This is the guidance note produced and agreed by the u3a committee in July 2015. Click any heading below to see the relevant section...
1. Setting up
- An interest group may be set up at the request of three or more Members, subject only to paragraph 2.1 below. Members should approach the Group Co-ordinator in the first instance.
- All Members of Hayling Island u3a shall be eligible to start, lead and/or host and attend all interest groups, subject only to any limitation set by the host, or by a leader where a group meets other than in a members' residence.
- In the event of a Group being oversubscribed, a waiting list shall be opened and maintained by the group leader and the Group Coordinator.
- The decision on the appointment of an interest group rests with the u3a committee.
- Interest Groups are expected to observe the Aims and Objects of Hayling Island u3a as set out in the Constitution.
- The committee shall have the power to suspend or terminate the activity of an interest group in the event of a breach of the Constitution.
- The Group Leader will tell the Group Co-ordinator when there are vacancies, the information will be published on the monthly meeting notice board, and via the monthly e-mail to all members.
- It is for the group leader together with the members to decide upon the format and topics of the group meetings, who should lead the group at each meeting, together with the time and location meetings will take place.
- Groups are encouraged to hold 'open' meetings once or twice a year. This may involve hiring a suitable venue. The Group Co-ordinator will offer advice.
- Where a Member has missed three meetings without giving a reason, it shall be deemed that the Member has resigned and the place offered to a person on the waiting list.
- The Hayling Island u3a has a duty of care to all its members to ensure that its activities take place in a friendly and safe environment and in a non-discriminatory manner. Group members are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that respects and encourages the participation of others in a pleasant environment that is conducive both to learning and to the enjoyment of the activity.
- Similarly, members are expected to respect the environment in which the meeting takes place, especially where meetings take place in private homes.
- In the event of inappropriate behaviour the group leader may warn the member involved that any repeat of the behaviour may lead to suspension from the group. In either case the group leader shall immediately inform the group co-ordinator, or if not available, a member of the committee.
- In the event of serious or continuing inappropriate behaviour the u3a committee has the powers to suspend the offender for a period of time or permanently from participation in a u3a group and other activities. Except in the event of extreme behaviour, e.g. violence to another person or deliberate damage to property that warrants immediate action, the committee shall not permanently exclude a member until the matter has been referred to The Third Age Trust for advice.
5. Finance, other fees and contributions, and banking facilities
- Interest Groups shall be self-funding (see 6.1)
- It is expected that members should make a voluntary contribution towards the cost of refreshments and other overheads when attending interest group activities held in a member's home. This payment is not part of the funding of the Hayling Island u3a. Hosts shall not be expected to account to the Branch for the disbursement of this contribution.
Other fees and contributions
- Additional fees may be payable by members of groups e.g. where the cost of hiring a hall or equipment is involved.
- The group leader, or nominated member of a group collecting such fees, shall maintain a record of receipts and disbursements, and shall, if requested, present to the Treasurer a record of such receipts and expenditure.
- Under no circumstances may a group open its own bank account. The Treasurer will arrange with the group leader to set up a specific Hayling Island U3A account if deemed necessary.
- The group leader or nominated member of the group should, in general, pay monies payable to Hayling Island u3a into the relevant account.
- The group may keep funds within the account for as long as required. The Treasurer will issue a statement showing this group's transactions and their cash balances each September and on request at other times.
6. Capital equipment
- Subject to formal approval by the Committee a grant may be made for capital equipment, where the equipment is essential for the further development of the group. Any capital equipment purchased for a group shall remain the property of Hayling Island u3a, and may be used by any group at the discretion of the Committee.
- A group leader must maintain a record of the location of any capital equipment held by the group.
- The Resources Officer will annually, or when otherwise necessary, ask the group leader to present the equipment for inspection.
- The Resources Officer should be consulted on all matters of maintenance and repair and the replacement of equipment.
- It is the responsibility of members offering transport for fellow members to ensure that they have the appropriate insurance. Formal charging for private transport is illegal but voluntary contributions can be accepted.
8. Accident or illness
- It is essential for u3a insurance purposes that group leaders ensure that all members of their group hold current membership of HI u3a. (You can see a copy of the information sheet 'u3a and you' here).
- A group leader must complete an accident report form in the event of any accident to a member, however minor the incident, during a group activity. (You can get a copy of the form here).
- The accident report form must be passed to the Group Co-ordinator or The Chairman within 48 hours of the incident.
9. Health and safety
- All group leaders will maintain an updated list of contact numbers for members attending their group in case of emergency.
- It is prudent for members hosting u3a meetings to ensure that the members attending are aware of any alternative fire or emergency exits where they exist; e.g. back door and patio doors.
- Whilst it might not be appropriate to have these exits unlocked, the keys should be readily available.