Talking Point, September 2018

Latest News

Unfortunately, due to pressure of other commitments, Karen Shaw who initiating these “Talking Point” newsletters has resigned as Secretary to NIREC (Northern Ireland Regional Executive Committee) and will be greatly missed.

Technology Group Meeting

Rose Marie Bradley, the NI Trustee, invites U3A members to a workshop on Beacon (the U3A data management system) and other U3A Technology issues, to be held in the Spires Conference and Exhibition Centre, Wellington St, Belfast, on Tuesday 16th October.

This will be led by Venie and Eric Martin from Causeway U3A who will give a brief overview of Beacon (the data management system devised by U3A members for U3As) and lead a discussion on general issues about Beacon, websites and other communication methods. Venie & Eric are not experts, they are end users and will share the Causeway experience (11.30-1). In the afternoon (2-3.30) there will be a more hands-on workshop, looking at specific problems, when Ed Link, the Scottish co-ordinator for Beacon, will deal with any specificproblems.

To book your place and lunch please email by Saturday 13th October with, if possible, a note on the issues you want to discuss or hear discussed or any specific Beacon problems.

Autumn Meeting

This will be held on Monday 29 October 2018 at Spires Conference Centre (on the corner of Great Victoria St & Wellington St), with registration open from 10.30 for an 11.00 start (refreshments on arrival).  Our Guests will be Sam Mauger, CEO Third Age Trust and Liz Drury, Communications Officer, who will give their presentations in the morning followed by a Q&A session, with questions to be submitted up to a week in advance please, so that full answers can be given on the day.

We anticipate finishing around 3.15-3.30.  Lunch will be provided.  As usual, each U3A may send any two delegates free of charge, all others at £10.00 to include lunch and refreshments.  Places MUST be booked in advance via the committee of your U3A.

 Regional Activities

Day of Song – To be hosted by Monaghan U3A in the Four Seasons Hotel, Monaghan on Wednesday 10th April (to be confirmed)

Bridge Congress – To be hosted by Causeway U3A (date and location to be confirmed)

Inter-U3A Quiz – Planned for January/ February

Summer School – Following on from the success of 2017 Summer School, Greenmount College near Antrim has been rebooked for 18 & 19 June next year (2019).  Full details will be released as soon as the event is ready to be launched.

Your Help Required

NIREC needs one or more new members.  Could this be you?  The tasks are not onerous, a meeting roughly every couple of months.  A new secretary is needed, someone to shadow the treasurer whose term of office ends next year, and a new webmaster.  You don’t need to be of have been on the committee of your U3A or to have been a member for a long time, in fact new members will be able to introduce a fresh perspective.

Future Workshops.  The Third Age Trust offers to provide workshops on a variety of topics such as the one held on 7th September where management of groups was the topic.  Suggested topics?

Your Activities.  This website includes an impressive list of activities available in the different U3As.  In the course of the discussion at the Groups Workshop it became obvious that some important ones are missing – Fun with Drums is one we missed –  so please check “Activities” in the banner of this website and email us to let us know what is wrong or missing.

Offers for U3As

Janet Hill (daughter of U3A Foyle’s chairman) from the Belfast Arthroplasty Research Trust (BART) is offering to provide talks or information about hip and knee replacement to U3As as a means of raising awareness of the charity’s work. BART is a charity formed in 2002 by a group of surgeons and engineers from Queen’s University Belfast and is based at Musgrave Park Hospital.  To contact Janet email her at


For further information on any of these points, email or ring Sheila on 075 70 103 100.