The committee members are taking Covid seriously - this photograph is from the committee meeting (by Zoom) in August
Sarah Jones (Chair)
There are many fantastic things about u3a. I love the fact that we are all in the same boat. Everyone who comes to u3a is looking to expand and enrich their lives by doing things that are fun, learning things that are new, reinforcing things we have met before and meeting others. There is no pressure, so it is all upside’.
I had to stop full time employment much sooner than I had expected. It was a major shock. Like many of us, I focused so much on my work that I had spent no time developing my ‘third age’. I missed structure, thought provoking challenge and other people. As a psychologist, I know that to be happy and healthy, it is important to have focus, exercise your brain, feel you are contributing to society and spend time with like-minded people. I think I’ve just described the u3a! Looking at all that u3a offered I was excited by the choice.
Jenny Jobson (Vice-Chair)
I qualified as a
librarian working in special libraries; then ran a business followed by
roles in sales and marketing, administration and management.
Volunteering has always been part of my life: librarian in two schools,
knitting blankets for charity, delivering parcels to the elderly and
singing Christmas carols in geriatric wards. I ran a mother and toddler
club, then helped in my boys’ school library.
computers, I studied logic at school and attended an evening class on
‘Computers in libraries’. After a Sinclair ZX, Commodore 64 and word
processors with eight-inch floppy discs, we got a PC in 1995. Microsoft
Office applications (apart from Publisher) became the tools of my trade.
fun I read, we travel, I’m re-designing the garden and decorating the
house and I volunteer at Little Chalfont Community Library. Then there
are the nine grandchildren….
When I retired, I joined the u3a to
continue learning and meet new people; and I also volunteered for a
local charity - learning to manage the website. I joined the Cu3a
committee and the newsletter team – at last a chance to learn how to use
Microsoft Publisher. As the Data Coordinator I’ve been having fun with
spreadsheets again and I’m enjoying the exciting new challenge of
helping to introduce Simple Membership as Simple User Support.
Ernest Newhouse (Secretary)
I finished my career as Financial Controller, BBC World Service, and after a year or so as a pensioner, unexpectedly found myself at the Barbican Centre as Director of Finance for 3 years. When that came to an end, I was asked to be Treasurer of the Amersham Museum, which was a lovely job as it had just received a large bequest which enabled it to modernise and to employ a part-time curator. I also became a trustee of the Amersham Almshouses. Ever since my wife Jean and I came to Amersham, which was our first home, I have belonged to the Lions Club and now have a 40 years service badge. I have lived in Amersham most of my married life, but spent 9 very happy years in Wells, Somerset, having gone there to work for Marley Tiles, and coming back at the behest of the BBC. I belong to St Mary's church in the old town and for many years I administered the Planned Giving scheme there. I joined the u3a just before the barrier came down and waiting list was introduced. I belong to a number of groups; currently I convene Local History 2. The u3a does not dominate my life , but it has certainly enhanced it.
Sue Harold-Barry (Treasurer)
Originally a Materials Science graduate, my final job before retirement was as a technical intellectual property manager in the diamond industry. I am a step-grandmother to ten and grandmother to one. When I joined Chiltern u3a in 2009 I already knew many of the members as I was following in the footsteps of my husband Robin who had retired before me. I volunteered as an Excursions organiser, and joined a number of groups. In 2012 we were struggling to find not only a Chairman but also a Treasurer. I felt that Cu3a was too important for me not to step forward and do what I could by standing for election as the latter. I have been very glad that I did
Helen Beaumont (Membership Secretary)
I have been a member of Chiltern u3a since 2006 and Membership Secretary since 2009. I worked for the Bank of England and met my husband Kevin there. I have lived almost all of our married life in Little Chalfont. We have a daughter Alexandra, a son Christopher and three lovely grandsons. When our children reached their teens I retrained and worked for a number of years for Old Amersham Travel and laterly Allways Pacific.
I am a keen follower of rugby union and introduced my husband to the sport. I was a season ticket holder for London Wasps when they played at Adams Park, High Wycombe but did not renew my season ticket when they moved to Coventry. My husband introduced me to cricket and we go to watch international games at Lords and also Bucks County Cricket Club matches home and away.
Anne Caine (Minutes Secretary)
I joined u3a three years ago after retiring from 18 years with the Science Museum Group as Finance Director and Secretary to the Board of Trustees. I previously held finance roles with Grand Metropolitan (now Diageo) mainly in the food sector over 19 years. I moved to Amersham 18 years ago with my husband, Dave, who guides school parties on the WW1 battlefields, and two young children.
My children are now at university and I spend increasing time since retiring supporting older relatives and being walked by our two springer spaniels. However I have managed to undertake archaeology, history and art classes, attend choir and I completed a Postgraduate Certificate in History and Archaeology from Birkbeck last year. I also attend football matches in Manchester and go to rock concerts and museum/art exhibitions. I have much enjoyed the General Meetings and attend the Sustainability and Archaeology groups (until the latter stopped recently) and look forward to others when my free time increases. I really appreciate the sense of a community of friends and potential friends within the u3a.
David Bender (Webmaster)
My first degree was in Biochemistry, from the University of Birmingham, then I came to London to take a PhD at the Middlesex Hospital Medical School, where I remained (after the merger with University College London) until I retired in 2011 as Professor of Nutritional Biochemistry at UCL. After we moved to Amersham in 2004, I was desperately jealous of all the activities offered to retired people by Chiltern u3a, and like many members I find my diary is fuller now than it was before retirement. Managing the website is a pleasant, if sometimes time-consuming, activity, but u3a members and Convenors are considerably less demanding that medical students - for 10 years I ran the "virtual learning environment" (i.e. on-line teaching material) for the 700 preclinical medical students at UCL, who demanded that material be available immediately - at any time of day or night!. To boost my ego, I have a personal website at www.david-bender.co.uk.
Carolyn Spencer (Groups coordinator)
I joined Chiltern u3a in 2016, while I was in the process of winding down to full retirement. I am a chartered accountant and for the last twenty-one years of my working life I worked in the tax department of a firm of accountants in Gerrards Cross, having previously been employed by one of the major firms in London.
I have lived in Amersham since 1991 and before that in Little Chalfont. I have one daughter. For a number of years I have served on the committee of another local community organisation.
Chiltern u3a has provided me with many happy hours of interest, education, and sociability, particularly in the field of information technology. In late 2019 I became convenor of Wine Tasting 1 and I joined the CU3A committee in May 2020 on taking over the role of Groups Coordinator from Allan Ferrier.
I was originally an academic with a PhD in atomic physics and space
science from University College London. In 1970 Jill and I moved to
Windsor, Canada and then Pittsburgh, USA where Paul was born. Rachel
arrived two years later after we’d returned to Amersham. Then for 25
years I worked for high technology companies where, latterly, I was MD
of Tandem Computers and on the board of Compaq Computer UK. After
retiring from the corporate world in 2002 I had several non-executive
board positions with small businesses and Government agencies,
specialising in management and leadership development.
Since joining Cu3a in 2012 I’ve set up and convene two technology
groups and contribute to several others. We enjoy travelling to see our
far flung family (Australia and Wales), walking, reading and activities
that involve innovation and new ideas.
I have been an active member of Chiltern u3a since I retired in 2017 and I now regularly attend 4 groups (Racketball, Tai Chi, Mindfulness and Scrabble) as well as General Meetings. I am particularly interested in extending the reach of Cu3a as I regularly meet people who are unaware of our activities. To succeed in this aim, we will no doubt have to work with Convenors and Members to increase the capacity of some groups.
Whatever projects I am asked to support, I can offer the Committee and Members skills learnt from a career spanning over 30 years in Education (FE & HE), Business and Charity sectors, including 4 years as a Trustee of a YMCA. My roles within charities provided me with the additional experience of working with volunteers.
After an enjoyable career in banking and finance (my final post was as Board member at Barclaycard responsible for Operations) and in parallel holding non-executive posts in the Home Office and in the housing sector I decided to join u3a to keep my horizons broad and to pursue my interest in studying languages To my surprise and pleasure I have found that U3A offers fellowship as well as study and I am looking forward to making a contribution to the broader organisation of the Chiltern group. I am a co-convener of French Conversation and in the broader community I am currently a Trustee at Citizen’s Advice Aylesbury Vale and volunteer in various capacities for the Chiltern Society.
I first heard about u3a through an old friend and neighbour, Ivan
Hirsh, who just happened to be one of the founders and the first
chairman of the Chiltern committee, 20 years ago. At the time, I was
actively working in the City, involved with setting up investment
businesses, managing global portfolios, travelling the world and
advising institutional clients. As I began to wind down from full time
work, I started to think about the kinds of things I would like to do
when I had more leisure time.
Although my academic degrees were in physics, maths, experimental
psychology and economics, and my career was heavily quantitative and
technical, I wanted to broaden beyond those things. Remembering u3a, as
a group dedicated to life-long learning, I thought I would explore
additional interests such as Photography, Chess and Computers. In the
three years since joining, I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting lots of new
people, making many new friends and getting reacquainted with old ones.
I have even become the convenor of the Opera Appreciation group and
co-convenor of the Writing for Fun 2 and the Drama groups. Leisure