Handbook for conveners

The purpose of this handbook is to provide information, guidance and support to both experienced group conveners as well as those new to the role
▷ Introduction
▷ Starting a new group
What to consider
What to do next
Whom to contact
▷ Running a group
The first meeting
Register attendance
Safety and accessibility
Solving problems
▷ Publicity
▷ Appendices


  Interest Groups are at the very heart of u3a activities. Each group has a named convener who is the contact point for the group as a whole. Without volunteers willing to take on this role Interest Groups would never get off the ground
  For most groups the convener is a facilitator, someone who has a special interest in the subject rather than an expert, specialist or teacher. In this way members are encouraged to develop their own knowledge and skills across a range of interests, be they educational, cultural, recreational, physical or social
  Groups are largely free to run as they wish within the u3a principles of shared, participative and lifelong learning
  There is no fixed format or procedures and always room for innovation. Group members are encouraged to share their expertise and experience as well as aspects of administration, organisation and activity planning
  The Groups Team provides support and information for groups. Just ask if you want some help
  Being a group convener involves a modest amount of work but at the same time is rewarding and enjoyable. It is a vital and invaluable job and the success of the Groups is the success of the u3a.

  Starting a new group

• Do you have an interest, hobby, or expertise in a particular area?
• Do you share an interest with others that is not catered for?
• Is the group you want to join full?
• Then maybe you could consider starting a new group?
• It’s fun, straightforward, rewarding and we help and support you all the way

  What to consider

• Aims of the group
• Size of the group
• Type and style of meetings
• Fixed term or long term
• Where to meet
• How often to meet
• Skill or knowledge level of potential group members