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New u3a trustees look forward to management challenges

Ilkley & District u3a have recruited four new Trustees to join the management team.

The appointment of the new Trustees strengthens and enhances the skill set of the existing team.

The four - Alison Middleton, Sandra Nistri, Mark Hall and Margaret McCabe - are approaching the challenge of being a trustee with relish.

Mark Hall, a Guiseley man and former local government official, took early retirement five years ago. Since then he joined the u3a and learnt to play the ukulele. He likes a challenge and says, “ As you age and you may become less able physically, it’s important to keep your brain going and it’s so good to work within a group and help out the community.” Mark is going to be the Groups Coordinator for existing groups.

To date there are over 140 u3a activity groups but more are being set up all the time. Margaret McCabe will have responsibility for new groups. She lives in Yeadon and has been a member of the u3a for ten years. Margaret has been leader of the Family History Group and now leads the Writing for Pleasure group. She says, “ Ilkley u3a has given me so much, especially in recent difficult times, that I felt I wanted to help others get the same rewards.”

With a working background in archivism and scientific data management, Margaret will bring great skills to the task of new group start ups. Regular updates on new groups are posted on the website and members are told via the internal newsletter - NewsFlash. There are plans to launch Backgammon and Ukelele groups in January.

Sandra Nistri, who lives in Bramhope, moved north from London to be nearer family. After retiring as a teacher of Modern Languages, she joined her local u3a in north London where she was Membership Secretary as well as leading the Poetry and Historic Walks groups. She becomes the new Secretary for Ilkley & District u3a and has joined u3a walking groups, Architecture Appreciation and the Otley Reading group.

Finally, Alison Middleton who lives in Menston, is the new Social Action Coordinator. Alison recently took voluntary redundancy from working in education. She commented, “ I am now enjoying myself pursuing the interests and hobbies I had pushed aside in the frantic rush of working life. The u3a and all it has to offer is a great place to be post pandemic, and I genuinely hope I can make a useful contribution to this worthwhile organisation.”

If you would like to find out more about Ilkley & District u3a come along to one of the Drop-in sessions. These are held on the first and third Friday mornings of the month in the Clarke Foley Centre, Cunliffe Road, Ilkley from 10.30 - 12 noon when there is an opportunity to chat to Trustees and Group Leaders over a cuppa. Members have over 140 different groups to choose from, including sports, music, languages, creative writing, science and technology, arts and crafts, local history, dancing, and walking. Membership is only £13.50 a year and is open to those in the area who are retired or semi-retired. Information on how to join is found on the website at, on Facebook and Twitter.


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