Spring in Lake Windermere by Manjiang Chen, Lancaster U3A
Dear <<First Name>>,

We are very excited to be launching the booking for this year's conference in this newsletter.

If you haven't been before do have a look at the exciting programme (see the details below). 

We are also looking this year for four groups of three U3A members to be the leads on two panel debates at the national conference.

The purpose of the debates is to demonstrate debating skills (not to have the right answer).

If you are interested in being involved in being a debate lead please contact

We have had a lot of interest in social prescribing across the movement with great partnerships being built across the United Kingdom. U3As are also promoting being environmentally friendly with some U3As working to develop ideas to share with the movement to minimise our carbon footprint.

Once again thank you for all your ideas... you are an inspiration all of you.

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

National Conference and AGM
Citizen of the Year 2019
Castle Project

News from the Trust

Sharing Inspiring Learning

The National Conference and AGM 2019 is now open for booking.

Together we will be sharing our views, ideas and experience in this year's conference ' Sharing Inspiring Learning'.

With workshops focusing on lifelong learning, managing new educational resources, finance and supporting the growth and development of U3As, there will be opportunities to discuss, debate and enjoy the views of colleagues across the movement. 

There will also be some free time to share interests such as singing, ukulele playing, walking and many other choices. Please join us for the conference and enjoy time with U3A members from across the movement.
Visit the Conference Website

U3A National Archive

The U3A movement is creating its first national archive collating more than 40 years’ worth of documents and publications.

U3A Trust Volunteer Michaela Moody, who is leading the project, said, “Creating the U3A archive will preserve the historical records of the U3A movement, enable the discovery of its achievements and show the impact it has had on the community.

“We have nearly 40 years’ worth of documents and publications in all shapes and sizes from which to create an archive which is exciting to read as well as interesting and eye-catching.

"If your U3A has an archive (or is thinking of starting one) please get in touch at "

See more on archives on Sources Online

Cultural Outreach

U3A would like to reach out to and engage with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities in order to promote our inclusive and "open to all" philosophy.

This is a call to members who could help contribute to a new pilot project in London connecting with different ethnic communities. 

Third Age Trust Deputy Chairman, Hilary Jones said, “This
cultural exchange project would potentially involve two, two-hour sessions depending
on discussions with the community involved and how they would wish to develop the programme. One session would be informative and discursive - based around U3A’s knowledge of the local area.  One session would be participatory with activities such as music, storytelling or craft work. 

"We are hoping to start the pilot in London to help develop the ideas but hope, if successful, we will expand to areas across the country.  This project is in conjunction with Language expert Yongcan Liu from Cambridge University.

If you are interested in getting involved please contact:

Volunteer News

Celebrating Volunteers

With Volunteer's Week approaching the Trust has been reviewing how we involve the Trust Volunteers with supporting U3As and how we continue to acknowledge the value of that contribution.
As part of this, the Trust's Communications Officer, Elizabeth Drury has been developing a short film to showcase the roles that Trust Volunteers fulfil.
She said,  "I believe that this short film will be a wonderful way to increase the understanding of the invaluable offer that volunteers make to the work of the Trust. I am also looking at my area of work and how to involve volunteers who have a background in communications to assist me.  You can contact me at

We will share the with you as soon as it is ready – watch this space.

Financial Matters


We have recently been getting enquiries from U3As where they have been asked to pay an additional licence fee to a venue where they wanted to play music.
PPL/PRS have confirmed that under The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, all U3As are separately licensed through the Third Age Trust and so have the necessary permission  needed from the relevant copyright holders.

U3As do not have to pay venues separately for this licence and if asked for payment should ask them to check with PPL/PRS directly.
The relevant area of the website has been updated (Advice > Committee Responsibilities > Licences >recorded  music


Beacon Update


The Beacon Upgrade group have completed three focus groups to add to the three questionnaires and dialogue with U3As. The Beacon User Group has also submitted and collated their thoughts and views.

We are now in a position to send out a Request for Information (RFI) to a number of companies that could potentially support us to develop the Beacon upgrade.

These companies include suggestions by Beacon U3As and non Beacon U3As.
You will continue to receive regular updates as the programme develops during the summer.

The Beacon licence fee for 2019 will remain £1.00 per user. There have been some rumours that the charge for Beacon will increase during 2019, this is incorrect.

The next edition of Beacon News will be published on the Beacon website next week so do keep an eye out for it

National Workshops

By the members for the members

The National Workshops, promoted via emails and sent to the Chairmen and Secretaries of local U3As, are filling up really quickly so early booking is recommended for those who wish to attend.  
The Trust's Advice and Volunteering Manager, Sophie Wellings said,  "The workshops have really gathered momentum this year and we are now in a position where most of them are delivered by the Trust Volunteers in keeping with the ethos of 'by the members for the members'.
The workshops programme is designed as part of the advice and support offered to committee members as recognition of the huge contribution that committee members make to the U3A movement."


Building Partnerships

Bridging Generations

For the last five years, Chichester U3A member Mike Harvey has been involved with a successful intergenerational project with Chichester College of Higher Education called Bridging Generations.
Mike started the project with the Rotary Club to try and alleviate loneliness and isolation in the community.  He said, "The project aims to bring together older adults in Chichester with students in Health and Social Care aged 16 to 19 and bringing back the art of conversation.  It has for the last five years helped students and older adults feel comfortable chatting and having lunch together.   It’s been a win-win for everyone.
“I would now like to stimulate interest to run a similar group in U3A.   If anyone would like to discuss this with me please email me at

You can see more on the project here:

Thames Water Priority Service

U3A was contacted by Thames Water who now offer a free Priority Service to customers who find themselves in vulnerable circumstances. 

Thames Water are developing a leaflet (coming soon) in order to offer U3A members the opportunity to register. 

Thames Water work with Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks and UK Power Networks to help customers benefit from support during both power cuts and water supply interruptions.

If you know of similar services available in your area for free which would benefit U3A members please contact -

U3A in the Community

Citizen of the Year 2019

Congratulations to Chairman of Syston & District U3A Colin Grimes who has been made the Citizen of the Year 2019 in a local Civic Reception.

Syston Town Council in  Leicestershire  played host to over 100 representatives of local voluntary organisations whose work helps to improve the life of residents of Syston and surrounding communities. Colin won the award for his long standing commitment to the U3A, the Syston Volunteer Centre, Syston Bowling Club, and Syston (previously Wreake Valley) Lions.

We’d love to share any community awards stories.  Let us know at


A Clever solution

An £850 local council grant has helped Royston U3A come up with an innovative way to involve all its members in its monthly meetings.

Chairman Jackie Gellert had to find a new venue after a devastating fire which damaged the local Parish Church where Royston U3A held its monthly meetings.

She said, “The meetings attract at least 200 members a month.   We wanted to keep it as central as possible so the only place was the Town Hall. But it has tiered seating for 150 people in their upper hall with additional seating available for another 100 in the lower hall. 
“A way had to be found so everyone attending meetings could see and hear the guest speakers.  The solution was to video conference monthly meetings between the two halls and if members in the lower hall have any questions, they could send them via mobile phones or WhatsApp”. 
You can read this story in full here

Cowbridge U3A Open Day enlists VIP

Cowbridge U3A has held a successful open day where the local Mayor and his wife signed up to be members.
The successful three hour open day showcased Cowbridge U3A with eighteen interest groups on display including walking groups, table tennis, craft making, Mah Jong and Tai Chi.
Steve Monaghan, Cowbridge U3A Liaison and Publicity Officer said, “The Mayor of Cowbridge, Ancient Borough for Llanblethian, attended the event and gave a short speech extolling the virtues of the U3A movement and its impact on the wellbeing of retired people.  Then announced that he and his wife were joining.
“Although this Open Day was not solely a recruitment drive, a total of eight people joined on the day, with several others taking away application forms”.
 Let us know about your Open Day stories at

U3A Environment News

Litter Pickers

One of the Walking groups in Maidenhead U3A decided it was a good time while out on a walk to collect all the litter and refuse on the path – making the best of both worlds.
Pam Tyrrell said, “We were doing our monthly walk, this time around Littlewick Green and thought we would do a little Community Service and combine it with a litter- pick. Interestingly, we picked up lots of bottles and cans in Bottle Lane!”

Plastic Presentation

The Chairman of Falkirk and District U3A is giving a talk to members regarding the impact of plastic pollution. Glenn is happy to share his Power Point Presentation with other U3As who might want to host a similar talk.

The members have already passed a resolution ‘to reduce waste at meetings, by recycling whenever practical.'
Glenn said, “Some members now bring their own cups for refreshments, rather than using disposable ones”.

Glenn is happy to share the presentation with other U3As.  Contact him here

The Trust would love you to keep sending us your policy and action on plastic to help inform our future polices.  Let us know at


Lifelong Learning

"Singing for Pleasure is primarily about the joy of singing with others. But we also experiment with our voices, learn new ways of using our vocal chords and generally have a great deal of fun in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere" Ursula Steiger, Canterbury U3A

Do you love Jazz or Singing for Pleasure? Or do you prefer Opera?  There are still places available on these courses at the National Summer Schools.
There are a few places also left for an Introduction to Philosophy and Garden History.  For more details and to book your place go to

Exciting New Castle Project

The Wales U3A Regional Conference this month celebrated its landmark Coast and Boarders project which concluded this year. The project concluded with an exhibition and a video on U3A Wales YouTube channel.

Building on this success, the conference saw the launch of a new Castles SLP.  This will focus on the 600 castles in Wales and hope that U3As outside of Wales will also engage with project. 

See more at

Or join the new Castles Facebook closed group here

Celebrating the 1960s

In their third show in four years, 89 members  from Wyre Forest & District U3A in Worcestershire staged  a two night sell out show which remembered with great fondness the 60s music, TV and Radio characters and events.
The finale celebrated World Cup in 1966 was staged. 

Learning Resources

Update on Social Prescription

There has been great interest shown by U3As in social prescription. To help them become involved, advice has been developed for U3As.

This is available to download or order paper copies from the online shop, along with a notice for them to pass to medical centres, religious leaders, MPs etc to tell them of the benefits of belonging to U3A.

The paper versions of the notice will be available from Regional Trustees, Trust Volunteers and at some national U3A gatherings such as network Link and the Conference. 


Translating U3A Posters into another Language

Hilvary Robinson, Slough U3A said, “When we were starting a new U3A in Slough, we had the panel below the Logo translated into Urdu. 

"We have no idea whether this attracted any new members, but I was wondering if any other U3A Start up (or indeed any  U3A) has had any wording that advertises U3A translated into another language?  I expect some Welsh speakers have done this, but what about any other language?

Michaela Moody is currently collating the U3A Archive and has asked me to find out. If you have done this, do please let me know and send me an example  -   


News from Subject Advisers

Jazz Study Day 2019

The ever popular Jazz Study Day organised by Mike Rance, U3A subject Adviser for Jazz, will take place on 17th September 2019 at Cecil Sharp House in London.  
Book the Jazz Study Day


The latest Subject Advice updates now available including in Storytelling, Creative Writing, Russian, Genealogy, Maths & Stats. and Genealogy.

Education Events

U3A Robot Constructor's Challenge 2019

Cannock Chase U3A in Staffordshire is  organising a day of challenges open to any U3A, where moving robot type constructions capable of being remotely or autonomously controlled are subjected to a series of challenges. 

Barry James said, "The use of programmable devices such as Raspberry Pi or Arduino would be ideal, but not essential.  We are hoping to hold the challenge day in the Midlands during October, so we need individuals or teams to register their interest now to give time for their build".

Find more detail here
To register your interest please contact   Please state your U3A and your preferred contact number. 


U3A Across the World

Reaching out

International Conferencing
Subject advisor Maria Chester has been reaching audiences around the world using 'zoom' video-conferencing – Lifelong Learning on the grand scale.

Following on her success with her previous slideshow, she recently presented to a 'U3A Forum' video audience in U3A Singapore and U3A Qazaqstan in the East, U3A Durban in the South and Lifelong Learning Massachusetts in the West.  Her slideshow on the subject “What Is Art” was followed by questions and a lively international discussion .
The U3A Forum service is free and can be found at

The next  AIUTA conference will be at Wuhan, China on 20th/21st May 2019 and the theme is "Belt and Road: Education for the Elderly"

See all events up to 2021 here

Launceston U3A Down Under

Launceston U3A  Vice Chairman took the opportunity of a five week family trip to Western Australia to visit Mandurah U3A.

Malcolm Tulip met Christine Norman, their President and gave a presentation to Mandurah U3A about Launceston. Malcolm met a few ex-pats too.

Christine said,  “I think we will be able to improve our membership promotions from your ideas”

News from the Board

Ian McCannah - Chair, Third Age Trust

The Trust's medium term Development Plan is reaching the stage where early proposals have received Board approval.

The Raising the Profile Working Group - one of three making recommendations - has proposed that, for publicity purposes, our logo will not include the wording "University of the Third Age".

Instead it will have the strapline "learning laugh live" This new way of publicising the U3A movement aims to reinforce the broad and open nature of the U3A and is a similar branding approach to that associated with bodies such as BBC, BMW, CNN.

Over the coming months, members will notice the re-branding of all U3A material to reflect this new image.
The other two Working Groups are the "Learning" and "Developing the Movement" ones. Development Plan recommendations from the three Groups will be announced to members at the Trust's AGM and Conference in August".


U3A Celebrations

Anne McNeill, Chair of Duns &District U3A, was joined by fellow Steering Group members, Morag Millar and Deborah Stokes to receive the award


Leatherhead U3A celebrated its 21st anniversary with guest speaker, Paul King, their first chairman and a key founder member. 
Pembrokeshire U3A hosted the inaugural “Goodeve Lecture” which was held as a sign of appreciation of all the work done by Graham Goodeve who founded Pembrokeshire U3A almost 30 years ago. (See In Focus below)
Duns and District U3A has won an award in a Borders wide ceremony to celebrate Lifelong Learning and to promote the benefits of learning for individuals and groups.
Duns & District were given an award for 'Enabling Learning through Volunteering' was testament to the hard work of the Steering Group in the first year of operation.  See this story in full at

In Focus

Graham Goodeve

I have been involved with U3A since 1989 and as well as founding Pembrokeshire U3A, I helped set up Aberystwyth, Cardigan, Preseli, Narberth and Tenby. 

It is very satisfying to see so many people come forward to volunteer as committee members and group leaders.
I have learnt so much from being part of the movement.  It became second nature to motivate and encourage people to reach their full potential.
Most people retire at 60 or before, so U3A provides an opportunity for you to remain active for another 20 to 30 years. Any activity that you take part in keeps you active both mentally and physically, leading an active life in later years will help prolong life.

If I was to give one piece of advice I would say be prepared to step forward and volunteer or even just participate. Don’t expect to be spoonfed.  To keep your U3A vibrant, committees need to continually think of new activities for your members.
U3A has provided me with hundreds of friends and acquaintances. It is a movement where you get out, what you put in.

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