Advice for Conveners

Setting up a group

Each group has convener who is largely free to run the group as they wish, within the principles of the u3a and any local CEDu3a guidance
 
   A joint group with other U3As can be set up if, for example, a group is otherwise not viable. The specific approval of each u3a’s Committee is required
 
   There are no fixed terms. A group decides what breaks it wants for holidays.
 
   The Group convener should maintain an up-to-date email address group list, preferably using the Beacon members management system. The purpose of the list is to inform and remind group members of the dates, times and venues (if relevant) of group meetings or organised events.

Group meetings

   The Group Convener should:
 
◼︎ confirm that new recruits are paid-up CEDu3a members by asking to see proof of membership
 
◼︎ allow a CEDu3a member come to only one meeting without proof of membership. If a membership has not been renewed, there is a 2-month grace period during which the member is still covered by the u3a insurance
 
◼︎ keep a register of attendance, in case of an insurance claim
 
◼︎ record any accidents & report them to the CEDu3a secretary
 
◼︎ ensure that any walk or similar event is reconnoitred in advance and risks assessed
 
◼︎ on outings or walks be aware of members’ health and capability
 
◼︎ maintain a list of contact numbers of all participants
 
◼︎ ensure that the information the Group page on the CEDu3a website is timely and regularly reviewed and updated
 
◼︎ reserve the right to remove members from the group if they fail to attend meetings on a regular basis, particularly when there is a waiting list.

Risk assessments

▷ Risk assessment checklist for meetings in members’ homes
▷ Risk assessment checklist for outdoor activities
▷ Risk assessment checklist for workshop activities

Data protection

   The Group Convener should:
 
◼︎ ensure that members personal data should only be used for CEDu3a purposes, and should be disclosed to third parties unless permission has been sought and given
 
◼︎ send group emails using the blind copy (bcc) feature
 
◼︎ seek permission to publish photographs of members on any page of the CEDu3a website
 
◼︎ ensure than any photographs published on the CEDu3a website do not infringe copyright law
 

Insurance

   CEDu3a activities are fully insured
 
   A non-member who teaches a group must have public liability insurance
 
   Car sharing : the driver’s own insurance ought and should cover this (i.e. it’s normally covered in one’s comprehensive car insurance). CEDu3a’s public liability insurance does not cover it.

Payments and expenses

   It is CEDu3a policy not to employ external tutors for groups unless there are special circumstances
 
   Where required the Group convener may claim set-up costs of £50.00 (to be agreed in advance by the Groups’ Co-ordinator, and running costs of up to £75.00 annually to include:
 
◼︎ provision for employing /paying external tutors (professional coaches, experts, trainers) for groups under special circumstances. The Group Conveners must ensure that they obtain documentary evidence from any tutors, etc. of public liability insurance and that they are registered with HMRC as self-employed and receipts obtained for any purchases/
 
◼︎ expenses incurred by groups, e.g. hiring play scripts. reimbursement for travelling expenses (additional costs after using Freedom Pass and Senior Rail Card), undertaken forWalking and other groups for the purposes of recces
 
   All such expenditure must agreed by the Groups’ Co-ordinator before costs are incurred
 
   Use of Zoom. Zoom’s 45 minute limited basic account is free. Reimbursement for the cost of a Zoom Monthly Pro Account must be agreed in advance by the Group Co-ordinator.
 
   All approved expenditure, invoices and receipts should be submitted via the Treasurer.
 
   ‘Consumable’ materials that individual members use or ‘own’ on a personal basis such as pencils, paper, fabric for crafts are not eligible for refunds
 
   Expenditure outside these guidelines may be considered on request by the Executive Committee
 
   The Group Convener is entitled to accept a recommended donation of 50p per member for refreshments offered their home

Room hire

 

   The general principle is that group meetings should usually take place in members’ homes. But circumstances may dictate that groups need to meet in an external venue. External venues are appropriate for sports and some other activities where specialist facilities are required or where space, ease of access and other considerations limit use of members’ homes. Approval for ‘one off’ or regular meetings should be sought from the Groups Coordinator, bookings made directly with the Centre Administrator and invoices submitted via the Treasurer.
 
   A list of external venues used by groups is available. Expect to pay £10-£20/hour.

Problems

   The Group convener is advised to discuss any problems with the CEDU3A Groups Organiser. As in any body of people, there may be disagreements and questionable behaviour. This may involve managing and following up difficult or inappropriate contributions or comments. This can be difficult, especially if they are made a group that invites controversy (like current affairs). Establish ground rules, be aware of potential strains as soon as they arise, and try to deflect them. In addition the CEDu3a has a grievance procedure.

Revised September 2021