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 Ann Keating, who is Trustee for Scotland.
What’s your journey been to becoming a trustee?
My journey towards being a Trustee was quite quick.
When I retired from teaching, I joined Edinburgh U3A and found myself on the committee in the first year. I was a group coordinator and thoroughly enjoyed starting new groups e.g. art, tennis and wine tasting. Edinburgh u3a is a dynamic group full of ideas and the committee great fun to work with.
When the opportunity to become Scottish Trustee arose I thought that I would like to take on the challenge of working and promoting the U3A movement throughout Scotland.
Why did you decide to become a regional trustee?
I looked forward to travelling to parts of the country I had never been to before and before the Covid lock down I got to Arran, Aberdeenshire and the Borders. I also enjoyed the adventure of travelling on the Caledonian sleeper down to London to Board meetings.
What have you gained from being a trustee?
Probably the most enjoyable part of being a Trustee is getting to meet so many interesting people who are committed to the movement.
What’s something about your role that might surprise people?
One of the most surprising things I discovered about being a Trustee is the support and encouragement you receive for your ideas. It really is a grass roots movement. A Trustee has the ability to make things happen, which is stimulating and exciting.
What do you hope to achieve in the role?
I would love to see the membership of U3A grow and become much more diverse. I would also hope that we can develop more shared learning experiences with other organisations.
What ways have you found to connect as a trustee during social distancing? Give us some great tips.
Zoom has been the means of keeping in touch with committees and groups. After a day of Zooming I feel as if I have been out and about meeting people not just sitting at a desk in Edinburgh.
Do you have some words of encouragement to other members who might be considering becoming a trustee?
In conclusion I can honestly say that I have found my experience of being a trustee rich and rewarding. If you have the time, have the confidence to take the role on. There are lots of people there to help you along the way.