Dear <<First Name>>,

Welcome to the May newsletter.

Thank you so much for bearing with us while we have updated you on so many things over the last six months. Whilst there will be no doubt some matters from time to time that need updating in future, the volume will not be as great and we will be focusing very much going forward on all the such inspiring work that you all do in lifelong learning.

I really appreciate all of the support and time that so many of you have given me and the team here at National Office, we appreciate it very much indeed.

Wishing you all a very sunny May.

With very best wishes
Sam Mauger
Chief Executive   
In this issue...

Wanted: SLP Co-ordinators
Subject adviser updates
Volunteer news

News from the Trust

Revolutionary ideas

The Trust has spoken at this year’s Agile Ageing Alliance Conference. Focusing on ‘Neighbourhoods of the Future’, a manifesto for addressing the challenges of an ageing society, the two day think tank brought together over 300 stakeholders representing leading public and private sector organisations including Tata Steel, the National Innovation Centre for Ageing, Care England, the World Health Organisation and the country’s leading designers such as The Royal College of Art.

Attending the event - Sue Thomas from Harrow U3A said, “It was reassuring to know that companies are actually considering now the needs of the older adult from homes through to care as we age.

“As one of the presenters said, neighbourhoods of the future should be places where people aspire to live, not dread; people should have years full of life not a life full of years. 

“Many times have I thanked the U3A for filling my later years with life”


National Office has issued guidance on GDPR that is recommending that U3As use contract as the main lawful basis for communicating with their membership.  This is an update on the previous guidance of consent. 

Please visit the advice section of the website at for the more detailed guidance notes.  We are very aware that the new legislation is causing some concerns. U3As generally hold minimal data and we would like to reassure committee members that by taking a few simple but proactive steps you are likely to be meeting the requirements of the new legislation. We will be revising the guidance in line with requests made to us by the membership and will try to keep you informed of updates but please do check the advice section of the website on a regular basis if this is an area of concern to you.

News on national volunteers

The Trust's team of volunteers who are going to be involved in delivering the national programme have embarked on their training programme. The training involves attending a day of training, observing workshop delivery and working alongside experienced trainers. Once this team are up and running they will work alongside the Regional Trustee and with the central National Office team supporting the rollout of the Trust workshops that include:
  • Running your U3A
  • Growing your U3A
  • Interest Groups Matter
  • Finance
  • Communications
  • Keeping it Legal
  • Recruiting Volunteers
The workshops will be available on request within regions and to networks and clusters of U3As.

Other news

Charity Commission Welcome Packs
Did you know that the Charity Commission is now sending every new trustee of every organisation that registers with them a Welcome Pack. Described as a “friendly but firm regulatory welcome handshake” the welcome pack has been through a testing stage, but apparently the regulator will still be asking for feedback.

Learn more at

Be Alert
Alan, the treasurer from Gloucester U3A recently spotted an unrecognised direct debit payment going out of their U3A account. After investigations with the bank, it turned out it was fraudulent. The money is being refunded via Direct Debit indemnity.

Alan said “I suspect that the way that the fraudster got our bank details is via the membership form on our website, where we listed a number of ways of paying including by bank transfer, and we’d provided our sortcode and account code. We are removing those details and just saying that to pay by bank transfer, contact the membership secretary for details. I wanted to share this in case your U3A is doing the same.”

Lifelong learning

MindEd project

Over 20 U3A members from different U3As in London have taken part in helping develop a new free online resource - MindEd for Older People published by the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

MindEd explains a range of mental illnesses commonly experienced by older people and offers practical advice for dealing with them. Common problems include insomnia, depression, medications to be aware of, anxiety, loneliness and alcohol-related problems.

Jordanne McKenzie-Blythe, Operations Lead for MindEd said “The U3A members took part in this project independently through their own interest and enthusiasm. I hope this resource will reach the people who will now truly benefit from the trusted, expert advice regarding mental health”

Exciting new shared learning projects

Maps and More is a Shared Learning Project led by Roding Valley U3A and including members from nearby Waltham Abbey U3A and in conjunction with Epping Forest District Council museum.

It involved sorting maps and other documents for their archive and special studies on Wood Green Potteries; Winston Churchill who was the local MP; and the history of a local laundry. The map work has finished but the coordinators of the SLP are meeting with the museum's exhibitions officer to discuss the projects being displayed in the museum.

COMING SOON: This and other shared learning projects and research news on Sources Online -

Wanted: SLP coordinators

A Shared Learning Project Coordinator is needed to act as a contact point for information about SLPs in the North West, North East, West Midlands, North Wales and Scotland.

You need to be someone who doesn’t mind talking to U3A groups or offering advice to any U3A interested in starting projects. You might be someone who could develop links with local museums, galleries and universities, so that project partnerships are formed within local communities.

If you are interested in exciting projects delivering the concept of lifelong learning in your region, then this volunteer role might be just for you.

If you think you might be interested in joining our team of regional SLP coordinators, please contact the national coordinator for more information and role description or just for a chat to find out what is involved.

Research questionnaire

There is still time left for anyone who hasn’t had a chance yet to help answer our research questionnaire about the benefits of being part of the U3A movement. Results of which will be announced in early July. Click the button below to take part.
Take the questionnaire

Educational events

National events

Booking now…. Join National Gallery experts for a day of talks exploring the radical diversity of late nineteenth and early twentieth century-painting in this U3A exclusive event. After The Impressionists explores from the emotional intensity of Van Gogh to the quiet stillness of Hammershoi. Thursday 7th June. Book online at
Image: Vincent van Gogh, Van Gogh’s Chair, 1888. © National Gallery
Booking soon…. AT-Bristol Science Centre –U3A members are invited to enjoy a day out with a difference. We the Curious – workshops and Sense re-wired show - set in the heart of historic Bristol, offering exciting and stimulating experiences based around science and the arts. Five senses? You may have as many as 33! Thursday 20th September. Booking opens soon at

Regional events and study days

The Wales Conference brought together U3As from across the region to celebrate the research, initiatives, activities and learning. The U3A trustee for Wales, Hilary Jones said “More than half of the 59 Welsh U3As were represented with the U3A chairman Pam Jones in attendance together with Iwan Williams from Ageing Well in Wales.

“We heard more about Shared Learning Projects; there was speeches from two national subject advisers, the Network Link and Trust volunteers. A number of our U3As talked about their interesting initiatives and projects working with local organisations and neighbouring U3As. There was also a presentation from the Wales Coastal and Borders Celebration project.”

Warwick District U3A - First World War Study trip

Places are still available on a First World War study trip on Sunday 19th to Thursday 23rd August 2018 which is being led by local author Alan Reed, a renowned Western Front guide. All those travelling must be a member of a U3A but not necessarily Warwick District. Highlights of the trip will include visits to the Vimy Memorial, Lochnagar Crater, the Thiepval Memorial, Passchendaele Memorial Museum, and the Last Post Ceremony where a wreath will be laid at the Menin Gate in Ypres. Where possible visits to specific graves or to see names on a memorial can be included.

For full details and costs go to or contact Ann Bailey at

Newcastle Emlyn U3A and Lampeter University

Newcastle Emlyn U3A are developing a relationship with Lampeter University in West Wales. After running a successful U3A Study Day on Philosophy last year in conjunction with Lampeter’s Professor of Philosophy, the University is now producing a programme involving all their departments of Workshops over the coming year which are available to U3As to attend.

For more details and how to book go to:

Learning resources


To Beeston U3A in Nottinghamshire who agreed to having a professional photographer taking pictures during some of their interest groups. They will be used for national publicity.

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: And coming soon:
  • Comedy
  • Scottish Country Dancing
  • Egyptology
  • Table Tennis
Be sure to look out for the next edition of Sources in June - a subject adviser special edition.

News from the board

Regional Trustee for the North West, Gill Russell

Click the button below to download the May edition of the North West regional newsletter.
Download the NW Region Newsletter

Regional Trustee for the South West, Jill Nicholls

One of the joys of the role is meeting new people in the region and finding places I’ve never been to. It’s busy and May has been no exception as I’ve covered Paignton, London, Llandrindod Wells and back down West again. The month I spent a delightful day in Wales supporting fellow RT Hilary Jones ‘All Wales Learning Together’ picking up some ideas I would like to replicate in the South West with Hilary’s permission.

The North Devon Link ‘Comfort Day ‘ was a great way to give Link members the opportunity to discuss and hopefully solve issues concerning the new legislation. Sophie Wellings delivered a short version of the ‘Keeping it Legal’ workshop which was well received as Sophie was able to answer their questions first hand.

Inevitably there is a lot of travelling involved, but if I can say yes to your invitations I will do so.’

Regional Trustee for the East Midlands, Jane Pavier

Promoting the name of the U3A is an important part of my role as a Regional Trustee and as such, I recently asked U3As in the Region to let me know the name of their Members of Parliament. To date I have sent out more than 30 letters to MPs, introducing the U3A and explaining what the movement is all about.

Some MPs had already been invited to speak at U3A meetings; some thanked me for sending information and two MPs have invited me to meet with them at their constituency offices in the next few weeks.

My next step is to contact the constituency offices and ask if they are aware of any events where the U3A could be represented.

Later in the year I intend to contact our county councillors. I consider it is a worthwhile project - putting U3A on the policy makers' agenda.

Other news

Art and Antiques Fairs – Birmingham and London

U3A members are invited to The Art & Antiques Fair Olympia, the largest and most established art and antiques fair, taking place 20 – 27 June as part of the House & Garden Festival at Olympia, London.

In addition to this, members are invited to the Art & Antiques For Everyone Summer Fair on 19 – 22 July 2018 at the NEC in Birmingham – the largest vetted art, antiques and interiors fair outside of London.

For complimentary tickets to these events which can be both printed as well as an e-ticket please contact Priya at

In Focus

George, Waltham Forest U3A

Retired Journalist, George Clarke who will be 88 next week has worked with seven U3As over a period of 32 years!
George, from Waltham Forest U3A in London, said, “My first experience was organising a public meeting in 1986 which formed Reading U3A, the first in Berkshire. I went on to be involved with Newbury, Crewe and Nantwich, Alton, Wanstead and Woodford, Waltham Abbey, and now Waltham Forest – and in all that time I have led a number of interest groups. I served on the committees of Newbury and Crewe/Nantwich and I still organise a lunch club for Waltham Forest”

George may be celebrating his 88th birthday but he keeps busy with voluntary work spanning more than 70 years and his six grandchildren and his first great grandchild – born on May 4th!

George said, “The U3A is a fabulous organisation. It has meant so much to me in my long retirement. Leading groups has given me great pleasure, and I’ve made hundreds of friends”.
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