What is the u3a Organisation?
What is Lanark and District u3a?
Welcome from the Chair
"I am delighted to welcome you to our website, and to provide you with information about the Lanark & District U3A. We are very proud of our group and I am honoured to be the Chair of an active committee that focuses on the needs and aspirations of the members. We have such an amazing range of people with a wide variety of backgrounds so it is always interesting to hear their stories and experiences. If you choose to come along to one of our meetings you are sure to get a warm welcome and I look forward to meeting you."
What is the u3a?
The u3a is a UK and worldwide organisation which unites people in their third age by facilitating their participation in a wide range of interests & activities in a friendly and informal environment. The ethos of the u3a is to Learn, Laugh & Live which reflects the belief that those in this age group still wish to socialise and have fun while enjoying new learning experiences. The movement was formed 40 years ago and there are now more than 1000 u3as across the UK. The u3a national body, the 'Third Age Trust,' looks after all the u3as in the UK and provides a variety of support.
Who can join the u3a?
The u3a is not determined by a specific age but rather is for anyone who is retired or semi-retired. Although mainly made up of third agers, it is realised that there are now many on the young side of the ‘ third age’ of life who are no longer in employment. The Third Age Trust would very much like to encourage such people to join this lively organisation. Members may be retired but they are certainly not’ retiring’ in personality and some younger ‘third agers’ could make a very significant and welcome contribution to the u3a.
Lanark & District u3a
Lanark & District u3a was founded in 2011 and in 2021 proudly celebrates 10 years of service, as a lively community group. It has grown from strength to strength and has around 175 members from Lanark, Carluke and many of the surrounding villages. Each month members meet up for the monthly open meeting in the Memorial Hall in Lanark, where they can enjoy an excellent guest speaker. With around 25 interest groups, mainly led by members, there is something to interest everyone. Some groups are for pure leisure and enjoyment whilst others enable some type of learning in an informal and sociable manner. The whole ethos of the u3a is that it is for the members by the members, hence why the interest groups are member led in most cases.
Cost to Members
There is a very reasonable annual subscription which enables members to participate in as many meetings and activities as they wish. This fee is reviewed annually and has been set at £8.00 (post covid) and it will return to £16 in 2022 -2023. Participation in some of the groups may incur a little cost but all groups are carefully managed so that cost is minimal.
Why join the u3a?
Members join for many reasons but for those who have retired from a long working life, it can be very difficult to adjust. Some find they have lost their identity and purpose and are just drifting along aimlessly from day to day. Others have been bereaved; some after being carers for some time. They wonder, “What will I do now without a partner?” Others may have moved into the area from afar and do not know anyone. Over and over again members state that the u3a has given them a new lease of life because they have some renewed structure in their days. Most importantly, members make valuable new friends by taking part in activities, so they no longer feel isolated or alone. The u3a exists for ‘third agers’ to Learn, laugh and live and that in a nutshell is why the u3a organisation is growing from strength to strength across the UK.