The pandemic may have put a stop to many activities, but thanks to the internet, plenty of positive attitude and a dash of determination, one group has managed to "keep calm and carry on".

Members of Cockermouth University of the Third Age (u3a) have entered the virtual world to keep in touch during Covid-19, allowing them to continue their usual activities while sticking to the government's rules.

Drawing in members who are keen to learn, the group offers those in their "third age" and no longer in full-time work the chance to pick up new skills or pass on their knowledge to others.

The national u3a organisation has more than 40 different groups, and holds a monthly meeting – now on Zoom – which includes an external speaker.

And thanks to the new use of technology, more than 70 people were able to attend the last meeting, with speakers from outside Cumbria being able to join in – a treat which wouldn't have been possible under normal circumstances.

Ian Hall, Chairman of Cockermouth u3a, said: “It has been amazing how our membership has got to grips with new technology.

"We regularly have more than 60 participants in our virtual monthly meetings, and despite having no face to face meetings more than 75% of our members have renewed their annual membership.”

While nothing beats being amongst like-minded enthusiasts sharing a common interest, Cockermouth u3a is determined that when life returns to a new normal, its hundreds of members will be welcomed back with new enthusiasm, in a safe and positive environment.

For more information about Cockermouth u3a, visit the group’s website at