In case you don’t already know, U3A is short for The University of the Third Age. Nottinghamshire organisers are keen to find out if there’s an interest among older villagers to set up one or more groups here in Ruddington.
Paul Martinez explains: “We are for retired and semi-retired people and we share learning, fun and friendship in a vibrant, enjoyable and varied way. Members suggest and organise interest groups in a wide variety of subjects, both educational and social. No qualifications are required and none are given.”
There have been U3As in Nottinghamshire for over thirty years – currently with 28 groups covering a large scope of interests across the county. The idea for a U3A in Ruddington was first suggested by local residents who had joined U3As outside our village – and this desire was adopted as an action point by the Ruddington Village Plan.
“The interest groups will be for the membership of Ruddington U3A to decide” says Paul. “Most U3As have a wide range of groups from walking to trips and visits, gardening to reading, theatre to tea dancing, badminton to science. You will make new friends, learn new things, exercise your brain and body and, above all, have fun! Our motto is ‘Live, Laugh and Learn’.”
An initial meeting to gauge local interest is being held on Monday 19th March at 2.00pm in Ruddington Methodist Church on Charles Street. It’s set to be an informal gathering with tea, coffee and biscuits. So why not put the date in your diary?
“Of course it’s not a university in the usual sense” continues Paul, “it’s a university of LIFE. Our members are older people who have had years of experience in work and education, and now that we have retired from all that, the U3A is a way of using this knowledge for our own enjoyment. Each local U3A is a charity run entirely by its own volunteer members but we are all part of a national organisation providing educational, cultural and social opportunities for people who are retired or not in full-time employment. So if you enjoy making new friends, the stimulation of learning new things and passing your knowledge on to others, you’ll be very welcome.”