West Midlands U3A Region

News

Using digital platforms to stay connected

During these unprecedented times, the Third Age Trust has been looking at different ways to support our amazing U3A community. We wanted to enable and support U3As, members and Interest Group leaders, to stay active and connected with each other.

To this end we have launched three online discussion forums so that you can share ideas and support each other. Thanks to the Beacon users, we are doing this by extending the existing (and successful) Beacon User Forum to all U3As, regardless of whether or not you are using the Beacon management system at your U3A yet.

It is easy to get started. All you need to do is visit the forum website at https://forum.u3abeacon.org.uk, click the ‘register’ button and fill in your details.

From there you will be able to explore the forums and get involved in the discussion.

If you are not familiar with online forums, we have prepared a how-to guide to help you get started. We welcome your feedback on the guide. Your feedback will help us develop our guide which will be available on the national website in the next few days.

There will be three forums that you can join:

Learning – discussions around subjects and all forms of interest and learning
Our U3A Community – discussions arounds how we support each other
Beacon – discussions around using Beacon, the U3A management system

This is just an outline of what the forums are about because it will be led and developed by you when you join and the conversations that are happening.

A volunteer team will moderate the site and support you to use the forums in a safe, positive and productive way.

We will send more details through the week as we have them on our website and in the newsletter.

Please let your members know.

Please join us, sign up and get chatting. Together we will network, share ideas and stay connected.

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CONTRIBUTIONS

News is very welcome from Networks or U3As
Let us know what is happening, let the website help or promote your events
Have you any Workshops, Study Days, Open Days, Research, Events - or just something you would like to celebrate?

Do so by clicking Webmaster on the Contacts page

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YOUR U3A

• Have you recently looked at your Constitution to check if it is 'fit for purpose'. U3As that have Committee members who can serve long term should think about the drawbacks, since new people coming forward leads to new ideas and this increases the vibrancy and long term viability of your U3A.

• Most U3As in the WM Region are now in a Network. However there are quite a few U3As who do not belong to a Network, or never go to a meeting. You will be surprised at what you learn!

• Do some of your interest groups have waiting lists? If so, it means you are not conforming to Charity Commission Law. Do get in touch - we are only too happy to help and support such U3As and maybe start a new U3A to alleviate the problem.

• Do induct all your new Committee Members and get them to sign the 'Trustee Code of Conduct' and 'Declaration of Eligibility documents'.

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PUBLICISING YOUR U3A

  • Special Anniversaries

Is your U3A celebrating a special anniversary? Please contact the Trustee as the NEC would like to be able to acknowledge these by sending an anniversary card

  • Is your Logo legal?

The official U3A logo changed in 2019 and is on the national website. Please check to ensure that yours is legal.

  • Grants

A grant of £250 is available for ‘showcasing’ your U3A to the public. Many U3As hold an Open Day Event when the general public can see what U3A is all about and thereby hope to attract new members.
£500 Grant is available if you wish to have a stand at an Exhibition or Agricultural Show etc
Application to National Office
Discretionary Grants - apply to the WM Region Trustee