Chairs Comments

This will be my last opportunity as Chair to comment in the newsletter. In the light of that I would like to thank all the committee members who have served over the four year period I have been Chair. The committee has always been a cooperative and supportive group who have worked hard and willingly. What has impressed me is that there has always been the intention to place the needs of members above their own preferences and prioritize those who have the greatest need. The committee members have steadily modernized the approaches adopted by the U3A and the continuing committee will carry on that forward thinking approach.

I remain highly supportive of the aims of the U3A. I believe it plays an important role in enhancing the retirement years both socially and educationally. In an age when loneliness causes great concern the U3A provides many opportunities for members to enjoy rewarding times with old and new friends. Torridge is an area that continually attracts new people in their retirement years and so there are always people looking to make new contacts and friendships.

For the U3A to continue to prosper it needs to regularly refresh its leadership especially at group lev-el. Current group leaders do a marvellous job but there will always be a natural turnover and one of the ways the U3A can attract new enthusiastic members is by offering vibrant groups and new groups. I hope that members will not hesitate to offer their skills and interests. All members owe a real debt to the group leaders who give up their time on behalf of others.

I wish the new Chair a happy and rewarding time.

Geoff Williams

Torridge U3A AGM

As stated last month there is change of venue for the AGM, which will be held: - Wednesday 14 November at the Royal North Devon Golf Club, Golf Links Road, Westward Ho! The venue will be available from 9.30am with the start of the meeting at 10.00am. Refreshments may be purchased on arrival.

Agenda for AGM

 Attendance (taken at door)

 Welcome

 Apologies

 Annual Report

 Presentation of accounts

 Appointment of an examiner of accounts

 Election of committee members

 Thanks for attendance and close of meeting.

The election of the new committee will take place at the AGM. The present secretary, treasurer, Upper Room bookings secretary, web site editor and newsletter editor are all willing to stand again. The current Chair, Vice Chair, groups secretary, membership secretary, lunch secretary, and a general committee member are all stepping down for a range of personal reasons. The constitution al-lows for up to 12 elected committee members, each of which becomes a trustee. Nominations should be sent to the secretary, Carolyn Kelly, by October 30th. The membership is strongly encouraged to nominate people, with their permission, as several key positions are vacant.

Membership Secretary 

This role is essential for the U3A to function. It has however been made much more manageable by the use of the Beacon system. The present membership secretary is prepared to provide an induction for the new membership secretary. The bulk of the role takes place at the beginning and end of the membership year. It includes distributing membership application forms, receiving applications, updating the system, sending out membership cards and information, coordinating with other committee members. Increasingly much of the communication happens electronically.

Groups Secretary

This role is acting as the first point of reference for group leaders. It also involves monitoring the groups to inform the Trustees about the groups. The role includes the encouraging of the formation of new groups.

Chair of Trustees

The role of chair is one of the required roles within the U3A constitution. It suits someone who is confident in chairing the committee meetings. It involves keeping an oversight of the U3A functions and steering the business of the U3A. Some people have in the past expressed the feeling that they are happy to work in a group situation but are not happy if a role involves speaking in public. This need not put someone off from taking on this role as it can be undertaken in the style in which the person feels comfortable. It is normal but not essential that the Chair also attends the North Devon Link meetings (usually 3 or 4 a year) with another committee member.

Lunch secretary 

The lunch secretary takes the bookings for the monthly lunch at the Royal Hotel, informs the hotel of the numbers and collects the speaker subscription. Speaker bookings are arranged by a speaker secretary. The lunch secretary also usually communicates with the hotel over occasional matters including the Christmas lunch.

2019 Subscription Fee

The subscription fee for 2019 will be £16 however it will be for a 15 month period it therefore represents no increase in fee. The next membership period will therefore be January 2019 to March 2020. The reason for the 15 month period is to align our financial year and the U3A Trust financial year and the membership year. This has the advantage of Torridge U3A membership year conforming with the vast majority of other U3As and the National U3A. It will enable the collection of gift aid to be an easier process.

A charge of £1.50 will be introduced for Associate Members. The purpose of this is to ensure insurance coverage and to enable the U3A to conform to GDPR requirements. An Associate Member is a member of another U3A who attends a Torridge U3A group.
The AGM will then move to fit in with the new membership year.