U3A is a Charity organisation to which members may contribute a service as well as derive a benefit and where participation as committee member or tutor/group leader, is voluntary and unpaid.
The ‘University’ in our title is intended to encompass this concept of learning together in a social context. By Third Agers we mean those who, having retired from full-time work and having time to pursue their own interests, are keen to stay healthy and active in mind and body as they get older.
Tutors/Group Leaders generally contribute their services for 2 – 4 hours weekly/fortnightly/monthly, and are free to teach their chosen subject in their own style, taking vacation breaks which fit their own and their families’ needs.
Wakefield U3A has a membership of more than 400 people who live in all areas of our district. Courses take place in many different venues to suit the activity or the size of the group. Some classes take place in group members’ or tutors’ homes, some, such as walking groups/bird watching, need no venue but decide meeting points, whilst others which may need specific facilities meet in village halls, sports clubs or community centres all around our area.
Informal arrangements are often made between group members regarding travel to classes and if possible we try to arrange venues accessible by bus. We circulate a monthly Newsletter which advises of other activities such as monthly Coffee Mornings and some coach outings during the year.
Annual membership at present costs £13, which entitles a member to join as many of our group activities as they wish, having first checked that there are currently spaces within that Group by ringing the Group Leader (some groups require an additional contribution towards the rental of premises). All fees are paid when you first attend a Group. Most of our groups meet in the daytime and venues are spread all around the Wakefield area. As you can see our U3A is organised by its members for its members and whenever possible we strive to be accessible both in terms of group support and venues.