The University of the Third Age
A U3A is a university in the original sense of the word: a collective of people devoted to learning, with members not students, all of whom are in their Third Age
Good Reasons for belonging to U3A
To belong to an organisation offering wide and varied activities and contacts
To widen your knowledge, experiences, skills, activities, social contacts and friendships.
To develop your self-confidence, raise self-esteem, improve health, quality of life and to help others do the same.
To enable you to realise some of your dreams and ambitions, be it to learn something new, a foreign language perhaps, take up a new hobby or sport or holiday in far off places.
Life certainly need not be dull for Third Agers, perhaps we are disproving the oft quoted adage that schooldays are the best years of our lives.
University of the Third Age (Whickham and District)
In the autumn of 1994 Edna Proud decided that Whickham would be able to support its own U3A and she went to Ponteland U3A to find out more about the movement. Edna subsequently asked the members of a group she attended in Whickham if they would support her efforts by becoming a steering committee. Other people were also drawn in and a local Rotary Group donated £30 to assist with the expenses of a public meeting which was held in St. Mary's Centre on the 8th of March 1995.
Initially the members of the steering committee were D. Cline, G. Dunton, D. Ferguson, S. Gladston, J. Helm, A. Murray, D. Oates, E. Proud, D. Robson, D. Smith, E. Vanner, and H.and R. Wilson. Other people volunteered to join the steering committee at or after the launch.
The launch on 8th of March was attended by 90 people with 49 becoming members immediately. Edna Proud became Founder Chairman and it was decided that the name of the U3A should be Whickham District U3A, later changed to Whickham and District U3A. By the end of September 111 members had enrolled.
A monthly coffee morning began as a three-month experiment and never stopped! At first the coffee morning was to be a purely social event where members could meet and get to know members from the various groups. Then it was decided to put up the notices in order that every member could see what was available and what was planned.