u3a - U3A wins national tourism award

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Mary Gotts, a member of Ver-Colne Valley U3A, near St Albans in Hertfordshire, has been presented with a national Tourism Award for her work coordinating travel and events for members of her U3A.

The award, the first ever given, acknowledged the hard work and dedication of special individuals who spent hours of their own personal time arranging trips for others. It was presented at a prestigious industry show in Birmingham organised by Group Travel Organiser Magazine (GTO).

Mary has been involved with organising educational events, trips and residential breaks for her U3A for the last eight years including to places such as Russia and Italy. After a number of nominations to consider, the award went to Mary for her ‘methodical’ and ‘professional’ attitude.

Mary said, “I heard my name read out and I couldn’t believe I had won. It was lovely to be recognised for doing a good job but the reason I do this is not to win awards but because often members say to me they had more or less given up on ever having trips or travel experiences ever again.

“It may be because they had lost partners or just lost the confidence to travel for whatever reason. U3A had given them the chance to go away with U3A friends and colleagues and it meant everything.

“Travel opens up the mind so much – you are learning all the time; a different language, meeting different people and just experiencing different ways of doing things. It is definitely life changing”

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