Andover U3A

The Grapevine

As at 10 September 2020


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
Article Notes
Do you require any assistance, if on your own or isolated? Test Valley Community Support.
UK Government Coronavirus Outbreak Support and Guidance Support and Guidance plus FAQs on what you can, and cannot, do.
Dealing with Suspicious Emails, Phone Calls and Text Messages Where to find advice and guidance.
Neighbourcare Bookshop Reopening Information.
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.
U3A South East Region Newsletter News and Ideas.
Coronavirus Resource Page Useful Coronavirus-related information including a Boredom Busting section from Connect To Support Hampshire.
Coronavirus Scams Where to find advice about scams linked to Coronavirus.
TV Licence Email Scams Advice related to TV Licence Renewal scams.
Hampshire Hospitals Befriending Service Request for volunteers in the Andover area.
Schoolreaders Request for volunteers to help children read.
Using Smart Devices in Your Home
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.

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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, Support and FAQs

The latest UK Government Coronavirus-related Guidance and Support can be found at

The Government has also produced a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) detailing what you can and cannot do, and these can be found by clicking here.

The Government has produced further Guidance on Meeting People From Outside Your Household which can be found at 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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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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Neighbourcare Bookshop

NeighbourcareReopening Notice
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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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South East Region U3A Newsletter

The Andover U3A is one of approximately 180 U3As that sit within the area covered by the U3A South East Region.

As well as publishing Ideas for things to do whilst in Isolation, South East Region have also recently published a "Catch Up" Newsletter which members may find of interest.

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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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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 advice about Coronavirus (Covid-19) linked scams, which is 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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Hampshire Hospitals Befriending Service

Request for Volunteers in the Andover Area

Befriending Poster

Caroline Nash manages a Befriending Service for the Hampshire Hospitals Palliative Care Team. Volunteers from the Befriending Service visit people in the local community who are suffering from a life limiting or chronic illness and are lonely or isolated.

Further information can be found in the sample letter below.

Caroline is looking for more volunteers in the Andover area: if you are interested, please contact Caroline by emailing her at

Befriending Info page 1 Befirending Imfo page 2
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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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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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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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Andover Library

Facilities and Events

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

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.

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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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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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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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