Meet a volunteer

Bryony Allen joined our U3A in late 2018 with her husband John. Newly retired after working for many years in Hertfordshire, Bryony was looking for interesting activities and ways to connect more with the neighbourhood. At her very first monthly meeting, she was welcomed and asked if she would like to volunteer – and has helped with signing in ever since. Bryony says “There are two of us which makes it easy, and there is always someone else available if I am away.” Bryony thoroughly enjoys the very sociable French Conversation group. The History group was full when she applied to join, and when a space came free, she had become too busy! But she has learned many fascinating things at the Monthly Meetings, and loves the range of interesting speakers. Volunteering gets her to talks she might otherwise miss. “Supporting the monthly meetings is a great way to get to know people and is important as it helps bring our community together. Being a member of U3A has really extended my local knowledge and links to people in the neighbourhood. I am really pleased that by volunteering I can help provide that for others.”

Jennifer Slinn was one of the first people to join our U3A, she knew it was bound to be good when a good friend told her about it. She has a busy life, but has found the time to follow her interests in art, embroidery and textiles. She has found the groups a great way to re-connect with people locally. Jennifer regularly sets up and serves the tea and coffee at monthly meetings; she shares with another volunteer who clears away so she can get to her yoga class on time! It works well because there’s always someone else available if she’s on holiday, and others willing to lend a hand if there’s any problem. As she says: “It’s great for meeting people and I felt it was a contribution I could make and a commitment I’m really happy to take on to help our U3A run smoothly”. Look out for her at the next monthly meeting!

Paul Soper joined our U3A in early 2019. He lives next door to the Monthly Meetings venue and U3A looked like a good way to broaden his activities while enjoying semi-retirement. He joined the Ukulele group to learn the ukulele (he had played guitar previously), and followed his music interests into the Jazz and Improvisation group. He then became the co-convenor of a group on Americana. He also takes part in the Photography group, plays Petanque, and attends most Science of Health and monthly meetings. Paul was keen to contribute more, and what better way than by volunteering to provide music and help out at the summer party. He has also joined a roster to set up the projector and sound system at Science of Health and monthly meetings. As Paul says “Our U3A is a great way to get out and meet people as well as learn new skills. Volunteering adds to the enjoyment as you are playing a part in making it all happen!”

Vivien Tesseras joined our U3A at the Open Day in 2018 after she stopped going out to work. She works part-time at home now, and friends suggested U3A as a great way to get out and be active. Vivien has joined groups on Philosophy, Music Appreciation, and the 1960s/70s, and enjoys visiting diverse venues with the Exhibitions and Galleries group. She is keen to contribute, but prefers to volunteer at one-off events. She had a great time at the summer party where she helped set up, blew up balloons, welcomed new arrivals and gave out tokens, and helped the music groups to get set up and start on time. She also helped at last year’s Open Day. Vivien says “I have lived in the area for many years, but through U3A I have made new friends and been reunited with many others – including people I used to meet at the school gates. I love the monthly meetings with their interesting talks and variety of subjects, and am really pleased I have been able to contribute to making this all happen.”

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