Community Information

Briony Maw’s Research into Mood and its Impact on the Immune System

December 2017 Newsletter

Briony approached a number of U3A groups in order to recruit 100 participants to carry out research on mood and health in the 65 and older age group. She has sent thanks to all those who participated:

“I wanted to express my thanks to all who have been involved and let you know that I successfully reached my target of recruiting 100 participants. I was also awarded a distinction level grade for my work, which means I will be graduating in December with an overall distinction. I have also recently begun working as a statistical analyst for the civil service in Leeds. Without your continued interest and support with this project none of this would have been possible. I owe you a tremendous debt of thanks!”

The background to the project was to investigate why flu vaccinations in adults over 65 are much less effective compared with younger adults. It has been shown that mood on the day of vaccination was more powerful than exercise and diet, and if mood could be improved, the effectiveness of the vaccination would improve.

A video was shown to 66 participants which was designed to make people laugh. A neutral video was shown to the other 34. Mood was examined before and after being shown the video. Feedback was obtained from the participants which will help the researchers to refine the process. We may ultimately all be able to view a comedy video prior to vaccinations in the future, which could help the effectiveness of the vaccination. Apparently it was the two Ronnies sketch involving O’s and four candles. Who wouldn’t find that funny?

The Little Book of Big Scams

U3A National office have advised us that the Metropolitan Police have produced an excellent publication entitled “The Little Book of Big Scams” with a view to raising awareness of the scams currently operating in the UK and covering easy steps which you can take to protect yourselves.  A copy can be downloaded by going to  or members can contact the Metropolitan Police on 02072301228 or email

Information From The Neighbourhood Policing Team

Did you know that you can sign up for to a Broxtowe Community Newsletter and receive regular information from the Neighbourhood Policing Team about issues which affect the local community, such as burglaries in the area, scams that are being operated locally. You can sign up to receive the newsletter by emailing:

Interested in Conservation Work?

Attenborough Flyer

Please Don’t Forget The CRMC Food Bank Appeal This Christmas 

If you would like to donate food items for those in need, the shopping list made available to the Church congregation is: Milk (UHT or powdered), Sugar, Fruit juice (carton), Soup, Pasta Sauces, Sponge Puddings (tinned), Baked Beans/Tinned Spaghetti/Macaroni. Cereals, Rice Pudding (tinned) Tea Bags, Instant Coffee, Instant Mashed Potato, Rice/Pasta, Tinned meat/fish, Tinned fruit and Vegetables, Jam, Biscuits or Snack Bars. If you require any further information about this scheme, Karen Jowitt, the church administrator can be reached on 0115 9431164 or

Be Seen and be Safe – A plea from the Ed!

The clocks have gone back, Christmas is knocking on the door, the nights are dark and the winter weather is upon us.  When I am out driving at dusk or evening, I am horrified by pedestrians and cyclists popping up out of nowhere.  So often, cyclists have no lights and everyone is wrapped up in their winter clothing which is invariably dark in colour.    Fluorescent material works outdoors in the daylight and is essential in poor daylight or dusk. It reacts to the ultra-violet rays in sunlight, which make it glare. Fluorescent materials usually come in orange yellow or lime green.  Reflective materials work only at night and reflect the light straight back to the driver. Thousands of tiny beads in the material act like cats eyes on the road.  To be totally safe, consider clothing items which combine elements of both fluorescent and reflective material. They enable you to be seen all around the clock. Remember – fluorescent for day, reflective for night. Knowing the difference could be a matter of life or death.  If your sense of the sartorial fights against reflective clothing, wear something white – A Scarf, A Handbag, a Hat – Just Be Visible

How musical activities might help with the development of listening skill.

Kathryn Yates, PhD student, MRC Institute of Hearing Research, Nottingham Clinical Section, Eye, Ear, Nose & Throat Centre, Queen’s Medical Centre writes:

I am running a research study that includes a course of music workshops for participants aged 55-70. Both of my parents are enthusiastic members of U3A in Kent, and they suggested that it would be a good place to find people who might be interested in taking part.

My research is about how musical activities might help with the development of listening skills, and I am currently looking for people who would like to take part in a series of music workshops. The workshops will focus on experiencing music through movement (but they are not exercise classes), and will take place at the University of Nottingham on Thursday mornings (10 a.m. to 12 noon) for four weeks starting on the 27th of March. The workshops are part of a research study which will also involve a few short visits to the Queen’s Medical Centre to undertake some listening tasks. For this study, I am looking for non-musicians, aged 55–70, who are native English speakers and do not use hearing aids. Participants will be reimbursed for travel expenses and will receive an inconvenience allowance for completing the study.

If you are interested in taking part please contact Kathryn Tel: 0115 849 3351. email:

Rob Does The Ton 

New Picture (51)We must congratulate Robin Lloyd, Beeston U3A member and Cycling Group leader who has recently been rewarded for donating over 100 pints of blood. Robin, who started giving blood at the suggestion of a school friend, discovered recently that he is not suitable to be a platelet donor but hopes to continue to give blood for many more years! Robin is pictured with Maria Linfield who presented Robin and other donors with awards at a special lunch at the Crown Plaza. Maria’s daughter, Casey Beau, was born with a genetic condition and complex congenital heart defects. Casey has had 5 open heart surgeries to date and countless surgical procedures in which she has received blood, plasma and platelets. Maria thanked the donors and said that, without their contributions, Casey and many children like her would not be here today. Maria and friends have started PATCHES – a local community support group for children with Congenital Heart Defects and their
families. For more information visit the website If you are interested in becoming a donor, donor, you can find more information on the website

Alan Beale, a U3A Member, Writes About His Experience as a Volunteer.

I volunteered a few months ago and have been to 3 sessions –all of which I have enjoyed, found interesting and rewarding.

My first session was at QMC where I was met by Louise the hospital undergraduate co-ordinator. I was with 4 other patients and we started at 12.30 with tea, coffee and biscuits –all very friendly. We then moved to the dedicated training ward within QMC. There are no actual patients on this ward

I was then introduced to Jo one of the senior teaching doctor assessors. She explained that I would be involved with the final year teaching assessments for 6 trainee doctors. Each student doctor had to carry out an extensive check on my arms, legs, back to check things out. The students had to action all of the things they had learned over the previous 5 years to ensure that they could properly carry out a skeletal examination.

The student doctors were all very professional.

Jo assessed them and marked them. In a few months’ time they will be in full time employment in a hospital

The session broke at about 3.00pm for tea and ended at around 4.30pm.

The next 2 sessions –one at QMC and the other at the City involved role play when I was given a script for a particular medical condition. This involved me in acting the part of an ill patient and the students having to ask me questions and for them to come to a summary of the next steps for my condition. Again, the sessions were monitored and evaluated by senior doctors and nurses.

If I had to describe why I volunteer I suppose it is because I find it rewarding and the thank you letter that I get after each session puts it very well. “Teaching sessions with real patients are so beneficial for our students”

Supporting our local NHS hospitals is what it is all about!

Anyone wanting further information about my sessions please e mail at

Please Don’t forget the CRMC Food Bank Appeal Especially at Christmas

If you would like to donate food items for those in need, the shopping list made available to the church congregation is: Milk (UHT or powdered), Sugar, Fruit juice (carton), Soup, Pasta Sauces, Sponge Puddings( tinned), Baked Beans/Tinned Spaghetti/Macaroni. Cereals, Rice Pudding (tinned) Tea Bags, Instant Coffee, Instant Mashed Potato, Rice/Pasta, Tinned meat/fish, Tinned fruit and Vegetables, Jam, Biscuits or Snack Bars.

If you require any further information about this scheme, Karen Jowitt, the church administrator can be reached on 0115 9431164 or

Dementia Friends

Dementia Friends is a recently launched initiative in recognition of the growing number of people suffering from Dementia. Joan Gavigan is a member of our U3A and is a Champion for this important move forward.

If any of you are interested in learning more and perhaps attending an information session please contact Joan directly on 0115 8753850 or email

Can You Help with the Education of Tomorrow’s Doctors?

We are looking for willing volunteers to help us train the next generation of doctors. A vital part of medical student education and assessment involves the student talking to and/or performing a physical examination on a “volunteer patient”. In order to deliver this we need more volunteer patients who are prepared to come to the hospital and to tell students about their experience and be examined by them. The physical examination may include, listening to your chest/heart, checking blood pressure and pulse, examining your abdomen, skin, eyes, ears or joints or testing your muscle power and reflexes. Most of the teaching session and examinations last for a morning or an afternoon. Each volunteer patient is well looked after and provided with refreshments. We also pay for a taxi for your journey to and from the hospital or refund the cost of parking, whichever you prefer and each volunteer will in addition receive a small remuneration of their help.

We need people with a wide range of conditions or illnesses but we also need healthy volunteers for many of our teaching sessions. Examples of conditions on which our medical students are taught and assessed using volunteer patients are:
Heart/blood pressure problems, Heart Valve replacements, Varicose Veins, Chest Breathing problems, Diabetes, Thyroid problems, Bowel problems (eg IBD) Blood disorders, Arthritis / spinal problems, Rotator Cuff disorder, Joint replacement problems, Parkinson’s disease, Stroke, MS, Neuropathy, Kidney and Liver problems, Hernias, Hydrocele/scrotal lump, Skin conditions. We also need healthy volunteers for many of our teaching sessions.
If you would like to volunteer or receive further information, please contact

Nick Kythreotis, Undergraduate Co-ordinator Tel 0115 924 9924 Ext 64759 or email
Dr Jessika Voll, Surgical Teaching Fellow Tel 0115 823 1172 or email

Message from THE ED The NHS is not perfect but often gets a bad press. However I have found that when you really need it, it is there for you. I have taken part in this, as has my husband who has been well looked after through long term ill health. It’s interesting, quite fun and quite rewarding to be able to give something back to the NHS. I know they struggle for volunteers to do this important work so do think about it and give them a call if you feel able to volunteer. Marie

The Beeston Ukulele Group (BUGS) – Book now

A seventeen strong band of U3A ukulele players who entertain with stories, poems, jokes and songs that appeal to all.
Songs to join in and sing – songs from shows – tunes from across the decades.
Currently working on Christmas entertainment and already in demand.
Contact Graham Lodge 0115 9256729