An Arts Activity which may be of interest to you

King Lear Prizes

The King Lear Prizes is the new national creative arts competition for older people stuck at home because of Coronavirus. The competition’s name was inspired by William Shakespeare’s famous play, which was written around the time of outbreaks of the plague in London in 1605-06. The King Lear Prizes was launched to encourage people to produce new works of literature, drama, poetry, music and art during the pandemic. The King Lear Prizes are specifically for older people (those over 65) and for people who are keen amateurs or first-timers, rather than professionals. The latest round of the competition has just opened to entries and runs until 19th March 2021.

The competition accepts entries in poetry, real stories (short stories from people’s lives), art and musical performance and there are over £2,000 worth of prizes on offer. The winners will be picked by a panel of expert judges including Gyles Brandreth and Julian Lloyd Webber. You can enter at a level suitable for you, there are separate categories for beginners and the more experienced.

The King Lear Prizes website at gives more information about the competition and the organisation which runs it. There is also the King Lear Arts club which is a free on-line Arts Club for the over 60s.

Sue Allan

An Opportunity to take part in Research

We have been approached by a research associate at Lancaster University who wonders whether members of Knutsford U3A might be interested in the opportunity to take part in in an online research study.

Dr. Kate Slade works in the Psychology Department at the University and aims to understand the impact of social isolation (related to COVID-19) on both hearing and memory in two groups of people: older and younger adults.  This research study is completely online so participants can take part from their home.

Kate says

“Our research seeks to understand how social interaction (particularly affected by Covid-19, and related social distancing), might affect both hearing, and memory function. Right now, social interaction is more complicated than ever, and this might have repercussions for communication, particularly for people with hearing impairment. There is growing evidence for a relationship between hearing impairment and dementia in older age, and that social interaction may play a role in this. In our online research, we want to try to better understand the relationship between these things (socialisation, hearing, and memory).

Because the study is all online, you can take part from the comfort of your own home if you have access to a laptop, or computer. We are looking for adults between the ages of 60-85. To take part you must be a monolingual speaker of British English, and have no history of language, neurological, or psychiatric disorders. You will complete short online questionnaires and tasks as part of the study over the next 12 months. This will involve completing demographic questionnaires, memory tasks, hearing tests, and mental health questionnaires once each month. You will receive a small inconvenience allowance for your time taking part in the research in the form of shopping vouchers.”

If you would like to receive more information, ask any questions or participate please contact Kate at