Update 20 September 2021

Your Committee needs you!

In the previous update and at our recent members’ Morning I put out a call for new Committee members. No nominations for new Committee members have been received and only one expression of interest.

Our AGM will be held on Monday 1st November, at which we will elect the Committee for 2021-22. If we don’t receive any new nominations then we will only have 8 people on the Committee, and that isn’t enough to cover all the roles. Committee members already give plenty of time on your behalf, and I am not willing to ask anybody to take on more than they do already.

In other words, if we don’t have enough Committee members to act on your behalf then the amount of activity in our u3a will reduce. It’s that simple. As I’ve said before, Sandbach & District u3a is a volunteer organisation. We can’t continue without volunteers, including those volunteering for roles on the Committee.

Committee meetings are held monthly during the day. Meetings last around two hours and are a healthy mix of considered discussion and laughter.  If you are interested in joining the Committee then we would like to hear from you as soon as possible. Please contact secretary@sandbachu3a.org.uk   to put your name forward. A nomination form can be found here Committee nomination form

Feel free to contact any member of the Committee to discuss what is involved if you are interested in joining our team.

Please give this serious consideration. Your Committee needs you!

Stuart Naylor, Chair Sandbach & District u3a

General Knowledge Quiz

Julie Clarke is back with a monthly General Knowledge Quiz! Go to our quiz page for this month’s quiz and the answers to previous quizzes.

Sandbach u3a News

 Sandbach u3a Website Re-Built

You may have noticed that our website has been having a major overhaul over the past few months, but I’m pleased to announce it’s now complete. By that I mean we have implemented several changes which make it better and easier to use, but one thing I’ve learned is that when looking after websites, the work is never finished, there is always something to be done.

A group of volunteers formed a team, and each was allocated a section of the existing website and given a list of the individual pages or elements in that section. For each element we asked:

  • Is it needed?
  • Is it easy to find and in the best location?
  • Is it correct and presented well?

With this groundwork we were then able to concentrate on improving the content, structure, and appearance.


We decided to follow the lead of most major online organisations like John Lewis, M&S and B&Q and restructure using mega-menus. This is where running the mouse over the menu bar opens large windows showing the sections available and their contents. This has certainly made it easier to find what you are looking for.

Two Websites in One

Some may not realise it, but our website is actually two websites made to look like one. “Web Integrate” are the company who provide our online membership, group and event management, finance and payment services. Their system is called “Simple Membership” and they have worked with us to make the interface as seamless as possible.

New Features

Here are some new features recently introduced:

  • Extra file types are now allowed as email attachments. This includes PowerPoint files and MP3 sound files.
  • A print button is now available on all Group and Event pages so they can be printed.
  • Event notices for Members’ Mornings and general meetings are automatically removed when the date passes. (This was already available for social events.)
  • Login links are now provided on group and event pages which return users to the group or event list after logging in. (This will eventually be improved so the user is returned right back to the group or event page where they clicked the link)
  • Email and page text are now autosaved every minute avoiding loss if you get logged out or forget to save it. The automatic logout time has also been increased from one to two hours.
  • Many other features have been introduced relating to administration aspects

Website Assistant Needed

We need an assistant to help maintain the website and keep it up to date. Any members interested in joining the team should contact Alan Casey  (webmaster@sandbachu3a.org.uk)

 Sandbach U3A Circus Group Inspires Professional Companies.

This is the third year that our U3A has offered a circus group to members and as we prepare for our autumn sessions, it is exciting to know that Sandbach U3A has inspired professional circus companies to offer training sessions tailored to our age group. Manchester’s The Circushouse is offering classes in aerial work and conditioning and fitness at it’s circus space in Levenshulme. Let’s Circus in Newcastle Upon Tyne has also designed classes in circus skills to encourage and include ‘older’ learners. Circomedia, one of the UK’s most prestigious circus schools, has just awarded a degree in aerial circus arts to a 65 year old woman. She has proved what can be achieved and will not be the last ‘third age’ graduate. Some circus companies, such as the Welsh contemporary circus No Fit State, have offered circus based fitness activities to people in residential care homes in the past because the fun element of circus skills motivates people to move more, but Sandbach Circus Group has inspired circus directors and heads of education to think more widely about what our age group can achieve. Other circus companies are asking about us, with great interest in what we do. It is nice to think that Sandbach is leading the way to a whole range of new possible activities and training programmes for ‘third agers’.

Sandbach u3a Quiz Night

Join us at St Mary’s Church Hall in Sandbach for our u3a quiz on 10 November 2021 starting at 19:30. Julie Clarke will put the quiz together and Jim Thompson will provide the PA system. I will do the scoring as usual.

There will be space for 24 teams of 6 people each paying £1 to enter. The prize will be the money left over from the hire fee. It is traditional for the teams to bring their own food and drink but we will not be using the hall kitchen.

I will take bookings on my email address: kev1dea2@gmail.com

Kevin Dean

Member Contributions

Do you have photos, stories, art work, poems that you’ve created and would like to share with members? Maureen Sawtell has another poem for us which can be found at the end of this update.

Local News

Healthwatch Cheshire East

If anyone wants to give feedback to Healthwatch we will be in Haslington and Alsager with our new mobile unit on:

  • Saturday 25 September, 9am-4pm – Oakhanger Community Hall, Haslington
  • Saturday 23 October, 10am-1pm – Alsager Health and Wellbeing Day

Every comment we receive is fed back anonymously to health and care providers and commissioners, so popping along to talk to us is your chance to make sure that those who make decisions about health and care locally know what matters to you. We will also be joined by people from local health and care services, and voluntary and community groups, so you can find out the latest information about what is going on in your area and receive tips and advice for self-care.

Cheshire East Healthwatch Team

u3a NW Region ‘My Street’ Project

Entries – photo, sketch, paint, poetry or prose are invited for this project to be sent to https://u3asites.org.uk/north-west/page/110388

Reducing Male Suicide

Cheshire East Council have partnered with independent researchers, ICE Creates, to conduct insight research to help reduce male suicides in East Cheshire. The research aims to understand what needs to happen to encourage men to engage in activities that can improve their mental health, before they lose the ability to cope. We want to invite men in East Cheshire from all age groups and walks of life to take part in this research ­_ they will be reimbursed with £30 cash payment as a thank you.

Men of all ages, living in Cheshire East, are invited to take part in research (60-min telephone interview or focus group) about your health and wellbeing and will get £30 bank payment as a thank you.

To find out more & register men can go to: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/eastcheshire_research or call Kelly from ICE, independent researchers on 0845 519 3423

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact Muktadir.khan@cheshireeast.gov.uk

Intelligence – Let Us Help To Sort Your Local Concerns

This last month by working with members of our community, Haslington Police team for the Haslington and Rural Villages in Crewe East submitted 35 Intelligence Reports throughout August 2021. So we would like to say a huge thank you for helping us. For anyone wondering how to work with us to make your local area safer, passing on intelligence is a great way, as it gives us an indication of what is happening in your area.

Intelligence can vary over topics such as the below :-

Drugs :-
– Can you see or smell anything unusual for your area?
– Are there people coming and going from a property or location, are they passing small or large packages that you believe are related to drugs?
-Are you smelling a constant smell of something suspicious?
-Have you seen fans or heat lights?

Child/Person Concern :-

-Have you seen a child who is not receiving the basic care that they should be receiving or have seen any concerning behaviour towards this child? (You should always call 999 for any immediate threat for a person at risk.)

Vehicle Crime :-

– Have you seen a vehicle being used in an anti-social manner?
-Are you aware of someone driving without insurance?
-Do you know of someone that drink drives?

These are just examples of things that you may wish to email over on lizzie.jolley@cheshire.pnn.police.uk as intelligence if you have seen them. For anything requiring urgent attention, please always call 999 in emergencies and 101 to report anything else.

Saxon Players

Saxon Players wanted to let you know that after a long period of Lockdown we are delighted to announce that Sanbach’s own Community Theatre Group –  Saxon Players will be putting on a performance of Brewsters Millions at the Masonic Hall on 18th, 19th and 20th November

There is a cast of 6 actors playing 30 characters – it is therefore a real challenge for the actors taking part, therefore fast paced and funny.

It’s a fantastic play adapted for the stage by the very talented playwright  David Muncaster, Sandbach’s own published playwright. David has had many plays published and there have been hundreds of performances of his work around the world by both amatuer and professional companies, with his festival friendly one act plays regularly winning awards.

David will also be Directing the play with Lucy Oliver as Co-director.

Tickets can be obtained by going on to our Website, www.saxonplayers.com and we would love to see you in the audience. Tickets will be £10. There will also be a bar.

Jill Whittenbury
Chair Saxon Players

National News

Third Age Trust Future Strategy

Following a presentation at the AGM 2021 the Third Age Trust is launching a consultation exercise to give all u3a members a say in the development of a future strategy for the movement.The findings of the consultation process will hopefully be considered by the end of the year and firm proposals will be in place early next year. If you are interested in taking part in the consultation please view the Working towards a Strategic Vision document and email strategy@u3a.org.uk to find out more.

On a Lighter Note

What do prisoners use to call each other? Cell phones.
My Oil Company went bust, but I have offers in the pipeline.
Thieves stole £2,000 from a toll booth. Highway robbery!
This man was so lazy, he taught his dog to throw the stick.
Tom Daly’s football career ended. when he was sent off for diving.
A duck in a shop was asked Cash? He replied ‘Stick it on my bill’
Every time the farmer tried to count his sheep he fell asleep
Long engagements are best. It makes marriage shorter.

Dad’s Garden Legacy    by Maureen Sawtell

Our front garden in Chester was really quite small
But our Dad Patrick gave it his all.
Spring bulbs had their own special space down the side
While gladioli and roses were a source of great pride.

The back garden was larger with a useful working area
Greenhouse, shed and brick store complete
With space for our hardworking Mum Mary
To have a well-deserved seat,
Beloved terrier, Sheba, dozing at her feet.

Dad learned about roses from watching gardeners in Grosvenor Park
Observing that they pruned to out facing buds in the bark
And always cut on the slant so the rain water drained away.
They cut out cross branches so the centre was always airy
And told him to be brave and firm, it’s not really that scary.

He taught us that all plants have their seasons
For very good reasons as they adapt to the changing climate.
You nurture and prune and leave some to their fate
And if you lose them, to the compost bin you relegate.

My sister Pat produces glorious displays in many baskets and pots
Whilst I favour shrubs and roses and varied herbaceous plots.
As we each go forth with our trowels and our shears
Dad’s advice is still ringing in our ears.
Advice lovingly given and patiently explained
I hope that he’s still proud of the daughters he once trained. 

© Sandbach U3A 2024