These pages were intended to provide information for members that might be useful during lockdowns. Some may be out of date but there is lots of contact details which may be helpful. Suggestions for updates from members are very welcome!
Help For Those Self-isolating
There is a local initiative to provide assistance to those who cannot get out to go shopping, collect prescriptions etc.
The community group of volunteers delivering food and
medicine to those in isolation in Bookham, Fetcham, Leatherhead and Ashtead,
walking their dogs and keeping them from loneliness by phoning for a chat, is Community
There are thousands
of local volunteers and it's absolutely there to be used. Simply dial
and tell them what you need. It was set up on Facebook by a local resident -
the Facebook page is: https://www.facebook.com/groups/3253965837951199
Local Shops & Services
There is an excellent website- click –I live in Bookham – which also exists as a Facebook Group as well. It is strongly recommended as it gives up to date information as to what is open, how you can get home deliveries and contact details. Here is an example of the information available.
There are more, but please check on I live in Bookham for the latest information.
Another useful website is NextDoor – which shows a map showing local people who are willing to provide assistance under a number of categories. When joining NextDoor you are asked to provide details of where you live and the areas that are of interest. Click to see a map of your area where every person who is volunteering to provide help is shown in green. There are no personal details involved, but you can send a message to that person. if you need some help this could be a useful start point.
There are links at the bottom of the page for Learning and Culture.
Not only Covid but other illnesses may make some U3A members feel out of touch, and the question arises of how we might still communicate with other members within our interest groups arises. Videoconferencing is one potential way.
Further down you will find links which will take you to further information pages explaining the use of the various videoconferencing facilities. This includes Zoom and Skype. Information has come from other sources, including the corporate U3A website. Acknowledgements will be made to other sources as and when they are used.
Be aware that some simpler systems are limited in their capability but the basic features of a videoconferencing system such as Zoom or Skype are:
Each session has to be initiated by one person, the session organiser. The organiser can either schedule a session, or invite participants to an ad hoc session by messaging or email. Depending on the system used and the options chosen, sessions can vary from 40 minutes in length to an unlimited time, and involve just two participants or up to hundreds.
Sessions can be just voice, or voice and video. Participants can choose to turn off their camera and microphone, i.e. they are just observing. Additionally, the organiser can forcibly block some or all participants' cameras and microphones i.e they are listening to a lecture.
Normally, all participants would be enabled for sound and vision, and therefore all participants will be able to see and hear the others. Control of a session can become difficult is everyone wants to speak at the same time! Protocols such as raising one's hand to be invited to speak (back to school days!) may become necessary. In the event of a group meeting where one participant is giving a talk, it might be beneficial to separate out the organiser and speaker roles.
Two useful features are the ability to share files during a session and to share a screen i.e. the speaker could run a PowerPoint window and share this window to all participants.
All of this may sound complicated, but once the procedures are understood it is relatively straightforward. It is best to try these facilities in a one to one first!
Some of the original pages set up in the early stages of the first lockdown are now accessible by clicking on the following links. They are in PDF format which means that are easily printable.