FAQS for New Members

Welcome to Settle District u3a!

Welcome to Settle District u3a (sdu3a). We have a wide variety of groups running and are sure you will find something you are interested in; something you’ve done before or perhaps something new ….

The attached leaflet gives you a wealth of information about our u3a but we’ve highlighted some key information here in the form of frequently asked questions that we feel new members will find useful.

The ethos of the u3a is that it is intended very much as an active and participatory experience. As well as joining existing groups and contributing to these – are there any interests or skills you have that others might share? If so, please think about starting up a group yourself – we offer lots of support to group leaders, especially those starting a group for the first time, and we’d love to get more groups up and running. If you’d like to do this please contact our Group Coordinator, Jeanne Hine sdu3a.groupcoordinator@gmail.com or 07590 073151  

FAQs

How do I find out information about groups?

Information about current groups is on our website: settledistrictu3a.org

And now that you have joined sdu3a you are able to log in to our Beacon system as a member to join groups.

To login to the Beacon system:

1) click on ‘Membership’ at the top of the Home page;

2) on the drop down menu that appears click on ‘Beacon for existing members’;

3) under the image of the lit beacon, click on ‘existing members click here’

You will be taken to a login page where you need to enter your membership number (found at the top of this email), your name, email address, postcode etc. Once you have logged in here you will see a link in the options to ‘Settle District U3A groups’ click on this and you will find full details about groups/group leader contact details  etc. If you have problems logging in then ask the membership secretary (see contact details at the end) to make sure that your details are correct on your membership record.

How do I join a group?

Log in to the Beacon system as a member on the Settle District u3a website and in the ‘Select an Option’ box click on ‘Settle District U3A groups’

Scroll down the list of groups until you find one that you are interested in. You can join a group online by clicking on ‘Join the group’ at the top of each group info page.

If a group is full there may be an online option for joining a waiting list.

How do I contact the group leader if I have any questions about what joining the group involves?

If the group leader’s name and contact details are shown in the group information then do contact them direct. If not, or if you have trouble contacting them, then please contact  Jeanne.

Are the groups free to join?

Membership fees cover most of our costs of running the groups but we do ask you to pay a minimal fee each time you attend a group. For most groups this is 50 pence but some groups with additional costs will ask for £1 each time you come along. We also ask you for £1 for each monthly meeting you attend because this helps us to cover the travel costs of speakers and you can have a tea/coffee and biscuits for an extra 50p!

How do I find out details of the monthly meeting and the latest news/updates?

All this information is included in our monthly newsletter which will be sent to you by email or a paper copy can be delivered to you if you don’t use email.

The newsletter also includes group news and a note from the Chair.

The website (settledistrictu3a.org) is also a great source of information.

Can I just turn up at a monthly meeting or a group?

For the monthly meetings yes, no need to book, just turn up and we’d love to see you there. However, the December meeting is for members only.

For groups we do ask that you check with the group leader or with Jeanne, in advance. Most groups will be able to offer a ‘taster’ session so that you can check that it is the right group for you.

Can I bring a partner or a friend to the monthly meeting or to my group?

Yes to the monthly meetings – the more the merrier!

However, for groups we do ask that you check with the group leader or with  Jeanne in advance. Most groups will be able to offer a ‘taster’ session so that your partner/friend can check that it is the right group for them. If they then want to come to future meetings they would need to become a member of Settle District u3a and apply to join the group in the usual way.

Can I bring my dog to groups/meetings?

I’m afraid we can only allow guide or other support dogs (other than the dog walking group – where they are very welcome!)

I’ve joined a group but I’ve found I haven’t been able to attend every session 

We don’t charge an annual or termly fee for joining a group – it’s ‘pay as you go’ as above. However, each group has different activities and session plans so we suggest that you talk to your group leader and ask them if they would like you to let them know in advance if you are unable to come to a session. 

I don’t use the internet – how do I find out this information and join groups?

When you joined we sent you a membership card which lists all the monthly meetings and we also sent you a leaflet about Settle District u3a which lists all the groups running. If you don’t have access to the internet you can contact Jeanne on 07590 073151. She will be able to join you up to a group or put you on a waiting list if the group is full.

I am new to the area and don’t know many people so joining an established group seems a bit daunting

Don’t worry……. we have all had to join as new members and know how it can feel. If you feel it would be helpful we can arrange for someone in the group to welcome you on your first day and make sure that you know who everyone is and how the group runs. Just let Jeanne know if you would like us to organise this for you.

We can also arrange for someone to meet you at your first monthly meeting, again to make sure that you have a friendly face to help you feel welcome. If this would be helpful please contact Kathy Parker, our Membership Secretary at sdu3a.membership@gmail.com or 07963 776924

And joining groups is a fantastic way to meet new people and make new friends if you’re new to the area. 

Can I join more than one u3a at the same time?

Yes, there’s no restriction on this. At Settle District u3a we offer a reduced Associate fee of £11.50 to members of other u3a groups outside Westnet (see below). And some other u3as might offer associate membership at a reduced fee to you as a member of Settle District u3a. You would need to check with them. But remember that as a member of Settle District u3a you can join other Westnet u3as for free i.e. Ilkley, Craven, Bradford and Harrogate u3as. However, their full members have priority and you would only be able to join a group in the Westnet u3as if they had capacity.

I am medically vulnerable and still worried about covid infections

We offer a zoom facility for people who are unable to attend our monthly meetings in person. 

If you are concerned about joining a particular group and would like to discuss this then please get in touch with Jeanne or any of the people listed below.

If you have any other particular needs/concerns that might affect your ability to join a group then please contact us to discuss this in confidence.

We hope we’ve covered most of the key things you’ll need to know but if you have any other questions please don’t hesitate to ask us! 

Chair, Ian Gray, sdu3a.chair@gmail.com 

Secretary, Les Chandler, sdu3a.secretary@gmail.com  07802 543676

Group Coordinator, Jeanne Hine, sdu3a.groupcoordinator@gmail.com 07590 073151

Membership Secretary, Kathy Parker, sdu3a.membership@gmail.com 07963 776924