Can our u3a continue after May 2022?

At the end of what has been another successful year, we face a real problem.  The committee will be reduced to six members, all filling key roles that keep the u3a vibrant, but four significant posts will be vacant: Chairman, Secretary, Website Manager, and Trips and Visits Organiser.  What keeps u3a fresh and modern is its constitution, which limits the maximum term of service on the committee to seven years, while the Chairman may only serve three.  That, combined with personal decisions, has created the issue we now face – simply not enough people to run the organisation.

Without people coming forward to join the committee, there is the distinct possibility that Minehead and District u3a will have to close down in May.  That is three months away, so we still have a little time to secure the future, but to do so we need expressions of interest now!

The committee meets once a month, which means there will be four meetings between now and the AGM.  These will take place on 10 February (on Zoom), 10 March, 14 April and 3 May, each starting at 10.30 am.  Any member willing to consider joining the committee is most welcome to join any or all these meetings as an observer to see how we work, to find out about the forthcoming vacant roles and to meet the current team.

We need someone willing to stand as Chairman, a role that – at least until having to write this letter – I have thoroughly enjoyed, and we need someone to take on the role of Secretary.  Without these posts being filled, there is no Executive and therefore no u3a. See here for what is required of a member as Chair.

If there are no nominations for these posts, then after 24 years we will have reached the critical point.  At our Annual General Meeting on 12 May, should no new members join the committee, and if the executive roles of Chairman and Secretary fail to be filled, following the meeting, our u3a will have to be dissolved.   A Special General Meeting will then take place immediately after the AGM, since our u3a will no longer be able to function legally.  This is a requirement under para 17(i) of our Constitution.  Surely we cannot let this happen!

Nominations for next year’s committee members are required before 28 April (14 days before the AGM).  If you are at all interested in joining us, contact any committee member, email me at chair@minehead-district-u3a.org.uk or phone me for an informal chat on 01643 702575.  We currently have over 330 members, and I am sure there must be six people who will, with the support of others, consider joining the committee to take our u3a into 2022/23.

Yours

John Batt

Chairman