The u3a Movement

The u3a 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.

Aims and Guiding Principles

The u3a is a learning co-operative of older people, which enables members to share many educational, creative and leisure activities. Activities are organised mainly in small groups that meet regularly, often in each other’s homes. Members, through sharing their knowledge, skills and experience, learn from each other.

Although all local u3as remain operationally independent, they are members of The Third Age Trust. As such they must abide by both the original Objects and Principles written by Peter Laslett in 1981 and the Principles of the u3a Movement (2014).
The Trust is a national, umbrella body (a registered charity and limited company) which represents all u3as in the UK at national and international level. It is run by a National Executive Committee democratically elected from the membership and offers a range of services, to support and advise local u3as.

The u3a movement is growing all the time; approximately 50 new u3as are started every year. They pursue an amazing range of topics; some academic, some practical and others recreational. Most local u3as offer a combination of opportunities to study, create, socialise, and contribute greatly to members’ overall health and wellbeing.

The Rowlands Castle u3a extends a warm welcome to those seeking interesting and stimulating activities with a chance to meet new people. Monthly Meetings take place in the Parish Hall, 11 Links Lane PO9 6AD at 2pm on the 3rd Monday of each Month except July and August. We have a speaker each month on an amazing range of subjects to suit all tastes, with a chance to chat and mix afterwards over tea and biscuits.

The Rowlands Castle u3a was formed in 2013 we currently have over 125 Members and 25 wide ranging interest Groups to choose from. You can find a list of the available groups and a contact form on their website. However, they will readily help anyone with a special interest to set up their own group. Visitors are welcome for a small entrance fee and new members can come along, join up and find out more.

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