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From the Chairman

I would like to open by wishing all our members a very happy and peaceful New Year. I hope you have set your new year resolutions and manage to keep at least some of them.

Having had a great 2019 as regards U3A, (with several new policies in place, a new members’ champion in place, an ongoing strategy in place, etc, etc) we now need to keep up the momentum to complete the remainder of the strategic actions during the second half of my chairmanship. During the last committee meeting of 2019 we approved our new complaints procedure and this can be found on our website alongside all our latest policies and procedures. I hope you never need to use it but it’s there to guide us through a fair procedure should the need ever arise. An agreement to update all our technical equipment has been followed through and this has resulted in a number of redundant lap-tops and tablets being available for sale. Look out in the newsletter to find out how this will be actioned.

A number of new volunteers are needed through the year, some urgently, others as part of natural changes in committee. The first really urgent volunteer is needed to help with registration of members attending our monthly general meeting. This involves being at the desk at the entrance to the Ashcroft Centre from 2pm each meeting until the meeting starts at 2.30pm. It would be great if more than one volunteer stepped forward so that the role could operate on a rota system.

As well as being Treasurer, Alex Nisbet does a lot of background jobs, especially at the monthly meeting. This involves setting out tables and some chairs (and clearing away afterwards) and setting up and operating the Audio-Visual systems for the meeting. He also looks after all the IT hardware that we own. While we have a volunteer to take over as Treasurer when Alex steps down in May, we do need other volunteers to take over the other jobs, again preferably on a rota system so that no one person has to attend all meetings. Full training will be given (in the case of the AV system). If you are at all interested in any of these roles, please contact me so that I can explain the involvement before you make any commitment.

The other committee member stepping down in May is Vice Chair, Rachel Ward. So, I hereby give notice that we need a replacement by May latest for this essential committee role. If anyone is interested and would like to attend a committee meeting to see what is involved, please contact me for an invitation. No commitment, just a willingness to find out more. As many of you will be aware, the premises used to hold the Internet Café are no longer available. Until new premises are found, the Internet Café will remain closed. However, even if it opens again in the future, it will be on a reduced frequency basis, and it would be conditional on new volunteers offering to help at each meeting. Liz Dancer has done a magnificent job over many years running the Café on a weekly basis. This is not sustainable and she really needs your help to continue. Please contact me or Liz if you are interested in keeping this valuable event running.

Our National Chairman, Ian McCannah, has sent a letter to local Chairmen about his development plan for the U3A movement for 2020. High on the agenda is the need to raise the profile of the U3A movement and to make it more accessible to third agers. As a first step, the term University of the Third Age has been dropped from our logo and this was explained in a previous newsletter. National Office aim is to establish “U3A” as a recognised and acknowledged leader in positive ageing, and we will hear more of this throughout the year. They have also launched a day of celebration for the movement both locally and nationally and this will be on the 3rd June 2020. If we want to join in, we really need someone to volunteer to develop local events and co-ordinate the day (with local and National support). Please contact me if you would be interested in helping out with this “U3A Day”.

With a few more volunteers from our membership of some 750 people, 2020 could turn out to be even more successful than last year.

Tony Natt

We are delighted to welcome a further 5 new members this month

Forthcoming meetings-

February 18th -“The Gloucestershire Floods of 2007” - Dr Tim Brain

See the Events Diaryfor a more detailed list of meetings

Meetings held in the Ashcroft Centre, at 2.30 pm on the third Tuesday of the month unless otherwise stated.


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