Guidance and Advice for Group Leaders/Co-ordinators

(Click here to download this document as a .pdf)


This sheet is designed to provide Group Leaders/Co-ordinators with some guidance and advice on what to consider when running a Group.


A document which contains every scrap of information that might be required would be very unwieldy so this sheet contains just the key points, with links provided to other useful documents. This information is available on our website and paper copies are kept in the U3A office.


As Group Leaders/Co-ordinators, you have a responsibility to the Committee of the Bury St Edmunds U3A and to your Group Members – however, it is not a role that you should find daunting.


These general points should help things run smoothly.

Group members

  • Ask for contact details from all Group members (telephone number/e-mail address).

  • Ensure everyone attending is a U3A member and always check when a new member joins the Group.

  • Non-U3A members are not allowed to join a Group – although occasional “outsiders” may attend Groups for single sessions. Please speak to the Study Groups Secretary if unsure.

PLEASE NOTE : one of the main reasons that Group members must be U3A members is Insurance cover.

  • If a member stops attending, check whether he/she wishes to remain in the Group, so that you can keep your records straight.

  • Send list of Group members to the Study Groups Secretary.

Groups held in members’ houses

  • Usually members rotate meetings between their homes – however, people should not feel that it is a requirement of belonging to the Group.

Groups held in outside venues

“Open-air” groups

  • Members of “outdoor” activities should be advised on, eg.

    • Type of clothing required

    • Distance involved

    • Type of terrain, etc

    • Facilities en-route

  • Activity “leader” should consider

    • Route

    • First aid pack

    • Car parking facilities

    • Meeting point

    • Emergency arrangements


  • All Groups should be self-financing and money should be paid by Group members to cover general expenses – tea/coffee, venue hire, purchase of materials, etc.

  • Never open a bank account for your Group. If your Group activity involves a large amount of money, contact the Treasurer for advice on how it should be handled. For example, the existing Travel Group has its own bank account but this was opened by the Committee and is overseen by the Treasurer.

  • If your Group has regular outgoings – eg. hire of equipment, purchase of consumables – a small cash reserve can be held.

  • Maintain basic financial records and keep receipts – especially if you put money into your own bank account or use your own credit card.


  • Insurance cover MUST be considered within any Group.

  • The Third Age Trust provides various insurance policies for U3As

    • Public and Products Liability

    • Money Cover

    • Charity Indemnity Insurance

    • Tour Operators’ Liability (this is only for short study trips involving overnight accommodation. If you want to organise a U3A holiday, use a bonded travel agent.)

  • Travel in another member’s car is covered only by that member’s car insurance, it is not covered under U3A Public Liability.

  • Click here for Insurance Policy details.

Copyright  (NOTE: Bury St Edmunds U3A does not have any licences for copying material)

  • Serious attention must be paid to Copyright Laws. Click here for details of Copyright Licences.

  • “Insubstantial” copies can be made from books, newspapers or journals for personal use only. A photocopier is available at the CAB office.

  • It is illegal to copy any sheet music unless it is out of copyright.

Issues that might arise

  • Members having an issue with the Group Leader/Co-ordinator should be advised to contact the Study Groups Secretary.

  • If any issues cannot be resolved amongst Group members, the matter should be referred to the Study Groups Secretary.

  • In the event of a serious accident or injury, immediately contact the emergency services – do not take any chances.

    • Administer emergency First Aid if possible – but make sure help is on its way.

  • Afterwards, ensure that an Accident Report Form is completed and forwarded to the Study Groups Secretary. Click here for blank Accident Report Form.

  • Any accidental damage that happens to property or equipment, whether it belongs to a U3A member or not, is covered by the U3A insurance.

Click here for a couple of other documents which might be of interest to you – Social Events and Travel, Sorting out Problems/Grievances.

Please remember –

Groups are the life blood of the U3A – so, without you, the Group leader/co-ordinator, there wouldn’t a U3A.  


On behalf of Bury St Edmunds U3A, thank you.