What is there beyond the BC U3A?
Nationally, there are well over 1,000 U3As (and growing), with a current membership of over 425,000.
All are supported by a national umbrella organisation, the Third Age Trust (TAT), referred to as the National Office which is based in London (their website is www.u3a.org.uk). TAT is led by a Chief Executive (Sam Mauger) and her team works closely with the Board of Directors called the National Executive Committee (NEC), to provide the administrative support to the U3A movement. Part of our membership fee is passed on to TAT to support its activities.
The NEC is a Board of Directors, made up of 15 trustees - 12 are elected by the U3A regions (our current trustee in the South West is Jill Nicholls) and 3 officers, who are elected by the whole U3A membership – Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Treasurer. The Board works to ensure good governance, drive strategy and engender innovation.
Among other things, TAT:-
• provides a resource center, offers subject advice, a DVD library and gives insurance cover for the whole movement;
• produces its own magazine, “Third Age Matters” 5 times a year which is posted to members;
• produces an educational hard copy or on-line journal called “Sources”, which aims to be of general interest, but can be of particular interest to study group leaders, aspiring group leaders and committee members;
• organises study days and summer schools, as well as an annual conference & AGM, which is normally held at the East Midlands Conference Centre, University Park, Nottingham.
Regionally, we are all supported by local networks, which local U3As can join – ours is the Cotswold Link - which acts as a useful communications channel between the National Office and the local U3As. It holds two meetings a year, at which there are normally reports in person or in absentia from either or both of our Regional Trustees – currently, the aforementioned Jill Nicholls (from the South West Region) and Auriol Ainley (from the West Midlands Region).