In common with all groups, the Rotherham U3A closed down all meetings from mid-March until the end of the Covid-19 crisis. Its members hunkered down into self-isolation in their respective homes, and to all intents and purposes, all seemed still and quiet.
But as everyone knows, appearances can be deceptive. Just as the smooth surface of a Millpond gives no hint of the activities teeming beneath it, the phrase “Closed down all meetings”, doesn’t mean that U3A activities have come to a grinding halt.
On the contrary, the amount of communication between members has stepped up. Telephone lines and Wi-Fi devices are being used to check each other’s welfare within and across groups. New ’What’s App’ groups are being set up at a rate of knots. Some group activities and discussions are continuing via face-to-face applications such as Zoom, Skype and What’s App and/or by email according to subject matter.
By the end of March, it was ‘business as usual’ with weekly (virtual) meetings of the Italian, Photography and one of the French Conversation groups. Further groups such as Singing for Fun were about to come on stream. More will surely follow.
With few exceptions, group co-ordinators and members have had an ‘interesting time’ getting to grips with the technology, and when this strange situation ends, should have a new set of skills with electronic devices, that is more or less equivalent to those of their youngest grandchild!
More happenings from beneath the Millpond’s surface next month.
News and information about Rotherham U3A can be found on www.u3asites.org.uk/rotherham.