dove, Groups Coordinator