Chair:Rod Marshall: contact at email@example.com Vice Chairs: Ben Thompson and John Aston: they can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org Treasurer: Colin Weaver contact at email@example.com Membership Secretary:Hilary Weaver contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Group coordinators: Rod Marshall and Ben Thompson Contact: email@example.com Other committee members Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Jackie Ward Maggie Jones . JuliaBathurst Ann Becke, Beryl Hornsby Jean Bates Richard Kitchen (Newsletter@u3akinver.org)
Announcements Free Book
The U3A organisation is international with Branchs throughout Europe and further afield. U3A members who travel abroad often find (if they look) local U3A Groups when visiting even such far flung places as Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Those who make enquiry will almost always find a warm welcome and a ready friend. Sometimes members from these far flung places reach out to us and this note is about just such a contact.
Dr Roger Smith is a member in Melbourne, Australia who wrote to all U3A Chairmen/women in the UK about his book, which was a success in Australia where it went on general sale. He has now decided to make that book available free of charge to all U3A members. Dr Smith was a GP in Australia and his book gives us advice on how to stay healthy in our "Third Age".
The book is available on Amazon to be downloaded and I have read it! The exclamation mark is warranted. I am not and have never been any good at reading medical books. The long words don't seem to "stick" in my brain.
The book is readable and sensible and you can get it by going to Amazon and typing in "The Simple Doctor". The book is called "Take a Simple Drive to a Healthier Life: and Live Longer Too!" and can just be downloaded and read at your leisure (eg after your morning exercise routine and before your light lunch).
Beetle Drive Squashed
Regrettably the Beetle Drive planned for the KSCA on 10th December cannot go ahead and has been cancelled. Our apologies to those members who already have it in their diary and were looking forward to it.
Open Day in February
We can however announce that the first steps have been taken to have an Open Day at the February Monthly Meeting (scheduled for Friday 28th) where we will showcase our activities. Details to follow..........
Activity Group Matters
The U3A National Magazine "Third Age Matters" winter edition came out this week and among the selection of interesting articles is one that I would draw to members' attention. At page 56 there is an Opinion Article about the role of volunteers in the U3A. In essence it says that volunteering to help in running the U3A - its activities and functions is an essential part of the role of all members. We are a self help organisation. Everyone can help and indeed should do so - to the extent that they can manage and their skills allow. Everything we do is done because Members put their efforts into making it happen. The article is worth a read.
The International Film Group planned for next year will go ahead at the Fire Station with the first meeting on January 6th. Members can register an interest with Julia Bathurst at Jules993@hotmail.com.
Wandering Whiff Waff
The Table Tennis Group are changing their location from 5th December. On that date and from then on they will be meeting at the KSCA. This popular Group still has room for more if there are members who want to join in.
On a wider point
Many of our Groups have limited capacity and some groups are not able to take new members at present. There is a limit of 20 people at the Fire Station and in some cases, including the language groups, even 20 people can be unmanageable if the group is to progress. Can Members therefore please make contact with the Group Facilitator before turning up. There is a list of the groups and contact details on the U3A website: kinveru3a.org and if you fill in the contact from the right person will get back to you.
It is perhaps worth saying that there is no limit on the number of groups. If there is additional demand for groups that are already full there is no problem with establishing a second (or third!) group for an existing activity. Indeed there are current discussions on splitting into two a couple of our existing groups that are becoming unwieldy. Rod Marshall, the Groups Co-ordinator, is available and can be contacted at the monthly meetings to discuss any such new groups and will work with members to help setting it up.
Group Facilitators Meeting
Every Group in the U3A should make decisions among - and by - its members on the scope and direction of its activities. However, there is a need for a Group Facilitator to put in place an agreed structure and programme and to ensure that the U3A learning ethos and rules are followed. Group Facilitators (Leaders) are the key and fundamental link between the Group and its members on the one hand, and the U3A Committee on the other. They are all volunteers, unpaid and overworked and, as a whole, are the key players in any U3A. Without them, there would be no U3A activities and our U3A could not exist.
On 25th October we held a Group Facilitators meeting at which the majority of the groups were represented. We discussed a wide range of subjects and spent some considerable time looking at our new website and how we might develop and enhance this for the benefit of all our members. Group Facilitators were keen to have access to the new site so that they might develop their own group page. There was an open discussion of a number of issues which particularly affected Facilitators and there was a very high level of engagement. This is the first such meeting we have had for over a year and it was clear from comments and suggestions made that we should meet more regularly - not least because we struggled to get through the Agenda! So, we have agreed to make this meeting a quarterly event.
We are very grateful for the energetic, enthusiastic and positive contributions to a very useful discussion and look forward to our next meeting in the New Year.
Trusted Partners at the Fire Station
Our diary of activities for 2020 is now complete and the corresponding dates are booked and agreed with the Fire Station administrators. We all know that we have the use of the Fire Station free of charge and subject to conditions related to use. Start and finish times are inflexible and the Fire Service are concerned that we should have a Trusted Partner present at all times. These Trusted Partners (TPs) are there not only to open and close the premises but also to ensure that fire safety rules are complied with and to check that the premises are left in good order, including the kitchen.
In the event of a fire (or fire practice) they are required to ensure that the premises is evacuated promptly. This requires prior planning and if there is a member present who would struggle to leave without use of the lift (which is automatically disabled if there is a fire emergency) the TP must ensure that there is a plan in place to assist with evacuation whenever that member is on the premises. Either Rod Marshall or Richard Kitchen can help with contingency planning if necessary.
On a more routine level there are times when a Group TP is absent and cover is required from among the other TPs. To help with that I am intending to publish an up to date list of TPs in the next newsletter. The 2019 list is now getting a bit ragged so I shall be in touch ........
There have been a couple of comments about the inability to print off the Calendar of activities appended to this Newsletter. I am advised that if I were to attach it as a pdf file it would be more accessible to print and I have listened carefully to explanations as to how this could be achieved. Even so, I have failed entirely to perform the task. I will keep trying but, in the interim, if you do want to print it off I am advised by a sage that the best thing to do is to "copy and paste" it from this Newsletter into your Word Programme where you can readily print it off.
Or perhaps, just reopen this email and scroll down? IT is a modern blessing but not always easy......................
Don't forget the Monthly Meeting on November 29th - At the KSCA between 2.00pm and 4,00pm. Maggie Jones puts in a lot of effort to find and book our speakers each month and we are all very grateful to her for the variety and quality of our various speakers. This month she has declined to tell us her plans save to say it will be different and it will be fun.
The suspense is killing me.
There will be no monthly meeting next month so this is the last one of the year.