Ambleside & District

Summary of committee meetings

11th January 2019
Maris Hall has volunteered to take the vacant committee position.
Instructions for the use of the Marchesi sound system have been developed. In spite of these, there has been a problem, now repaired, and new instructions are available. It was agreed that any user of the system must have 1-1 instruction from either Bridget (Marchesi Administration) or Gwyn (U3A Chairman).
A Quiz Evening will be held on 23 February at the Marchesi Centre. The quizmaster will be Chris Traynier and refreshments (puddings) will be organised. Details will be circulated to members.
This year's Coordinators' Breakfast Meeting will be held on Friday 22 March at the Windermere Hotel. The draft agenda will be circulated to coordinators.
The committee agreed to replace the U3A laptop (which is stored at the Ambleside Library) for an approximate cost of £500.
The possibility of a Wine-Tasting event has arisen. Members will be asked if they are interested.
Gwyn Jones will represent this U3A at the Ambleside Over 55s event to be held on 27 March.
There was a disappointing turnout at the 2018 Christmas lunch. The committee will investigate different formats and locations for 2019.

2nd November 2018
The new Marchesi sound system has been installed and a training session for prospective users is arranged for November 5. The speakers are fixed to the walls and the main system is mounted on a trolley which can be stored away safely. All non-U3A users must supply their own microphones, the U3a has hand-held and lapel microphones for our own use.
The possibility of a Quiz Evening i early 2019 was raised and members will be canvassed for interest.
There is still a vacancy on the committee, volunteers will be requested.
Christine Fisher and Mike Green gave an overview of our web-site. The entries for the interest groups vary considerably and coordinators will be encouraged to keep their pages up-to-date and attractive.
There have been discussions with neighbouring U3As about members attending sessions at groups which are not available at their own U3A.
The recent coffee morning at the Marchesi Centre which was organised by this U3A raised £314.10 for the Marchesi and was an opportunity to publicise our activities.

7th September 2018
The new Marchesi sound system will be installed by Touchwood Engineering during October.
Jackie Truelove has volunteered to be the new Welfare Officer, Di Burston (current newsletter editor) has agreed to join the committee if the AGM accepts the proposal to change the constitution as outlined in the last minutes.
Three committee representatives will attend the upcoming Over 50s event in Ambleside which will launch a guide to all local organisations aimed at Over 50s.
The Christmas Lunch is booked at the Lindeth Howe Hotel in Bowness, details will be circulated to all members.

20th July 2018
It was agreed to fund the purchase of a complete sound system at the Marchesi Centre, rather than trying to unite random pieces of unrelated existing equipment.
The committee felt that post of Newsletter Editor ought to be a committee post to improve communications between the committee and the membership via the newsletter. This proposal, which affects the constitution, will be put to the membership at the AGM.
The new Data Protection and Privacy Policies were reviewed and agreed. They will be uploaded to the U3A web-site. The contact details of the one coordinator who did not wish to have their details circulated beyond the membership will be redacted from all newsletters that are used for publicity purposes.

25th May 2018
On the topic of General Data Protection Regulations: most members have responded, giving their permission for this U3A to hold their data. The Membership Secretary is following up the missing 40 or so members who have not yet replied. Our regular newsletter holds the contact details for group coordinators and, since the newsletter is publicly available, it was agreed to contact all of them to ensure we have their permission to continue to publish their contact details.
It was agreed to investigate upgrading the sound system at the Marchesi Centre using U3A funds, possibly with the help of a grant from the Third Age Trust.
Christine Fisher has volunteered to take on the post of web-site administrator, aided by Mike Green. There will be two committee vacancies to fill at the AGM in September, along with the post of Welfare Officer.

23rd March 2018
Investigations into an upgrade of the Marchesi sound system will continue. We will bear in mind that new equipment must be safeguarded from abuse by other hirers of the Marchesi Centre.
New General Data Protection Regulations mean that we must ask each and every member for their explicit consent that their details are held by this U3A - for the purpose of this U3A's business only. There will be a once-off request to all members for their permission and new membership forms will be designed to include a permission section. We will also need new Data Protection and Privacy policies.

12th January 2018
The feedback on the Christmas lunch was not as good as it could be - other venues will be investigated.
A committee member will attend an upcoming Third Age Trust workshop on Data protection, Safeguarding, Equality, diversity & Inclusion and Insurance: recent data protection legislation may require action in each local U3A.
Also, each local U3A is being asked to amend its constitution (specifically the Object Clause, which states our purpose) in order to comply with Charity Commission rules. This will be actioned at our next AGM.
A form of words was agreed for publicaton in the newsletter to explain the ruling that guests may attend TWO events before being asked to join the U3A.

3rd November 2017
The date for the next coordinators' meeting was fixed for Friday 23 march 2018. The attendance of guests at group meetings, particularly theatre outings, was discussed. It was confirmed that non-members are covered by the U3A insurance for TWO outings. It is a general rule that non-members may attend any group twice before being asked to join. At the breakfast, coordinators will be asked to check membership regularly within their groups and to avoid clashes of group events where possible.
The Marchesi sound system needs improvement, some parts have gone missing. It was agreed to investigate improvements.
There have been 3 approaches for volunteers recently: Learning Plus and Age UK want volunteers who can give training in Internet and mobile phone use and Ray Cross would like someone to join a committee which will investigate how to provide the best healthcare in this area.
The committee agreed that new groups needing to hire premises or tutors could have a contribution to their start-up costs until they became self-sufficient.

15th September 2017
It was agreed that the turnout for the AGM was excellent, probably due to Peter Truelove's photographs.
Plans for the Marchesi Coffee Morning (7 October) and Christmas lunch (11 December) are in hand.
In order to publicise the U3A, it was agreed to continue printing extra copies of the newsletter for distribution around the district in such places as waiting rooms.
We will investigate the cost of an upgrade to the Marchesi sound system.

21st July 2017
2 U3A members had attended a useful 2 day first aid course and it was agreed that a similar course, less specific to remote outdoor activities, would be useful for the group in general.
The AGM plans are in place with a natural history slideshow organised to follow the business meeting. There are still 2 vacancies on the committee, including the secretary position.
The combined coffee morning/open day on 7th October at the Marchesi centre was discussed and plans made for publicity and format for the day. The chairman had sent out an article/invitation to all the parish magazines in the area.
The Chairman had been advised that the storage of U3A equipment at Ambleside library would not now be affected by the forthcoming alterations but the secretary agreed to contact the Council Clerk to confirm this.
The distribution of the extra newsletters printed for recruitment purposes was discussed. Doctor's surgeries and libraries plus other appropriate places would be approached and copies of the newsletter and the information leaflets would then be distributed to willing recipients, in an attempt to encourage new members.

26th May 2017
Arrangements for the AGM were discussed, an agenda would be drafted for the next newsletter and the Chairman would invited one or two members to present a slideshow after the meeting to be followed by tea/coffee and cake.
The coffee morning on 7th October will incorporate the Open Day this year, previously held as a separate event. A U3A display board and table would be manned by members with a supply of leaflets and extra copies of the newsletter for distribution to interested parties. Co-ordinators would be invited to attend if possible.
The chairman had prepared an article for church magazines to encourage new members.
It was agreed to print extra newsletters (500 in total) at the next print, to allow for distribution to surgeries and libraries as a recruitment exercise.
The archives were examined and reduced substantially, the Chairman taking the remaining boxes away for storage. Recent and future material would be saved on memory sticks to enable easy storage. Janice Beardsell was thanked for hosting the meeting and for housing the archives for so many years.
The closure of Ambleside Library in the autumn was discussed and the committee agreed to plan removal and storage of the U3A cupboard and contents at the next meeting.
2 vacancies on the committee remain – including the Secretary position. The Chairman would email members to encourage volunteers.

24th March 2017
The committee agreed to wear name badges at general meetings and the Chairman would update the notice board. A rota of committee members to organise the meetings was planned. After this year, it was agreed not to have a general meeting in June.
A First Aid Course had been requested by the High Fells group and this would be researched by the treasurer. A budget of £500 per annum maximum was agreed for general meeting expenses. It was agreed to purchase a further table tennis table for the group if and when it was required.
The chairman had produced a table of neighbouring U3A groups offering vacancies in their activities and this would be included in the next newsletter.
The archives needed updating and re-locating and it was agreed to hold the next committee meeting at the archivist's home to go through the archives and, in future, minutes etc would be saved digitally.
The group would be represented at the “Love Ambleside” day at the Parish Centre on 6th April. A donation of £100 would be given to the Marchesi Centre towards to the cost of boiler replacements.

10th February 2017
The committee agreed that following the success of the Christmas lunch, the next one would be held again at the Belsfield Hotel.
The organisation of the general meetings was discussed and the chairman agreed to devise a form with jobs listed for the day and volunteers noted. Speakers would be asked to provide Alan Robinson with a jpeg photo to be used in advertising. The committee would share out chairing of the meetings and a rota of people to give a vote of thanks would be compiled.
Newsletter entries need to be submitted to Diane Burston in the correct format i.e. as “doc” files in 14 point Arial print. This would assist with the overall formatting of the newsletter.
As from April, there is to be a charge of 50p per member allocated to the “Beacon” system. Frances Green has agreed to attend the “Beacon” conference in April, representing the group.
The Chairman is drafting an invitation to the coffee morning to be displayed in church parish magazines later in the summer.
A budget for publicity and the management of the website will be discussed at the next meeting.

30th November 2016
The committee decided that, given the poor attendance at the recent Open Day, a change of format should be tried and the matter would be discussed at the Co-ordinators' meeting in March.
An interesting programme of speakers for the current season had been organised by Penny Henderson and the committee agreed that more volunteers were needed to help with setting up and clearing the room (an appeal would be made at the Christmas lunch) and a rota of chairmen for the meetings was planned. A new microphone had been purchased by the Marchesi which would hopefully resolve the problems experienced in the past.
The Chairman had attended a liaison meeting, organised by Grange U3A, where the charging of fees for membership of a second U3A had been discussed. The committee agreed to continue charging a membership fee of £8.50 to anyone joining Ambleside & District as a secondary group.
A member had raised the issue of dogs being allowed on social walks and it was agreed that each group should decide its own policy on this and it would be put in the newsletter and website.

26th September 2016
At the committee meeting Elizabeth Moreton and Nigel Nixon were welcomed as new members, Elizabeth in the role of Membership secretary and Nigel as Treasurer. Gwyn Jones was welcomed as a prospective member and was unanimously elected to the committee. There was discussion about the sharing of roles amongst the committee and other U3A members. The committee would share responsibility for the General Meetings and Penny Henderson had agreed to become speaker finder. Gwyn Jones was unanimously elected as Chairman of the committee with Hanna Burke re-elected as Vice Chair.
Hanna reported that the autumn coffee morning had been very successful and had raised £320. Future events were arranged, namely the Open Day in Ambleside on 12th November, the Christmas Lunch at the Belsfield Hotel on 12th December and a Co-ordinators meeting is planned for 24th March at the Hydro Hotel. Gwyn and Hanna agreed to attend an area liaison meeting on 31st October. Alan Hands would be chairing the Cumbria Network meeting on 18th October and would be representing the group.

22 July 2016
Following on from discussions at the last meeting: (a) Vicky Harrison is now a member of the Marchesi Committee, (b) the committee decided not to support the proposal to prepare a 2018 calendar with U3A support.
A second Energy conference will be held in Rheged on 31 March 2017 supported by the Cumbria Network. Two members of the A&D U3A (Mike Green and Alan Robinson) are part of the organising committee. Preliminary information will be in the next newsletter with details of how to buy tickets available later.
The committee noted that there is a volunteer for the post of membership secretary (to be proposed as a committee member at the AGM). However there is still no-one to take on the role of talks organiser.
The Beacon management now requires users (i.e. anyone able to login to the system) to sign a form accepting responsibility for proper security of the data held by the system. The committee made a small change to the model form and all current and future users will be ask to sign it or confirm acceptance of the conditions by email.

23 May 2016
The committee confirmed the start time for General Meetings in 2016/7 as 14:15 and noted that, although there is no confirmed talks organiser yet, the first three (October, November, January) are already arranged.
The committee discussed a proposal from a member to prepare a U3A calendar for 2018 in aid of a cancer charity and referred back a number of questions principally concerning finance and marketing, noting that no U3A funds will be used.
The U3A has been invited to nominate a representative to sit on the Marchesi committee. The committee decided that this could provide a useful two-way communication route and our secretary agreed to be our nominated representative.
We agreed to hold the Christmas lunch at the Belsfield again this year following very positive feedback from members last year. Some suggestions for minor improvements will be acted on.

11 March 2016
The committee discussed the start time of General Meetings, in particular the request from Grasmere members for the time to revert to 14:30. The change was made for the 2015/6 session in order to allow members who do not like to travel after dark to attend the November and January meetings. The committee agreed to consult those attending the March General Meeting. [At that meeting the compromise solution of a 14:15 start was unanimously supported.]
Following the recent approach to "new" members a possible new Talks Organiser has been identified and two members offered talks to group meetings.
Members of the committee have been invited to speak to the Ambleside Kirkstone Rotary Group and the Troutbridge Village Meeting about the U3A.
Group funds are still very healthy and coordinators will be invited to make proposals for the purchase one-off items at the forthcoming Coordinators' Meeting.
TAT has informed all U3As of potential problems, including fines, if they use copyright photographs on web sites. The committee does not believe that there are any on our web site.
The new Beacon Membership system is now up and running and various features were presented to the committee. A number of detailed questions were raised but it is already clear that the system makes the job of the membership secretary much easier. It will be presented to coordinators at their forthcoming meeting, including how they can access relevant parts of the database and how this can help them.

29 January 2016
The committee agreed to insert an item in the next newsletter warning members of telephone and computer scams.
It was agreed to circulate relatively new members by email urging them to consider how they might contribute to the U3A, emphasising in particular the need for a new Talks Organiser and for new committee members in the autumn.
Feedback from the Christmas Lunch has been very positive with two suggestions for improvement: (a) regarding the use of raised areas and (b) inclusion of a staff tip in the cost.
The committee had a further discussion of our current constitution, comparing it to the model TAT constitution, and agreed that differences are not significant enough to go ahead and produce a new one.
The membership secretary made a presentation of a possible new membership system that is much easier to use than our current Access database. It has been produced by the same U3A group that created the widely used U3A web page builder. The system has greater functionality: it would allow group coordinators access to limited information about their group members, for example to send out emails, and it would also be possible to integrate our accounts into the system at a later stage. Members would also be able to pay their subscriptions using, for example, PayPal. Subject to satisfactory answers the committee raised about security issues, it was agreed that the membership secretary should go ahead to have the new system in place by the time a new person takes over in the autumn.
The committee also agreed to a proposal to take part in joint research projects with neighbouring U3A. A first topic could be the development of the railways in Cumbria.
It was agreed that the agenda for the Coordinators' Meeting in March should include a presentation on the new membership system and on collaboration in joint projects with neighbouring U3As.

20 November 2015
The committee was pleased to note that a new group Spanish for Beginners, has recently been started by Gwyn Jones.
The treasurer has opened new social account and the committee agreed that small temporary loans could be made from the main account to avoid an overdraft in this new account if necessary.
Since the Open Day there have been 24 new members, mostly joining on the day or shortly after.
At a recent Cumbria Network meeting there was an interesting presentation by the Furness U3A about their publicity initiative. While we are already carrying out most of their suggestions it was agreed that we would check that we have identified all local residential complexes that might have potential members.
The committee reviewed our current constitution and compared it with the model constitution available from the Third Age Trust. While there are relatively few differences our constitution appears to allow some activities that we should no do and omits some activities that are present in the TAT model. We also have a very prescriptive committee size of exactly eight. The committee will return to this issue at the next meeting before deciding whether or not to draft a new constitution for discussion at a future AGM.

25 September 2015
The committee welcomed Alan Hands, appointed to the vacant post by the committee.
The committee learned that Sylvia Foreman will finish as Talks Coordinator in the summer. A replacement must be made by about Easter in order to arrange the 2016/7 season of talks.
Small changes were agreed to the detailed wording of the role of committee members as set out on the web site.
Following discussions at the AGM with Jenny Carley, the North-west Regional Trustee, the treasurer recommended to the committee that a separate social account should be established and this was agreed.
The coffee morning held on behalf of the Marchesi Centre raised about £220.
An update on publicity was presented by Alan Robinson, including the wider distribution of posters. Steve has had approval to leave publicity material in the Ambleside Health Centre.
The Membership Secretary reported an increase to about 350 members during the last year. TAT is organising a number of seminars around the country about membership systems and she plans to attend one in Liverpool.
Following comments from members the committee agreed to change the venue for the Christmas Lunch this year, anticipating that this would mean an increase in cost. [After the meeting the Belsfield Hotel was decided on and booked.]

31 July 2015
The committee noted that there is the possibility of starting a Creative Writing Group, with interest from about ten members. The Gardens Group currently has no coordinator but a meeting is planned to discuss options in the autumn. The Play Reading Group also has no coordinator but a programme has been arranged up to June 2016. The Family History Group has dropped to very few attendees and is taking a break from meetings for a year. Sylvia Foreman has indicated that she will end her term as meetings organiser after the 2015/6 programme and a replacement needs to be found.
The draft accounts for 2014/5 were presented by the Treasurer. There has again been a surplus, this year of about £450. The committee discussed three groups that appear to have made a loss of around £50 or more; it is understood how these have arisen and the committee has no concern. It was agreed to recommend to the AGM that the subscription should remain at £12 for 2015/6.
The committee briefly reviewed the 20th anniversary events and noted that there is a page on the web site with reports and photographs. External bodies that gave support have been thanked. The tea at Calgarth Park featured in the Westmorland Gazette with a colourful photo of the Taiko drummers.
The committee discussed publicity activity in some detail. Thanks to Alan and Steve we now have a wider distribution of posters advertising events, ahe a general advertising poster and small flyers have been printed. It was agreed to distribute the flyers to libraries, surgeries, meeting places, etc. Old copies of Third Age Matters will also be offered to surgeries.

22 May 2015
The committee heard a report of the coordinators meeting of 28 March 2015 and agreed that the group reporting procedure should remain the same for 2015.
Arrangements for the 2015 AGM on 14 September were discussed and will remain the same. Jenny Carley from the NW Region U3A will present a card celebrating the group's 20th anniversary and talk about the work of the NW Region.
The committee agreed that the group's deposit account should be moved to a higher interest three-year bond. In order to satisfy the Charity Commissioners the committee also agreed to accept the TAT documents on a code of conduct for trustees and a grievance procedures (these can be found linked from our web page "Role of committee members". We also agreed a statement on Risk Assessment.
Penny discussed final arrangements for the 20th anniversary tea on 31 May were agreed and Christine Riley showed the committee a draft of the anniversary booklet. The committee thanked Penny and Christine for all their efforts.
Steve showed a near final draft of the promotional poster and leaflet, which will be printed with the August newsletter.

6 March 2015
The committee discussed options for earning higher interest rates on funds on deposit and will discuss this issue further at the next meeting.
Penny Henderson presented further details of the 20th anniversary event on 31 May and tasks were assigned to committee members. There will be an insert in the next newsletter and tickets will be available from the April General meeting.
The anniversary booklet was also discussed. Christine Riley reported rather little response from members and would initiate a renewed appeal for contributions. A first draft will be available at the next committee meeting and it is expected to print and distribute the booklet with the August newsletter.
Alan and Steve gave an update on initiatives on publicity. General Meeting posters are now being distributed and media outlets are being informed. Committee members suggested further outlets. Steve presented a first draft of an updated recruitment flier and a recruitment poster. Steve is now a web page editor and will become web administrator.
It was agreed that 20th anniversary activities and publicity would be discussed, amongst other items, at the Coordinators' Meeting on 27 March.
A new lapel microphone is now available at the Marchesi Centre.

9 January 2015
Steve Morris and Alan Robinson were welcomed as new members of the committee. They will share the role of maintaining and improving the group's publicity.
The projection screen for the Marchesi has been bought and is available for use.
The committee noted that the archaeology group has arranged a programme of monthly meetings at the Ladyholme Centre. The new geology group will have a planning meeting on 4 February. The Arts and Handicrafts group is active and holding a series of meetings on making items with textiles.
The annual Coordinators' Meeting will be held at the Hydro Hotel on 27 March and take the same format as last year.
The committee discussed further details of the 20th Anniversary event and ways of improving publicity.

20 November 2014
Hilary Storey has resigned from the committee for personal reasons. There are now three vacancies and it was decided to approach members who have joined in the last two years to try to fill these. Publicity in particular is an urgent area to cover.
The committee discussed progress with new groups: archaeology is likely to be established and potential leaders have been found for a geology group and one to play acoustic stringed instruments together. The Open Day in Ambleside resulted in eight new members on the day and another eight in the following two or three weeks. The committee agreed to buy a projection screen for meetings in the Cecil Reed room at the Marchesi Centre.
The committee discussed arrangements for the 20th anniversary celebration arranged for Calgarth Park on 31 May 2015. Penny Henderson has arranged many of the details with the Manager and committee discussed some issues still to be resolved. An first announcement of the arrangements will be made in the next newsletter. It is expected that the cost will be about £5.
The committee had a brief discussion on insurance cover (policy summary is on this web site) and the need for coordinators to assess and minimise risks associated with their group's activities.

18 September 2014
New members of the committee were welcomed and their role as committee members and trustees discussed.
Hanna Burke was appointed Vice Chair.
Group coordinators reports were received. All groups are meeting regularly and working well; some would wish for more members. Detailed points raised by coordinators will be discussed at the Coordinators' meeting, which was agreed for 27 March 2015.
Progress with improving accessibility was discussed. It is now expected that remaining issues will be resolved by the start of 2015.
The committee agreed to change the start time of General Meetings to 2pm from the AGM in September 2015. A proposal from a member to hold a raffle at each general meeting in aid of a local charity will be put to the next meeting.
The committee discussed progress with Open Day arrangements, the Christmas lunch and the twentieth anniversary arrangements.
It was agreed that a priority for the coming year will be to increase membership and this will be the major topic of discussion at our next meeting.

10 July 2014
The committee noted the progress in setting up a number of new groups and thanked all those involved.
Progress in improving accessibility was discussed. One group has already moved from a room with stairs access only and discussions are continuing with groups meeting in the Ambleside Library. A member is discussing with the library the possibility of installing a stairlift. Another option is for two evening meetings to move downstairs. Decisions will be made by the end of the year. We will pursue the possibility of the use of lapel microphones in the Marchesi Centre and Ambleside Parish Centre. There will be a discussion of disability at the AGM.
The treasurer presented provisional accounts for 2014/5. Gift Aid still has to be received but there will be a small surplus over the year. The committee agreed to recommend to the AGM that the subscription should remain at £12 pa.
The committee noted with relief that a member has volunteered to be nominated as secretary for 2014/5; a number of new committee members will be needed. Those standing down were thanked for their efforts on behalf of all U3A members.
We noted with sadness the death of Christopher Morris, regarded by many as the principal mover in establishing Ambleside and District U3A.

10 April 2014
The committee is pursuing four substantive issues this year: dealing with disability; introducing new activities; 20th anniversary celebrations in 2015; increasing publicity (and, possibly as a consequence, recruitment). We continue to be hampered in our efforts by the continuing lack of a secretary.
The committee noted the support for improving our approach to disability at the Coordinators’ Meeting on 28 March. As a result committee members and coordinators are investigating the use of alternative meeting rooms that are accessible. We hope that groups will be using these by autumn 2014. If this leads to increased room hire costs the committee agreed to meet these from central funds for at least two years.
Several new groups have been proposed by members (see short paragraph on Groups page). The committee is aware of one or two that have already had a preliminary meeting and members are being approached to call a first meeting of the others.
The committee believes that a garden party or similar in May or early June 2015 should be the main activity to celebrate our 20th anniversary but is still open to suggestions. We also propose that we should produce a “history of the first 20 years” if we can find someone willing to research and write it. We are encouraging all groups to consider if they can put on a suitable celebratory event sometime during the year. Coordinating this activity is a significant job and we are seeking a member willing to take on this role.
We are striving to improve publicity and new posters will be produced that can be used in village halls and similar. The 2014 Open Day will be in Ambleside Parish Centre on 4 October and in subsequent years alternate between Windermere and Ambleside. We are seeking opportunities to have a presence at events in other villages and welcome suggestions from members.
In addition the committee heard that membership numbers remain constant at about 330, that a summary of the TAT insurance policy covering our activities has been sent to coordinators and is on our web site, and that highly successful short courses had recently been held on the Workings of Parliament and the Music of Bruckner.

30 January 2014
Penny Henderson was thanked for making the arrangements for a very enjoyable Christmas lunch.
The Chairman will make it clear to members in a variety of ways that the unfilled post of secretary is becoming serious.
Role descriptions for the Talks Organiser and Newsletter Editor were agreed for adding to the web site (sub-page of the Committee page).
Suggestions are beginning to arrive from members for new groups and courses following the recent newsletter insert and will be reported back to members in due course.
David Breton has recently stood down as coordinator of the Discussion Group and efforts are ongoing to find a replacement. Meanwhile the Gardens Group has been relaunched following a recent meeting and a full programme has been agreed for 2014.
The committee agreed to host a coffee morning on behalf of the Marchesi Centre again this year (6 September) and will seek a volunteer to organise it.
The document on Making Communication a Priority, produced by the committee last year was revisited and it was agreed that all items had been implemented satisfactorily apart from induction of new coordinators. The Chairman will follow up on this item.
The major item for this meeting was a discussion of disability and welfare. The committee discussed TAT Advice Sheet 1: Access for Disable Members (available on our website) noting in particular the need to be proactive in supporting disabled members or potential members. We satisfy almost all the accessibility issues in the advice sheet with our venues except for meetings held in Ambleside Library. We need to find out if there are any members who are not able to get to meetings because of transport difficulties and we will consult members on the start time of General Meeting. We will take these issues forward at the Coordinators’ Meeting, at a future General Meeting and in the next newsletter.
The Welfare Officer presented sample role descriptions for a number of groups; all are rather similar to ours. The committee agreed that our role description should be slightly tweaked to remove mention of sending flowers or of providing moral support since care must be taken to avoid someone unqualified getting too deeply involved in a situation needing professional support. It was however agreed that providing encouragement or help with arrangements for, e.g. transport, to enable someone to attend meetings was appropriate. There will be a short presentation on this subject at the next General Meeting.

21 November 2013
The committee noted that several posts have been filled since the last meeting but we are still searching for a secretary and a web editor.
Ideas for a number of "short courses" are being pursued including one on the workings of Parliament on 2 April and another on eye problems in older people in June. Details will be included in the January newsletter, together with an insert asking members for further ideas for short courses and new groups. Coordinators will also be asked if their groups can put on courses.
It was agreed that the 2014 AGM will be on 8 September and suggested that the 2014 Open Day should be held in Ambleside. Coordinators will be approached with the suggestion that the 2014 Coordinators Meeting should be on 28 March and that the agenda should include publicity and open days.
2015 will be the 20th anniversary of the establishment of A&D U3A. The committee considered that an appropriate celebration would be a garden party, perhaps in May, and that coordinators should be encouraged to consider their own separate celebration.
The first coffee morning for new members has been held and was clearly a success. More will be held, perhaps at about six-month intervals.
The treasurer reported that the inventory has been recently updated.
A paper from the publicity officer on current publicity (principally of our monthly meetings) and possible ways of expanding it was considered. It was agreed that the principal aims of such publicity are to increase our profile in the community in general and to increase membership. As a next step we will aim to increase the number of items for local newspapers and publications, and local radio. Increasing publicity will also be added to the agenda for the next coordinators meeting.

19 September 2013
The major business of the meeting was discussion of a paper by the chairman setting out his view of the strategic issues for the coming year. These include increasing the number of groups and the number of short courses run, and expanding the membership. The committee agreed these aims and will plan to ask members for their ideas during the coming months.
Specific areas of responsibility for committee members were agreed (see the Committee page).
The membership secretary will hold coffee mornings for new members at roughly six monthly intervals starting in October. Some committee members will be present at each one to help welcome new members.

5 September 2013
This was a short meeting.
The secretary reported the nominations received for election to the committee at the AGM. One committee post still requires filling. Other non-committee posts still need to be filled.
Preparations for the Christmas lunch on 9 December are beginning and will be a priority for the new committee so that details can appear in the next newsletter.
The treasurer presented the final accounts for 2012/3 approved by the independent examiner, Tony Willey.
The membership secretary has sent a reminder about subs to all members who pay by cheque.
Thanks were extended to all retiring members of the committee for their work on behalf of the A&D U3A.

25 July 2013
The Marchesi Coffee Morning was a success and raised £250.
The committee received the almost final accounts for 2012/3 indicating a surplus of about £400 for the year and total funds of about £8,000. The committee will not propose a change in the subscription for 2013/4.
The new web site based on the U3A Web Builder is live and members will be invited to comment on it. More than one person can act as editor and one or more additional editors will be sought.
The possibility of holding an Open Day annually was discussed, alternately in Ambleside and Windermere, and will be on the agenda for the next Coordinators’ Meeting.
Members of the committee made a number of proposals for the 2013/4 committee.
More posties for the newsletter are required in Grasmere and Staveley.

13 June 2013
The committee principally continued its discussions related to “improving communication”.

  • Suggestions were made on possible improvements to the letter and forms for application for membership and Frances Green agreed to follow up; in particular the importance of member contributions to the U3A will be further emphasised.
  • A draft brief for the role of Publicity Officer was discussed. The appointment would be made by the new committee from among its members or by co-option.
  • Mike Green presented a mock-up of the new web site that he and Christine Riley have begun to develop. The committee agreed that we should change to the new site, probably in July, and that a presentation would be made at the AGM on 9 September.

Frances Green presented a summary of her survey of member participation. Of 332 members about 56% are regular attenders at one or more groups and about 25% have attended at least one of the last four general meetings. About 35% have not taken part in any of these activities.

The TAT advice sheet for disabled members was discussed. We appear to conform with the advice but adjustments made be needed in particular circumstances, e.g. not using an upstairs meeting room. The advice sheet will be added to the new web site.

The need to find replacement officers and committee members was discussed and the committee agreed to make further efforts to find “volunteers”.

Angela Dainton informed the committee of a forthcoming seminar in Manchester on the roles of chair, membership secretary and group support officer.