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 Rose Hislop, who is Secretary of Ruthin & District U3A.
What’s your journey been to becoming a Secretary?
I actually started our U3A so was automatically Chairperson initially. After the first year I was voted on as Chair. The U3A rules only allow people to be voted on in a specific role for 3 years so I was then voted on as Secretary.
Why did you decide to become a Trustee?
If you wish to be involved in steering a U3A you need to be on the Committee.
What have you gained from being a Trustee?
I love our U3A. I have personally gained so much from it. I’ve learnt so much more about how a Charity works. Together with the other Trustees I enjoy thinking of ways to promote our U3A and to attract new members. The whole concept of how a U3A works is just brilliant. It has given so much to older people in the Community and in return we have learnt so much ourselves.
Personally I’ve made so many new friends. I always wanted to play in a Band and I started a ukulele group. We call ourselves the Pleasant Pluckers and we do a lot of Charity and Community events which are great fun.
What do you hope to achieve in the role?
I hope that our U3A will go from strength to strength. I hope we will continue to attract other older people in the community to join us. People are so appreciative and it’s lovely when you can see that by all working together and sharing our skills we can enhance people’s lives.
What ways have you found to connect with other members of your committee and u3a during social distancing? Give us some great tips.
Early on we realised it was very important to maintain as much contact as we could with our members, even though meeting face to face was not possible.
We created a booklet of members’ recipes, called Recipes from the Lockdown Larder. This worked so well we created more on Gardening, called Corona Cultivation, Wildlife photos which we called COVID Creatures (which we also turned into a video), and members poems and artwork which we called Pandemic Poetry and Painting.
These 4 booklets were then put together professionally into one and a copy was sent to everyone who had contributed.
We do a weekly quiz on Zoom which is great fun and we have also reinstated the monthly speakers on Zoom.
A monthly Newsletter includes details of which groups are currently able to meet, either face to face or on Zoom. We are doing a Christmas card competition, the winner will be judged by a professional artist and a copy sent to every member at Christmas. We are also planning a small exhibition of things people have produced during the pandemic. This will happen the first time we are able to meet again.
We have produced a Group booklet which describes what each group does and will be given to new members when they join.
Finally, we have also started a Poetry Section on our website for members poems.
Do you have some words of encouragement to other members who might be considering becoming a committee member?
I would say don’t hesitate. It’s so rewarding! It’s great to have an idea and see it through to the end. It’s wonderful to feel you are enhancing other people’s lives and along the way you will undoubtedly enhance your own.