Group Leader’s Guidelines (revised August 2016)
The U3A group leaders are the life blood of the organization without you we wouldn’t exist. We appreciate the time and energy you give to your groups and thank you for your contribution.
These guidelines are based on the Advice Sheets developed by the Third Age Trust (TAT) with locally relevant information added. The TAT guidelines can be accessed http:/www.u3a.org.uk under U3A Member Menu – Document Downloads. – Advice Sheets. You will need to create an account to access this information via the first page of the U3A website. Contact the groups coordinator if you have any problems with this.
Settle U3A pays for a block booking to use The Victoria Hall for most of its classes and groups so whenever possible VH should be used as other venues cost money and accommodation is our biggest expense.
Access to the VH kitchen is not normally included in our use and must be separately negotiated with the groups organizer and VH administrator.
Remember to accommodate the access needs of your group members for classes and outings – see TAT advice sheet 1. If you have any safety concerns about a venue do not continue a class unless they can be resolved to your satisfaction.
If you need help with your group venue please discuss this with the groups coordinator.
Ensure that group members have enough information to make an informed choice about what is involved in participating in your group – you may wish to discuss the programme with them and invite them to make contributions.
If the group involves physical activity make sure that members know that they are doing this at their own risk.
The U3A has subject specialists who can provide help and assistance to group leaders in organizing their programme – see the U3A Resource Centre 020 8315 0199 or firstname.lastname@example.org and the U3A Sources – an educational journal which is included in the direct mailing of Third Age Matters
If you are providing written material and using the U3A logo consult the TAT advice sheet 9 for correct layout details.
Group leaders are responsible for the running of their group and for resolving any difficulties that may arise. However the groups coordinator will provide support and advice should this be required.
Ensure you collect full contact details including email addresses and membership numbers from all U3A members attending your class. This should ensure that you can have regular contact with group members, informing them of any change of plans or illness. Remember if using emails to all group members to use the Blind Copy or BC option to ensure confidentiality. See TAT advice sheet 5
We operate a ‘try before you buy’ of two sessions for non-members but group leaders should ensure non-members join after this or inform the group organizer.
Leaders should keep a group register of attendance at each meeting, essential as a record and for fire precautions.
It is up to the leader to set a limit on group numbers that is practical for the group running. Where a group is oversubscribed there is the option of a waiting list or setting up a second group. If this arises discuss this with the groups coordinator. See TAT advice sheet 12.
Assistant leaders: having an assistant leader is useful to collect members fees, cover for the leader in case of absence/holidays and generally assist the leader. An assistant can also help with succession planning when a current leader wishes to retire.
Leaders should collect members meeting fees and put them into an envelope or money pouch always including details of the group and the date. This is then placed in the small safe with a U3A logo in the cupboard, which contains the lighting switches, to the right of the Victoria Hall main doors (as you go in).
Consult the groups coordinator or treasurer if you handle money on behalf of the group for any other purpose eg for outings and visits.
Never put U3A through your personal account.
Always get receipts for any money handed over.
Insurance Cover and Accidents
All members of the U3A are covered by the U3A’s public liability insurance, but they are not covered for personal accident insurance.
If an injury occurs to a group member or damage to a group member’s property take down full details and pass them onto the group coordinator.
TAT advice sheet 2 gives information on First Aid
Photocopying – There are important guidelines covering photocopying multiple copies of articles, music, maps etc. Settle U3A can no longer afford the cost of a license for this. UK copyright law allows you to copy’ an insubstantial amount for personal use, private study or non-commercial research’ but the law does not define insubstantial. Please consult the groups coordinator if you have any problems in this area.
It is important to make group members aware that they must have their own personal insurance to cover them for all outdoor activities such as visits, outings and the walking group –all participants do so at their own risk. See TAT sheet 8.
It is advisable for all U3A members taking part in outdoor activities to give a copy of any medical conditions and details of next of kin to the leader.
Car parking – Settle U3A have an informal arrangement with the Cricket Club when car sharing takes place and some vehicles are left behind. Vehicles should have a U3A sticker on them and only be parked on the left.
THANK YOU AND GOOD LUCK