Trustee Report to N. Ireland Regional AGM: Tuesday 17th May 2016 in Foyle U3A
Thank you Chair,
Can I first of all express my great joy and delight at delivering my first report as your Regional Trustee here at Foyle U3A of which I am a very proud member.
I have had the wonderful good fortune to become a regional trustee at a wonderfully exciting time. I am delighted to have been elected to follow Stuart Pollard who has supported and guided me thus far. I must also mention that N.I.R.E.C. and Regional Volunteer Mavis Turner have also ensured that I am still on track.
The first nine months have been hectic but I continue to learn more and more about many aspects of this wonderful organisation and its members. I have a huge amount of work to do on your behalf with a steep learning curve behind me with plenty of bends and dips ahead of me, no doubt.
I value and need more than anything your help and support, your opinions and participation.
I have been told that a Regional Trustees role is to serve on the National Executive Committee (NEC) which I do, attending meetings 6 times a year. In addition I am a member of the Development sub-committee & Finance committee.
The reason I allowed my name to go forward as Regional Trustee was that I wanted to give N. Ireland a voice. I consider this to be a very important role. I am your voice, your link with the NEC. As well as representing you on the NEC it has been a highlight for me to be invited to participate in birthday celebrations, special occasions and even AGMs.
Third Age Trust
This is a very busy year for the Third Age Trust. We have almost reached 1000 U3As and it is a great reason to celebrate.
I am sure that you were delighted to receive the amazing committee reference file. Everything that committees need to know and all in one place! A huge thank you is due to all the office staff and Lin Jonas in particular. Do make sure that you update it whenever a notice appears in the monthly mailing. It is a good plan to nominate one person to be responsible for updating the file as it is very easy to lose track.
Two years ago the NEC decided on a three year plan for the future of the U3A. Many of the challenges in the document “Going forward” have been completed whilst there are items that are ongoing. There is, as I am sure you are aware, a comprehensive article in the most recent issue of TAM on this subject.
With the advent of 1000 U3A it is opportune to pay tribute to all members who have upheld the aims and values in the mission statement to make lifelong learning, through the experience of U3A, a reality for all 3rd agers. We have justified reason to celebrate.
However, we are losing Lin Jonas, who has run the U3A National Office for 20 years as she is retiring at the end of August. Lin has been responsible for moulding the U3A into what it is today. We will never be able to thank her sufficiently for the huge amount of time and energy that she has put into this organisation.
With the reality of nearly 1000 U3As coming ever closer the structure of the organisation is being considered and you the members are invited to have your say on how you see the future of the movement.
The next workshop “Managing your U3A” will take place on 14th June in Grosvenor House Belfast. It will cover being a trustee, committees and constitutions. The workshops are not just for committee members but are also of use to anyone considering joining a committee. Also the trust will run “on request” workshops on a date and venue of choice. National office will handle administration and pay for venue and refreshments.
Several opportunities arose to publicise U3A locally. Thank you to all who carried the “good news” to workplaces, exhibitions, held open days and got us into the media. We were delighted to welcome Michaele Moody, vice chair NEC and Colm Arbuckle, producer of “Time of our lives,” to our autumn regional meeting. Well done to the members who took part!
As it is this time again – AGMs! – I would like to remind you that changes to your constitution should be submitted to the Third Age Trust before it is put to members at AGMs and allow 28 days for feedback. If no feedback comes within that time then proceed.
In conclusion I would like to express my thanks to U3A Foyle for hosting this AGM, also to NIREC and you the members for your attendance.
I look forward to representing you all on the NEC and especially to meeting you again in your own U3As and at regional events.
Rose Marie Bradley
N.I. Regional Trustee
17th May 2016