Accessibility for Disabled Members

U3A’s must do all they can to be as accessible as possible both for their existing members and to third agers in their local communities who may wish to join. U3A’s must take all reasonable steps to ensure that people with disabilities can attend the interest groups of their choice, without necessarily needing a companion/carer with them and it is important to reassure them that you will do all you can to support them and make their attendance as easy and stress-free as possible.

Members who cannot manage to participate in their chosen activities without help, should be given the opportunity to bring a companion/carer with them, who for the time that they are in attendance, will be covered by the liability insurance provided by The Third Age Trust. The only exception to this is a professionally employed carer who would have to be covered by an individual liability policy.

Further guidance is available from the Group Leader Co-ordinator or other committee members on issues such as Supporting Members with Hearing Loss and Supporting Members with Vision Loss.
An appropriate Risk Assessment should be completed for all venues used for meetings and activities.

Vulnerable Adults
Everybody has different levels of vulnerability and each of us may be regarded as vulnerable at some time. All members who may be vulnerable have a right to protection from all types of harm and abuse.

  • In all our activities we will:
  • Value, listen to and respect members who may be vulnerable.
    Ensure that all members feel welcomed, respected and safe from abuse.
  • Recognise equality amongst people and relationships.
    Do all we can to help members who may be vulnerable to be and to remain active contributors within U3A and if they are or become unable to participate independently, encourage them to bring a companion/carer with them in order that they can continue to enjoy the benefits of U3A membership.
  • Ensure all members are aware of their responsibilities to protect vulnerable adults.

U3A Members and Companions/Carers.
U3A membership is open to everybody in their third age, namely those who are no longer in full time employment and with no parental responsibilities. U3As are self-help, co-operative organisations run entirely by the members for the members and therefore it is important that individuals are able to take full responsibility for their own participation in U3A interest groups and events. Should the situation arise when a member no longer feels confident that he/she can participate fully without needing help, it will be necessary for that person to be accompanied by a companion/carer who will be covered by the liability insurance provided by the Third Age Trust whilst in attendance. Even if you have members who are willing to help you cannot allow them to take responsibility for another member’s care as this could be deemed to be outside our insurance cover if any injury or damage resulted.

Risk Assessments
A Risk Assessment must be completed for all venues used by Downe U3A groups. It may be useful to complete an assessment when considering the suitability of a venue for the group. Thereafter, it will be necessary to complete an assessment when starting to use a venue.

Where a group is using a variety of outdoor venues, e.g. walking, nature, etc. is will only be necessary to complete one overall assessment of the likely conditions which may be encountered.

When assessments are completed, consider what measures members would be advised to take, to minimise the potential risks, e.g. the type of footwear needed, other protective clothing. This information can then be added to the activity details on the website.

Copies of completed assessments must be returned to the Group Leader Co-ordinator. Assessments should be reviewed annually or when there is an observed change at the venue or in the membership of the group. For assistance with the completion of assessments, please refer to the Group Leader Co-ordinator or member of the committee.

Copies of the following Risk Assessment Forms are available in the ‘Forms’ section:
•    Venue Checklist Form
•    Walk Leader Risk Assessment Checklist
•    Workshop Activity Risk Assessment Checklist

Venue Checklist (Day of Use)
This forms is an aid for Group Leaders using indoor venues to ensure everything is checked and covered on the day. Copies of these should be retained along with the Register of Attendance.

First Aid
First aid training is not provided by the U3A.
Portable Guides are available from the following sources:
St John’s Ambulance produce a pocket paper guide to essential first aid. You can order your free copy on their website:
The Red Cross and St John’s Ambulance provide apps for mobile phones with first aid tips:
The British Heart Foundation offers an app to guide you through performing CPR:
A brief guide providing information on the symptoms of some common medical problems is in the ‘Forms’ section.

Incident Reporting
An Incident Report Form must be completed when any incident takes place which has resulted in injury to a person (or where an injury may have been incurred although not obvious at the time) or damage to property.
The form must be completed as fully as possible and signed by the Group Leader or person responsible for the group at the time of the incident.
Completed forms must be returned to the Group Leader Co-ordinator.
A copy of the Incident Report Form is available in the ‘Forms’ section. It is advised to have a copy of the form available to you at all meetings or activities.


Venue Incident Report Form