North Wales Network

Deputy ChairmanChris Winner07545 019179
SecretaryElaine Beech07979 802465
TreasurerPat Greenhill01492 516463
RVsCarol Brown 01766 523052
  Mary Woolley 01978 812968

The North Wales Network Committee meets regularly to report our progress and to share our successes. We presently have over 3500 members. Ruthin U3A recently launched a new U3A bringing the total number of U3As in North Wales to thirteen. The largest U3A has over 680, the smallest has just 40 members. However each one has their own distinct identity offering a diverse collection of interests for members to pursue and social activities to enjoy.

Would you like a link to your U3A Newsletter on here? Just send a copy to website manager for inclusion

North Wales U3As

There are 13 U3As in North Wales. You can visit their website home pages by clicking the links below:

LlandudnoPenmaenmawrPorthmadogPrestatyn, Rhyl and DistrictRuthinWrexham

A short report on the North Wales Network Consultation on the structure of the U3A trust

I was delighted to attend a meeting of the North Wales Network on Monday 6 February to discuss the possibility of changing the structure of the U3A trust.

As part of a programme of consultation instigated by Chairman Pam Jones, Michaela Moody a member of the working party came to give the network a presentation. Michaela is also the vice chair of the NEC. Also joining us were Pam Jones, Chairman and Wales trustee, Hilary Jones.

Michaela gave us an excellent presentation on the present structure of the trust as well as outlining possible changes. Apparently some members feel that the trust is not a bottom up organisation. So the leadership determined to find out. Following the presentation Michaela took questions. This was an excellent session and with 10 of the 13 members of the network attending it was fairly represented.

I can only talk personally but I have always found the National Office in Bromley to be very useful and helpful on every occasion I have called on it. I, therefore, would urge caution if any changes are made. If changes are made to the NEC and the number of trustees is reduced then it would be essential to retain the trustee for Wales on the NEC.

A big thanks to those who organised this meeting.

Peter Beddoes
Chairman Wrexham U3A

Focus on . . . . Flintshire U3A

This is a new feature on the North Wales Network page where (hopefully) each U3A in turn will tell us something about themselves. If your U3A would like a chance to blow its trumpet here then please contact the NWN website manager. Flintshire U3A have the following to say about themselves:

Our website says that ‘Flintshire U3A is a vibrant association of groups, which meet to offer a wide variety of activities and interests. These meetings also offer a chance to make new friends, share interests and develop new skills in an informal and friendly atmosphere.’

Certainly, that has been my experience of FU3A. Like Rose from Ruthin U3A, when I retired I was looking for something to fill my time. I was looking a digital photography group in the area, I could join and that’s when I came across the Flintshire U3A website. As I looked through the website, I was amazed at the range of groups and activities that were on offer, I could do something different every day if I wanted to. One of the things that really interested me was that the vast majority of groups were self-help (and still are). Of course all of the groups provided a great opportunity to meet new people and make new friends.

That was my introduction to FU3A in 2011, this is now.

Flintshire U3A has gone from strength to strength over the years. We now have 730 members and 79 interest groups, with more in the setting up stage.

Our very popular, long established groups such as Social History can have as many as 120 members coming to their talks. There is almost always a waiting list for our Away Days and Stays. There is an Away Day visit to somewhere of interest every month and twice a year it becomes an extended visit, most recent was a four day visit to the Bath and Bristol area.

A number of our groups share what they have been doing with the wider community. The three FU3A art groups regularly exhibit their work in local libraries. Our music based performance groups – the Belle Plate Ringers and our Singing for Pleasure are frequently invited to ‘play out’ in local care homes and day centres, particularly on the run up to Christmas. The relatively new Words, Music and Song group are soon to make their public debut. They will all be performing at our annual Christmas Concert.

The Christmas Concert is just one of the social events held annually. We also have a post-Christmas coffee morning, a New Year Lunch, as well as other regular social events.

In addition to our regular Open Meetings we have also held themed days including Celtic Myths and Legends which featured Dafydd Davies-Hughes and Ruth Moore Williams. Our Exploring Science group organised a Science themed day, both were sell outs. We look forward to planning similar days in the future.

Flintshire U3A works because of the enthusiasm and support of its members. As will all U3As we rely on volunteers to make things happen. Without volunteers to Coordinate groups, plan the Away Days, sit on the Committee, organise the social events, edit the newsletters and website, FU3A just wouldn’t function.

Our membership numbers are increasing so it’s gratifying to know that the word is getting out there, we must be doing something right.

Chris Winner,
Flintshire U3A