Andover U3A

The Grapevine

As at 10 June 2021


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

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Jump to a specific article by clicking or touching its name in the list
Transfer of Patient Data to NHS Digital
Transfer of Patient Data to NHS Digital * New *

Details about the intended transfer of Patient Data from GPs to NHS Digital.

Also includes details of how to opt out.

If you wish to opt out, your Opt-Out must be registered before 23rd June 2021.
Andover's Climate Day of Action
Andover's Climate Day of Action * New *

Join Andover's Climate Day of Action, Friday June 25th 2021.
Third Age Trust
Member Link - A Third Age Trust Initiative Ideas for rebuilding the U3A community during 2021.
Barclays Digital Eagles Online Training for members in Internet Basics and other computer-related topics.
Do you require any assistance, if on your own or isolated? Test Valley Community Support.
UK Government Coronavirus Outbreak Guidance and Roadmap our of Lockdown Guidance post 17 May 2021, and the Roadmap out of Lockdown.
Coronavirus Resource Page Useful Coronavirus-related information including a Boredom Busting section from Connect To Support Hampshire.
Events and Activities
Mirthy's Festival of Belonging 2021 * New *

5 days of online events.

14th to 18th June 2021
Collecting for Hampshire County Council's Covid-19 Archives A chance to take part in recording history.
Dorset Arts and Crafts Association Online Arts and Crafts Activities.
Advice relating to Fraud and Scams
Dealing with Suspicious Emails, Phone Calls and Text Messages Where to find advice and guidance.
Coronavirus Scams Where to find advice about scams linked to Coronavirus.
TV Licence Email Scams Advice related to TV Licence Renewal scams.
Useful Information about Fraud and Scams
Volunteering Opportunities
SERV Wessex The SERV Wessex Blood Running team (who deliver essential blood and urgent medical supplies to Hampshire, Wiltshire and Dorset) need Riders, Drivers, Controllers, Fundraisers and General Administration volunteers.
Schoolreaders Request for volunteers to help children read.
See Around Britain - Volunteering Opportunities
Eye Health Care and Sight Loss Prevention
Adult Health and Care in Hampshire and Wiltshire
Valley Leisure Includes details about Riverside Bowl and the "I Can" Therapy Centre.
Using Smart Devices in Your Home

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Transfer of Patient Data from GPs to NHS Digital

Should you wish to opt out, then register your Opt-Out before 23rd June 2021

NHS Digital state on their website that patient data is already being collected from General Practices using a service called the General Practice Extraction Service (GPES), with this data being used to improve health and care services. The GPES system is however now over 10 years old, and needs to be replaced.

NHS Digital has engaged with doctors and patients, along with data and governance experts, to design a new and improved system, the aim of which is to collect data from General Practices. This is expected to reduce work for GPs so that they will have more time to focus on patient care. It also should show clearly how data is used to help patients feel confident and informed, and means that data is collected, stored and accessed in a secure and consistent way.

If your Surgery has not already contacted you about this, further information about the new service can be found on the NHS Digital Website at Details are also provided on that website of how to opt out of this data transfer should you not wish your data to be included in the transfer. If you wish to opt out, you will need to register your Opt-Out before 23rd June 2021.

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Andover's Climate Day of Action

Friday June 25th 2021

Climate Day of Action

Go to for more information about the Andover Climate Day of Action.

Promotional Material

Promotional Material

Barclays Digital Eagles

The Third Age Trust has teamed up with Barclays Digital Eagles to provide online training for U3A members.

The topics covered include Internet Basics, Digital Safety, Entertainment Online and, for those who would like to improve their skills further, An Introduction to Digital Wings.

Further information can be found on the Third Age Trust's website by clicking here. Once reaching that page, you will be able book a place on an event by clicking on the date / time of your choice.

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Do you require any assistance, if on your own or isolated?

Unity Community Support
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Coronavirus Outbreak

Government Guidance and Restrictions post 17 May 2021

To find out what the restrictions are, during this current period starting from 17 May 2021, go to this Government webpage.

The Government has produced further Guidance on how to stop the spread of Coronavirus by clicking here.

Details of the UK Government's future steps out of Lockdown can be found by clicking here.

Members are advised to re-check the Government's Guidance and FAQs on a regular basis as details may change as rules are refined.

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Connect To Support Hampshire

Coronavirus Resource Page

The Connect To Support Hampshire website has a Coronavirus Resource Page which might prove useful to members as it is designed to assist older and vulnerable Hampshire residents during the current pandemic.

The range of information available currently includes Government information, NHS advice, Who to contact for community help in Hampshire, Money worries, Resources for older people and those who are self-isolating, Mental health and wellbeing, Long term health conditions, Scams, false information and protecting adults at risk, Pets, Utility companies and household emergencies, Volunteering, and Boredom busting!

Note that the Boredom Busting! section includes links to sites from which you can download free audio and e-books, along with free plays from the National Theatre.

This very useful Resource page can be found here.

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Mirthy's Festival of Belonging

14th - 18th June 2021

Mirthy's Festival of Belonging 2021 will be taking place from the 14th to the 18th of June, providing 5 days of online events. The Festival is being held in support of the Marmalade Trust's Loneliness Awareness Week.

The events will be held via Zoom and attendance is free, with Mirthy stating on their website that all they ask is that attendees make a donation to the Marmalade Trust, the organisation that runs Loneliness Awareness Week.

Further information about the Festival of Belonging 2021, can be found here.

Further information about the Marmalade Trust, can be found here.

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Hampshire County Council

Collecting for the Covid-19 Archives

Hampshire County Council is inviting Hampshire residents to add stories, of their lives during this Covid-19 pandemic, to the archives held by Hampshire Archives and Local Studies and Wessex Film and Sound Archives.

Further information, and details of how to take part, can be found here.

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Dorset Arts and Crafts Association (DACA)

Online Arts and Crafts Activities

The Dorset Arts and Crafts Association have published a list of online lessons, activities and demonstrations which members may find of interest.

These can be found at

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Dealing with Suspicious Emails, Phone Calls and Text Messages

Anyone may receive a suspicious email, phone call or text message:   do you know how to spot them, or what to do if you have responded to a such a message?

The National Cyber Security Centre provides advice and guidance on these subjects, and this can be found at

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Coronavirus Scams

Hampshire County Council Trading Standards have found that fraudsters are exploiting the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation for their own gain, and are warning residents to stay especially alert to scams/fraud and doorstep callers.

Further information and advice can be found on on this page.

Friends Against Scams also provide Scam Awareness Sessions, details of which are available on their website.

Coronavirus Scam Advice
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Television Licence Scams

Recently there have been several reports of people receiving scam emails relating to the renewal of Television Licences.

Advice on how to identify such emails, and what to do if you have received one, can be found on the TV Licensing website.

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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.

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SERV Wessex Blood Running Team

Request for Volunteers

The SERV Wessex Blood Running team deliver essential blood and urgent medical supplies to Hampshire, Wiltshire and Dorset, with "SERV" standing for "Service by Emergency Rider Volunteers". They need Riders, Drivers, Controllers, Fundraisers and General Administration volunteers.

Further details about SERV Wessex can be found on the SERV Wessex website, including details of volunteering opportunities and how to support the Charity through donations.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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