Getting started

There's a clear procedure set out for starting an new U3A available here.

Just to give you the outline now.

We are currently at step one. Just gathering interest, from our networks. Step two begins when we are ready to choose a venue and set an opening date some six to eight weeks ahead.

At this stage we would like one or two people from Christchurch North West, who would like a club closer to home, to declare an interest in this new venture. When we've met a few other people, perhaps members of the public, perhaps members of other U3A's, we need to decided on a venue. We should then form a committee to establish the new club.

Step two: Form a Steering Committee. Set some firm dates, and start planning that Inaugural Meeting. Get support from the Canterbury Network and the committee at Christchurch North West.

The next step is to name the new Club, set up a bank account, and get an injection of funds from the Canterbury Network. Think about the structure of the new club. You will need to recommend to the new members how they should act in choosing the foundation committee, and setting up interest groups. The Auckland Network have a booklet to help you think about these issues.

The publicity step is critical. You need about four weeks. You'll get lots of free publicity if you do this right. Use the Canterbury Network and Christchurch North West to find promotion materials they might let you borrow.
Put up posters in public places.
Make pamphlets available in public places.
Run a promotion day in a public place.
Use a large banner outside your meeting place and /or at promotion days.
Write short articles about your planning meetings, with a photograph for the local free newspapers.
Get yourself on the radio.

If you do this right, there will be 100 people at your Inaugural Meeting, and all the preparation you've done about committees, and interest groups, and communication methods, and bank accounts, will be immediately needed. Job well done.

Encouraging Examples

Ashburton U3A

Close to 90 attended the Ashburton meeting, held in St David's Union Church.

U3A comes to Tauranga.

A blow by blow description of U3A group formation.

Crediton and District U3A, UK

MORE than 100 people were welcomed to the Boniface Centre in Crediton on Friday, October 9, to attend the Inaugural meeting of the Crediton and District branch of the University of the Third Age (U3A)

Chalfont U3A Inaugural Meeting - UK - 11 March 2015

In February 2015 it was decided that the area of the Chalfonts (incorporating Chalfont St Peter, Chalfont St Giles, Little Chalfont and Gerrards Cross) was in need of a new branch of the University of the Third Age (U3A)
The turnout for the inaugural meeting was absolutely outstanding, with well in excess of two hundred people attending the meeting to find out more about what is involved in U3A.