Notice from the Committee

It is with regret that we have to inform you of the unexpected resignation of our Chairman, Andrew Walker, due to ill health. In his short tenure, Andrew has made important contributions to the Chichester U3A, putting in place an essential Safeguarding Policy, updating our Constitution, and promoting the membership survey to give us more information about our membership and to highlight members’ views on what they would like to see in the U3A. We are most grateful to him for his hard work and enthusiasm. You can read Andrew’s notice to the membership below.

This leaves us without a Chair and with a Committee which will gradually reduce in number during the next few months as Committee members’ tenure comes to an end. We therefore need volunteers to join us. If you would like to attend a Committee Meeting in order to see what membership involves before committing yourself to serving, please contact any Committee member via  the membership team or by phone on 07460 109600. We will be able to talk you through the responsibilities and the areas of interest in which you might be asked to participate. We are particularly looking for those who would be interested in helping with Social Events and Activities, and Membership (see our note below), but if you have experience of chairing committees such as ours, or would be interested in finding out what is involved, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Message from Andrew Walker, Chair of the Chichester U3A

After just a few months serving as your Chairman, I am very sorry to tell you that for reasons of ill health I am being forced to resign. I have enjoyed meeting you at various events and I have also enjoyed working with your current Committee members. As a team, we have done some serious work in finding out about our membership: what they enjoy doing, what they feel they are missing, and what they would like to see from their U3A over the next few years. May I ask you to continue to support your hard-working Committee and Group Leaders by participating in the Group activities and events which they organise for you, and by lending a hand whenever and wherever you can? We are always keen to listen to new ideas for activities, whether physically or mentally challenging, and would welcome your input in starting and supporting new Groups, social activities and trips and visits to places of interest. We are a small Committee and would welcome new members on board to lead us through the changes which we are planning over the next year or two. We have many productive and bright people who should be willing to contribute to moving our U3A forwards. Please consider joining our Committee to make this a worthwhile organization. I look forward to seeing you at future events as a member, and wish Chichester U3A a successful and happy future.

Job Vacancy – Membership Team

If you’d like to make new friends and if you enjoy meeting people why not offer to be part of the Membership Team? Wendy and I have worked together as a job share for the past three years and have become very good friends but it’s time we handed over to new blood. Apart from August and September, which is Renewal Time when it’s hectic, the job is not onerous, just an hour or two a week plus a couple of hours at the Coffee Mornings and Monthly Meetings. Tempted? Give either of us a ring on 07460 109600 or email us  for a chat. We’d love to hear from you

Jill Cook, Membership Secretary

Changes to the Chichester U3A Constitution

As you may know, last year’s Annual General Meeting (“AGM”) was adjourned due to an initial lack of a quorum, and the adjournment was over-subscribed due to a lack of space in the meeting room. In view of this, your Committee will be proposing revisions to the existing Constitution at the next AGM in May this year, and would appreciate feedback or questions regarding their proposals prior to putting the final version to members at that time. The following major changes are proposed: • The introduction of proxy voting – this enables those unable to physically attend a general meeting, for reason of holidays, ill health etc., to appoint in writing another person to vote on their behalf at a specific general meeting, including the AGM. • The reduction of the quorum – (i.e. the minimum number of members attending a general meeting to allow business to be enacted) from 10% of the total membership, to 5%. • In the event of an adjourned general meeting, the quorum will be the members attending the adjourned meeting Other changes to the Constitution are generally minor and serve mainly to correct spelling mistakes and grammar. Anybody who would like to review the new proposed Constitution can find both the current and proposed Constitutions on the Chichester U3A website. These documents will be available in hard copy form at coffee mornings and monthly meetings. If you have any more specific or detailed questions or comments, contact any Committee Member via email or by calling 07460 109600.

Membership Survey: comments from the Committee

The Committee is very grateful to all members who completed and returned the survey forms. These have now been analysed and we are holding a “brainstorming” session in the next few weeks to decide which suggestions and comments can be put to into action and to decide a list of priorities. We will keep reporting back on our decisions. It may turn out that we will not be able to act on some of your suggestions – for example, they may be unrealistic or not within the remit of a U3A. But be assured that we are reading ALL of your comments and are intending to follow up as many as possible.

Group Leader Volunteers

The Committee has begun to look at the results of the recent Membership Survey, with particular reference to Group activities, and has already identified some areas in which members have particularly expressed an interest. To begin with, we are looking for members who would like to lead Groups in Beginners’ Level Foreign Languages. If you have the know-how but maybe lack the resources, contact the Group Co-ordinator, Caroline Davis  and have a chat. Alternatively contact any Committee member.

Bridge for Absolute Beginners

Always meant to learn to play bridge? Now is your chance! One of our bridge group leaders is offering 10 two-hour sessions at his house, on successive Monday and Thursday mornings, which should enable you to get a good grasp of the basics. The course is available to just four people who should be absolute beginners. Cost will be £2 per session to cover resources. In the first instance, please contact the Groups Coordinator giving your name and membership number.

Reading Group 10

The Graylingwell reading group have three vacancies. They meet in Graylingwell on the first Wednesday of each month from 3pm to 4pm. The group leader can send a list of the books  recently read to anyone who considers joining. To find out more, contact the Group Leader (Anna) or the Groups Coordinator giving your name and membership number.

Further information on all groups is shown on the Chichester U3A website. If you would like to find out more about a particular group, go from there to the webpage for that group, and use the contact form there to send a message to the group leader. If that fails, contact the groups team.

LUNCHTIME  SKITTLES

The next Skittles will be on Thursday, March 7th at 12.30 PLEASE NOTE DIFFERENT TIME. Place: The Barley Mow at Walderton Cost: £12 pp to include a buffet lunch (same as the one we’ve had in the evening) We hope to finish by 3.30 As some people don’t like driving to Walderton in the dark we’re trying a lunchtime instead. For further information, please contact the organizer, Jean.

MONTHLY MEETING (Third Thursday every month except August).

Volunteer to set up projector and laptop at beginning of meeting and close at end of meeting. Training/shadowing as from next meeting. A volunteer needed to act as Safety Member, checking that fire exit routes are clear of obstruction and fire doors are kept closed during the Talk. Identify members with a disability who may need assistance in the event of an emergency exit. Another volunteer to join the small team of First Aiders: to call the emergency service in the event of a serious medical situation and, if holding a current approved in-date First Aid Certificate (help may be available with the cost of training), administer First Aid until the arrival of the emergency services. To look after and maintain the contents of the First Aid box.

These could be “job shares”. Please contact the membership team.