Advice and Guidance for Group Leaders
As at March 2021
This document is, as the name suggests, intended as general guidance for Group Leaders and should be read in conjunction with the more detailed documents referred to in the text.
Andover U3A is a registered charity, (No. 1072274) and accordingly is governed by Charity Commission and U3A regulations.
Equality and Inclusion
All Group Leaders must comply with the Andover U3A Equality Policy and Code of Conduct which can be found on this website by clicking here.
To comply with the terms of the U3A insurance policy (see below) all participants in Andover U3A group activities must be U3A members. Normally this will be Andover U3A, but groups may include members of other local U3As for example: Anton U3A.
Apart from people attending for a “taster session”, group leaders should check that everyone in their group is indeed a member of a U3A. If necessary, this can be done via the Membership Secretary.
Occasional visitors from other U3As will be accepted free of charge at our monthly meetings in Weyhill, subject to space being available.
Annual Group Audit
The Groups’ Coordinator is required to carry out an annual audit of Andover U3A groups to ensure that participants in Andover U3A activities are paid up U3A members and thus covered by insurance. To facilitate the audit Group Leaders are, when requested, required to send a list of their participants to the Groups’ Coordinator.
All Group Leaders involved in financial transactions must be familiar with the Andover U3A Financial / Contractual Procedures for Running a Group dated 30 August 2020. The document is particularly relevant to the Theatre and Quester Groups, which involve large sums of money and contractual agreements.
In outline the financial requirements for Group Leaders are as follows:
U3A money must not be processed through Group Leaders’ bank accounts nor should purchases be made with the Group Leader’s personal credit/debit without prior approval from the Andover U3A Treasurer. (Approval will only be given in exceptional circumstances where payment for an event / outing cannot be made in any other manner.)
The committee must be made aware of all contracts and agreements. Contracts and agreements incurring a cost of over £100 per year can only be approved and signed at committee level. Small value contracts or agreements, i.e., those under £100, can be signed off at group level, but must be copied to the Treasurer.
For all other financial arrangements for expenditure of more than £100, the committee must be informed prior to commitment. No U3A funding should ever be accrued to private bank accounts. No more than £100 cash should be held by Group Leaders or event organisers. If necessary, a ‘one-off’ use of the Events Account can be arranged through the Treasurer.
If they are unsure, Group Leaders should consult the Andover U3A Treasurer.
Communication and the Website
Group leaders should encourage all members of their group to use the Andover U3A website. And to register with the Third Age Trust at www.u3a.org.uk, and gain access to the Third Age Trust's newsletter and at www.u3a.org.uk/newsletter. (Note: your U3A Region is South East.)
Please keep the Groups Co-ordinator and the Webmaster informed of all your group’s information and events for the diary.
Health and Safety
There is a wealth of useful guidance information on the Third Age Trust's website, which is at www.u3a.org.uk.
In particular, Group Leaders should make themselves familiar with information available under the Advice area of the Trust's website. In order to access this information, U3A members must open an account. This requires setting up a username and password. This is straightforward to do. All Group Leaders are encouraged to look at this information, in particular the sections relating to Risk Assessments and Incident Reports.
Click / touch to download these forms:
Group Leaders should always have a blank Incident Report Form available. It is advisable to complete this as soon after the incident as possible, when accurate information is memorable and readily available.
Where applicable and especially for the walking groups and Strollers, risk assessments must be carried out and all sensible Health & Safety measures should be applied, and a first aid kit carried. These measures would include a recce (as appropriate), identification of hazards, areas of difficulty (eg that might affect members with reduced mobility), going, terrain, weather. Members of the group should be appraised of these risks prior to embarking on the activity.
All members and Group Leaders are covered by U3A insurance while participating in U3A activities. This covers events, travel and the use of private dwellings for official U3A events. However, the cover only extends to paid up U3A members and for that reason it is essential that Group Leaders do not allow non-members to participate in U3A activities. (Paid up members of other U3As such as Anton U3A are covered).
General Data Protection Regulations
General guidelines for Group Leaders:
• The only people able to access data covered by this Policy should be those who need to communicate with, or provide a service to Andover U3A members;
• Group Leaders should keep all data secure, by taking sensible precautions and following the guidelines in the Secure Processing section of the Data Protection policy document;
• Data should not be shared outside the Andover U3A without prior consent or in compliance with a legal obligation.
• Member information should be refreshed periodically to ensure accuracy.
When stepping down from post, Group Leaders should pass group members’ data to the incoming Group Leader and then delete it from their own records.
Next of Kin Cards
As the name suggests most participants in U3A activities will be past retirement age. Accordingly, the possibility of medical emergencies must be factored into Andover U3A activities.
All Members of Andover U3A should hold an up to date Next of Kin card containing emergency contact numbers and where appropriate relevant medical information. Where members have any medical issues, such as allergies, extant medical conditions for which they are receiving treatment, or anything else that they believe is relevant, they are strongly advised to make the group leader aware, in case there is an emergency. This is particularly important for the outdoor groups or where a group is travelling out of area. Next of Kin cards can be obtained from the Groups Coordinator or the Secretary.