From the Chairman
As well as being Guy Fawkes Day, November 5th was the day of an excellent
Group Leaders meeting, organised by Cashy Smith, our Groups Co-ordinator.
23 Group Leaders (approx. half our total) representing some 31 groups attended.
The format was very informal with each GL giving a quick description of their
activities plus some examples of good and not so good aspects of their group.
As Chairman I find these meetings really useful to learn more about the groups
and to help me recognise more and more Group Leaders. Even better is the
inspiration I get from hearing the commitment of the GLs, some over many, many
years. The most commonly used word during the meeting was FUN! I think at least
three-quarters of the GLs there used this word during their description of
their groups activities, and I think it is wonderful that members are
having so much fun as part of the learning aspect of their group. It certainly
fits with the new strapline for U3A
Learn, Laugh, Live.
As part of the meeting, I had hoped to go through the strategic plan
developed by the committee over the past months, but time wouldnt allow
more than an extremely brief summary. However, two aspects of the plan fit
extremely closely with some of the common themes coming from the GLs
discussions. These are continuity planning and creation of more groups. I asked
the GLs present to help with these two themes and, via this article, I would
include all other GLs not present to please contribute where relevant.
Continuity Planning as you are all aware, committee roles are time
limited to three years (except Treasurer at six years) and so there is always a
steady turn-over of people needed to fill committee positions. GLs can be
important eyes and ears to help identify potential candidates (but
this can also come from any member) and suggestions/offers to help on the
committee are always welcome. Dont forget the many other (non-committee)
roles that may become vacant at any time.
Creation of new groups our total membership continues to rise, and
this of course puts pressure on our current groups in terms of size. This
pressure can build for several reasons; indoor groups may have filled the
available space in someones home or at the rented room; language groups
may be following a particular learning book which is difficult to join in once
the group has progressed; outdoor groups may get too large to fit into the pub
at lunchtime!! So, we need to create more new groups so that we are able to
offer new members the choice that keeps them as long-term members. I have asked
all GLs please to share their waiting lists with Cashy so that we can be more
aware of when there are enough people interested in a subject but cant
get into full groups, or enough people are interested in a new subject, to then
co-ordinate the creation of a new group.
Of course, creation of new groups will also require new GLs to step forward
and take on this important role
its not that daunting, and help
will be available at all stages including a new Group Leaders Handbook
which is under development
watch this space.
delighted to welcome a further 15 new members this month
November 19th -
Passports, Assassins, Traitors and Spies - Martin Lloyd
December 17th - The
Cirencester Parish Hand Bell Ringers
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