The u3a* is a UK-wide self-help movement which brings together people in their ‘third age’ to develop their interests and continue their learning in a friendly and informal environment.
If you’re wondering what we mean by the third age – it is a time after you have finished working full-time or raising your family and wish to pursue your interests or just try something new.
Formed over 30 years ago, there are now over 1,000 u3a’s across the UK, with thousands of interest groups between them and more than 400,000 members nationally.
The Aughton & Ormskirk u3a
Our branch started in 2003 and is one of the largest branches in the UK. Our u3a has gone from strength to strength and has over 1500 members! In 2008 we received a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
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 and have over 80 friendly Groups catering for all tastes. These range from more leisurely pursuits such as scrabble, bird-watching or bridge to more active groups such as cycling, walking or zumba. Some groups have even organised holidays or occasional outings.
No qualifications are required to join the u3a. 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 can catch up over a cup of coffee, and meet some of the group leaders and co-ordinators. This is the place to come if you would like to join our branch or just learn more about the u3a.
Most months we have a Guest Speaker at the coffee meeting. These special Speaker Meetings are often open to non-u3a members. Some months we have a Guest Visitor at Horizons.
Many people have found the u3a a lifeline following bereavement, divorce, when work comes to an end or following other life-changing events. At times such as these it is sometimes a problem finding like-minded people and new challenges. But not when you have an active u3a in your district!
The positive attitude of the members and their group leaders and the support and companionship they offer, has transformed many lives. It has encouraged members to have more fulfilment in retirement than they could have imagined.
Where we meet
The Aughton Scout & Guide HQ at Christ Church is our main location for activities. However, we also use several other venues including the Christ Church Ministry Centre, and various village halls in the locality. See the maps on the Contact Us page.
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.
*originally called the University of the Third Age, now u3a.