Janice Cawthorn

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our dear friend and colleague Janice Cawthorn.

Janice has been a member of our U3A for 10 years and a committee member for 2 years – taking on the role of speaker co-ordinator to ensure we had a varied array of speakers at the monthly General Meetings. Her love of literature, travel, cinema, performing arts and music was always in evidence and readily shared with anyone and everyone.

In her working life, Janice was a Tax Inspector in the Inland Revenue Plymouth Tax Office situated in Pearl Assurance House Royal Parade. As you all may know Janice was afflicted with a very rare condition, this was made worse as result of an operation that was meant to improve things, however there were complications and so resulted in things being made worse.

She was a fervent supporter of causes and would often put pen to paper to support them. Janice also had a great talent for languages and could converse in several different ones – including Russian. I know those in attendance of the Marina Litvinenko interview in Feb 2019 would recall how we all sat in wonder as Janice conversed with Marina in fluent Russian, when offering Marina our thanks.

We can all only admire the tenacity, selfless attitude and relentless independence of someone who, despite of adversities that would have driven others to seclusion continued to be a very active, vibrant and lovely person to know and work alongside.

She will be very sadly missed by us all.

Coronavirus Latest

Please see the Coronavirus page for the latest information from Plymouth U3A

March Newsletter

The Plymouth U3A Newsletter for March 2020 is now available in the Members Area.
See: Members Area (requires a password for access)
Scroll down the page to find Newsletters

A limited number of paper copies will be available at the March meeting (9th March) at the Crowne Plaza from Maggie (Groups Co-ordinator) at a table alongside the signing-in area.

Committee Nomination

Committee Nomination and Voting Guidlines

Committee nomination form and voting guidelines have been added to the members area of the Website.  Nominations close at end of General Meeting, 11th May. Voting for the new committee takes place in June.

See: Members Area (requires a password for access)


Open Day 2020

Plymouth U3A will be hosting an Annual Open Day on Monday 29th June 2020 in the Plymouth Guildhall.
The opening times will be 11:00am to 3:00pm (there will be an hour allocated either side of these times for set up/clearing away).
It is our intention to extend an invitation to all other local U3A’s to join us on the day.
Further updates on this day will be posted nearer the time. The usual monthly general meeting will still take place on Monday 8th June.

Being safe using the internet

On Monday 10th June we had a fascinating General Meeting at the Crowne Plaza when 2 excellent speakers from the Devon and Cornwall police described the dangers of using the internet and how we can minimise these.

After the event the speakers emailed:

Just a big thank you for inviting us to speak to your group today.  We appreciate there was a lot of information to put across to the audience and even so, we weren’t even beginning to scratch the surface.  It was great to see so many people in attendance, all I hope will take some tips away help prevent becoming victims of cybercrime in the future.

Here are some useful links for you to share with your U3A for further advice and guidance:

Take Five to Stop Fraud – general advice on financial fraud:

Get Safe Online (personal and business advice)

The Metropolitan Police’s ‘Little Book of Cyber Scams’  – we are in the process of producing a similar D&C document: https://www.met.police.uk/SysSiteAssets/media/downloads/central/advice/fraud/met/little-book-of-cyber-scams-2.0.pdf

Have I been Pwned – check to see if your email account has been compromised in a data breach:

General advice and guidance from the National Cyber Security Centre:


Online Membership Renewal

Online renewal for 2019/2020 is now available (as of 3rd April 2019)

Log in to the Members’ Portal.  Payment can be made either via a Pay Pal account or you can select the option to make your payment by credit or debit card.

If you need instructions as to how to use the Members Portal see Members Portal Guide.

Group Coordination Team

Maintaining the lifeblood our U3A: our Groups

The Group Coordination role is one of the most important in any U3A. This has traditionally been undertaken by only one person in Plymouth U3A, but it is an onerous responsibility.

Following the Group Leaders’ meeting at the late January meeting, and the many useful ideas put forward by Group Leaders, it is proposed that the Group Coordination role should be simplified by dividing it up into subject areas, with a coordinator for the groups in each subject area, and that these subject coordinators would work as a team and elect one of them to take the committee Group Leader Coordinator role.

For example, we might have a subject area called “Arts” which could include History, Literature, Poetry, Shared Learning, Philology, Art, Art Appreciation,

Another subject area could be “Science and Technology”, perhaps addressing Maths, Digital Photography and any computer based activities like From Script o Screen, Science and Technology or Mathematics.

A big subject area could be “Health and Wellbeing” which could include groups in the physical and mental health-related fields such as walking, dancing, games, wine appreciation, cooking and crafts groups etc..

“Languages” is a further area which would probably include all the foreign language groups.

When the team gets together, it would sort out for itself its own way of categorising groups and handling the group coordination function and, especially, the best way of supporting people wanting to set up new groups. Very importantly, the team would also provide the main communications channel between the committee and the groups and would therefore be an effective way of keeping the committee focused on the general views, needs and preferences of the membership.

Please consider  how you could be a part of this stimulating movement. 

Please contact any of Richard Keoghoe, Marilyn Lean or Janet Vosper on the committee if you’d like to discuss this. Thank you.  groups@plymouthu3a.org.uk news@plymouthu3a.org.uk uniliaison@plymouthu3a.org.uk

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