August 🌻

U3A students taking a break at National Summer School, Aston University, Birmingham
Dear <<First Name>>,

August remains a busy time for many of us as Summer Schools occur across the movement and also we have the national conference and AGM. I hope many of you who cannot attend the conference will join the AGM through the live streaming link.

Next month is the United Nations International Day of Charity on 5th September celebrating and acknowledging the difference that charities across the world make to communities.

The U3A movement and each and every one of you make a huge difference to our communities across the United Kingdom through friendship, extending the horizons and opportunities of new retired members.

Many examples of U3A in action follow in this newsletter. Thank you for your continued support and commitment.
With regards,
Sam Mauger
Chief Executive
In this issue...

Summer of Learning
Wood Carving
A Life Well Lived Podcast

News from the Trust

Summer Of Learning

The first of two national Summer Schools has taken place with members enjoying a range of activities including Art History, Creative Writing, English Poetry, Film, Italian Language & Culture, Linguistics, Singing for Pleasure - the list of classes goes on.

Held at Aston University Birmingham for the first time, U3A  third agers have been learning, sharing skills and having fun  - what more could you ask for?

More residential U3A learning is happening at the Summer School in Cirencester in September.
"The high of having been part of something so wonderful as a summer school tutor team will stay with you for days.  I think with gratitude and respect of those who introduced summer schools for U3A members to enjoy now and hope to be a part of them for years to come". Ursula, Tutor, Singing for Pleasure
South East U3A Forum held their Chichester Summer School  with courses such as Bridge, Folk Dancing, Psychology, Mixed Media Art work, Yoga and Cycling as well as Falconry. 

Read more on the Falconry course here

The next Chichester Summer School is planned for June 15th to 18th 2020

NW Region of U3As is holding its Summer School next week.

A Huge Thankyou

Thank you to all U3A members who responded to the call for people who might be able to transcribe Pitman shorthand.

We have had such a wonderful response and we are very grateful to all of you. It shows how skilled, talented and interesting third agers are!

Trust Volunteer Jenifer Simpson, who is coordinating this project said, "We wanted to find out if this project was even possible as we are still in discussions with the Guardian Foundation.

"Please bear with us, I will keep you informed on progress as the project develops".

You can see more detail here

Volunteer News

Our Amazing Trust Events Volunteers

We just wanted to say thank you to all the Events volunteers who are helping to ensure  events such as the Conference/AGM and Summer Schools run smoothly.

Your time, expertise and willingness to get stuck in with whatever needs doing is most appreciated.

"Thank you to the  national Summer School team for their hard work, initiative, imagination and stamina. It was an excellent week – wonderful value.  I realised just how much I had learnt when I returned to my U3A group and had become so confident. I have now been inspired to sign up for an intensive course in Italy”

Mareen,  Delegate Italian Language and Culture


News from Subject Advisers

New Subject Advisers

We are pleased to announce a number of new Subject Advisers 😊

Their areas of expertise are:
• Susan Collini – Wellbeing with Nature
• Carol Ellis – Learning to be Retired
• Sue Fletcher – Metal Detecting
• Chris Wright – Quizzes

Subject Advisers can provide support and advice to Group Leaders and prospective Group Leaders across the U3A movement. Their contact details can be found in every Third Age Matters, or you can also email them through the U3A website.
We would also like to say a big ‘thank you’ to retiring Subject Adviser for sailing, Jack Ginn. Your help has been much appreciated. Jack will be succeeded by Nick Hoskins, who knows about sailing and also other kinds of boating - see more on Nick below.


National Programme of Workshops

Back from the Summer Break

This autumn our workshop programme restarts after the summer break and we are continuing to trial new ‘bitesize workshops’ with a view to adding these to events happening in all of the regions. 

These will go onto the website and can be requested in the usual way. We are currently looking at how best to work with local U3As to deliver these, so watch this space.


Financial Matters

Handling Cash

Cash is still a big part of U3A life but many of you have concerns over how and when you should pay it in to the bank.  Subject to your committee’s agreement:

• Cash collected can be used to defray costs on the day of an event e.g. hall hire
• Paying the balance into a personal account and then making an online payment (or cheque) to your U3A is acceptable
• Our insurance covers members who have to keep cash at home overnight or for a few days
• Contactless payments are becoming more popular and software is making this increasingly more secure and more widely available, more on this next time

Thank you for all your comments regarding CAF Bank which were very helpful.  Based on what you said we are providing contact details for U3As who are  considering CAF when opening a new account or if changing banks.

Fraud and Scams

Scammers target everyone and see charities as a weak link.  If you have a little spare time then you may find the following links worthwhile and helpful.
The Trust is a partner of Take Five which is supported by a consortium of high street banks, larger charities and backed by HMG.
Have a look too at the Scam Aware twitter page:  Software updates on your devices may contain vital security updates. Always update your device as soon as one is available. Don’t miss a trick - be #ScamAware.


U3A News

The Whitby Whaler Ukulele band entertaining crowds at 2019 Whitby Regatta 

Expressing Loneliness through Dance.

In support of all those members who have experienced Loneliness, Hitchen U3A dance group performed a two minute contemporary dance on Loneliness. 

Group leader Maggy Killingbeck said “
Dancing to Eleanor Rigby, each dancer in the group established their own lonely ‘motif’ and with the group’s permission, I explained to the audience how we had interpreted the idea and asked the dance group to demonstrate a number of the movement ideas within the choreography".

There's more on this story at

Wood Carving

It's meeting different people, the sociability because you never know what you can do until you try.  I am so pleased with the standards which I have achieved.  Hilary Grew 
Stafford U3A Wood Carving group put on a small display of their achievements recently and welcomed nearby Mawdesley & District U3A Woodcarving Group.
Bob Hanlon has been the Leader of the Stafford U3A Woodcarving Group ever since he started it 300 meetings ago.
With his help and guidance, many people have been able to produce work to a standard that they didn’t know they could achieve.
Hilary Grew (pictured) displayed his second only carving, an ammonite, which took him about three months of Wednesday afternoons.  Read more at

News from the Board

Chair, Ian McCannah

I am looking forward to meeting members attending the Conference and AGM in Nottingham next week.

Please stop me for a chat as I am hoping to meet as many members as possible.

The programme for the three days provides a full range of Workshops and social activities that should appeal to all delegates. Central to the meetings will be the details of the Trust's medium term Development Plan. After two years of consultation with members, this will be an opportunity for members to make their views known before Plan implementation starts in the autumn.

After the AGM, details of the Plan will be available to the wider membership on the News Section of the national U3A website".
Following a nomination from South West Herts U3A, the Board have approved Barbara Lewis's admission to the National Roll of Honour for her services to the movement over many years, including as the Regional Trustee for the East of England and as past Chairman of the Trust.

Educational Events

Live Streaming

U3A is now days away from the National Conference and AGM with more than 400 members set to Share, Inspire, Learn.
On Thursday 29 August, the Third Age Trust AGM will take place. In order to ensure members from across the country can be involved, the day will be filmed and streamed in real time from 9.30am via the internet.
Visit to find out more about the AGM and to tune in on Thursday.

Regional Events

The English At Home

A U3A study morning presented by Tenterden U3A in association with
Cranbrook, Goudhurst, Hawkhurst, Rye and Weald U3As will take place on Saturday 16 November. See more at

Robot Constructor's Challenge 2019

Cannock Chase U3A is calling for anyone interested in building robots or spectating at a Robot Constructor’s Challenge in Stafford on 3 October.

Details have now been finalised and A4 sized robots will be competing in events including Pin Skittles and Navigate the Maze.

Register HERE 

There will be a small U3A entry charge. To find out more Contact by clicking the “Robots” button.
Or just turn up on the day to see them compete.


Lifelong Learning

Paper Rolling at U3A Science Network Annual Meeting

“I thoroughly enjoyed the personal interaction and meeting new people”
First time attendee

Next year’s conference will be held again at Conference Aston between 10 and 13 August 2020.  More details will follow in the next edition of Third Age Matters (TAM).

U3Aness is Good for You

Lots of new stories on Sources online including Lindsay Evett, from Bingham U3A talks about the benefits of U3A.  
Sources Online

Building Partnerships

A Life Well Lived

It's really exciting - U3A is the featured charity in a series of podcasts called A LIFE WELL LIVED. 

They are soon to be released and include six extraordinary interviews with third agers, five of whom are U3A members. The first episode can be found on 2 September 2019 on Spotify, iTunes and A Life Well Lived Website

If you have any questions about the podcast then please contact:

Peace One Day

One of our U3A volunteers wanted to let you know about Peace One Day which is celebrating its 20th Anniversary on 21 September. Peace One Day’s overarching objective is to ensure that people are aware of the day and actively take part in peaceful activities.

The day will involve events and a concert at Shakespeares Globe Theatre. To Find out more at

International News

New Member

The International Committee are pleased to welcome a new member, Marie-Elisabeth Deroche-Miles from Andover U3A.  Marie will be a great asset to us, being part French and having studied and worked at Reims University! 

International Committee Chairman,  Auriol Ainley said, "As we expand our communications with Europe through EFOS, her knowledge will be very valuable.  The committee has also received several requests to meet members of Senior organisations in Korea and China, so over the next few weeks we will be meeting small delegations to explain the UK U3A movement, and what a successful and wonderful organisation we are"

Beacon News

Sam Mauger said, “I would like to say an enormous thank you to all who participated in the day long meetings with potential providers and all of you also who contributed to assisting us to get to that point.
"Your care, support, questioning and enthusiasm have enabled this programme to progress on target so far.
"I really appreciate it - thank you".

U3A in the News

Other News

U3A Celebrations

Congratulations to our amazing U3As who celebrated landmark anniversaries this month. These included:

Sleaford U3A is planning a series of celebratory events to mark its 20th year – beginning with participation in Sleaford Methodist Church’s Christmas Tree Festival on 30 November- 1 December, where their tree decorations will reflect the diverse activities of over 50 local U3A groups.

Shaftesbury and Gillingham U3A celebrated their 20th year with an anniversary lunch preceded by short speeches from Bridgette Browne (Chairman), John Upshall (Editor of a special edition of their Newsletter and special guest Jill Nicholls, SW Regional Trustee.

Hinckley U3A had a hall full of members for their 25th anniversary. Guests included the Mayor of Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council and two representatives from the George Ward Centre, where the large majority of their interest groups meet, as well as Carla Clarke, a founder member, who cut the celebratory cake.  The celebration included displays from art and photography groups and songs and stories from the folk group  - Fools Gold.  

Let us know about your anniversaries and send a picture to

In Focus

National U3A Volunteer John Batt helped at Summer School in Birmingham.

When and why did you get involved with U3A?
When I retired in 2009, I joined the U3A Photography group. As we planned and managed, to do a lot of travelling ( away every winter for 4 to 6 months until Grandchildren came along) The U3A model meant that over the next few years I could be absent from the group but able to pick up where I had left it on my return.

What did you do and how have you found the experience?
I met a great many people with the same interest and enjoyed sharing ideas, learning new things without the “pressure “ associated with camera clubs.

It's amazing that you are a national volunteer - how did you find helping out at the national summer school?
I answered a request in T.A.M in March this year for volunteers. I put my name forward because conferences and residential courses was a major part of my professional life. I really enjoyed using my knowledge and experience again in a familiar residential setting. Residential management is very intense and requires good teamwork. There are no boundaries on time as you are there 24 hours. Good preparation is vital and the fun is responding to different scenarios as they arise.

Do you think the residential learning model is valuable?

It is an excellent way of learning and a totally different experience as you are in a bubble from the outside world. You are fully immersed in the subject with no other distractions. Meeting and talking with people on a totally equal footing is great.

How would you sum up U3A in three words?
Stimulating, Fun and Energising.

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