Stanford-Le-Hope & District

Starting a new Interest Group

Does the STANFORD-LE-HOPE & DISTRICT U3A cover the subjects that interest you?

Have you thought of another aspect or major topic an existing interest group could cover and might require an new group to be set up in order to do so.

If there is currently no group to cover the particular subjects that interest you, then that can easily be changed.

  • Contact the Interest Groups Co-ordinator with your suggestion for an interest group either as an individual or as a group of like minded individuals.
  • Once the Interest Groups Co-ordinator has given the go-ahead it might be suggested you put an article in the newsletter or ask for an announcement at one of the general monthly meetings to start the ball rolling.
  • Then, simply arrange a get-together at a convenient location in order to discuss what is required and how you are going to achieve it. In particular, determine who is going to be the Group Leader – you could have more than one leader of your interest group if you so decide.

To help with starting a new group "The Resource Centre" at the Third Age Trust National Office has a collection of material available for U3A Groups to borrow, including slides, videos, audio cassettes, CDs and DVDs on many subjects. They are available for both Group Co-ordinators and individuals. Contact U3A Resource Centre or telephone 0208 315 0199.

Interest Group Leaders:

  • Do not need to teach the subject.
  • Do not need particular skills in the subject.
  • The meeting does not need to take place in your own home.
  • All the Interest Group Leader has to do is to coordinate the activities of the group, i.e. keep everyone informed of what is going on and where and when.
  • It is useful if the Group Leader has access to e-mail, as this is a cheap and convenient method of maintaining contact with group members, but of course there is always mail & telephone to fall back on.
  • The Interest Groups Co-ordinator is always there to give advice and help the Interest Group Leader.

The subject of where to meet really depends upon the nature of the group; for instance it is little problem for some groups to rotate around members’ houses.

However, if a particular piece (or pieces) of equipment is required or if numbers necessitate, it may be necessary to hire a local community centre as a meeting place but again the Interest Groups Co-ordinator needs to be approached before any such arrangements are finalised. Some groups are able to meet outside, at various locations, for their activity.

Everything must be paid for, whether it is a local community hall, the services of an outside tutor or refreshments at a person’s home. Each group must be self-financing.

So – if the STANFORD-LE-HOPE & DISTRICT U3A does not fully meet your needs, please consider starting a new interest group. It is not difficult or time-consuming and indeed there is a great deal of satisfaction to be gained. If you would like to talk this through with the Interest Groups Coordinator or one of the Committee members, you will find details on the CONTACT Page.