Meet the Team


Social Committee

 Pauline Buttling   

I am Barnsley born and bred apart from a seven year stint at Notre Dame High School in Sheffield. Despite all that I chose to train as a physiotherapist away from home at The London Hospital, Whitechapel. Fascinating place and the home of Jack the Ripper and the Elephant Man. Being so far from home only made me want to come back which I did regularly, complete with bags of washing!

After retiring from clinical physiotherapy and physiotherapy education I became a Barnsley Hospital governor, when a friend suggested u3a. I hadn’t got a clue what it was and was pleasantly surprised at the breadth of what was on offer. I joined the French and Italian language groups, the art group, wine appreciation, zoom quiz, a walking group and have learnt to jive. The rest is history and I have never looked back.




Mac Mckechnie

                                                           Vice Chair & Development officer

                                                                                      Pastor of a Local WRU church



Born in Ripon in Yorkshire, I joined the Army as a Boy Soldier enjoying a nearly 15-year career as a Driver Specialist and Technical Storeman, before leaving the Army as a Sergeant. 

A second career evolved mainly in the care sector where I had several senior management posts, retiring aged 66, from running a mental health service in Wakefield in the private sector.

I have had many hobbies during my life from breeding, showing, and judging exhibition Rabbits, to writing books and being a retired Magician. I have been a Christian for many years, and am currently enjoying life as the Pastor of the local the WRU Church.  Serious illness in 2018, meant having a disability but resulted in my “Creating” from scratch the very first Walking Cricket team in Yorkshire.



                                                                                                            Niall Clarke

                                                                                                   Treasurer & Room Bookings

I lived in the Manchester area all my working life, and some older retired friends, in organisations I was a member of, would speak highly of the u3a and how much satisfaction they got from their membership.  When I moved to Wombwell in 2019 (my partner is a teacher here) I searched the internet for amateur geology groups (a keen interest of mine) and Bu3a’s Barnsley Rocks came up in the search. So the two threads came together quite quickly and I joined.  As to how I got on to the committee, I replied to a message from Derek Bacon in The Buzz looking for members interested in marking the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with a tree planting and Sue Stokes kidnapped me.  Our tree is in the grounds of Monk Bretton Methodist Church and 'm the Treasurer. I imagine the tree will last longer.


                                                                            Business Secretary and Events

                                                                                           Sue Stokes

I returned to Barnsley after training as a teacher in Dudley then living and working in the Midlands. My career covered working in schools, being an advisory teacher, an inspector, a regional and national project manager, working as an education consultant to Severn Trent Water and Powergen, then finally setting up my own education service company. 

As a widow with no children and no work or social background in Barnsley, I needed to find friends, purpose and enjoyment. Barnsley u3a provides that for me.

Since becoming a member I have participated in a variety of activities, am a Group Coordinator, held various Committee roles, been a Volunteer and a Trustee for the Yorkshire and Humber Region setting up 5 new u3as, and being a member of the Third Age Trust Board of Directors. 

I value the opportunities that u3a has to offer, but most valuable are the support and friendship from fellow u3a members.


                                                                                              Jo Kasparek



I currently hold the position of Publicity Officer. I live in Barnsley and have been married to Andy for almost 50 years.

My working life was spent in the Paper Industry – first at Star Paper Mill on Old Mill Lane, then in paper merchanting at offices in Sheffield and Leeds and finally as a Sales Representative  travelling to customers all over the UK. Both Andy and I retired in 2007 and began our worldwide travels.

We joined u3a in 2016 following an initial request from the Sequence Dancing group to come along and teach a specific dance which we had learnt. At the next New Members meeting we were warmly welcomed. Currently I am an active member of Sequence Dancing, Literature, Sunday Strollers, Monday Walkers, Wine Appreciation and Jewellery Making.

Three years ago, Alan Swann approached me to accept the position of Publicity Officer – a role which I have enjoyed doing since then.


                                                      Membership Secretary and Simple Membership Manager

                                                        Trudy Atkinson

I joined Bu3a in 2011 and joined the ten pin bowling group.  Alan Swann was the co-ordinator and asked me, because of my skills, if I would be the Membership Secretary due to the current person stepping down.  I agreed and took on this committee appointment, becoming a member of the Executive Committee.  I have overall responsibility for the new SM system which involves contact with the members which I like and helping members to use the system.  I have always enjoyed being involved with websites and systems.



                                                                                   Hannah Lucas.   

                                                            Members Monthly Meeting Co-ordinator.


I am not a true local, moving to Barnsley about 40 years ago. This is the most time that I have spent anywhere and my home. My father was in the Navy so I have done the ports and ended up far away from the sea.

I joined Bu3a by accident, through a friend and then I was asked to co-ordinate the u3a High Street Project. The project involved, several of you, recording and photographing Barnsley streets as part of a national initiative to capture the impact of Covid.

I am at a time in my life when I can draw on many life and professional experiences in H.R. management, teaching in a Business School, managing adult education projects and as a Trustee of 2 South Yorkshire Charities.

I believe that we are never too old to learn and should continue to enjoy learning. I am amazed at the commitment and hard work that Bu3a members put into supporting and encouraging each other and I am proud to be part of that.


                                                                                  Jean Embury

                                                     Activity Safety and Compliance Officer

I was born in Staffordshire, I didn’t move far, apart from time spent in France renovating a property until 2022 when we moved to Barnsley to be near to family.

COVID-19 initiated my retirement as a Chartered HSE professional, having worked for some 35 years in large-scale manufacturing plant and later as a consultant. I loved the job, involved at all levels of the business, and also directing emergency response and security teams.

Earlier in my career I was chair and president of the NSHSG where we won awards for promoting health and safety in the workplace.

The Bu3a risk assessment officer post became available shortly after joining Bu3a and I am a member of the cosmology, geology, literature, choir, and canasta groups. 

For many years I have tried my luck as an abstract artist, potter, and poet.


                                                                                    Helen Dew    

                                                             Penistone Manager/New Members Secretary

I joined Barnsley u3a almost 13 years ago when I moved into the area. It helped me to make new friends and discover the area. I am the New Members Secretary and Penistone Manager. I also coordinate the Crown Green Bowling, Crafty Chat and MOTO groups, all in Penistone. I help out with the Eating Out in Penistone group. I run the Penistone Drop In sessions and attend committee meetings and New Members meetings. I like to attend Canasta in Penistone and ten pin bowling at Carlton. I am a member of the travel committee and help to plan day trips and longer holidays.



I'm retired after a diverse career, contributing to local authorities in transport and education. My journey ended working in technical support for Apple at O2. Joining Barnsley u3a enabled me to channel my love of technology within the organization. From Gadget Help and publicity to now serving as the Webmaster, I also pursue my passion as an artist.



Fred Brooke

        Co-opted Committee Member: 






Barnsley u3a’s committee is formed from our 1300 members. They volunteer their time and energy to undertake vital behind-the-scenes duties, ensuring smooth operations. They are fellow members dedicated to our bu3a’s  functioning. We welcome enthusiastic support to maintain efficiency. Consider shadowing a committee member or taking on a role yourself to assist in management. You'll be warmly welcomed!




Barnsley u3a

              Bu3a Guide 2024           On Line Safety TipUseful links……

              Job..descriptions.          Games and Puzzles