South West U3A Region



Launceston celebrating!
Our 2018 Annual General Meeting gave us the opportunity to celebrate our organisation’s 25th anniversary.
In attendance were two of the founding members – David Brown and Anne Richardson. Together they cut the celebration cake, with Peter Vernon, outgoing Chairman, and Mike Tremeer, incoming Chairman.For full report see links

Always in the news Display at Honiton Library Having celebrated their 25th anniversary this year,Honiton U3a put on a display at Honiton library to show what the the U3a is and to raise awareness.See link for full report.

Honiton Reading for Pleasure Group Honiton Book Discussion reviewed Michael Morpgo's Private Peaceful on Radio Devon. See link for full report.

Induction Training 17th September, at St Erme Community Centre, Trispen
The day began with coffee and finding places to sit. Trispen Workshop There were 13 delegates from 5 U3As in the West Cornwall Link Group.
Val, our leader for the day, then asked everyone to find someone they didn’t know to sit by and to find out about them. After a short while we were then invited to tell the rest of the group what we had found out.
All ice broken, the day was set on course for good interaction. Val went through a Power Point presentation (without reading slides out) and these generated many questions and suggestions. For example not everyone present realised that all committee members are trustees of their U3A.
We had a break for lunch, which was excellent, and a gluten free meal was provided even though it hadn’t been ordered.
After lunch Val gave each of the three groups 3 case studies to discuss and put their thoughts on flip chart paper to share later with the whole group. Again there was a good deal of discussion as to whether a policy for safeguarding was necessary; how to get information out to non-computer users; how trips were funded; what the £3.50 pays for etc..
This was a most successful day for all concerned and many new links were forged.
Thank you all.
Thanks too to the staff at St Erme Community Centre for being so helpful.

Since writing the above report I’ve been asked if this was the first workshop in this area. It wasn’t but it was the first for many years. Launceston has recently been the nearest option and I wanted to bring workshops closer to the far west of Cornwall. I’m open to further suggestions and would dearly like to have members come forward for training as Start-up volunteers.
Jill Nicholls

Interest Groups Matters workshop Group at the workshop
On September 20th around 50 U3A members from across Devon gathered at the Devon Hotel, Exeter, for a workshop aimed primarily at Group Leaders and Coordinators. (The correct nomenclature for these roles was debated!) The day was brilliantly led by Sophie Wellings, Advice & Volunteering Manager for the U3A Trust, and Michaela Moody, a hugely experienced Trust volunteer.
The objectives of the day were to review the guiding principles of the U3A; to discuss the roles and responsibilities of group leaders and coordinators; to discuss ways of coping with challenges associated with leading groups; and to share best practice.
A number of common problems quickly became apparent, such as how to recruit group leaders, waiting lists for groups, and communication within groups. Sophie and Michaela stressed that all members should be made aware that U3A is a self-help organisation, and that they should be encouraged to give as well as take. A direct approach often works best!
The important role of group coordinators was to the fore. They are there to support group leaders. Various suggestions were put forward as to how this could be done, including induction sessions for new leaders, regular meetings for leaders, and visits to the different groups. They also have a role to play in mediating in any disputes arising within groups.
Thanks go to Sophie and Michaela for a well-structured day which was both informative and stimulating. I am sure that we all went away with renewed enthusiasm and lots of ideas to feed back to our members.
Liz Hext (Kingsbridge Estuary U3A.)
Work of the Police and Crime Commissioner
Mick Harrison's role involves speaking to community groups across Devon and Cornwall about the work of your Police and Crime Commissioner. At the same time he also take your views back to the Police and Crime Commissioners Office. If you would be interested in him speaking to your group and listening to what you have to say, please drop him an email so that a suitable date can be arranged-