Communicating in our u3a

Here are the various ways to communicate within Aughton & Ormskirk u3a (and a couple that are public too viz our website and Facebook presence).

To accomodate social distancing, the IT Manager arranged for licences to enable A&O u3a Groups and Committees to meet up remotely via Zoom. For availability, booking and contact info, please view the Zoom Sessions Calendar.

Please note that there is currently no procedure for publicity across the board. So, for example, if you want to advertise an event to appear in multiple places such as Magazine/ Newsletter, enews and the website, you need to contact  all three bodies separately.


The glossy Magazine, published three times a year, contains a variety of useful and interesting articles eg  details of  all the Groups, advance warning of  Social Events, reviews and photos of recent happenings and much more.   It is free to all who have paid their annual Aughton & Ormskirk u3a subscription.

The Magazine is currently not being produced.  But an occasional special Newsletter is being emailed to those members with an email address on the Beacon Membership system.  For those that don’t, this Newsletter is posted or hand-delivered.

As Social Distancing measures are being eased and there there are opportunities to restart u3a activities, there are also occasional special Bulletins being sent out.  Some are specifically emailed to Group Leaders. Others will go to all Members. (Where it is known from the Beacon Membership record that a member has no email address,  a paper copy will be provided if the content of that Member Bulletin is particularly important.)

To have an item included in the next Magazine / Newsletter, the following contact methods are available:

enews is an electronic newsletter emailed at the end of each month to all members who have provided an email address. It covers topics that have arisen since the previous Magazine was published and sometimes reminders of important U3A events, as well as changes and cancellations. More information provides further info on enews. To have an item included in the next enews, the following contact methods are available:

email is widely used to communicate with members and non-members.  Around 92% of members have provided the Membership Team with an email address for the Beacon Membership System.

Some Group Leaders keep an email list in order to readily communicate with members of their own Group.  This can be very useful for reminding people of the next meeting, late availability of places on outings, cancellations or changes to arrangements and so  on.  But members keeping data about other members on their personal computers should be mindful of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) rulings relating to Data Privacy.

A way to avoid this issue is to use Beacon email to communicate with members of your Group. To enable this, the Group Leader / Coordinator requests the Membership Team to add Group members into the relevant Beacon Group.  You also need to request appropriate access privileges to Beacon.  Once set up, you can  access and use a ready-made Beacon email list to easily contact your Group members.

The Membership team normally have a Desk at Horizons each Thursday.  But in present times, there are currently a couple of simple alternatives  for contacting the Beacon Membership Team remotely for advice on using Beacon:

Horizons is a weekly coffee meeting which, in normal times, provides an excellent opportunity for face-to-face communication and booking for trips, performances and socials.  u3a activities and events can also be advertised at Horizons as follows:

  • Announcements are made during almost all Horizons meetings.  These generally relate to:
    • special events requiring extra publicity such as the Speaker Meetings, Days Out, Holidays,  Social Events
    • items not mentioned already in the Magazine or in the enews
    • late changes to previously publicised information
  • Flyers are sometimes put out on the tables at Horizons to give extra publicity to special events such as Speaker Meetings, Short Courses and Drama or Musical Theatre  performances.

The Aughton & Ormskirk u3a Website provides information both for potential and existing members on the nature of the organisation and how it is run. It contains comprehensive details about its special interest groups and other activities. It is a major source for up-to-date information on all aspects of the u3a, though this does depend on Committee Officers, Group Leaders / Coordinators, Event Organisers and indeed members in general keeping us informed. To have your u3a information added to the website or request changes, the following contact methods are available:

Web Form is a useful Website feature enabling anyone to send in questions and comments by filling in and submitting a simple form to an appropriate u3a Officer such as Secretary, enews editor, Web Team.  For more information on these Forms and their use, see the Contact Us webpage

facebook_25  Facebook – Aughton & Ormskirk u3a also has a facebook page.  To find out more about our facebook presence, contact its administrator through our facebook presence or by using the Communications email address: commscomm@aughton-ormskirk-u3a.co.uk