Year in the life of a u3a Committee member
I have been a member of the u3a in Bury St Edmunds for about 5 years and a committee member since October 2017. As a member of several groups over this time including choir, book, cinema and walking. All of which I enjoyed but I had to drop cinema and walking because hey ho I took on too many activities! How many times have I heard this from “we of the Third Age”!
After thinking long and hard and wanting to give something back I decided to volunteer as a committee member. I talked to several people and had a chat with the then Chair, Susan Glossop. I went to a lecture and talked to a committee member about possibly joining the committee. I was invited to go to a committee meeting before committing to help out. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I attended my first committee meeting and looked forward to it with trepidation…!
I didn’t think I had very much to offer in the way of “skills” which being part of running the u3a needed. Phew…. everyone was very welcoming, introduced themselves and were very friendly and were just ordinary people like me. So, I decided to go ahead, got two friends to nominate me and became a fully-fledged committee member in October 2017 after the AGM. And I kept saying to myself “after all it’s only for three years if it doesn’t work out”.
All the new committee members were invited to a meeting where it was explained in more detail about what was involved such as “Roles & Responsibilities”. As someone who has tried to shy away from any kind of responsibilities since I retired this was scary….!
And then my first full committee meeting. This was still a little daunting……. We new members were given jobs and supported to understand what these involved. I was given the task of publicity. Not quite what I expected because this was one role I had when I was working and found it not always to my taste! Yuk….!
But here was I a volunteer with new skills to learn. I was given help and support but felt I was treading water in the deep end at first, still am in some ways! But here I am after a whole year I’ve survived, I’ve learnt new things with more to come, and along the way met a whole bunch of lovely people. I would definitely encourage anyone to volunteer and become a committee member.
Just ask any member of the committee, who are here to offer help and support to make sure that your u3a is the best that it can be.