Advice : How to be a good U3A Interest Group member

A friendly reminder to all our members of reasonable standards of behaviour expected to ensure that everyone is able to enjoy, learn and get the most out of their group.
Remember that interest groups only exist because of your willingness and enthusiasm to support and encourage them. The convener, like you, is a member of CEDU3A and a volunteer who takes a lead role and your help and assistance is essential in ensuring the success of the group.
 
BE CLEAR WHAT THE GROUP IS ABOUT- from information on the website as to the pattern of meetings and the practices, procedures of the group. These may be clarified and confirmed over time through discussion and agreement. There are no ‘hard and fast’ rules.
 
All groups are different. Some meet regularly, say monthly, at the same place and time, while for others you are required to book each walk or visit. Some are ‘Short Term Groups’ meeting over a fixed period as with the craft groups.
 
Most groups meet in member’s homes, others in local venues where specialist facilities are required as with sports groups or where space, ease of access limit the use of member’s homes.
 

BE PUNCTUAL AND RELIABLE IN ATTENDANCE-making every effort to let the convener know if you can’t attend, of longer term absence, withdrawal from a group.
 
Of course we understand that attendance is not always possible -3 missed meetings over the year or failure to notify absence may be reasonable after which the convener will be in touch and the place may be offered to someone else. This is particularly important where groups are oversubscribed or a planned visit has a limit on numbers where poor attendance may prevent others from joining the group.
 
RESPOND IN TIMELY FASHION TO EMAILS FROM THE CONVENER-in confirming attendance/absence by date requested. This may be particularly important where costs are incurred as in booking theatre visits or where perishable food has to be bought in advance. Where members are unable to attend a pre booked event at short notice costs may not be refundable.
 
Some groups also may be run in such a way that they have more members than available places and will operate assuming that not everyone will attend every meeting. In confirming that they are unable to attend a meeting, or visit, the place may be offered to a member from the waiting list.
 
BEHAVE RESPECTFULLY AND COURTEOUSLY, TAKE PART AND BECOME INVOLVED WITH YOUR GROUP-welcoming new members, taking an interest in fellow members, being constructive and participative in discussion, giving encouragement where needed.
 
Offering to help may take many forms-such as assisting in ‘setting up’ the room, hosting a meeting, preparing a session’ taking the register.
 
OBSERVE ‘HOUSE RULES’ WHEN ATTENDING MEETINGS IN MEMBER’S HOMES-In local venues regulations will generally apply in respect of things like smoking, vaping, dogs, food and are generally explicit. This is not the case in member’s homes. If unsure raise with the host. The decision as to what is permitted is theirs.
 

As in any organisation problems may occur from time to time. In most cases these may be resolved amicably through discussion with the convener and where the problem persists or is not resolved with the Groups’ Coordinator.
 
Please note that the existing grievance policy/procedure found at cedu3a.org.uk/grievance-procedure will be reviewed in 2020 during the 3 year policy review cycle.