Gardening Group

Brilliant and entertaining talk by Loretta (Titch) Rivett on “Historical Lincolnshire Plants” yesterday. Sadly many of the group were away on an organised trip, but they missed one of the best  and natural speakers we have had at our group. Mary (Howes) is doing a great job as convener of this group – Many Thanks.


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Cake Day Review

The hall was bustling with people, and the chairs which were usually laid out in formal rows, had instead been placed around large circular tables in a much more informal and friendly arrangement.
Our chairman welcomed everyone to this special anniversary meeting and commented that whilst he was putting together a PowerPoint of photographs taken over the last twenty years, he was amazed at just how much West Wolds had evolved and grown.
Steve then welcomed the guest speaker Pam Jones who is the previous chair of The Third Age Trust. Pam remarked that it was a joy to behold such a vibrant group and, that she always tries to find some sort of connection to where she is visiting; in our case, she revealed that her husband’s first posting had been to RAF Hemswell and they had lived in Gainsborough for a while. She then proceeded to give a brief history of U3A and how and why it was set up. Many people might be surprised to hear that U3A was originally conceived in France however, when the idea reached the UK in the early ‘80s, it was significantly modified into a national network of learning groups aimed at encouraging older people to share their knowledge, skills and interests in a friendly environment.
Pam’s one concern is that she still meets people who don’t know what it is despite there being 1039 active groups and 425,000 members nevertheless she says, the movement continues to go from strength to strength because it is unique. She went on to thank the West Wolds founding members, some of whom were seated behind her and, commended us on our fantastic range of interest groups which has now reached 51. Her final task was to cut the cake with Steve so it could be distributed amongst the members.
On the stage in pride of place atop a table covered in the special tablecloth made to commemorate the organisation’s first ten years, sat a beautifully decorated celebratory cake. As our tables were also adorned with cloths and plates with serviettes, we knew that it would not be long before we would be enjoying a slice of the said delicacy.
As the cake arrived on our tables, some of the founding members took to the mic to share their memories of how the West Wolds U3A came to be, their particular involvement in it, travels and highlights over the years. The old adage ‘mighty oaks from little acorns grow’ perfectly describes the development of West Wolds U3A. It was started by a handful of like-minded people getting together some twenty years ago to plant a seed; little did they know it would grow into being such a very successful group with 360 members.
As a mere fledgling member compared to some, Steve rounded up the morning’s festivities by reflecting on his involvement in it over the past four and a half years and, how it had supported him personally through sad times. He then went on to praise the membership for coordinating the wide range of self-help groups, meetings and social activities on offer and, reiterated that this is only possible because of the teamwork and willingness of members who offer to organise and run groups and events for the benefit of everyone.

20th Anniversary Organisers

Long may it continue.

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20th Anniversary Cake Event – Photos

The Cake event on 14th went off very well, here are some photos I took around the Festival Hall, see if you can pick yourself out.

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20th Anniversary Starts Here…

Thursday 14th March sees the start of our 20th Anniversary celebrations.

Doors will open at 9.30am and there will be the usual opportunity to browse the variety of groups we now have on offer and to meet old friends and make new ones.

Pam Jones from National Office will give a brief talk on her view of U3A and will then cut the celebration cake. We will then hear some reminiscences from a few of the founding members of West Wolds U3A during which the cake will be distributed around the hall.

The event will be closed with a few words from our chairman, Steve McCarthy

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Free First Aid Training

If you missed the West Wolds U3A First Aid courses then here’s an opportunity to get some free training organised by Market Rasen Town Council.

British Red Cross
FREE Everyday First Aid Training Sessions On
Wednesday 27th March & 10th April 2019
In the Festival Hall Committee Room

If you would like to attend these sessions then please contact the Town Clerk at Market Rasen Town Council on 01673 842479 or email

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Burton Constable Hall behind closed doors – 20th March.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, some cancellations have become available.  If you would like details of the trip and are interested in joining in, please contact me as soon as possible.



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Churches Coach Tour

Image result for national churches trustMessage from Linda Patrick, , Church Support Officer, National Churches Trust

“I work for the National Churches Trust which is a charity dedicated to the protection and preservation of our church heritage. My role as Church Support Officer is to work with churches to welcome visitors and share the stories and treasures that these buildings hold.

At the moment we are working with 50 churches in and around Horncastle and one of the initiatives is a coach tour that we have developed around the life of Sir Joseph Banks, who was born in Revesby and became famous for his work as a botanist and also creator of Kew Gardens. 2020 will be the 200th anniversary of his death and it is expected that there will be national celebrations around this.

We are trialling the coach tour for the first time on the 20th March and as such are offering it at a special price of £15 per head. I am hoping that your group may find this of interest and would like to be the first to take part in this project. Further details can be found on this link…

I do hope that you and your members will consider joining us on what is expected to be a lovely day out. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you wish further information.” For more information contact: Email: Phone: 01507527905

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First Aid Course

There are only 6 tickets left for first aid run by the Red Cross on Tuesday 5th March 9.45-12.15.
Tickets are only £3 and cover refreshments, and the venue is Holy Rood Church Rooms, opposite the old Red Lion (now The Olive).
We will be covering burns, heart attack & stroke.

To book a place contact Sharon Rupp on 01673-857390 or 07803-694889

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Sue Cadman – an original Les Dawson Roly Poly

Originally from Birmingham, Sue started dance school at the tender age of 2 and performed in public for the first time aged just 3. From then on, she became totally hooked and put all her effort into passing dance exams and entering competitions rather than applying herself to her school studies. As a consequence, her academic results suffered but, at the age of 15, she qualified as a dance teacher and, after leaving school, secured a part as a dancer in a pantomime in Coventry. When the season ended, she got a job with a Flying Ballet Company and humorously recounted some of the antics she got up to in the two and half years she was with them.

To progress her career, Sue then joined the Old Time Music Hall in Leeds and did some touring cabaret however, when her expanding waistline eventually prevented her from comfortably fitting into her costumes anymore, she decided it was time to retire and set up her own dance school. As a Fellow of the International Dance Teachers’ Association, many of her students have achieved success in top London shows and in television and, she herself, has also appeared in numerous well-known TV programmes including Crossroads, All Creatures Great and Small, Poldark and Angels. Her professional career has spanned over forty years however, the highlight of it was undoubtedly the twenty-eight years she was a Roly Poly dancer on the Les Dawson show.

Sue is an extremely entertaining speaker and an accomplished raconteur but, her talk this morning is just one of many she gives on her longstanding and varied career so, fingers crossed she will return to divulge yet more amusing tales of her life in show business.

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Elsecar & Wentworth Woodhouse

If you watched Michael Portillo’s Great British Railway Journeys tonight (Wednesday), you will have seen him visit the Elsecar Heritage Centre, near Barnsley, and nearby Wentworth Woodhouse, a huge stately home built by the Fitzwilliams, owners of the Elsecar mines.

Don’t miss the day visit already arranged to precisely these two places by West Wolds U3A on Wednesday 18th September this year – watch out for the flyer and booking form to be displayed later on. We even include a ride on the heritage railway (but not a steam engine – the BBC has a bigger budget than us …).

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Louth Riverhead Theatre visit. Wednesday 13 February.

I have one ticket available at £9.50, to join the group going to see ALFIE, by Bill Naughton.  A very well known play from our youth!  “What’s it all about, Alfie …”

Call me on 01472 852273 or email at:

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Email Scams

Over the past few weeks I have received a number of emails from people I vaguely know but haven’t heard from in many years. The emails take the form of:

Hi Steve
followed by a link to an unrecognizable website

The email is a scam and although it may not be detected by your security software, the link is the payload. My advice is to ignore the link and delete the email. It’s wise to be vigilant.

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Mailing and Survey

Our monthly emails seem to be proving to be a big hit with most people. It is a process that is undergoing refinement and requires a few tweaks here and there to make it even more successful. This month the email was delivered to 238 addresses and opened by 197 people – 82.8% success rate. Don’t you just love statistics, I know I do. Why some are not being opened remains a mystery; it might be because the email address “” is being blocked by your system so if you can, please look in your spam folder just in case.
If  there’s anything you would like included in the email, maybe something about your group activities, then please let me know.

And here comes the downside… Of the 197 of you who opened the email only 54 (27%) completed the survey. A few people have contacted me to say they have had a problem with some of the questions however 54 people have had no problems at all. To say I’m heartbroken would be a gross exaggeration however it is a little disappointing because the committee took several hours to put the survey together and it takes less than 5 minutes to complete it. We value your input and the survey is for the benefit of us all so if you haven’t completed it already please click here and do it now. There will be hard copies available at the February general meeting and the results of the survey will be published by the end of February.

Many thanks – Steve McCarthy, Chairman

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2019 Visits Update!

Louth Riverhead Theatre – Wednesday 13th February.

Due to a cancellation, there is a ticket available to see the performance of ‘Alfie,’ the well known story of swinging 60s London.  Ticket cost is £9.50. The original play became a hit film with Michael Caine.  Meet at the theatre around 7.0pm.

Burton Constable Hall – a behind the scenes look at winter conservation work.  Wednesday 20th March.

As this first day out of the year is not far away, and the February General Meeting is the next time we will realistically all meet up to make bookings, I am putting out this reminder for those who have not yet put down their names to go, and paid the cost of £46.pp.  This includes the coach, driver gratuity, exclusive behind the scenes tour, ending with afternoon tea included.

For more information on either trip, email me at:

If you have the visit flyer for Burton Constable, and just need to book and pay, let me know if you will do so at the February Meeting: if you cannot be there, you can send payment to me at: 9 Redhills Close, Caistor, Market Rasen. LN7 6NE.

Time is of the essence!


PS: Visit to Police HQ, Nettleham.  Tuesday 21 May.

Only two places remain available!

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A Personal Approach to Adult Social Care

Cheryl Holdship began her talk by explaining that she started her career as a Social Worker, working for a local authority. As a consequence of an accident to her husband she had to become a carer for him and then became an independent Social Worker. She found working for a local authority very unsatisfying because she often had to pull back from clients who still needed her support whereas now she’s independent and funded by her clients she can be committed to their care needs.
She proceeded to outline two case studies but changing names and some of the details to preserve anonymity.
Case Study One was Anna who had Parkinson’s disease, living at home and receiving 24 hour care. Her care was funded by the NHS Continuing Health Care budget. At one point she went into hospital and when she was back at home she needed two full-time carers. Eventually she went into a care home as part of a relocation so she could be closer to her family. Cheryl took on the role of monitoring the care provision by visiting the home every two weeks. This meant that when the family visited they could dedicate their time to their mother and didn’t have to worry about the management of the care she was receiving. Cheryl referred to this as “Monitoring Support”.
Case Study Two was Jane and Paul where Paul had a stroke and was initially cared for in hospital. On being discharged his care was paid for by the NHS Continuing Health Care but this was withdrawn. It seems the NHS in their efforts to control their budgets are cutting back on Continuing Health Care funding and the administrators are making decisions based on cost rather than need. Cheryl’s role in this instance was to assist Jane to put together an appeal and to prepare her for the appeals process. Jane won the case and all funding was restored. Cheryl referred to this as Task Support where here involvement was concluded once the appeal had been successful.

Cheryl explained that the definition of “Continuing Health Care” is unclear with the courts having defined it in one way and the NHS National Framework describing it differently.


There followed a question and answer session that clearly indicated this is a complicated area, particularly if someone is self-funded and needs to procure the right care package for themselves or a loved one. There is a legal obligation on Local Authorities to undertake an assessment of all people requiring support however the first part is a financial assessment. If someone has assets of over £23,250 (which include their house if they are a homeowner) then some Local Authorities will charge for the assessment.
The difficulty of finding carers for home care in a rural location can be especially difficult because some care agencies do not pay their staff for the travel time between clients. Cheryl pointed out this practice was reducing because most carers will not work in this way.
Several questions regarded paying for care homes which varied in price from £450 to over £1,000 per week and the cost alone wasn’t a guarantee that the more you paid the better care you received.
It was a lot of information to take in and at the end of the talk the only clear thing about Adult Social Care is that it is a minefield for those of us who have to navigate it on behalf of our loved ones.

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