Meopham U3A's Needlecraft Group gained permission from Royal Mail to decorate the town's letter boxes
Dear <<First Name>>,

This time of year can feel startling busy but after the festive season is over we have that time when we can take a break from normal routines and have a bit of time for reflection, calm and peace.
It has been a great year for the U3A movement with so many stories of new beginnings, new skills and sharing experiences. Not to forget friendships which the U3A is so good at fostering across the United Kingdom.
I want to say a big thank you to the staff team, the U3A members who volunteer for the Trust across the movement, the Trustees board and the U3A members far and wide who make the U3A the sharing and caring organisation that it is.
I wish you all a very happy festive period and a wonderful 2020 year ahead.

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

Tell a Friend
Foyle U3A Fashion Show
Japanese Experience

News from the Trust

Tell a Friend

A huge thank you to all of you for sharing your inspiring work, ideas and news from around the country. 
The National Newsletter keeps everyone up to date with news and events as it happens each month. Most of all, it is a conversation between all of us, which will continue to evolve with your input and feedback.
We currently have around 15,000 members receiving the national newsletter directly by email but we would love to welcome many more to join us.
We need your help….
We wondered if every one of you (and that includes those of you on committees) could let just one other colleague and friend know about the newsletter. Just one friend who is able to receive emails but currently isn’t signed up.
Let them know what you enjoy about receiving it and hopefully they will be inspired to do the same 😊

Here is the link to the newsletter
Thank you so much and please keep contacting us with submissions or feedback. 
Together we can keep the conversation going, grow our membership and strengthen our communications.

Volunteer News

Meeting a Winning Team

In the second month of her Advice and Volunteer Manager role, Jane Bailey went on a learning journey when she was invited to meet a team of Trust Volunteers in Birmingham.

Jane said, “I had the great pleasure of spending the day with thirty-three of the Beacon volunteers on a rare team day together and learnt so much about the Beacon system. Beacon is the membership management system used by U3As across the country.

Why not contact the team to find out more information at

Read full article on Beacon Website
Thank you to Croydon U3A Trustees who very kindly opened their doors to let their latest committee meeting be photographed.

U3A Day - What's the plan?

A group of U3As located on the coast are planning a ‘beach clean’ to draw attention to their U3A as well as environment issues. Members who aren’t involved in the clean-up process will be on the promenade to engage in conversation with passers-by about the benefits of joining U3A. They plan to wear yellow baseball hats and have persuaded their local refuse company to supply litter pickers and rubbish bags and will collect filled bags at the end of the day. This hopes to be a collaborative event.
You are coming up with some great plans for U3A Day on Wednesday 3 June 2020.

U3As are using the day as an opportunity to make links with local organisations such as Age UK, libraries, community centres, doctors surgeries, health centres and regional sports associations to identify ways we can work together.

You can read more about many of the exciting things that are planned on our U3A Facebook Page.
Learn more on or email
We will be adding items for the Planning for Success Toolkit, including templates for marketing and merchandise items, in the coming months.
Lymington U3A Members take part in Ukulele Hangout events throughout December.

Financial Matters

"Firstly, may I say a big thank you for your feedback throughout the year and I look forward to keeping in touch throughout 2020."  
Financial Manager, Kevin Traynor



"As you know the Trust provides a range of covers for Trustees of U3As and The Trust and also for the membership as a whole when engaged in U3A activities.  You do need to remember to carry out risk assessments for all of these activities.  Some activities have restriction applied and some may not be covered:
 Sailing is subject to a restriction that the craft should be no more than 8 metres in length
• The flying of drones is not covered, in fact there is no cover for any aerial device
• Cash in the home is covered up to a limit of £1,000 and provided the cash isn’t kept for too long a period and subject to the usual precautions of locking your home."


"I recently received a notice from Barclays (the Trust’s bank) that its new branch at Moorgate is offering us the use of meeting rooms at no cost (no free lunch though).  Have you asked your bank if they can offer you a free meeting room or anything else?  I look forward to your responses."


"Please continue to remain vigilant when opening emails or attachments as the incidence of fraud increases significantly in the run up to the Christmas season.  The Trust regularly receives unsolicited email and paper enquiries or demands for payment."

You can contact Kevin here

Third Age Matters

Third Age Matters has a new editorial board which will meet five times a year and be actively involved in the production of Third Age Matters.
TAM Editor Joanne Smith said, “Thank you to all those who took part in the process.

We are delighted to have appointed Adrian Van Klaveren (Fleet U3A), James Osgerby (Odiham and District U3A), John Wilcox (Sheffield U3A) and Louise Wood (Westerham U3A) who, between them, have decades of experience in the media, PR, marketing, writing and publishing. I’m really looking forward to working with them and to our first meeting in the New Year”.

U3A News

On the First Day of Christmas my true love sent to me...

Ten members of Lea Valley U3A, Hertfordshire, known locally as “Hoddesdon Crafty Ladies” have knitted a wonderful Christmas display for the local library - free for their local community to enjoy.  

Across Generations

Solihull U3A Booklovers Group entered an annual nationwide competition organised by the charity Schoolreaders and won!

They had to answer 27 literary questions correctly and complete a limerick. The group won an afternoon tea at a local hotel.

Schoolreaders is a registered charity which encourages volunteers to help schoolchildren with their reading skills.

U3A Fashion Show

Foyle U3A in Northern Ireland has raised over £2000 for their U3A funds by hosting a fashion show.

All the vintage clothes were donated by U3A members and included mother of the bride outfits, hats, shoes, clothes as well as jewellery and accessories.

Read more here

Foyle also celebrated its 30th anniversary at the beginning of December with Eddie Lynch, the Commissioner for Older People in Northern Ireland coming to their celebrations.

For more U3A celebrations – see below.
Forest Town & District U3A has purchased a defibrillator for use by members and a programme of CPR familiarisation is underway for any member wishing to take part.

Let us know if you have a similar story.

News from the Board of Trustees

Board Report - Chair, Ian McCannah

"In April the Trust formed a trading company - Third Age Trust Trading Limited - following the advice of our auditors. This wholly owned subsidiary allows the Trust to consider offering commercial opportunities to members. Before making any decisions on which products to concentrate on, this autumn we conducted a survey which listed a number of commercial products.  See the results of the survey below.
Following these results, we will concentrate on providing members with discounts /benefits and branded merchandise, particularly items that interest groups may be interested in. Watch this space for more news!
Looking forward to next years AGM and Conference, the Board has chosen the theme - U3A 2020 - Positive Ageing.

If you have any ideas on how to develop this theme, please contact me on

Meanwhile, on behalf of the Board of Trustees, we wish all Newsletter readers a very enjoyable Festive Season and a Happy U3A New Year."
Survey Results

Building Partnerships

Celebrate Age

Wokingham U3A was invited to take part in 'Celebrate Age 2019'. an event organised by Wokingham Borough Council to mark International Day of Older Persons.

The event brought together a number of local charities, societies, clubs and organisations – a fantastic opportunity for all older adult of Wokingham Borough to find out what there is on offer throughout the Borough.

Subject Advisors

Brunswick West Hove and Portslade U3A yoga group practice Legs-up-the-wall pose (Viarita Karani).

As with all yoga poses this is best practiced the first time under the guidance of a qualified teacher and should not be practiced if you have serious eye problems, such as glaucoma or serious neck / back problems.

Put your feet up and relax

Peter Burton Yoga Subject Adviser 

Legs-Up-The-Wall Yoga Pose (Viparita Karani) is a gentle passive inversion often practiced in restorative yoga classes that I find great for relaxing and recovering after a hard day on my feet.

It is also said to be good for dealing with, anxiety, arthritis, digestive problems, headaches, high and low blood pressure and insomnia. Some of my students do an adaptation with their legs bent and with their calves resting on the sofa, rather than up a wall.  For the first time - please do try this without guidance from a qualified instructor and not at all if you have serious eye, back or neck problems.

More information about this pose and others can be found at:

11 months and not out!

Subject Adviser for Walking Cricket Mac McKechnie has helped grow the profile of both Walking Cricket and U3A enormously over the last year.

From the very first game of Walking Cricket held in Yorkshire, at Barnsley U3A on January 9th 2019, U3A has partnered with the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation (YCF), has the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) supporting and helping financially with funding and with Trophy’s and equipment, and Twenty 20 Cricket of Surrey even sponsoring match kit.

Now, Cricket Scotland Walking Cricket All-stars team – are coming across the border to play a friendly but serious match against U3A Yorkshire.

Read more about Walking Crickets successful 2019 and the exciting year ahead. 
Please see more on subject advice updates and news at

Educational Events

National Events

"Wow, what an afternoon. Our first experience of St Lawrence Jewry Church and it was absolutely wonderful. For me, I see this U3A Christmas Concert as the beginning of the festive season."
Pam Jones, Former Third Age Trust Chairman

Carol Concert

U3A members were out in full force for the annual Christmas Concert this month.

At the national event, hosted at St Lawrence Jewry for the first time, Queldryk Choral Ensemble and City Chorus performed a mixture of classic carols and more modern Christmas songs, with the audience also singing along.

Education Event Organiser, Julie Travers said, "This was a special occasion - we heard a short history of the church from the Reverend and members ate mince pies and drank mulled wine in the interval. The event ended with the choir singing ‘Last Christmas’, leaving everyone in a very festive mood."

Two new exciting events on the national website.

Coming soon - Close Encounters of the Animal Kind at the National Gallery – 12 March 2020.
Discovering Children’s Literature at the British Library in 30 March 2020

The Science Network Meeting

Returning to Conference Aston from 10 to 13 August 2020 for another exciting Science Network programme.

Last month there were difficulties with the sign up for the Science Network List.  That’s now been rectified so please sign up to the list and you’ll be sent personal notifications about the activities of the Science Network.

Regional Events

North West

Japanese Experience
To celebrate the influence of Japan on the world stage with the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Olympics, The North West region is going to host a Japanese experience day on July 7 2020 (provisional). It will be open to any U3A member.

Any member with experience of Japanese culture who is willing to be involved, please contact Gill Russell 

More details of the day will be available soon.

South East

Details for next year's South East Forum Summer School at Chichester are now out.
South East Forum Summer School


U3A in London’s highly awaited and popular Easter Conference returns on 21 – 23 April 2020.  It includes a fascinating, intriguing and challenging programme of talks over three days given by a range of speakers.

Freedom and its Consequences is explored through Art, Music, Science and Society. 

Application forms are available by post (please send a stamp-addressed envelope) to U3A in London, Easter Conference –  Hampstead Town Hall, 213 Haverstock Hill, London NW3 4QP


National U3A International Committee and General Secretary of AIUTA, Professor Maria Chester ( East Berwickshire U3A ) has given a series of tours in Northumberland for the Turner, Northern Exposure exhibition.
Lostwithiel U3A's Cycling Group on the 21 mile long '3 Saints Ride'

Research News

The research committee has approved the following request – for those interested in joining in.
The Department of the Built Environment at Liverpool’s John Moores University is conducting a study to understand the housing needs and preferences of people aged over 55+ living in the UK.
They are hoping this research will help to improve housing provision for this age group. If you’re interested in taking part in the 10-minute questionnaire:
Farnham U3A exhibited at St Andrew's Church as part of the Christmas Tree festival

U3A in the Media

U3A appeared in Hertfordshire Life

Dundee U3A invited a journalist along to their Scottish Country Dancing Group to try out the activity.

The Chair of Ilkley & District U3A featured in The Telegraph and Argus

U3A Celebrations

Members of Elmbridge U3A with Mayor, Mary Sheldon at their 30 year celebrations.
Hammersmith & Fulham U3A honoured their three founding members at their AGM – presenting them with Lifetime Honorary Membership.
Whitley Bay U3A were invited to share in a 100th birthday celebrations of Marion Appleton, a member who joined when Whitley Bay U3A was set up 25 years ago.   There are more events planned throughout the coming year.
Elmbridge U3A concluded it’s 30th anniversary celebrations with a display of work by group leaders, music from its newly-formed Band in their first public performance, a prizegiving ceremony, afternoon tea and a slice of anniversary cake baked specially for the occasion.
Chesterfield U3A celebrated its 25th Anniversary with an event which displayed their groups on 22 tables around the room and were entertained by guitar music and country dancing. Special guests included the Mayor and Mayoress of Chesterfield and Jean Hogg the Regional Trustee.

In Focus

Delia Born, Wanstead and Woodford U3A

I moved to Woodford Green six years ago to be near my grandchildren but knew no one other than my family.

When I was looking around for things to do, I found my local U3A and have never looked back.

I explored several different groups but the two that interested me most and that I now co-lead are Singing for Fun and Freedom Pass Rovers.

I have joined as many of the national Study Days that are held in London as I possibly can. During my working life I was a member of the caring profession and the study days have opened up a whole new world, at times enabling me to explore topics that I hardly knew existed. All very interesting and life enhancing. Great stuff.

Four years ago, I enrolled for a residential course entitled “Looking at Drama” thinking we would be discussing plays. When I initially discovered that, along with analysing the plays, we would be divided into small groups and given snippets from various scenes to “act”, my knees started knocking!! I have enrolled every year since and already looking forward to the 2020 course.

How very fortunate I am to be able to experience such interesting things about the world out there.

U3A is full of life-enhancing experiences. It opened a new world for me.
Did somebody forward this email to you?
Sign up at and we will send it to you directly
The Third Age Trust • Registered Charity 288007 • Registered Company 01759471
Copyright © 2019 The Third Age Trust, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list