This, my second year as Secretary, has been another busy year for Settle U3A with an increasing number of members and a record number of groups in operation involving new activities and trips.
Our membership has grown to 366 which includes six associates, three honorary and four WestNet members. There were 60 new members this year.
We have had 31 groups in operation with regular favourites retaining a faithful and growing following. It is difficult to give a full mention to them all – many attract small but dedicated followers – Singing for Pleasure, Circle Dancing, Line Dancing, Exercise and Geology continue to attract large support. Other groups such as Lunch Group, Poetry Appreciation, Great Lives, French, Art Appreciation, Family History and Looking at Old Buildings also attract many members. The weekly Badminton and Table Tennis group meeting at the Langcliffe Village Institute continues to prove popular, and the Walking group maintains a regular weekly programme of walks which cater for all abilities.
This new year we have five new groups – Dry Stone Wall Building, Bird Watching, Creative Writing, Crime Novel Book and Wine Appreciation Groups.
The monthly meetings have continued throughout the year with an attendance of between 60 – 120 members. Speakers have presented a wide variety of topics which have included:
The Vikings – Britain’s Ancestors, Garden Wildlife, Stories from the War Hospital, The Science of Chocolate, The life of L S Lowry, The Year of a Gamekeeper and The Secrets of Handwriting.
Again, we held a very successful Christmas Social with contributions from many of the Groups and this was much enjoyed by a record audience filling the Victoria Hall to its full capacity.
We have continued to have the use of the Victoria Hall for most of our monthly and for many of our group meetings with some groups such as the Book Group and Card Making meeting in private homes and others making use of the Friends Meeting House when necessary. We are fortunate to have the use of such a good range of facilities.
Our monthly meetings have been enhanced by the installation of the large projector and new audio system at the Victoria Hall. After a few early difficulties the system now has the hearing aid loop system linked to the head set microphone. The improved speakers help us all to hear more clearly, when we get the volume setting correct!
This policy had been produced to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation that was applied in the UK from 25 May 2018 replacing the Data Protection Act 1998. Keith Waterson has very competently introduced the Settle and District U3A Data Protection Statement that met all the necessary requirements well before the 25 May. This can be found on our website.
The U3A Beacon system is now successfully up and running and is being used more and more by group leaders and members as we have become used to it.
There has been much activity in our region this year. Jackie Allott, with help from Sue Simpson, has been enthusiastically involved in all the developments.
Jackie continues to represent us at the Yorkshire and Humberside Regional meetings. Also, at WestNet committee meetings. Several successful events have been arranged including a Treasure Trail and Quiz nights and a second Ceilidh has been arranged for 02 November at Ilkley.
Jackie is arranging a WestNet Settle Trail in June 2019.
Day visits were arranged by Art Appreciation, Looking at Old Buildings, Theatre, Weekenders and Geology. Also, longer trips by Geology and the Walking Groups have taken place along with the U3A National Summer Schools ensuring plenty of variety and participation for members.
FLYING OUR FLAG
On three occasions this year volunteers from the committee and members have set up and manned our new display boards at Booths, the Co-op and Age UK at the Cricket Club. We handed out information leaflets and booklets to members of the public encouraging them to join our U3A.
On your behalf, my thanks go to Jackie (our Chair) and all the committee members who contribute to the successful running of the organisation and have taken on the innumerable number of tasks to be done, mainly with a smile, and occasionally a sigh!
Also, our appreciation to group leaders, tea ladies and gentlemen, and every member who gives of their spare time and commitment to make Settle District U3A the ongoing excellent and successful organisation it is.
Committee members Keith Bradshaw, Jean Hall and Gill Rawlings are retiring from active service today and our very grateful thanks go to them for their dedication and generous gift of time (a very precious commodity) and we look forward to welcoming new committee members and group leaders; and look forward to another successful year 2018 / 2019
Anne Webster: 13 September 2018