Help

If you come across any significant errors please contact support so that we can continue to improve this.

For an overview of what this dashboard is all about please click our About page.

If anyone would like to assist in writing these help screens again please contact support.

Membership

Login

(Last Reviewed 26th Apr 2024)

Setting your first password

If this is your first time logging in, you will need to set your password. You can set it by clicking the Retrieve Login Details button at the bottom of the screen. There, you will be able to enter your email and receive instructions on what your username is and how to set your password.

Username and password

Usernames (normally - see comments below) take the form of 'first name.last name' - e.g. 'john.smith' and are not case-sensitive.

Passwords are case-sensitive. Note the 'Show Password' box - clicking this will allow you to see the password you are entering.

If this is your first time logging in or your username and password are not recognised, click the 'Retrieve Login Details' button at the bottom of the screen. This will direct you to a screen where you can enter your email and receive an email with appropriate instructions.

If you do not receive an email, then an account with that email does not exist on the system. If you believe this to be incorrect, please contact support.

Members who share the same email

It is relatively common for couples to share an email address. They each have a unique membership record and will need a unique username to access the system. When a password reset is requested for a shared email address, two emails will be sent, one for each username. Either are valid to reset an individual account, but please use only one of them at a time if you want to reset both usernames.

People with multiple first/last names

Some people record two or more first names or last names when they register on the system, e.g. 'Norma Jean Baker'. Similarly some people may use an initial. The usernames cannot cope with spaces characters. As such, the default username will simply combine the names together. So in the above example the username would be 'normajean.backer' with no space between Norma and Jean.

People with the same first/last names

Inevitably, some people will share the same name. In these circumstances, one of those people will be given a numeric suffix (e.g. john.smith2) to ensure the username is unique.

 

 

 

Retrieve Login Details

(Last Reviewed 15th Dec 2023)

You can retrieve your username and/or reset your password by visiting https://members.malvernu3a.org.uk/accounts/password_reset. Enter the email you use for your Malvern u3a membership, and we will email you with a link to reset your password and a reminder of your username. The contents will something like this example for 'William Shakespeare': (where xxxxxx is replaced by a random set of characters):

Dear William

You're receiving this email because someone (hopefully you!) requested a password reset to enable you to access our Malvern u3a members dashboard.
For those of you who share an email, you each have an individual member number and an individual account on the dashboard. You should receive a separate email for each account.

This email will allow you to set a new password for: 

Name: William Shakespeare
Member Number: 47001
Dashboard Username: william.shakespeare


Please click the link below to choose a new password for this user : 

https://members.malvernu3a.org.uk/accounts/reset/Mg/xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Thanks for using our dashboard to manage the details we hold for you.

The Malvern u3a support team

 

You can see that the email contains your username (william.shakespeare) in the above example and a link to follow to reset your password. Follow the link to a screen that looks like this:

 

Enter and confirm your new password. The password complexity rules are not onerous - simply that it should be at least 8 characters, not a 'common' word and not too similar to your username.

After successfully resetting your password, you can return to the login screen and continue.

 

Manage Personal Details

(Last Reviewed 14th Feb 2024)

This screen allows you to update the basic contact information we hold for you, and should be mostly self-explanatory. Below are a handful of observations on the individual data items.

Email

When you change your email, any future emails you get from the trustees should go to the new email. Depending on timing, you may find one or two communications may go to your previous email. If this continues for more than say a month, please contact us to correct this.

Group leaders often keep email lists of their members. They can download fresh lists from this site, but may only do that infrequently. If you receive emails direct from a group leader, please let those leaders know if you change your email.

Address lines and commas

Please do not include any commas in your address - when we have need to generate a list of address labels for members, the commas can cause an issue. The support team periodically check the database to remove any such commas.

Emergency Contacts

Depending on the activity, group leaders may ask you for an emergency contact. If you record it here, then it will be included when they generate a spreadsheet of contact information for their members.

Name and user account

If you change your first or last name, then your user account to access this system will not automatically change. So if John 'Smith' was meant to be  'Smyth' you can update it here, but the username would still be john.smith - please contact support if you want this updated. 

Member Choices

(Last Reviewed 14th Feb 2024)

The trustees communicate with you at various times of year for various reasons.

Members can express a preference/make a choice as to which of these communications to receive, and in some cases whether to view them digitally (online/email) or in the post.

Email Choices

There are three broad categories of emails that we may send you.

  • Monthly Bulletins - typically an update from our chair, other trustees and group leaders about ongoing activity.
  • Guest Speaker events - most months of the year we have a guest speaker appear at the Malvern Cube - these emails give you a reminder of whom the forthcoming speaker is and the topic to be presented.
  • Social Events - At times of year we host social such as picnic in the park.

We maintain an email distribution list for each of these categories. When you first join Malvern u3a, our assumption is to include you in each of the lists. You can opt in or out of a given list by selecting yes/no as you prefer.

NB prior to the 2023/2024 year, when members subscribed, we would ask for a generic 'consent' for all emails. Any member who said no will have been excluded from all of these lists and will show as 'No'.

Digital/Print Choices

There are two larger documents that we have traditionally posted out to many members. Some members are now content to view these electronically. These choices allow you to tell us your preference.

Group Directory

The group directory is available electronically at Group Directory and is refreshed monthly. Historically we have sent a printed copy of this in July each year ready for the forthcoming year commencing September. Members can now choose to 'receive' this digitally - download from the above link. For example, we have had requests from couples in the past to 'only send us one copy' - you can do this by simply selecting 'Digital' for one of you.

Malvern u3a Newsletter

The bi-annual newsletter, including an archive of recent years, are available electronically at Malvern u3a Newsletters. While the newsletter was not produced in 2023 we expect to  resume these in the Spring of 2024.

Prior to the 2023/2024 year, when members subscribed, we would ask whether a member wanted us to print and post these newsletters. This choice is essentially the same. 

For members who previously asked us to print and post, we have retained this choice. For members joining us from Sep 2023 we have defaulted the option to 'Digital'

Mar 2024 newsletter 

As this will be the first newsletter for sometime, the trustees are considering whether to simply post a copy to everyone. Please look out for further information on this as we approach March 

Subscriptions

(Last Reviewed 18th Apr 2024)

This page will show you whether you have paid your subscriptions for the current year. If payment is outstanding you are able to click the button to take you directly to the renewal pages.

Additionally, you can see a record of your recent subscriptions. You are able to view historic records going back up to six years plus the current year - At time of writing this means the 2017-2018 and later.

During the 2022-2023 year, a change was made to the systems to allow us to record the payment method used. This is why the data prior to that may show as 'Method Not Recorded' or 'Cash/Cheque' not recorded.

Why am I issued a Membership number?

Each member is allocated a membership number. When you pay your subscription, you should receive an email from us with this number in the form of a membership card. You can print this out or simply make a note of the number somewhere convenient. When you attend a group for the first time, the leader will ask you for this number. The leaders are asked to maintain a list of these numbers. This allows us to understand how many people are attending groups and also to check that those attending have indeed paid their subscription for the year.

How do I use my Credit Card or PayPal to pay my membership?

Malvern U3A does not see or store your credit card/PayPal details at any time. The actual payments are processed by a 3rd party company called Stripe. After a successful payment they send us a receipt which includes your membership number and email. We use this to confirm your subscription and to generate an email to send your receipt. When you give your credit card information this is a one-off payment for a single year subscription. Nothing is created that would allow us to automatically take any future payments through your credit card.

Why am I asked to identify myself when paying by Credit Card?

Banks have various methods of fraud prevention, including confirming your identity when using your card online. A common method is to send a short code when you are making a payment, by text or email, which you will need to enter to complete the purchase. It is important that you keep your mobile phone number and contact details up to date with your bank or card provider. This will ensure that you will be able to make that online purchase if your bank or card provider wants to check that it is you using the card to make the payment.

How do I renew my membership in person?

We appreciate that some people will choose not to renew online. The alternative is to renew in person by coming to the group fairs day or one of the other in-person events we outline periodically. At these events we will have a card reader that can be used for contactless payments. This will work similarly to using your card in person in shops. When renewing in person at one of these events we will make a note of your details, and create your subscription on the system at a later date.

Group Leaders

Overview

(Last Reviewed 11th Nov 2023)

You can currently:

  • View and change the list of members registered for your group.
    • Both Malvern U3A and Other U3A members
    • Copy a list of emails of your members
    • Generate an attendance register spreadsheet including those names
    • Generate a 'contact' register including phone number, email, emergency contact
  • Access General Group Leader documents
  • Update your group web page
  • Update your group directory entry
  • Update the core information - name, venue, time of meeting etc
  • Update the leaders and contacts including various list/display preferences

For general guidelines on starting and running groups, please see documents under the 'policies and guidelines' help section.

Manage Group Members

(Last Reviewed 11th Nov 2023)

A video demonstrating this is available here Managing Group Members

Background

This screen allows leaders to:

  • Add/remove members from their group list at any time
  • Update emergency contact information for the member
  • Copy/paste emails to their own email program

The benefit of adding members to your group is that their contact information will be included on attendance and contact registers, as discussed in 'Group Documents'. For members, both the leader and the trustees will be able to see if we have active members who have yet to pay their subs for a given year.

Malvern/Other Members

  • 'Malvern' Members are those members who pay their subscriptions to Malvern U3A. This will be most, for some groups all, of your members.
  • 'Other' Members will commonly be members of other U3As whom we don't have a membership record for.

Malvern Members

Use the Malvern Members button to manage your list of Malvern members. There is no risk in adding/removing the 'wrong' member. If you make a mistake, just remove/add the member back.

Clicking the Add Member to Group button will take you to a screen where you can search for members by their name, email or member number. Once you have found your member, clicking the add person will add that member to your list for the year.

Removal is a simple as clicking the Remove Member from Group button.

Member Emergency Contact

Some groups benefit by having access to emergency contact information for their attendees. Members with access to the dashboard can add/update this as part of their personal membership record. Not all members will actively use the system, so group leaders have also been given permission to update just this part of the member record by clicking the Edit Member Contact information button on this page. Once recorded for a member, this will be available for any group that person is a member of.

To print out a list of members with any contact information, see the Group Contact Register available from the Group Documents page.

Other Members

Use the Other Members button to manage non-Malvern U3A members who attend your group.

Our systems cannot know anything about these people. For example, we do not have access to people who may be members of say Worcester or Ledbury u3a. When you click Add Other Member to Group, the screen asks you to record basic contact information - name, email, phone and where appropriate emergency contact. There is also a generic remarks/notes field to record anything else useful to you. Some leaders like to record a membership number from another U3A. You are welcome to do this here.

Group Emails

Group emails are emails recorded for any member. Clicking the Group Emails button will take you to a screen displaying the emails with a semicolon between each email. Providing a list of emails with a semicolon seems to be the most commonly accepted.

You can copy this list using the Copy to Clipboard button and paste directly into your email program or anywhere else you would like to save this.

Subsets of members

It is possible to email a subset of members. To do this you can download the contact register and filter the list of members in your spreadsheet programme. A description of how to do this is included on the 'Group Documents' Help page.

Starting list of members

The starting list of members is based on returns sent in by leaders around Nov 2022. For many groups, this will have changed. This screen allows you to add or remove members as you desire. If a leader has not previously provided a list, or the list is significantly out of date, please contact the webmanager to discuss options.

Group Documents

(Last Reviewed 11th Nov 2023)

On this screen, you can access documents to help you run your group.

Contact Register

Clicking the Generate Contact Register button to download a list of members with their contact information. This includes emails, phone and emergency contact information if recorded. The register will include the list of Malvern u3a members in alphabetical order that you have told us about on the member screen, then any 'other' members, plus a handful of blank lines at the end for new attendees. If you have not yet told us about your members, the sheet will still generate with those blank lines. Feel free to use this sheet in any way you wish - it is deliberately a spreadsheet rather than a PDF to allow you to edit it.

Subsets of members

It is possible to generate a subset of members for things like away days. To do this, go to the group documents and generate the contact register spreadsheet. When you open the sheet you should see a column called 'Filter' which defaults to 'Yes' for each member. To get a subset of members in your sheet change the value to something else (perhaps 'No'...) for the members you want to exclude, then click the drop-down arrow in the Filter heading and unselect everything except 'Yes'. You will then only see the members you've left as Yes. To email just that subset, just copy the emails directly from your sheet.

Attendance Register

Clicking the Generate Attendance Register button to download a register spreadsheet. The members will be ordered in the same way as described above in the contact register. It is most useful for those groups who use a public space and are asked to collect the £2 session fees.

Group Leader Financial Return

This form is a spreadsheet where you can help yourself and the trustee treasurer to keep track of meeting fees. Whenever you send money to the treasurer, please fill in and email this form at the same time.

Group Member Consent Signup Form 

This is a generic form that allows new members to give their consent for you to contact them. You need to do this to allow us to comply with GDPR regulations. Please see the 'Guidelines for Group Leaders' documents for further information on this.

Accident Report Form 

This is a generic form that allows you to record details of accidents. Please see the 'Guidelines for Group Leaders' documents for further information on this.

Capital Equipment Request Form 

As a group, you may wish to request funding for equipment using the Capital Equipment Request Form. Each request is dealt with on its merits by the trustees. Requests must be approved before purchasing as retrospective requests will not be considered. Malvern U3A already owns a lot of equipment, so please discuss with the trustees as to what is available.

Group Web Page

(Last Reviewed 3rd May 2024)

Introduction

On this screen, you can update the main text shown on your page. You can do this using what is known as a WYSIWIG - 'What You See is What You Get' editor - this is essentially a relatively simple word processor. You will be able to have headings, make things bold, have lists of items etc. Not only that, but you will also be able to upload images, PDF and other documents and include links.

Some leaders will simply want to make occasional updates, such as when regular meetings are amended. Others may want to publish a schedule of activity for the term/year. Other's may have larger offerings with lots of images. All of this is possible through managing your page. 

More detailed discussion of how to use the editor will be provided on a separate help page.

Structure of the web page

Your group web page is compiled from three parts. These are all stored on our database and (with presently only a couple of obscure exceptions described below)  you can change any of this through the site. The three components are:

  • The title and other 'header' information - day/time/venue/inactive periods
    • Generated from the main group information on the 'Group Details' Page
  • The general description
    • Generated from this 'Group Web Page' section.
  • The 'Footer' information
    • Generated from the Leaders/Contacts section

Editing your page

To edit your page, click the Edit Group Web Page button to take you to the page editor. Make whatever changes you like, and hit save (or cancel!) as need be. Remember that this is just the 'middle' part of your page. Please do not repeat things like day/time/venue or general contact information - they will be shown automatically.

Viewing your page

After you have made your changes, you can check your page by clicking the View Public Group Page button. This will open your page in a new tab in your browser. It can be useful to have this page open and as you edit and save changes, just refresh the page to see how they will look.

Common Editing problems

If you make a mistake, hit the 'Cancel' button and try again...

Whatever changes you make, they will not be confirmed until you hit the Confirm button. If it all goes wrong, just hit the Cancel button and try again. If you accidentally save a very wrong version, then we may be able to retrieve your previous page from the system backups. Get in touch with the webmanager.

Copy/Paste issues

Copy/paste direct from another word processing program may be OK. Although at first glance it can look fine, you may be inadvertently copying a lot of hidden formatting information unique to the source program that will not display correctly on the web page. Sometimes you will be fine, at other times not. Do view your page to check. If the copy/paste does not work, then the simplest solution is to type it out again - you're probably only going to do this once. Please see the general editor help for other thoughts.

Attaching Documents authorisation issue

As of May 2024 an underlying system authorisation issue is not allowing group leaders to attach new documents to their page. The issue is under investigation - in the mean time, please contact support if you wish to add such documents.

 

Group Directory Text

(Last Reviewed 11th Nov 2023)

Please click video demo for a demonstration of viewing/making changes to your directory entry

Background

Each summer, the trustees post out a printed group directory to all the members, including information on the groups expected to operate in the coming year. An electronic version of this is available from the website and is updated monthly through the year.

Historically, the webmanager asked the leader to send in any updates for their group entry for the directory. This screen will replace that need and allows any leader/contact for the group to update the text for their entry at any time. The webmanager will send a reminder, but the groups themselves will be responsible for updating the text. The groups should also reconfirm other aspects of the entry - please see elsewhere for discussion on leader/contacts and time/venue type information. The timetable/deadlines for the printed directory will be communicated to the leaders.

How long can/should the directory entry be?

As of 2023 for printing/cost purposes the trustees have chosen to limit the group directory to 40 pages. The size of each individual group entry will impact this. Essentially, the more groups/text we need to include, the smaller will be the font…

In practice, we ask leaders to have no more than 500 characters of plain text for their entry. This should be sufficient to inform a reader about the group. For fuller (and possibly more up to date) information, they should be using the group entry on the web page. The 500 characters is not an enforced limit - use your judgement. Once all leaders have reviewed/refreshed their entries, the trustees will review the overall look/size of the directory. If the directory feels too big, we may ask leaders to adjust their entries.

Edit the Group Directory Text

Clicking the Edit Group Directory Text button will take you to a screen where you can review/update your text. Remember this is text only - there is deliberately no capacity to add images, links etc. This text is aimed at a short entry in the printed directory.

View the Group Directory Extract

Clicking the View Directory Entry Extract button will generate a sample PDF of just your entry. This will include the 'header' (name, day, time, venue) and 'footer' (leader details) information. The font sizes may vary when we produce the final directory, but this will give you a sense of the entry.

Please see elsewhere for discussion on leader/contacts and time/venue type information. Again, in terms of the overall size of the directory, please choose a single leader/contact to be included.

Group Details

(Last reviewed 11th Nov 2023)

This screen allows you to change the basic information about your group and should be mostly self-explanatory. This data is used both on your group web page and in the group directory. Below are a handful of observations on the individual data items.

Title

Please stick to UPPER CASE for your title. Historically, the group titles have been stored in upper case and shown this way on the search ('Groups by category' etc.) screens and elsewhere, but written as mixed case on the individual web page. e.g. 'FILM GROUP 1' in the search pages but 'Film Group 1' on the web page.

In practice, the program that generates your web page will change the title to use mixed case, but elsewhere the entry will be as you enter here. For a handful of groups (e.g. Bridge 'EAT' group) the automated change to mixed case makes no sense, so they have been manually overridden. Please check with the webmanager if any change to your title no longer looks right across the site.

Category, Day, Time, Venue

Each of these items are selected from a drop-down list. If you find a day, time or venue you want to use is not shown, please contact the webmanager to get the list updated. 

Inactive during

A piece of free form text (up to 80 characters) for when the group does not run. Common entries might be 'July, August' or 'School holidays'. NB This item is shown only on the individual group page - it is not included in the printed group directory.

Group Leader and Contacts

(Last Reviewed 11th Nov 2023)

Leader and Contact Overview

The Leader and Contact screen allows groups to name any number of leaders/contacts and be flexible in describing their roles. For each member taking a role, there are some 'Yes/No' choices as to where their information is included and what contact information is made public.

Group Roles

Other than 'Leader' the group roles are simply descriptive - the role name will show up in certain places described below. If any group would like a name not currently offered, please contact the webmanager. NB in the descriptions below please treat the term 'contact' as representing any leader, treasurer, any other role.

Group Management

Any contact that you add to your group will be able to manage all the group information on this administration site. A new contact may not yet have a login to the administration site - please check with the webmanager as need be.

Contact Preferences - the Yes/No choices

These preferences fall into two categories :

  • Where should a given contact's information be included?
  • Does the contact want to display their email and/or phone number in public?

Include in Leader Emails

'Yes' will mean that contact's email will be included in group leader distribution lists. It's fine to have as many people as you like clicking 'Yes' to this choice.

Include on Group Web Page

'Yes' will mean this contact is shown on the group web page. Again, feel free to select 'Yes' for as many contacts as you like. In practice, you should ensure at least one contact has yes shown - otherwise anyone looking at your page would not know who to contact... If you want to fine tune what this means for your individual group, then you can include this in the general text of your web page.

Include in Group Directory

'Yes' will mean this contact is included in the group directory. Please only set any one contact to 'Yes' here - see the Group Directory help page for general discussion around this.

Display email

'Yes' means the contact's email will be shown on the web page and/or group directory. The email will be the one we have recorded for the individual on the membership system. 

Display phone

'Yes' means the contact's phone will be shown on the web page and/or group directory. The number will be the one we have recorded for the individual on the membership system. 

Adding, Editing and Removing Contacts

Clicking the Add New Contact button will take you to a screen where you can search for members by their name, email or member.

Once you have found your member, clicking the add person will add that member as a contact for your group. They will be given a default role of 'Contact' and all choices will default to 'No'

The various 'Yes/No' choices can be made by clicking the Edit Contact button.

Removal is a simple as clicking the Remove Contact button. You will be asked for confirmation.

Summaries and Example usage

Please see the separate help examples item for further discussion

Group Leader and Contact Examples

(Last Reviewed 11th Nov 2023)

Groups with a single leader

Many groups will have a single person who takes on all aspects of group leadership. For those groups, select the group role 'Leader' and simply click 'Yes' to include on the email distribution list, and show on the web page and group directory. Choose Yes for one or both of the show email/phone choices.

Groups with multiple leader/contacts

Where you have multiple people involved in running a group, check the following:

  • Have at least one person as 'Leader' - they will be shown on the 'Groups by Leaders' list on the main public website
  • Ensure only one person has 'Yes' shown for 'Include in Group Directory'
  • Any number of people can have 'Yes' for 'Include in Leader emails'
  • If you are adding information for people other than yourself, and they are to be included on either the web page or group directory, please check with them their preferences for showing their personal email and phone number.

You may have members who are happy to help out with some of the group administration, but do not want to be shown anywhere in public. This is fine - the leader should simply add them (with whatever role) and leave all of their choices set to 'No'. That member will now be able to use this system. A common scenario will be for those groups who have 'membership secretaries' who take the register at meetings, perhaps send the fees to the treasurer. They will be able to manage the list of members, access up-to-date attendance registers etc.

 

 

 

Under construction

This section is presently being worked on

Guidelines and Policies

Starting and Running a Group

(Last updated 11th June 2023)
 
The trustees have produced some documents giving general advice as to what is involved in starting and running a group.
 

(NB ** Aidan May 2023 **  These documents are in the process of being migrated to this online section. In the short term please see the original documents for any not yet migrated.  The originals may refer to procedures prior to this admin site being built.  If you are reading one of these documents and find a contradiction with functionality on this site, please treat this site as the latest information)

Also note the documents available in this help area under the 'Policies' section. This includes things such as insurance, data protection.

A couple of documents from the National U3A produced during Covid:

Links to to forms such as registration, consent etc. are available under the individual group dashboard

NB Links to to forms such as registration, consent etc. are available under the individual group dashboard

Please see https://www.malvernu3a.org.uk/privacy-policy/ for the latest information

General Insurance Guidance

(Last reviewed 11th Nov 2023)

The Third Age Trust U3A has set up a number of insurance policies designed to provide group leaders and members with insurance cover for most normal activities. For specific details, please see this cover note provided to us from the trust Insurance Cover Note 2023.  A small booklet on the insurance is available by post on application to the Third Age Trust 1. In outline:

  1. As long as the basic procedures outlined in this document are followed, then the insurances arranged by The Third Age Trust will cover most normal group activities. This includes study trips and holidays in the UK and Europe, both with respect to third party liability and member to member cover; i.e. losses by a U3A member arising from the actions of another member. If somebody is injured undertaking a U3A activity and legal liability is an issue, the insurers would deal with any claim.
  2. This does not include personal accident/injury or travel insurance, both of which are the personal responsibility of each U3A member to take out. For this reason, for trips and especially holidays where overnight stays are involved, participants should have travel insurance. Personal losses may be covered if the U3A can be found to be legally responsible for the incident.
  3. Members of other U3As are equally covered. Non-members are also covered by U3A insurances, provided that their attendance at U3A activities is not a regular occurrence.
  4. Study trips and holidays organised through a travel agent are covered by their liability insurance (excluding personal accident and travel insurance). However, short study trips and day trips that are arranged without the need for a travel agent are covered by U3A liability insurance.

 


1 Third Age Trust, 156 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8EN or more general contact details available from https://www.u3a.org.uk/contact