First we need a group of like-minded members to come together. These can be identified by putting an article in the newsletter or asking for an announcement at the monthly meeting. 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.
DUTIES OF A GROUP LEADER?
- Do you need to teach the subject? NO
- Does it need to take place in your home? NO
- Do you need to have particular skills in your subject? NO
All the group leader has to do is to coordinate the activities of the group, ie. keep everyone informed of what is going on, together with where and when. It will be handy if the group coordinator (probably a better name than ‘leader’) has access to e-mail, as this is the cheap and convenient method of maintaining contact with group members, but of course there is always snail-mail & telephone to fall back on.
The subject of where to meet really depends upon the nature of the group; for instance it is little problem for a Bridge Group to rotate around members’ houses. Where a particular piece (or pieces) of equipment are required you may be limited to one particular home, or if numbers necessitate, you could hire one of the local community centres as a meeting place. Simplest of all is the likes of the Gardens Group who meet outside, at various locations, for their activity.
Whatever you choose, of course, has to be paid for. In this we insist that each group be self-financing. Our £18 annual membership fee could not possibly cover the necessary costs of every group. The National u3a offer advice on starting a new group and there are many free short on-line courses available through the Open University that could be the foundation and/or supporting materials for interests groups.
So – if there isn’t already a group to meet your needs, please consider starting a new one. 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 Groups Coordinator or one of the committee members, help is always at hand.