Social distancing doesn’t mean we can’t still be sociable. This is where you will find how many of our groups are keeping in touch. Some are using Zoom to hold regular meetings while others stay in contact through WhatsApp groups. Below are the initiatives that convenors have told us about and it can be updated any time by emailing Sue, Groups Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Convenors can also share ideas directly with each other and their personal contact details are in our Timetable of Interest Groups (Newsletters page).
The group plans to meet every Tuesday, 10:30am, via Zoom. Subject leader Elaine Foakes will run it. Eleven people are signed up.
This group is keeping its format of each preparing two pieces for conversation, but the ‘conversation’ is written and takes place by email.
Following a trial run in April, members are holding virtual meetings on Zoom on the first and third Thursday at 10.30am. They also use the ‘share screen’ function on Zoom to read through interesting articles in French.
This group now meets on Zoom on the second and fourth Tuesday at 2pm. The group is a large one so if a lot of members join a meeting, it would be possible to move people into sub-groups (convenor Pauline is working out how!).
The group is Zooming and says it works well. Convenor Pat has been able to increase meetings to weekly because members are not travelling. Sessions are shorter, which aids recall for the next meeting!
The group has set up a conversation ‘tree’ so that once a fortnight each member has a one-to-one on the phone. it is proving popular. Member Pauline said: “I spoke more German in one morning than I’ve managed in any number of actual German meetings!
Convenor Adele sends a weekly newsletter with links to relevant ‘stuff’. She is encouraging the group, and anyone who fancies a sing, to join the daily Rock Choir session at facebook.com/therockchoir. Also sends a backing track and lyrics of a song already learned, plus a quiz or interactive link.
The Windsor pub meeting is replaced by a click-on-the-link gathering. Frank Tarrant puts together a short selection of jazz from YouTube. Members should click on at 11 am on the second Friday, if possible. Feedback wanted.
Now meeting every week using Zoom to keep playing together (challenging but fun!). There is also a music teacher joining the session once a month. Members are using WhatsApp to keep connected.
Six members so far play together online. Convenor Carol plans to use WhatsApp for video link, so play your cards close to your chest! She says: “The only negative is we’re not able to share a cup of tea, and we’re definitely missing the biscuits.”
Convenor Joan has booked regular meetings on Zoom, but is aware it doesn’t suit all members. Initially, each submitted book reviews to the entire group, but the lack of personal contact made it unsatisfactory. Joan maintains phone and email contact.
This book group keeps in contact through emails and phone. Members sent feedback on March’s reading material by email but this month (April) they will add the video-conferencing app Zoom to the mix.
Members are keeping in touch through email and have discovered they are doing similar things…clearing cupboards, extra gardening, reviving old hobbies, realising the importance of daily exercise, whether via the web or outside.
Explorers’ are now confined to trekking from their living rooms: they will receive a fortnightly newsletter to keep members in touch. A regular quiz about London is planned, crosswords; paintings; sculptures; anagrams. Convenor Maureen would welcome ideas and contributions.
Subject leader Nino has sent this 28-strong group, launched only in February, a long list of online reading material and videos.
The group circulates articles and pictures to discuss. Also six of the 12 members met on Zoom and say it was worth it to have the contact. Likely to continue regular sessions, but not following planned programme because of much else to discuss with the Covid-19 effect.
All eight members are meeting on Facebook and have invited members of the other three Windsor Current Affairs groups to join them. The group will stay in touch and share articles, videos and views.
After two Zoom meetings the group is trialling a weekly virtual get-together. One member is finding the technology difficult and as convenor Roger says, it’s difficult to explain what to do by phone or even email.
The History of Design group’s August garden meeting resembled the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow. Each member took a personal item that represented a design period up to the Second World War and spoke about its significance in their life.
Treasures included a painting by a family member who was a well-known female artist, an Art Deco bronze figure, a copy of the radio stations on the “dial” of an old radiogram plus other important artefacts signifying the progress of communications. One member wore a piece of jewellery designed by the Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh and another brought a model tortoise. It was a souvenir from Florence where, in 1537, the ruler Cosimo Medici created a symbol of his favourite motto, “Hasten Slowly”. It was a tortoise with a wind-filled sail on his back, depicting the balance between speed and patience, and there are 100 depictions in the medieval Palazzo Vecchio.
The Economics Group has joined the happy band of ‘Zoomers’ and meets on the second Thursday under convenor Peter Todd. The news is dominated by Covid-19 issues that impact on the economy, presenting the group with plenty to discuss about economic choices and constraints, although we do look further afield than the pandemic.