Our committee members generously give up their time to help run Cu3a. If you’d like to contribute to making our organisation even better, please do consider joining the committee. Just contact our Chair at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out what’s involved.
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 (Simple user support)
It’s obvious, looking back at my life, that variety, learning new things and getting involved have always been important to me. After qualifying as a librarian and working in special libraries, when our three sons came along, I ran a business that fitted around them. Roles in sales and marketing, administration, and management in a number of industries and the public sector followed.
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.
Fascinated by 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.
For fun I read, we have travelled the world, and there’s always something to do in the garden. Then there are the ten grandchildren….
When I retired in 2015, I joined the u3a to continue learning and to meet new people; I also volunteered for a local charity - learning to manage the website; and helped at Little Chalfont Community Library. Joining a number of Cu3a groups has given me the chance to research and learn about subjects I never had the time for in a busy working life, then when I heard that there were vacancies on the Cu3a committee and the newsletter team I joined them both (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’ve enjoyed the exciting challenge of helping to introduce and manage Simple Membership as Simple User Support. To top it all, I’ve made so many friends!
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 did that for a number
of years and still volunteer as a steward. I served on my Parish Council for a number of years, including 3 as chairman and I am currently the treasurer of The Arts Society Amersham. Ever since my late wife Jean and I came to Amersham, which was our first home, I have belonged to the Lions Club and now have a 50 years service badge, but unfortunately the Club is winding up at the end of 2022. 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 the Singers group. 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.
Mike Hender (Technical advisor)
Jill and I joined Cu3a in 2012 after looking for a friendly social group where we could both contribute and keep brain and body active. Since then, I’ve set up and convened two Cu3a technology groups and contribute to several others. My experience as Chair of Cu3a (2018-2020) was both unforgettable and rewarding.
I was originally an academic with a PhD in atomic physics and space science from University College London. In 1970 we 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, latterly in senior management positions. After retiring from the corporate world in 2002 I had several non-executive board positions with small businesses and Government agencies.
Jill and I enjoy travelling to see our far-flung family (Australia and Wales), walking, reading and activities that involve innovation and new ideas.
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-convenor of French conversation and a member of numerous other groups where I can indulge my amateurish efforts at, among other things, creative writing and acting.
Wallace Wormley (Joint groups coordinator)
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
Christian Scott (Publicity coordinator and vice-chair, temp)
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.
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.
I joined Chiltern u3a in 2021 and am a co-opted member of the Committee. Originally from Liverpool, my family moved across the Mersey to The Wirral, Cheshire when I was quite young. My favourite school subject was Science of any discipline and I’ve always been an animal lover. After ‘A’ levels my first full time job was as a trainee laboratory technician in The University of Liverpool’s Faculty of Veterinary Science. This happily combined my interests, but little did I imagine I would remain working in the ‘Vet School’ until my retirement in 2020.
However, I didn’t stand still. I love learning and after gaining technical qualifications, I graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Life Sciences from the Open University whilst continuing to work within research groups at Liverpool and bringing up two children as a single mum. I gained professional qualifications as a Chartered Biologist working chiefly with farm animals. I am co-author of many research papers on the reproductive hormones and behaviours of cattle and sheep. As I moved up the technical ladder, I gained qualifications from the Institute of Leadership and Management. I organised and facilitated problem-based learning for veterinary undergraduates and trained and supported under and post graduate students in laboratory work. In later years, I became a student at the University myself, taking an eclectic mix of short courses, such as Autism, Criminal and Evolutionary Psychology and Egyptology, purely for interest.
Over the years, I married (twice), divorced (twice) and my son and daughter both moved to live and work in the Southeast. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit I was furloughed and decided it was time to hang up my lab coat and move closer to my children and grandchildren. In essence, time to start a new life in my Third Age. So, what better than joining the u3a where I could continue my love of learning, meet new people, and hopefully become a valuable member of the Committee. In fact, as per the motto, to “Learn, Laugh, Live!”
After leaving school, I worked as a Police Officer for the Metropolitan Police for 34 years. After a short stint working for a new coffee company, (Harris & Hoole), I joined Thames Valley Police, this time as a civilian, helping to look after their buildings and vehicles. I put my papers in December 2019 to retire in March 2020, to go travelling, (obviously that did not go to plan).
Post Covid, and after an operation, I finally got on track to build my “Retirement Life” and along with trying to get fitter, found CU3A. I have now joined a few groups and I am enjoying my CU3A “Retirement”.
I am divorced with 3 grown up children. Two of them still live locally and the third has recently moved to Devon, for employment reasons and now lives with my ex-wife, (we are now great friends, (again)). However, they regularly visit, and we enjoy various family reunions. Certainly, although grown up, my kids still take up quite a lot of my time and occasionally need my help. I am very grateful for that and thankful that we all still meet and communicate on a regular basis.
One of my beliefs in life, is that you are enjoying an organisation or group, then, if you are able, you should try to put something back into that group. As such, I have now joined the CU3A committee and hope to contribute to making this group even better than it already is.
Committee support - people with roles in Cu3a who are not members of the committee
I joined u3a 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 in 1996 with my husband, Dave, who guides school
parties on the WW1 battlefields, and two young children.
My children have now grown up and moved to their own homes and I have
been spending time since retirement supporting older relatives and
being walked by our springer spaniel. The opportunity of more free time
has allowed me to take archaeology, history and art (both appreciating
art and painting myself) classes and I completed a Postgraduate
Certificate in History and Archaeology from Birkbeck. I also go to
museum and art exhibitions and rock concerts and enjoy nature reserves,
visiting hill forts and other outdoor prehistoric monuments and
travelling in the UK and abroad. I attend a variety of u3a groups. I
really appreciate the sense of a community of friends and potential
friends within the u3a.
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.