Recent news from the Chair
May Newsletter leader
We currently need nominations for Committee members and, in particular, for 2 Vice Chairs and someone who will be Publicity Coordinator. The details about how members are nominated can be obtained from our secretary, John Taylor, or any member of the committee. On May 16th, at our AGM, members of the committee will be elected. This will start at 10.15 a.m. so please don't miss it.
There is an opportunity for you to join in a 'Get Active' 12 week programme. This is a step/walking programme which is set individually and is monitored through a tracking device. It is designed for varying activity levels so even if you feel that you are not very active at the moment, this programme could be for you. If you are interested in finding out more, then please get in touch with Marianne Humphreys or myself.
Please remember that we have a Suggestion Box for our members to share ideas on how to make our U3A even better and a file for noting ideas for new groups, both of which can be found on the Publicity Desk. It's helpful if you could add your name and contact information to any suggestions made so that we can respond as appropriate.
April Newsletter Leader
Many thanks to the members who have expressed an interest in the Really Useful Group (RUG) and to those who attended the meeting at the Coffee Morning in March.
RUG members will be supporting the ‘Meeters and Greeters’ who welcome new members and help with the smooth running of the meetings. Look out for the blue and yellow badges that they will be wearing. More RUG members would be welcome so please get in touch with me if you are interested.
Please make a note of the date the 16th May. It’s our AGM and we need a good attendance to elect our committee and share in this years’ U3A moments.
March Newsletter leader
Our U3A has many members who contribute and provide a wide variety of activities for the enjoyment of our members. The Group Leaders, Deputies and others spend many hours to provide this varied programme. Other volunteers also help to ensure that we enjoy a range of opportunities as well as supporting the smooth running of our U3A. Sometimes we need extra support so we would like to form a really useful group (RUG) to provide this. We’re having our first meeting of this group on Thursday 2nd March at 11.am in the lounge and if you’d like to join us then do please come along.
We have recently enrolled with Beacon, a computerised Management System, along with almost 100 U3As nationwide. This system will help us to manage our membership information, financial systems and group records as well as enabling us to store records securely. One of the outcomes of using this system is that we will be able to send messages more easily so we would like to use the email addresses that you have given us either on your membership form or through a group leader. If you do not wish this to happen then please let a member of the Committee know before the end of March 2017. If you have not shared your email address with us but would like to do so then please hand it to a member of the Committee. Communications would be within our U3A and comply with our Data Protection policy. Many members have already requested that the newsletter is sent by email and this will continue. Another outcome is that your membership number is likely to change and this updated number will be given to you when you renew your membership. The numbers are allocated to reflect the order in which members joined and are sequential.
Some advanced warning! Membership renewal will commence on 1st April and you will be able to do this between then and 31st May at a cost of £10, unless you are current member of another U3A when the cost is reduced by £3.50. After this date, unless there are exceptional circumstances, you would have to re-join at the new members fee of £12.50. Full details about renewing will be posted in next month’s newsletter.
February Newsletter leader
An invitation to any member who may consider joining our Management Committee!
The invitation is to a special meeting at 11.00 a.m. on Thursday 2nd February in the lounge at St Teresa's. The meeting is to explain and discuss the roles of committee members at our U3A. If you attend the meeting there will be no obligation to join the committee. I do hope that members who may be interested in supporting us in this way will be able to attend. However, if this is not possible, do please get in touch with me, or any member of the current committee, to find out more about what being a committee member entails.
We really do need members to get involved to ensure that the there are enough committee members to support and manage our U3A. In May, many of the existing committee members have to step down so we need new members and we will need to elect a Chair, Treasurer, Secretary and Vice Chair. If these posts are not filled then the committee can decide that it is necessary or advisable to dissolve our U3A and then our assets would be transferred to other U3As or to the Third Age Trust.
As you know, the U3A is totally reliant on volunteers to share their skills and expertise in a variety of ways. It is recognised that most members who do volunteer have said how rewarding and enjoyable it is. This meeting is an opportunity to find out more about how our U3A operates and how you can help.
January Newsletter leader
I am delighted to tell you that some new groups have either started or are planning to start and that our membership numbers are continuing to rise. There were 838 members on 16th November and so I am sure that we have many talented members who can contribute to our successful U3A. Ideas for new groups and suggestions for improving what we do are always welcome.
In the New Year we will be looking for members who are willing to stand for election to the Management Committee in May. Group leaders have information about this and there will be more information in the next newsletter.
Our survey of members, to identify those who have difficulty in hearing at the Speaker Meeting, suggests that there are only a few who are affected by this. However, we have circulated advice notes to group leaders and we have some booklets from ' Action on Hearing Loss ' which may be helpful. These are available at the Publicity desk. We will pass on information about grants for installing hearing loops to St Teresa's as the information becomes available. It is possible to reserve seats at the front of the Hall for those who would benefit from this. Please see me or any Committee member if you wish to do so.
Finally, thank you to all those members who have provided such a range of pre- Christmas activities in which we have had the opportunity to take part. A wonderful start to the festive period!
December Newsletter leader
We'd like to know how we can make our wonderful U3A even better. Your ideas (big and small) would be very welcome and so we have a Suggestion Box at the Publicity Desk for you to post your thoughts. We will give all ideas careful consideration even if we cannot implement all of them. One idea has already been adopted, on a trial basis, and that is to introduce a focus on a different group each month. At each monthly coffee morning a different group will give a brief presentation about what they do, which eventually will give us all a taste of what happens in each of our groups.
A reminder to everyone who books trips and holidays - a place isn't guaranteed unless a deposit is paid and that this deposit is non refundable. Also, when engaging in any activity, members need to be aware that these are undertaken at their own risk and should only be undertaken if the activity is appropriate to their own physical limitations. As well, please remember to be aware of potential hazards to others and help to minimise them.
In the New Year we will be looking for new Committee members who are willing to stand for election in May. Meanwhile, there is information at the Publicity Desk about the roles and expected lengths of service, for those who would like to find out more about this now.
I hope that you enjoy this special time leading up to Christmas,
November Newsletter leader
I am delighted to tell you that we have two new members to welcome to our committee:
Viv Newman as Vice Chair and Alan Hough as Assistant Treasurer. If anyone is interested in finding out more about the second Vice Chair post or about becoming a member of the committee in the future, please either talk to myself or any committee member.
We have been doing some research about hearing loops and other support for those who have hearing difficulties. If you are one of our members that this applies to then please sign the list which can be found at the membership desk.
Unfortunately, we had an incident recently where a member of the school staff was blocked in by U3A members' cars. Please check that any car that you double park behind is on your trip or at least is a car that is displaying the U3A car sticker. If you use St. Teresa’s car park for any reason then you must display the sticker. If you do not have this, then please collect one at the membership desk.
Enjoy the Autumn and our U3A activities.