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A room with book cases and a painting in the background. On the wall in the foreground right is a colourful quilt made up of square blocks which are all different. In the background of the room, several women look up at the quilt; in the foreground, two women are looking and pointing at the quilt.
u3a members can now see the 40th Anniversary Quilt in its new home for the next year at Witney Blanket Hall. Find out more on the 40th Anniversary blog. 


Dear <<First Name>>,

u3a has not slowed down one jot over the summer with our friends in the newsletter community always bursting with energy and enthusiasm. This edition is packed full of opportunity and activity. 

Members are getting ready for our first u3a week (September 17 to 25) which will showcase the positivity of being part of our u3a community. Please let us know what you are planning so we can share with all our u3a friends and colleagues.

We are launching the latest in our series of Do Something Brilliant Today films, for you to use when promoting the experience of being part of u3a. u3a has also supported Stirling University on its Reimagining the Future film which features many of our members and promotes positive ageing. You can watch it below.   

Thank you to the 5,000 members who took part in our Express Newsletter future lives survey on housing.   Your contribution will hopefully help influence those shaping the way we live in the future. 

As August heatwaves and floods batter us wherever we are in the UK - it is uplifting to know our u3a spirit continues to make friendships, reach out to communities and forge new experiences. 

With very best wishes
Sam Mauger
CEO of the Third Age Trust
In this issue...

New films to promote your u3a
How are you celebrating u3a week?
u3a member carries the Commonwealth baton

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News from the Trust

Meet David, the latest film in our Do Something Brilliant Today series

New Films Promoting u3a

More films have launched from our Do Something Brilliant Today series, which showcases the positive impact u3a can have on members lives. This is the second film released this month - the first showcasing Brenda in her online environmental group. Christina from Croydon u3a's film - is out this morning.

These are being used as social media adverts over the next few weeks. u3as can also use the videos in their own publicity efforts - see the full series on our YouTube channel.
a tree sapling growing from the ground

Close to our 10,000 Target

Your support in creating our 40th Anniversary woodland has been incredible. We reached our original target of planting 5,000 trees in just three months and we're now close to our new target of 10,000 trees. It's a huge achievement and reflects the legacy and impact the u3a movement can have on the environment. You can donate a tree or copse to the woodland on our u3a brand centre.
A woman with short blonde hair holding a white cake decorated with berries

Cake Decorating with Jenny 

Croydon u3a Jenny shares her tips at how to make a cake beautiful with easy decorating tricks in the latest #GenerationWOW video with Specsavers. The series champions u3a members sharing skills - and we would love more members to be involved. Please get in touch with us at  if you have a skill you would like to share.

If you're passionate about cake decorating, see news about a new learning initiative further down the newsletter.
Are you a present wrapping whiz? We are looking to create some content about the best wrapping tips in the leadup to Christmas and we would love to hear from you. Get in touch by emailing

Our 40th Anniversary

Find out the latest on how we are celebrating on our 40th anniversary page. 
A group of people outside, mid walk
Northants u3a walking their miles for their network's mile a member challenge, which will finish in u3a week. Read more on the 40th Anniversary blog.

u3a Week, 17-25 September 2022

u3a week is our time to showcase the learning, fun and connection u3a members are enjoying everyday. We've loved hearing from all of you about your plans. Find resources to use - including a u3a week planner - on our website, and let us know how you plan to celebrate.

Dance to celebrate u3a 

Along with all the local celebrations of u3a week, we will be hosting an online danceathon. 40 members dancing for 40 minutes to music from 40 years ago - book now to join.
Eight people in a room dancing. In the foreground, a man wearing a yellow hawaiian shirt is holding hands with a woman wearing a red top, and they are looking backwards to follow the steps of other members.
Wyre Forest & District u3a photographed by Peter Alvey
A white picket fence and a white arch lead to a show garden with green lawn, purple and white flowers. On the lawn is a white table with a two tiered cake - on the top tier it says "40" and on the bottom tier "u3a." Around the table are two purple chairs. A path leads to a shed which has open doors. Inside the shed, there are shelves, a book case, a model boat and a quilt.

Southport u3a's Show Garden celebrates 40 years

Southport u3a has been awarded a gold medal for their show garden at the Southport Flower Show. It showcases the learning and joy of being part of the u3a movement and the judges at the show awarded them gold for a Community Garden. Read more and see photos on the u3a 40th Anniversary blog.

Southport u3a members Dianne and Lisa gave an interview to ITV News North West about the garden and u3a. Watch it on the ITV News website - and see more on media news further down the newsletter. 
Where are you reading your newsletter?
As it's the summer, u3a members are jetting around on holiday but still keeping connected to the movement through the national newsletter. Thank you to everyone who shared their stories of where they're reading the u3a newsletter.

In Oregon, but Mawdesley is my second home, and I miss getting in on their activities when not there.
- Joetta, Mawdesley u3a 

Hi, I’m currently reading the newsletter in New Zealand where I am visiting my family. I am keeping in touch with Croydon u3a even taking part in a zoom quiz at 6.30am.
While there I attended two u3a meetings of the Wellington branch & was made very welcome so you might want to remind members to contact other branches when away. 
- Judith, Croydon u3a

Social Media News

Five people standing in a line smiling. Four are wearing pink and white tops that says 'Queen's Baton Relay'. One of the people is holding a silver baton. In the middle, a man is wearing a blue shirt and a mayoral necklace.
A man with grey hair and wearing a pink and white top that says, 'Queen's Baton Relay' is walking whilst holding up a silver baton.
People in orange and white tops are walking down a path, surrounded by trees. In the middle of the path, a man with grey hair and a pink and white top walks holding a silver baton.

Social Media Post of the Month - Ashbourne & District u3a

Our member John was lucky enough to carry the baton last week on its way through Staffordshire to tonight's Commonwealth Games opening ceremony.  Congratulations John, what a buzz that must have been.

Ashbourne & District u3a use their Facebook page to share photos of their groups - there are some brilliant photos, go and have a look. 
Do you want us to showcase your social media in this newsletter? Email us or tag us in your posts - click the icons below to find our social media profiles.
Did you know there is a u3a Facebook group where members can share jokes, stories and u3a pictures? We're looking for extra volunteers to join the moderating team - if this sounds like something you would be interested in doing, plese do get in touch at

u3a News

Every newsletter, we share news from your u3as. Whatever you're doing, we want to know about it - get in touch.
Four women and two men standing in an art studio. They are surrounded by drawings of the male body. They are smiling at the camera.

Summer of Learning in Yorkshire & Humber

Over 110 u3a members gathered together for the Yorkshire & Humber region Summer Learning Break. Activities included an Introduction to Spanish conversation, Greek Mythology, Portrait Drawing and Painting (pictured).
A field in the rain. In the foreground there are shovels, then saplings being held up with sticks. Behind the saplings are ten people standing, wearing raincoats.
The sun illuminates a field with growing trees.

Hitchin u3a Growing a Legacy

Earlier this year, Hitchin u3a members planted forty saplings in a local arboretum to celebrate the 40th Anniversary. They visited in August and the trees are growing well -  see the difference for yourself in the pictures above. 
Three fabric artworks. Each artwork has flags sewn on - including Canada, Italy, Jamaica, Croatia, Ireland, China, Australia, Austria, Serbia. The middle fabric artwork has fabric letters spelling out 'C-O-V-E-N-T-R-Y', yellow and blue blocks of colour with the letters U3A', elsewhere there are the fabric words, 'Learn, Laugh, Live'

u3as in Coventry celebrate City of Culture

Coventry Shires u3a, Coventry Sherborne u3a, and Coventry u3a joined together to celebrate Coventry’s status as UK’s City of Culture with an exhibition and recruitment fayre. The u3as had created a colourful needlework that included many of Coventry’s Twin Cities around the world (pictured.)

Have you worked with local u3as on a project? Let us know.
Your Stories

Last October, Jan started a 'Knit and Natter and Craft Afternoon' and started by hiring the local Village Hall. She was hoping she might get 6-10 ladies along... she had 42. 
My wife ended up hiring a 49 seater coach to go to the Knit and Stitch Show at Alexandra Palace, which sold out inside three days. This coach idea was started just a couple of months ago - we now have almost forty coach trips.

Ray and Jan, Broomfield u3a

Learning News

Below is a snapshot of the learning initiatives on our website that members can get involved with.
The bottom half of a man's legs, wearing white trousers and white shoes, next to two boules on grass.
Are you a croquet lover? Or never tried the game before? Peter, one of the u3a radio podcast team, gave it a go for the first time in the August episode - which also explores the u3a movement's 40th Anniversary, crochet and bridge. Listen now.

What are your Stonehenge theories?

The u3a radio team are considering starting up a new regular feature in which u3a members debate topics of interest. The first topic is on Stonehenge - how do you think the stones got there? Do you think it was an ancient observatory, a burial site or do you have another theory? Let us know what you think.

Discussing the Stars  

A new Astronomy Network has just launched. There are sections for Forum, Nationwide Groups, Events, Topics, Articles and News. Group leaders can use it as a place to share ideas and communicate whilst members without local astronomy groups can use it as a place to share their passion for the subject. Join now on the Subject Network pages.
Planets in the galaxy.

Help Us With New Initiatives

As Autumn comes closer, we're looking to introduce some new learning opportunities into our learning programme but we need your help to get them off the ground. Do you have skills you could share in the following areas:

Share Your Cake Decorating Skills

A new learning initiative will help members get started in cake decorating, with tips and guidance from u3a members. Perhaps you would be happy to send in examples of your sugar craft work or show others how to make an icing flower or cake topper? We would love to hear from you - please get in touch at

Have you given an old object new life?

u3a members are always surprising us with their ideas and innovations, and we want to share examples of your reusing, repurposing or upcycling. Let us know your top tips and most successful projects - email
Your Stories 

Join the u3a today,
A place to learn, somewhere to play.
It has no walls, no roof, no glass,
And no exams for you to pass.
You’d be surprised what people choose,
It’s all win-win; you cannot lose.
Subtle prizes here, no limit,
But to win, you must be in it.
So come and join us, now, today,
Make your choice the u3a.

Denise, Ilkley & District u3a
An extract from a poem about u3a. Read in full on our Sources blog.

u3a Office In Focus

This section puts a spotlight on the staff who work at u3a office and what we're doing.
A close up on the smiling face of a young woman with short brown hair
Meet Katie

I’m Katie and I'm the Learning Officer. My role includes working with Subject Advisers to share information and create networks. My favourite part of the role so far is hosting our wonderful online learning events. Being able to share the vast skills of u3a members is really rewarding.
 If you have any learning queries, please email 
Four women working on desks. Three have headphones on; one is writing in a notebook; the others are looking at their computers.
A behind the scenes shot of u3a office: some of the communications team at work.

National Events

Here is a snapshot of some of the exciting events for members that are coming soon - see more on our online events page.
A white dove with it's wings open against a white sky

Exploring World Faiths - Holy Wars or Holy Peace

Monday 5 September, 10am 

Join three speakers to discuss the contribution of Faith to conflict and peace.

A milky cup of tea on top of a cryptic crossword

Introduction to Cryptic Crosswords

Thursday 8 September, 10am

Try your hand at solving cryptic clues in this 2 hour taster session with Henry, u3a Subject Adviser for Cryptic Crosswords.

'Black Heroes Foundation Presents The Story of Claudia Jones' is written in black on an orange background. To the right of the image is an old black and white photo of a woman.

The Story of Claudia Jones - A Presentation

Wednesday 14 September, 2pm

Discover the story of Black activist Claudia Jones, known as the mother of West Indian Carnival in London.

Repeated pattern of the Star of David

Yiddish Theatre

Friday 16 September, 2pm

Join Irene from London u3a, for this talk exploring the history of Yiddish Theatre.

Northallerton u3a 's Open Day was an incredible success and many new members joined. There was a performance from the ukulele group and displays from interest groups.

News from the Board

As the AGM comes closer, we prepare to say goodbye to some of the Trustees who are stepping down. As a thank you, we are dedicating this section of the newsletter to them for the next two editions.
A woman with short grey hair is wearing a pink and green dress and a light pink cardigan, and smiling.
Jean Hogg, Trustee for the East Midlands

Looking back on my four years as the Trustee for the East Midlands, I realise that it has always been interesting, mostly enjoyable and sometimes challenging. All those aspects combine into four very worthwhile years, when, though I may be retired, I have continued to feel purposeful, engaged with society and confident that I have continued to gain new skills and knowledge.

Those of us who agree to give our time and effort to supporting this wonderful organisation all do our best to make the right decisions that will ensure the success and future of u3a for many years.

I could not have managed without the support of other volunteers in my region and, of course, from the wonderful staff in the office. I would love to know that someone will come forward at the next opportunity offered to take over the role, and to enjoy, as I have done, meeting so many wonderful and enthusiastic members of u3a.
You'll hear from more leaving Trustees next month. See all of the current Trustees on our website.
Your Stories 

Maldon and District u3a are ensuring as many people as possible can hear Royal Jubilee Year memories of their members by creating a flipbook on the web site at This follows a Street Party event held indoors with all the usual treats, flags and bunting.

Maldon u3a

Subject Advice News

See all the latest updates on the Subject Advice page.
Three women sat around a table picking mah-jong tiles.

Learning More About: Mah-jong with Subject Adviser, Hilvary

What do you enjoy about your role?  

Mah-jong is an interesting game of strategy & skill played on so many levels - it fascinates me. It is like Rummy. You do need a set of tiles – preferably 148 in the set with 4 racks.  The idea is to collect formations of the tiles, so we have ‘Special Hands’ which score 500 or 1000 points.   

How can u3a members get started with Mah-jong? 

I have created Mah-jong ‘step by step’ instructions  which members can download from my Subject Advice page.  Get 3-4 people to read the book together and you will be able to play.  It will be slow at first, but you will get quicker.  Enjoy learning a new game!

Find out more about Mah-jong
The bottom of an airplane.
The Subject Adviser for Aviation, Clynt, is trying to create a network of aviation groups - to swap speakers, to share advice and to direct u3a members towards. If you are the leader of an Aviation group, please contact with the name and location of your group.

Join A German Reading Group 

Alastair, Subject Adviser for German, runs a monthly Reading Group in which members read and discuss German short stories together. Find out more details and get involved on Alastair's Subject Advice page.

Media News

A man wearing a blue cap with the words 'u3a' on stands in front of a grey building with the letters 'BBC' on it
David from Teignmouth u3a (pictured) visited the BBC Radio Devon studios. Sign in to listen to his interview on the David Fitzgerald show on BBC Sounds - at 1h55.

Witney u3a members, Ann and Jane, spoke about the 40th Anniversary quilt on BBC Radio Oxford. Sign in to listen to that on BBC Sounds - at 2h22.
Richmond Upon Thames member Pramila featured in a segment on Good Morning Britain on 28 July in which older adults took part in life drawing. 

Tunbridge Wells u3a have had several appearances in local newspapers lately, including Times of Tunbridge Wells and the Courier.

Wyre Forest u3a member Trevor has started a website, Grand Nature, to help grandparents connect with their grandchildren through nature. This featured in several local platforms, including In Your Area.
Your Stories 

Congratulations to Mildred Green on her 101st birthday and still an active member of the Bury St Edmunds u3a Travel group through walking a mile each meeting to join in. Now an honorary member, Mildred also attends the monthly meeting talks which she says are educational and ‘keep our brains alive’.

- Bury St Edmunds u3a

Third Age Matters

Third Age Matters is the magazine for u3a members, published five times a year. If you do not currently receive Third Age Matters but would like to, talk to your u3a committee.
In the foreground are two marking stones. A woman with grey hair and wearing a grey tshirt and a hat is studying them and making notes. Behind her, are four people digging in a hole and looking at what they've found. Two more people stand behind them, chatting.
Burnham u3a Archaeology Group photographed by Russell Sach
Read all about the fascinating and groundbreaking discoveries by Burnham u3a’s Archaeological Group in the Autumn issue of Third Age Matters magazine, including uncovering a medieval palace. Also in the issue, Who Do You Think You Are's genealogist Dr Nick Barratt talks about tracing your family tree and the surprises he discovered when looking into his own background...

Our Impact

u3a is developing the movement's voice to make a social impact and change, both nationally and in your local communities. Read about ongoing projects on our brand new Impact page on the website.
A man sitting in front of his laptop, looking away to the side.

Take a Survey on Online Hate

u3a has been a part of Charities Against Hate, a collective dedicated to addressing hate speech on social media, since it's inception. The group has recently created a survey about online abuse - please share your experiences

A woman wearing a white outfit and a yellow scarf standing in front of her front door.

Incredible response to our Future Lives Survey

Thank you so much to the almost 5,000 of you who shared with us what you would need from a home as you get older. If you haven't yet, there's still time to take the questionnaire.

A man standing in front of his laptop, on a Zoom call.

Reimagining the Future in Older Age

u3a members in Scotland have worked with the University of Stirling to create a 40-minute film that unpicks the way we look at older adults and their relationship with their own future. Watch the film now.

A man and woman wearing union jack hats and waving union jack flags. The woman is looking at the man and smiling.
Ware u3a celebrating the Jubilee earlier this year

Advice News

See all the latest advice on our advice pages, including new Financial FAQs and Covid guidance. Also on the Advice section is our programme of workshops.
A signpost points in four directions. The signs read, 'Help', 'Support', 'Advice' and 'Guidance'.
“It was brilliant, as a new u3a member the workshop filled in a lot of the cracks I was encountering”

“I felt the workshop valuable in reminding me of things and has given me some ideas to take forward” 

Some feedback to our Running Your u3a Workshop - including from a Trustee for over five years

Running Your u3a: Workshop

If you are thinking about taking on a Committee role, have recently joined a Committee or would like a refresher, this is the workshop for you. The next session is 9 September. Find this and much more on our workshops pages.
u3a in the time of corona

The book based on the u3a diary project is selling quick on the brand centre so don't miss your opportunity to get a copy.

It chronicles our reactions to coronavirus and isolation, as well as how to get a supermarket delivery, how to cut your own hair and what to do with all that free time. It includes drawings, photographs and poetry from members.  

You can order your copy for £6 plus postage  from the u3a brand centre.

News for Committees

WordPress Replacement for u3a websites

The Trust is working on a WordPress replacement for SiteBuilder. We are looking for volunteers to work on all aspects of the project, including coding, testing, documentation, training, communications and user support. If you have skills in these areas and are interested, please contact Alan, Chair of the Steering Group on
Hands are pointing at words on an iPad.

Digital Strategy Update

The Volunteers have completed Phase 1, ‘Discovery’ and are now moving into Phase 2, ‘Develop’. This will investigate further key areas central to digital operations. Simultaneously, a draft Digital Strategy will be developed and we will be able to update you on this after November. 

If you have digital knowledge and expertise that you could contribute to this ongoing project, please contact Clive Grace, who is leading this initiative, on


Men in front of mics are performing guitar. A man in a hawaiian shirt is looking sideways to the camera and smiling.
Pershore & District u3a photographed by SammielPix Photography
Pershore & District u3a share the many varied ways their u3a has celebrated their 21st birthday - including an afternoon of picnics and entertainment, a Grow a Sunflower initiative and a local history trail. Also on our Sources blog this month, Stourbridge u3a talk about how their members have contributed to Stourbridge in Bloom and u3a member Denise shares a poem about u3a.
Your Stories 

Wednesday 25 May saw the two year anniversary inter-u3a monthly quiz organised by Ian and Linda of Ayr u3a. Soon after the pandemic began, Linda suggested a regular UK-wide online quiz and set about contacting u3a groups via their websites and social media. 

Over the past two years 11-15 teams per month from across Scotland, England and Northern Ireland have enjoyed a wide variety of themed rounds. 

Linda, Ayr u3a 

Spotlight On

A selfie of a man and woman. Behind them is a sign that says 'Lands end' with an arrow pointing west that reads 'New York 3147' and an arrow pointing in the opposite direction that reads, 'John O'Groats 874'

Irmi and Bernd, Penzance u3a

We’re originally from Moenchengladbach, Germany but since retiring, we split our time between Germany and Penzance in Cornwall. 
The Brexit referendum led to our friendship with u3a member Susan, who introduced herself, knowing we were from Germany.  She invited us to the u3a Current Affairs Group and forwarded a u3a newsletter containing a list of u3a groups. 

What especially appealed to us was the fact that it included a lot of non-academic activities such as painting, table tennis, walking, photography. Having been teachers for more than 30 years, we longed for something different from academic studies.

We have since met many friendly people in u3a groups and at the monthly socials, which helped a lot to feel at home in Penzance. You could say we are cross-Channel commuters rather than second home-owners.  

Although we spend only half the year in Penzance, we found it important for us to make contacts in the town and feel that we are welcome and part of it. And joining u3a helped a lot to achieve that.

We were grateful and proud that Bernd’s slideshow on St Michael’s Mount was watched and appreciated by the members who attended the Zoom-AGM in 2020. If u3a members in other parts of the UK would like to watch, this is the link:  
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