Welcome to the October Newsletter

I hope that Autumn is looking beautiful wherever you are.
We have had some lovely photos from members of events and activities that have taken place across the movement.

Some U3As have celebrated Older Peoples Day.  This came into being in 1990 when the  United Nations voted to establish October 1st as the International Day of Older Persons. It was celebrated for the first time on October 1st, 1991.  The day aims to celebrate the considerable contributions that older people make to society.

Naturally U3As are not confined to one day and celebrate the contribution of retired people every day in learning together, setting new challenges and supporting their local communities. 

Thank you for sharing your stories and experiences.

Sam Mauger
Chief Executive
In this issue...

Network Link
Preventing Fraud
U3A in the Media

News from the Trust

From Belfast to Cornwall - National programme of workshops

The national Keeping it Legal pilot nine workshops have been delivered on a range of topics to 450 participants in locations ranging from Belfast to Launceston in Cornwall, Porthcawl in Wales and Warrington in the North West.
There are currently 10 more workshops lined up and requests for more are keeping both staff and volunteers busy. The workshops are currently delivered on request and organised in tandem with Regional Trustees, networks and clusters of U3As.
The workshops provide a fantastic opportunity for networking amongst local U3As and a chance for Committee Members and Group Leaders to gain greater awareness of the role of the Trust in supporting the Movement.

Full details of the workshop are available here    

Network Link

Representatives from 35 different UK Networks met in London as part of the Network Link which was started 12 months ago to assist communication between the Board and U3As.

A Network or Cluster is an informal group of U3As who choose to gather together to support each other in a variety of ways. 

Chair of Network Link, Hilary Jones said “The meeting was an opportunity for discussion, enabling delegates to share with each other the different ways their networks operate and the variety of events and workshops they arranged. 

Delegates also had talks from the Third Age Trust Chairman, Ian McCannah on a proposed constitution being developed for networks; Francis Beckett – the editor of TAM on submissions to the magazine and Catherine Stevenson on the Northumbria Treasurer’s network.

“The Trust is clear about the value of networks as a tool for two- way communication and for the support U3As give each other within these groupings. Delegates seemed keen to continue these twice yearly meetings - the next which is planned for May 2019”


News from volunteers

Volunteer, William from Wanstead & Woodford U3A

In Volunteers We Trust

National Office has now recruited three volunteers to assist with responding to the steady stream of advice and information queries that come via the phones and through the generic email address Monday to Friday.

The volunteers are attending the Trust offices in Borough, London on a weekly basis to support the National Office team with the 1000+ calls that we receive on a monthly basis from the U3A movement.

We are still looking to recruit other volunteers who live in London or the Home Counties who may be interested in joining them in providing this invaluable support to the Movement. 

Training would be offered so that those undertaking the role felt both confident and able to deal with diverse enquiries.  The telephone line is open 9.30am-16.30pm Monday to Friday and volunteers can opt to do a few hours a day at times to suit.  Travel expenses will be reimbursed.

For further information or to express interest in the role, please contact the Advice and Volunteering Manager –

We look forward to welcoming you to National Office.

Volunteers needed in the South West Region

The South West Region's Regional Trustee, Jill Nicholls, is looking to recruit a pool of volunteers to help her in role in supporting U3As across the region.

Jill said: "The size of my region is vast and extends from Cornwall up to Gloucester. I am keen to recruit volunteers across the region who can assist with training, starting up new U3As and offering support to U3As who run into difficulties or who are looking to induct new Committee Members."

Anyone who is interested can contact Jill direct - or the Trust's Advice and Volunteering Manager, Sophie Wellings on 020 8466 6139

Those interested will be offered training, support and travel expenses on an ongoing basis.


News from the Subject Advisers

Subject Meeting

A meeting took place this month with the Subject Advisers who provide invaluable support to those who run interest groups around the country.

With over 70 volunteers involved with this support, this group make a significant contribution both to the work of the Trust and the Movement as a whole.


Goodbye and thank you

In the last few months four of our longstanding subject advisers have stepped down from the role and we would like to say a very big thank you from the Trust and the national office for all the fantastic work they have done in their time volunteering for the U3A Movement, it is very much appreciated:
  • Art Appreciation – Margaret Tomlinson
  • ICT Awareness – Alan Bannister
  • Sailing – Geoff Preshner
  • Wine Appreciation – John Grisbrooke 

Hello and Welcome

U3A always welcomes new offers to become one of the movement's invaluable subject advisers. We are very happy to have more than one adviser for any subject and so you will see we have two for one of the subjects below and more offers to process.

This month we have welcomed some new faces to the team and we have more to welcome in the coming months:


Latest news

Our subject advisers are providing advice to U3A interest groups every day and the following have made updates to their web pages or produced new newsletters in the last month, visit their pages: 


Lifelong learning

Photo credit:  K. Gauntley, CCT (Churches Conservation Trust), St. Nicholas Chapel, King's Lynn, Norfolk.  

U3A Learning

King's Lynn U3A has taken part in two exciting projects:
  • Its Renaissance Madrigal Group sang at St Nicholas Chapel, which is in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust, on Heritage Open Day.  They sang three times that day, twice in St Nicholas Chapel and once in the Assembly Room at the Town Hall.
  • In one of the galleries at St George's Guildhall King’s Lynn U3A also exhibited, for 10 days a Shared Learning Project which they had worked on with Marriott's Warehouse Trust. 
See more stories celebrating U3A learning in next month’s Third Age Matters magazine or at Sources Online

Other U3A Learning

Study Day
The U3A Surrey Network  has held a creative Therapies & Singing for Health and Pleasure Study at the Menuhin Hall.  Speakers included Ursula Steiger whose 120 strong singing for pleasure choir from Canterbury U3A performed at the event.

U3A Hosts Police Roadshow
Haxby and Wigginton U3A organised an event for around 150 people gathered in Wigginton Recreational Hall to hear a talk by North Yorkshire Polices’ financial abuse safeguarding officer, Andy Fox.   Advice included online shopping, online dating and backing up important data using an external device or cloud storage. 

See more on fraud prevention in learning resources below


Citizens 800 - the next phase

U3A researchers over the last year, have taken part in Citizen 800  - a Shared Learning Project with Royal Holloway, University of London.

Members have sent in work they have researched about individuals in their community who had contributed to the history of liberty and reform and articles about local instances of protest and rebellion.

The next  phase of the project is to offer research days to U3A members. This first one will be looking into newspaper archives to examine the extent and scale of the Suffragette militant campaign.

It takes place at Royal Holloway (Egham, Surrey) on Wednesday 7th November from 12 noon until 4-30 pm.  This session will provide an insight into using newspaper archives and free refreshments, with the findings feeding into the open online course "Beyond the Ballot"

For further information go too London Region U3A website
or book direct at Eventbrite here

Education Resources

Resource Centre

While national office start to expand the variety of resources that are provided through the library, you can visit it online to browse through what is currently on offer.

To do this, go to and select DVD library – you can look at the resources available without a login – if you wish to borrow anything just click ‘register’ and fill in a short form and we will get you signed up with a login.

If you have any online resources your interest groups use that other U3As may find useful please email us on and we will share that information.

Preventing Fraud

The Metropolitan Police Service FALCON (Fraud and Linked Crime Online) have been launching five - one a week - new Little Guide animations that aim to raise awareness and promote behaviour change over different aspects of fraud. 

• Money Mules
• Payment Fraud
• Computer Software Service Fraud
• Romance/Dating Fraud
• Online Shopping Fraud

All  videos, and other resources created by FALCON can be found at

Stay Safe Week

To mark International Day of Older Persons, a new initiative was launched - Stay Safe Week for Older People.

It has been set up by First Aid for Life and Fit for Safety in partnership with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) and Age UK national.

If you would like to learn more about the initiative please follow this link:

Educational Events

National Events

Nearly 300 U3A members have taken part in two exclusive national events at the prestigious Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester and at the Museum of Wales in Cardiff.

National Events Coordinator, Julie Travers said, “We have been building partnerships with leading institutions around the country to bring U3A members opportunities to learn more about their areas of interest – this month in music, history, textiles and the arts.

“At its heart, the U3A events programme supports the sheer enjoyment of learning new things, providing new opportunities yet to be discovered”


From Page to Stage

There are still places available at this U3A bespoke national directing event at London's West End Lyceum Theatre.
For more details please go to

Regional Events

Summer school
The South East U3A Forum has published details of its 2019 summer school at Chichester University.  For details on courses and how to book please go to
Study Session
Wooler U3A is holding a study session, Tuesday 13 November, led by U3A member and Parliamentary Outreach Trainer Kelvin Rushworth. The session is part of 2018 UK Parliament Week and especially for members of U3As in the North Northumberland Network.

The event marks 100 years since Parliament passed a law  which allowed the first women, and all men, to vote for the first time: the 1918 Representation of the People Act.

For more information go to

Love Later Life

Barnsley U3A helped promote the “Love Later Life” event which took place at the Barnsley MetroDome this month as part of the International Older Person's Day celebrations.

A number of U3A Groups provided the entertainment for the event with slots from Flutes Galore, The Old Blowers [Brass Band] The Stringalongs [Ukuleles] and The Magic Group. A number of displays were also created to show examples of some of the work produced by the groups attending .

News from the Board

Chairman of the Third Age Trust, Ian McCannah:

The new Board of Trustees met this month for the first time. Richard Teare (Treasurer), Jean Hogg (East Midlands) and Chris Winner (Wales) were welcomed to the Board. Hilary Jones (previously Wales) is the new Vice Chair.

The Board confirmed both the objectives and framework, presented at the AGM in August, for the new three year Development Plan. Early next year, a number of specific working groups will be created  to make their recommendations. Look out for items in this Newsletter requesting specialist advice, in the diverse areas covered by the Plan,  from members.

Details of some of the less complex objectives (raising our profile, etc,)  may be announced towards the middle of the year. More complex objectives (digitalisation of the Trust's services to members) may have a longer time span.

At the end of this month, the external Beacon Review will be received from  a Consultant. The conclusions of the Review will be analysed prior to recommendations being made to the December Board meeting.

Other news

U3A in the Media/Social Media

• Chief Executive Sam Mauger wrote to the national papers responding to the government strategy on loneliness.  You can read her letter here

• Ruth Freedman Colchester U3A featured in the BBC’s One Show last Friday (12th October) with her daughter and granddaughter talking about the royal wedding.  You can watch her at

• Sara Gray Malmesbury & District U3A had her letter promoting U3A published in the Guardian

• The U3A movement was mentioned in the BBC Radio 4 Short Stories (you'll hear us mentioned at 27.58 mins)

Stanway U3A in Colchester Essex celebrated its 10th anniversary and appeared in their local newspapers: The Gazette and the Essex County Standard and on BBC Radio Essex. U3A national office tweeted the event. 
Wonersh U3A featured in the Surrey Advertiser

In Focus

Sara Gray - Malmesbury & District

Being closely involved with setting up M&D four years ago has been an amazing experience. We’ve lived in this lovely town for a long time but have met so many new people through U3A. I have to admit to rather enjoying organising things (something to do with having been a teacher I expect) and being M&D’s first Chair until earlier this year proved a huge challenge and great fun. 

I wrote to The Guardian because it seemed to me that expert initiatives to combat loneliness in the older population were really missing something vitally important if they overlooked U3A. Its strength is its flexibility, it can go wherever its members take it and everyone has something to contribute.

Interest groups can become an extended family; at the moment our play-readers are about to start rehearsing an entertainment for the Christmas party. I only hope the audience gets as much fun from watching it as we will from preparing it!

Earlier this year M&D received the council's Paul Dove Trophy for Organisation of the Year 2018. 

Photo Left to right Cllr Wayne Jones, Sara Gray, John Fairhurst Business Secretary M&D, Lisa Huntley partner of the late Paul Dove. Photo taken by Liz Cook

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