This new Network News page is intended to highlight issues that relate to the all individual U3As in the Herts Network. The topics are varied and have typically been the subject of Network-wide seminars.
For those of you who have been familiar with the website layout this page regroups the topics that have been displayed on the Members News and the old Herts Forum pages.
Herts Network AGM 2018
The Network AGM was held on March 23rd preceded, as usual, by an excellent lunch. And the new table arrangement was well received. Many thanks to everyone who quietly helped with the organisation and smooth running of the event.
It was well attended with 67 representatives from 32 U3As across the region. A summary of the minutes is attached - the full version will have been sent to each U3A.
Trustees and Finance
A topic that has everyone running for cover but some useful notes have emerged over time from regional discussions. A Regional Newsletter from 2016 still carries useful guidance, alongside notes from 2015 on Being a U3A Trustee and the comprehensive Charity Commission Leaflet on Being a Trustee.
Finance Seminar - September 2017
Kevin Traynor, the Finance Manager for the Third Age Trust led a workshop on U3A Finances at Woolmer Green on Thursday 7th September.
He covered a range of topics including expenses and paid tutors, constitution and tenure, annual returns to the charities Commission, bank accounts and signatories, Gift Aid, accounting systems and position of independent examiners and insurance. The session created much discussion and affirmed the variety of approaches and practices amongst our U3As.
For further details see the Finance Seminar notes.
Webmasters' Interactive Workshop
The workshop provided an opportunity for webmasters across the region to come together and discuss common issues relating to maintaining local websites, primarily when using the U3A Sitebuilder facility.
The workshop notes provide a good summary of the day with further very useful information on Consideration on building a new website.
A high level introduction to Sitebuilder, the most commonly used website builder by those attending, can be found at U3A Notes on Sitebuilder.
As a result of the meeting a discussion forum was set up to allow webmasters to exchange ideas about website issues.
The U3A Beacon System
This new aid produced by U3A is aimed at supporting many functions associated with membership and groups management, and also useful treasurer functions, including Gift Aid. Derek Gant gave an excellent introduction to the system at the regional meeting on 3rd March. For more information about the Beacon system search for U3A Beacon.
Using bar codes
A problem I'm sure many U3A's face is how to how to simply and effectively register members as they arrive at meetings. Dave Miller from St Albans has kindly put together a comprehensive description of a Bar Code system and how it can work for U3As. It is based on an Excel spreadsheet and straightforward off-the-shelf technology, so not to panic.
Eastern Region news
The East of England region has recently formed U3APlus to identify and raise awareness of the challenges that may be experienced by U3A members with impairments and disabilities. Click on this U3APlus link for further information.