Advice for Conveners (revised August 2021)

Setting up a Group

◻︎ Each Group will have a convener who is largely free to run the group as he or she wishes, 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 to groups are paid-up CEDu3a members by asking to see their membership cards
◼︎ allow a CEDu3amember 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
◼︎ on outings or walks be aware of members’ health and capability
◼︎ ensure that he or she has the have contact numbers of all participants
◼︎ reserve the right to remove members from the group email list if they fail to attend meetings on a regular basis, particularly when there is a waiting list.

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.

Data protection

◼︎ Information about members should be not be disclosed and used for U3A purposes only, unless permission has been sought
◼︎ Group emails should always use the blind copy (bcc) feature
◼︎ Permission must be sought to publish photographs of members on the group page on the CEDU3A website
◼︎ Photographs published on the group page on the CEDu3a website must not infringe copyright law
◼︎ Conveners are responsible for keeping up to date the information on web page of the group.

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
◼︎ Where required the Group convener may claim setup costs of £50.00 (to be agreed in advance by the New Groups’ Organiser, and running costs of up to £75.00 annually to include:
 
* provision for employing /paying external tutors (professional coaches, experts, trainers) for groups – but not u3a members who always provide their services for free. These should be for one off or very occasional sessions only. Conveners must ensure that they obtain documentary evidence from tutors, etc. of public liability insurance and that they are registered with HMRC as self-employed and receipts obtained for any purchases
 
* incidental expenses incurred by groups, e.g. hiring play scripts. reimbursement for travelling expenses (additional costs after using Freedom Pass and Senior Rail Card), undertaken by Conveners/Leaders of Walking and other groups where appropriate, for purposes of recces.
 
All such expenditure to be agreed by the Groups’ Co-ordinator before costs are incurred
 
*  Zoom costs. Zoom’s basic account is free. Reimbursement for cost of a Zoom Monthly Pro Account to be agreed in advance by the New Groups’ Organiser for new groups and the Groups’ Coordinator for established groups.
 
All approved expenditure, invoices and receipts should be submitted via the Treasurer.
 
Note that we will not fund ‘consumable’ materials that individual members use or ‘own’ on a personal basis such as pencils, paper, fabric for crafts.
 
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 in the Convener’s home

Room hire for groups

 

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.