The new year of the University of the Third Age, much more commonly known as U3A, starts this month. For those of you not familiar with this inspiring organisation, its magazine title Third Age Matters says it all.
An international movement for people who have mostly retired, it aims to continue education and provide interesting and stimulating activities. In the United Kingdom, where the scheme started to gain interest in the 1980s, formal links with universities have never really been part of the model, in spite of the name, as it was recognised that people wanted more of a self-help organisation. Older people have a lifetime of experience and, together, a great deal of knowledge they are happy to share with one another.
The third age of the title is linked to the idea of a period in life after the second age of full-time employment and parental responsibility, thus the Third Age. Anyone can join U3A and this includes people working part-time.
The Rye and District Branch has a programme of group meetings and has 19 different activities to choose from, everything from bird watching to creative writing, from book groups to boules. The cost of membership is only £14 annually and includes the national magazine mentioned earlier, access to the group programme and invitations to study days put on by the U3A Sussex network. There are new groups being set up and invitations to possible organisers. It really is a very vibrant and busy forum, well supported locally.
The AGM is on Monday, October 15 at 2pm at the Community Centre on Conduit Hill. Following this, Dr Barry Yates will be giving a talk: ‘Rye Harbour Nature Reserve – update.’
Image Credits: rye news.