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A Day in the Life of a u3a Trustee: Limebrook u3a's Chair, Howard

08 November 2023

For Trustees Week, Howard from Limebrook u3a shares insight into a day in the life of being a Chair, including attending a community event to promote u3a and running his ten-pin bowling group. 

Howard (on the right) handing a trophy to member Phil who recently
won the u3a monthly photography competition.

For the third year running, our local council has organised what it calls the Silver Monday event, which brings together in excess of 20 organisations who give advice to local senior citizens on a wide range of topics. This includes inter alia safety in the home, advice on avoiding scams, well-being, financial advice and products that are available to help make life easier and safer.

Limebrook u3a has been involved from the start and this year’s event, attended by myself and two other committee members, was part of our effort to raise the profile of the u3a as an organisation, to explain the benefits of membership and to recruit new members. It may seem unusual for us to be alongside members of the emergency services and others but we are providing something that is beneficial for those attending. Our success in recruiting new members is ample proof that our organisation is an important part of our local community. It doesn’t take long to explain what the u3a is all about and it seems that the benefits are self-explanatory. We have found also that these new recruits quite often introduce their friends as well who become active members of our u3a.

The afternoon was a bit more relaxing as I am the group coordinator for our ten-pin bowling group, which started just over two years ago once such events were possible after Covid. We now have 32 members.

We have two sessions each month and, although there is a certain element of competition, the emphasis is on enjoyment and laughter. A little bit of exercise does no harm either!

It couldn’t be easier to organise each session as all I have to do is send out an email to members via Beacon to see who is available to participate. The rest is down to the members. I usually allocate players to the lanes in order to mix up the group. Although we started out with people of mixed abilities, I have seen improvement in everyone over these two years. The more experienced players are happy to give advice and support to newer players. We have even had several people who have purchased their own bowls and some have been known to have additional games outside the group sessions.

So two very different roles for me in one day but all part of helping to run our u3a. I’ve had four years of enjoyment as a member of Limebrook u3a and it gives me great satisfaction to not only spread the word but also to run a successful interest group.

On other days I might be chairing a meeting of our u3a committee or liaising with members of the committee. In our Committee we share all of the responsibilities, so as Chair I run the meetings, but many of the other traditional responsibilities of the Chair are shared, which was one of the reasons I was happy to take on the role.

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