The Newsletter of the U3A in Oliva

Issue 55

President’s Message:

Dear Everyone

At last some good news in the fight against Covid 19 although we might have to wait till early 2021 for the vaccine to be available. But it is certainly a very welcome and positive step in the battle against this virus.

To keep our morale up during the winter months, I have some ideas which I’d like to put to you. Should any of you wish to share an interest or to give a talk, then please get in touch with Anja ( and she will try to arrange for you to do so via Zoom. Recipe sharing is also something which we can engage in and, if any of you have a favourite recipe which you would like to share, please get in touch so that it can be included in the next Newsletter. Any recommendations re fitness groups, on line games or hobbies then please contact me so that I can pass them on to the other U3A members.

Remember to keep safe and, although it won’t be the same Christmas as in previous years, I hope you will be able to enjoy it and to look forward to a more positive and U3A active New Year in 2021.

Should you wish to have a coffee and chat, please feel free to contact me so that we can arrange a mutually convenient time outdoors in a café in Oliva.

Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from myself and your Committee: Anja, Kelvin, Nancy, Diana, Steven, Anthony, John, Francoise, Julie and Gail



EHIC Information

Information regarding healthcare and the EHIC, received from the British Embassy in Madrid.

EHIC Portal Letter to Stakeholders and supporting Q&A

Dear Partner
As you will be aware, UK nationals who are living in Spain or move there permanently before the end of 2020, will see their rights to access healthcare in Spain stay the same from 1 January 2021 for as long as they remain resident.
We strongly encourage those who haven’t yet registered for healthcare as a resident in Spain to do so. UK nationals can find further guidance on how to register correctly on our Healthcare in Spain page on

From 1 January 2021, the current UK European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) may no longer be valid. Visitors and other groups travelling to the EU are already being advised to check their situation and make changes to their travel insurance cover.
However, there are a number of groups living and working in the EU and EFTA countries, such as those claiming state pensions, students and others who, under the Withdrawal Agreement (WA), will continue to be covered as they are now, including the receipt of a UK issued EHIC.
These groups will need to apply for a new EHIC to replace their existing card – We attach a FAQ document which gives further details about the new EHIC, who is eligible to apply and how they can do so.
Your help and support in ensuring UK citizens living in Spain know who is eligible for ongoing healthcare and how to register correctly is vital to our efforts. We hope you, and your members, find this information useful.
Should you have any further queries relating to the new EHIC Portal, or any other healthcare related queries, please do not hesitate to contact us at
We hope you find this information useful
Yours sincerely,
Alexis Aguilera
Department of Health
British Embassy, Madrid
Please find below a list of potential questions that could be raised by UK Nationals around the new EHIC, online portal and processes.
From 01 January 2021, the current UK European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) may no longer be valid. Visitors and other groups travelling to the EU/EEA are already being advised to check their situation and make changes to their travel insurance cover.
However, there are a number of groups living and working in the EU/EEA, such as those claiming state pensions, students and others who, under the Withdrawal Agreement, will continue to receive their healthcare benefits and will need to register for a new EHIC. The cohorts listed below will be invited to apply for a new EHIC via an online portal in phases before the end of the Transition Period (TP):
1. UK state pensioners living in the EEA or Switzerland at the end of Transition Period
2. Individuals who are frontier workers at the end of the Transition Period, for as long as they continue to be covered by the Agreement,
3. UK students studying in the EEA or Switzerland at the end of Transition Period
4. EEA or Swiss nationals residing in the UK by the end of the Transition Period
Supporting Q&A
Why is there a new EHIC?
The new EHIC is for UK-insured people in scope of the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) to demonstrate their continued entitlement to EHIC cover from 01 January 2021. A new card is required to make this status clear.
Who is eligible to receive it?
Those eligible to receive the new EHIC include:
1. People with an S1 form receiving a UK qualifying pension or benefit (and their dependants).

2. Frontier workers (those who live in the UK but work in an EU/EEA Member state) with an S1 form, for as long as they continue to be a frontier worker in their host state (and have started working there before 31 December 2020).
3. EU Citizens living in the UK (including EFTA/Swiss nationals, EU Nationals who have successfully applied to the EU Settlement Scheme and some UK/EU Dual Nationals).
There are also people eligible to receive a time limited EHIC. This includes:
a.  Posted workers who are able to continue their posting under local immigration law for the duration of their posting.

b. UK students studying in the EEA or Switzerland, for the duration of their study period abroad and limited to the country of study (for as long as they remain habitually resident in the UK). When should I apply for my new card?
You can continue to use your current EHIC as normal until at least 31 December 2020, however it may not be valid after this date.
We’re opening applications to the new CRA EHIC portal in phases, ensuring everyone who is eligible receives one in a timely way:
1. November:
o S1 form holders: people receiving a UK qualifying pension or benefit and their dependant family members
o Frontier workers and their family members
o Students studying abroad for the duration of their study period abroad
2. December:
o Posted workers who are able to continue their posting under local immigration law for the duration of their posting. The exact date depends on decisions from MS about whether posted workers can remain in the MS as a posted worker
o EU Nationals living in the UK and their dependant family members
Is there a deadline to apply?
No, but we recommend that you apply early, especially if you’re planning to travel in EU/EEA countries over the end of the year or in early 2021, as your current EHIC may not be valid then.
Will the new card provide any different entitlements?
No, the new EHIC will provide exactly the same entitlements as it currently does. However, EHIC does not replace travel insurance, and you should have both if you are travelling to the EU/EEA.
How long will the new UK EHICs be issued for?
This depends on your circumstances. If you’re a student, it’s valid until the end of your study period abroad. If you’re a frontier worker, it’s typically valid for two years. Currently, standard EHICs for UK residents and S1 pensioners last five years.
How long will it take for me to receive the card after applying?
You will receive a response to your application within five working days. Provided you register early, your new EHIC will be sent to you for use by 01 January 2021.
When will my new card be valid from?
Your new EHIC will be valid to use from the date it arrives at your address. You do not need to wait until 01 January 2021 to begin to use the card.
Can I apply by phone?
Applications are currently only accepted online, but further methods will be available later in the year.
Can I keep my old card until the new one arrives?
Yes – current EHICs will be valid until at least 31 December 2020 (unless the expiry date is sooner).
We also recommend that you keep your old card until your new card arrives, after which your old card should be safely disposed of.
What do I do if I need to travel before my new card arrives?
If you need to travel before your new EHIC arrives, you can use your current EHIC as long as it is in date and your trip concludes before 31 December 2020.
If your current EHIC is not in date, or if you will be travelling next year when your current EHIC may no longer be valid, you can obtain a Provisional Replacement Certificate (PRC) should you require medically necessary treatment whilst abroad if you are within the scope of the WA.
Please note that the PRC can only be requested at the point of requiring care; it is not possible to request a PRC in advance of your trip.
Please contact NHSBSA on +44 (0)300 330 1350 should you require a PRC.
What do I do if my healthcare provider doesn’t recognise the new card?
Healthcare providers in EU/EEA member states have been informed of the new card design so should accept it. However, if you have trouble accessing your healthcare entitlements, you can contact the NHS Business Services Authority for further information or advice on +44 (0)300 330 1350.

Group Meetings during these uncertain times


We are looking at ways of maintaining the social element of our great organisation!

We would be interested in gauging the demand for groups to continue remotely – i.e. via the internet.

We are all aware of the latest ‘buzz’ word – Zoom; some of us may be frightened of it, some unsure and some may be up for it!

To this end, we have now set up a Zoom account which enables online meetings of up-to 100 participants with no time restrictions.

Perhaps you would like to keep in touch with your group members, either for an online meeting, or a social, perhaps share a remote toast prior to Christmas etc?

If-so, contact Nancy to book your time slot &, if required, she will also provide some guidance on how you can use Zoom.

Remember, it doesn’t have to be Zoom, there are many others – FaceBook, WhatsApp to name just 2 – which will allow you to keep in touch with your members.

Don’t hesitate, get in touch!

Please join us with a glass or a mug of something to your taste
and let’s have a toast to Christmas and a better 2021!


This COVID-19 situation, a situation we have never before experienced has made us look for creative solutions.
We would like to invite you, members of the U3A-Oliva, for a Christmas Zoom Call.
We realize that Zoom is not ideal but better than nothing and without Zoom pain there is no Christmas gain.
So, please, if you have a very short story or poem (absolutely not longer than 5 minutes!) or if you just want to say “HELLO”, contact our secretary Nancy Benn at for reserving a place; deadline DECEMBER 16th 2020.
She will forward you all the information you need for joining us for the

DECEMBER 17th 2020 @ 17:30 hours

We are looking forward to hearing from you.
Warm wishes from your hosts

Francoise, Nancy, Anja

Update on Ambulancias LaPena

The current Covid situation unfortunately delayed to start up of the new service in Oliva from Ambulancias LaPena. Their new launch date is now Jan 4th. They have sent out an appeal to try and get customers signed up ready for the start. This is a great service for Oliva.

Ambulancias LaPena will be at the Polivalent on the 18th December between 10.00 & 12.00 to answer your questions.

Earlier in the year I negotiated a small discount for U3A members and they are not only going to keep that discount going ( €94 not €99 per Household), but they have also offered to hold off on charging the full amount (for our members)until January, rather than on sign up .
They offer a great ‘peace of mind’ service and I think they are worthwhile talking to if you are hesitant about what they offer. Most of the information is below including the new SOS button.
The policy consists of: an annual payment of €94 (U3A) in this policy emergencies are included (all kinds of emergencies: falls, dizziness, blows, etc.) inside the house and outside the house as long as it is inside the same population, the transfer in ambulance will be made to the nearby health center and if needed, the patient is transferred to the public or private hospital.
This service would be effective for all members of a household for a single payment per year. (the policy must specify how many people live in the house)
We also have in our services the rapid tests against the covid. (35 €)
We have added to our services some courses on first aid, defibrillator management, aquatic lifeguard and others.
Life call or SOS button
This device is a small emergency button.
It is used in elderly people and those who have little mobility.
This device has a built-in SIM card to make calls, when the person presses the emergency button, the device makes a call to the preloaded numbers that it has (there are 2) when the first call does not answer, it goes for the second number.
In addition to making the call, send an SMS to the number indicating that this person needs help with information on where they are and what has happened to them.
It also has a sensor to detect falls without pressing the button and thus detect a fall and give the alarm if the patient cannot.
contact details: Their office at Carretera de Denia, 4
And are open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10:00 to 13:00 and Tuesday and Thursday from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. You can contact them by email:
by phone at this number: 680760536 or by visiting our office.
Thank you very much for your time and have a good day.

The Night Sky in December

It is quite hard for members to continue meeting during lock-down, however astronomy is often a solitary pursuit, but it can be enjoyed in small groups. Some astronomy studies can be undertaken using the unaided eye such as following the progress of the Moon from New to Full or watching for meteors in the night sky. Binoculars are very useful for seeing craters on the Moon, following the motions of Jupiter’s moons, viewing many star clusters and even galaxies, so long as you know where to look!

Astronomy is a very relaxing hobby and in order to get the most from it, investment in a relatively cheap pocket-sized guide such as Collins Gem Stars, or similar is a must. I would never recommend buying a telescope until you have explored the many interesting objects visible using binoculars.

December is a good month to begin observing as the bright planets, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars are visible in the evening sky. Jupiter and Saturn will be very close together in the West after sunset on the Solstice, December 21st. The two planets will be seen just 0.1° apart, Saturn will appear slightly below Jupiter in an event termed a Planetary Conjunction. The last time these two planets were this close to each other was in 2000. Historians have considered that the 3 Kings saw the conjunctions of Jupiter and Saturn as a sign of a New King’s birth and set off on their perilous journeys to Bethlehem to present gifts to the infant Christ.

Mars can be seen and easily recognised by its orange/yellow colour and can be seen high in the South as darkness begins. Although Mars is slowly retreating from Earth it is still going to be an imposing object and its motion can be tracked as it moves over the background stars. Although a far off and quite dim, Uranus is able to be seen using binoculars, however the use of a detailed star chart will be needed to find it. If you get up early, about 1 hour before sunrise, it will be possible to view the elusive planet Mercury in the East using binoculars. Take care not to look at the Sun using any optical equipment.

Observing the Moon makes an interesting project, if you have binoculars follow the Moon’s increasing illumination and note the appearance of the Mare. A simple chart is available for this purpose which can be e-mailed. Another interesting project is to see the Pleiades, Seven Sisters and see how many can be viewed without optical aid and with binoculars. The Winter nights have many bright stars and last year much attention was turned to Orion, which stands due south on late evenings. The bright orange coloured star Betelgeuse, which marks the Giants left shoulder was much dimmer than normal last season and it was considered it could suddenly and rapidly brighten as it would end its life as a supernova, but that did not happen and Betelgeuse is back to normal. There is much more to see in Orion and use binoculars to view the area below the 3 belt stars. Here you be able to see a small star cluster and the famous Orion nebula. The brilliant Star Sirius is an impressive object and when it rises it sparkles and flashes many colours due to distortion of light by our turbulent atmosphere. I hope this inspires you to take a short time to view the night sky. I wish everyone good health and enjoy the Festive Season. James

The Franciscan Shelter for Men, Gandia

Dear Members,
On behalf of the Franciscan Shelter in Gandia may I thank you for the kind donations of food, toiletries and money. The response was fantastic and very, very well received. The money was used to buy fresh meat and vegetables, we buy these to be used quickly and to take advantage of offers!
It is also my great pleasure to announce that the Shelter has been appointed the official U3A Oliva charity for 2020/2021 by your committee. Thank you.
However, like all charity work it is ongoing and a constant struggle to keep up with demand.
I understand that circumstances are difficult and I will no doubt be putting out appeals in the future, but needs must. If anybody feels they would like to donate before the next appeal, then please email me on and I will arrange to meet with you to collect.
Please remember,
Every Little Helps!
Somewhat early and on behalf of the Shelter and myself may I wish you a Merry Christmas and a safe, prosperous and Happy New Year.
Yours Gratefully,

Stephen Hems

Classified Ads:

If you want to sell or swap an item, please let us know here.

It is a Hardy Jet 9′ #7 vintage classic Fibreglass fly fishing rod in original Hardy labelled rod bag. Lightweight with mid action lined butt ring and snake eye guides. Fly keeper ring, cork handle. 
Also Ross Angler heavy duty studded waders size 10 UK.
PLUS 3 rolls of fishing twine and 4 boxes of flies and assorted hooks.
If seriously interested phone 666261475.
AO architects drawing board with ebony edge and stool, suitable for home use, design or art studio, adjustable. Board and metal stand can be dismantled and folded flat.
Tee square perspex edge also included.
€50/- o.n.o. John Flannigan 666261475.


Contact Frances on +34 600 874 960

Scooter Colibri 3R – 12V – 18AH



Contact Frances on +34 600 874 960

Walker with wheels



Contact Frances on +34 600 874 960

Various accessories for portable oxygen concentrator ;

  1. Trolley €100

  2. ImogenOne 16 cell battery with charger €220

  3. Back pack for ImogenOne oxygen concentrator €100

Electro Acoustic Vintage Guitar
This is a lovely guitar that sounds as good as it plays. Mainly used in acoustic mode it has been cared for and is in great condition.
A recent upgrade means it is time to find a new home. Ideal for both beginner and intermediate players. It comes complete with a new ‘gig’ bag. €80
Contact Peter Spencer 962817152 or

Corby 7700 Trouser Press For Sale – perfect, as new condition, Free Standing or Wall Mounting
25 euros
Phone: Hilary & Graham Tel: 962 120 373
Pair of Eagle L7300 2-way Speakers, 35 Watts RMS, 8 Ohms
Superb sound quality
30 euros
Phone: Hilary & Graham Tel: 962 120 373
Wisteria Lighting Designs Standard Lamp
Cost £350 new, now selling for 40 euros
Contact Graham on 962120373
For sale:
a pellet stove, 10kw, 5 years old, serviced every year.
Includes all chrome piping.
Price 400 euros or best offer.
Telephone: 747 856 778

And finally…

If you know of any local, not-for-profit/charity organisations that may benefit from having a mention here, please ask them to get in touch!