Ryedale U3A

by Handy Mag
Published: Last Updated on

…the interest-led organisation for those who are retired

The u3a movement was started 40 years ago. Today, over 1500 local u3as across the UK run member-led social, learning, and leisure activities for those no longer in full time work.

Ryedale u3a has over 300 members from across the area and is home to a wide variety of interest groups ranging from Birdwatching to Walking – there is something for everyone.

U3A released research (Learning Not Lonely) found that the u3a model produced a sustainable and positive approach to ageing built on group learning, skill sharing and volunteering. The u3a model is low-cost, is run and led by its member-participants and is not dependent on state funding. Most of all, U3A shows the value of communities of interest and learning which are not defined by age or past experience, but instead are characterised by experiences still to be explored and shared.

A member who has been part of Ryedale u3a for 13 years said: “I was new to the area and looking for a book group. A friend said ‘try u3a they have one’ and I’ve never looked back!

I joined several interest groups, attended general meetings with really interesting speakers covering a wide range of topics. I now edit our monthly newsletter – a task that continues to take my IT skills to new levels! I’ve found a refreshing range of learning and social opportunities and it’s a great way to use and develop my transferable life skills – that in itself brings great satisfaction.”

Others said: “U3a is such a marvellous, unique organisation. And by being involved in so many elements, I’ve got so much more out of being a member.

“u3a makes my days even more interesting than they were – I’ve met a lot of lovely people and learned so much.”

Current secretary Judi Watkinson said: “The u3a has given me a great outlook on life—it keeps me involved and active. It is really reasonable to join u3a, and many groups don’t cost anything other than a small charge for refreshments.”

Try u3a.org.uk for a broad overview, or Ryedaleu3a.org.uk for details of our local organisation. You can also contact our Membership Secretary Judy Sleeman membership@ryedaleu3a.org.uk or Admin Secretary Judi Watkinson on 07966 156944

A year’s subscription costs £19.00 and a joint subscription for two members at the same address is £25.00, opening the door to a new circle of folk who are interested in what you are interested in.

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