The U3A is a self-help organisation for people who are no longer in full-time employment. Joining the U3A encourages people to exchange and share educational, creative and leisure activities during the daytime. So members can take up new interests, as well as making new social contacts at a time in life when work is no longer the main social environment.
Nationally, the U3A network is thriving in many towns and cities throughout Britain. In total there are around 350,000 members nationally in 950 towns, cities and villages - with a wide range of interest groups offering many topics and activities.
In just over 4 years, Wetherby and District U3A has attracted over 900 current members, participating in over 70 different activity groups. So I guess we must be doing something right. Certainly there is a lot going on.
You will find a lot more information about the various group activities on this web site or from the Newsletter. Why not drop in at our regular monthly meetings to listen to a speaker, chat to the members there, find out more.
Why not join us and share in the good times? It's fun!
How it all started in Wetherby
Wetherby and the surrounding district has a population of around 25,000 of whom around 8,800 are aged 55 or over. Obviously the region has a lot of active people with time on their hands, looking for new interests and new ways to use some of their free time.
So a local U3A serving Wetherby and district was well overdue. But it took the initiative of a couple of local people in Autumn 2009 to sound out local support and then approach the U3A offices for help to get it all started. Mary Bentham from Wetherby and Lesley Newnham from Boston Spa both started exploring the idea, looking at other U3As and chatting with potential members to gauge the level of interest. Then one day in a local shop, quite by chance, Lesley overheard a conversation and realised that she had stumbled on Mary - "the other person" that people kept on mentioning.
From then onwards, the two worked together, spreading the word until they were ready for the next brave step - organising a couple of successful local meetings to try and gauge the potential. Interest snowballed and others from Wetherby and from the surrounding villages came forward - some with offers of help, many others simply to express an interest in joining a U3A once it is formed.
Now we have over 800 members, some four years after the official launch.
Details of the next public meeting are shown in the panel on the right: >>
2.30 to 4.00pm at the Newly Refurbished Methodist Church - Bank Street, Wetherby
See the MEETINGS page for more details.
For most monthly meetings, there is a charge of £2 for non members (admission is free to members) to cover the costs of the speaker and room hire.
At the monthly meetings you can:
1. join the Wetherby & District U3A,
2. learn more about the planned Groups (activities and courses),
3. book your place on groups covering the activities that interest you.
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.