U3A

A national charity providing a selection of activities and groups across the UK for anyone who is retired/semi-retired 

The U3A (the University of Third Age) is a country-wide movement that aims to bring together people of the ‘third age’ – those who have finished working full-time, have raised a family, and now have time to pursue personal interests and try new things.

The U3A has a ‘university’ of members which arrange group meetings to continue their learning and development in an informal and friendly environment, drawing on one another’s knowledge and experience to learn new things in later life.

Promoting lifelong learning through self-help, the U3A movement began in 1981, and quickly gathered momentum across the UK. Fully self-funded, its members learn not for a qualification but for the sheer joy and pleasure of learning together in a collaborative environment, and its numbers continue to rise with – with over 400,000 members registered in more than 1,000 U3A groups across the country.

From Northern Ireland to the South East, the U3A is visible in every region across the UK, and there are lots of different subjects to choose from. The peer-learning system used by the U3A recognises that retired people have a lifetime of collective experience and knowledge, and thus different groups are co-ordinated by members who have a strong interest or knowledge of a specific topic.

Not only are U3A groups a wonderful place to learn and develop in later life; they give people who may be suffering from social isolation the opportunity to make friends and collaborate in a supportive and nurturing environment, which values knowledge-sharing and proactivity.

At Arriva, we’re proud to have partnered with the U3A, and believe our regional bus services are the perfect way to help people get more involved with the activity groups happening in their area. Head back to our national Connecting Communities page here to find U3A groups in your area.

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