Dear <<First Name>>,

Celebrations feature at this time of year whether it is Bonfire Night or Diwali and in this newsletter we hear about many other wonderful celebrations taking place this month amongst the membership including a memory cafe in Buckhurst Hill

With Remembrance Day and the centenary of the First World War armistice in our thoughts we share some of the stories of the way that U3As have marked this very special occasion

Wishing you all a warm and happy November
We remember

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

Armistice Day
U3A's in the Community
A Closer Partnership of Learning

News from the Trust

Armistice Day Centenary

Last week, marked 100 years since the end of the First World War and U3A members have been sharing with the Trust their stories of community Remembrance Services that they have taken part in across the UK. 

Many U3As also helped create exhibitions and displays for the event.  Stories included Sidcup & District U3A who took part in their community commemorations led by the local Royal British Legion. For the first time their chairman – Colin Barclay - laid a U3A wreath at the Sidcup Memorial. 

To mark the centenary, Garforth, Kippax & District in Yorkshire – a new U3A of four months –invited their very first speaker, an expert on local history – to talk on the history of the local war graves and the stories behind them. Around 130 people turned up to listen and join in the singing of First World War songs following the service which were led by the newly formed singing group.

We are sorry that we are unable to share all of your amazing stories. If you use twitter – there are many U3As sharing their stories there including a U3A shared learning project with the Imperial War Museum.

Expanding the National Programme of Workshops

The first national Communications workshop took place in Nottingham this month taking the number of participants involved in the programme so far to more than 800.  

The workshops, delivered around the UK, have been designed to provide support, information and knowledge on a range of subjects to the U3A movement and have been developed in consultation with U3A members. 

The Regional Trustee for the East Midlands, Jean Hogg, who attended the workshop said, “It is always wonderful to spend time with so many enthusiastic people who are all hoping to make their U3As even better.

“There was a real 'buzz' at the Communications workshop as we were given lots of new ideas for spreading the word about U3A – especially the ways that may attract the attention of the newly retired who use social media.  Ways of improving communication with our members were also discussed. If you want inspiration for making your U3A more vibrant do look at the programme of national workshops. I certainly recommend them”.

You can request a workshop here 

Image below: Communications Workshop (thanks to Croydon U3A for slide image)

News on Volunteers

Sharing skills and experience

Volunteers within different Trust roles have been coming together to share their skills and experience. A team of the Trust volunteer trainers delivered Presentation Skills workshops to groups of Research Ambassadors, Subject Advisers and Shared Learning Project Coordinators in London and Birmingham.

Jennifer Simpson, who made the initial request for the workshop, said, "The trainers were very adaptable and worked with our needs and different backgrounds. It gave me a lot to think about and will greatly assist in the way I present information".

Following the success of these pilots, the workshop will be reviewed and will form part of the National Programme of Workshops and will be appropriate for those who run, lead or facilitate groups.


Calling U3A Volunteers in Scotland

U3A members have been asked to volunteer for one of two projects in Scotland. 
• The first is a research project being run by Edinburgh University. 
Trustee for Scotland Ed Link explained, “Edinburgh University wanted to answer the question on whether learning a language even in later life, had a significant effect on the brain’s cognitive abilities and resistance to degenerative illnesses.
"This is an opportunity to kick start learning a language and taking part in valuable research.  Courses will take place in February 2019 in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness".
To register interest email:
• The second is a Shared Learning Project with Trading Standards Scotland. 
The project aims to help improve the way information is made available on energy efficiency  and to better protect people from scams being perpetrated on older people.
It’s hoped around 20 people will  join the project which will run over a period of between one to three months.
To find out more and register your interest please email

U3A's in the Community


Buckhurst Hill U3A in Essex has partnered with the area’s Residents Society and the Parish Council to start a Memory Café for people with Dementia.

Chairman Anthony Young who is a dementia friend at the Alzheimer’s Society said,  “We are starting this Memory Cafe in January because we felt that with the age of some of our membership, as with other U3As, we would be ideally placed to work in partnership with the community to provide a service like this. 

“We want to offer somewhere to go for those with Dementia and their carers.  If they fancy a chat and a cup of tea or to play games, sing, or just relax. 

“I believe that this is something more U3As may want to look into especially as communities get older, and services are under more financial pressure”.

For more details about the story please go to the Latest U3A News on the national website here 

If you are interested in setting up something similar, contact

Encouraging Inclusion

Member of Chiltern U3A , Anne Pierce Jones, is keen to find out more about how to support people who wish to, but are unable to for whatever reason , be enabled to take part in local U3A interest groups on a regular ongoing basis with the help of technology where possible.
Anne wondered whether any other U3As have successfully done this.
“The U3A has been a lifeline to so many people. How much more would it bring to those  who are unable to participate in the usual way. I believe it would be beneficial to reach out to those unable to attend groups”.

If your U3A is involved in this kind of outreach work we would really love to hear from you.  Please contact Anne here

Lifelong learning

U3A WW1 Memorial Project's Final Ceremony

Barnsley and District U3A’s award winning WW1 War Memorials project is concluding next Sunday (26th November).

This four year project - organised by Barnsley U3A’s War Memorial Group -  researched the lives of 58 WW1 servicemen named on the local Dodworth War Memorial and held a remembrance service for each man on the 100th anniversary of their death. The group also invited any living relatives to the ceremony that they were able to trace.

The project was awarded a Community Group of the Year Award 2018 from Barnsley Borough Council.

Project leader Robert Green said, “Our final service will recognise the last six men who are on our memorial.  It has been so rewarding, that by using our research experience we have been able to bring to life the story of each serviceman and sadly, in most cases, the circumstances of their death”.

Images below:
LH - 1st August 2015  ceremony for Captain Thomas Coote Allport by Malcolm Howarth.
RH - Lt Thomas Westby’s Military Cross courtesy of Westby and Lant family.

A Closer Partnership of Learning

Bolton U3A has teamed up with Bolton University - signing a Memorandum of Understanding -  to encourage more people to take part and enjoy the benefits of lifelong learning.

Chairman of Bolton U3A Tony Pearson said, "The purpose of the Memorandum is to facilitate a stronger and closer co-operation in learning, teaching and research between our two organisations.  It is a great way of bringing town and gown together”.

For further information, visit


Bumblebee Walking

Canterbury U3A Environmental Research group have taken part in a special Bumblebee walking project with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust (BCT).

The BCT aims to collect data on the current Bumblebee population and has devised the Bumblebee Walk Scheme where volunteers register a specific route known as a “Transect” – and walk this route once a month identifying and counting the Bumblebee species.

You can see more on this story and share other new U3A learning projects at Sources online  here
Third Age Matters Magazine is out now.  The next edition is due February 2019.

Learning Resources

Social Media – where do I start?

Marilyn Jones the Chair of Sutton-in-Ashfield U3A has designed a workshop for U3As that are thinking about having a U3A presence on Social Media and don't know where to begin. It also helps clarify what type presence to build.

Marilyn said, “The differences between setting up Pages and Groups are explored and demonstrated and what security levels to put in place. The workshop will hopefully answer all questions and put minds at rest.
“A closed Facebook Group has been set up to aid members and answer any
questions they may have".
Download Facebook Workshop

Looking At Art

Have you ever visited a gallery looked at a painting and thought that you would like to know how best to enhance that experience? Well, Belfast U3A’s Art Appreciation group has done something to help.

Together with the (NMNI) National Museums Northern Ireland’s Ulster Museum, a small working group set about producing guidelines to help people look at art in three categories – portrait, landscape and abstract art.

The resources are free – you can find out more and where to get them here 


News from the Subject Advisers

German Language Trip

Calling all U3A German Language Groups - the national Subject Adviser for German, Alastair Sharp is planning another German Language trip to Munich after the success of the trip for 18 U3A members last year. 

It is planned for the 12th to 17th May 2019 and there are already eight people signed up.   You can find the details on the national website Subject Advice page here

Other subject updates include:

Story Telling


Education Events

National Events

There have been a number of successful exclusive U3A study days this month including a partnership with the National Gallery in London. 

An exciting new event,  Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts and Book Art, taking place at the British Library is now open for booking.  Experts will talk about the sophisticated art found in manuscripts from the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms.
To see all the U3A events please go to the national events page here

Image below: 'Lindisfarne Gospels (detail) c. 700. ©The British Library Board

Regional Events

Donaghadee U3A in Co. Down Northern Ireland is hosting its launch meeting on 27th November 2018. Posters have been distributed around the town inviting anyone who is interested to come to this very open and informal meeting.

For more details go to

News from the Board

Chairman of the Third Age Trust, Ian McCannah
"This month, the Trust received the Consultant’s Review of the Beacon membership system. It is now being analysed so that recommendations can be made to the Board next month. By mid-December existing Beacon users, and those on the waiting list, will receive the results of the review.
The Duke of York has recently founded "iDEA" - Inspiring Digital Enterprise Awards. This scheme (gold, silver, bronze) is modelled on The Duke of Edinburgh Awards but its focus is to help develop digital skills, at no cost, through a series of online programmes for all ages. Last summer the Trust was invited to become involved with iDEA at the early stage of its development. A number of U3As and members have tested the programme and achieved the bronze medal. This month the Trust were invited to St. James's Palace for the launch of the next stage - the Silver Medal".

Read the story here

Go to for more information on how this scheme can assist Third Agers become more familiar with digital technology.

Other News

U3A News

At the end of last month we were featured in the Sunday Times for the best places to live in retirement, had a letter in the Sunday Telegraph and was credited in the newsletter of England Centre for Practice Development.

One of the U3A founders Michael Young was featured in the Guardian Newspaper

Stone U3A were featured in their local newspaper

Dagenham U3A partnered with their local council to make a video.  You can watch it at

Foyle U3A in Northern Ireland was given an award by Derry City & Strabane District Council for encouraging sport and activity.  You can read the story here


In Focus

Elaine Rangecroft Rainworth & District U3A

"I had been a Primary School Teacher for nearly 38 years when I retired in 2014 at the age of 58.   I wanted to spend more time looking after my mother but unfortunately a month after I retired my lovely mum died. 

So when my colleagues returned to school in September, I remained at home with an empty nest (my son had gone to university) my mum was not here and I did not have work.

Before then my life had been hectic and full and yet very quickly I had no focus or purpose to my day.

A local councillor suggested U3A as they needed a newsletter editor. I agreed to go along as a visitor to a committee meeting.
I had heard of the U3A and now as a member for the last three years I want to encourage new platforms like using Facebook and I am keen to get groups of young people in schools to learn together with U3A members. 

I am a member of the book club, a member of the National Trust Visit Group and I go on the trips and visits to numerous places that I wouldn’t go to by myself. 

The U3A has helped me to adjust to life without work".
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