U3A Monthly meetings in 2021 on Zoom

U3A Monthly meetings in 2021 on Zoom

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions all the U3A Dacorum Monthly meetings will be Virtual and held via Zoom.

Here are the dates for the next few months- Meetings are generally held on the first Monday of the month, but may be later due to Bank Holidays etc.

Note all Zoom meetings will open from 10AM , with the speaker Presentation starting promptly at 10:30AM.

The Zoom link details will be made available to U3A Dacorum members later.

The August Monthly Meeting on Monday 2nd August will start with the AGM.  

This will be followed by a Dacorum Heritage Trust U-Tube video titled “Witch Hunting and Ghosts in 18th Century Dacorum”

September 6th  Paul Barwick    The murder of Alexander Litvinenko
this is a topic that is familiar to us but Paul will tell us more.

October 4th       John McCombe –   The Voluntary  Emergency Blood Transport  
November 1st     Brad Ashton The job of a Lifetime
December 6th     Steve Price Magician 

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National U3A Radio Podcasts

The first ever u3a radio officially launched at 2pm on 29th September directly after the national AGM.

The national office learning team have been working with member volunteers who are skilled in broadcasting and you can keep listening to u3a radio wherever you are as it is delivered as a recorded podcast.

This pilot will feature a series of interviews and features from across the movement – for the launch – all themed around looking forward.

We are very excited about this project which we aim to grow and develop over the coming year. There will be another pilot before Christmas. We hope you enjoy our first broadcast.

u3a Radio Episode 1

1st u3a Radio Podcast

The second episode of the U3A Radio Podcast aired today on our YouTube Channel at 6am.

The U3A Radio Podcast is made by a team of U3A members with experience in radio – Nick Bailey, Ela Watts and Peter Clift– who structure the episode, conduct and record the interviews and put it all together to create the final product.

In this episode, there are interviews on creative writing, opera and much more. Listen to it here:

2nd u3a Radio Podcast


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AGM 2020 Review

AGM 2020

We had a very successful 2020 AGM, with about 86 members attending over 72 zoom links. it was clear that many old friends and acquaintances were pleased to see each other.

Our President, His Worshipful Mayor Councillor Terry Douris addressed the meeting and congratulated us on the numbers present, going on to extol the virtues of virtual meeting technology. He expressed surprise at the breadth and depth of the subjects covered by our groups and wished us every success when Covid-19 abates.

The Chairman, Treasurer and Groups Liaison Officer all addressed the meeting and reported on events through the year. Covid-19, finances and resuming group meetings were discussed in some detail.

The personal liability of the trustees should the Third Age Trust insurance be invalidated by the actions of members was explained as the major reason why groups would not resume meetings until government guidance allowed it. Currently Dacorum was bordering on becoming a ‘hotspot’ and extra caution was needed.

Many halls were trying to pass their legal responsibilities for effective cleaning to the hirers and we will not accept this.

The subject of paid for speakers was debated with some passion. It was explained that Monthly General Meetings were held to be different from Group Meetings. It was also held that there was no good reason for some groups to be subsidised while others were not. An example of Dance Instructors was given. It was also explained that many of the monthly speakers did so for no remuneration, and an example of a group frequently using a free speaker was given.

Efforts to lessen the workload of committee members was mentioned – the adoption of the Beacon Membership Management System and simplification of our membership fees.

It was agreed by the meeting to remove the rebate for members whose primary U3A is another U3A. This will greatly simplify the administration of charges, but more importantly it will ensure that all members are insured in meetings without the admin burden of having to frequently check on the membership status of 95 members with other U3As.

Everything can be expected to change, and we can make no assumptions about when we will be able to resume meetings or how much meetings will cost.


    • Chairman – Tina Howard – agreed to stay for another year.
    • Group Liaison – Alan Osborn – agreed to stay for another year.
    • Members – Jean Sniders – was elected by a majority vote.
    • Vice Chairman – Peter Bolton – was elected by a majority vote.
    • Halls – Margaret Taylor – was elected by a majority vote.
    • Beacon Admin – John Dodkins – was elected by a majority vote.


    • Lesley Drake – Treasurer
    • Mike Sapsard – Secretary
    • Jenny Thirlwell – Speakers
    • Terry Thirlwell – Web Admin & Equipment
    • Tim Thompson – Trustee without portfolio

If you would like to help run the U3A through these interesting times, or want to know more in any way, please contact any committee member for  a chat. We have done a lot to spread the load and make things easy for the most heavily loaded people on the committee, including adopting a new Membership Management System.

Click here to email a committee member.

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Web Conferencing using Zoom, Skype & Jitsi etc.

Web Conferencing

With the prospect of the Covid-19 situation continuing for a few weeks, we all need to keep in contact and try to have regular “Virtual Meetings”.

Some groups have started to use Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp and other free services for small meetings.

We now have two U3A Dacorum Zoom Accounts set up. (Zoom 1 & Zoom 2)

We have also put together a “Beginners Guide to Zoom” in an attempt to make it easier for U3A Coordinators & Members to have regular  “Scheduled” Zoom meetings.
The “Beginners Guide to Zoom” is divided into different sections:-
Using Zoom on a Desktop or Laptop,
Using Zoom on a Tablet or SmartPhone,
Using Screen Sharing,
Joining a Zoom Call for the First Time
Click this link to see the User Guide Zoom Users Guide

It is intended to assist all U3A coordinators to setup a Zoom video conference, or U3A Dacorum members to Join a Zoom meeting when invited by a Coordinator.

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