Canvey Island

Beacon

ATTENTION ALL MEMBERS

It has been reported by some members that they are not receiving emails sent to them from Canvey Island U3A, via the Beacon system. To ensure that this does not happen to you, please go to your email account and enter noreply@u3abeacon.org.uk into your trusted/allowed email addresses and contacts. This should ensure, as far as possible, that you always receive emails sent by Committee Members and your Group Liaisons.

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Our u3a has been using the Beacon sysyem since 2018. The system was initially developed by a National group of U3A members, for use by U3A's as a membership management system simplifying all aspects of running a u3a . We needed a system that allowed easy succession of new committee members, when elected.

Beacon is a web-based system that can offer us much more than just a database of membership records. All U3A members records such as email addresses, phone numbers and addresses are kept securely in one place. Restricted areas of the records can be accessed by relevant committee members and Group Liaisons, for example to send emails to members or group members.

In the future the system has the possibility of enabling members subscriptions to be paid online and a simple accounts system that will allow future Treasurer's a simple option to manage the U3A accounts that are acceptable for yearly submission to the Charity Commission.

Membership cards are printed by the Beacon system and include your bar-coded membership number. Members will be required to use their cards, to scan on entry to main meetings. This will give the committee and future committees valuable data of members attending meetings, and capacity at meetings. There will no longer be a need for members to sign in at AGM meetings etc.

Group Liaisons have now been given access to Beacon. This will enable them to keep an accurate record of their group members, easily send emails to their members, and enter or change forthcoming group meeting dates. If Liaisons need to collect money for any reason, there is a simple ledger to help.

If you have any questions or queries about the Beacon system please contact website admin and I will try to answer them.

Links in Emails

Some Committee members and Group Liaisons are now using Links in their Beacon emails and will be doing so even more in the future.
If you receive an email that includes a link (the link text will normally be Blue and Underlined), it means that there is more information to be seen on the link. All you need to do is click (or tap in the case of a mobile phone or ipad) on the Blue underlined text and you will be taken to that extra information.
Apologies to the computer literate amongst you, that know this already. However, it appears that there are many of you out there that that do not know this basic facility. This basic rule applies to any document that you may come across on the internet, if there is text that is underlined and usually blue, in colour, then click on it to see other information. There are examples of this in various places in the text of this page.

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For Group Liaisons and Beacon Users

As a Group Liaison you should now have your log in details for Beacon. Your Group will have been set up, please log in to see how easy it is to use. Help and instruction is available to all users if needed. If, as a Liaison you decide that you do not want to use Beacon, our Groups Coordinator can look after it for you. If this is the case, please inform Jan Collett, Groups Coordinator. Jan will need from you a list of your group members and most importantly, changes when they happen i.e. members, meeting dates, times and venues.

A user guide aimed at Group Liaisons is available here Beacon User Guide.
See A Useful User Guide For All Beacon Users for an easy to follow guide through the system with screen shots.

IMPORTANT

As a Liaison, when you get a request from a Member to join your Group, please make sure that as well as their name you make a note of their MEMBERSHIP NUMBER.
You will not be able to enter them on your Beacon group list using their name, YOU CAN ONLY USE THEIR MEMBERSHIP NUMBER. The system is designed this way as we do have members with identical names
.