U3A Annual General Meeting
The 2018 U3A Annual General Meeting was held in Nottingham on 28th to 30th August. A video record was made of key note speeches that can be found on the U3A's YouTube channel. Members of Epping Forest U3A can use the link in the right-hand column of this page to reach that video. It contains the keynote address by Professor Janice Thompson talking about her work concerning keeping active and healthy in later life. It also contains the farewell address by outgoing Chair of the National Executive Committee of the U3A, Pam Jones, and the finance statement from outgoing Treasurer, John Ellison.
Learning Not Lonely
The University of the Third Age has released a report, "Learning Not Lonely", based on its own research with its membership and drawing upon literature elsewhere to show how the U3A and its model of lifelong learning can benefit members. The proactive, self-help approach adopted by the U3A in the UK represents an alternative to the common "deficit and dependency" model that more usually characterises the support needs and well-being of older people. That model of public health has tended to focus on the negatives such as what's wrong with people, the steps that need to be taken to deal reactively with health problems, and the associated costs to the tax payer.
The U3A model brings centre-stage the idea that retired people can and do help themselves. By setting up activities that exercise their brains and bodies and brings them into regular contact with other people, the well-being of older members of the population is enhanced through their own efforts. Not just this, but the U3A is self-funded and does not depend on the government for financial support.
In the U3A members come together to create a positive and fun learning environment that, according to this research, gives them a sense of purpose, provides opportunities for constructive use of their time, enhances their self-confidence, and makes them feel they still have something to offer. The self-help model of the U3A means that its members don't just turn up to its activities, they also construct and run them.
Further spin-off effects are that being in the U3A make its members feel socially connected, stave off loneliness and the depression that can often follow from that. Over 3.7 million people aged 65 and over live on their own and 1.2 million do not have adult children. These figures are expected to rise in the years ahead. Clearly, there is an expanding market for an organisation like the U3A.
For those interested, there is a link to this report in the right-hand column of this page.
Membership renewal payments will fall due on 1st February 2019. At the Annual General Meeting of Epping Forest U3A held on 5th November 2018, Members agreed a Committee recommendation to bring the Membership Year in line with the Financial Year. This would be achieved in two stages. Members will pay a reduced subscription to cover the period 1st February to 31st August 2019. This will be half the normal annual subscription. Hence payments of £10 per member or £18 per couple will be made on 1st February 2019. From then on annual payments (£20 per member/£36 per couple) will be made on 1st September, beginning in 2019.
Exclusive EFU3A Visit to Copped Hall
Following the talk about Copped Hall at our December Monthly Meeting, an outing to the site is being arranged for the 10th May 2019. This event will provide our Members with an opportunity to visit and be taken on an exclusive guided tour of this historical site. The tour lasts around three hours and includes, coffee, tea and cakes. The ticket price is £12 which includes refreshments. Members with mobility issues can be accommodated. Anyone interested should contact Steve Baker. He can be reached through the Contact page on this web site.
Annual General Meeting
The Epping Forest U3A AGM was held on 5th November 2018. A report was presented by Chrystine Hobbs covering her first year as Chair of the Executive Committee. One Executive Committee Member, Stella Stella, departed from the Committee having served her term of office. Other Committee Members were re-elected. The Executive Committee subsequently approved re-election of the two co-opted Committee Members. The AGM approved a number of changes to the EFU3A Constitution covering financial procedures and the change to the Membership Year to bring it in line, for the first time, with the Financial Year.
Proposed New Groups
Epping Forest is seeking expressions of interest in a number of proposed new Groups. These include a possible new Antiques group, History, and Music Appreciation Group ("A Little Light Music".
Chrystine Hobbs wishes to hear from anyone who might be interested in participating in an Antiques Group. She is seeking both Members who would like to participate and any Members with expertise in antiques who might get involved in running it. The format would resemble that of the BBC's Antiques Roadshow in which Members bring along items to be assessed and possibly valued.
The current EFU3A History Group has proven to be very popular and its membership is full. There are sufficient Members now on a waiting list for this Group that the Committee is seeking to establish a second History Group. Any Members on the waiting list for the current group or anyone else with an interest in history is invited to come forward to join and to help run a new History Group. Its Members will need to decide how often they meet and where, and also which period(s) of history they wish to examine. The Executive Committee can provide initial support in relation to setting up a new group. Anyone interested should contact Linda Cohen, the Groups Co-ordinator at EFU3A. She can be reached through the Contact page on this web site.
This proposed new Group has been provisionally titled "A Little Light Music". It will be run from a Member's home in Woodford Green and expects to run twice a month on alternate Mondays between 2pm and 4pm. Members will view and discuss DVDs of light opera and musicals and music associated with ballet and other arts. Further details including who to contact about this possible new activity can be found in the monthly Newsletter and on the Newsreel shown at each Main Monthly Meeting.
Writing for our Web News, Group Leader Linda Cohen reports: "The Coffee Mornings have been running very successfully now for nine months. They are a wonderful opportunity for Members to meet other Members at Epping Forest U3A. They are designed especially to help new Members by creating an informal, unpressured way of meeting people and having a chat."
"The way it works is that I advertise in the Newsletter for a host to hold a coffee morning and he or she can decide how many people should be invited. These meetings usually attract between six and 12 people but the ceiling on numbers is set by the host who decides how many they can comfortably accommodate. Refreshments are normally provided, but hosts are not expected or required to do anything fancy."
"Hosts don't need to be out of pocket either in providing refreshments. The Executive Committee of EFU3A has undertaken to fund these meetings for their first 12 months. After then, as with all other Groups, Members are asked to contribute a small amount each (usually less than 50p) towards these costs. However, some hosts in the past have decided to waive making any claims of this sort."
"When you phone me to host a Coffee Morning, I take a few details to agree with you a date, time, venue, availability of parking, and the maximum number of people that can be accommodated. The dates are then published in the Newsletter, the web site, and the Newsreel hat is shown in the main hall before the Main Monthly meeting. About a week before the event I inform the host of the names of the people that have booked to attend your Coffee Morning sessions."
"I would really like to emphasize that these meetings are not just for our lady Members but also for gentlemen. We would really love to see more men at these events. Come on gents, don't be shy."
"I shall be delighted to hear from anyone who would like to host one of these meetings. They really can help our Members to feel more engaged with our U3A."