Group leader guidelines


Group Leaders Guidelines (revised August 2021)

The u3a group leaders are the life blood of the organization without you we wouldn’t exist. We appreciate the time and energy you give to your groups and thank you for your contributions.

These guidelines are based on the Advice Sheets developed by the Third Age Trust (TAT) with locally relevant information added. The TAT guidelines can be accessed from  http:/ under – u3a Member Menu – Document Downloads – Advice Sheets. You will need to create an account to access this information via the first page of the u3a website. Contact the groups coordinator if you have any problems with this.

Group Accommodation:
Accommodation is our biggest expense, so it is very important to take cost of the room hire into consideration whenever possible. During the pandemic, it is also vitally important to choose a venue that allows for the social distancing dictated by the current Government guidelines. Remember to accommodate the access needs of your group members for classes and outings, see TAT advice sheet 1. If you have any safety concerns about a venue do not continue a class unless they can be resolved to your satisfaction.

An indoor and outdoor risk assessment template is available on the website under the group leaders and committee members tab.

If you need help with your group venue please discuss this with the groups coordinator. There is a detailed list of venues available.

Group organization:
Ensure that group members have enough information to make an informed choice about what is involved in participating in your group,  you may wish to discuss the programme with them and invite them to make contributions.

If the group involves physical activity make sure that members know that they are doing this at their own risk.

The u3a has subject specialists who can provide help and assistance to group leaders in organizing their programme (see the u3a Resource Centre 020 8315 0199 or email and the u3a Sources ) an educational journal which is included in the direct mailing of Third Age Matters

If you are providing written material and using the u3a logo consult the TAT advice sheet 9 for correct layout details.

Group leaders are responsible for the running of their group and for resolving any difficulties that may arise. However the groups coordinator will provide support and advice should this be required.

Group Membership:
 You may wish to collect full contact details including email addresses and membership numbers from all u3a members attending your class. However, the Beacon system is the best and most inclusive way of contacting all group members. The Beacon system is the preferred system. This should ensure that you can have regular contact with group members, informing them of any change of plans or illness. If using emails outside the Beacon system remember to use the Blind Copy or BCC option to ensure confidentiality. See TAT advice sheet 5.

We operate a “try before you buy” of two sessions for non-members but group leaders should ensure non-members join after this or inform the membership secretary.

Leaders should keep a group register of attendance at each meeting, essential as a record and for fire precautions.

It is up to the leader to set a limit on group numbers that is practical for the group running. Where a group is oversubscribed there is the option of a waiting list or setting up a second group. If this arises discuss this with the groups coordinator. See TAT advice sheet 12.

Assistant leaders: having an assistant leader is useful to collect members fees, cover for the leader in case of absence/holidays and generally assist the leader. An assistant can also help with succession planning when a current leader wishes to retire.

Collecting donations:
Leaders should collect members meeting donations and put them into an envelope or money pouch including details of the group and the date. This should then be delivered to Alison Tyas just opposite the Catholic Church Hall, Les Chandler in Giggleswick, Barbara Herring in Settle or the wall safe at Victoria Hall. Addresses and location of safe available from Group coordinator. 

Consult the treasurer if you handle money on behalf of the group for any other purpose eg for outings and visits.

Never put u3a money through your personal account.

Always get receipts for any money handed over.

Insurance Cover and Accidents
All members of the u3a are covered by the u3a’s public liability insurance, but they are not covered for personal accident insurance.

If an injury occurs to a group member or damage to a group member’s property take down full details and pass them onto the group coordinator.

TAT advice sheet 2 gives information on First Aid

Photocopying . There are important guidelines covering photocopying multiple copies of articles, music, maps etc. Settle District u3a has purchased a license for this. UK copyright law allows you to copy “an insubstantial amount for personal use, private study or non-commercial research” but the law does not define insubstantial. Please consult the committee if you have any problems in this area.

Outdoor activities:
It is important to make group members aware that they must have their own personal insurance to cover them for all outdoor activities such as visits, outings and the walking group, all participants do so at their own risk. See TAT sheet 8.

It is advisable for all u3a members taking part in outdoor activities to give a copy of any medical conditions and details of next of kin to the leader.

Car Parking and sharing:

Settle District u3a have an informal arrangement with the Rugby Club when car sharing takes place and some vehicles are left behind. Vehicles should have a u3a sticker on them and only be parked on the right.

Car Sharing is now permitted for u3a activities. Car sharing passengers should contribute towards travel costs. The advisory rate for travel costs is now £2 per hour for the total journey time, there and back, pro rata’d for part hours.