Keeping minds active benefits elderly

Many studies have shown that keeping minds active keep the elderly fit and well and has many other benefits

The Third Age Trust is the national representative body for the Universities of Third Age (U3As) in the UK.  U3As are self-help, self-managed lifelong learning co-operatives for older people, who are no longer in full time work, providing opportunities for their members to share learning experiences in a wide range of interest groups and to pursue learning, not for qualifications, but for fun

U3A Movement

U3A stands for the University of the Third Age, which is a self-help organisation for people no longer in full time employment providing educational, creative and leisure opportunities in a friendly environment

It consists of local U3As all over the UK, which are charities in their own right and are run entirely by volunteers

Local U3As are learning cooperatives which draw upon the knowledge, experience and skills of their own members to organise and provide interest groups in accordance with the wishes of the membership

The teachers learn and the learners teach. Between them U3As offer the chance to study over 300 different subjects in such fields as art, languages, music, history, life sciences, philosophy, computing, crafts, photography and walking

A typical U3A has about 250 members but could be as small as 12 and as large as 2000

The U3A approach to learning is – learning for pleasure.  There is no accreditation or validation and there are no assessments or qualifications to be gained

How to Join a U3A

U3A membership is not related to a specific age, but to a period in one’s life (the third age) after the second age of full-time employment and parental responsibility.  Anybody in their third age can join U3A and this includes people who are working part time.  There is no lower age for membership.

How to go about it

To find a U3A local to you, use the Find a U3A Group page.

Then ring the contact number listed and ask for more information.  In most cases, though not all, it will be the personal telephone number of the membership secretary, so you are not restricted to working hours

If you would rather write or have difficulty getting hold of the membership secretary contact the National Office. 0208 466 6139

All U3As are different as the skills and talents of their members define what they can offer so if you find more than one local group in your area you would be advised to contact all of them to see what is on offer.

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