Weekly Update 11 January 2021

Lockdown Quiz

The latest quiz from Julie Clarke (number 41) has been loaded to the website as well as the answers to number 40. Go to the quiz page where you’ll also find this week’s music quiz (number 39) and the answers to music quiz number 38. Our quiz page lists all the quizzes that have been set previously.

 Group News

Some good news – U3A Zoom Choir starts up again on Thursday 14th January at 2.00pm. New members are very welcome. We’re still hoping to be able to go ahead with our concert on June 5th!
The Geology group is also restarting on Zoom on Tuesday 19th at 2.00pm – A Geological Amble Round the Coast of Britain

Go to https://u3a.simplemembership.co.uk/Sandbach/groups to join either of these groups.

Local News

Vaccination Update
We’ve been asked to keep members updated about Covid vaccinations:
A partnership of 7 local GP practices (SMASH): Merepark Medical Centre, Green Moss Medical Centre, Cedars Medical Centre, Ashfields Primary Care Centre, Oaklands Medical Centre, Waters Edge Medical Centre and Haslington Surgery are working at sites in Alsager and Middlewich. This is the latest update:

Our SMASH vaccination programme has started. We have had 2 very successful days at our Alsager site. We have vaccinated almost 1200 people including 300 nursing home residents from all over SMASH.
We have had no serious reactions and we are now quite happy with the vaccine and procedures for handling it. We have had hundreds of thanks you’s from patients and some constructive comments which is helpful.
Next week we are planning on running 4 clinics at Alsager and 4 at our Middlewich site.
We are one of the few PCNs in the country that have been allowed to operate from more than one site and although we weren’t the first to start vaccinating, we should now effectively get twice the vaccine of other PCNs!
Due to welcome legal changes we are also planning on distributing some vaccine to the practices for them to vaccinate the remaining residential home patients and to start on the house bound (still some technical issues here that need sorting).
We are hoping that some of our practices may start doing their own mini clinics at their own sites as well as running our mass sites though this will depend on ongoing supplies of AZ vaccine.
When it’s your time to receive your vaccine, you will receive an invitation to come forward. Please do not turn up at the site unless you have an appointment, and please do not contact your practice to make an appointment, we will contact you when it is your time. We will notify you as soon as we are ready to proceed.The biggest comment we would have is don’t turn up early for your appointment. especially if you are booked in the first couple of hours as it can generate queues which in this weather no-one wants.

https://healthwatchcheshireeast.org.uk/coronavirus/covid-19-vaccinations/ and https://www.facebook.com/SandbachGPs

Have Your Say on Police Funding and Priorities

Cheshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) is asking you what your policing priorities are as part of a new consultation.
PCC David Keane has launched an online survey to obtain the views of Cheshire residents to find out your priorities for policing and community safety.
As well as asking what your top priority for Cheshire Police is, he also wants to know how safe you feel in your area and if you would support a £1.25 per month increase to the policing precept element of council tax to address increasing pressures on Cheshire Constabulary.

You can complete the online survey here: https://wh1.snapsurveys.com/siam/surveylanding/surveylogin.asp?sk=160759151682

Image of an example of a scam test message
Example of a scam test message

Covid  Vaccination Scam
We have been informed by the Neighbourhood Watch Network about a highly believable scam which starts with a text and advises the user that they are eligible to apply for the vaccine and to click on the link in the text message. The user is then led to a webpage, which looks very convincing and asks them to complete a form, including bank details, in order for them to be able to apply for the vaccine.
With the recent approval of multiple vaccines in the UK, these types of scam attempts are likely to continue, as fraudsters continue to take advantage of the rollout to some many people.

For more information please see the article on the Ourwatch website: https://www.ourwatch.org.uk/news/fake-text-identifying-you-eligible-covid-19-vaccine

On a Lighter Note

 We are privileged to have access to a lost extract from Gardeners’ Question Time, recently discovered in the BBC vaults.

‘And our next question is from a listener in Norway . . .

Q I’ve heard a lot about gardens in Britain. I believe that everywhere you look you see vast expanses of wild flowers, like dandelions, violets and thistles, that provide nectar to attract butterflies or bees and seeds to feed flocks of songbirds. Is that really what it’s like?

A Not exactly. Lots of people don’t like gardening. They call many types of flowers ‘weeds’ and go to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass.

Q Grass? But it’s so boring. It’s not colourful and it doesn’t attract butterflies, birds or bees, only grubs and worms. Do these people really want all that grass?

A Apparently so. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.

Q The spring rains and warm weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must make them happy.

A Not really. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it, sometimes twice a week.

Q They cut it? Do they then bale it like hay?

A Not exactly. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.

Q They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?

A No, just the opposite. They pay to throw it away.

Q Now, let me get this straight. They fertilize grass so it will grow. And, when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?

A Yes, that’s right.  Difficult to believe, isn’t it?

Q They must be relieved in the summer when the temperature climbs and there is not much rain. That must slow the growth and save them a lot of work.

A You aren’t going to believe this. When the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it, so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it.

Q This is incredible! Tell me about the trees. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide shade in the summer. In the autumn, they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. It’s a natural cycle of life.

A You’d better sit down. As soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away.

Q No! But the leaves protect the roots of shrubs and trees in the winter, and keep the soil moist and loose, so how does the soil manage without any protection?

A After throwing away the leaves, they go out and buy something which they call mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves.

Q And where do they get this mulch?

A They cut down trees and grind them up to make the mulch.

Q Enough! I don’t want to hear about this anymore. This is the last time I’m listening to Gardeners’ Question Time!’

(Adapted from a post on the u3a Facebook page)