the Chair

Swanland u3a

Chairman's Letter September 2021

The committee held its first live meeting at Swanland Village Hall on 29th July. We were socially distanced and well-ventilated, almost to the point of hypothermia, but well looked-after by the caretaker and the room-bookings person. While we have been meeting successfully as a committee regularly by Zoom since the spring of 2020, discussion is so much better live, when one can see everyone easily, notice facial expressions and body language and hear speakers' tone of voice clearly.

I reported in the last newsletter that the committee had proposed holding an outdoor public celebration on Saturday 25th September 2021, with two aims. the first was to encourage recruitment of new members by raising awareness of Swanland u3a and the range of activities we offer. the second aim was to celebrate Swanland u3a's 25th Anniversary. After discussion in the committee meeting, we have all agreed that we should give ourselves more time to organise the public outdoor event, aiming for June 2022, but avoiding Half Term, when many people go away or visit family. A celebration of the 25th Anniversary, of interest mainly to members, would be a more modest event in a thursday meeting this autumn, with archive material (including photographs) on show and a large birthday cake (as at the 10th and 20th anniversaries) and a sharing of memories of 25 years' achievements, as well as contributions by current Interest Groups.

Another agenda item was a welcome to Rosi Rawson as our latest committee member and as the new Newsletter Editor. We also recorded our thanks to June Clough, who has served as Editor for a number of years.

Thanks are also due to Keith Taylor, our Website Administrator for the regular Interest Group Updates he has prepared, detailing every group and whether it is meeting at present. Some groups have managed to meet outdoors or in small numbers.

John Munson, our Speaker-Finder has also worked very hard since the beginning of Lockdown, often in conjunction with Keith, to enable our use of Zoom for all kinds of meetings and for thursday Lectures, in addition to engaging some very interesting speakers. He and Keith also ran very useful training sessions on the use of Zoom and held Zoom drop-in sessions where members could ask advice or just chat with one another socially. John has also drafted policies on Disability/Access and Safeguarding for our u3a.

Our Treasurer, Jim Munday is to be congratulated for achieving the switch of Swanland u3a's bank accounts from the CAF Bank to the more convenient and less expensive HSBC.

Finally, I would like to thank all the committee members and convenors for their ongoing work running Swanland u3a, which keeps them constantly busy.   John Scotney