North West Region


The national chair, Liz Thackray discussed 'Fit For The Future'. (FFTF).on
February 20th on Zoom from 10.30 - 1.00. and on March 5th 2024 face to face at the Gateway Centre in Warrington from 11 - 3.30

Your Best Ever AGM
Monday November 6th. Quaker Meeting House, Liverpool 10.15-3.30

Members had an opportunity to meet Much Wittering in the Marshes u3a and spot the mistakes in their AGM.
After lunch there were breakout groups where you can network with other members to discuss AGM planning, committee procedures, good practice, trustee induction and other aspects of u3a management.

There was no charge for this event.

NWR Conference and AGM 2023
This was held at the Quaker Meeting House, School Lane, Liverpool, L1 3BT on July 4th 10.00 – 4.00pm
There were 2 workshops to choose in the morning and the AGM was held in the afternoon and over 50 people attended from 33 u3as.
Celebrating Volunteers June 2023
As part of the National Volunteer Week, there was an invitation to join us on June 7th at 10.30 for an informal 'coffee morning' to chat about the volunteers who contribute to our u3as and make the u3a such a vibrant movement.

The Big Sing
This was held on Wednesday May 10th 2023, 10.15a.m. – 3.30 p.m. at The Quaker Meeting House, School Lane, Liverpool.

North West Region Zoom Workshop - Beacon for Group Coordinators was held on Friday, 10th March 2023 between 1.30 and 3.00pm.

Peter Jenner, a Beacon Support Volunteer in the North West, delivered a successful workshop to 32 members of the North West. Participants were sent notes after the event and further questions may be sent to peter via mary Waters. Many thanks go to Peter for this.

Festive Moments

Wednesday 14th December 2022; 4.00 pm on Zoom
Many members enjoyed this festive meeting which was organised by members of the NWR committee.

NWR Summer School 16th-19th August 2022, Carlisle
Thanks to all who organised and attended this enjoyable and worthwhile event.
National Research and Shared Learning Conference 3rd August 2022, Preston, Lancs
The programme included displays of members' projects and presentations.
Annual NWR Conference and AGM held on 15th June 2022, Preston

Click here to access the keynote presentation by Liz Thackray, Chair of Third Age Trust Liz Thackray's Presentation
Click here to see the Cybersecurity update from Dave Carlos of the Lancashire Constabulary's Cyber Volunteer Team Online Awareness June 22 and the links mentioned in the presentation Links from Presentation
Many thanks to all the presenters and the members who attended and made it into an enjoyable, relaxed event in pleasant surrounding.
The draft Minutes from this AGM can be found as a link.
Peer to Peer Support Meeting for Chairs – 16th March 2022

We offered this event to Chairs, Vice Chairs and those interested this role using Zoom. We were delighted to welcome 30 members from 25 different u3as from across the region. The meeting started with a presentation based on topics of interest raised by the members. There were 4 break out groups who discussed 4 different topics before giving useful feedback. The notes from these sessions and the presentation have been circulated to those members who booked onto the event. Several comments about the meeting have been received and included 'very useful, informative, really interesting and excellent'.

Peer to Peer Support Meeting for Treasurers – 11th January 2022

Following on from our previous peer to peer meetings, which received excellent feedback from attendees, we offered a similar event for treasurers and those interested this role. It took place on 11th January at 10.00 a.m. on Zoom and and was attended by 29 members from across the region. We were delighted that John Bent who is the Trustee for London and is a member of the Trust Finance Committee was able to join us. He shared his hot tips and answered many questions. These were shared with the members who booked onto this meeting.

A workshop on Research and Shared Learning was held on Tuesday, 19th October at 10.30 a.m. Maggy Simms shared information about Active Learning and also about the interesting projects that members can get involved in. We all appreciated the event and our thanks go to Maggy for holding this.

Peer-to-Peer Business Secretaries Meeting was held on 13th October 2021
Members of the NW Regional team facilitated the event and it was an opportunity to share experience and to speak to other members about plans, concerns and solutions. Information about the role and some of the legal aspects were shared and handouts were sent to those who had booked a place. We received many positive comments of appreciation and a few suggestions for further improvements. The handouts were also well received.

NWR AGM and presentation 14th September 2pm 2021
We are started this event with a presentation by Neil Stevenson, our Regional Trustee. He explained his role, the work of the Regional Committee and the wider u3a movement. There were several comments that this interesting and informative. This was followed by our AGM which was attended by 27 members.Our thanks to all those u3as who supported us with their votes and by attending the event.

A Funding workshop was led by Frank Heinrick-Tiller, Funding Officer, Sutton Bridge u3a on Tuesday 31st August 2021.This one hour workshop was intended for Chairs, Treasurers and Funding Officers.
It included ways of raising money for our u3a. We very much appreciated Frank's input and for sending a copy of the slides used in the presentation. These have been sent to the 31 members who booked onto the session.

A presentation by Jane Bailey on Resuming Activities Safely was held on 28th July at 2pm.
Our thanks go to Jane who delivered this presentation and answered the many questions and comments that arose. Over 100 members representing 38 different u3as planned to attend and 91 members were present.
Please click Presentation to view this presentation. There is further advice on the National website

Thursday 10th June 2021 2-4pm Retention and Recruitment Event

Our thanks go to Paul Martinez, Chair u3a Recruitment Working Group, who led this enjoyable workshop and shared many valuable resources with us.
We hope that the 29 members from 20 different u3as who attended did
• Gain greater awareness and understanding of the issues around retention and recruitment
• Learn about the retention strategies developed by 60 u3as
• Receive a detailed introduction to the contents of the u3a Retention and recruitment toolkit
• Take part in small group discussions to share experiences
• Gain access to a recording of the event and receive a copy of the Introduction and guide to the retention and recruitment toolkit, which has links to all the 35 individual tools.
Paul also made available the latest working draft about committees and would welcome comments from members

Tuesday 18th May 9.30 - 11.30 This presentation followed by a Q & A session by Sam Mauger CE, The Third Age Trust included an explanation of the changes to the New Model Constitution and why it's a good thing to adopt this Constitution The presentation was in response to topics and questions already raised. Members from 25 different u3as booked onto this very informative and useful event. Our thanks go to Sam.
April 26th Group Convenors Meeting This was an opportunity for members from u3as across the region to discuss issues and share ideas. The feedback shows that it was a very useful event
April 13th 2021 10.30 a.m. Japanese Culture was presented by Gill Russell This presentation was an introduction to Japanese culture and was both very informative and interesting 23 members attended from a range of u3as and many posted comments of appreciation for the event. Our thanks to Gill for providing us with this last Tuesday talk for the time being
March 9th 2021 10.30a.m. Happy Ever After? was presented by Catherine Stevenson This enjoyable and informative presentation mapped the history of fairy stories, particularly through Cinderella, using art and literature 23 members attended and their comments included 'Fantastic. A wonderful holiday from the present’ as well as many of appreciation. Many thanks to Catherine
The Diversity and Inclusion workshop was held on the 25th February 2021 This was a session to develop ideas and share practice, and was presented by the National Diversity and Inclusion team This was attended by 15 members, including team members. Eight u3as were represented. Our thanks to Doreen Raine and the team for delivering a thought provoking event. The up to date guidelines for this relevant topic can be found on this site.
February 9th 2021 2pmAntarctic Adventures This was presented by Neil Stevenson, our Regional trustee, and was enjoyed by over 35 members. The photographs showed the stunning wild life and for a time we were all transported to another wonderful place. We have received many messages of thanks and appreciation. Many thanks to Neil.
January 12 2021 Cyber Security This was attended by 28 members and was led by Dave Carlos of Fleetwood and Wyre u3a, who provided up to date care on keeping safe in the digital age. There was information about using secure passwords and other relevant resources which can be found on this site. Dave is a Lancashire Police volunteer who covers the subject for them and has offered to provide talks on the subject. We have received lots of thanks and appreciation for the talk. Many thanks to Dave.
13th October 2020 Memory and Identity Thanks to Tony Clarke of Lymm and Thelwall U3A for presenting the session on 'who we think we are' The session was well attended and greatly appreciated. Tony's notes are available if you email the Chair (see contacts)
10th November 2020 Grandma flew spitfires Thanks to Tim Young of Newmarket U3A for presenting the session on the roles of the women who supported the air defence of Britain The session was well attended and much appreciatedTim's details can be found in the Resources section
8th December Winter Warmer with Fool's Gold Acoustic Musicians Over 50 members joined our winter celebration led by Carol and Steve Robson, with music and tales Many members contacted us to comment how much they had enjoyed the event

Zoom Training

26/11/202010.30 until 12.30 More advanced skills than those touched on in Basic Zoom session 33 members registered and attended representing 15 different u3as from across the region this event. Many members expressed their appreciation for this useful event.
11/11/2020This basic Zoom session was well attended by 83 members and several members expressed their appreciation for the sessiom

North West Region of U3As AGM report 2020

Forty-three members, representing 30 different U3As from across the region, attended the AGM which was held using Zoom on the 1st September. Votes from 24 U3As were received before the AGM took place and the results of these were announced during the event. All the reports were accepted and approved. Of these, 22 U3As approved the minutes and 24 U3As approved or accepted the other reports.
All the documents were emailed to the members that had registered and it was requested that any questions were sent prior to the meeting. There was, however, an opportunity to ask questions and make comments during the AGM using the ‘chat’ feature on Zoom. One of the members asked about the possibility of holding future AGMs using Zoom. The Charity Commission has given permission for charities to hold their AGMs digitally as long as it is in the best interests of the members. This provision has only been agreed in response to the pandemic so that charities can fulfil their legal obligation during the current restrictions on meetings.
During the AGM, Arnie Laing stepped down from the committee and was thanked for his contributions in the past. The following committee was elected to serve for the following year:

Chair: Mo Eccles Upholland & District U3A
Vice Chair Hannah Chellaswamy Lymm and Thelwall U3A
Vice Chair Jacqueline Owen Wyre U3A
Treasurer Alan Hough Upholland & District U3A
Secretary Angela Bond Becconsall U3A
Member Bill Woods Heswall U3A
Member Maggy Simms Bolton & West Pennine Villages U3As
Member Mary Waters Lancaster and Morecambe U3A
In addition to the Officers, our constitution states there must be at least three and not more than five U3A members appointed to the Executive Committee. It was pointed out that anyone interested in serving on the committee should get in touch with the Chair or secretary.
Gill Russell, our Regional Trustee, announced that, after she steps down at the National AGM, Neil Stevenson will be the new Trustee from the end of September. Gill was thanked for all the guidance and support she has given and that all her hard work and dedication was appreciated.

Mo Eccles
7th September 2020

Holding a committee meeting by videoconferencing March 2020

We are happy to report that our first attempt at having a virtual committee meeting worked well and was voted definitely fit for purpose by the participants.
Being honest, most people don’t like the thought of having to download ‘yet another program’. Even those used to IT grit their teeth in expectation of the unexpected.

But we were able to enjoy a reasonably smooth experience, once we had mastered the trick of sharing the meeting access code. We recommend others give virtual meetings a go.

We think the program that we settled on, ‘Zoom Videoconferencing’, had a positive impact on our experience. For starters, it is genuinely, totally, free to use. No need to enter credit card details. Simply sign up and use, with no catches, no adverts and far from being a hard sell, our 30-minute free session was automatically extended to 70 minutes.

The controls are pretty straightforward. You can alter your own view so you have a gallery of everyone, or you can have one speaker dominating the screen. You can share your own screen with the meeting, and you can record the session (handy for minute-taking).
See below our committee during the videoconference and an example of one screen being shared to eall participants.

Video conference in action video conference screen share

Report on Active Living Workshop 12th Feb 2020
(Powerpoint slides from Orcha and from Prof Gill Baynes are available on right as pdf files)

It was decided that we would call the day Active Living because we wanted to focus on how to live, rather than age, well in later life. The scene was set through an excellent presentation on Living Well in Later Years and continued with an interesting presentation on how to use apps for healthy living. Members could then choose either to be creative through perceptive drawing or be physical through a taster session on Tai Chi. Both sessions were well received. Everyone also attended a relaxing and informative session on Mindfulness that looked at the art of how to mature happily and mindfully. The day concluded with an informative presentation on ‘How Active Living promotes Brain Health’.
40 members registered from 18 different U3As in the region with the sessions being held in Liverpool. Members from as far away as Carlisle, Wyre and Chester attended. At the end of the day, members were asked which parts were the best and we were pleased to see that the majority responded ‘all of it’. There were several individual comments that were very positive and included 'all excellent’, ‘very informative’ and 'everything was exceptional'. Our thanks go to everyone who helped the day to be such a success.
Mo Eccles
February 2020

Committee Forum Workshop held on 16th July 2019
This workshop was held at Gateway in Warrington on 16th July 2019 and was attended by 30 members representing a variety of U3As across the region. Gill Russell, assisted by Neil Stevenson, led the first session on Trustee Induction and covered many aspects of being a committee member. After lunch, the group split into discussion groups for committee officers, membership secretaries, interest group co-ordinators and membership secretaries. Members of the regional committee along with Gill and Neil supported these groups.
We were delighted to receive comments by members who attended the workshop and these included that it was extremely useful and informative; friendly and interesting. It was also noted that the day was very positive with lots of useful ideas swapped. All comments were shared with members of the regional committee to help with future planning.
Mo Eccles
August 2019