What is it? What does it do?
U3A is a UK movement of retired and semi-retired people who come together to continue educational, social and creative interests in a friendly and informal environment. If you’re wondering what we mean by the third age, it is a time after you have finished working full-time or raising your family and have time to pursue your interests, or just try something new.
The U3A movement began in 1981, so is in its 37th year, with now over 1,000 U3As across the UK, including 18 in Cornwall. There are over 30,000 interest groups between them and more than 420,000 members nationally, plus more are joining every day. U3A has a ‘university’ of members who draw upon their knowledge and experience to teach and learn from each other but there are no qualifications to pass. It is just for pleasure. Learning is its own reward. It’s all voluntary: a typical U3A will be home to many activity groups covering hundreds of different subjects, from art to zoology and everything in between.
The U3A national body (The Third Age Trust) looks after all the U3As in the UK, providing educational and administrative support. A national periodic magazine is available to our members, together with a wide range of learning aids to help pursue learning, not for qualifications but for fun.
The Newquay U3A now enters its 12th year. The current annual subscription is £15, which includes the national subscription. Our group leaders come from within our members, so that costs are kept to a minimum.
The monthly general meeting takes place on the 2nd Tuesday of each month (except August) at the Lane Theatre. Chat over a tea or coffee from 10.30am before the meeting at 11am, including a guest speaker, entertainment or social. Our current membership is approximately 220. Between 75 and 100 attend the monthly meeting on a regular basis.
We currently offer over 22 interest groups, covering a wide variety of subjects held at different venues. New groups can be set up at any time by two or three members sharing a common interest.