Issue number one hundred and twentysix (June 2011) in a series of Signposts from the WorldU3A Service, sent once a month to U3A members anywhere in the world.

Please send snippets of possible interest to the editor, Tom Holloway.
Feel free to copy any or all of this information in your newsletters.

The official UK Third Age Trust delegate to the worldwide U3A Singapore International Conference, Stella Porter, has received a letter of support from the UK Government Minister responsible forn Lifelong Learning. The letter reads in part...

"On behalf of the Government I thank U3As across the country and around the world for giving older people a voice and an opportunity to express themselves through learning. I wish you and your colleagues in the U3A Asia-Pacific Alliance a most successful conference."

BBC Learning is running a two year campaign called First Click. The campaign aims to encourage those people who currently do not use computers and the Internet to understand and enjoy its benefits. The BBC will be providing a free advice line to help the public find beginners' computer courses across the UK provided by a wide range of formal and informal learning and community organisations.

If you are interested in finding a course or receiving First Click materials for a friend or family member who isn't currently online please call 08000 150 950 or email us at firstclick@bbc.co.uk (Thank you Pat Duffy of U3A Cherwell Oxford).

The Grandparents' Association works with government, local authorities and campaigns with charities to raise awareness of the needs of grandparents.

It provides many valuable services and downloadable fact-sheets , e.g.
Adoption
Arguments to be used by Grandparents seeking contact with a Grandchild
Contact with a Grandchild
Contact with a Grandchild looked after by a Local Authority
Guardianship
Mediation
Parental drug and alcohol misuse
Parental Responsibility - also read our Parental Responsibility guide
Residence Orders - also read our Residence Order guide
Special Guardianship Order - also read our Special Guardianship Order guide

Musicarta is a collection of free piano lessons and creative keyboard tips and techniques for keyboard players of all ages and stages. Adults and young people alike will find FREE piano lessons online, lots of creative ideas for home study, and a wealth of starting points for keyboard improvisation.

Beginner songwriters and young musicians will find music theory lessons you can actually use - like which chords go together, and why. Piano teachers will find free material to supplement more traditional piano lessons (The Pyramid Variations) – and everyone will find ways of making practicing more fun and more effective. You can find this free online creative piano lesson material at www.musicarta.com. (Thank you Bob Chappell in Cape Town, South Africa)

Garden Groups: Kew Gardens is "not just a pretty place". The calendar of events for June includes some interesting tours, and even an 'Outreach' programme delivering talks (such as 'Secrets of the Palace Kitchen') to community groups. There's even a handy 'hop-on-or-off' electric buggy service for those who find a whole day on foot a bit daunting. See their website here.
Travelling Abroad: Here is another wonderful BBC website that gives you a dozen or so key words/phrases in 40 languages. Hear how they sound first, then download them to your mobile phone or computer and practice them. "A table for two" in Portuguese? "Where is the toilet please" in Turkish? "Goodbye" in Urdu?

FREE tutorials for anyone learning, teaching or using OpenOffice, an excellent Free Open Source replacement for Microsoft Office, which costs a lot of money.

Open Office is compatible with Microsoft Office documents, such as WORD, Excel, Powerpoint -- and also has an option to export all files in pdf (Portable Document Format).
Thank you Charlie Schroeder - U3A New South Wales.

Sci/Tech Groups: The Institute of Engineering and Technology in the Midlands announce the following...
"This is a networking event for inventors, an inventors club. A first for the IET in this region, you are encouraged to come along where you can share/demonstrate or present your ideas to other like-minded individuals with a view to perhaps forming partnerships to aid the realisation of your ideas. "

An impartial guide to installing Solar Panels - The Energy Saving Trust is the UK's leading impartial organisation helping people save energy and reduce carbon emissions.

We do this by providing expert insight and knowledge about energy saving, supporting people to take action, helping local authorities and communities to save energy and providing quality assurance for goods, services and installers.

Computer Groups: Gizmo's Freeware is a non-commercial community website staffed entirely by volunteers. "Our primary function is to help you select the best freeware product for your particular needs. The best freeware programs are as good as or better than their commercial counterparts but finding the most appropriate program can be challenging." A website worth keeping in mind and telling others about.

Thank you Rick Swindell - U3A Online Australia

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