Trustee’s Report

Trustee’s Regional Newsletter 2016

rosieIt has been a pleasure over the last year to represent N. Ireland as your regional trustee. It has been a busy but rewarding time. I have attended AGMs, regional, monthly and new U3A meetings, open days, anniversaries and made contact via phone calls, emails and texts. It has proved to be an enlightening experience to witness so many U3As in action and to see so many members sharing their skills and expertise. It has made me proud of all 25 U3As in the region.

Regional Activities

I was pleased to present Ballymoney U3A with their full membership certificate earlier this year and I congratulate Banbridge and District U3A on gaining similar status. As always the support & expertise of Mavis Turner, Regional Volunteer is appreciated.

M thanks is also due to the members of the Regional Executive Council who continue to support me and work on your behalf throughout the region organising inter U3A events. The 2016 U3A Bridge Congress will be hosted by Hollywood U3A and held in Kelvin Malone Bridge Centre, Belfast, on Saturday 26th November.

Our annual “Day of Song” is being hosted by Armagh and District U3A and planned for Wednesday April 26th in the Market Place Theatre in Armagh.

Planning is ongoing for the regional summer school which this year takes place in Greenmount Agricultural College Antrim from 20th-21st June 2017. There will be guest speakers and two days of “learning” in what is a truly first class location specialising in horticulture with a walled garden and nature trail. Accommodation will be on site with lots of single en-suite bedrooms.

Your suggestions for topics and offers of topic leaders would be appreciated. Email your ideas to: summer2017ni@gmail.com

The technology forum has grown in numbers with a date in the spring to be arranged for the next meeting. Please send suggested topics and offers of presentations or join the contact list at : tech2017ni@gmail.com  Grateful thanks is due to all concerned but a special word must go out to John Trimble, Upper Bann U3A, for not only championing the Beacon System of Management but for stepping into the breach at the Autumn Regional Meeting.

NEC

My first responsibility is to the National Executive Committee (NEC) which meets six times a year in London. I have served on Finance and Development Sub Committees so far this year. Finances continue to be in good shape with no rise in the capitation fee in the foreseeable future. The Development Sub Committee explored more ways to help and support U3As through providing National Workshops. On request workshops are still available on topics of choice at a date and venue to be chosen by the members. Please let me know if you have any suggestions.

National Conference

The National Conference and AGM was held once again in Nottingham from 23rd – 25th August. It was supported by the largest number this year with over 460 members attending. I was pleased to meet up with so many regional members there as well as those from the wider circle.

There were excellent speakers, great tips for members to take back and share with their own U3As and plenty of chances to swap ideas. National Office staff did an outstanding job of organising the event. There are reports in the latest issue of Third Age Matters as well as presentation downloads in the members area of the national website (which also contains the committee reference file).

It was at the conference that Lin Jonas bid farewell, in verse, whilst the new CEO Samantha Mauger was welcomed. Many thanks to Joyce Gibson for her personal tribute and shared memories of Lin.

The Third Age Trust is looking at its structure and planning ahead. At a plenary session delegates where shown a presentation on the issues. The presentation was led by members of the working party who are willing to meet with representatives of members from the region. If you have not already been involved in the consultation process you can contact graham.clark@u3a.org.uk or myself. Your input is valued and appreciated.

MOOCS

Do you know about MOOCs? I attended a presentation given by Ian Hunt from Perth U3A. He is willing to lead a workshop in the region if enough members request it.

MOOC stands for a Massive Open Online Course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web. In additional to traditional course materials such as filmed lectures, readings and problem sets, many MOOCS provide interactive user forums to support community interactions between students, professors and teaching assistants (TAs). MOOCS are a recent and widely researched development in distance education.

The Way Forward

As member input is vital to planning ahead your suggestions for regional activities is essential so please do get in touch with the members of NIREC or myself:

Email: rosemarie.bradley@u3a.org.uk

Wishing continued success to every U3A in the region,

Rose Marie Bradley

Regional Trustee