Update November 7th 2022

Member News

Sandbach & District u3a AGM

For practical reasons our 2022 AGM will be held in early 2023 and will again take the form of an on-line vote (With alternative arrangements for those without access.) followed by a face to face meeting at our Members’ Morning on 6 February 2023.

Members are invited to nominate new committee members and/or submit proposals to the AGM.

New Committee Members
Our constitution requires us to have between 5 and 12 Trustees/Committee members. This year we find ourselves in the enviable position of having 11 Trustees who are willing to continue in post.

• Six trustees were elected recently and are partway through their period of office, so re-election is not necessary
• Four Trustees have come to the end of their period of office and are willing to be re-elected
• Our treasurer was co-opted during the year and also needs to be elected.
Five Trustees will therefore be standing for election at the coming AGM.

One Trustee needs to be replaced at the AGM. Sharon Ginnis has done a superb job as venues co-ordinator over the past year, but will be standing down at the AGM. The role involves liaising with venue managers to find suitable venues, checking their availability for when groups might want to use them, making sure that the facilities and safety procedures are suitable, and dealing with any cancellations or issues that might arise. It also involves working closely with Paula Reilly Cooper, our groups & programme co-ordinator, to ensure that groups and venues match up.

This is a really important role in our u3a. If you are willing to take on this post then Sharon is willing to mentor you until you feel confident, and the rest of the Trustees will give you their full support.

It is also possible for other members to be nominated and elected to the Committee. As well as up to 12 elected Trustees we are able to co-opt up to two additional Trustees.

If you are interested in taking on the role of venues co-ordinator or joining the Committee, you are welcome to discuss what is involved with the Chair, Stuart Naylor, or any of the other Trustees (shown on our website). If you do decide to stand for election you will need to complete a nomination form, with a proposer and seconder, and return this to the Secretary – secretary@sandbachu3a.org.uk, or post at 12 St Matthews Close, Haslington, CW1 5TW by 30th November.

Proposals to the AGM
Your proposals for the AGM should be sent to the Secretary, preferably by email at secretary@sandbachu3a.org.uk, or post at 12 St Matthews Close, Haslington, CW1 5TW
by 30th November 2022.

Website Maintenance

Essential maintenance is being carried out on our website on Wednesday 9th November, so it will be out of action for 2 or 3 hours on that day


There are now vacancies in the following groups:
Pilates 6 – Wednesday’s 2.20pm – 3.20pm at Sandbach Health & Fitness Centre, Bradwall Road
Yoga 5 – Thursday’s 1.00pm – 2.15pm at the Masonic Hall
These classes are suitable for all levels, beginners included. If you’re interested in joining, please email the Groups Co-ordinator as soon as possible.


Alice is putting together plans for 2023 trips and asks if there is any interest in the following:

    • Gilbert & Sullivan [theatre Buxton]
    • Boundary mill Colne
    • Piece hall Halifax [guided tour]
    • RHS gardens Bridgwater[Historical tour]
    • Manchester ship canal
    • Southport and Southport flower show
    • York
    • Liverpool/tour bus/ferry

You can contact Alice on 01270765856. Depending on the most interest on the trips she can then finalise details.

Quiz News

On Wednesday 23 November 2022 Channel 5 will broadcast an episode of the Eggheads quiz programme featuring a team of contestants including three members of Sandbach U3A. Julie Clarke (author of the regular emailed quizzes), her husband Ian, Kevin Dean and not yet retired Ian Turpin will do battle with one of the greatest quiz teams in the country.
To see how “Mrs Clarkes Boys” perform, watch Eggheads from 6:30pm on Wednesday 23 November 2022.  Team photos can be seen here – https://sandbachu3a.org.uk/sandbach-quiz-team-battles-the-eggheads/

The closing date for our own u3a quiz on Wednesday 9 November is fast approaching and there are only a few slots for teams to book into. Please contact Kevin – quiz@sandbachu3a.org.uk.

Members Morning

Our next Members Morning is on December 5th at Sandbach Town Hall : 10:00 – 11:30. These events are free though a donation for refreshments is appreciated. This meeting will be our annual Christmas Concert with our own  Sandbach u3a Brass Band.

Walking Football at Sandbach u3a

Walking Football (every Friday) and its sister activity Skills and Drills /Fitness (every Wednesday) started at Sandbach Utd’s excellent facilities in 2017. After a bedding in period these activities have thrived. There are plenty of vacancies available so why don’t you join us and share in the benefits they provide or come and have a look at what we do first then join us!
Haydn has written an account of his time with Walking Football which gives a great feel for the group. Scroll down to the end of this update to read it.

Did you know?

The popularity of our groups is judged by the length of the waiting list. A long list means that we can review the possibility of starting up an additional group.
But … we often hear of people thinking “It’s full, I won’t bother” which means we never get to learn of your interest, multiply this several times over and an opportunity is lost.
If a group is full do please get in touch – you might be the start of something new!

Local News

Call for Volunteer Drivers for Communicare in Sandbach
A Communicare service was started in Sandbach over 20 years ago to provide transport to/from medical appointments for those who did not have other suitable transport options to get to their appointments. (For example times of many appointments mean that taxis and the Cheshire East Council Flexilink service are unavailable as they are already committed to transporting pupils to and from school).
As use of the service developed, it has provided transport for other purposes when priorities and driver availabilities permit. For example, it is currently considering offering those living with dementia and their carers, who are unable to drive, transport from home to local support services, such as Day Centres and local coffee mornings.

The service relies on a network of volunteer drivers who deliver the service from referrals from Ashfields surgery in Sandbach via a Communicare co-ordinator. The majority of the journeys are between the person’s home and Ashfields, with some to/from Leighton hospital and occasionally to medical centres and hospitals further afield.
Users are not charged for using the service, but may offer a suggested donation to help cover the driver’s expenses.
Communicare was suspended through the pandemic and has just restarted in the last few weeks. Over the period a number of drivers have dropped out, and Communicare is looking to recruit new volunteer drivers to maintain this vital service. The commitment is quite open and flexible – volunteers are not committing to be available for specific days or times.
If you are potentially interested in becoming a Communicare driver, or have any questions, please contact Val West in the first instance on 01270 768535.

And finally … something different, can you relate?

To commemorate a recent birthday, actress/vocalist, Julie Andrews performed a version of ‘My Favourite Things’ from the legendary movie ‘Sound Of Music’. Here are the lyrics she used:

Botox and nose drops and needles for knitting,
Walkers and handrails and new dental fittings,
Bundles of magazines tied up in string,
_These are a few of my favourite things_

Cadillacs and cataracts, hearing aids and glasses,
Polident and Fixodent and false teeth in glasses,
Pacemakers, golf carts and porches with swings,
_These are a few of my favourite things._

When the pipes leak, When the bones creak,
When the knees go bad,
I simply remember my favourite things,
And then I don’t feel so bad.

Hot tea and crumpets and corn pads for bunions,
No spicy hot food or food cooked with onions,
Bathrobes and heating pads and hot meals they bring,
_These are a few of my favourite things._

Back pain, confused brains and no need for sinnin’,
Thin bones and fractures and hair that is thinnin’,
And we won’t mention our short shrunken frames,
_When we remember our favourite things._

When the joints ache, When the hips break,
When the eyes grow dim,
Then I remember the great life I’ve had,
And then I don’t feel so bad.

Walking Football at Sandbach U3a

Walking Football (every Friday) and its sister activity Skills and Drills /Fitness (every Wednesday) started at Sandbach Utd’s excellent facilities in 2017. After a bedding in period these activities have thrived. There are plenty of vacancies available so after reading this why don’t you join us and share in the benefits they provide or come and have a look at what we do first then join us!
I joined in 2018 and currently attend most Wednesdays, having also attended on Fridays for two years plus until a dodgy knee decided I had to back off a bit. The paragraphs that follow are purely written from my own perspective of the last four years, although many of my friends there could write something similar.
There have been three Group Leaders to date, Arnie Laing established the Group and forged a strong bond with Sandbach Utd, squeezing in the activity with Chairing the Sandbach U3a itself. He was followed by Mick Jackson who kept up the progress, and we were soon playing up to eight or nine a side games. Mick now spends most of his time leading Walking Cricket (another thriving activity), and our current leader is Alan Schofield. Alan has more smiles these days as Man Utd come out of the doldrums. These are three very different personalities, all of whom made/make for exciting sessions on both days.
After joining later in the first year of activity I soon got into the routines. As with all U3a activities I have established firm friendships with many fellow devotees. Although at the moment we are a male group, ladies are equally welcome. At one stage there were three regularly attending.
When I started, I realised that I had put my last pair of PUMAS (or where they Adidas?) boots in the bin about forty years ago, so how would my life weary body react to this new challenge. Well like many of my new mates, the answer is far better than expected. Yes, in the early days I felt a bit stiff the day after. Soon, however, you realise that match fitness is not a preserve of the young, it applies to us too. After a few weeks you wonder how it becomes so (relatively) easy. Nearly all of us brought niggles along, which mostly disappear, but even if they remain, they can be easily contained with expert advice. This advice often comes from your pals, but if you can find a doctor/consultant /physio these days, they can obviously help too.
Although there are written down rules for the game, we don’t need a referee. We all understand what is and isn’t allowed and we all support and help each other. On the rare occasions when someone hits the deck the game stops immediately, we all catch our breath and start again when the player is recovered.
I could say the results of our games don’t matter, it’s the taking part and all that. Alas (and I’m sure you’ll understand) that would not be strictly true. Why shouldn’t we retain that little bit of competitiveness? We have some young ones (as early as being in their fifties) and old ‘uns like me playing. However, that bit of arthritis, or carrying just a tad of weight, or the various sprains and tears from our lives levels us all up. Young uns can be nutmegged too.! Earlier I mentioned match fitness, it’s amazing how you want to try something clever on the pitch on one of your better days.
Team sports remain a great leveller for us all. That dressing room banter and spirit remains just as present and still a pleasure. You can’t get away with anything and any ego is soon nullified if anyone tries it on. For all past sports men and women, the dressing room is a special place and remains a haven for chat on all subjects (acceptable and unacceptable ones).
On Fridays the focus is on a game of “normal” football, whereas Wednesdays although generally including competitive element, involves more of a focus on skills and fitness.
So, if you have sports in your background and appreciate all that it brought during your earlier lives, don’t think you can’t enjoy those feelings today and I urge anyone unsure/thinking about it to come along. Have a look first if you are really concerned and see what happens and meet some of the nicest people around. There are many outlets where boots can be bought very cheaply which do the job nicely. Just make sure you seek advice for the right ones to handle the 3G pitch. Playing on 3G for those who have not experienced it is interesting. You become very accustomed to those black bits (an essential part of the surface) which get everywhere, believe you me.
As with other U3a Groups the “on pitch experiences” are only part of it. I have established friendships that will probably remain for the remainder of my days. To enable re absorption of essential mineral levels lost during battle some of us had a digestive or two at the pub afterwards. Nowadays the open-air bar at Sandbach FC is excellent and heated in winter. Many of the day’s goals, saves and passes are often promoted to a higher status in retrospect. At various times subgroups of friends have visited some interesting places. England’s training establishment at St. George’s Park Burton, a tour of Manchester City’s fantastic ground and inner sancta, sitting next to a virtual Pep etc. We have been along to cricket Test Matches and the annual (minimum) curry nights and various quiz team nights out all add to the enjoyment.
If you feel you’d like to give it a go, get in touch with Alan Schofieldhttps://u3a.simplemembership.co.uk/Sandbach/Groups/walking-football (Login to be able to use the online email facility)
He and all the rest of us will be glad to help you along, doing as little or as much as you are comfortable with. I’m 76 and been playing for four years now and can still trap a ball further than some can kick it. My name is Haydn by the way.


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