Starting a New Activity Group

Convener Liaison
  • The Convener Liaison Team (CLT), who will support you throughput the process of setting up your group.
  • Thing of a title for the group and a short 2 or 3 sentence outline of what the group is for.
  • A group will be set up for you in Beacon. This is our on-line database of all our members and Groups. You will be shown how to use Beacon.
  • You will be shown how to advertise the group to all our members via our email system, the Magazine and the Monthly Meeting.
  • Tell any other u3a members you know that you are starting the group to see if they are interested.
  • As names of interested members are received, these can be added to the Beacon Group.

If you Have Enough Interest to Start the Group

  • Keep your Beacon list up to date adding (or deleting) members as necessary. Do not use your own personal computer contacts system as this will contravene Data Protection.
  • Send out emails from Beacon to the group as required.
  • Ask the Web Master to create a page on the Chepstow u3a website. You will be shown how to do this.
  • A meeting of potential members will be arranged for you to decide how often to meet, the time and day, venues, subscriptions etc. With CLT’s help we often use the Saturday monthly Coffee Morning or the Tuesday Monthly Meeting of members to get possible members together. Encourage discussion and invite their ideas and their feedback to help develop the plan for the group.
  • Finding a venue. We have a list of venues on Beacon to help you find one that can accommodate the group. If your first meeting is in a hall we will pay the rent for the first meeting. If it is small group you may wish to meet at members' homes as this will keep down the costs.
  • Finding a suitable date and time. Click on Groups Day-by-Day which will tell you which groups meet on what day. Members will be in groups already so consider meeting over lunch time or tea time or in the evening.
  • Once everything has been agreed make sure that you inform all members of your new Group about this, ensure that your web page has been updated, and that you have an entry in the back page of the magazine (email
  • If your group needs subscriptions to cover costs such as the hire of a venue talk to CLT or click on Group Financial Procedures.
  • After the group has had some meetings consider asking another member of the group to be second in command to give the Convener support and who could take over if the Convener is unable to attend a meeting.
  • After 2 or 3 months CLT will contact you to find out how things are going, help in any way if needed and to discuss ways in which this new group could assist in the important task of running our u3a. However, if you needshelp or advice at any time then please contact CLT or in their absence, the Chairman.

All this may seem a bit daunting but just work through it stage by stage and with the help of the Convener Liaison Team you will find that it will all come together. If you have what seems to be an insolvable problem remember we have been starting groups for over thirty years so the chances of it being a new problem is pretty remote. Someone is bound to be able to help you!