A day in the life of a Beacon Supporter

We thought that an idea of a “typical” example of a Beacon Supporter’s activity might both be of interest and assistance to anyone considering joining our small friendly team.

So, here is a general example of John’s schedule.


As members of the Beacon team we have a specific personalised email address.  This ensures that we can separate Beacon from our local U3A emails and also our personal life. We also have access to online Microsoft Office for any Beacon associated tasks and use Microsoft Teams to communicate amongst ourselves.

At least once, but maybe two or three times a day, I check my Beacon email account to see if there are any messages.

If there are emails from one of the U3As I am supporting throughout their journey from initial enquiry to going live and using the system, I will note this and ensure I reply within a short time. The Beacon Supporters use a simple system called “Trello” to record all their activity so that everyone in the team is aware. When I perform any task or activity, I note this on Trello and also check entries for my other U3As. Any that have been quiet for a week or so I email my contact there to check how things are going.

If an enquiry/query needs checking/testing I have access to a demonstration model of the system that I can use simply because I don’t have access to each U3A’s ‘live’ site.

If an email is from another Supporter this takes precedence although a U3A’s query would take a priority.

When I have a demonstration about Beacon planned, I take time to ensure that my presentation is up-to-date and check that all facilities are in place with the U3A I am presenting to. This is always a good idea as differing computer screens might fall foul of expected projector inputs, so a quick check could save any hold ups/or even embarrassment.

Well, how much of my time am I required to give to the role?  This does vary but typically half an hour a day, sometimes more or even less. If you might be interested in being a supporter, it is important to note that it is your decision as to how much time you want to commit and then the workload can be adjusted accordingly.

As System Administrator for my own U3A there might be some tasks that require my input, but I manage to build that into my day quite easily, as most are very quick and simple.

Being part of the Beacon team can offer other opportunities and as a result I am now involved in the Beacon Recruitment and Documentations teams, so I have tasks to complete within these areas.

Often Supporters feel they want to be more involved with things, and the Beacon team will always try to help us develop in other areas, wherever possible.  My two areas are not too taxing but allow me to be and feel involved with the Beacon project as a whole. A big bonus is that I get the added personal satisfaction from helping and supporting others.


Are you interested in joining the Beacon Team? Click here to register your interest