While reading about the proposed u3a 40th Anniversary Wood in TAM in October, I was reminded that November, 2011 was ten years since the initial launch meeting of Ravenshead u3a. I recalled that as part of a small steering group to found the new branch, I was standing at the door of the church to welcome everyone.
I confess, I’d had a sleepless night worrying that not many people would turn up as I knew that some village residents were already members of other u3a’s. Astonishingly over 200 people turned up and by February, we had a committee, five wine groups, two book groups and a wide assortment of other interest groups.
Thanks to the vision and hard work of committee members, group leaders and other volunteers, we continue to grow. We’ve learnt a lot and laughed a lot along the way.
I was already contemplating purchasing a tree or two, then realised that a donation to the wood was a unique opportunity to commemorate those ten years.
In my motion to the AGM, a couple of weeks later, I argued that climate change and its impact on our lives is rarely out of the news. We are all urged to plant trees, by the Woodland Trust, the National Trust and even the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Green Canopy plan. Purchasing trees via this initiative, meant that they would be planted where there is plenty of space, within a scheme that ensures proper care and management and maintained oversight of the development of the wood. All this without any duty of care needed by local volunteers, but within the purview of the u3a wider family.
I urged the members to look forward, celebrate our ten years, with ten trees and hopefully in another ten years, we will be waving our certificate of ownership for an equally full AGM. Fortunately, they agreed with me.
Trees and copses can be bought from the u3a brand centre.
Read more about the u3a wood project on our website.