Aughton & Ormskirk U3A
We are one of around 1000 U3As in the UK. Each is autonomous but adopt the nationally recommended Vision, Mission and Principles of the U3A Movement. The U3A movement is neither political nor religious. Each U3A is self-funded. Lifelong learning is promoted though self-help. U3A members are normally retired or semi-retired. All who are not in full-time employment are welcome.
The Aughton Scout & Guide HQ at Christ Church is our main location for activities but several other venues are used including the Ministry Centre and Aughton and Scarisbrick village halls.
We provide opportunities for a wide variety of life enriching activities in a friendly and informal manner. While a principal focus is informal ‘life-long learning’, hobbies, cultural and physical activities also feature strongly. We aim to be more than a social club.
No qualifications are required to join the U3A – no examinations are held and no certificates are awarded; activities depend on our members volunteering to organise and participate in the meetings, activities and events.
Every Thursday we hold our Horizons coffee morning where members meet over a cup of coffee.
Some months we have a speaker in Christ Church or its Ministry Centre.
The Aughton and Ormskirk U3A started in 2003 and is one of the largest in the UK with nearly 2000 members.
In 2008 we received a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. We celebrated our 10th birthday in 2013.
Active Ageing with the U3A
Alex McMinn, Founding Chairman of Aughton & Ormskirk U3A, has produced a couple of papers on the topic of Active Ageing – something all our members are putting into practice by enthusiastically participating in a wide range of group activities and other events.
How the U3A Began
The University of the Third Age, now more popularly known as U3A, began in Toulouse, France, in 1972 as a summer school for retired people. It was so successful that other programmes were quickly set up throughout France and the idea spread throughout the world. The first International Association of U3As was established in 1980. The organisation was set up in Britain in 1982.
While U3A is celebrated for the wide range of activities it offers to retired people, providing socialisation and stimulation, it is the human stories of the members which make it the very vibrant organisation it has become.
When families grow up and work comes to an end, finding like minded people and new challenges can be a problem – but not if you have an active U3A group in your district!
Many people have also found U3A a lifeboat when partners have died, divorce has fractured their lives, or other tragic life events have occurred. The positive attitude of the members and their group leaders and the support and companionship they offer, has transformed many lives and encouraged members to have more fulfilment in retirement than they could have imagined.
The U3A is also a body which speaks for older people on national issues and keeps its members well informed on matters which affect their daily lives. With the post Second World War ‘baby boomer’ generation increasingly coming on board, U3A can ensure that decision makers hear the views of third and fourth-agers – and act on them.