Ideas for Securing Premises
In securing permanent premises, U3A Brisbane took the unique step of raising sufficient funds from their members to purchase their own premises while other U3As within Queensland have relied on leasing premises or being given the premises gratis.
In the main, U3As rely on using rented or shared buildings in which to conduct classes. Some U3As reported they did not have a dedicated office or administration place and committee members works from their own homes. As newer U3As evolve this is understandable in the first instance but, in time, it is essential to provide more appropriate and professional accommodation.
To obtain the assistance you need with regard to finding suitable accommodation, it is important to build strong relationships with Councillors and Council Officers, Members of your State Government, and other influential organisations within your Community.
This would involve:
- Identifying people who are supportive of your organisation and its aims.
- Taking opportunities to address other organisations about the service U3A provides to older adults and acquainting them with the “bigger picture” of U3A in Queensland, Australia and even Internationally.
- Inviting Councillors and State members to meet with your Committee, attend your AGM, or other social functions such as Seniors Week activities.
- Updating your website & Facebook page with photos and stories of U3A activities.
- Regularly sending articles about U3A activities to your local newspaper.
- Dropping a copy of your newsletter into other community places, including retirement villages, gyms, doctors, electoral offices.
- Networking whenever possible.
Other suggestions include: investigating whether the Education Department has a school about to close or with a falling pupil intake reducing the need for existing facilities; checking out abandoned Bowling Clubs or a Health Care facility no longer in use.