Trustee’s Regional Report 2016-17
I continue to value and need your help and support, your opinions and participation. I acknowledge and thank all the members, committees, group leaders, volunteers, helpers – in fact everyone whose energy, enthusiasm, commitment and collegiate spirit have so ably anchored and assisted me in my work as your regional trustee. I appreciate your attendance here today and express my gratitude to everyone especially the members of NIREC, summer school planning team and the regional volunteer Mavis Turner. It has been a pleasure to meet and represent so many members and I thank you all for making my task not only easier but rewarding and enjoyable.
This year has been a particularly significant one in the history of the movement. It was wonderful to be part of the 1,000 U3As celebrations with all five N.Ireland Regional Trustees from down the decades attending. Celebrating 1,000 U3As was made all the more memorable, for the region, by the fact that the front cover of the winter issue of Third Age Matters featured the Inter – U3A Adventure Day at the Tollymore Forest Park, where members were pictured “Paddling their own canoes”!
The U3A movement continues to have a genuine, lasting impact on the lives of members in the region. Banbridge and District U3A gained full membership with individual U3As reporting a significant rise in figures also. This growth in the movement is being addressed with possible start-ups already being investigated.
A pleasing aspect of the past year has been the way in which the Northern Ireland Regional Executive Committee (NIREC) and myself have been supported by former trustees, past NIREC members, the Regional Volunteer and countless others who have always been there when needed! Working closely as a team and expanding the variety of tasks that they undertake have ensured that regional events, have not only been successful, but have produced identifiable benefits.
A maximum turnout was recorded at the Bridge Congress in November 2016, hosted by Holywood U3A, whilst in excess of 500 members, from ten choirs, enjoyed a day of song, hosted by Armagh U3A, in April 2017. The regional summer school to be held in Greenmount Agricultural College, Antrim, in June is attracting so much interest that the residential places are almost already fully booked.
The region looks forward to welcoming our new CEO, Samantha Mauger, not only as guest speaker, at our regional Autumn meeting but also at the two volunteer workshops in Belfast.
John Trimble, Upper Bann U3A, continues to champion the Beacon system of management in the region. His input is appreciated not only at the well supported regional Technology Forum meetings but also as a mentor to those U3As who already have, or are in the process of, adopting the system.
External relations are being pursued where it has a direct benefit to members. Requests from workplaces / community groups for talks or information continue to increase whilst publicity stands at shows, shopping complexes, libraries etc. are welcomed.
On a more personal note I was privileged to have been part of an exchange visit with Mauritius U3A in February. It was an enjoyable and enlightening way to develop links with International groups through AIUTA.
To summarise I feel really positive about the U3A in the region and I look forward to representing you all on the NEC. I will continue to raise the profile of our movement whilst helping you, its members, to gain maximum benefit from being part of this wonderful organisation.
Rose Marie Bradley
Northern Ireland Regional Trustee