Dear <<First Name>>,

Welcome to the April newsletter.

I hope you are all enjoying the beginning of the lovely Spring weather. We are gazing at the blue skies from our windows here at Lant Street.

As usual members are continuing to be involved in so many great events and projects and study programmes. We are undertaking some research into the impact of the U3A, and would ask that those of you who are happy to do so complete a very short questionnaire online.

Wishing you all a very happy April.

With very best wishes

Sam Mauger
Chief Executive
In this issue...

Keeping emails secure
Backstage secrets at Theatr Clywd
U3A speaking at Scottish Parliament

News from the Trust

A new constitution

Hundreds of U3A members took part in shaping the future direction of the national charity at an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) held at the University of Birmingham’s Great Hall.

The proposed changes to the constitution, which were passed by the members, included a strengthening of the charity’s object clause and a change to the Memorandum and Articles of Association.  

The EGM also featured a lively Panel Debate on Ageing Well with expert speakers on health, lifelong learning and the arts. 

Chairman of the Third Age Trust, Pam Jones said, “The U3A relies on the experience and expertise of all our members and the EGM was about ensuring that members have a voice in everything the Trust does.  These changes will bring our constitution up to date and allow the U3A movement to grow.”

You can watch the EGM and debate on our YouTube channel.

Keeping it Legal

Following on from the success of our new series of training events in 2018 for U3A committee members which took place in Leeds (North) and Surrey (South) a workshop (Central) is taking place at etc.venues in Birmingham on 30th April.  The last few places are available. You can book a place via the workshops website,

These workshop days are being offered in response to requests and enquiries from U3A committee members regarding the legal requirements and responsibilities of running a U3A.

Advice from the Trust

GDPR and guidance from the Trust 

We are in the process of updating our guidance in respect of GDPR. Please refer to the advice section of the Trust website for the revised materials from the end of next week. The main change will be the lawful basis for which U3As request membership data. U3As can use contract as well as consent for gathering data from members. The use of contract for requesting information for membership purposes will be less onerous for committees. Consent will need to be obtained for additional processing such as for the Trust publications. 

Throughout the time that we have been drafting our guidance we have sought legal advice and have offered guidance in good faith and in such a way as to ensure that U3As are prepared for GDPR. There has been a constant stream of enquiries in to National Office and it is as a result of your questions that we have been back and forth to ensure that what we are advising you is correct. GDPR is evidently new legislation and guidance will be updated as we all become more familiar with it. We will try to keep you informed of updates but recommend that you do check the advice section of the website on a regular basis. The information commissioner’s office also provide useful guidance (

Advice for U3A committees

Please note that we have now replaced the original Committee Reference File with the Advice section on the website, This is so that people are always looking at the most up-to-date advice.

We hope this will help when U3As may have lost their files or not been able to update them and every effort is made to make sure the website is available at all times.

For any member who does not have access to the internet they can phone the national office and we will download the section they need and send it to them in the post.

Whenever there is an updated items we will advise you in this newsletter but we will still send out hard copy mailing for changes in the documentation such as licences or insurance. 

Other advice

Motoring and Bikers

Following a number of inquiries to national office regarding motoring insurance, Account Director of A J Gallagher, Tony Carlile says “Our usual insurance policies include cover for motoring groups which meet up in cars or on motorcycles and visit various locations although the primary cover is of course provided by the motor insurance.

“Under no circumstances does the U3A insurance cover extend to any form of driving instruction, vehicle maintenance or motoring advice”.

Email Security

When sending an email to a number of recipients, to avoid revealing their names and address to the other people in the email make sure you use blind carbon copy (bcc), not carbon copy (cc).

This is an important part of the compliance with data protection. To find out more and for general advice about email and computer security please go to the security advice section of the Information Commissioner’s Office.

As an exercise for her creative writing group, Margot Dixon (Rye U3A) wrote this email limerick to help people to remember:
"Desist" I said, feeling quite stroppy,
"Sending emails without Blind Carbon Copy,
To groups of your pals,
Both the guys and the gals"
To do so I deemed very sloppy.

Lifelong learning

Research questionnaire

Please press the button below to participate in our impact survey.
Take part in the survey

Shared learning and research

David Martin, National Subject Adviser for Mathematics and Statistics has written an article on Sources online about the UK’s first ever National Numeracy Day on Wednesday 16th May 2018 -  a celebration of the importance of numbers in everyday life.  See this and updates on research and SLPs including the Hearth Tax project at

Shared Learning Project newsletters

Click here for the most recent newsletters for the Cottonopolis Project in Manchester
And to sign up for regular updates on the National Leather Project in Northampton go to the National Leather Collection (NLC) website.

Third Age Matters

Don’t forget that Third Age Matters Magazine is now out – this month it features an article on National Chairman, Pam Jones as well as news, features and competitions.

U3A members who use a screen reader can download a text copy of the magazine from the U3A national website.

Educational events

Backstage secrets

Backstage Secrets at the renowned Theatr Clwyd in Flintshire, Wales is a hands on day of workshops including painting scenery; lighting and sound’ wigs and makeup; and a drama acting workshop led by a theatre Clwyd.

See more details on this exclusive taste of behind the scenes theatre life on Thursday 17th May, at

Coming soon…

'After the Impressionists: The Post Impressionists to Picasso':  Join us at the National Gallery in London Thursday 7th June to hear experts exploring the radical diversity of late nineteenth and early twentieth century-paintings.  From the blazing visions and emotional intensity of Van Gogh to the quiet stillness of Hammershoi, discover the art that followed in the wake of Impressionism.  Booking will be opening at the end of April.

National summer schools

Don’t miss out on attending our national summer schools – there are still a few places left on courses Garden History, Mathematics, Opera, and Spanish History. Book now

Regional events

U3A in Scotland Summer School 

Tuesday 21st August – Thursday 23rd August 2018 at the West Park Conference Centre in Dundee.  Course subjects include American History, Genealogy for Beginners, Hands On Craft, Geology and Ecology. See the U3A Scotland website for more information.

London Region of U3As

London Region of U3As are holding a non-residential Summer School 2018 on Tuesday 31st July – Thursday 2nd August  St Bride Foundation, Fleet Street, London EC4Y 8EQ (5 minutes from Blackfriars underground station) Extra spaces have been made available due to popular demand. See the London Region website for more information.

Science Day at Deeside and Wirral U3A Network

Monday 30th April.  The day is aimed at leaders of science groups and others who are group members or potentially interested in the sciences. See the Deeside and Wirral website for more information.

North West Region AGM

Tuesday 29th May, at the Quaker Meeting House, Liverpool. Details and booking available from the North West Region website.

Learning resources

Subject advisers

The latest updates and news from the national subject advisers are now available on the Subject Advice section on the website. Click the subjects to download them:

Cultural engagement of older men

The Whitworth Gallery in Manchester has, funded by the Baring Foundation, conducted research and produced a guide to involving older men in arts activities. 

Ed Watts from the Whitworth discussed the research as a panel  member at the U3A’s recent debate - Great Ageing Well at our EGM in Birmingham. Click here to read the fascinating handbook.

Resource Centre 

Susan Radford – Resource Centre Manager said “The Resource Centre is a DVD library service with educational resources to help group leaders and group study. We are located in the National Office and have a wide range of DVDs covering subjects like Art, Architecture, Gardening, History, Languages, Literature, Opera, Ballet, Science and more. We have recently added some new opera DVDs and have bought some fascinating new programmes from the BBC, which will be added to stock during April. 

You can browse our stock via our online catalogue at and we have a user guide available by email if you have any trouble using the catalogue. Please feel free to contact us at or on 020 8466 6139 (Monday to Thursday 9.30 to 15.30), we can also supply subject lists by email or post.”

U3As in action

Our latest video tells the story of a U3A wine tasting group. Click below to watch. You can find articles from the subject adviser for Wine Appreciation at

News from the Board of Directors

Vice Chairman of the Third Age Trust, Ian McCannah 

“The Trust has conducted an in-depth review of Sources, its thrice yearly educational supplement, taking account of the results of a members’ Questionnaire and the cost of producing 750,000 copies a year.

It has concluded that the current paper copy of Sources does not represent the best use of membership fees. Accordingly, there will be three more paper copies -  this coming June and September and, finally, next February. Their respective themes are Subject Advisers, Summer Schools and Workshops / Network Study Days. Items relating to these themes should be sent to 

Simultaneous with this decision, the Trust has launched Sources OnLine (  Currently, items in SOL are concentrating on the following themes: subject advisers, research and shared learning projects.

Over the next year members will notice that items, focussing on U3A interest groups and other activities, previously included in paper Sources, will begin to appear, as appropriate, in either Third Age Matters or Sources OnLine. At the same time, some items currently in TAM will start to appear in Sources OnLine.
The Trust expects that these changes, to how U3A events and activities are publicised, will allow more items received from members to be published across our various publications.”

Other news

Voter’s choice at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre

The national events team are delighted to have negotiated an exclusive U3A 2 for 1 deal with the renowned Globe Theatre.

Shakespeare’s Globe are offering U3A members the chance to purchase any 2 seated tickets for the price of 1 for performances on Friday 18th May (2pm or 7.30pm). 

It is set to be a performance with a difference because for the first time Shakespeare’s Globe are giving the audience the choice to vote on the night for which play they want to see: The Merchant of Venice, The Taming of the Shrew or Twelfth Night.  The cast is made up of four recent drama school graduates and four more experienced actors, who will play a range of parts across the three plays.

Please quote promotional code PCD123vote when you book tickets on the website, over the phone on 0207 401 9919, or at the box office to receive this offer.


There is an open invitation to all U3A members to the Impfest - Imperial College London Festival on 28/29 April -  a free weekend of hands-on science, mind-blowing technology, live music, fascinating talks, creative workshops and tasty street food!

To find out more and to register visit

Appear on TV with Russell Howard

The Russell Howard Hour on Sky1 is a topical show that runs for 14 weeks over the Autumn.  In the next month, the team are looking to speak to U3A members across the UK who are happy to impart their wisdom on Howard!

The show wants real and entertaining characters with interesting backgrounds and different outlooks on life.  The tone should be heart-warming, informative, funny and full of hope.

Young people Increasingly, outside their own family, have little or no meaningful contact with the older generation anymore. Russell wants to mend this divide.

If you’re interested in taking part please contact and be sure to let national office know how you get on.

In Focus

Kath Payne, Vice Chair of U3A Scotland is representing the U3A on a SOPA (Scottish Older People's Association) panel debate at the Scottish Parliament on Monday.  She talks here about what U3A means to her:

“After my partner died of Septicaemia - I was alone in a new area with no family and knowing very few people in the village. 

Of the few people I did know, three were U3A members. One enrolled me into a beginners class for Bridge and the other two dragged me to my first Open Meeting. 

As someone who had worked full time since the age of 17, I had never had the time or opportunity to join anything.  Six months later I was a Group leader, then Committee Member, Vice Chair and Chair. I am now a Vice Chair of Scotland.

I have gone from being a shattered, lonely wreck to a confident, active person with many friends and dozens of acquaintances. I have met people in similar circumstances to my own where the U3A has offered a hand, to learn together, to support, comfort and encourage. For many of us, the U3A has truly been a life changer”

See the Scottish Parliament event live streamed at
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