This is my first message to you as I take over the role of Chair.
Firstly I would like to thank the Committee members who retired after the AGM. Maggie Conu, Chair for the last 3 years, Purvi Shah who was our Treasurer for 6 years and Di Kyte, our Social Secretary and much more for a long time. We are very grateful for all your hard work, particularly during the Pandemic when things have been very difficult.
We welcome to the Committee Jim Gardner as Treasurer, Steve Orme as lead for Access, Equality and Inclusivity and Ken Inglis who is shadowing Marion Collighan as Secretary. Chris Wardle has taken over the role of Vice Chair in addition to Membership Secretary and Maureen Campion continues as Assistant Treasurer. Shortly we hope to be able to announce our new Groups Coordinator.
Our first virtual AGM took place by Zoom on March 30th and was a great success. 127 members attended despite the beautiful spring weather which others could not resist! Thanks are due to Chris Wardle and Steve Orme who managed the technical side of the meeting and Marion Collighan who prepared for the meeting so that everybody knew what to do. By the time you read this the AGM minutes will be on the website.
National u3a day takes place on June 2nd. As we are an independent u3a we can decide whether to go ahead with this. The Committee have decided that we should leave our celebrations until later in the year. This is because predominantly we want to showcase our Boules Group, in Sandford Park and at their new terrain in Brizen Park. At the beginning of June only 30 people are allowed to get together outside and although we want to publicise our u3a we do not want adverse publicity! We hope to arrange something in August or September.
Inevitably we have lost members over the last year. We will be planning a relaunch as life goes back to normal. We aim to attract a more diverse membership especially with regard to age. If there are changes that you would like to see please let us know. I can’t promise that we will agree with everything but the Committee will certainly discuss all options.
You will see elsewhere in the magazine that we are hoping to get members together more often on Zoom. We have no idea when we will be able to meet in person in large numbers so this will give you an opportunity to learn about new things and chat amongst yourselves in a different way. We can provide help to anybody who is not confident in using Zoom. I am very grateful to those who have offered to speak at the Zoom Open Meetings and would welcome more offers in case these meetings have to continue after the summer break. The coffee mornings are another opportunity to get together.
Lastly I would like to thank the editorial team for their wonderful Creative. They could not do it of course without contributions from the rest of you. There is a lot of talent in our u3a and we look forward to seeing more of it as the year advances.