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Lockdown - help and ideas

September 2021 - this page is no longer regularly updated. However many of the sites are still providing interesting activities.

Physical separation means most of our normal u3a activities have had to be cancelled at least for some months. That does not mean we have to be socially, mentally or creatively ‘cancelled’. It could be the key to our survival that we find ways of staying active and in touch.

We have found, with thanks to Bristol u3a and u3a South East Region,  a very large number of websites with interesting resources to keep your brains active and stimulated as well as an enormous amount of free online entertainment.

Let us know if you have anything you think could be included. These pages are a work in progress - we now have so much information we have divided it onto separate linked pages, dividing it into interest areas.

Lockdown - help and ideas

All text in blue are clickable links.


Recent additions

New Arts performances 

Click HERE for a fascinating range of drama, dance and music performances from the USA - thanks to Skylar for the recommendation

U3A National Online Events 


Learning Events - regularly updated on 

Our relationship with leading organisations, built up over many years, has meant we are in a position to offer selected national events online ensuring that learning is still available to our U3As and their members. This includes events with the National Gallery, Royal Institution, Guildhall Art Gallery, and the British Library (for which there may be a charge).  

We are also offering a number of workshops, webinars and interactive sessions delivered by members for members, which are free to join. These are in high demand and spaces are limited, particularly for those with an interactive element. At the time of booking please ensure that you are committed to attending to avoid other members missing out on places. If you are unable to attend, please cancel your place through Eventbrite. 

To see details of all these events visit u3a on-line events by clicking  HERE

You may need to go through the process of setting up an account but it is very simple to do. 


Many online events are being delivered via the Zoom video conferencing/webinar platform. We have some 'How to Guides' and are offering 'Online Tutorials for using Zoom that may assist you if you are not familiar with this tool.

Keeping groups active

Are you interested in exploring how your group can keep in contact and still enjoy learning together? Several groups have begun to use the online videoconferencing tool called Zoom and we have put together this list of resources to help you get going.

Additional resources

u3a national office are regularly running online tutorials on a range of topics included using Zoom to run u3a groups.  They fill up very quickly but a new sets of dates will appear. Click HERE to link to the page of their website. You may need to log into the members' section but that is very simple to do.

Zoom help centre – click here

For a description of the way that Zoom can work for u3a groups and advice from the experience from the last few weeks of using it compiled by Charles Symons click here for a PDF document.

If you get stuck and would like some help, contact Charles and his team on


Mirthy is an online platform for professional public speakers, often retirees themselves, to provide online talks to older adults in the comfort of their homes.

The free talks are available every Thursday morning at 11am. recent talks have included My Favourite Poisons, Big Ben, and, A Small Slice of the Big Apple. The talks last about 40 mins and are followed by interactive Q&A sessions. To find out more and to register for talks, click here.

Greysnet was created as a dedicated space for older people online. It’s a place where people at all stages of greyness (even those who dye their hair) can read, chat and find out about things that interest them.
See the greysnet website


The Wildlife Trusts across the country have webcams on a range of wild animals.

Active Surrey has a host of ideas for staying active during lockdown and several links to exercises for those with medical conditions

Contacts service

Do you want to contact a u3a member but don't have their email or phone number?
If so we can help. To set the ball rolling email or phone Heather Phipps on 01737 929003. You will need to give the name of the person you want to contact and permission to pass on your contact details to them. We will pass on your email address or phone number and they will be able to contact you.


Support from Reigate and Banstead Borough Council

Reigate and Banstead Council have set up advice systems during the Coronavirus crisis. Click here to find the details.

If you are unable to find the help you are looking for online and have an urgent need or concern for you or a relative that is self-isolating and living in the borough, please phone:
01737 276000

The lines are open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. The Council has a dedicated team of advisers who can direct you to sources of help or organise assistance from the team of support workers and trained volunteers.

Please pass this information to any members that you know who do not access the internet.


Learn to Relax
Jane Hutchinson, who is Group leader of our Learn to Relax group, has produced a list of reliable websites with ideas to help with mental wellbeing and also a video of age appropriate exercises to do at home.
Click here for Jane's list and exercises in PDF format.


Read and subscribe to the National u3a Newsletter


U3A Quiz

Every week there will be a quiz on the national u3a website with answers the following week. Take a look....

Keep Fit 

Before you get settled onto the computer how about a bit of gentle (or not so gentle) exercise? By now we have probably all heard of Joe Wicks who has been doing daily online PE sessions for the nation's children. He has a couple of 10 minute sessions specifically for older people but there are workouts for all fitness levels. All free of charge.

u3a's first fitness video with @MrMotivator is out! Find it here on YouTube

Active Surrey has a host of ideas for staying active during lockdown and several links to exercises for those with medical conditions


This link is amazing – a lady called Claire Ryan has compiled an incredibly long and detailed list of links to all sorts of resources including virtual tours; free online study courses in a range of subjects; geography, history, music, literature; teach yourself videos in a range of subjects; entertainment….. as well as links to resources aiming to help us maintain our mental health at this difficult time. Claire works for the NHS, with children and young people with ADHD but most of these links are of interest to everyone of all ages. Do check them out. 

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