Andover U3A

The Grapevine

As at 12 November 2019


This page contains information about external news articles and events, or promotional material. These are not directly related to the Andover U3A, but may be of interest to Andover U3A members.

If you have some news that you would like to share with members of the Andover U3A, please submit details to our Newsletter Editor for consideration, email

Image by John Tenniel - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Public Domain, courtesy of Wikimedia

Index to Grapevine Articles

Scroll down to view all articles

Jump to a specific article by clicking or touching its name in the list
Article Notes
"Make We Joy..." A Christmas Carol Concert from The Harmonium Singers Saturday 14 December 2019.

Proceeds to be donated to Cruse Bereavement Care.
Test Valley Monologue Competition The closing date for submissions is 31 March 2020.
Schoolreaders Request for volunteers to help children read.
Using Smart Devices in Your Home
The Subjective Cognitive Decline and Psychological Flexibility Survey
See Around Britain - Volunteering Opportunities
Eye Health Care and Sight Loss Prevention
Andover Library - Facilities and Events
Adult Health and Care in Hampshire and Wiltshire
Useful Information about Fraud and Scams
Valley Leisure Includes details about Riverside Bowl and the "I Can" Therapy Centre.

Promotional Material

Make We Joy...

~ A Christmas Carol Concert from The Harmonium Singers ~

St Mary’s Church, Andover

Saturday 14 December 2019 at 7.30 pm

Harmonium Singers Concert

This year’s Christmas carol concert from The Harmonium Singers, entitled ‘Make we joy...’, is once again set to raise the roof at St Mary’s Church, Andover. The much-anticipated event is always an attractive mix of old and new carol arrangements, along with traditional favourites for all to sing.

As well as good representation from carol kings Rutter and Willcocks, there is music by Walton and Howells, together with the ancient echoes of Palestrina and Victoria and well known carols that no Christmas could be without.

The singers are joined this year by baritone and cello soloists and a professional organist. All will come together in ‘Fantasia on Christmas Carols’ by Ralph Vaughan Williams. The single-movement work consists of a medley of English folk-carols collected in southern England by Vaughan Williams and his friend Cecil Sharp. These are interposed with instrumental quotations from other carols.

The concert starts at 7.30pm on Saturday 14 December. Tickets are £12 at the door or £10 in advance from The Lights, Newbury Building Society or choir members. Under-14s are admitted free of charge.

This year the proceeds will go to the local branch of Cruse Bereavement Care, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary. Cruse offers support, advice and information to children, young people and adults when someone dies.

Promotional Material

Promotional Material

Test Valley Monologue Competition


Would You Like To See Your Work Performed By A Professional Actor?

All you have to do is to write a short monologue (1000 to 1700 words) inspired by the Test Valley. Your inspiration could be a place, a personal memory, a historical incident, or a historical figure - with a Test Valley connection.

The best six monologues will receive a "script-in-hand" reading by professional actors from the Salisbury Fringe, at Andover's The Lights on 26 June 2020.

The competition Judge is Penny Gold. In the course of her career, Penny has been Assistant Director at The Royal Shakespeare Company, Head of Radio 4 Drama, and Literary Manager at the Nuffield Theatre.

This competition is open to Test Valley writers:   a Test Valley writer is defined as someone who lives or works in the Test Valley local authority area, or is a Hampshire resident with a connection to the Test Valley.

And A Free Workshop...

We are offering a free three-hour Monologue Writing workshop run by award-winning drama writing tutor Angela Street, Angie's workshops are both informative and fun. The workshop will be held at the Andover Museum on 15th January 2020, at 10.15 am. Numbers are limited to 15.  To book a place, register here.

How Do I Enter The Competition?

Go to the Test Valley 2020 Borough of Culture website for helpful advice, competition rules, and information on how to submit your entry.

And Finally, The Closing Date...

The closing date for submissions is 31 March 2020.

Promotional Material

Promotional Material


Request for Volunteers to Help Children Read

Many children are leaving primary school unable to read as well as they should, which then leads to difficulties when they start their secondary education.

One reason why some children are falling behind with their reading is that they do not have the opportunity to read to an adult on a one-to-one basis.

The charity Schoolreaders helps to address this by recruiting volunteers to listen to children read in primary schools.

There are currently 55 primary schools across Hampshire that have identified a need for volunteers:   would you be able to help? If so, please go to the Schoolreaders website for further details.

Promotional Material

Promotional Material

Using Smart Devices in Your Home

Smart devices are everyday items that connect to the Internet, for example there are computers, laptops, smartphones, smart TVs, smart home hubs, speakers, fitness trackers, door bells, room thermostats, cameras, even toothbrushes!

Whilst these gadgets are a useful aid, they do need to be set up securely, and users need to be aware that their device might be "listening in" to private conversations.

How to Use Smart Devices Safely

In order to help users set up their Smart device securely, the Government's Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has issued on-line guidance entitled Smart devices: using them safely in your home which can be found by following this link.

Is Your Smart Device Listening In?

Some Smart devices have voice control, in other words you say a particular word or phrase and the device responds. These devices need to be in listening mode so that they can react when you say that particular word or phrase, however there have been well-publicised cases where such devices have also recorded private conversations that have been passed back to the manufacturer.

The Consumer organisation Which? has issued some advice on how to discover what your smart home hub has recorded and how to delete it. This advice can be found here on the Which? website.

Promotional Material

Promotional Material

Are you aged 60 years or over?

Do you think you are having difficulties with your memory and / or attention?

If you have discussed a memory or attention problem with your GP or Memory Clinic and have been told that there is nothing wrong with your memory, then researchers at University College London (UCL) would really like to hear from you.

Researchers in the Division of Psychiatry at University College London have developed an online survey - The Subjective Cognitive Decline and Psychological Flexibility Survey - that will ask you a series of questions about your difficulties with your memory and / or attention, your mood, your satisfaction with life and various other psychological factors. This should take approximately 30-40 minutes to complete.

If you are interested in taking part then please go to the Survey website. Here you will find an Information Sheet giving further details along with a link to the Survey itself.

If you complete the Survey, you will be invited to enter into a draw for one of eight Love2Shop vouchers worth £50 each.

Promotional Material

Promotional Material

Registered Charity No. 1162172

Volunteering Opportunities

See Around Britain is a registered charity which has set up a website, with the intention to provide photographic and detailed written information regarding a large variety of public venues throughout the UK.

The information they provide gives a brief description, along with contact details, transport information and accessibility information so that potential visitors, including those with disabilities, can decide whether or not a venue is suitable for their particular needs.

The charity currently has several exciting volunteering opportunities available and feels they could be of potential interest to our members.

In particular, they are looking for volunteers to write venue descriptions to accompany the backlog of photographs of various venues and/or submit photos or videos of new venues themselves, all of which can be done from home and online via their website.

There are online video tutorials available to help volunteers, but they can also provide additional support via email if needed.

If you feel this would be of interest, you can register your interest and join directly via the website’s volunteer section at the bottom of their "About Us" page found at

Alternatively, if you have any further questions you can contact them via email on and someone from their team will be happy to help and answer any queries that you may have.

Promotional Material

Promotional Material

Eye Health Care and Sight Loss Prevention

Open Sight is a Hampshire-based Charity that provides a range of support services aimed at helping visually impaired people adapt and manage their lives.

Further details about the organisation can be found on the Open Sight website. Simple advice on ways to maintain eye health can be found in this Open Sight leaflet.

Promotional Material

Promotional Material

Andover Library

Facilities and Events

Sited in the Chantry Centre, the Andover Library offers facilities that may be of interest to U3A members.

Small Meeting Rooms

Two small meeting rooms - the Danebury Meeting Room and the Rooksbury Meeting Room - are available within Andover Library;   a small charge is made for their use.

Computers for Use by Library Card Holders

There are 12 computers available within Andover Library, for use by Library Card Holders. Further details are available from the library or by clicking / touching here.


Regular events are being held at Andover Library that may be of interest to Andover U3A members. These include talks, training courses and craft workshops. A small charge is made for some events, others are free. Further details of events at Hampshire Libraries can be found by clicking / touching here.

Further Information

Further information about Andover Library can be obtained by either visiting the Library or by clicking / touching here.

Promotional Material

Promotional Material

Adult Health and Care

Manage your Care and Wellbeing | Stay Independent | Connect to your Community


Hampshire County Council are providing an online information and advice guide, along with a directory of services, called Connect To Support Hampshire.

The aim is to provide information, advice and services that will enable adult residents in Hampshire to manage their own care and wellbeing. You can find out about local groups, activities and services within your community.

The website is easy to use and can be found at


Wiltshire Country Council provide a similar service, and their website can be found at

Promotional Material

Promotional Material

Useful Information about Fraud and Scams

Action Fraud

Action Fraud is the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime where you should report fraud if you have been scammed, defrauded or experienced cyber crime in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The service is run by the City of London Police working alongside the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) who are responsible for assessment of the reports and to ensure that your fraud reports reach the right place. The City of London Police is the national policing lead for economic crime.

Further information about different types of fraud can be found on the Action Fraud website.

HMRC Scams

There has been an increase in people receiving automated phone calls claiming to be from HMRC, that threaten the recipient with legal action. These calls are scams.

Suspicious emails and details of suspicious phone calls should be sent to HMRC’s phishing team, by emailing Forward suspicious text messages to 60599 (text messages will be charged at your network rate).

Further information on reporting HMRC scams can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Doorstep Crime, Scams and Other Issues - Information Sources

Hampshire More information can be found in the Trading Standards area of the Hampshire County Council website.

Wiltshire More information can also be found in the Trading Standards area of the Wiltshire County Council website.

Reporting Trader Scams If you think a company has broken the law or acted unfairly, you might be able to report them to Trading Standards.   Citizens Advice will assist with reporting trader scams to Trading Standards and can be contacted by telephoning 03454 04 05 06, or see the Citizens Advice website for more details.

Friends Against Scams This is a national campaign against scams. Further information can be found on the Friends Against Scams website.

Promotional Material

Promotional Material

Valley Leisure

(Registered Charity no. 800760)

Valley Leisure is a Charity that has been a part of Andover and the surrounding area for many years. Last year the company made a number of changes to its business, and has re-invented itself to focus on the areas that are at the heart of the Valley Leisure ethos.

Valley Leisure can now offer the following, which may be of interest to U3A members:

Riverside Bowl, which offers:

Ten Pin Bowling, including Bowling Goldies and Riverside get-together sessions on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, which many members will be familiar with;

Glo-Golf - Indoor 9 hole "crazy golf", popular with all age groups.

The "I Can" Therapy Centre which offers a unique and bespoke power-assisted exercise facility, aiming to enable everyone, irrespective of age, mobility or health, to move and feel better. There is a support system in place, including a Physiotherapist, a Centre Co-ordinator and a team of volunteers: the "I Can" Activity Buddies.

There are also community outreach classes such as Steady and Strong, Zumba Gold and Choga, which some members might be interested in.

Further information can be found on the following websites:

Valley Leisure

Riverside Bowl

"I Can" Therapy Centre

Promotional Material