Welcome to the September Newsletter.

It was a wonderful opportunity to spend time with so many U3As at conference and over 2700 people have viewed the AGM which was streamed.

As we look ahead to the autumn we will be working hard with you to broaden the ducational resources for members and to begin to update and revise our publicity materials.

International Day for Older Persons is taking place on 1st October @OlderPeoplesDay  If your U3A is planning to celebrate the day, we would be very interested to hear about it and share your stories.

A reminder that U3As who use pictures in any link on their website should always ensure they have the copyright for that picture. A U3A recently has been charged for a licence for inadvertently posting a picture some years ago.
It is important to check your websites for any such photographs as agencies acting for such copyright holders do sweep websites for imagery.

Thank you for your continued support, views and wise words.

With regards

Sam Mauger
Chief Executive

In this issue...

U3A Conference
Resource Centre Update
U3A in the media

News from the Trust

Conference and AGM 2018

Hundreds of U3A members representing over 200 U3As around the UK have shared views, ideas and experiences at this year's national conference and AGM in Nottingham.

The delegates took part in workshops focusing on a range of operational areas.  There was a new later afternoon relaxed session where delegates could choose from a range of activities including a Woolaton Park walk and Chair Yoga.

The AGM saw new Third Age Trust Officers introduced by Ian McCannah as Chair (see News from the Board below).  Hilary Jones, Vice Chair; Richard Teare, Treasurer; Jean Hogg, Trustee for the East Midlands; Chris Winner, Trustee for Wales.  Heartfelt thanks went to the Trustees who were leaving for their tireless work for the movement.

The guest speaker at the AGM this year was Professor Janice L. Thompson, a leading expert in the field of public health nutrition and exercise.

Barbara Cordina from Leas Valley U3A, said, "I talked with so many U3A members and it was interesting to hear how they run their U3A, their experiences and their plans for the future."

You can read more here

U3A Partners

This year the conference welcomed three new 'Partners' to lead workshops including Kerensa Jennings from HRH The Duke of York's Office on the Digital Enterprise Awards -  iDEA; VOICE Global (part of the UK national Innovation Centre for Ageing); and Thorpe Bay U3A and Essex Police Serious Crime Division on Cyber Crime.

Following on from the conference, U3A was one of the three Partners name checked in HRH Duke of York's article about iDEA published on the social media networking channel LinkedIn. See it here

To sign up and take part in iDEA for free please click

Considering a Flashmob?

What started as a passing comment about how to raise awareness of U3A materialised as a full blown impromptu Flash Mob at National Conference. 

Sue Stokes, Regional Trustee for Yorkshire and the Humber said, "I ran a session for interested delegates on the possibility of running a Flash Mob simultaneously with the same playlist across the regions.

"Delegates saw examples of Flash Mobs involving older people and offered a potential playlist of songs.  We came up with reasons why we should do Flash Mobs and arguments against the idea.  Participants were so enthused they thought they could perform it at the end of the conference dinner - so just 3 hours later, 30+ delegates performed the YMCA dance routine. 

If we decide to run with the idea, we need to work out the logistics of multiple locations and permissions.  Anyone interested in being involved in possible event next summer, please contact me at"


Volunteer News

A Big Thank You!

A huge part of what made the national conference and AGM such a success was the many U3A members who volunteered to help out the staff during the event: helping organise the venue, manning reception, running workshops, ensuring the smooth running of the AGM and even helping the staff to clear up afterwards!

Advice and Volunteering Manager Sophie Wellings said, “We owe an enormous amount to all our U3A volunteers who worked extremely hard at the Conference and without whom, it would not have been such a success.  The delegates have fed back how much they enjoyed the conference and particularly the range of workshops – many of which were run by U3A volunteers.  Thank you to everyone who took part in this landmark event for the movement – we couldn’t have done it without you.”

National Workshops

Last week saw two workshops from the national programme delivered. These were 'Recruiting Volunteers' in Leicestershire and 'Interest Groups Matter' in Northern Ireland. Most workshops are being organised on request and detail of those that are available are listed on the Trust website:

Lifelong learning

A Polar Exploration

The Thames Valley Network has held a study day on ‘Polar Exploration – from Past to Present’.

Philip Cook from Reading U3A said “This was interesting, revealing and encouraging event. We sat rivetted for example by Alex Hibbert’s account of beating the world record of polar travel distance on skis. Thanks are due to Margaret Sherrington, the organiser.

This was a showcase of U3A ideals at its best – volunteering, learning, working together with a simple affordable budget for a great day out."

See more on this and other learning stories at

TAM and Sources

The U3A movement’s in-house magazines: Third Age Matters (TAM) and Sources are now out.  TAM  includes features on conference, shared learning projects, news and competitions.  This penultimate edition of Sources is themed on summer schools.

North West Motoring Memories

Calling on U3A members in the North West who would like to take part in a new project with Manchester Metropolitan University.  Do you remember your first car? Your family's first car - or was it a van? Dr Craig Horner is keen to gather information about how society changed after the arrival of road vehicles.  To find out how to get involved please go to

Learning Resources

Resource Centre Update

The Resource Centre function is being expanded.  Feedback from U3As across the movement strongly indicated that a wide spectrum for learning resources was required. The service will now form part of the Education and Resources department within the Trust.

DVDs will continue to be offered but the service will be expanded in the future to include items such as educational downloads, TED talks and MOOCS as well as U3A generated material, courses, research and shared learning projects.

During the next six months we will be asking U3As and in particular learning group leaders about what specific items they wish to see included. We will also be liaising with subject advisers about items that may be useful groups in their subject areas.

All DVD orders will continue to be met, and details of the expanded service will be provided over the next six months as they develop.

A New International Committee Website

Welcome to a new website for the International subcommittee of the Third Age Trust

The website has been designed to help and give advice to those U3As who wish to develop a link with other countries who operate in a similar way to our self-help learning model.

The type of link can be cultural or language or a combination of both. There are several types of cultural link that may be developed: exchange of emails or newsletters, SKYPE, visiting a country or getting involved in twinning.

Access to this website can be found from the ‘Resources’ tab of where you can also read more about this new venture in the news section.

A New Leaflet

U3APlus has produced a new leaflet which was very well received at conference where it was launched.  It is available to all U3As from National Office.

U3APlus aims to support and advise everyone so that their members can access as many interest groups as possible regardless of impairment or disability.

Jill Nicholls, the new chairman of U3APlus, said,  "The success of this leaflet was down to the hard work put in by the members of the committee led by Hilary Jones.  I am looking forward to working with the committee and at the handover meeting everyone thanked Hilary and wished her well in her new role as Vice Chairman."  Go to


Subject Adviser News

The latest updates and news from the national subject advisers are now available on the Subject Advice section of the website. We are welcoming many new subject advisers and are working through creating new web pages for them. We are very grateful for the offers from the U3A community and will be publicising them all through this newsletter.

We would also like to thank our retiring Subject Advisers and will be including some items about these volunteers in the next newsletter.

Click here to see we have  new subject adviser pages for Scottish Country Dancing , Comedy and Humour and a new newsletter for Creative Writing  

Education Events

Kath Payne, U3A Chair, presents flowers to Pat Garland

Regional Events

Summer Schools

The North West Region of U3As has held its annual residential school since 2009.  Since then almost a thousand U3A members have attended, studying subjects as diverse as Ancient Egypt, Painting with Stitches, and Digital Digging for Armchair Archaeologists.  Read more about this event in the latest edition of Sources.

U3A in Scotland held its summer school in August in Dundee organised by Pat Garland.  51 delegates attended from 19 member U3As. Topics of study included American History, Craft, Ecology or Geology.  You can read more about the events on

The Big Sing


Around 150 U3A members have taken part in a 'Big Sing'  in Manchester lead by the accomplished conductor, vocal animator and composer, Stuart Overington. Accompanied by Tom Pieczora on piano, Stuart challenged singing technique with varied set of pieces both simple and complex, singing in unison and harmony.

Regional Trustee for the North West, Gillian Russell said, "Stuart's enthusiasm and humour put us all at ease and by the end of the day we had worked hard, enjoyed ourselves immensely and improved our singing.  As they left, members wanted to know - when can we do it again?"

National Events


Places are now booking for two more exciting events taking place in November

 See all the U3A events here

News from the Board

Chair of the Third Age Trust, Ian McCannah 

I was delighted to be elected as the new Chair of the Trust in Nottingham last month and I look forward to meeting as many members, as possible, over the next three years.

One of my main priorities will be to take account of members views when the Trust makes decisions on areas that affect the day to day activities of U3As across the country.

Accordingly, I look forward to using this slot in the newsletter to inform members of the Board's  current initiatives and activities. Communication is a two way process and so I look forward to having your views on issues which I will highlight in future Newsletters.

Other News

A Stag-gering Photo

Thank you to the members of U3A who sent in their wonderful photos of the stag they  met during their walk at Wollaton Park during Conference.  Here is one, randomly selected, courtesy of Malcolm S Manning, Chair of Sheffield U3A

 U3A in the Media

You can read about Ian’s election in Charity Today here

Farnham U3A are in their local press - Farnham Herald for getting 112 new members in a week! You can read it here

Causeway U3A in Northern Ireland are in The Chronicle (picture below)

If your U3A is in the media, please let us know at

In Focus

Sue Bailey (West Bridgford U3A)


“I joined U3A ten years ago when my husband and I decided to try living in Nottingham (moving from Norwich), in order to be on hand with new grandchildren.  When you are not working it can be more difficult to meet people.

When I took over the singing for fun group we sprinted into the modern age with the words displayed on powerpoint instead of paper copies.  From a start of 60 songs we now have a repertoire of over 850!

There is around 60 people at every meeting - I take individual’s photographs, as they hold a card with their name on, and these are displayed on boards.  Coffee time is much more fun when you know to whom you are chatting.

This group is about fun and fellowship. No-one is excluded. People with partners with dementia come because singing is a reflex and they can be part of it.

I love the U3A, it is cheap, cheerful, accessible and most of all, keeps my mind and spirit going, any day, all week long. 

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