u3a members are busy preparing for u3a day, like Julia from Wigtownshire u3a, pictured here making paper butterflies for the window displays they have planned.


Dear <<First Name>>,

u3a day is almost upon us, and thousands of members will be taking part across the movement. We are really excited to finally launch our first ever u3a day. If any of you have not let us know about your plans for the day Please do let us know.

We want all your photos from this special day, if you are happy to share them and everyone in the photos has given their consent, please send them to

The fashion expert Esme Young of Great British Sewing Bee will be joining us on the day, see what she has to say below and how you can join that event. We are so pleased that she has given us her time and experience on our special day.

It is so good to have the opportunity to begin to meet face to face even to a limited degree across a lot of the movement. 

I wish you all a forthcoming happy u3a day - and look forward to celebrating with you.

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

Preparing for u3a day
Make Ground Nut Stew
In Focus with Jayam
Your Stories

"I WhatsApp'd my 73 year old friend at the weekend and said "I have just done 120 press ups in a Pilates session". She said "Well two of us have just sailed from Beaumaris to Lytham".

I'm so sick of phrases like "You are not getting any younger". "You need to start putting your feet up" and other such clichés which are positively harmful. The physio at my local hospital said that muscles need exercising, strength needs building, stamina needs increasing, it always has health benefits, age should never be a barrier."

- Julie, Bury u3a
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News from the Trust

Fashion and Ageism Survey

Thank you so much for taking part in our survey about fashion and ageism - over 6,000 of you took part in the two days it was open which is an incredible response. we will share the results with you in the next newsletter.

Seams Like A Dream

Esme Young, known for TV's The Great British Sewing Bee, will be talking to members on u3a day about her life and career. 

We are thrilled that Esme will be answering questions from members after her talk.

We will do our best to get through as many questions as possible. To send in a question ahead of the event please contact us.

We look forward to seeing you there. Book now. See more about events in Event News.

u3a day

We have been flooded with stories about the amazing things that you have planned for u3a day. You will see u3a day photos and stories scattered throughout this newsletter as we gear up for the big day on 2 June.

This is the last call to register what your u3a is doing. Whatever your plans are, please let us know by sending information – u3a name, contact details, outline activity plans to

Don’t forget to check out ideas and examples shared on the u3a day Facebook group and do share photos (with permissions) with us on the day by emailing or using the hashtag #u3aday2021
A sample of what's happening
  • Guildford u3a have produced an eye-catching poster for distribution around the town, consisting of photos taken by members.
  • Lutterworth and neighbouring Wycliffe u3a are working together on a Town Treasure Trail with a promotional video on a town centre large screen. 
  • The Walking Cricket Tournament is being held in Doncaster, with 6 teams competing for the trophy.  


Round neck T-shirts are now available on the brand centre 😊 Other merchandise including caps, mugs and lanyards can also be found on

Merchandising Committee Chair, Neil Stevenson (Member of Upholland & District u3a) said, "We are very excited about this. We expect to have polo shirts on the brand centre next week so keep checking in. We are working on the next tranche of items coming soon subject to availability". 
This month's u3a radio podcast highlights the writing talent with a focus on Poetry, Prose and Plays. Listen now on our YouTube Channel. What do you want to hear more of on u3a radio - or do you have any stories? Get in touch. 

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Bitesize Newsletter
Thanks so much for the interest in being part of u3a Trust Board. This is a gentle reminder that there's one week left to submit your application. See the nomination form now and get in touch if you have any questions.

Learning News

Learn, Laugh, Move - Cycling

The Learn, Laugh, Move learning initiative is spotlighting cycling this month. u3a cycle groups are resuming up and down the UK, from 92 year old group leader Bob in Bognor Regis to E-Bike enthusiasts in bonny Helensburgh. Read more on our u3a Sources blog  and on the Learn, Laugh, Move webpage.

Creative Writing

Do you love to write? There's only one week left to enter our u3a creative writing competition - the theme is 'Unexpected' - so what will you be writing about? Enter now.

New u3a Choir Song

Richard Keoghoe of Plymouth u3a has been at hard at work with the national u3a choir again! Their song ‘After the Storm’ is available on our YouTube channel. Photo credit: Norman from Plymouth u3a

Cookery Challenge Starts in East Africa

We are kicking off our World Cuisine Cookery Challenge with recipes from East Africa. This ground nut stew recipe has been provided by Khatoon of Richmond upon Thames u3a. For more recipes visit the World Cuisine Cookery page on our website.
Ground Nut Stew

Ingredients: (serves 6)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
250 g peanuts roasted skinned and coarsely ground or 100g coarse peanut butter, 450 ml hot water.
1large onion peeled and chopped,
½ tsp crushed garlic
2 medium tomatoes chopped.
¾ tsp salt,1 tsp paprika hot juice of 1 lemon 
1/4 bunch chopped coriander and spinach.

In a bowl combine peanuts or peanut butter in hot water and stir to make paste.
In a pan heat oil over a medium heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent. Add chopped tomatoes and garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Now add the peanut mixture and stir well. Add salt, paprika. Add coriander and spinach. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes. 
Add lemon juice and serve with mashed matoke, garnished with fried onions.

Other learning programmes including the monthly maths challenge and much more is available on our learning pages. These are complemented by a continually updated line-up of online talks, interactive sessions and events open to all members via the Online Events Page.

Advice News

Updated advice in line with the Covid Guidance is now available on the u3a website. Check it out now.

How to make meetings accessible

The Diversity and Inclusion Committee along with Zoom Tutor Liz Thackray have created a protocol for accessibility in meetings and presentations. Read it on our website.
Your Stories

"Isle of Wight u3a are celebrating National u3a day on 2 June by walking all 70 miles of the coastal path. We are intending to create a blue and gold pompom trail around the island....all walkers will be wearing high-vis  jackets with u3a emblazoned on them to draw attention to our wonderful organisation.

In the afternoon the walkers and other members of the u3a will meet in Church Litten park to share their stories and photos and have a picnic.  All covid rules will be followed!"

- Jan, Isle of Wight u3a

u3a News

Ilkley u3a Online Photography Exhibition

The Ilkley & District u3a Photography Exhibition has opened again, with the photos being displayed in four online 'galleries.'  All of the photos are taken by members of Ilkley u3a's photography groups and members vary from absolute beginners to more accomplished photographers.

There were seven categories for the competition; street scenes, beautiful Yorkshire, weather, colourful people, the natural world - birds/insects/animals, water/and or woodland scenes. See more on the Ilkley u3a website.
Nordic Walking Again with Causeway u3a 

u3a groups have started meeting again in line with the new rules - which have enabled Causeway u3a to restart their nordic walking group (see left.)

If you've taken photos of you meeting face-to-face again, we would love to see them.
West Cheshire Rural u3a have created this display as part of a welly walk going on in the village Tattenhall.

News from the Board

Chair of the Third Age Trust, Ian McCannah

"u3a day is only a matter of days away. Committees up and down the UK are planning innovative ways to raise their profile within their local communities - a key way to attract new members as u3a activity starts to pick up again. Although June 2 is the focus point for local and national activity, some committees are planning to celebrate u3a well into the summer and autumn months.

Planning for the Trust's AGM in August continues apace. There will be Officer elections for Chair, Vice Chair and Treasurer and Trustee elections in East Midlands, London, Wales and Yorkshire & Humberside. Applications close at the end of the month - for more details contact Sam on

The Trust's link with Slow Ways is capturing the imagination of u3a walking groups - nearly 300 members attended two recent webinars. The original objective of researching local footpaths is leading to "spin-offs" with groups including local history, natural history and bird watching  considering following the routes as well. Networks across the UK are starting to think about how each u3a in their area can link with neighbours to walk and research footpaths. For more information go to or ian.mccannah@u3a."

National Events

You can find lots of events on our online events page. Here is a sample:
Marine Wildlife with Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust
Monday 7 June, 10.30 am

Join us for a talk to hear about the amazing marine species and habitats in the seas around the UK, the pressures they face, and how to get involved in protecting their future.
An Introduction to Climate Change
Friday 11 June, 10.30 am

Join us for this presentation explaining what climate change is, the steps that are being taken to reduce damaging emissions and what role we all can play to protect the planet.
Live Cookery Demonstration - Al Fresco Food
Monday 21 June, 10.30 am 

In this latest event with Chef Alex from ‘Vegetarian for Life’, he will be showing us how to make a smoky aubergine soup, mushroom chestnut burgers with sweet potato fries and to finish, a traditional Austrian apricot cake. Not only are all these recipes delicious, they are also all vegan.
Save the date - Thursday 1 July at 2pm a talk by Rob Eastaway; 

"Howzat – how a dice game changed the world of sport" 


NetFest 14-18 June

NetFest 2021 is a week of events selected and designed with the theme of ‘Celebrating, Communicating and Connecting’.
Alongside sessions filled with useful information this event will provide an opportunity for networks to come together to discuss issues, exchange ideas and share solutions.
Netfest Programme, 14 – 18 June 2021     
"What Networks Do"
"Alternative Ways of running meetings - hybrid and other options
"Networks, Consitutions and Licence Agreements Made Simple"
"Network Communication Challenges"
"Peer Support Networks" 
"Click and Save Scheme"
"Slow Ways Project" 
"Successful Networks" 
"PR Introduction for Networks"
"TGIF (Thank Goodness It's Friday)" 

Invitations have been sent to Network Representatives this week with details of each event and links for registering to attend. If you have any problems please contact the u3a office for assistance.

u3a 40 Anniversary

40 anniversary quilt competition

To celebrate the u3a 40th anniversary in 2022, we are launching a u3a-wide Anniversary Quilt competition on the theme of Positive Ageing through our strapline Learn Laugh Live. 
Any u3a member, or group of members or Interest groups can enter. Forty squares will be chosen from your entries to complete the final quilt. 

See more information about the u3a 40th Anniversary Quilt competition and the competition rules on the competition entry form. If you would like to find out more, please get in touch.
Your Stories

"This banner was made by Lesley and Peter for Anlaby, Willerby & Kirk Ella u3a to advertise and celebrate both u3a day and our 10th Anniversary on 14 July.

We have also taken over a local council walled garden for the year and are busy decorating it with blue & yellow flowers, we also intent to yarn bomb the adjacent Bus Stop seat and post box for u3a day as well as advertising at the local library and the many benches around the area."

- Anlaby, Willerby & Kirk Ella u3a

Media News

As u3a day looms closer, u3as have been busy working with their local press to publicise the u3a movement.

Wigtownshire u3a featured in the Galloway Gazette discussing their u3a day plans. 

A full page of Dulwich and District Diverter was given to a feature with member and convenor of the Creative Writing group, Maggie, who mentioned u3a several times in the article.

Beeston u3a featured in a local magazine, The Grapevine, discussing their u3a day plans.

Has your u3a featured in your local media recently? We'd like to hear about it -
In Scotland and interested in PR/Social Media?

A new Media Scotland club launched on Wednesday 19 May on Zoom.  Join the conversations on how to engage with the press and media, Facebook, Twitter and community websites, to promote local u3a activities. For the zoom link please email:

Third Age Matters

Look out for the next Third Age Matters, out next month. Highlights include an interview with The Repair Shop's Jay Blades, a feature on the trends of the 60s and 70s and a review of Oscar winning film, 'The Father.'
Easingwold & District u3a's Wildflower Group have been out together again and seen lots of beautiful flowers, including this dog violet, photographed by Claire.

Social Media News

Connect with us on social media

Social media is an amazing way for us to get into conversation with you - as has already been proven by our Facebook groups u3a day and u3a keeping in touch where people have gained inspiration and shared ideas through the power of social media.

This is especially important when it comes to u3a day - when social media and hashtags will really help us to make an influence. On the day, let's make as big a splash as possible - use the hashtag #u3aday2021 and tag us in your posts (@u3auk on Facebook and Instagram and @u3a_UK on Twitter)
Click the buttons below to see our social media profiles and follow us.


"Virtually has been the way forward for us to continue meeting and enjoying the pleasure of tasting wine together. We are very lucky to have the people in this inventive group who are willing to put their thoughts into each month’s presentation." - Romsey and District u3a's wine tasting group (see left) share what they've been up to on our u3a blog, Sources, this month.
Find this and more on Sources now and contact us with your stories.
Peter Hagger, a member of St Neots u3a, took this photo of a beach at Roker, near Sunderland, and shared it on the u3a Keeping In Touch group.

Recruitment Campaign

2,000 Downloads of the Recruitment Toolkit

Over 2,000 resources from the u3a Retention and Recruitment Toolkit have been downloaded. There have also been 2,100 views of the toolkit videos.  

Paul Martinez said, "Our video - 'Zoom - Why Do I Bother" is one of the many videos that we've had great feedback on. One member said, 'I thought it extremely motivating and thought provoking. I am hoping we can motivate our Group Leaders and membership with your videos.'"

You can find out more about the Retention and Recruitment Toolkit on our website.

Volunteer News

Coffee Morning

Have you ever thought about being a Trust Volunteer? If you would like to know more, please join us for our next virtual coffee morning on Friday 11 June at 10:30am.

Register for the coffee morning.


There are several workshops which you can book for your u3a or network including "Alternative ways of running meetings – Hybrid and other methods" by Liz Thackray and the "Finance Matters" workshop by Beryl Shepherd. To request one of these tutorials, fill out our form.
You can also book onto the Zoom Tutorials we run every week on our online tutorials page. As well as Zoom for Hosting Meetings and an Introduction to Zoom, we have a new tutorial on June 14 on How to use Zoom for Tablets (ipad or android.) Book here.

Digital Barclays Eagles

We are running more Digital Barclays Eagles sessions to help u3a members build digital confidence. Join our sessions on the week commencing 21 June, on Internet Basics, Internet Next Steps (for Intermediates), Digital Safety, Entertainment Online and An Introduction to Digital Eagles. Book Now.
Your Stories

"During lockdown, I’ve written a story with 12 other writers, more than two thirds of whom are u3a writers.

It started as a game of consequences – you write a silly sentence and you fold it and the next person has to write a sentence. Initially three of us were meant to each write 350 words, but I spoke to several people and suddenly we had twelve people doing it, and it’s now at 23, 500 words.

It has taken hours and hours and hours. Great literature it is not but its been good fun."

-  Angela, Cheltenham u3a. To find Angela's book on Kindle, search 'The Making of Santa - an adventure written by 12 People' and Angela Lamont.

Subject Advice News

Exploring World Faiths

Are you interested in starting an Exploring World Faiths group at your u3a? Join a Zoom session with the Subject Adviser, Peter, on 7 June at 10am - the link is on his Subject Advice Page, where you can also contact him.

You can also read Peter's article in the latest Third Age Matters - or read it on our u3a blog, Sources now.  

Chess Network Meeting

All u3a chess enthusiasts are invited to join Subject Adviser David Castle on Tuesday 8 June at 10am. This meeting will discuss resuming chess groups locally as well as proposals for an online chess league. Book here.
See all subject adviser updates on the subject advice page.

In Focus

Jayam, a member of the Third Age Trust Trading Limited Board

I am a freelance Marketing Advisor with over 30 years experience, and a graduate member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

I joined u3a 4 years ago and belong to their Scrabble club – which is always the highlight of the month. The company of the members, the laughter and humour, as well as the home baked biscuits by Helen who hosts this group are all amazing!
I read about TATTL in the Autumn edition of TAM, and because I love the u3a, and my work commitments were reducing at the time, it felt perfect.  Particularly as the advert said they were keen to have someone with a Marketing background, I felt I could meaningfully contribute and bring a diverse perspective to TATTL.

The work involves reading the papers, and taking part in committee meetings.  As I am new, it does mean asking quite a lot of questions to get myself to speed, on what has been happening to date! All the meetings at present are taking place virtually, and I very much look forward to meeting all the committee members and u3a staff personally in due course.  

I find this role interesting because I belong to the u3a, so there is an element of ownership in being involved. It is also the perfect time to join TATTL, as the Click & Save programme and Branded Merchandise are both being launched this year.  Furthermore the planning for the 40th Anniversary next year is just as exciting as it takes shape. 

I find the concept of u3a really interesting, as I grew up in India and came to UK when I was 22 years old, so had no concept of what it meant. So the idea of u3a and learning by having fun is absolutely fascinating!
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