Committee Update

During the strange period of lockdown and now restricted living your committee hasn’t been idle. I think the first few months we were not sure what to do but as time has gone on we have started to get our heads together, using Microsoft Teams of course, and considered some important issues.

We debated what to do about membership fees because despite not holding meetings we still have overheads. We pay the National Office for the Third Age Matters magazines and this is about one third of our total costs. After much discussion we agreed to use some of our contingency funds and set the renewal fee to zero. This will be revisited in February when we know more about the pandemic situation.

A number of our groups are still meeting online using Zoom and if you are a group convenor it might be worth thinking about how you could do it. There are Zoom tutorials on the U3A National website. Of course if your group involves swapping playing cards then that’s a bit tricky.

As you will have seen we are now using the Beacon computer system to email out the monthly newsletters. We still have 40+ members who do not have or have not supplied an email address so we are posting the newsletters out. This is costing us £24 per month so if you do have an email address, are happy to share it and haven’t done so already then please do.

As you will have experienced we are also using the Beacon system to manage the renewals process. It has been a steep learning curve to get it right and I’m sure there are still a few wrinkles in our understanding of the system that need be ironed out. We’re getting there. Again, anyone without an email address will be receiving their renewal notice in the post.

Over the last 6 months a couple of committee members have decided to resign. First the Groups Coordinator and more recently the Chairman. I have stepped in to these roles to fill the gaps for the time being. If there’s anyone out there amongst our membership with reasonable computer skills who would like a challenge then please come forward.

It should not be forgotten that your committee members are dedicated volunteers who work on your behalf. We don’t always get it right but we’re doing our best.

As always if you have any suggestions, comments or ideas then please let me know.

Steve McCarthy, Acting Chairman > chairman@westwoldsu3a.org

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