The canal gardens, Roundhay
Bulletin and Annual Report
U3A Leeds Bulletin
To download recent issues of our bulletin, click on the items below.
Chairperson's Report for 2017–18
This is my first year as Chairperson of U3A Leeds – being elected by default after agreeing to be Interim Chair for a couple of months. It's been quite a learning curve and it's only thanks to the patience and wisdom of my predecessor, Janet Keogh, that I haven't quite lost the plot. The Committee have also been tremendously supportive and I thank them all.
New members continue to join Leeds U3A and they are very welcome. Our membership is fairly stable at around 500 members.
I have continued the Chair's role by attending Yorkshire and Humberside Regional U3A committee meetings using the opportunity to meet with other U3As and swop ideas. The Region is becoming more active and has held a number of seminars and events which have been attended by Leeds members. I also attended last year's U3A National Conference in Nottingham, casting Leeds U3A's agreed vote on various issues and, again, meeting and learning with people from all over the country. We cast our vote at the recent Extraordinary General Meeting but did not send a representative in person.
I hope you have enjoyed the wide variety of speakers at our Tuesday meetings. I haven't yet come across another U3A who hold fortnightly general meetings – most have one per month. For those who have never joined us on a Tuesday, I invite you to try it out. We can't please all the people all the time, but we do try. Quizzes have now been reinstated on a termly basis. The delightful chatter and laugher generated by members enjoying themselves confirms that this a fun way to give the old grey matter a workout.
Have any of you taken up the requests we circulate to all members? There have been opportunities to volunteer or be a guinea pig for student projects or try something new. We have also tried to advise you of interesting events. Our Bulletin is once again a source of information – thank you again Janet.
As suggested at last year's meeting, the increase in annual subscription and meeting attendance subs have ensured that our costs are covered. You can see our financial position from the attached Report and Accounts. Thank you to Steve McGrail and Maureen Lewin for producing them. Details will be presented at the meeting.
My thanks go to Group Leaders who continue to do excellent work. They have had to deal with a change to our venue booking and payment system but have taken it all in their capable stride. We continue to depend on and appreciate the volunteers who keep the wheels of the general meetings turning. Thank you to them.
A coach load of our members enjoyed the Annual Educational Visit to Hull. Thank you Margret and Barbara for your excellent work to make this happen. I look forward to Birmingham in July. The Christmas Lunch was different! We enjoyed the food but had to wear our coats (and hats/gloves in some cases) due to a boiler failure on a very cold Winter's day.
For me, it has been a year of learning about the U3A and my role within in. I did not set myself any goals but I'm pleased to think our organisation continues to thrive. We have managed to start the process of moving towards the Beacon membership management system – a system developed exclusively for U3As to make their admin more efficient. Thanks to the Working Group who are taking this development forward.
Last year's Chair's Report ended on a wistful note that not all members are willing to put something into Leeds U3A as well as taking what they want out of the organisation. This remains the case but I am grateful to those who have stepped forward and joined my fellow committee members. If we can maintain a full committee, plus those who volunteer without actually becoming Trustees, the workload would be lighter and provide the satisfaction of a job well done.
No doubt you will continue to let me have your views on all things U3A. The committee welcome everyone's opinion.