Chair’s Report      May 2013

 I write this with some regret but with much satisfaction as I come to the end of my term of office. In the last three years Seaham Harbour U3A has gone from an idea with a few friends to a vibrant organisation of over 125 members.

The limiting factor to the size of our membership continues to be the accommodation available to us in Seaham.  We now hire two rooms in Dow House. The upstairs room is used by an ever increasing number of interest groups – 23 at the last count, whilst the monthly meeting is held downstairs. Participation in the monthly meetings averages 80 % of the total membership. This is no mean feat and is well above the national average for U3A’s.

Last summer we attended the Regional Conference at Walbottle Campus. Our stand, which incorporated a power point presentation, received many plaudits and was certainly very different to the traditional displays from other U3A’s. We also have a most professional website which is helping to raise the profile of Seaham Harbour U3A locally, nationally and internationally.

A combination of speakers and wide ranging interest groups, plus our use of technology ensures plenty of mental and physical stimulation throughout the year.

Our financial position remains sound thanks to the creative endeavours of the Treasurer and Steering Group. We cannot be complacent and hard work must continue to ensure we stay afloat.

Throughout the year we have continued to work in partnership with many local businesses. I would like to think we are now recognised as an invaluable part of the regeneration of Seaham.

I have not attempted to thank individuals as it is so easy on these occasions however unintentional to omit someone. But I must give my most sincere thanks first to the Steering Group who have made our organisation the success it is through sheer hard work. Second to the Interest Group leaders who have provided us with a wonderful range of opportunities and experiences.

My hope for the future of our U3A is for it to retain a sense of humour [in my opinion a vital characteristic], generate even more friendships,strive to find new and exciting ways to learn and re enforce those unique qualities that are an inherent part of Seaham Harbour U3A.Naturally I shall continue to support all future ambitions in whatever way I can.

Sandra Wilkinson

May 2013