Thank you to everyone who celebrated Picnic in the Park.

Did the event go well? We'd be grateful if you took the time to send us your feedback. 

Photos courtesy of: Bramhall u3a, Barnsley u3a, Islington u3a, Broomfield u3a's Ukulele Group at Chelmsford u3a's Picnic in the Park, Doncaster u3a


Dear <<First Name>>,

Our anniversary year continues to showcase the talent and skills of the membership.

The Great Reveal of the Anniversary Quilt is a magnificent reminder of u3a creativity. It will be a lasting tribute to u3a membership in our 40th anniversary year.

June has been a busy month of celebrations for us. It has been wonderful to have the companionship and fellowship of each other, all the more special given the freedom we now have to meet together in person.

u3a is gaining more interest in local and national media. u3as are reporting that new members are bringing their ideas and talents to the movement. It is lovely to see the membership flourishing in this anniversary year. 

With very best wishes
Sam Mauger
CEO of the Third Age Trust
Click here to open the newsletter in your browser, in which format you can zoom in to make it easier to read.
In this issue...

The Reveal of the u3a Quilt
u3a members learn the Jubilee Waltz
Celebrating Volunteers on our Sources blog

Bitesize Newsletter

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Our 40th Anniversary

Find out the latest on how we are celebrating on our 40th anniversary page. 

The Quilt is Revealed 

The u3a 40th Anniversary Quilt, made by members, groups and u3as across the movement, has been revealed at the Whitworth Gallery in Manchester. 

Trustee for the North West Region, Neil Stevenson (pictured), said, “The quilt is beautiful and is testimony to the talent, skills and energy of all the members.”

Read more and see the full quilt on our website.

A Week Long Celebration of u3a

u3a week, 18-26 September, is our annual event to showcase the activity, learning and fun which takes place across the u3a movement everyday. 

It builds on the success of 2021 u3a day where u3as yarn bombed, litter-picked and put on performances. This year we hope to
make it bigger and better than ever.

Get ideas from last year's blog, share your progress on our 40th Anniversary Facebook group and tell us what you're planning.

Pictured: Wigan u3a's 2021 u3a day event photographed by Tony Cross 
Your Stories

Our group has been busy writing stories to mark the u3a's 40th Anniversary. We each wrote around the theme of 40. Some of us chose humour, some of us meditated on the passage of time, some of us chose fiction and some of us appeared to choose fact.

We very much enjoy writing and sharing our work (linked in the button below) and we hope something here will strike a chord. Here’s to the next forty years!

Mary, Shepway & District u3a
Shepway & District u3a's 40th Anniversary Stories

News From the Trust

u3a in the news

Great news; the movement has had another positive month of coverage in the media.

Russell from Manchester u3a spoke about the u3a 40th Anniversary Quilt on Talk TV and BBC Radio Manchester  (2h2m); there was an article in the Oldie about Walking Netball; Ilkley u3a's Summer Plans made a splash on the front page of the Ilkley Gazette and Teignmouth u3a's David appeared on BBC Radio Devon (from 1h56.)  

u3a were also mentioned in articles about the #GenerationWOW campaign in The Daily Mirror, Express and twenty five other publications. 

There's much more in the pipeline - and all will be shared in future newsletters.
From golf to dog training to candle making, if you have a skill you would like to share in a video as part of the #GenerationWOW campaign, get in touch with us.

Well Done to Venie and Mac

Congratulations to Causeway u3a member Venie and Barnsley u3a member Mac, who have both received recognition in recent awards.

Venie received a British Empire Medal in the Queen's Jubilee Honours List for Services to Older People for her work as Chair of Causeway u3a between 2018 and 2021. Read the full story on our website.

Good luck to Barnsley u3a member and Walking Cricket Subject Adviser Mac who has been nominated in the BBC Radio Leeds Make A Difference Awards for his work pioneering walking cricket.
Thank you to the many of you who took part in our Crowning Moments survey. We are collating the results and hope to have an update for you in the coming newsletters on press interest in your stories.
Your Stories

East of England Region held a very successful conference day in May (pictured). Liz Thackray joined us for two days overall. Many members expressed their enjoyment of being able to meet face to face again and meet their colleagues from across the region.

Also this month, I had the pleasure of joining Verulam u3a members and what a welcoming group they are. This is clearly a very proactive and enthusiastic u3a. Well done to everyone and keep up the good work.
Barbara Cordina, Trustee for East of England

Social Media 

This month on social media...

We counted down to the u3a 40th anniversary quilt reveal by showing four quilt blocks a day; celebrated Volunteers' Week with a focus on how our members share skills with the movement and shared your Picnic in the Park photos. Follow us - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

Photos: Doncaster u3a; Quilt block by Steph of Exeter u3a

Social Media Post of the Month - Dunstable u3a

Dunstable u3a
The Platinum Waltz
The u3a sequence dance group has learnt this for the Platinum Jubilee. It’s called the Platinum Waltz & been invented for this special occasion.

Dunstable u3a shared a video of one of their groups dancing a Platinum Waltz. There's a sneak peak above - but go watch the full thing on their Facebook page.
Do you want us to showcase your social media in this newsletter? Email us or tag us in your posts - click the icons below to find our social media profiles.
Your Stories

Starting a social group for u3a members with hearing loss in Ely has been a big success. 

Meetings are informative and fun and have included a quiz, finger spelling, lip reading, guest speakers, discussions and basic sign language. During Deaf Awareness Week we organised a market stall with Hearing Dogs.

Kate, 'Living well with hearing loss' group, Ely u3a
If you'd like to know more or set up your own group, get in touch.

u3a News

Every newsletter, we share news from your u3as. Whatever you're doing, we want to know about it - get in touch.

New Walking Cricket Groups in Todmorden and Bradford

Walking Cricket is launching in two new areas...

Todmorden u3a's Walking Cricket Group met for the first time earlier this month, with Walking Cricket Subject Adviser Mac coming along to talk to the budding cricketeers. Meanwhile, Bradford u3a are preparing for their first match on 22 June.
Witney u3a's Science & Technology Group on a visit to the Sewage Treatment plant at Didcot - here they are standing in front of a silo containing sewage sludge, a valuable fertiliser.
Trust u3a's Recorder Group meeting for the first time after months of playing together online.

Learning News

Below is a snapshot of the learning initiatives on our website that members can get involved with.

Calling all u3a Cyclists

The u3a Cycling Network is a collaboration of u3a cyclists who share ideas and successes, support one another and bridge the gap between u3as in adjacent areas. There are regular Zoom meetings, a newsletter and u3a Cycling Facebook Group.

Join the u3a Cycling Network on our website, all are welcome - and if you can help support the network, please get in touch.
Hear from a u3a member who has taken in Ukrainian refugees in the June episode of the u3a radio podcast, also available to listen to on Apple and Spotify.

u3a Chess Network

The u3a Chess Network is hoping to organise live tournaments for members, meeting in various locations across the UK. If you are a Chess player and are able to help organise an event in your area then please get in touch.

Join the Chess Network to stay updated on live events, to play with u3a members online and to attend Zoom workshops and forums.

Visit our website for more details on all u3a Subject Networks.
Elaine from Thatcham u3a was inspired to try sculpting as part of our ongoing crafts initiative. See more and share your projects on our Crafts page.

News from the Board 

Chair of the Third Age Trust, Liz Thackray

I hope that like me you are enjoying the beginnings of Summer. It sometimes feels as though I am existing in a number of parallel time zones. The anniversary events are now in full swing – we have enjoyed picnic in the park and brunch on the beach and the quilt has been revealed.

Alongside the fun and celebration there is the need to ensure business as usual with preparation for the Board meeting at the end of June and the AGM in October. Equally importantly, activity continues developing our strategy, addressing future digital requirements and supporting the u3a movement.

In a movement of over 400,000 people, not everybody will engage with or approve of all we do, but with so much going on, there is something for all our existing and potential members.

As we are increasingly able and willing to meet together in person, it is a good time to invite those potential u3a members to join us. Let’s make this a summer when we grow our movement!

Third Age Matters

The June edition of Third Age Matters is out now - with an interview with Dickie Bird, stories of u3a members welcoming Ukrainian refugees and insight into how Sandbach & District u3a started a Circus group.

If you would like to receive Third Age Matters, please speak to your local u3a committee.
Your Stories

 It’s easy to feel powerless in the face of the environmental threats facing the planet. We can help to motivate future generations by passing on love and respect for Nature.

So, I have set up the Grand Nature website - – a collection of nature-related activities which grandparents can carry out with youngsters to detach them from their screens for a while. I would also be very pleased to hear from you if you would like to contribute to the collection.

Trevor, Wyre Forest u3a

National Events

Here is a snapshot of some of the exciting events for members that are coming soon - see more on our online events page.

Artificial Intelligence

Friday 1 July, 10am

Leigh, the Subject Adviser for Science, discusses the technologies behind artificial intelligence and what progress has been made to date, and the potential risks and benefits to the human race.

Derek Jarman's Garden

Friday 8 July, 2pm

Peter Webb was among the friends who visited Derek Jarman in his old fisherman’s cottage in Dungeness, join to hear Peter talk of why Derek decided to move and how he created his amazing garden.

Paulette Szklarz: Young Survivor

Friday 15 July, 10am

Debra Barnes tells the story of her mother Paulette Szklars, who despite losing her parents and twin sister in Auschwitz, managed to live a happy life and to inspire many.

Secret History: Deciphering Information

Thursday 14 July, 2pm

Author & journalist Stephen Davis tells u3a members how governments use misinformation to tell versions of the truth. He will explain the process of creating and spreading distorted information, the impact this can have and how we can be better aware.

Other Events

Network Link Meeting
22 June 2022, 10am

The June Network Meeting will have presentations on Subject And Peer/Role Networks, with time for discussion. There is still time to register, if you are quick, by emailing
Your Stories

I am a watercolour artist and was very pleased when asked by our village to paint a portrait of our Queen to celebrate the Jubilee, so decided to paint her when she was crowned.(I am glad that I am old enough to remember celebrating at the time.)

Fay, Stokesley u3a


The thing I enjoy the most about being part of the Board Members team is shaping the future. There are day to day things that need doing but being part of developing the u3a – improving, supporting, developing – is an opportunity I find enjoyable.

- Derek, Treasurer of the Third Age Trust as part of our Volunteering focus on our Sources blog this month.
There are lots more member-led stories on our u3a blog, Sources.

u3a Office In Focus

This is a new section putting a spotlight on the staff who work at u3a office and what we're doing.
Meet Linda
Advice and Support Officer

Hello, I’m Linda, one of the office Advice Team and have been working here for almost 12 years.

A big part of my role is to help and advise u3as and their members on a wide variety of enquiries both on the telephone and via email. 
It is very interesting being able speak with many u3a trustees and members from around the UK.

I also have the opportunity to talk with callers new to u3a, telling them more about the organisation and the opportunities it offers. I am also responsible for providing admin support to newly forming u3as, and it is always good to see them progress and grow their membership.
Beacon News

Since the beginning of the year another 24 Beacon systems have gone live, including 17 u3as and seven networks, nations and regions. This brings the total to 514. The number of members now on a Beacon system has risen to almost 230,000.

A key element of this success is the team of over 50 u3a volunteers that support Beacon and our u3as.  Peter, Systems Administrator at Furness u3a said “I just want to pass on our compliments to you and the other volunteers who have worked on the Beacon help and on coordinating Beacon software developments. The help pages are really good."

Find out more on the Beacon website.

Advice News

Upcoming Tutorials

Each month we run tutorials to give guidance about running your u3a. All tutorials can be found on our workshops page.


Spotlight On

Doreen, Warrington u3a

I have been a member of Warrington u3a for almost 20 years. When I joined u3a, we had less than 250 members and about 10 groups.

In my first year, I shadowed the then-chair and then went into the chair position for what turned out to be four years. In that time, with the support of a brilliant committee we  grew Warrington u3a to a membership of over a thousand with more than 30 interest groups and I am happy to say that it continues to thrive despite the dreaded Covid.
u3a is a brilliant organisation and a global family of people who want to continue to learn and grow in knowledge and shared interests.

At our May general meeting, I am giving a presentation on becoming a published writer of Children's books recently, in my eightieth year.

Happy Birthday u3a and many more of them !

To get in touch with Doreen or ask questions about her book, email
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