Category Archives: NEWS

U3A Trust January News Letter

News from the Trust


We are pleased to invite each U3A to send representatives to the EGM (extraordinary general meeting) taking place on 21 March 2018 at the University of Birmingham’s Great Hall.

This is set to be an exciting event giving U3As an important opportunity to get involved in the direction of the movement with a vote on the proposed changes following a year-long consultation with members.
The EGM will feature a Panel Debate on Ageing Well with expert speakers on health, lifelong learning and the arts and ageing  on chaired by one of our founder members Eric Midwinter. The EGM will be live-streamed to give those U3As that cannot attend in person the opportunity watch the proceedings.

Click here to reserve your place now.

Can you help?

The Advice section of the website is under an ongoing review to make it U3A friendly as the world, the law and practice evolves. We want to ensure that this section tells local U3As what they need to know in the most user friendly fashion. We would like to recruit a team of members.
Advice and Volunteering Manager Sophie Wellings said, “Your role would be to read and review updates to the Advice section to help us ensure that this section is useful at a local level. The role would be done ‘virtually’ ie. you don’t have to leave your house to do it!  We need people who are responsive, can proofread and who are able to meet agreed timelines. We want the advice section to be comprehensive but simple and useful”.

If this role is of interest to you, email Sophie directly or call the National Office on 020 8466 6139.

National workshops

The Trust is offering local U3As a range of workshops that are part of a national programme. These have recently been reviewed and a revised programme of workshops will be rolled out throughout 2018. These will include:

  • Running your U3A.
  • Growing your U3A.
  • Interest Groups Matter.
  • Finance.
  • Communication.

There are also two pilot workshop days focused on issues that will ensure U3As committees remain compliant with legalities that impact on their work.

Find out more at

General Data Protection Regulation – GDPR

The new GDPR legislation comes into force from 25 May. This will impact on how U3As collect, process and store members’ information. Revised guidance as to how U3As need to respond to this and template documents are available under the advice section of the website (you will need to log in).

Lifelong learning

U3A joins forces to refurbish an historic windmill

Sleaford U3A and the Heckington Windmill Trust in Lincolnshire have concluded a two year Shared Learning Project which culminated in an official opening of the Windill by HRH Princess Anne.

The Windmill Trust received National Lottery funding to refurbish the 19th Century mill in recognition of the windmill’s status as one of the only surviving eight sailed windmills in Western Europe.

Seaford and surrounding U3A members worked with the archivist conserving and cataloguing objects and documents, researching the milling families in the area, taking part in reminiscence days with local residents and providing material for the new information centre.

Several of the members have continued as mill volunteers and can regularly be found serving in the tea rooms and gift shop.

Read more in the Sources blog in February.

U3A energy conference

U3A Northumbria Region and Durham University have joined forces for the first U3A Energy Conference to be held on the 11th April 2018.

There will be a series of impressive lectures from leading academics exploring the history, changes and opportunities related to all areas of the energy industry.

This day will explore the types of energy we consume, how it is produced and delivered, and the impact on our environment. Many thanks to Professor Jon Gluyas and his team of specialists who have worked closely with us to put together a really informative and interesting set of lectures on all aspects of this important subject.

For details of the day visit To register please email Mike Martin on or John Lloyd at

This event is dedicated to the memory of former trustee, U3A friend and colleague John Leiper who will be sadly missed.

A new website for U3APlus

U3APlus is delighted to announce the launch of its new website.

U3APlus aims to help, support and advise U3As to ensure that all their members can access the informal learning and activities in their U3As, regardless of impairment or disability.

The new website will offer practical help and support to ensure that every U3A member can access and enjoy everything the U3A offers, and which makes it such as special organisation.

Visit to find out more.

Educational events

National summer schools

This year, two national summer schools will take place: Harper Adams on 23 to 26 July and at the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester on 11 to 14 September.

Bookings will open for the schools in mid-February.

Regional schools and study days

There are a number of summer schools and study events taking place across the regions this year – these include:

The North West summer school runs from 28 to 31 August at Newton Rigg Agricultural College, near Penrith.  Details available on the North West Region website.

The Scotland summer school takes place on 21 to 23 August in Dundee. For more information on the Scotland Region website.

South East Forum is once again offering its popular residential Summer School taking place at Chichester on 18 to 21 June. More information on the South East Forum website.

The London Region of U3As is holding its non-residential Summer School from 31 July until 2 August at St Bride Foundation, Fleet Street. See the London Region website.

The Science Network summer school will take place at Nottingham University Jubilee Campus on 6 to 9 August.

Elsewhere the London U3A is holding its Easter conference – “How the World has Changed” – on 3 to 5 April at Hampstead Old Town Hall in London with guest speaker, Dame Margaret Hodge MP.

York U3A is hosting a subject study day on Thursday 22 March in York on creative writing – the basics and beyond.

North London U3A has a study day on 26 February celebrating active learning and research. Find out more on the London Region website.

Please note that the Jazz Study Day – advertised in the January Newsletter- has unfortunately been postponed. We hope to be able to announce a new date very soon.

All national, regional and subject summer schools are posted on the national website.

A day of music

U3A members from the North West and Wales have shared their love of music in a day dedicated to all things musical.

The day in Liverpool included music from a Concert pianist, a practical music making session followed from activity groups for ukulele, singing, recorders and music appreciation led by members of Upholland, Bolton and St. Helens U3As. Chris Devereux from Southport U3A concluded the day with his ‘Magical Musical Mystery Tour’.

North West Regional Trustee, Gillian Russell said, “This was a musical immersive experience and while members improved their own skills and had fun they also gained strategies and information which they could go back and share with their own U3As”.

National events

Click the boxes to book the above events.
U3A Explores Science will be recorded and made available on the Sources blog for those members that are unable to travel to the event itself.
Coming soon – Vote 100: The Journey to Democracy at the British Library, 26 March. Join U3A members as we celebrate the centenary of the Representation of the People’s Act, which ushered-in a new era of democratic rights for women. Details and booking available on the website soon.

Learning Resources

Subject Adviser Newsletters

The latest newsletters from the national subject advisers are now available from the Subject Advice section on the website. Click the subjects to download them:

See also updated information for the advisers for Stage Production (Andrew Ings) and Memory Maintenance (Arthur Maltby).

Calling all Art Lovers

Film Production Company – Seventh Art is premiering its latest film, Cezanne – Portraits of a Life, in cinemas nationwide on Jan 23rd 2018. They are offering U3A members the chance to review the film with the winning entry receiving a signed poster, DVD of your choice and the chance to have their writing published on our website.

Lucille McLennan said, “We have always greatly valued the voice of our audience and are interested in receiving creative and reflective pieces – up to 1000 words long. Send your entries to me and please include your full name, your U3A, your email address and telephone number. Deadline is 20th February so to find your nearest film screening visit the website.

You can watch the film’s trailer on YouTube. Good luck!”

News from U3As

Barnsley and District U3A Family History Group have been researching the lives of the WW1 servicemen named on the Dodworth memorial and holding a remembrance service for each man on the 100th anniversary of their deaths. Members of the group invite any living relatives to the ceremony.

At the end of last year, a service was held for Lt Thomas Westby MC, MiD, RMD. He was an ex Holgate Grammar School pupil, the son of the manager of Dodworth Colliery, he was the highest decorated Royal Marine from Barnsley and the only man from Barnsley to be commissioned directly into the Royal Marines. The event was covered by the local media.

You can read more about Lt Thomas Westby and this project on the Sources blog in February.

Malmesbury & District U3A have been involved in a project documenting the Malmesbury Hoard – 1,266 roman coins that were discovered in 2012. This Shared Learning Project had U3A members assess the condition of each coin using pre-set criteria to help identify which of 11 possible emperors appear on the coins. The hoard will be put on public display soon. 

North Norfolk U3A has held its first one day Conference on Crime, looking at some of the most high profile criminal cases in the country. Over 50 members and guests from neighbouring U3As including Hunstanton, Kings Lynn, Dereham, the Wissey, North Walsham and Aylsham, heard from five expert speakers. The diverse range of subjects included the Norfolk Murderers, Victorian poisoners, an unsolved murder of Teddy Haskell, a 12 year old boy, in 1908 in Salisbury, and the infamous Lord Lucan mystery.Stoke-on-Trent South U3A took part in a successful pensioners’ fair event with a wide range of organisations represented who provide services to retired people. The event was organised by Stoke-on-Trent South MP, Jack Brereton. Members of the Stoke-on-Trent South U3a committee greeted a steady flow of people interested in the U3A.

Members of Croydon U3A have taken part in a special tea dance at Buckingham Palace which included an audience with the Duchess of Cornwall. The six U3A members were taking part in a special film for the Christmas edition of the BBC show – Strictly Come Dancing.

Croydon U3A member, Sharon McEwan (pictured left) said, “To be asked to talk with Camilla was a really special surprise. Camilla is really friendly. Camilla was attending in her role as president of the National Osteoporosis Society and wanted to talk about older people staying active. Thank you to U3A national office and my chairman Jenny Wilson for making this happen”.

News from the NEC

A message from the Chairman, Pam Jones

2018 is a significant year for me as it marks my last as your chairman. I will step down optimistic for the future of U3A with many exciting new developments ahead.

These include:

  • Work on a three year development plan for the Trust will start shortly with members being invited to contribute their ideas.
  • The future direction of Third Age Matters and Sources magazines – the TAM/Sources working group are busy examining the results of the members questionnaire.
  • The national programme of training and workshops across the UK.

The aim of the NEC is to continue to have members on working groups and committees to ensure that their ideas are reflected in any developmental decisions. I hope all our U3As continue to prosper and please contact me or the national office for help and support.

Lastly, please keep the invitations to visit you coming. I enjoy meeting you all very much!

Through the eyes of a trustee

Sue Stokes reflects on life as a member of the NEC.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect when I became the Trustee for Yorkshire and The Humber region. I’d seen our previous RT in action at regional events but had not really appreciated the National Executive Committee dimension.

“Meetings in London are now a regular part of my life. I’ve had to get my head around Constitutions, Articles, Data Protection Regulations, Safeguarding, Troubleshooting, Strategic Planning, Volunteer training and deployment, Communications methodologies – and the list continues to grow. I am amazed at the commitment and conscientious involvement of all members of the NEC, and particularly the dedicated efforts of the Lant Street office team ably led by Sam Mauger.

“It’s a challenging role. It’s early days but it is great to be a small cog in this amazing organization”.

U3A painter’s national exhibition

U3A member Frank Callaghan has had his painting “5th Avenue, New York” accepted by the Royal Institute of Oil Painters for their exhibition at the Mall Galleries on Pall Mall, London.

Frank’s painting was selected out of thousands of entries from around the country and was displayed in the exhibition for three weeks at the end of 2017. Frank has been a member of Lymington U3A near the New Forest, Hampshire, for over 12 years. Visit his website at

The One Show

Well done to all those U3A members who are former teachers who gave up their time to take part in filming a feature about parents evenings for the BBC’s the One Show.

Royal Society of Public Health

Jill Turner from Kennet U3A and a Trustee for the Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH) recently wrote a guest blog on the RSPH website reflecting on some of the initiatives enabling people to maintain their health and wellbeing in later life.

Jill said, “During our discussion with the U3A in Kennet representatives it became clear that the U3A organisation fulfils a valuable role within society in general, and for older people in particular as a means of providing Social Contact, Physical Exercise, New Interests, Learning without pressure and sharing knowledge and expertise”.

You can read Jill’s blog in full on the Source Blog next month.

New TV series would like to speak to you

Plimsoll Productions are making a new TV series and have been in touch with U3A. They are keen to speak to any of our members, or members’ friends, who have recently experienced any issues regarding rogue tradespeople. If you’ve had a recent experience it would be great if you could get in touch with producer Clare Strudwick on 0117 307 2338.

In Focus

Mo, Newcastle U3A

Mo Brown from Newcastle U3A has been a member for around 16 years and is currently one of the Trust’s volunteers.

“I had a variety of careers before I retired including teaching, working in a therapeutic community and eventually retraining as a computer programmer. After divorce and cancer, U3A seemed like a better option! Being Business secretary, Groups coordinator, office manager, on the Regional IT Committee and then Chairman of Newcastle U3A were most useful distractions, helping me to cope with my Mum’s dementia.

“I have learnt that U3A is a great way to keep active in brain and body, introducing you to like-minded friends who are willing to set up and take part in stimulating interest groups. U3A has taught me that I’m quite strong enough inside even to cope with learning to play the Ukulele!

“Being a trust volunteer needs you to employ your best diplomacy and listening skills. At least you hope to be easing the workload of your Regional Trustee and giving something back to an organisation which is still an inspiration every day”.


U3A Workshops: Keeping it Legal

National Workshop Series

The Third Age Trust will be piloting a new series of training events in 2018 for U3A committee members. The workshops will be held in two locations which we calculate to be accessible to the largest number of U3As: the northern pilot in Leeds, and the southern in Surrey. If the pilots are successful, the programme will be taken to further venues.

These workshop days are being offered in response to requests and enquiries from U3A committee members regarding the legal requirements and responsibilities of running a U3A.

As charities (registered or otherwise), U3A committees are required to ensure that they are aware of and compliant with the legislation that impacts on their work. U3A committee members are the foundation of the U3A movement. These pilot days, which will be led by industry experts, have been designed to support you to fulfil your requirements as both committee members and charity trustees.

Each workshop day will cover a number of important topics:

  • General Data Protection Regulation
  • Safeguarding
  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
  • Insurance

The format will be a mix of plenary and break-out sessions, with plenty of time for networking and discussion. Lunch will be included, and to further facilitate attendance, accommodation and dinner is available the night before if required.


General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

From May 2018 the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) is being updated to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The updated legislation has implications for how U3As obtain, process and manage information obtained from their members. The introduction of GDPR offers a useful opportunity for U3As to review their current practices in relation to how they manage data.


This session will be led as a group plenary session by industry experts ArcNet Security.  The trainers will provide a bespoke session for U3A members. This will include an overview of the relevant points from the legislation as well as advice as to the steps that U3As should take.  There will also be an opportunity for members to ask questions.


U3A Committees have a duty of care to their members. Safeguarding practice within U3As covers a range of issues from being aware of and responsive to members health-related needs as well as ensuring appropriate behaviour between members. The Charity Commission website states:


“Having proper safeguards in place means your charity can promote a safe place for your beneficiaries and gives the public confidence in your charity and trustees.” (


This session will be run by industry experts who will lead smaller break out groups. Each group will benefit from a trainer led presentation on the relevant legislation as well as an opportunity to review and discuss some U3A-based scenarios.  Group members can also discuss any particular concerns they may have.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

The Equality Act came into power in 2010 and merged nine existing pieces of legislation including the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and the 2006 Equality Act. The Equality and Human Rights Commission website states:


“Equality law affects everyone responsible for running your organisation or who might do something on its behalf, including staff or volunteers if you have them.” (


Guidance from the Commission details that where volunteers are acting on behalf of the charity, the charity would be legally responsible were they found to have unlawfully discriminated against a service user (members qualify as service users).


This session will be delivered by industry experts who will lead a presentation on the relevant legislation, discuss and review some U3A-specific scenarios, as well as providing you with the opportunity to ask any questions you may have.


The most common queries coming in to the office are those that relate to insurance cover. These are reflective of the diversity of interest groups, members, members’ needs and the individuality that is inherent within the U3A membership. This session will be led by the Trust’s insurance broker. Our broker has worked with the Trust for several years and has developed an in-depth understanding of the U3A movement and how we operate at a local level.


The session will be run as group plenary with an overview of the cover provided by the products and public liability insurance. The session will also look at scenarios based on U3A practice and provide members with an opportunity to ask questions.

Northern Pilot

Met Hotel, Leeds: 13 February

Designed by local architects Chorley & Connon, this luxury hotel is renowned for its Victorian terracotta facade and stone cupola taken from the city’s demolished 4th White Cloth Hall.

The venue is moments from Leeds Station, and there are several city centre car parks nearby.

The Principal Met Hotel, Leeds LS1 2HQ

Click here to find out more about the venue on the Principal Hotels website.

AGM 2017: Live streaming


Dear members,

We are looking forward to welcoming many of you to the conference, and, for the first time, to give those who are unable to attend the chance to watch the AGM live on the internet. This live streaming will enable all you who wish to hear and see what is happening at the AGM, and to listen to the morning presentation before and the constitutional discussion after.

To access the AGM live stream, visit on 31st August. The whole day will be broadcast so tune in from around 9am to catch the morning speaker, Jo Coleman. The full programme is available at

This link is the first time we have tried to engage with members in this way, and we hope once we have learned the lessons of what works well and what needs to improve, to offer more accessibility to members in this way.

We are now settled into Lant Street, and have had our first visitor, and hope to see many more of you if you are visiting London.

Watch the live stream

AGM Agenda Amendment

Please note the following amendment to item 5 which now reads:
To appoint Knox Cropper as the Auditors and to authorise the Executive Committee to set the remuneration. To further authorise the Executive Committee to put the audit to tender and create an Audit Committee to manage the tender process

Health and Wellbeing Conference Lancaster 26/10/17

Lancaster and Morecambe U3A, under the auspices of North West Region U3A, are offering their third conference. We all want to live not just longer but healthier lives and the aim of the day is to inform and enthuse participants to achieve this. The day will start with consideration of what health actually is leading to presentations considering how to live well in later life and the role of pathological testing in maintaining health.

Presentations will lead to consideration of and debate on the truth behind the headlines in Alzheimer’s Research, the role of eye-tracking in early detection of Alzheimer’s, non- pharmacological approaches to disease and the role of exercise in active, healthy ageing. The security challenges associated with ageing will also be considered. The day will conclude with an open forum.

The detailed Conference Agenda and Booking Form are available on the Lancaster & Morecambe U3A >>HERE and the North West Region websites >>HERE

Further details if required can be obtained from Professor Gill Baynes Email Here

Spring Social Afternoon


The Leyland Neighbourhood Forum is hosting a spring social afternoon for older people on the 25th May at the Civic Centre. Come along and enjoy some entertainment, craft stalls, a light buffet, and pick up some information about local services. To be eligible for this free event you must live in one of the wards in the Leyland neighbourhood area: Broadfield, Buckshaw & Worden, Earnshaw Bridge, Leyland Central, Moss Side, Seven Stars, St Ambrose. To book your place, you need to contact us on 01772 625625 by Friday 19th May.