We are constantly repeating or hearing being repeated that we are a self-help education organisation, and the Surrey U3A Network Development Day on 27 October was a true example of that principle at its best. We gathered in East Horsley to explore and understand the issues that may impair or prevent participation in U3A activities, in keeping with a new U3A initiative (U3APlus – see article about this in Third Age Matters).
We were there to learn but, for the day to happen, we were all dependent on a great deal of help – and it was true self-help! Our newly formed Really Useful Group (RUG) demonstrated this perfectly. The team had responded to a request made some months ago, they then arrived early at the venue, and they set about undertaking the tasks that needed doing almost without a question being asked! A similar team of East Horsley volunteers coped with all the technical aspects of the day. The willingness shown by all these people made my own task much easier, and their effectiveness made all the preparatory work undertaken by others come to fruition.
This is U3A at its best – and there are many other examples in Dorking & District U3A. Volunteers deliver Newsletters, group leaders gather their groups for their regular meetings, monthly meetings and days out are organised and enjoyed. In the summer there was a very successful picnic in the grounds of Box Hill School, and in the next few months there will be another new members’ coffee morning, another group leaders’ lunch and another quiz night.
Dorking & District U3A is alive and well. We have a full committee, though we shall be looking for more committee members in May when some members will stand down, and everything that happens is rewarded by smiling faces. Long may it last! And…
Please tell us if you can help us in any way – never assume that we have enough help!
Best wishes as always,