Lea Valley u3a


Interest Groups online

Interest Groups Online (abbreviated as IGO) is an online u3a community that gives you the opportunity to join groups, talks and courses from the comfort of your home.

Like with a u3a, the activities are run by members and are a great way to meet people from all across the u3a movement

Why not pay it a visit? Click on this link:-

Interest Groups online

If you know anyone who might benefit, please pass the information on.

An Exploring London Group outing

Walk around the Royal Parks.

Hoddesdon Heritage Weekend

Good Friday Nature Walk
Hertford Heath

Dear Members,
Our National Office, the Third Age Trust ("TAT") issues monthly online newsletters full of great ideas on how to stay connected and involved. The TAT has asked committees to encourage members to sign up for the newsletter, which can be accessed from the link below:

Either click on the link (or type the website name into your address bar) and then scroll down to the foot of the main page. Under the heading Quick Links there is a heading "Newsletter Signup". Click on this and you are taken to a page where you can input your details and receive the newsletter.

I hope you find this helpful.
Glynis Evans, Chair



Committee members and volunteers had a busy couple of days at the end of April, manning a publicity stand in a prime spot just inside Morrisons’ store in Hoddesdon.

Wearing our brand new lvu3a T-shirts, the team made a lovely splash of colour and, with a background display of recent photographs and posters, distributed an assortment of flyers to members of the public.

Numerous one-to-one conversations proved particularly fruitful, as we were able to point out the benefits of being a member and the range of activities and events on offer.

Several people were keen to come as guests to our next main meeting in May and one filled out a membership application on the spot and paid her sub!

We will be repeating our efforts at other venues in the borough during the year, including Tescos at Brookfield and the Love Hoddesdon Midsummer Festival in June., as below:-

Our next Publicity/Recruitment event will be at the Love Hoddesdon Mid-Summer Festival Gala Day on Sunday 23rd June!

Please offer your support and help on the day. Even if you can only spare a few minutes, every little helps. We will be in the High Street from 10.00 a.m. We will be under a gazebo to shelter us from the summer sun!

If you’re able to help, please let Lesley Robinson (our Secretary) know, either by using contact details shown in paper copies or emailed copies of our Newsletter, or by e-mail to secretarylvu3a@outlook.com or in person!

Many thanks from the Committee



Our monthly Newsletter has been produced as a downloadable (pdf) file, which should be compatible with any computer. It contains the "Chair Corner" message, details on some forthcoming events and other information about Groups etc.

To view the latest editions please "click" on the link:- 


Please note that contact details (phone numbers, e-mail addresses etc) for Group Leaders and Committee Members are not shown in this on-line version, as it is open to anyone with access to the internet, and we wish to protect this information.

Therefore members need to refer either to the version emailed to you, or the paper versions available at main meetings, as those versions do contain the personal contact information.

Alternatively anyone (members and non-members) can use the club's email system to make contact with us - please refer to the top of the left hand margin of this page, and go to the 'CONTACTS' page, and the email address is in the margin.



Following a recent interest afternoon featuring fused glass you are invited to join a beginners workshop with Katie Lynn of "Molten Wonky" when, with full instruction, you will make a fused glass item(s) yourself.  All materials and instruction included and the workshop will last about two hours.  This will be held in Hoddesdon.

This is being organised by Barbara Cordina, whom many of you will know as one of LVU3a's former Chairs.

Barbara is also looking into making a trip to Katie’s workshop near Saffron Walden for a 3 hour session working with glass and producing your own special item.

Barbara is trying to ascertain interest before making definite plans so please contact her to let her know if you may wish to participate. More information and contact details are  in this link:




We are delighted to say that plans are well underway to restore catering in the bar and café area at the Spotlight, so our members can once more
have lunch there before our main meetings.

Until this is finally resolved, I am glad to say that pizza (whole or by the slice) will be available, as well as a selection of sandwiches.


         LVU3A’s 19th FUN QUIZ – Mon 4th Nov 2024 1:30pm      

Our next quiz will take place on 4th November, at our usual venue (St Augustine’s Parish Centre, Broxbourne), so save the date!

Tickets will go on sale from our July main meeting. As before the ticket price will be £2 for LVU3A members and £2.50 for non-members, including tea and cake.

In order that we can set out the hall for the attendees and cater appropriately, tickets must be purchased (or reserved) in advance; they will not be available on the door.



A first for the LVu3a when, on June 7th , we invited some of the animals from the mini zoo at Cedars Park Nature Centre to our Interest Afternoon. Along with their keeper, Ranger Stuart, we enjoyed a most informative and interesting afternoon finding out about the lives of these creatures.  We met seven of the residents of the Nature Centre, including a bearded dragon, a tenrec, a python and a tarantula! Stuart was extremely knowledgeable and answered the many questions we had for him. 

It’s not every day a u3a member can hold a tarantula, but fearless Stan Benton did just that! If you were unable to attend, you can meet these animals and many others at Cedars Park in Cheshunt www.cedarsnaturecentre.co.uk

Great for young grandchildren!


There are always plenty of interesting online learning events free to join to be found at:

Here are just a few:
- Mindfulness and Meditation
- Taking revenge: Artemisia Gentileschi’s Quest for Justice
- Help Us Remember with the War Memorials Register
- Laughter Yoga with Judith
- Vaccines
- London 2012 – A Games Maker’s Story
- Expert tips and Essential Apps for Effortless Online Living
- Secrets of the Human Brain: Talk Six: Your Spinal Cord
- Celestial marvels: Demystifying the Cosmos
- Darkness on the Edge of Town: Bruce Springsteen and the American dream


We are delighted to announce a new range of services to those who sign-up to receive the u3a Friends newsletter.

u3a Friends Extra is a benefits website developed exclusively for members of the u3a Friends newsletter community. The website provides access to a wide range of offers, discounts and additional services. Friends Extra is completely free to access. Anyone signed up to the u3a Friends newsletter can now also make savings on well-known brands, shopping, travel, days out and more. Offers and services on Friends Extra include:
✓ Health and wellbeing 
✓ Shopping savings on major brands and retail discounts 
✓ Travel and holidays
✓ Leisure offers, like family days out, trips to the cinema and theatre
✓ Insurance offers on car, travel and medical insurance 
✓ Access to financial advice and a legal helpline.

To become a ‘Friend’, simply sign up to receive the Friends Newsletter on the u3a website via the link below.

Each issue of the Friends Newsletter will include a link to the Friends Extra benefits website and highlight one of the offers. This is just one element of the u3a Friends newsletter, which brings together stories from local u3a groups, learning opportunities and news of upcoming events to highlight the fun and learning within the u3a community.

u3a Friends Newsletter shares news from u3as, national learning opportunities and access to u3a Friends Extra, a wide range of offers, discounts and services.

Go to the u3a website, and
sign up via the "Get Involved" tab:



We also have our own Facebook page which can be found by clicking on this link:-




Our Knit & Natter group, which opened early in 2023, has been very successful. We have all made lots of new friends, had lots of tea, coffee and biscuits and lots of laughs!

We have all learnt new skills and shared our tips with everyone. We have recently made knitted and crochet squares which have been sewn together to make blankets which have gone to the hospice department at Princes Alexandra Hospital, Harlow.

These were done with the Dobbs Weir Crafty Cuppa group who also meet at the hall and knit and natter too!

Gill Fowke

On another crafty note, one of our members would be interested in starting a Needle Felting group. Needle felting is a creative craft that involves sculpting shapes and figures using wool and special felting needles.

If you are interested please contact Glynis Evans (Chair)


It’s always good to chat with you when stopping to read our notice boards in the foyer of the Spotlight at our main monthly meetings.  The boards are updated each month so it’s always worth having a read to keep abreast of dates and events.  We look forward to seeing you at our next meeting.



One of our members, John Astin, produced another excellent video in December 2019 showing what happens at Lea Valley u3a. Sadly John passed away in March 2021.
The video includes comments from a few members who explain what joining us has meant to them, and an insight into what some of our groups get up to.

It is available to watch on YouTube.To view, please click on the link below:




Hello again!

We had a marvellous main meeting in May when our guest speaker was Paul Gillions from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. Hearing about some remarkable rescues at sea and seeing video clips from the rescuers body cameras was really inspiring and our audience thought so to as I’m glad to report that over £400 was donated to RNLI from our meeting.

May also saw a very interesting and useful Interest Afternoon when Natasha from Barclays Bank and Chen from the police really raised our awareness of fraud and how to avoid scams. There were many areas they did not have time to touch on, so I think we will be inviting them back in the future.

Our June Interest Afternoon is on Friday 7th June at the Barclay Hall, Hoddesdon - it’s £3, please pay on the door. I think it will be a first for Lea Valley u3a as the presentation doesn’t just feature a human but animals as well! Stuart Short, the Ranger from Cedars Park, Waltham Cross, will be bringing a number of animals for us to see and he will be telling us all about them so come along and Meet the Animals. As usual the afternoon will start at 2pm with drinks and cakes and a chance for a
chat, but then, for health and safety, we will need to clear away all the refreshments before the animals can make their appearance.

This month’s main meeting sounds full of intrigue and danger. On Monday 10th June our speaker will be Paul Barwick who will be giving us a talk “The Legend of the White Mouse: the Nancy Wake Story”. Nancy was an American spy in World War II, who lived with the daily threat of torture and death at the hands of the Gestapo.

I hope to see as many of you as possible at our Interest Afternoon at the Barclay Hall on 7th June and/or at our Spotlight meeting on 10th June.

Glynis Evans

Learn                 Laugh                 Live


Monday 8th July,  Main Meeting -  Speaker - Mark Smith "A day on the Antiques Roadshow". An insight as to what goes on during the making of this classic BBC programme.

Friday 12th July 2024, Interest Afternoon (Barclay Hall - 2pm Tickets £3 -  Speaker -  Alison White - "Sheepy Things" -  Alison is a textile artist  who creates unique little sheep made out of British Wool, plus Charms, Earrings, Keyrings, Magnets etc.

Monday 12th August,  Main Meeting -  Speaker - Alison Green - "From Field to Floribunda" -  The transformation of Theobald's Farm Garden.

Monday 9th September,  Main Meeting -  Speaker - Tony Tutton - “That'll Be The Day”.  The life, music and influence of Buddy Holly. Tony Tutton is a guitarist, drummer and Lead singer.

Friday 13th September 2024, Interest Afternoon (Barclay Hall - 2pm Tickets £3 -  Speakers  - Members Mary & Laurence Cole - "New Zealand".   Mary and Laurence speak about their recent memorable visit "down under".

Friday 10th October 2024, Interest Afternoon (Barclay Hall - 2pm Tickets £3 -  Speaker  - David Pracey - "Why my Grandfather went to prison".   

Monday 14th October,  Main Meeting -  Speakers - Christine and Peter Padwick - “All Things Banned and Censored” The talk is a light-hearted survey of banning and censorship over the past 100 years or so, with pictures,songs and anecdotes.

Monday 4th November 2024 , Fun Quiz (Parish Centre, St Augustines Church, Broxbourne)  -  See entry further up this page.

Monday 11th November,  Main Meeting -  Speaker -  Colin Oakes “A Hertfordshire Christmas”The talk looks at how the people of Hertfordshire celebrated Christmas over the ages.It includes Charles Dickens and Anthony Trollope’s time in the season here, and local visits to see Father Christmas.

Monday 9th December,  Main Meeting -  Christmas Social in the Spotlight Bar. No speaker.


Playreading Group

Come along to our group on the first and third Thurdays monthly at 2pm to enjoy the world of theatre. Click on the poster for more information:-


East of England Region of U3As

The East of England region comprises the six counties of Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire. The website can be viewed via the following link:-


 "Regional News Bulletins" are published each month  containing details of this month’s events and presentations both regionally and nationally. The latest edition can be viewed by going to their website. then click on the "Publications" link at the top of the Home page. 


Group Sharing Agreement

This arrangement includes 7 local u3as, namely Broxbourne, Buntingford, CheshuntHertford, Waltham Abbey, Ware, and Lea Valley.

The idea behind this is that where any of the other 6 
u3as have groups that are keen to increase their numbers, they can open the group to members of LVU3A, and you will be allowed to attend those groups without having to join the other u3a. Conversely, where we have groups that are struggling with low numbers, they can participate and open themselves up to members of the other 6 u3as.

It is very important to note is that members of our 
u3a can’t just see a group in another u3a newsletter and go along and join it. Only those groups which are struggling to be viable and which have agreed to open up to members from other participating u3as can be approached. 

1) Broxbourne
Please click on the link to go to the relevant page on Broxbourne 
u3a's Group Sharing page on their website:


2) Buntingford
Please click on the link to go to the relevant page on Buntingford u3a's Group Sharing page on their website:

Please note this link is currently in draft form awaiting updating, and does NOT show the Buntingford groups that are in this scheme:


3) Cheshunt
Please click on the link to go to the relevant page on Cheshunt u3a's Group Sharing page on their website:


4) Hertford & District
Please click on the link to go to the relevant page on Hertford & District u3a's Group Sharing page on their website:


5) Waltham Abbey
Please click on the link to go to the relevant page on Waltham Abbey u3a's Group Sharing page on their website:


6) Ware
Please click on the link to go to the relevant page on Ware u3a's Group Sharing page on their website:


The groups at Lea Valley U3A which have agreed to open up their groups to the other u3a's in this arrangement (as at March 2022) can be found by opening this link:

LVu3a Group Sharing

If you have a query about the scheme, please contact me.

Glynis Evans, Chair

Lea Valley u3a's Constitution

Under the recommendation of the Third Age Trust, many u3as amended their constitutions to facilitate new methods of voting and holding AGM's and SGM's (Special General Meetings) etc both during and after the pandemic, to ensure that they could operated legally without breaking any of their own 'rules'. Lea Valley u3a's constitution was updated in August 2021. It can be viewed by clicking on the link below:-


Lea Valley u3a's Privacy Policy

Lea Valley u3a treats members' privacy rights seriously.  The policy document in the link below sets out how we will deal with your ‘personal information’, that is information that could identify, or is related to the identity of, any Lea Valley u3a individual member.


Disputes (Complaints, Discipline and Grievances)

The u3a Central Office (ot Third Age Trust) provides guidance to branches should disputes occur. There are three documents published which give procedural guidance covering ‘Complaints’, ‘Disciplinary’, and ‘Grievance’. These were reviewed and updated in 2022 to align with u3as latest guidance.

You can view these by clicking on the links below:-

Complaints Procedure

Disciplinary Procedure

Grievance Procedure


Can you spare an hour or two a week to listen to children read in a local primary school? Schoolreaders is looking for more volunteers in Hertfordshire to carry out this important role. Reading time for many children at home and at school is often insufficient and one in four children are now leaving primary school unable to read to the required standard.

Please visit the website www.schoolreaders.org to join or call 01234 924111 for further information, or click on this link:


Broxbourne Arts Forum ("BArts")

Lea Valley u3a is affiliated to BArts, and one of our members is present at a table in the bar area at all monthly meetings, with leaflets and information.

BArts offers activities and events which are not usually provided by the Borough of Broxbourne's Leisure and Entertainments programme.

It also represents the arts interests of individuals and member groups and negotiates with the Borough, so that the arts community may enjoy greater recognition and leisure facilities on a par with the provision for sports.

For more information either come to the table at our main meetings or visit the BArts website at:


On the website you will find current and previous editions of the "Broadsheet" which contains information on all forthcoming events.

Lea Valley Discussion Group

This local society, founded in 1976, meets on Monday evenings usually twice a month at the Methodist Church Hall, Middlefield Road, Hoddesdon.

For more information and contact details please click on the link below:

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