Dawlish & District u3a have set up a new adventure group - photo by group member Michael.


Dear <<First Name>>,

This is the United Nations Decade of Healthy Ageing which they describe as "galvanizing concerted action to change how we think, feel and act towards age and ageing."

The u3a in action is a perfect example of doing just that, leaving age where it should be, a number, and concentrating on what can be enjoyed, learned, experienced and shared by members together regardless of age.

The u3a ethos looks forward, not back at the past, and what there is still to be achieved, or tried or changed as this newsletter demonstrates. Already u3as are planning for 2023, looking ahead and shaping their futures, many planning relaunches after the difficult times behind.

Many have used the two threads of face to face meeting and online zoom meetings to maximise member participation and plan to continue to do so. We hope that with the 40th anniversary in 2022 we have a year of celebrations to look forward to - and we know all along the way - we will galvanise action to live life to the full - the u3a way.

With very best wishes
Sam Mauger
Chief Executive
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In this issue...

Kindertransport: Conversations with Esther Rantzen
Planting 5,000 Trees - Halfway There And Counting
Trustees Week on Sources
Your Stories

"West Cheshire Rural u3a held an open day, which was a great success. Some visitors joined as members on the spot.

The success was made possible by the collective efforts of all members including those involved in the preparations and set-up on the day, our Interest Group leaders and our catering team.

After a difficult 18 months, it is clear the future of West Cheshire Rural u3a as a vibrant community-based organisation is not in doubt. We look forward to building on this firm foundation.

- Anne, West Cheshire Rural u3a

National Events

Kindertransport: Conversations with Dame Esther Rantzen

Tuesday 2 December 10.30-3pm

On National Kindertransport Day, u3a is hosting an event on how some 10,000 children came to Britain, the experiences they had and the impact they have gone on to make to the lives of so many.

Dame Esther Rantzen will be hosting the event which will feature u3a guest speakers, including Kindertransport evacuees themselves, children of ‘the kinder’ and those who have grown up calling these rescued children their siblings. Join us in ensuring these important stories are not forgotten. 
Photo –  the Goldberger Siblings, including Markus Goldberger, father of Sue of Shepway u3a
Also on our events page now: learn about the Spanish Armada, venture into the Solar System and make a Vegetarian Christmas dinner. See all this and more on our online events page.

News from the Trust

Planting 5,000 Trees - Halfway There And Counting

Thank you so much for your support on our u3a woodland. We are over half way to achieving our goal - as more than 2,500 trees are on their way to being planted. National Tree Week is the end of this month, which is the perfect time to support our u3a wood. Buy a tree on our u3a Brand Centre now. 
Have you had a look at our new merchandise yet?

There are bulk discounts available for 40th anniversary diaries, and you can also find coasters, car stickers and sashes available now. We're also working on a refresh of our imagery and publicity materials which will be out early next year.

Bitesize Newsletter

Download our bitesize newsletter, a shorter version for members to print and send to members who are not online.
Download the Bitesize Newsletter

u3a News

u3a take on COP26

u3a members from Scotland, Wales and England offered four workshops in Glasgow on ‘Intergenerational Climate Action’, during the COP26 conference.  Held on an electric bus, the workshops offered members and friends an opportunity to hear about how climate action is playing out in some of their own families. You can see more on the group on Trust u3a.

Malvern u3a Plant Away

Malvern u3a celebrated their 25th anniversary with a ceremony, attended by the Mayor, in which they planted a tree in a local park. The Chair of Malvern u3a, Bill, said, "I’m delighted that we are now able to contribute a little more to the Malvern Community by putting back the great and ancient symbol of Worcestershire, The Black Worcester Pear."

Wales u3as Have the Write Idea

This month, members of u3as in Wales came together to discover the results of the Wales u3a Creative Writing Competition. The winning stories were read out to applause - a special congratulations to winners Lynda, Tina and Laura. You can see all the finalists on the Wales u3a website.
We would love to know what your u3a is up to - especially if you are doing anything to celebrate the festive season. Get in touch with us.
SE Forum's Summer School

The South East Forum's Summer School will be held at Chichester University between 20-23 June 2022 and is open to all u3a members.  

There is a wide range of courses covering 11 subjects, from Cycling to Earth Matters to Yoga, and all run by experienced u3a tutors. See the full programme and more details on
the South East u3a Forum website.

Third Age Matters

Due to external circumstances beyond our control - there may be a delay to when Third Age Matters Magazine reaches you. We are working hard to help rectify this and get the magazine to you as soon as possible.  

It's definitely worth waiting for - with an interview with mental health campaigner Ruby Wax, a feature on our u3a wood, an article on all your favourite comics and much more.
Some of the features are on the Third Age Matters page of our website now - don't miss out on the opportunity of entering our competition and reading about a new Shared Learning Project. You can also see a taster of what's to come below with some festive recipes.
Festive Fayre

Learning News

Below is a snapshot of the learning initiatives on our website that members can get involved with.
Listen to the November u3a radio podcast now.
The Taste of Italy 

As part of our Cuisines of the World project, u3a members Luca and Helen share their favourite Italian recipes, including Pesto Alla Genovese (pictured), Gambari e Arance (prawn and orange risotto) and Pasta E Fagioli. Are you passionate about a country's cuisine? We would love to know.

Flying High with Bird Pictures

What's your favourite bird? Kestrels, Mandarin Ducks, partridges, magpies; members have been seeing quite the variety in their gardens - and you can see them too on our website now as part of BirdWatch, our learning initiative in which members share the birds they've seen in their gardens.

Photo by South Leicestershire u3a member Don.
Your Stories

"In order to encourage more members to join Isle of Coll u3a, we arranged a public meeting. 17 people attended to hear the benefits of u3a: a good turnout as it represents about 10% of the island population.

A lively debate ensued with many suggestions for possible interest groups; one which is well in tune with COP26 just down the road in Glasgow, and a repair and refurbishment group along the lines of 'The Repair Shop.'  

Plans are now afoot to turn the enthusiasm generated at this meeting into new members and to rejuvenate the u3a on this remote Hebridean Island."

- Ed, Trust Volunteer

News from the Board

Chair of the Third Age Trust, Liz Thackray

"My last couple of weeks have been a kaleidoscope of different activities ranging from 3 days spent in London meeting with staff, seeing the office and attending a variety of meetings to a walk along part of the River Dee with u3a members from Chester and Flintshire to attending a meeting of the online learning and research group to hearing the winning stories in the Wales short story competition.

These activities all represent a positive and vibrant image of the skills, knowledge and ongoing learning activity of u3a members, Trust volunteers and staff. It is a real privilege to participate in these events.

However, the kaleidoscope has also presented challenges - suggestions we remove words like ‘learning’, ‘retirement’ and ‘older’ from our vocabulary. Next year we celebrate our 40th Anniversary – an appropriate time to take stock like any 40 year old. As we do so, let’s accentuate and celebrate all that is positive about our movement and be wary of shedding our perceived negatives before checking whether they really are bad for us!"
Your Stories

"The ethos of Edinburgh u3a's Jogging Group is for each to jog at their own pace, and if that “own pace” should be walking for a stretch – so be it.

We choose different routes each week, the four leaders hoping to take the joggers to parts of Edinburgh they don’t know well, and we are also tackling Saturday morning park runs once a month."

- David, Edinburgh u3a

Subject Advice News

Subject advisers are u3a members who volunteer to share their expertise on their specialist subject and the movement can contact them for advice on their subject. 

Learning More About: Film with Subject Adviser, Claire

What are the best parts of running a film group?

The best parts are meeting other people who love film, sharing tips and ideas with each other, having a fertile ground for lively discussion. It’s the enjoyment and the company, over a coffee!

Do you have any tips for others who want to start their own film group?

There are many different ways to run a film group. My main tip is – enjoy the films and the company!

Any films to recommend?  

For me at the moment it’s all about the cinema. 'Spencer' I thought was very good. For watching at home, I recommend 'Journeys End' and the Alfred Hitchcock classic 'Suspicion'.

Read more on our Sources blog. Discover more about Subject Advisers on the u3a Subject Advice page, which has new content this month, including a new Creative Writing newsletter.

Social Impact

Thank you from the Design Age Institute

We had such incredible feedback to our survey about household items: more than 2,000 responses in just over 48 hours. The Design Age Institute have written a message to you, which you can see by clicking the button below.
A message from the Design Age Institute

Toolkit to Challenge Ageism - It's not too late! 

We hope you’ve had a chance to familiarise yourself with our Anti-Ageism toolkit and put some of the actions into practice.

Thank you to those of you who have already provided your feedback: if you have not yet, we'd love to hear from you.
Are any u3a’s taking part in iDEA? iDEA is a Digital Enterprise Award that helps you develop online skills. We were contacted by a u3a member this month who wanted to connect with other u3as holding iDEA activity groups - get in touch with us.

40 anniversary 

Join us throughout 2022 when the u3a movement celebrates our 40th anniversary. We want to encourage as many of you as possible to take part.

Please tell us what you are planning.

Michaela, Vice Chair and organiser of the 40th Anniversary, says, "National events will focus on celebrating 40 years of Learning Laughing and Living, including informal social learning as well as broadcasting the benefits of being a u3a member.

u3a day will now be celebrated as part of u3a week in September - an opportune time to celebrate u3a and recruit more members.  
40th Anniversary quilt squares are now being judged - make sure you read our New Year’s Day newsletter to learn about the winners. 
We’ll also being celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, with u3as holding Picnics in the Park as positive examples of celebrating and having Fun." 
As we come closer to our u3a week in 2022, our u3a day Facebook group will be a crucial part of how members share their plans with each other. We are looking for more volunteers to help us with this group - if you are interested, please email
Your Stories

"Members of Ruthin and District u3a Sustainability group joined forces with local Friends of the Earth volunteers to help plant perennial wildflowers alongside a road in Ruthin. The species included Foxglove, Oxeye daisy and meadow buttercup."

- Peter, Ruthin & District u3a


There are lots more member-led stories on our u3a blog, Sources.
This month, we celebrated National Trustees Week on our u3a blog, Sources, with posts from committees across the u3a movement sharing their experiences and why other u3a members could benefit from joining their local committee. See more on the Trustee experience further down the newsletter. 

Advice News

Upcoming Tutorials

There are several pilot workshops which you can book for your u3a. You can also book sessions on zoom for breakout rooms, screen sharing and polls on our website, or request workshops.
Some Feedback on our Sessions

"Session worked well and it was good to see other u3a members and to hear of their issues."
"I think it was excellent -very relaxed and everyone had an opportunity to speak whether it was to give their opinion or to ask further questions"

"I have just started as a Committee member. It was great to have a run through of all I need to know, giving me a good start  - it was nice to meet other u3a committee members from across the UK."

Media News

"Research demonstrates consistently that the three most reliable strategies to live longer and well are learning new things, social interaction and physical exercise. All three are readily available from u3a." - Paul , Carlton & Gedling u3a, in the Guardian

u3as in Local Media 

This month in the media, u3a featured in an article by the Conversation about older adults and their relationship to climate change, Maldon u3a were mentioned in Essex Life magazine and a letter about how u3a could help adults age well was featured in the Guardian letters page (see above.)
Congratulations also to Barnet u3a member Elizabeth (left) who featured in the Group Leisure & Travel Magazine as the winner of their Group Travel Organiser of the Year Award 2021. 

PR Advisers Update

There is a team of PR Advisers, based in various regions, who are available to support Network and u3a Publicity Officers, or to work with u3as to initiate a new role. 

Our current PR Advisers:
Allana, Scotland
Helen, Yorkshire and the Humber
Jeff, West Midlands
Jill, Northern Ireland
Kelvin, North East
Ray, East of England
Rodney, London
Stuart, Northern Ireland

There are still vacancies for PR Advisers in the North West, South East, South West and Wales. Please contact PR Adviser Coordinator Sue if you are interested in helping with this volunteer role in any area of the UK, or to find out the details of the PR adviser in your region.
Your Stories

"Bishops Cleeve u3a held their u3a day in September. Lots of sunshine, yarn bombing, new members and fun!"

- Vivien, Bishops Cleeve u3a

Finance News

Finance Documents on Website

The Trust's new Treasurer and the Trust’s Finance Committee are doing a review of all Finance advice documents that are available on our website. The currently available guidance documents listed are: 

•    Finance FAQs
•    Financial Matters
•    Finance Policy Template  
•    Grants Policy
•    Gift Aid Guidance

If any u3a feels that something is missing from this suite of finance documents or you think something is wrong within any of these documents, please contact the Third Age Trust Treasurer.


We wanted to share with you this mapping tool for cash points within the UK.

Social Media News

We will be celebrating National Tree Week on our social media throughout the month so do follow our social media platforms to be involved. Do you have a tree group at your u3a, will you be celebrating in some way or have you done a tree related activity with your interest group? We'd love to know.
Click the buttons below to see our social media profiles and connect with us.
Let's Talk Tech

A dedicated website full of helpful guidance and user experiences for u3a Hybrid (or Alternative) meetings has just been launched. As experience builds the website will grow with more tips and techniques. You can find that here.

You can also join the Facebook group, where you can find details of weekly Zoom drop in sessions for more help and support. 

Spotlight On

Alan, Trudy and Helen, members of Barnsley u3a committee

Why did you become a trustee?
Trudy (Risk Assessor): Because I thought that I could help with Barnsley u3a and I wanted to give something back.
What one big difference has your committee made for your members?
Alan (Chair): Created a vibrant and positive ethos which enables members to enjoy being a part of the u3a and for them to act as your emissaries in the wider public arena.

What one piece of advice would you give to anyone thinking of becoming a trustee?
Trudy: Give it a try and you might find that you enjoy making a difference.

What is your favourite memory since you became a trustee?
Helen (New Members' Secretary): Speaking to new and prospective members especially when they are really nervous and have plucked up courage to phone. Seeing them integrate into the groups and become valued members of the group.

Read more on Barnsley u3a Committee on our Sources blog. To find out more about becoming a trustee, talk to your local u3a committee.
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