Summarised actions arising from the Executive Committee (EC) meeting held on 5th June 2020
Proposals were laid before EC members to hold the Annual General Meeting online this year, in response to the current Covid-19 restrictions and uncertainty about the coming months. A provisional date of 9th July was agreed (this has since been changed to 16th July) for the AGM. CEDU3A members will be informed by email at least 4 weeks before the AGM and papers sent out around the same time.
Moving the AGM online for this year’s meeting will necessitate an additional clause being added to the current Constitution and it was agreed that this should be put to the membership ahead of the AGM and ratified within the meeting. An EC Officers’ Group is meeting fortnightly online during the period of distancing restrictions. Reports from the group are sent to the full EC for information.
Groups / Members
It was reported that there were a total of 92 interest groups and 6 sub-groups prior to ‘lockdown’ and at present 70 of the groups were active in some way, using a variety of means of communication, the most prevalent being Zoom. Tribute was paid to the convenors who have worked hard to try to maintain interest groups where practicable. It was acknowledged that careful consideration will need to be given, at some stage in the future, as to how groups can resume face-to-face activity in a safe manner once restrictions are eased.
Mindfulness and Historical Fiction interest groups have been set up online during lockdown and have been very successful. It was confirmed that any members meeting to carry on activities informally will not be covered by U3A insurance and will do so at their own risk. The number of members has remained stable at 797.
Monthly Talks / Meetings
The first Monthly Talk, held on 2nd June, had been very well received and all tickets were booked within hours. It is planned to repeat the talk for those who couldn’t access it. Jan Sutherland has been booked for an online talk Our Homes for our Future on 7th July and then Gordon Hutchinson on the History of Alexandra Palace Park on 4th August. Future possibilities included artificial intelligence, more art history, and the Thames foreshore project.
A volunteer organiser for the talks is being sought via the monthly Bulletin.
Once the Government eases social distancing restrictions to allow larger numbers gathering together in one place, consideration will be given as to how to reinstate Monthly Meetings in a safe environment and to locations around the CEDU3A natural catchment area that could be used. It is recognised that this is not a practicable exercise at this time.
Later in the year consideration will be given to how to fairly reduce membership fees next year to compensate for the necessary disruption to interest groups in 2020. Gift Aid reimbursement is being pursued via HMRC, following official registration of CEDU3A as an organisation with them.
Non-emailing members have been supported throughout the ‘lockdown’ period with regular phone calls and practical help where required. AGM papers will be posted to them and efforts will be made to try to offer telephone access to the meeting on the day.
CEDU3A is working with the London-wide U3A to access a more sophisticated Zoom package in order to enable more members to access online talks and the AGM. Members will be notified with all the latest developments in the monthly Bulletin.