u3a - u3a

Please click on your country of residence to view the latest guidance relevant to your u3a as of August 2021. 

Please note that the dates given are subject to change based on a data review after each easing measure is implemented.

Whilst many u3as may initially have felt that the limitation imposed as a result Coronavirus would only last for a short time, it is clear its impact is going to be much longer-term and that we will need to work collaboratively and supportively to keep the movement going.

In this section, you will find various ideas on how to keep your u3a going during this time and to make you aware of the support and guidance that is available to you. There are links and information about video presentations and online tutorials to help you to use digital platforms and continue learning during lockdowns. You will find ideas for running groups with limited face to face numbers and links to links to technology help and resources.

Keep in Touch links

Get help using online platforms

  • Video Conferencing
  • Messaging services
  • How-to guidance

Online tutorials and workshops

Member-led video conferencing tutorials and workshops to support running your u3a

u3a Networks

Groups of u3as supporting each other

Supporting members not online

Ideas and suggestions for engaging with members who are not online

Hybrid Groups

  • Hybrid models
  • New approaches to meetings

u3a Regions and Countries

To help support u3as locally

u3a has members who draw upon their knowledge and experience to teach and learn from each other but there are no qualifications to pass – it is just for pleasure. Learning is its own reward.

It's all voluntary; a typical u3a will be home to many activity groups covering hundreds of different subjects - from art to zoology and everything in between.

The u3a national body – the Third Age Trust - looks after all the u3as in the UK, providing educational and administrative support.

The Trust is overseen by a Board of Directors, to which any u3a member may be elected.

Chair

Liz Thackray
Chair

Contact

Vice Chairman

Michaela Moody
Vice Chairman

Contact

Treasurer

Derek Harwood
Treasurer

Contact

East Midlands
Jean Hogg
East Midlands

Contact

London
John Bent
London

Contact

Northern Ireland
Valerie Cobain
Northern Ireland

Contact

North East

Sandi Rickerby
North East

Contact

Scotland
Ann Keating
Scotland

Contact

Wales

Sue Shannon-Jones
Wales

Contact

East of England

Barbara Cordina
East of England

 

Contact

North West

Neil Stevenson
North West

 

Contact

South East

Susie Berry
South East

 

Contact

South West

Susan Parker
South West

 

Contact

West Midlands

Allan Walmsley
West Midlands

 

Contact

Yorkshire & the Humber

Margaret Fiddes
Yorkshire & the Humber

 

Contact

Please create an account or log in to view the area for advice for running a u3a only.

You do not need to login to view all other areas of the website.

Are you looking for subject advice? Find it under the Learn tab above.

 

 

Please create an account or log in to view the area for advice for running a u3a only.

You do not need to login to view all other areas of the website.

How to communicate effectively with your membership and how to raise the profile of your U3A.

Please create an account or log in to view the area for advice for running a u3a only.

You do not need to login to view all other areas of the website.

Budgeting, accounting and managing U3A monies.

Please create an account or log in to view the area for advice for running a u3a only.

You do not need to login to view all other areas of the website.

Exploring issues around the effective growth of a U3A.

Please create an account or log in to view the area for advice for running a u3a only.

You do not need to login to view all other areas of the website.

How to run effective interest groups and inspire new groups.

Please create an account or log in to view the area for advice for running a u3a only.

You do not need to login to view all other areas of the website.

Exploring issues of compliance including: insurance, GDPR, Safeguarding, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.

Please create an account or log in to view the area for advice for running a u3a only.

You do not need to login to view all other areas of the website.

Explores governance issues, Trusteeship and organising an AGM.

Visit our new playlist, Running your U3A,  on the U3A YouTube channel that hosts videos to help run your U3A. The first video tackles Trustee Induction.

Please create an account or log in to view the area for advice for running a u3a only.

You do not need to login to view all other areas of the website.

Exploring issues around recruiting, valuing and managing volunteers.

Useful Links

Diversity and Inclusion Downloads

The u3a values its members as individuals and encourages all members to recognise their unique and different perspectives, abilities and contributions, and it sees diversity and inclusion as routes to growth and enrichment.

The Diversity and Inclusion Committee aims to support and advise u3as to ensure that all their members and prospective members can access the informal learning and the many other activities in their u3as, encouraging inclusion and diversity in everything we do. 

D&I Vision & Mission Statement - V2-12 May 2021 (67.56 KB)

u3a 40th anniversary logo

u3a turns 40 years old in 2022 and is 'fit for the future!' We will be celebrating this milestone with a packed programme of events running all year. u3as and members will have the opportunity to get involved in the celebrations and help raise the profile of our wonderful and vibrant organisation. A full programme will be available soon but please find a taster below of what's coming up.

This page will be regularly updated with new information and articles about the u3a 40th Anniversary so please check back soon. If you want to get involved now you can sign up for our newsletter to make sure you get all the latest information on events and celebrations.

Join in to celebrate this milestone and learn, laugh, and live!

 

40th Anniversary Events Programme - A Taster

Anniversary Quilt Competition

The 40th Anniversary quilt competition was launched for members to create blocks for a quilt on the topic of Positive Ageing. The Anniversary Quilt competition has been judged and 40 squares on the topic of Positive Ageing have been selected for the quilt which we hope will be revealed on as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend. We plan an alert in the second half of May to advise members of dates and times and anticipate that the quilt can then be displayed in a number of locations in the UK.

Picnic in the Park | June 2022

Over the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend, u3as are encouraged to hold picnics to celebrate not just the Queen’s Jubilee and the Green Canopy but also our 40th Anniversary. We hope to make a splash with the reveal of the Anniversary Quilt at this time.

U3a Science Network webinar | July 2022

The u3a Science Network will host an anniversary meeting, Futures, Foresight and Horizon scanning, in July which we hope will be open to the public as well as to u3a members. There are plans to attract an eminent scientist to open the July science network meeting. Two additional meetings for u3a members will be held during 2022, in April and October.

Conference on Research and Shared Learning | July/August 2022

Conference featuring a wide range of topics and sessions about u3a Research and Shared Learning. A planning meeting in January will decide on the projects to be included and we are seeking a significant scientist to open the meeting.

One Foot in the Future - September /October 2022

The aim of this project is to engage older people from across the UK in telling real or imagined stories about older people taking positive steps to make a better future for themselves and others.

Themes are all about Reimagining the Future in Older Age, raising awareness of the u3a movement as well as the fun you can have as you get older.

Celebrating u3a Week | September 2022

u3a Day is an annual event to showcase the activity, learning and fun which takes place across the movement every day. It is a celebration of positive ageing highlighting our members' lived experience.

Across the UK, members hold events and demonstrate what u3a is all about. u3a day is held on the Wednesday of the third week of September every year, along with a week of celebrating what it means to age well.

In 2022, our 40th anniversary, u3a day will be held on 21 September or on a day between 18 and 26 September; individual u3as will decide on the most appropriate day for them to celebrate.

If you would like to receive updates about preparations and celebrations for u3a day you can sign up to our national newsletter.

 

40th Anniversary Blog

TAMWinter2020image

Third Age Matters magazine is published five times a year and posted direct to members’ homes in an environmentally friendly paper wrapper. It is packed with stories about members and u3a activities, plus celebrity interviews and features on technology, recipes, travel, competitions, and a lively and popular letters section.

 

How to receive Third Age Matters

Third Age matters magazine is available to any u3a member via their u3a. You can find contact information for your u3a via the 'find a u3a' map

For u3as not yet registered, please visit the Distribution of Third Age Matters Magazine page for further information on how to subscribe.

 

Advertising

Please find information concerning advertising rates and artwork, including display advertising and classified adverts on the Third Age Matters Advertising Rates page

 

Sources

Sources is a section dedicated to learning activities in Third Age Matters. The section highlight different subjects, interest groups and other learning from across the u3a movement.

To see more learning stories, visit our Sources blog, which runs year-round with learning member-written content. We are always looking for stories, so get in touch. For all submissions, contact the editor

 

Screenreader Editions

We are working on producing more accessible screenreader versions of Third Age matters in consultation with some of our members. We will continue to develop these further as we gain more feedback to improve teh user experience for screen reader users. You can find a list of available screen reader versions below:

 

Submit Your Stories

Do you have a story for Third Age Matters? Has your u3a done something you would like to share? Perhaps you have started something new that you think other u3as would be interested to hear about or have had a compelling speaker or event? Or perhaps one of your members has an interesting story to tell? TAM is published five times a year – in February, April, June, September and November. The deadline for articles is the 1st of the month preceding publication.

Please send your articles to the editor.

Sample stories

Prog Rock

Interest Groups

Isle of Man u3a

Winter 2020 TAM

Read more

Thrown out of the navy

Member stories - Suhail Aziz 

Croydon u3a

Winter 2020 TAM

Read more

Winter warmers

Recipies

Ashford, Wye & District u3a

February 2021 TAM

Read more

  

Third Age Matters Copy Dates 2021

EditionCopy DateDate of Publication 
February 1st January 15th February
April 1st March 15th April
June 1st May 15th June
September 1st August 15th September
November 1st October 15th November

Beacon is the U3A movement’s integrated membership, groups, finance and mailing system. It has a dedicated webpage at beacon.u3a.org.uk.

Beacon was developed within the U3A and has one job: to support volunteers in their day-to-day work. Beacon will evolve to meet the future needs of U3As. The upgrade is being specified now by the Third Age Trust and by volunteers from U3As based all over the country.

Beacon’s membership module supports the maintenance of membership records in an intuitive way. It provides useful statistics, and it allows members to apply for and renew their membership online. The U3As that use this feature report increased member numbers, as it’s easier to join and renew online than by post or in person.

U3A Groups, something central to U3As but not other organisations, are an important and integral part of Beacon. Beacon allows the membership secretary to be confident that those attending groups are members of the U3A, and it allows group leaders/conveners to keep track of their members. It even provides a simple book-keeping ledger for the groups to use.

The Finance module provides the tools a U3A treasurer needs to maintain and report on accurate financial records. While some U3As use commercial finance packages these are expensive and require considerable, scarce, expertise. Beacon does not attempt to replace Sage. It provides the facilities to run the accounts of a U3A but stops before the complexity becomes more than a U3A volunteer can handle.

The Beacon mailing feature allows membership secretaries, group leaders/conveners and committee members to create customised mailing lists of their members and to send them information, complete with delivery tracking.

 

Beacon News: beacon.u3a.org.uk/beacon-newsletters

Beacon System: u3abeacon.org.uk

Beacon User Forum: forum.beacon.u3a.org.uk

Beacon Terms and Conditions: beacon.u3a.org.uk/terms

 

 

 

u3a Day 2021

 


There are many ways to keep learning during the current period and a number of projects you can get involved in covering many different subject areas. We will keep adding to this area as the weeks progress.

There is a network of over 70 national subject advisers, whose role is to provide advice on both the setting up of a group in their particular speciality and the sustainability of ones already in existence, which may benefit from new ideas or a different approach.

Some subject advisers keep in touch with group convenors through newsletters or blogs which is a useful way of sharing suggestions and good practice and some also organise study days.

They cover a wide range of subjects from American Archaeology to Yoga, with a real mix of academic, practical and leisure activities in between.

Our subject advisers with their contact details can be found in each issue of Third Age Matters and they all have a page below where you can often find links to additional information, including newsletters.

Learning is one of u3a's core activities. It can happen in many different ways, including collaborative and interactive learning. This section includes projects that you and your u3a contacts might take part in.

Before reading on, why not take a look through the list of projects others have done so far. This database might stimulate ideas and get you going quicker than you thought possible: u3a Research Database

Research and Shared Learning Projects take many forms. Some are devised on a national or regional basis, and others are devised and run by the members themselves.

Projects cover anything that stimulates the interest of those taking part. Some may want to work with a university department, others might be counting species for a local wildlife initiative, but they are all valid and valued.

There may be organisations in your own area that you can partner with for a project: local history societies, arts groups, libraries, museums, town twinning committees and so on.

For Help and Advice

You can get help and advice about how to approach a potential partner organisation, and how to plan a project overall.

Contact Shared Learning Projects with your enquiries or to join the mailing list to get news and opportunities stright to your inbox.

More Time to Learn

The Ethical Implications of Getting Involved in Research

External Research with U3A members as Research Subjects

External Research - U3A Research Assistants

Research with Universities

Member Link is a new initative to support u3as and their members to keep connecting, talking and learning together.

Throughout our website, you will find advice, tips and resources to help us stay connected - we have now collated in one place below through Member Link.

Whether we connect online, offline, or face to face (rules allowing) when the lockdown eases or a blend of all three, we hope the ideas below will support our members and encourage others to join us.