Bridlington U3A Mission Statement
Coming together in friendship to find joy and renewal in recreation, learning and teaching, through a vibrant, effective and inclusive local U3A supported by a community of dedicated volunteers
A brief history of the
University of the Third Age
The University of the Third Age (U3A) is a registered charity that exists to promote the well-being of older people who are no longer in full-time employment. Originally founded in Toulouse, France, in 1972 as the Université du Troisième Age, under the leadership of Pierre Vellas, U3A activities have spread far and wide and branches are now to be found throughout the world. In France, the movement was supported by the universities but a very different model emerged here in the UK. It was soon realized that Third Agers themselves had the skills to organise and teach in their own self-help learning groups and so local U3As were formed based on this principle. Since we learn for the pleasure of learning, no qualifications are required and none are given.
The Third Age Trust
The U3A in the UK was started by the creation of the 'Third Age Trust' in 1982 as both a registered charity and as a limited company. Most of the local and regional U3A bodies in the U.K. operate under the umbrella of the Third Age Trust, which is a central coordinating organisation providing many support services and which forms a vital link between the national U3As and Government.
Bridlington U3A started in September 2007 and it has enjoyed a period of rapid growth. On our first birthday in September 2008, *there were 300 members and about 40 different interest groups, co-ordinated and led by a dedicated band of volunteers. We welcome all those who are no longer in full-time employment as well as those who are in part-time employment. We meet each month to hear an invited speaker and to conduct business in the beautiful Bridlington Spa, after growing out of our original homes, first in the North Library and subsequently at Emmanuel Church. Groups are held in members’ homes as well as in more specialist venues. There is a monthly drop-in session at the North Library where visitors can find out more about the Bridlington U3A and where members have a further opportunity outside the monthly meeting to sign up for groups and activities.
Our annual subscription (presently £12.50) is paid by U3A members, of which £2.50 goes towards supporting the Third Age Trust. Members pay £1.00 for admission to the monthly meeting and where specialist venues are hired, there is a small additional cost. Theatre trips, lunches and similar social outings are paid for by members when they sign up for these individual events. A newsletter is produced every two months.
Party for group leaders and volunteer helpers to celebrate the opening of the Bridlington U3A Centre on 28th August, 2009 (Photo by Mike Wilson).
*In November 2008, there were 382 members and about 40 different interest groups.
*In May 2009, there were 500 members and about 55 different interest groups.
*In January 2010, there were 570 members and more than 70 groups
*In July 2010, there were 635 members and more than 70 groups
*In June 2011, there were 753 members and 81 groups
This site was last updated on Thursday, 2nd May, 2013