The meeting was attended by members from across the East Midlands.

Jean Hogg Regional Trustee
Mandy Topp Research and Shared Learning Project Officer.
John Butler East Midlands Tech advisor
Derbyshire Network – Linda Wilson
Lincoln Neighbourhood group – Sue Hewson
East Lincs group – Sharon Rupp
South Lincs group (SLNG) Margaret Crossgrill
Leicestershire & Rutland –Roger Prescott
Northants Network – Stephne Tewson, Annie Curtis
Notts Network – Sue Blackley, Margot Gale, Paul Martinez and Chris Niven
Helen Cole, Malcolm Capps, & Shirley Fuller – Future contact E Lincs


Jean Hogg welcomed everyone and reported the sad death of David Barradell, who had worked so hard in the Derbyshire Network for the last three years. Attendees introduced themselves, detailing how their Networks are continuing to function now that many restrictions are being lifted and many are meeting face to face. This varies considerably across the various networks. Some u3as feel that they have enough to consider within their own groups without becoming more involved with their Networks at the current time. There is apathy in some areas.

Northants network and Leicestershire are sharing a quiz.


The national Network newsletter will be launched in January as Network News.

It will appear three times a year and will be the place to share ideas, network events and news of Network Link. It will also contain links to national mailings so you can keep up to date with all the latest information.

All you have to do is sign up, right now for the newsletter using this link

The first edition will be in January 2022.

Please encourage members of your Network to sign up too


The advantages/disadvantages of virtual v face to face conferences were discussed with the possibility of a face to face/hybrid conference every two to three years. The importance of inclusivity was stressed. Chat time is important when delivering virtual meetings. These meetings are less expensive and there is no need to book accommodation.


National workshops are available, and these are particularly useful for new committee members. They are listed under ‘Events’ on the national website.

PM would like to develop East Midlands training events which could be online with a generic model. A survey will be sent out to members to identify training needs and wants. PM SH MC SR LW


John Butler is the Tech Advisor for the East Midlands and will offer help to any u3a across the region. Particular help can be given to set up hybrid meetings.

He can be contacted on

There is a website called ‘Let’s Talk Tech’ and a Facebook group.

Tech Team Website -
Facebook Page

"Let's Talk Tech" weekly Zoom Drop-in Sessions are held every Wednesday from 13.00-14.30 to discuss issues around Hybrid Meetings.  Please contact John Butler (contact details above) for the meeting Id and Password.


Mandy Topp gave an update on the National projects which are currently taking place. These include The High Street Project, work with The Coram Charity and changes in the London transport system.

There are links to all the projects on the TAT website. JH would love to see someone from each Network taking an interest in SLPs. Please contact Jean or Mandy (, who will be able to give you advice. 


Jean is keen to find a successor and is happy to talk to anyone who may be interested about the role and what it entails.


Those present agreed the meeting was worthwhile and to hold another one in about 6 months time. Jean thanked everyone for attending and for their contributions. Thanks too to Sue Blackley for taking the notes.

Jean Hogg

Trustee East Midlands