Northamptonshire Network of U3As
There are fourteen U3As in Northamptonshire and we have formed a Network for which we have a website, click here to log on Northamptonshire U3A Network Website. When Oundle was set up some twelve years ago, there were seven. All fourteen are very different and are of various sizes, the largest two being Wellingborough and Northampton and the smallest being Upper Nene Villages. Through the Network website you will be able to visit each U3A’s website and see what they get up to.
Northamptonshire Network meets three times a year and each U3A may send two of their committee members to represent them. It is also attended by our Regional Trustee. Ideas are exchanged, problems aired and solutions given. Suggestions are also put forward for the yearly Network event and which subject or role workshops or “get togethers” are wanted. For instance, all the Treasurers requested that they meet once a year and they have done so for the last three years in Brixworth. The Network is funded by all fourteen U3As and runs on a very tight budget.
There are twelve regions in the UK and Northamptonshire is one of six counties which form part of the East Midlands Region the others being Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Rutland. Through the East Midlands website - click here East Midlands Region U3A you will find more information on what is available for our region.
All of the counties have Networks, although Rutland joins up with Leicestershire in this respect. The exception is Lincolnshire which is divided into three Neighbourhood Groups due to the size of the county and each network/neighbourhood group has a County Contact who sends out any information the Regional Trustee wants distributed to all the U3As in the region. There are 117 U3As in our region and over 1000 country-wide.
We have a Regional Trustee whose role is to act as a channel of communication between the Board of Directors and U3As in the Region, working with the County Networks to ensure that we provide the right level of support for U3As as well as starting new ones. The current Regional Trustee is Jean Hogg who took up the post in September 2018 and will remain as Trustee until the Third Age Trust AGM in August 2021.
The U3A also has Trust Volunteers who help with setting up new U3As and helping U3As with any problems they may have. There are three in Northamptonshire, but they don’t necessarily only help out in their county's U3As.