A MEMBERS GUIDE TO WHAT IS HAPPENING
WITH THE U3A WEB PRESENCE
Even if you are not a regular user of our website please read on – the changes may affect you and how you interact with PU3A. We advise that ALL members read this document in its entirety as there are important bits scattered throughout.
You may or may not be aware of the fact that PU3A is soon to change the web presence of our happy band. Below you will find some explanation and advice on what is happening.
WHY ARE WE CHANGING?
The reason for the change is twofold.
The Committee formed a sub-committee to look into what direction we should go. They spent 6 months investigating various options (6 in all) and on the questions of cost, security, usability and future-proofing U3AWeb came out as the top contender. The full Committee ratified the recommendation and we have now entered into a 3-year contract with the supplier for our website and database provision.
WHAT CHANGES WILL I SEE AS A USER?
The look and navigation of the new site will obviously be different, but we are writing “User Guides” which will be available to all users once logged in – we have tried to keep them as readable as possible without any techie language, but if you are confused by any of it please ask. We believe the new site is easier to find the info you want from a simple menu structure.
WILL ALL MEMBERS HAVE ACCESS?
All members will have access to basic information – BUT – to get full use from the system the member MUST have a logged email address (PU3A must have the email address of each individual for access). We know that some people are either non-email users or are reluctant to register their personal email address with PU3A – but please read on – there may be a solution that will help you.
CHECK YOUR DETAILS
We would ask that once the system goes live all members access the system and check their personal details and correct if needed. The reason for this is that we have done a data transfer from the old system, but there is always a possibility that odd pieces of info may have been dropped by the import process. We have done our best to do a data check – but there is nobody better than you to check your details. Please pay particular attention to Gift Aid as we now know that Gift Aid can only be claimed by each individual – so each half of a Joint Membership must agree if they are eligible to claim – we will be putting an explanation document about Gift Aid on the new site.
ACCESS WITHOUT EMAIL
While you will be able to see basic information on groups and the generality of PU3A you will only have the same access as a non-member. This is because the security of the system requires an email address to be able to carry out some functions that relate to you and your membership. If you are adamant that you don’t wish to, or are unable to take up one of the solutions below the system does have back-up processes to cover this from a U3A Admin perspective, so you will not miss out on information, but you may miss out because postal services and written paper copy are considerably slower, so offers may have been and gone before you even see them.
See below for possible ways around the problems. The solutions take the form of the questions/statements most often made as to why a person doesn’t want to use email for PU3A and answers to those points.
We are not trying to bully you into the online comms world, but we would like everyone to get the most they can from our online services.
GROUP LEADERS AND U3AWEB
From the Group Leaders perspective the system gives you more visibility of your group and members for admin purposes – and while it may appear that there is “more work” involved by using the system it removes the need to keep all kinds of information in little files or bits of paper scattered all over the place – so your “work” does in fact reduce, once the system is set up.
All of the previous page about email access applies to Group Leaders, but their email access is possibly more important.
The system can give you :
We will be arranging “training” sessions for Group Leaders once we have launched – but prior to this there will be “How To” documents available once signed into the system.
Please give the new system a fair go - all change takes a little getting used to, but slowly it becomes second nature to operate the new site. We are confident you will find the new system makes it easier to interact with groups.
Alan Locke (PU3A Web Admin)