Listening to the speaker, Patrick Dawson, the Chief Executive from Community Transport in Derbyshire, at the U3A meeting on May 1, it was obvious that there is much common ground between the two organisations. Both U3A and Community Transport encourage social contact and recognise the value of maintaining independence, and we are fortunate in Derbyshire that both of these services are more widely available than in some other parts of the country.
There have been cuts in goverment funding for community transport recently, bringing even greater challenges to the maintenance of this much-valued life-line for many people, but U3A, which has no government subsidies, continues to flourish. The chairman, Roger Watts, welcomed 6 new members to the meeting, in addition to the 43 other people who have joined this year. More members will mean more interest groups. We offer a choice of nearly 90 Groups at the moment, and the members were pleased to meet the new groups facilitator, John Pendleton, who will be responsible for this area of development.
Another development of note is an initial meeting to set up a branch of U3A in Alfreton. This will be held at 2pm on Thursday, June 13, at the Christ the King Church Hall, 104 Nottingham Road. Don’t wait to be asked, just go along. Further details from Roger Watts, 01246 276161. Enquiries are also invited from potential members who would welcome a branch in Dronfield or Bolsover.
Two other important dates - East Midlands U3A Regional Conference July 2, at Crick, just off M1 junction 18 and the National U3A Conference September 13-16, at Nottingham University.
The next meeting of Chesterfield U3A will be on July 3, speaker Richard Booth on ‘The history of the Ashover Light Railway’. Details from the membership secretary, Kathryn Lambert 07415 427151.