Descriptions of Committee Roles


The Chairman, together with the Business Secretary, decides on an agenda and must be well informed on all the issues to be discussed and their relative importance and aware of where decisions are needed. The Chairman holds a key position during meetings. He/she should have a strong enough personality to keep control of the meeting and to be able to deal firmly, fairly and tactfully with disruption or aggression. It should be remembered that all decisions must be Committee decisions and that the Chairman has no special executive powers other than those stated in the constitution. A sense of humour is vital! A good Chairman will vary his/her style according to the purpose of the meeting. He/she should recognise a hidden agenda and allow it to be brought out into the open. Anyone trying to use the meeting to satisfy his own aims should be very quickly dealt with. The Chairman must be a facilitator and an enabler. He/she should be a good listener as well as a communicator, controlling the length of the discussion to allow the meeting to move forward to the next item.

Vice Chairman
One of the roles of a Vice Chairman is to deputise for the Chairman and so he/she will need to be familiar with all necessary procedures and able to assume responsibility at short notice, if required to do so. We may consider having two Vice Chairmen in the hope that one at least, may consider standing for Chairman in the future. Our Vice Chairman will also be allocated other roles within the Committee.

Business Secretary
The Business Secretary is the Committee organiser and the person most involved in the practical running of the U3A. He/she keeps the wheels of the organisation turning. The Chairman and the Business Secretary need to be able to work well together and agree upon a course of action. Mutual trust is essential. The role of a good Business Secretary means he/she must be: A good organiser; systematic; diplomatic and approachable; a clear thinker.

The Treasurer is another vital member of the Committee.
Tasks include:

  • Operating bank accounts;
  • Maintaining accurate and sufficiently detailed financial records in accordance with the requirements of Charity Law;
  • Reporting to the Committee on finance at each meeting;
  • Preparing the statement of accounts for examination and presentation to the AGM;
  • Preparing an annual budget and recommending the level of subscription to be paid by the members;
  • Paying approved invoices and agreed expenses and keeping receipts;
  • Ensuring the Committee has agreed appropriate procedures for the handling of financial matters. This will be discussed with the Chairman and Business Secretary beforehand so that an overall scheme can be put to the Committee for approval.

The Executive Committee must have all the Officer roles filled in order to function.

In addition to the Officers, there are other important roles which need to be filled by Committee members.

Membership Secretary
The Membership Secretary is the first point of contact for most new members.
Responsibilities include:

  • Responding to all enquiries, dealing with applications and membership renewals
  • Updating and maintaining members records both paper and computer based
  • Ensuring Data Protection protocols are observed
  • Ensuring Newsletters and other information are received by all Members

Minutes Secretary
The Minutes Secretary is part of the Committee and works with the Chairman and Business Secretary, assisting in the preparation of the Agenda, taking the Minutes at meetings, and preparing them for approval.  This role is often included in the responsibilities of the Business Secretary

Speaker Finder
The Speaker Finder ensures that the monthly meetings are provided with interesting and informative speakers.
Responsibilities include:

    • Researching and storing information on possible speakers
    • Contacting suitable speakers, checking availability, resource requirements and agreeing charges/expenses
    • Liaising with the committee on future programme of speakers
    • Confirming in writing to the speaker all the necessary information about venue, time and date of the meeting
    • Ensuring that the speakers are given the resources they need and receive the agreed expenses
    • Sending a personal letter of thanks to the speaker after the meeting

Volunteers Coordinator 
The Volunteers Coordinator is responsible for:

      • organising the rotas for the volunteers who:
        • meet and greet;
        • serve refreshments;
        • organise room layout and clearing away;
        • set up the PA system etc;
      • organising the buying of all necessary equipment and food products for the refreshment break;
      • organising the equipment for refreshments:
        • filling the urn and kettles;
        • setting the tables;
        • putting the cups out;
      • overseeing the clearing away and storage of kitchen equipment and food products;
      • all health & safety in the kitchen/eating area;
      • all finance concerning refreshments as agreed with the treasurer;
      • the display, organisation and storage of the secondhand books.

Welfare Coordinator
The role of the Welfare Co-ordinator is to take all reasonable steps to ensure, where possible, that measures are in place to enable all members to have the opportunity to participate in all u3a activities, including those members with physical disabilities, hearing or sight impairment.

In the event of any member becoming seriously ill or passing away the Welfare Coordinator will:

  • take any necessary action: send condolences, messages to relatives as and when appropriate
  • keep the Membership Secretary and Treasurer informed in the event of the death of a member
  • keep the appropriate Group Contacts informed in the case of the illness or death of a member of their group.

Health & Safety Coordinator 
The Health & Safety Coordinator is responsible for all health and safety matters relating to the management and operation of the group .

Groups Coordinator
The Groups Coordinator creates and maintains all the Interest Groups, and, by listening to the needs and requirements of the group contacts and the membership, works with both to ensure needs are met.
Among their many and varied tasks the Group Coordinators:

  • Communicate on a personal level with as many people as possible to keep abreast of current requirements and problems, and look for new group contacts;
  • Provide information and the opportunity to join Interest Groups at monthly Members meetings;
  • Source potential public venues for Interest Group meetings;
  • Keep a file of information on possible Group contacts and Members’ interests in order to set up new groups or help existing groups maintain their numbers.

Publicity Coordinator
The Publicity Coordinator is responsible for: keeping local media aware of our activities and achievements; distributing posters, hard-copy publicity material and ensuring permanent displays in the Library and Town Council Offices are maintained and updated regularly when required; coordination of newsletter/website sub-group.

Newsletter Editor
He/she is responsible for the collection of articles, photographs, information about forthcoming events and new Interest Groups, and publishing monthly Newsletters in time to be distributed before the Monthly Members’ meetings.

Web Editor
The team of web editors update the webpages with information provided by the Committee and Group Contacts.  They put the Newsletter onto our website and archive previous copies. The team ensures the web pages are ‘user-friendly’, informative and updated with links to other relevant websites.

Web Master
The webmaster oversees the functioning and maintenance of the website.

Committee members who do not have a defined role themselves support other committee members in their roles, taking on ad hoc duties as required.