Group Leader Checklists
This document provides a set of checklists to help Group Leaders perform their role. It also serves as the entry point to a wider set of documents available to Group Leaders. These are:
Dates and Rates: The dates for the current year, subscription fees and expense limits.
The Group Leader Reference: A description of the role together with additional advice and guidance.
How the u3a works: Dorchester u3a’s purpose, principles, organisation and procedures. It also has information about the Third Age Trust.
Venues: information about meeting rooms being used by our groups.
“Dates and Rates” is included in every newsletter as well as being a webpage. All other documents are available on the website for viewing, downloading and printing, or can be requested from Group Coordinator as paper documents.
Checklist: For Every Meeting (before, during and after)
Meeting notifications: establish a way of communicating with regular attendees. Inform them of meeting topics and any changes to meeting timing and location. Update your webpage. The Members Update email sent by the Membership Secretary provides a way of letting most members know of changes.
Meeting Cancellations: Cancellations of meetings should be reported to the Venue Bookings Officer as soon as possible to avoid room cancellation charges.
Attendance register: at the start of each meeting record the names and membership numbers of attendees (members and guests). Send your register (template*) to the Treasurer termly, ideally in electronic format (spreadsheet or list in an email).
Membership validation: all meeting attendees must be current Dorchester u3a members or a guest attending once to decide whether to join the u3a. Confirm that attendees are current members, checking their cards or the membership list provided periodically by the Membership Secretary.
Meeting attendance fees: Meeting attendees, except the Group Leader, pay a fee for each meeting attended. Collect the fees, record the amount collected and pay it to the Treasurer no less frequently than termly. The current rates are published in the newsletter and on the website on the Dates and Rates page
Equipment use: each time you use u3a equipment that you have reserved, log it out on the clipboard in the cupboard and log back in when returning. Please report any equipment issues to the Equipment Officer.
Leaving a Meeting Room: Leave meeting rooms tidy and, if appropriate, locked.
Safety considerations / risk assessment*: every time you will undertake a new activity, meet in a different environment or have different people involved, take time to assess what could reasonably be expected to cause harm. If you do identify a hazard, get rid of it or advise members to avoid it. Unless the hazard is temporary, inform our Venues Officer or Equipment Officer as appropriate.
Advise your members of any hazard identified and inform attendees of the fire procedures regularly and every time a member attends for the first time.
Injury and damage: in the event of an incident, obviously the priority is to keep people safe and get treatment for any injuries. As soon as possible after the well-being of those present has been assured, collect details of the incident and complete our incident report form (see forms section of Group Leader Reference). A report is required for every injury and item damaged for our insurance*. Please send your report to the Secretary within 24 hours of the incident.
Copyright and Photocopying: Please stay within copyright* rules. We have the use of a photocopying facility at the Dorchester Volunteer Centre, The Coach House, Acland Road, DT1 1EF - open Monday to Thursday. On arrival, sign in and inform staff you wish to use the photocopier. Record number of copies made in black book to the left of the machine. If you plan to make more than 40 copies, please first discuss with the Treasurer. (At present it is worth phoning to check it is open - 01305 269214 - because staff may be working from home)
Meeting issues: we hope all your meetings go well, but if one is marred by, for example, some conflict and you would like to discuss the incident, please contact Group Coordinator or another committee member.
Member issues: if you become aware of a member having an issue needing support, please consider raising the matter with our Welfare Officer. If someone discloses abuse to you, listen and be sympathetic, and inform a committee member as soon as possible. Our safeguarding policy provides detailed guidance and can be found on the website.
New members: Do make new members feel welcome, explain how the group works and ask members to introduce themselves.
Guest visitors: Make sure guests know how to join the u3a. Details are on the website, or available from the Membership Secretary.
Checklist: For Every Term
Venue booking and timetable: The process allows rooms to be booked, the timetable updated and prepared for publication in the Newsletter and on the website. The Venue Booking Officer (VBO) should send out an email to Group Leaders suitably in advance requesting details of their future meetings. These should detail the Name of the Group, Location of meetings, (with identification of classroom if in Parish Centre), Day of the week and DATE and time of meetings and sent to the (VBO) by email. In most cases, the Group’s requirements will be the same as for the previous term. Any changes should be agreed with the VBO.
Equipment Reservation: u3a equipment must be reserved every term to ensure its availability. Details of equipment available can be obtained from the u3a website or by contacting the Equipment Officer. The Equipment Officer will send out an email reminding GLs to reserve equipment 4 weeks before the start of term. Please make your requirements known to the Equipment Officer.
Newsletter: The Newsletter is the only communication received by all members. Consider putting an article or update in the newsletter - what has the group been up to? What will the group be doing in the next term?
Webpage update: Many groups use their webpage to share the meeting programme and status. Take time to check whether your page will still be relevant for the term to come.
End of Term Tidy-up: At the end of each term, check whether you have submitted all your meeting attendance sheets, paid all collected fees to the Treasurer and submitted expenses.
Checklist: When Using a Venue for the first time
If you are to use a meeting room for the first time, consider:
Is it accessible for all your members?
Will it work for your activities?
Is there sufficient room for your expected numbers?
Is any equipment you need available at this location?
Are there any specific constraints (e.g. food and drink consumption) that will prevent your normal activities?
Do you know how to get access to the room?
Do you know the emergency procedures (fire alarms, emergency exits, meeting points)?
Some of this information is available in the Venues Document, but contact the Venues Booking Officer for additional information. You may also wish to visit the meeting room ahead of your meeting.
The Annual Calendar
The specific dates for these events are published in the newsletter and on the Dates and Rates webpage.
Membership Year: Runs from 1st April to the following March 31st.
Terms: We plan and timetable the year in 3 terms: January to April, May to August and September to December.
Group Fayre: We hold one Group Fayre per year, normally using the January First Monday meeting date. At this session, Group Leaders are invited to make themselves available to talk about their group to members. Non members are also welcomed to come to the meeting to see if they are interested in joining the u3a.
Group Leader meetings: are held three times per year. They provide an opportunity to provide feedback to Committee Members and keep themselves updated on current events.
*See GL Reference for more