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South Holland community groups impacted by Lockdown 2

Lockdown 2 has meant community groups and venues have yet again had to adapt to the way they work or put their activities on hold.

Publicity officer for the Spalding and district branch of the U3A (University of the Third Age), Steve Field, said: “We had been talking about how to get back and recruit new members when the second lockdown hit. On the first lockdown everything sort of seized up, but what we did was have a lot of Zoom meetings.”

He added: “Wherever possible, group meetings have continued meeting in the summer in the gardens of members’ homes and in public places, always keeping to Government and U3A national office guidelines. It has been the groups that cannot socially distance, i.e. cribbage, mahjong (a tile-based game), poker, and visits to outside venues which are either closed or have number restrictions.”

The Spalding and district U3A committee pictured last April. The group has 330 members and 35 interest groups.
The Spalding and district U3A committee pictured last April. The group has 330 members and 35 interest groups.

Zoom meetings have been held where face-to-face is not possible and Steve said it has been wonderful to see how many members embrace this ‘new way of keeping in touch.’ Those who are not using Zoom or emails receive regular phone calls and mailings.

“We are still ‘open for business’ and would welcome new people, who are invited to attend regular get-togethers, which up until this recent lockdown, were informally held at a local café,” he added.

For more information, people can contact the committee via: u3asites.org.uk/spalding, or call Steve on 01775 760632.

Events and activities held at the Elizabethan Centre Social Club in Whaplode Drove have also been affected by the second lockdown. Vice- chair of the social club, Dave Barfoot, said: “It will affect people’s morale. I do think it will affect people if they can’t get out. The badminton club and the football have also had to stop.”

At Gosberton Public Hall, trustee Rona Perry said that they tried to keep the social book club running after the first lockdown lifted but found it difficult with the rule of six.

She added: “We normally hold a bingo and quiz to raise money for the hall.

“We can have about 60-70 people turn up, but with the two metre distancing we can’t do that.

“It is just a shame. The fitness classes and martial arts have also had to stop.”

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