Isle of Scilly’s Creative Writing group have created an Autumn leaf garland. Read more in U3A News. 


Dear <<First Name>>,

I want to say a big thank you to all of you who read this newsletter, contribute to it and send us comments. We will want to feel the strength of our U3A community as we face the longer evenings together and begin the journey through autumn and winter.

Whilst we have the regulations of Covid to navigate, we will do our best to all work together to make the next few months as good as they can be, and to
keep the spirit of learn, laugh, live stronger than ever.

U3A Radio will have its next production in November, and then as we move into 2021, we hope this will become a regular event. Listening to the first podcast for me demonstrates the many skills the membership have - isn't it great that this volunteer movement can produce these radio shows that sound every bit as good as a large commercial radio station.

Over 1000 of you contributed to the research on use of language, and after challenging all of the unacceptable language, you described the words that should be attributed to people in retirement. The descriptors were friendly, intelligent, curious and adventurous. What better description could there be of U3A members?

Keep safe and well.

With regards,
Sam Mauger
Chief Executive
In this issue...

New Brand
Winter Learning Programme
Event with the National Gallery
Remembering Jayne

Jayne Elie, a vibrant, committed and very enthusiastic member of our team passed away suddenly and unexpectedly last week. Many of you will have spoken to Jayne on the advice line. She was committed to the movement, and nothing gave her more pleasure at work then encouraging people enquiring about the U3A to join the movement.

We have a short team meeting each week, and Jayne always gave us stories about the people she had spoken to and how great it was they were part of U3A. All of us in the team miss Jayne very much, she was cheerful, funny and she was always laughing.

We hope that those of you who have spoken with Jayne remember her with us, and carry memories of her with you as we will in the Trust. We will miss you Jayne, very much.

Bitesize Newsletter

Download the Bitesize Newsletter below - a shorter version of the newsletter you can send to those not on email.
Bitesize Newsletter

News from the Trust

New Look

Thank you so much for all your feedback on our new brand, which launched in September.  This updated look was chosen after a wide consultation with members. See more about the new brand on our website.

Register to our Brand centre to access our new materials, which we will be adding to over the next few months. We're running guided tours of the Brand Centre and the next one is on Thursday - register here.

Sue Stokes, Chair of the Communications and External Affairs Committee, has written a piece for Sources about the importance of using branded resources.
Your Stories

"As Beverley and District U3A's groups of strollers can not meet at the moment, we have been sending out walks via Beacon for individuals to do with a friend or partner.  

Our town is rich in local history so we keep the routes local, and take advantage of plaques, paintings and noticeboards that are located in the vicinity.  Each walk is on one page of A4 and has ten questions to solve. 

The walks can be done in full or some of our members just do two or three clues whilst out shopping."

-    Doreen and Ann, Beverley and District U3A
Click on this link to open the newsletter in a separate browser on which it will be easier to zoom in and view.

Advice News

Covid 19 Advice for England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales

Following further increases in cases of Coronavirus throughout the UK, the governments in each nation have issued further restrictions and guidance. The rules vary depending on whether you live in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

To find out what this means for U3As in each nation, please read the full advice on the National Website.
Your Stories

"Canterbury U3A's fingerpicking group has created a YouTube video of us playing the traditional English folk song, ‘Country Gardens’, which we’ve learnt in the group.

The ukulele group has continued during lockdown on Zoom and we used photos from members of their gardens or garden outings to accompany the song. Watch it here. "

– Laura, Canterbury U3A


Angela Owen submitted this photo into U3A Eye for 'Shadows.' Read more about Angela in the case study at the end of the newsletter.

There's So Much To Do Over Winter

U3A's national winter learning programme promises to keep us all inspired and learning throughout the colder months.  Our ongoing initiatives are continuing so have a look at our learning pages to see everything that you can get involved in.
We are working on a project on the Battle of Britain and we want to hear about your experiences and memories. Please email us your stories.

Exciting News: U3A Radio Podcast

The next episode will be broadcast on Tuesday 17 November at 11am. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and click the bell to get an alert when the episode is up.

This second broadcast will look at members’ life stories as well as stories from members and groups from across the movement.

If you haven't already, listen to the first episode here.
Our National U3A Choir has been working hard on creating this song, 'Savannah', despite the difficulties of singing together virtually. All the vocals and visuals are contributed by U3A members.

U3A in the media 

Our Chief Executive Sam Mauger has been in the media this month discussing ageist language directed towards older adults.

Thank you so much for filling out our survey about ageist language last month – we’ve identified the top ten offensive words used older people and as a result featured in news platforms including  The Daily Mail, The Telegraph and The Times.

Read more on our website.


'Artemisia: Artist, icon, entrepreneur'

Join us on 24 November 10.30-12 for an event with the National Gallery.

We’ll be joined by National Gallery experts to discuss Artemisia Gentileshi, a successful artist of the 17th century who challenged conventions by  tackling subjects that were traditionally the preserve of male artists.

This event costs £5.50. Book here.

Photo credit: Artemisia Gentileschi, Self Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria, about 1615-17, National Gallery
As well as our external talks with a range of organisations, we also have a programme of free talks delivered by members. All of the details are on the Events section of the website, under online events.
Your Stories

"Throughout lockdown, Radcliffe on Trent has had  one major innovation: working with the local TV station, Notts TV, to sponsor a TV programme called NG30, which is a 30 minute talk by a Nottingham person.

The committee felt that this challenging venture has given the members a better alternative than trying to bring the monthly meeting online via Zoom or on other platforms. 

The producer was pleased with the  amount of viewers and has agreed to do three more programmes. We feel this is an initiative that other U3As might emulate, especially in a consortium."

- Malcolm, Radcliffe on Trent U3A 

U3A News

Farnham U3A

Farnham U3A has been innovative in it's activities over the last few months and is taking the rule of six in its stride. 

Chair Mike Love said, "Our lockdown survey showed that two thirds of members found U3A interests and friends a bonus during lockdown, and 60% of those living alone actually coped better than expected.”

Ledbury U3A 

Ledbury U3A’s groups have been continuing recently, with their Feminist group meeting in gardens. Meanwhile, the Shakespeare group have been consistently emailing, discussing everything from different adaptations to political cartoons that incorporate Shakespearean references.
Isle of Scilly Creative Writing Group

Isle of Scilly's Creative Writing group have been meeting fortnightly in a large quarry garden.

For the last of their meetings, they let their surroundings and the Autumnal weather inspire them, writing their thoughts and lines on pieces of paper which they turned into this Autumn leaf garland, one of the leaves of which you can see on the left.

Learning to Be Retired

The Retiring with Attitude: Learning to be Retired course made by two U3A members, Julia South and Carol Ellis, has gone online. Previously run face-to-face, the course will help U3A members to work how to navigate this major life change and how to look for contentment and fulfilment. They have created a trailer for the course which you can watch with this link and to find out more, contact

News from the Board

Chair of the Third Age Trust, Ian McCannah

“ A lot has happened since the last newsletter.

September 29 saw the first virtual Trust AGM with around 750 members logging in. In addition to the normal agenda items there was a debate on the Board resolution to increase the membership subscription by 50p in 2022.

The Board very much appreciates the over two thirds support for its resolution and it has noted, and will act on, the points raised by members during the debate.

The AGM saw six new Regional Trustees join the Board - Susie Berry (South East England), Barbara Cordina (East of England), Margaret Fiddes (Yorkshire & Humberside), Susan Parker ( South West England), Neil Stevenson (North West England) and Allan Walmsley (West Midlands).

Finally, the new logo and publicity material was launched after the AGM and digital downloads are available from a new online U3A Brand Centre, and the U3A website has also been revamped. These changes result from extensive consultation with members and a recognition that institutions have to periodically refresh their image. U3A is no exception - particularly as individual U3As plan for life after lockdown.”

Beyond Lockdown 

Preparing for Winter and the Festive Season

An amazing number of ideas have been generated by U3As to continue connecting and learning in these times. We are so supportive of your efforts to try and include all your members, whether using technology or in other ways. 

These initiatives include developing Hybrid groups, promoting Zoom buddies, streaming to YouTube, picnics in the park, Zoom tutorials, competitions and sharing ideas between U3As through the efforts of networks.  

These ideas will soon be up on our website under Support for U3As.
We are putting together seasons greetings cards for U3As to use. These will be coming your way soon - we will keep you updated.
Your Stories

"On Friday 9 October we held a virtual ‘Fish Supper and Quiz’.

Twenty-eight members of the group, with friends and family, enjoyed our fish suppers, ranging from fish and chips,  to Thai style salmon. All went down well, including the quiz which was enjoyed by all including the winners with fifty out of fifty."

-David, Maghull and Lydiate U3A Family History Group

U3A members have been sharing beautiful photos of their gardens on our closed U3A Facebook group - this photo is courtesy of Sally Hunt. See social media news for more.

Volunteering News 

The 2019 Board of Trustees meeting before Covid.

National Trustees Week

U3A has so many amazing trustees who help this organisation thrive. Thank you to all of you, whether you're on your local committee, Regional Network or the National Board.

This National Trustees Week, 2 to 9
November, we've put together a programme of resources to help trustees in their role. See these on the website.

What do you like about being a trustee? What have you gained? Get in touch: we would love to hear from you.
Our Zoom tutorials are ongoing so if you haven't had a chance to attend one yet, book onto them here.

U3A Recruitment Working Group

U3A Recruitment Campaign

Our Recruitment campaign is well and truly launched with over 60 U3As participating.

Paul Martinez, Chair of the Recruitment Working group, said, ' The pilot version of the U3A Recruitment Toolkit has been developed with eighteen tools including a number of how-to guides, PowerPoints, model letters and a preparing to recruit checklist. 

The next Trailblazer phase of the campaign will take place early in 2021.   In the meantime, we want your help.
  • Have you got arrangements to share interest groups with other U3As?
  • Do you promote the interest groups you share on both your websites? 
  • Have you used paid for Facebook Ads?
If so, please email me to tell me how you did it."

U3A: One Movement

Does your U3A belong to a Network?

Networks are informal groupings of U3As local to each other. Representatives from each U3A meet to share ideas, events, speakers, training sessions, discuss issues and support each other.

Hilary Jones, Chairman of Network Link, said, "During lockdown, many networks have met virtually to keep connected, especially important during these difficult times.

Networks are vital links in the communication chain across the organisation and are greatly valued by the Trust. Check with your chairman to see which network your U3A belongs to and, if you aren’t a member, suggest you join.

Networks meet nationally twice a year, this October via Zoom, organised under Network Link. For more information contact me and open up new opportunities for your fellow members."
Your Stories

"The Special Events group at Higham and Rushdem U3A is looking to the future and has booked day coach trips from the summer of 2021. We are planning to go to Highclere Castle, The Royal Courts of Justice, The Newmarket and we have even reserved seats for the Thursford Christmas Spectacular for 2021.

There has been a tremendous response. We think that as well as educational groups it will provide variety for members to enjoy day excursions together. It's great to give them something to look forward to."

-      Sylvia and Jean, Higham and Rushden U3A

This photo by Peter Hagger was shared on the U3A Keeping In Touch Facebook group.

Have you got your 2021 U3A diary yet? These are available to order in packs of five from the National Website. It's the perfect Christmas present or place to keep track of all your U3A plans - virtual or in person. Get them here.

Social Media News 

Do you follow us on social media?

This month on social media, we've been sharing U3A Eye photos, news about the brand as well as stories about U3A groups meeting - whether virtually or in real life.

Our social media is made up of the amazing stories and pictures we receive from our members so we would love to hear from you. Have you taken a great photo recently or are your groups trying something new? Start a conversation with us by tagging us in your posts on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram or email us.
Your Stories

"At Falkirk U3A, we have a History and its Consequences group.

A topic is chosen and the leader sends out a background and provides links to a number of relevant videos and articles. The group is then run as an online group with open contributions, some more formal, some in the form of comments or questions."

-    Austin, Falkirk U3A

News from TATTL

U3A discounts 

The Third Age Trust Trading Company (TATTL) has announced two new partnerships, Brand iQ will in the near future enable members to purchase a wide range of U3A branded merchandise.
Parliament Hill will enable discounts for a variety of services and products through a simple ‘click and save.’ It will launch in January.

TATTL has been created to meet Charity Commission requirements, and also now has responsibility for the TAM magazine and for the Beacon system.  Chair of TATTL, Dr Clive Grace said, ‘We aim to serve U3A through beneficial activities and any trading surplus is returned to the U3A movement. Our board is appointed by and fully accountable to the Trust and are all volunteers.  

We are currently seeking an additional Non-Executive Director drawn from the U3A movement.  If you are interested, or have any thoughts or suggestions about how the Company might better serve U3A,
please contact me."


On Sources this month, read about Bromley U3A's All Hands Gardening Group (above), how Steyning & District U3A's Portugese group have benefited from moving online and much more.
We're always looking for more content for our Sources learning blog and our other platforms. If you've got a unique interest group, get in touch. 

It may seem early but we especially want to know about your U3A Christmas plans: are your craft group working on Christmas projects, do you have any virtual Christmas plans or is there anything else festive going on at your U3A? Let us know.

Subject Advice News 

Walking Cricket Subject Advisor Mac Mckechnie was featured in Cricket Yorkshire’s 50 Grassroots Cricket Champions. Read it here.

See updates on all our Subject Advisors on our Subject Advice page.
Your Stories

"During lockdown, I created and compiled a book of poetry for all ages.

My poem ‘The Belper Moo’ is also being illustrated for publication shortly as a children’s book, commemorating the time our whole town united to combat the loneliness and frustration of lockdown, by moo-ing outside from at 6.30pm for two minutes! This grabbed world wide media attention and there are plans for a moo memorial, moo trail and a dedicated moo day each year."

-    Carol, Belper U3A

International News

U3A in Kazakhstan coping with Covid

The International Committee's contacts in Kazakhstan have been busy. Astana U3A have created hobby groups including learning English, dancing clubs, choral singing, cultural life and history.

Auriol, Chair of the International Committee, said, "During the Covid quarantine, members have assisted in free food deliveries to needy families, and flood victims in the Maktaaral district.  They have been sewing face masks, providing them to people in need. They kept in contact through 2 specific WhatsApp chats – and even created a flash mob ‘Biz birgemitz.’"

Read the full story on Sources.

Third Age Matters

Third Age Matters is coming out in November with an exclusive interview with Tim Peake and much more.

Here is a snippet of the cover and for more exclusive previews, follow Third Age Matters on Twitter.
For the next issue of TAM, we want to hear from you.

We're interested in science stories so let us know if your U3A science group has been doing anything interesting over the last couple of months.

Our tech writer, James Day, will be answering your technical questions in the February edition, so send them in now.

Celebrations and Thank Yous

A Virtual Celebration

Seaham Harbour U3A celebrated their 10th anniversary this month. After having their initial plans cancelled, they sent a card and enamel badge to each member to mark the occasion. Vice Chair, Gordon, said, ‘so many members  appreciated the gesture knowing that all is not lost and that their U3A cares about them. Loneliness can be hard, but U3A friends can help support one another.’

Congratulations also to Ashington and District U3A who have published a book. It went into print in March and was sold out a week afterwards. 
Congratulations to Maggy of Sherburn U3A who is a winner of Elmet 100 Club Community Award for her work producing face masks for residents.

Thank You

Once again, U3A members have been in touch to say thank you to members of their U3A.

Susan Johnson from Portsmouth U3A, Lynne Batsford and Joanna Goulson from Pewsey U3A, Prudhoe and District U3A’s Groups Coordinator Kathy Clegg and Jo Fordham from Bedford U3A were all mentioned as people who have gone above and beyond over the last couple of months to keep members connected and learning.

Read the full story on Sources and email us with your nominations for U3A members who deserve to be celebrated.

In Focus

Angela, Worcester U3A

I joined U3A in 2016 as I was approaching retirement. I was truly grateful for the opportunity for some structured transition to having lots of space and time. I’m a member of many groups, including two photography groups.

U3A Eye has opened up the next step for me as it has unleashed creativity, and not just in photography. I’ve experimented in all kinds of ways, producing images for the challenges each fortnight. 
My favourite image is the “Twists and Turns of a Trail of Light” under the theme of “beginning with T”. Here I experimented with some tiny lights I wrapped around a wand, and played with in a darkened room. This was photographically the most challenging and required research. This creativity has been a whole new aspect of photography for me. 

I tend to have one very uncomfortable day a fortnight – the day the new theme comes out. I find myself willing an idea to come, like when there’s a name on the tip of your tongue and just can’t bring it forth, nor can you let it go. But once an idea comes, I relax and others come in and compete. 

Read a longer version of Angela's case study on our Sources blog.

See the U3A Eye galleries and submit your photos here.
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