Syston and District U3A have created a 2020 calendar as a way to showcase their interest groups - here the birdwatching group are seen looking at a Tree Creeper
Dear <<First Name>>,

Welcome to the November National Newsletter.

We are thinking of those U3As in communities that have experienced turmoil caused by the recent flooding. Our thoughts are very much with you.

We were pleased to support National Trustee Week this year. Many of you volunteer as trustees and contribute to making the movement great in this way. Regularly one or two  U3As contact us and say they are having difficulty filling their committee. If you feel you have the time to support your U3A by joining the committee please think about contacting the Chair or Secretary. Thank you to all of you that give your time as committee members.
November heralds the 47th World Hello day encouraging every person to greet 10 people - something that U3A members will do every month not just in November!

We hope that you have all got 3 June 2020 in your diary as we celebrate the first "U3A day". We would love to hear what you are planning to do to mark the day. Please join the Facebook conversation below.

Thank you for sharing your inspiring work, from photo exhibitions, lectures and singing to ageing well.

Please keep your stories coming.

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

Thanking Trustee
Celebrity Study Day
U3A in Metro

News from the Trust

Being Chair has enabled me to get to know a lot more people than I thought I would. I'm amazed by how appreciative and constructive members are.

Sheila Underwood, Thrapston U3A

U3A has been celebrating and thanking its trustees in National Trustees’ Week (4 - 8 November).
The U3A movement runs smoothly becasue of our volunteer trustees who sit on committees around the country and are responsible for its governance.
Advice Manager, Jane Bailey said, "During Trustee’s Week it is appropriate that we should acknowledge the vital role of our Trustees and try our best to support them in the daily challenges these positions bring with them. A thriving U3A movement is only possibly through their efforts and the commitment of those who step up to take on these responsibilities".

If you are considering being a local trustee - please contact the Chair of your U3A.

Thanking our Trustees on Twitter

News from the Board

Your experience is a great help 

Chair, Ian McCannah gives his board report:
"One of the Trust’s Development Plan recommendations is to explore the opportunities for external funding. We are looking for members with experience of submitting bids to funding sources such as the National Lottery, Sports Councils, Philanthropic bodies, etc. Members who would like to discuss this opportunity to work with the Trust Chief Executive should  contact Sam Mauger 

In the same vein, the Trust's new trading subsidiary, Third Age Trust Trading Limited, is exploring ways to provide members with U3A branded clothing, in addition to selected discounts on retail products. Any members with career experience in these areas, and willing to assist in the initial research, please contact me 

More broadly, many members assist in the workings of the Trust by sitting on its Committees and Working Groups. For more details press the button below".  
Commitees and Working Groups
Over recent months, members have contacted the Trust about the TAM wrapper not being fully recyclable. This is a major concern of the Trust and I am pleased to advise that we are currently seeking bids for a fully biodegradable wrapper to be in place by the April issue.

What will you be doing on U3A Day?

U3A Day - Ideas are flooding in

There is now a dedicated tab to U3A Day on the website.
These pages include a planner document to help organise the day including identifying venues and suggestions on how to make impactful community links. 

We aim to publish marketing guidelines in the new year to help create materials that can be used to publicise your U3A beyond U3A Day.
Regional Trustee, Sue Stokes said, “It has been a real joy to see large scale interest of U3As to this Day which will be a focus for raising the profile of the movement all year round.

Thank you to the hundreds of members already sharing advice and ideas.   If you are thinking about taking part in U3A Day please let us know:

Please encourage your colleagues who haven’t already done so to think about joining in the day.  The more of us taking part – the louder our combined voice will be.
Thank you - your enthusiasm and commitment are very inspiring".
Tadcaster U3A and Stoke U3A have both showcased their U3As during successful open days
Trustee for Wales Chris Winner
I am very pleased to announce the winners of the Wales U3As Short Story Competitions for 2019 with entries from U3A members across Wales.

The winner of the story in the Welsh second language category is: Marlene Clarke, with her story ‘Cestyll yn yr Awyr’. Marlene is a member of Flintshire U3A.

The winner of the story in the English category is: Julie Rainsbury, for her story ‘The Little Empress’. Julie is a member of Newcastle Emlyn U3A.

Both stories can be read on the Wales website at
Marlene has provided and English translation of ‘Cestyll yn yr Awyr

Financial Matters

Financial Manager Kevin Traynor addresses some of the issues raised by members

Internal Financial Controls
Many people think that financial controls are the outpourings of a grumpy accountant! so I thought it would be helpful to see what the Charity Commission says on the subject:
These apply to U3As just as much as they do to the Trust and every other charity in the country.
PDQ Machines (Dumb Terminals)
I have had a number of enquiries regarding the use of PDQ machines. Do you use them and if so, are they cost effective?

Contact me at
Having received a number of calls to National Office we wanted to reiterate that the Trust no longer provide legal advice.  Please remove this from your website where appropriate.  Thanks very much – it’s appreciated 👍

Third Age Matters - We Need You

By now your Winter issue of Third Age Matters should have landed on your door mat, the last issue under editor Francis Beckett.
Watch out for the next issue in February under new editor Joanne Smith, which will have a fresh look and content, building on all the good news from a thriving U3A movement and looking to the future.
Joanne said, "As ever, we need your help. Our books section will include reviews from U3A book groups of current books. Get in touch if you’d like to be part of that.

What podcasts do you listen to and why? Any favourite apps? Have you taken a stunning photograph, worthy of pride of place in the magazine?

Or just get in touch with me
to share your views, stories and suggestions for the magazine.

U3A News

Surrey and South London U3As held a monthly study day with guest speaker – the  BBC Journalist, Evan Davies whose mother is a U3A member.
Read this story here

Has your U3A had a celebrity  guest speaker? We’d love to hear about it  - email Liz in Communications at

U3A Exhibition

100 photos were on display from Bradford on Avon's U3A Photography Group when members exhibited their photographs at the town’s West Barn.

Jon Durrant, who runs the group's monthly meetings,  said, “Our enthusiastic members are now taking some outstanding photographs, which fully deserve to be seen. The exhibition was sponsored by a number of generous local donors”.

From science lectures to photography contests, Crewkerne and District U3A's members have organised, participated in and enjoyed events across the spectrum of activities this month.  Find out more here
Wandsworth U3A's Bird and Wildlife Group visited the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust
Photo credit - U3A Member Maggie Jones

Network Link

Encouraging Meeting

More than 34 networks were represented at the latest Network Link meeting held in Manchester.

Network Link Chairman Hilary Jones said, "It was encouraging to see a good attendance especially as there were 19 newcomers. The delegates heard about the new Network Affiliation Agreement and the proposed network constitution as well as updates on Beacon, the Publicity Network as well as a discussion on generic email addresses".

Eleven Networks were represented at the South West meeting with special guest - the new TAM Editor Joanne Smith

Building Partnerships

The Sound of Wales

South Manchester U3A’s Singing for Fun group had the opportunity to perform with a Welsh choir in Llandudno. 

Joan Timm from South Manchester U3A said, “Thank you, especially to our two choir leaders, to our pianists and to everyone who had a hand in organising this stupendous day out".

Oddfellows - A social group that takes you places

We’re often contacted by different local groups, but have you heard of the Oddfellows?

They organise regular social events and activities for their members. They also have a holiday club, with group and escorted holidays. M
embers can also sign up to be one of the first to hear about incredible last-minute deals from Warner Leisure Hotels.

Learn more at

Lifelong Learning

Embracing Wellbeing and Ageing Well

Saltburn District U3A held a Wellbeing Day to coincide with International Day for Older Persons (see above photo).

Nottinghamshire Network of U3As in association with Nottingham University held an Ageing Well Conference with expert speakers and an afternoon of activities.
Watch Causeway U3A Irish Harp group on Facebook

Learning Resources

Do you know what Geocaching is? Well Bridgnorth and Disrict U3A's group is growing in popularity. Learn more about this, Geology, Mahjong and many more interest group subjects on Sources.

There are exciting updates on the Subject Advice pages on the national website this month on Play Reading, Storytelling and Russian.  See these and all the latest subject advice here

Education Events

U3A art-lovers showed up to our exclusive event on the Pre-Raphaelites with The National Gallery

Christmas Concert

There are still some places available at this year’s Christmas Concert  which for the first time will take place in the Church of St Lawrence Jewry. 

Regional Events

U3A Science Network 

The Science Network is returning to Conference Aston from 10 to 13 August 2020 for its annual residential meeting – a mixture of talks, visits and socialising.

You don’t need any specialist knowledge to enjoy the meeting, just an interest in the world around you.

The Science Network is looking for Speakers and more Demonstrations to inspire our many Science and Technology groups:

Sign up to the Science Network list for regular notifications.

International News

Mike Head and Auriol Ainley attended the EFOS (European Federation of Older Students) conference in the beautiful city of Wroclaw, Poland to talk about how the U3A works in the UK.

Auriol spoke to the conference itself and Mike to the delegates from Wrocław University as well as the region of lower Silesia U3As, where they were debating the future of the U3A in Europe.  
EFOS itself has just started a research project, Senior’s Learning in the Digital Society, and they are concentrating on helping seniors master mobile phone technology. 

Their next conference is in the spring next year in Dresden.

U3A in the Media

U3A has placed a feature article in the Metro Newspaper which has become one of the largest read newspapers in the UK (larger than the Sun).  A huge thanks to Joan, her family and the Maths for Grandparents group in Radlett & District U3A 😊

Read the Metro Article Here
Enfield U3A member, Pauline Creer received a COUNTDOWN clock/teapot and dictionary for her success in competing in the Channel 4 show

Hucknall and District's U3A Signalong Group featured on Radio Nottingham's Great Singalong

Other News

The casting directors of Great British Bake Off have got in touch with us and asked if any of our talented members might want to enter into the competition for 2020. Share with your baker friends and if you enter, let us know!

U3A Celebrations

Glossop U3A celebrated their 25th Anniversary

Sherburn & Villages U3A celebrated its 10th Anniversary by opening the doors and inviting everyone in to get some hands on experience of the activities and interest groups on offer.

10 years ago Stansted Mountfitchet U3A was first formed and since then it has grown into an organisation with around 300 members. Over half of them came along to the celebrations – a showcase of activities, groups and events.

Happy ten years for Hutton U3A in Essex who celebrated by inviting dignitaries and guest speakers.

20th Anniversary celebrations for Liskeard and District U3A in Cornwall and  Dunstable U3A in Bedfordshire.

25 years ago saw the official opening of the Channel Tunnel and the creation of Rotherham U3A  More than 100 members celebrated, ate dinner and enjoyed conversation and speeches.

Hammersmith and Fulham U3A honoured its three founding members this week with Honorary Lifetime Memberships at their AGM.

Well done to Royston U3A which reached the 500 membership mark for the first time

In Focus

Paul Smith, Treasurer of Croydon U3A

I joined the U3A in 2013 and became Treasurer in 2016. 

My main responsibilities are to deal with all payments during the financial year, including applying for Gift Aid. I make monthly copies of all transactions for the committee and a balance sheet to help keep track of income and expenditure. I also help the committee to make decisions on future financial planning.

The main challenges are making sure that all transactions are accurate, getting in payments from groups for venue hire and being able to answer any queries from the membership about the end of year accounts.
If anything, it has been easier than I expected but organising things in the way I wanted took some time.

Being Treasurer has changed my U3A experience in that I get to meet many members who I otherwise wouldn't meet. I also have to attend most General meetings and must be prepared to talk to up to 150 people. 
However, you do feel valued by the membership and being on the committee certainly keeps your mind active.
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