We are part of the national network of U3As offering adults who are no longer in full-time employment (even if you are still "young in body" as well as heart) the opportunity for life-long learning, fellowship and enjoyment. Members share their skills and experiences through meetings, a variety of different types of group and social activities and outings.
The U3A is an international organisation which aims to encourage like-minded people, no longer in full-time employment, to join together in educational, creative, cultural and leisure activities.
The concept of a place of learning for older and mature citizens, with more leisure time on their hands, was first developed in France in 1972, where universities began to provide educational opportunities for older people. This was followed by the establishment of 'Association Internationale des Universités du Troisième Age (A.I.U.T.A.). The idea has now spread throughout the world, though the "minimum age limit" has been removed in the UK as we don't like ageism! In the University of the Third Age the word 'University' is used in its original sense of people coming together to share and pursue learning in all its forms.
Southwell U3A was formed in 2006 and has grown rapidly. We are a very friendly organization and maintain that friendliness in spite of our increasing size. If you are retired or semi-retired, and are interested in joining us, you can be assured of a warm welcome amongst like-minded people.
We are not a university in the modern sense of a body which awards degrees, but in the original sense of a community of people engaged in learning - and learning from each other. Members share their skills, knowledge and interests through meetings and educational, social and recreational group activities. These activities are not normally led by professional teachers but by fellow members of Southwell U3A who are unpaid enthusiasts. Classes are small, informal and interactive. There are no examinations; no qualifications are required or awarded and only enjoyment to be won. You can choose the mix of activities you wish to engage in.
Members also find pleasure and companionship through an active social programme of outings, walks, theatre visits, and lunches, and our monthly meetings.
Like all other U3As we are autonomous: we make our own rules and regulations and are a registered charity which entitles us to reclaim Gift Aid on our membership fees. We receive no government or local authority monies: In 2008 and 2009 we were awarded over £13,000 by the National Lottery Awards for All Grant. This was used to purchase computers and other equipment required for the Monthly Meeting and our groups as well as to develop this website. We are now well-established, so now entirely self-financing.
The Third Age Trust Public Liability Insurance provides cover for members across all of our activities.
If you live within easy reach of Southwell why not come along and see if you would like to join us? You do not have to commit yourself immediately but you can attend two Monthly Meetings as a visitor before you make up your mind. We could be just what you are looking for! Try us out – bring your enthusiasm, interest and desire to be a lifelong learner along. You may never want to leave!