Start a new group

We are always looking to expand our activities. Either more of the same, or something new.

Regardless of whether you are currently a Hayling Island U3A member, or not, we'd like to hear from you if you're thinking of starting a new group. There's plenty of help and advice available.

For more about the ways to start a new group, click one of these headings:

If you have a large group you might be unable to accept new joiners because the size of the group is limited by:

  • The number of people that can be accommodated in members' houses
  • The nature of the group that does not lend itself to a large number of members (if you expect a lot of discussion, for example)
  • Attention that can be provided by 'expert' members to other members in the group

If the only issue is the size of rooms available, we can help you find a low-cost meeting room or hall. Contact the group coordinator in the first instance.

Otherwise there are two main ways to split a group:

  1. The group leader sets up a new group and leads both of them - perhaps with a view to handing over when the new group is established
  2. The group leader identifies a leader for the new group - perhaps one of the potential new joiners - and helps them start the new group

We've seen several examples of existing groups being replicated because:

  • A group has grown too large
  • Enough people are interested in running a group at a different time
  • There's a move to create a new group with a different emphasis or approach to the original

Typically, a member on the 'waiting list' for the group - or a member that wants to join the group, but can't make the day - steps up to start the new group.

If you have an idea for a new group, have a look at our groups listed by activity to see if we already do something similar. You can contact any of our group leaders via their group's page.

If you want to go ahead, contact the group coordinator who will help you get in touch with:

  • Leaders of similar groups (not necessarily the same subject, but similar in nature)
  • Anyone with knowledge of previous attempts to create a group in the same area

Click any of the following headings to find out how to start a new group:

If you haven't already done so, contact the group coordinator to discuss what you have in mind and find out what's involved.

You should also consider discussing your plans with:

  • Other group leaders
  • Other members that might have shown an interest in your new group
  • Our procurement officer if you think you might need to obtain some equipment
  • The National U3A - which provides additional support for new groups

Note that you need the committee's permission to start a new group. It's unlikely to be a problem, but make sure that at least one committee member supports what you want to do.

Our guidance document is here. It's a little formal but please don't let that put you off. The document has to deal with some possibilities that are very unlikely, but still possible.

Note that, if you haven't already done so, you need to join Hayling Island U3A before you can lead a new group.

Groups typically meet in:

  • The host's house
  • Members' houses
  • A hired meeting room or hall
  • At an agreed location (such as a walk start point, or a visit pick-up point)

The group coordinator can help you find a low-cost meeting room or hall if you need one.

If you are splitting an existing group, it might make sense for the new group to start on the same day and, possibly, the same time.

Otherwise, you will want to maximise potential membership by picking a day and time that:

  • Is available to people who already want to join your group
  • Does not conflict with a lot of other groups - you can look for gaps in our monthly calendar here.

Meetings normally take place on the same day in the nth week of each month - for example, the second Tuesday of each month). Now we have established that pattern, new groups usually follow suit to avoid conflicts with other groups.

Groups do not charge a membership fee, and group leaders are not paid to run groups. Having said that, we do not expect group leaders to be out-of-pocket. You are allowed to charge your members for incidental expenses including:

  • Refreshments
  • Consumables
  • Room or hall hire

There are also funds available from the committee to help you:

  • Start a new group
  • Purchase equipment needed by a new group

You can also share equipment purchased for other groups (which belongs to Hayling Island U3A, not the individual groups).

In the first instance, discuss your needs with the group coordinator and the procurement officer.

You should consider 'advertising' your new group:

  • At the outset, to see what interest there is from members - you need at least two other members to start a new group
  • When you have decided to launch your new group

Possibilities include:

  • Placing an article on this web site - the site editor can help with that
  • Place an article in the Hayling Island U3A newsletter - the newsletter editor can help with that
  • Use a stand at the monthly meetings - we put up noticeboards for that purpose
  • Ask the MC at a monthly meeting to make an announcement on your behalf

If you're stuck, or need to explore a matter not covered above, please get in touch.