Beacon is an online system for managing local U3As, especially in relation to membership, finance and groups. We use it for our membership records and are introducing it for the benefit of interest groups. It’s on a different ‘platform’ from our website, which uses WordPress. What you see here is a mixture of the two, so hopping back and forth may look and feel rather odd. However, we hope this combination gives you the best of both systems.
There are three levels of access to Beacon:
- Public Access
Anyone can view the public versions of the Groups List and Calendar. These provide basic information about groups and meetings. Our public-access list of groups is here. Our public calendar is here and via the ‘Calendar’ tab, above.
- Member Access
Current Arnold U3A members may login via the Members’ Portal to view and edit their member records and see the full versions of the Groups List and Calendar. If you’re a member, you can do all this here. Note: To confirm your identity, you’ll be asked for your membership number (on your membership card) and some other details. Take care to include the space in your postcode or you’ll get an error message.
If you spot a problem in your member record, try to fix it. If you can’t, contact our membership secretary, John Gardner. Only get in touch with John about membership. His phone number is 0115 920 2530 and his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eventually, as groups adopt Beacon and their lists of members are added, the Members’ Portal will become a rich source of information and good means of communication. It will be well worth visiting often.
- System User Access
Group leaders, committee members and people in some other roles may be made a ‘system user’. This enables them to access, use and change more data held in the system. For example, a group leader can:
- keep their list of members up to date;
- email members;
- edit the calendar to change the dates, topics or venues of particular meetings;
- keep basic financial records.
Access is tailored to a person’s role(s). If you feel you need system-user access, email our Beacon administrators. Explain why you want it.
When you have a username and temporary password, log in at: https://u3abeacon.org.uk. Select ‘Arnold’ from the drop-down list of U3As and enter your details. Going in for the first time, you will immediately be told to change your password and set up a security question and answer. Test things by logging out and back in again with your new password. Make sure you have a way of remembering it!
Our administrators may offer a one-to-one session to get you started. Further help for system users is available via the bottom of the Beacon Home page: links to the User Guide and Users’ Forum. (You’ll need to register separately for the forum.) As a last resort, contact one of our administrators again.