Plymstock & District



These QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS might be of help

Q. Does a Group need an Expert or a Teacher?

A. No. There is no need to worry that you may not have enough knowledge because the whole principle of the U3A is that we laugh and learn together. Obviously, for some subjects it would be excellent to have someone with skills to share, but it is not necessary. There are many other ways to discover information, including lots of material published for your subject by the U3A, which the Group Liaison Officer (GLO) can help you with.

Q. How many people are required to form a Group?

A. There is no minimum number - even two or three people can make a Group if there is a shared interest to explore. The optimum size for any Group really depends on the subject.

Q. How do I get started?

A. Inform the GLO. At a General Meeting, place a piece of paper on one of the tables and ask for people to jot down their names and phone numbers to show their interest (the GLO can help with this). Also, ask the Publicity and Website Officer (P&WO) to make a poster for the display boards and also to put a notice on the website.

Q. What is the next step?

A. If there are enough people to start the Group, telephone them to notify them of the first meeting – at a time and place of your own choosing.

Q. Who decides where, when and how often we shall all meet?

A. All these questions, and just as important, others relating to the content of the first few meetings, can be answered in a way to suit everyone. Very often a Group meets in a member’s house and that is convenient because it is free. A small charge can be made if refreshments are provided. Other Groups may need to use a suitable venue which may involve a small hire charge, or need to make arrangements for outside visits. Outside visits usually include car sharing and a mileage charge can be arranged. Be open to suggestions and try to agree an exciting way to begin. The GLO can help with information if needed.

Q. Does it require a huge commitment from me?

A. Our U3A stresses the need for everyone to lend a hand. There are many ways to organise this and it can include members taking it in turns to organise the session, host the meeting, make bookings, find material, keep records, produce material for the website to be sent to the P&WO, or any other jobs which can be delegated. However, all Groups do need a Contact person. That is the person who will keep e-mail addresses and telephone numbers so that members can be notified of events and who will accept phone calls and messages from members who need to be in touch. The good thing is that this organisation can be agreed between the members and every Group may run in its own way.

The Committee Members who can help you are:-

Phil MitchellGroup Liaison482333e-mail a message from CONTACT page
Julie SquirePublicity and Website406429e-mail a message from CONTACT page

There is a Booklet produced by the U3A entitled MORE TIME TO LEARN which contains more detailed advice about setting up a Group. Ask for a copy to read.

Here are some ideas for new Groups.......

Art Appreciation Backgammon Bird Watching
Film Appreciation Gardening Humour
Music – any instrument Mah Jong Nomination Whist
Opera Appreciation Play Reading Poetry
Rummikub Science Yoga

........but there are many others!