Lea Valley u3a


The Virtual U3A

The Virtual U3A (vU3a), which went live in January 2009, is an online-only U3A experience for those who are rendered isolated in some way by circumstances or geography and unable to play a full part in a terrestrial U3A. More information is available on the public website where one can also apply for membership.
Why not pay it a visit?

Virtual U3A Website

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


RECRUITMENT EVENT - 25th & 26th April

As you know we are always keen to "spread the word" about our u3a, and encourage other people to find out the benefits of becoming members.  We have been able to secure a spot in Morrisons in Hoddesdon on the above two days to set up a stand  where we can promote ourselves.

Please come along and join us to support and promote your u3a. We are looking for volunteers throughout the two days. If you are able to spare an hour or two, please let Lesley Robinson, our Secretary, or any member of the committee know.

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:




There will be a ZOOM presentation on Tuesday 7th MAY 2024 FROM 10am to 12pm - OPEN TO ALL U3A MEMBERS.  These presentations are held monthly on the first Tuesday of the month as part of the Trust Learning Programme - admission free. 

You will need to pre-register to access the presentation. Full details are on the attached poster:




From February 2024, you will be able to enjoy a sandwich with a cup of tea or coffee before the meeting. There will only be a limited number of sandwiches on sale, so be quick. Choose between Egg Mayo, Tuna Mayo or Ham and Cheese.



Remember that as u3a members you can join a wide range of ONLINE talks, workshops and courses for free with your membership via the main website at:

Most of these opportunities are presented by members themselves; sharing their knowledge or skills with others across the movement. There is also a wide range of talks on offer from well-known speakers and organisations, plus in-person events at venues like the Royal Institution.
All events are on the u3a website under Events and can be booked via Eventbrite:-

All events are for u3a members only.


The u3a Friends Newsletter shares news from u3as, national learning opportunities and access to u3a Friends Extra, a wide range of offers, discounts and services. Sign up on the u3a website:          



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!

In preparing to write this month’s Chair’s Corner, I looked back at what I had written in March 2022 and 2023. I found it very good to reflect on what we were doing back then and it reminded me of some of the wonderful speakers we have had in the past and I am glad to say that in the main we have continued to have some really excellent speakers.

As well as a fascination main meeting last month which featured stunning photographs of the wildlife of Brazil, I was delighted that we had our second Interest Afternoon presented by one of our own members. We heard a very engaging account of John Ambridge’s experiences “While On Active Service”. This came after Martin Benson’s talk in January and another of our members, David Pracy, will be presenting the November Interest Afternoon later in the year. Do you have something you could tell us all about?

There is no Interest Afternoon this month as we have our Quiz on Monday 29 April – have you bought your ticket yet? Don’t worry if you are not a member of a team, we can sort that out on the day. So that we can set up the hall and cater appropriately, as usual quiz tickets must be purchased (or reserved) in advance, they will not be available on the door.

Our next Interest Afternoon is on Friday 17th May, and we have a speaker from Barclays Bank and a Cyber Protect & Prevent Officer from Hertfordshire Police giving a talk on how to avoid being scammed

Our next main meeting is on Monday 8th April. Mel Rees will be returning although this will be his last visit to us as he is giving up talks at the end of April. Appropriately enough, his talk is entitled "The Last Hurrah".

I hope you have already renewed your membership for 2024. If not, you can do this at our main meeting. You can avoid any queue however, by doing this through our website or by contacting Sara Pracy, our Membership Secretary.

I hope to see as many of you as possible at our Spotlight on 8th April and/or at our Quiz on 29th April.

Glynis Evans, Chair

Glynis Evans

Learn                 Laugh                 Live


 Monday 29th April  -  LVU3A Fun Quiz - Parish Centre, St Augustine's Church. See details below

 Monday 13th May 2024, Main Meeting -  Speaker - Paul Giddons - "The RNLI; 200 years of saving lives at sea".  Their history, organisation and day-to-day operations. Illustrated with filmed footage of actual rescues, and the stories that go with them.

 Friday 17th May 2024, Interest Afternoon (Barclay Hall - 2pm. Tickets 3)  -  Speakers -  Natasha from Barclays Bank and a Police Officer. "How to avoid Digital Fraud Scams".  Essential advice to keep you and your money safe.

 Friday 7th June 2024, Interest Afternoon (Barclay Hall - 2pm Tickets 3 -  Speaker -  Stuart Short, Cedars Park Ranger, plus animals! 

6. Monday 10th June,  Main Meeting -  Speaker - Paul Barwick "The Legend of the White Mouse ; The Nancy Wake story". True story of an American WW2 spy.

 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".

12. 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.

13. 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.

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



The next quiz will be held on the above date at our usual venue, namely the Parish Centre at St Augustine's Church, Broxbourne. Tickets went on sale from our February main meeting onwards.

Ticket prices remain at 2 for LVU3A members, and 2.50 for non-members, which includes tea and cake. So that we can set up the hall and cater appropriately, as usual quiz tickets must be purchased (or reserved) in advance, they will not be available on the door.


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:-


We receive "Regional News Bulletins" which contain details of this month’s events and presentations both regionally and nationally. The latest edition can be viewed by clicking on this link:-


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


Need help with your Computer, iPad etc?

Alan Paul is the webmaster at Ravenshead u3a, in Nottinghamshire.

He has produced a set of excellent ‘Computing Guides’ which he is happy to share via our website. These cover a broad spectrum of subjects including using iPads and Samsung tablets, Emails, Excel (spreadsheets), using Google, explanation of ‘Cloud’ storage, copying CD’s, address labels, managing photos etc.

At the bottom of his page he says that if you do not find what you want send him an email via that page and he will try to help.

You may be able to go straight to his page by clicking on the link below; failing this you can either copy and paste the line into the address bar at the top of your internet page, or type it in :-



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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