Group Organiser profile – Elizabeth Hodgson, Barnet U3A

September 2012
Elizabeth Hodgson

We understand that without our wonderful Group Organisers there would be no Tailored Travel. After all, it’s the Group Organiser who decides where the next adventure will be, rallies the members to book and acts as the liaison between us and the group. So we’ve asked Elizabeth Hodgson from Barnet U3A for her thoughts on what it takes to become a successful Group Organiser:

Your Name: Elizabeth Hodgson

Group Name: Barnet U3A (University of the Third Age)

Size of group: Total membership is around 1000

No. of tours per year: Usually two (a 4 night and a 3 night), but in 2012 and 2013 there will be three tours

UK, Europe or worldwide?: Mainly UK, but short forays across the Channel

Where are you going in 2013?: Cornwall, Normandy and Winchester

Favourite destination: This has to be Northumberland.  Such a quiet, unspoilt and rather overlooked county with so much to see and do and with amazingly empty roads!

Memorable moment: The boat trip to the Farne Islands (for the hardier members of the group) – lashing rain and high seas followed by close encounters with the comical puffins, fluffy arctic tern chicks and their irate parents, making it all worthwhile.

Barnet U3A in NormandyWhat have been the holiday highlights in recent years? The opportunity to meet with, and enjoy the company of, fellow U3A members and to share a lot of laughter and great warmth and friendship.

Most enjoyable thing about being a GO: Listening to the chatter and laughter of people enjoying themselves, some not knowing anyone at the outset but ending up good friends.

Least enjoyable thing about being a GO: Irritating little things that sometimes happen over which you have no control.  Ninety-nine per cent of things (and people) are fine, occasionally the one per cent shortfall can get out of proportion.

Top tip to other GOs: Do - enjoy yourself as it can be infectious!  Don’t - get upset over small things or a thoughtless comment.  Do - set ground rules and stick to them (unless there is a really good reason to change).  Don’t - hold back from reminding people that you are a volunteer and that you want to enjoy yourself.  Laughter is the best tonic - make sure you get a generous helping every day.

Any thoughts on Tailored Travel’s service? Just that, without them I would not now be taking bookings for trips no. 9 (June) and no. 10 (July) for 2013, with no. 11 (November) soon after!  I also look forward to working with their excellent helpful staff on ideas for 2014 to keep up with the demand from my fellow members of Barnet U3A.