To celebrate National Trustees Week, we’re talking to trustees across the U3A movement – from those on their local committees to Regional Trustees. Today, we’re talking to Susie Berry, the new Regional Trustee for the South East.
What’s your journey been to becoming a trustee?
I was a founder member of Ridgeway U3A twelve years ago and later was Chair, Editor and Webmaster at various times. For three years each, I was Vice-Chair and Chair of Thames Valley Network and also on the organising team for TVN Events and in charge of the catering for these as well.
I became a Trust Volunteer when the role was first invented and have been involved with starting new U3As and facilitating Workshops. I joined the SE Region Support Team, and a couple of national working groups.
Why did you decide to become a regional trustee?
It seemed like the next logical challenge and I had already been asked to do it when I was still chair of the network and too busy to accept.
What have you gained from being a trustee?
It’s a bit early to say as I was only elected at this year’s AGM at the end of September. However it is very interesting to have an insight into the overall picture of the movement and I look forward to becoming more involved.
What ways have you found to connect with other members of your committee as a trustee during social distancing? Give us some great tips.
I don’t think there is a magic formula but in some ways lockdown could be said to have brought us closer together. We don’t have the benefit of social contact but using technology we are able to meet more often with less time and no expense involved. We probably talk more now than we do when there is a tendency to put off a chat because we shall see each other at a meeting next week.
Do you have some words of encouragement to other members who might be considering becoming a trustee?
The ethos of U3A is ‘by the members for the members’ and everyone should take their turn at volunteering in whatever way they can manage.
Having said that, we are members in order to learn, laugh and live and we should strive to make everything we do, including serving as a Trustee, enjoyable and FUN!