FAQS for New Members

Welcome to Settle District u3a

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

We’ve highlighted some key information here in the form of frequently asked questions that we feel new members will find useful.

Remember that 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  


How do I find out information about groups 

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

Now that you have joined sdu3a you are able to log in as a member to join groups and access the full information on the website.

To login click on the red wording Click here to login to Beacon as a Memberon the Home page. (Beacon is the name of the database system we use).

New users will be taken to a login page where you need to enter your membership number (found at the top of your Welcome email), your name, email address, postcode etc. Once you have logged in this way for the first time you will be asked to create a password and from then on you will be able to login simply by entering your email address and your password. 

Once logged in 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 for the first time 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 Beacon 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. However, if this isn’t an option for the group you’re interested in, there should be contact details for the group leader listed so that you can contact them direct.

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

But also think about whether you could start up an additional group – contact Jeanne Hine, Group Coordinator, to chat this through.

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 the Group Coordinator, Jeanne Hine.

It is your responsibility to make sure that you are able to take part in any group and to inform your Group Leader, in confidence, of any relevant medical conditions that might affect your ability to take part in the group activities. Group Leaders will be happy to talk to you about what taking part in any group involves, and if you’re not sure about your ability to take part in the activities then you should seek advice from your GP before joining the group.

Are the groups free to join?

Membership fees cover most of our costs of running the groups but we do invite a 50 pence donation each time you attend a group. (However, some groups with additional costs will invite a £1 donation each time you come along). We also ask for a donation of £1 for each monthly meeting you attend – 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, a paper copy is available for our members who not have email.

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

The website 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. 

For groups we do ask that you check with the group leader or with the Group Coordinator, Jeanne Hine, 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 the Group Coordinator, Jeanne Hine, 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 wanted to come along to the group in future 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.

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. 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 Hine 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 Hine 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, Membership Secretary at sdu3a.membership@gmail.com or 07963 776924

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 and Bradford 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 Hine or any of the people listed below.

And 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, Robert Jackson: sdu3a.chair@gmail.com 

Secretary, Lis Cribb: sdu3a.secretary@gmail.com  

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

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