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Links to our "Keep In Touch" Newsletters (KIT) which have been sent out by email to those members with an email address, or delivered by hand or post to other members are also reproduced below.
|09 KIT Newsletter||08 Kit Newsletter||07 Kit Newsletter||06 KIT Newsletter||05 Kit Newsletter||04 Kit Newsletter||03 Kit Newsletter||02 KIT Bulletin v2||01 Kit Newsletter|
28 May 2020
I hope you are keeping safe and well in these enormously difficult times. Your committee has met regularly via Zoom as has the crisis team to discuss many matters including finances, trips and refunds, monthly meetings, the AGM and many more.
You may have read that last Friday the National Tours company went into administration. This affects two of our trips (Tutankhamun and Kynren) and Chris Dean will be contacting those members who were due to make these visits.
The committee also considered subscriptions and the AGM and I set out the decisions under separate headings.
SUBSCRIPTIONS FOR 2021
We have been asked by a member to consider a reduction in the subscriptions for 2021 or make the membership for 2021 free to all existing members. I think it will be helpful if I explain the background to our subscriptions.
For each of the last two years a full member has paid £13.50 for annual membership of the Ravenshead U3A. Our subscription has been reduced from the earlier £20 as a result of a build-up of surplus funds over the years and thanks to the very large number of members who have signed up to the Gift Aid scheme. Out of our subscription of £13.50 we have to pay the following amounts to The Third Age Trust:
• £3.50 for annual membership. Each member is a member of the Third Age Trust. This amount pays for information, advice, support, various insurances and Trust staff costs.
• £3.10 for Third Age Matters, a magazine which is produced and posted out five times a year.
• £1 for Beacon.
You will see that £7.60 is a fixed cost per member which we are obliged to pay out every year. Out of a subscription of £13.50 RU3A is left with just £5.90 per member.
The committee accepts that members have not had the full benefit of their 2020 subscriptions. There have been just three monthly general meetings in 2020 so there have been some savings. Groups operated normally in the first three months and since lockdown many groups have been operating in different ways. It is acknowledged that some groups are not able to operate other than to socialise virtually. Groups are self-financing so there are no savings.
Whilst we are making savings on church hire, Centre hire, speakers, refreshments and the May magazine, we have been busy producing the KIT newsletter. Not all members have access to the internet and so hard copies have been produced. These obviously have associated costs – printing, stationery and postage. Hard copies have been hand-delivered or posted out to these members.
The RU3A constitution does not permit us to dip into the surplus in order to pay the fixed costs of £7.60 per member. We can only review the £5.90 element and the committee will do that later in the year.
AGM and monthly meetings
As you know the committee postponed the AGM to Tuesday 14 July 2020. Because the current measures are unlikely to enable us to hold this meeting on that date the committee agreed last Tuesday 19 May to postpone the AGM further, to Tuesday 13 October 2020. This date will be reviewed regularly. In the meantime all monthly meetings continue to remain cancelled.
The last couple of weeks have been a very uncertain, even worrying, period for all of us. Your committee had a virtual meeting this morning when we had to make some difficult decisions for the Ravenshead U3A, decisions which we accept will have enormous consequences for members. I am sure you will all understand that the committee had no alternative but to follow closely the advice announced by the Prime Minister yesterday afternoon.
I set out the committee decisions under individual headings:
MONTHLY GENERAL MEETINGS
The monthly meetings are suspended for three months so the next meeting is provisionally planned for Tuesday 14 July 2020. Please see also the AGM information paragraph further down in this email.
INTEREST GROUP MEETINGS
We advise all members and group leaders to consider themselves whether they want to continue to meet or to suspend their sessions but we ask that they adhere to Government advice. We suggest that group members stay in touch digitally or by phone if at all possible. Some groups may find ways to continue with their interests remotely. Margaret Craddock our Groups Co-ordinator is writing separately to all group leaders. Please share good ideas with Margaret who in turn can share them with other groups and group leaders.
COFFEE & CONVERSATION sessions are suspended until further notice.
TRIPS AND VISITS
The first five trips set out below which we have organised are all cancelled and members who have paid will get full refunds.
Trips that are being organised by tour and travel operators are in the hands of those operators. Members who were due to visit the Tutankhamun exhibition today and cancelled yesterday will receive vouchers from the operator.
|18-May||Etwall Well Dressing||Cancelled|
|08-Aug||Kynren||Tour Operator||Going ahead|
The trip to Kynren is in August and all we can do is monitor the situation for the moment.
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
You have received notice of this meeting due to take place at the general monthly meeting on Tuesday 14 April 2020. In the current circumstances your committee has decided to postpone that meeting for three months to Tuesday 14 July 2020 but obviously we will monitor the situation in the meantime and confirm the date nearer the time.
Because of the current advice from the Government your committee will not be meeting face to face. We will communicate with each other by email although I have asked that all committee members try and use Skype which would make communication easier. This morning’s meeting took place at the usual time but by email. We have set up a Corona Crisis Team comprising me, Terry Moore (Vice Chairman), Sue Owen (Treasurer) and Margaret Craddock (Groups Co-ordinator).
NATIONAL U3A DAY ON WEDNESDAY 3 JUNE 2020
The committee has decided to cancel the celebration this year. The date falls inside the three-month social distancing period and we don’t know what will happen beyond that time. The committee hopes to organise something for June 2021.
As you know the last couple of weeks have been an evolving situation. Until yesterday Government advice was to follow simple rules of hygiene particularly hand washing and self-isolation on the part of those people who had returned from affected parts of the world. Suddenly, yesterday afternoon (Monday 16 March) the Government advised against all non-essential travel and social contact for three months particularly on the part of those over the age of 70 and those with underlying health conditions. It is for these reasons that your committee has decided to take the action and make the cancellations described above.
Please adhere to the Government advice and do not undertake any non-essential travel or non-essential social contact. We urge you to watch developments and advice updates closely. We will contact you by email as and when things change.
In the meantime, all I can say is best wishes and take care.