Northumbria Region U3A



Northumbria Region U3A
Years ago, long before U3A ‘regions’ and ‘networks’, some local U3As in North East England recognised the immense value of living near, learning from and laughing with other local U3As. Northumbria Region U3A, a mutually supportive organisation was launched.

Today, we can be so very proud that those early ideas and plans are still being implemented and developed. Fifty one U3As across the North East and North Yorkshire continue to live, learn and laugh together.

Like all registered charities, Northumbria Region U3A is organised and managed by a committee of Trustees. I have been a Trustee of a huge range of small and large voluntary organisations and community groups for most of my adult life. It is one of the most satisfying volunteering roles that any individual can take.

Of course, being a Trustee can be challenging but, at an Annual General Meeting, there is nothing quite like the feeling of having succeeded in ensuring the survival, growth and development of a much needed and well-respected organisation.

So, what are the main roles which have to be undertaken by Trustees …
 ensure your charity is carrying out its purposes for the public benefit
 comply with the law and the governing document of your charity
 act in the best interests of your charity
 responsibly manage the resources of your charity
 act with reasonable care and skill
 ensure that your charity complies with statutory accounting and reporting requirements.

Really, just the sort of things that any individual makes sure happens in the places where they live and work! In Northumbria Region U3A, currently, being a Trustee is really exciting. U3As are changing. Locally, more and different groups are being introduced. Nationally, membership continues to grow (both individuals and U3As). Internationally, U3A has achieved many successes and huge respect. What a great time to be involved!

If you want to know more about Northumbria Region U3A, contact Business Secretary Jane Mathieson

Kelvin Rushworth
Wooler U3A and Trust Volunteer


For some time, Northumbria Region U3A has had a number of hard-working ‘Sub Committees’ which undertook, successfully, several relevant tasks on behalf of the Trustees. However, most appeared to be ‘permanent’ and somewhat ad hoc in the way which they were established, recruited members, defined or adopted terms of reference and understood their role (especially in accountability and financial matters). The Northumbria Region U3A Trustees have decided to replace Sub Committees with Working Groups.

A Working Group is defined as ‘a group of knowledgeable individuals working together to achieve specific goals’. The Groups focus on discussion or activity around a specific subject area. The lifespan of a Working Group can last anywhere between a few weeks and a year. When the assigned task is completed and the goals have been achieved, Working Groups disband. Therefore, some organisations have renamed them ‘Task and Finish Groups’.

Basic principles
All Northumbria Region U3A Working Groups should …

  • Have a clearly defined and agreed specific task (eg Three Year Plan WG, Parliamentary Study Day WG, Summer School WG)
  • Like most other U3A initiatives, be self-financing (but using other financial and ‘in kind’ resources, as appropriate)
  • Include at least one Trustee as a member (as the prime link between the Group and Trustees, but not necessarily as the convenor or chair)
  • Submit Terms of Reference, Membership and Timespan (including final date) to Trustees, for approval.

Monitoring the success of Working Groups
When a Working Group has completed the identified task, the Trustees plan to evaluate and learn from each experience …
Were the goals and objectives clearly expressed, known and understood?
What were the tangible results of the completed task?
What effects did the results have?
Were any unexpected results – desirable or otherwise – observed?
What methods and techniques were used to achieve the results?
Was there an effective use of both internal and external available resources?
The work of all Groups could be evaluated together, prior to each AGM.


The Constitution has to be updated,
Look for Draft Constitution v10 for discussion
Jill Haistead and Jane Mathieson would like to hear from anyone in the Region who would like to join the Committee.

Acting Chair Acting Vice Chair
Jill Haistead Mo Brown
Jill Haistead Mo Brown


Business Secretary Treasurer
Jane Mathieson Mike Wallace


.Co-opted Members: .
Fliss HillAnn CarrMary Barlow
Jeff ArmstrongPeter ChrichardAlexa Rainsford


Regional Trustee
E. Porter
Elizabeth Porter


Non Committee Posts


Website Editor Publicity Officer
P. Barnett Kelvin Rushworth
Peter Barnett Kelvin Rushworth



December 2018 Accounts