March  🐣

Dear <<First Name>>,

Welcome to the March newsletter and I hope you are getting some good Spring weather after the snow.

This month the National Office Team are working hard on the EGM in March, workshops for U3As and volunteers and Events. I hope to meet some of you at these. 

I am looking forward to meeting interest group leaders later this week to hear about their subject areas and approaches to learning. We have over 40,000 interest groups, with at least 10,000 groups running every week - an amazing amount of learning!

With regards,
Sam Mauger
Chief Executive
In this issue...

Trust EGM next week
Met advice on preventing fraud
Updates from your subject advisers

News from the Trust


There is still time to register to attend for the EGM and Panel debate on Wednesday 21st March 2018 at The Great Hall, Birmingham University.  The EGM is to approve important changes to the Trust’s constitution and after lunch, there is a participative panel debate – The great Ageing Well – with experts Eric Midwinter (founder member of the U3A), Professor Janice L. Thompson (University of Birmingham) Ed Watts (The Whitworth (University of Manchester) and Dr Mervyn Eastman (changeAGEnt).

It is set to be an informative, interesting and important day, so if you haven’t yet registered please do so and we look forward to seeing you there.  Details at


Due to popular demand for the two Keeping It Legal pilots in Leeds last month and in Leatherhead on 5th April (now full) a third event has now been planned for Birmingham on the 30th April. To book your place, visit

The evaluations from members who attended Leeds have been positive and feedback is being built into the planning for future events.

Volunteer news

Troubleshooting training for volunteers is underway with this having been completed in 3 locations with 3 more pending.  The training means that volunteers are now in a position to support U3As who run into difficulties and ask the trust for assistance. 

Volunteers who were recruited as proofreaders have also been involved recently with reviewing materials for new U3As.  The request for this support brought a huge response and the assistance from these remote volunteers has already been invaluable.

Preventing fraud

We have had a couple of calls into the advice line regarding U3As who have experienced financial related scams. 

One of these involved a degree of sophistication whereby the email seemingly came from a hotel where the U3A was due to hold an event resulting in the U3A making their payment to a fraudulent account.  Another U3A received an email via its website also requesting a payment which they did not make. 

Please be vigilant in respect of any requests for payment that come via email and double check that these have been sent from the appropriate source before making any payments. 

Please see below (Learning resources) for the advice from the police.

Lifelong learning

Shared learning and research

Coming soon on Sources Online will be updates on research news from the Wales Coast and Borders project, Chorleywood U3A and London Region of U3As…. as well as the latest stories from our National Subject Advisers including Play Reading.

For more please visit

Educational  events

National summer schools

There are still places available on some of our residential courses this year. Cryptic Crosswords, France, Garden History, Literature/Philosophy, Mathematics, Opera, Play Ukulele and Spanish History still have spaces at Harper Adams University in Shropshire  - Monday 23rd to Thursday 26th July.

Or book now for Music, Drama, Latin, Musicals and Singing at the Royal Agricultural University – RAU in Cirencester - Tuesday 11th to Friday 14th September.

To book a place go to

Two new national events

The Hidden Heart of Wales - based at the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth, one of the six Legal Deposit Libraries in the UK and Ireland – is a two day non-residential study break which will provide U3A members with unique access to some of the rare and inspirational materials that are held at the library.
Book online at
Check next month's newsletter for details of an event in partnership with Theatr Clywd.

BCME conference

U3A is helping to celebrate Mathematical Education with its Maths subject adviser speaking at the British Congress of Mathematical Education (BCME) Conference.

This April conference, held every four years, is an integrated programme of practitioner and research sessions. It encourages delegates from around the world to take part in engaging and stimulating workshop, discussion and plenary sessions on mathematics.

For more go

Regional Events

Fraud workshop

Northampton U3A are hosting a free financial fraud workshop called Stay Safe. The one hour workshop will have representatives from Northamptonshire County Council Trading Standards Service and Northants Police Economic Crime Unit.  They will give simple tips on how to avoid becoming a victim of the fraudsters, what to look out for and what action to take if we are not sure if an organisation contacting us is genuine.

This event on Thursday 22 March at 11am is open to anyone with Free admission, no booking required. It takes place at the new National Leather Collection, Grosvenor Centre, 2 Union Street, Northampton NN1 2EW.

All Wales U3A Conference 2018

The All Wales conference is now open for bookings with this year’s theme on Learning Together. It will be held in the Metropole Hotel, Llandrindod Wells on Wednesday 9th May. For more detail go to Wales U3A website.

Study Days


The U3A South East London in partnership with Network for U3As in South East Greater London is hosting a day conference called "On the shoulders of Suffragettes" marking the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage.  Delegates will hear about some of the original campaigns and also look at how has affected women’s roles in society. Find out more at


There are still places available to join the Northumbria Region and Durham University on 11 April for a full day of study on all aspects of Energy, be it what will happen when cars do not need pumps but charging plugs and how cheap will energy be for the old and needy with government capping. Go to Northumbria Region website.

Learning resources

Fraud and scams

The Metropolitan Police Service FALCON unit (Fraud and Linked Crime Online) have created resources which are freely available to the public to assist in raising awareness about Scams and Fraud. 

Available for download for free are: There are also 5 short animated videos to help raise awareness with regards to defending yourself against online crime:  In the next few weeks, five more will be released including Computer Software Fraud, Payment Fraud and Romance Fraud and Money.

U3As in action

See our latest film featuring Croydon U3A's Chair Yoga group:

Subject adviser news

The latest updates and news from the national subject advisers are now available on the Subject Advice section on the website. Click the subjects to download them:

News from the NEC


Trustee for the North West, Gillian Russell is the chair of the Standing Committee on Education (SCE) which met this month.  

“The Standing Committee for Education is part of the NEC. Its remit is to support learning in the U3A and celebrate the wonderful learning activities of our organisation

I am currently its Chair and the committee consists of a broad range of U3A members, NEC members and National Office Staff.  We liaise with other subcommittees and with Subject Advisors to create as wide a range of advice as possible. Our latest meeting was typically full of ideas and productive.

We welcome comments from members on how they implement their learning activities”

Other news

U3A art lovers

The team behind EXHIBITION ON SCREEN want to let U3A members know that their award-winning documentary film on Vincent van Gogh is being re-released in cinemas across the UK from 20th March. 

Vincent van Gogh: A New Way of Seeing - delves deep into Van Gough’s fascinating and sometimes deeply troubled world and features exclusive interviews with the curatorial team at the Van Gogh Museum. 

Media request

Channel 5 are launching a new show featuring the performer Jane McDonald called ‘Jane and Friends’. The show features Jane singing songs, as well as surprising audience members who deserve some recognition for their amazing work.
Channel 5 want to hear from people who would like to nominate someone that means a lot to them or someone who goes above and beyond to help others.
Applications to jane& by May and please let us know how you get on.

In Focus

Elsie, Cottingham U3A

Cottingham U3A interviewed 99 year old Elsie Beesley who will be 100 on January 5th.

What was your earliest memory?
When I was three and sitting on a small wicker chair taking seven types of medicine.  I caught TB and took medicine every day for eight years including Epsom salts!

What was school like?
I loved every minute of it – I didn’t want to leave.   There were 50 children in a class and the teacher taught every subject.  

What’s your U3A experience?
I joined in 2009 ( I was 90) because I was sitting at the bus shelter and the U3A gardening group had all been on an outing and they were laughing and talking.  I thought -  that sounds good.

Your advice for a long and happy life?
Live sensibly but enjoy yourself.  I learnt to swim when I was 65! I have a very positive attitude and I am very determined!
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