Dear <<First Name>>,

Welcome to the June Newsletter.

I hope that you are all able to enjoy the summer weather, and your gardens, balcony plants and allotments are doing well. As usual life continues at a pace, with study days, summer schools and events taking place around the United Kingdom. We are finalising the conference and AGM, and have a good spread of workshops. Elections for the NEC vacant roles will also begin at the end of June, and profiles of all candidates will be sent to U3As and included on the website. Once again thank you for all of your ideas and for being such an inspiration.
With very best wishes
Sam Mauger
Chief Executive   
In this issue...

Impact Report - a big thank you
Call for expert reviewers
Enhancing the U3A experience

News from the Trust

National conference - now open for booking

U3A members will be sharing their views, ideas, expertise and experiences at this year’s national conference – ‘Shaping our Tomorrow’.

The workshops will focus on lifelong learning, managing new educational resources, finance, Digital Skills and supporting the growth and development of U3As.

Throughout the three days there will be plenty of opportunity to discuss, debate and share ideas with colleagues from across the movement. There will also be free time to take part in singing, ukulele playing, walking, self-publishing and planning a dance event.

This year’s conference and subsequent AGM will be held at the East Midlands Conference Centre in the grounds of Nottingham University 28-30th August 2018.

Book now to secure a place and help shape our tomorrow.

Impact report – A big thank you

The U3A research impact report: Living Life, Extending Horizons, Challenging Conventions, is now nearing completion.

The report demonstrates the exceptional impact of the U3A movement including in terms of confidence building, combatting loneliness, feeling supported, learning new skills, feeling valued and enjoying life.

The findings will be officially launched on July 10th 2018 at a Parliamentary Reception with leaders in policy and influencing, elected representatives, public health and charities in attendance. Copies of the report will be sent to every U3A during the week of the launch and will be available for download after the event.

We would like to thank everyone who has helped to bring this together– especially the more than 800 of you who took part in the questionnaire, and those that gave their time to give their views in the UK-wide focus groups.

We want this report to continue to raise the profile of the U3A. At a time when policy makers have concerns about managing and resourcing loneliness and wellbeing, the U3A has a positive and a sustainable contribution to make to the futures of many retired people across the country.

News on national volunteers

The 1st-7th June was Volunteers Week. The U3A movement has an excellent volunteering ethos - from committee members to the Trust's Board of Directors to our burgeoning volunteer group. Thanks to all of you who make a contribution. We hope you saw the message from Sam.

The Trust volunteers have regular training and support. Volunteer trainers have begun to deliver workshops and other Trust volunteers are providing local support to U3As who ask for local one to one assistance when they experiencing difficulties. We are aware at the Trust that some U3As are experiencing issues in recruiting volunteers to take committee roles. Discussions are taking place in various forums as to strategies that could be adopted to support and address this.


The Board of Directors (NEC) recently approved a set of updated safeguarding guidelines, as well as a policy and procedure, for local U3As to adopt if they so wish. To access the documents details please use the link below.

Lifelong learning

Third Age Matters (TAM) together this month with Sources magazine are now out. TAM features an in depth interview with the U3A’s Brian Chesney (Malvern U3A) who won the 2018 Mastermind competition as well as articles, letters, opinion pieces and competitions.

Sources is themed on subject advisers and is packed with interview and articles – with even more to read at

Call for expert reviewers

An opportunity has arisen for U3A members to be part of the reviewing team for the Newton Prize 2018.

This is a prestigious global award – run by the UK National Commission for UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) – which awards research and innovation projects in developing countries. This year, all the applicants are coming from South American Newton Fund projects in Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico.

The Commission believe that U3A members could potentially be perfect as reviewers of the projects. They need reviewers to have expertise in their fields (Agriculture, Humanities, Built Environment, Economic Development, Education, Energy or Engineering) and also have the time to take part.

If you would like to get involved please complete this short form:

Please do not worry that it asks for current job title – UNESCO are simply looking for your area of expertise! This Portal closes on 31 July 2018 and UNESCO will be in touch if you are chosen as a reviewer.


National U3A-exclusive events

Jazz Study Day 2018

U3A subject adviser for Jazz, Mike Rance has arranged for band leader and master of the saxophone and clarinet, Alan Barnes, along with his eight piece all-star band to lead our Jazz Study Day on September 19th at Westminster Cathedral Hall.

The day will include Alan and his Octet illustrating jazz styles through the years, taking participants through his composing/arranging process and then finally a jazz concert performance. Alan’s band is – really – the best of the best in jazz.

If you love Jazz don’t miss this fantastic opportunity – book at,

Five Senses? You May Have 33!

We The Curious is a cultural venue in the heart of historic Bristol, offering exciting and stimulating experiences based around science and the arts. On 20th September, U3A members are invited to enjoy a day out with a difference. On a journey through the biology, chemistry and psychology of our amazing brains we’ll examine how our senses help us understand the world. For more detail and to book your place visit

Regional events and study days

The Shropshire Area Network will be holding a study day, with an interesting programme of varied subjects, in the University Centre, Shrewsbury on 1st September 2018. For more information and a booking form see the events page of the Shrewsbury U3A at

U3A in the press

The U3A movement is featured in a new blog from the national magazine, People’s Friend. Go to

Learning resources

An update on dementia

The website for U3A Plus has a new information section on Dementia. U3A Plus aims to help, support and advise U3A to ensure that all their members can access the informal learning and the many activities in their U3As, regardless of impairment or disability. You can read the update at

Enhancing the U3A experience

Bruce Jewell from Stafford U3A, this year, took his presentation on globalisation to Toronto’s Academy of Life Long Learning in Canada – not with an all-expenses paid trip but via video-conferencing. Since then Bruce has taken part in more video-conferences at home and abroad.

Now Bruce has written a detailed analysis of how video-conferencing could become an invaluable resource for U3A in the future. Read the report at

Subject adviser news

The latest updates and news from the national subject advisers are now available on the Subject Advice section on the website. In particular, new newsletters have been published for:

News from the Board

Trustee for London, John Bent, on his experience so far of being a trustee.

I’m fortunate that the London Region is geographically compact with good transport systems. I’ve also got the London Region of U3As, a London-wide network, with a very active committee and regular meetings with delegates, who have all been incredibly supportive. This has given me the opportunity to make contact with representatives of most London U3As on a regular basis.

Whenever I visit U3As it is inspirational to meet such committed and enthusiastic people.

The region is flourishing - 2017 had an 8 % increase in membership over the previous year. The three new start-ups from 2017 have been incredibly successful, two now have over 500 members each and the other over 800, and our latest U3A is breaking new ground in Dagenham.

It has been a busy 9 months, especially with the new legislation and changes to the structure within the Trust, but a rewarding time and, like all U3A activities, a time to learn new skills and make new friends.

Other news

Pathe Films

We’re really excited that award winning Pathe films are hoping to work with U3A on the release of two of their forthcoming films, The Little Stranger (Sept 2018) and Judy (Oct 19-March 20).

The Little Stranger, starring Domhnall Gleeson, Ruth Wilson and Charlotte Rampling tells the story of Dr Faraday who is called to a patient at Hundreds Hall, a stately home now in decline with inhabitants who are haunted by something more ominous than a dying way of life.

Judy starring Renée Zellweger, tells the story of showbiz legend Judy Garland’s London tours in 1968. Featuring some of her best-known songs, the film celebrates the voice, the capacity for love and the sheer pizzazz of “the world’s greatest entertainer”.

Pathe would like U3A members to send in their photos and stories about their local stately home or for any member who may have been lucky enough to travel to London for Judy Garland’s Concert tour to share their memories. Pathe want to create U3A exhibitions in regional cinemas for the national release of the films and offer free screenings for the participants. For more information and to send your stories and images please email

Channel 4, U3A and Flirty Dancing

Channel 4 is asking if any single members of U3A who love dance would like to take part in a new dating series, Flirty Dancing.

This will see self-confessed romantic Ashley Banjo, play cupid using his skills as Britain’s best loved choreographer to bring people together through the art of dance.

The show will take two complete strangers and teach them one half of a fully choreographed dance routine which has been cleverly tailored to illustrate their personalities and what they want from a prospective partner. Set on location, as if they’re living in a Hollywood musical, there will be no talking, just dance. Producers are particularly currently looking for men over about 65, but would love to hear from anyone!

If you would like to take part please contact or ring 0207 2022319 as soon as possible. Good luck – and if you do take part, please let us know how you get on.

In Focus

Sharon McEwan, Croydon U3A

“Having worked since the age of 16, I was looking forward to my well-earned retirement but once I stopped work I needed something to fill my time. Looking at various options a friend of mine happened to mention the U3A. I investigated further and realized: this is for me.

I was attracted and excited by the variety of activities on offer, but also found that U3A had a secret weapon - their existing members! I love the friendship and support.

As well as allowing me to meet lots of interesting different people U3A provided me with a host of other opportunities such as UK and International travel, chair yoga, international dancing and dance exercise classes.

The highlight for me has been the opportunity through U3A to visit Buckingham Palace at the end of 2017 and meet HRH Duchess of Cornwall and Strictly Come Dancing stars. I featured on the BBC and the U3A website!

If I have to summarize my three and a half years as an active member of U3A it would be …Learning and Fun!!!
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