What is U3A? The University of the Third Age (U3A) is a national and international organisation which has a positive and creative approach to retirement and membership is open to anyone not in full-time employment. Activities, which normally take place in the day-time, are organised by members in small groups which meet regularly. No qualifications are required and none are given. All you need is interest and enthusiasm. The U3A also run online courses on many subjects which can be studied at home or wherever there is access to the internet. For full information, see the U3A web site.
Bicester U3A was formed in 1986 and has a membership of about 300 people, with numbers rising each month. They come from Bicester and the surrounding villages. There is no waiting list and new members are very welcome.
Where and when do we meet? We meet at the Clifton Centre, Ashdene Road, Bicester, OX26 2BH. The hall is situated at the rear of the KEA Club on the corner of Ashdene Road and Kingsclere Road. it has recently been refurbished and has good facilities. There is parking available and the local no. 21 bus from town stops outside. Meetings are held monthly on the 4th Thursday of each month (except December). The meeting starts at 2.15pm and our speaker starts his presentation shortly afterwards.
What do we do? At our monthly meetings the Chairman updates us with the latest news and introduces our speaker for the day. There is a raffle each month and tea/coffee is provided afterwards when there is the chance to meet friends and chat. Please see our Events page for news of forthcoming speakers. Outings and visits are arranged throughout the year and there is a wide variety of study and interest groups meeting on a regular basis.
What does it cost? The annual subscription is £15, which covers administration costs, including an affiliation fee to the Third Age Trust. It entitles members to come to monthly meetings, take part in any of the interest groups and receive our quarterly newsletter. In addition the Third Age Trust send all members a quarterly U3A News and Sources magazine, which concentrates on particular subjects. Membership also gives access to the Thames Valley Network, a collection of local groups, which also offer learning opportunities and training courses. See the TVN web site for further information.
Any other expenses? Some groups make a small charge to cover the cost of hiring a hall, although most groups meet in members’ houses. There is no charge for our monthly meetings.
Can I come as a visitor? You can come twice to monthly meetings but must join after that. To join a group, you must be a member.
How do I join? Please use the Contact page to e-mail our Membership Secretary so that we can contact you, or just come along to one of our meetings as a visitor or join on the day. On the Contact page there is also a link to an application form which you can download and bring to the meeting. It includes a Gift Aid declaration which is optional but does help us. When you come to our meeting one of our Welcomers will meet you, answer any of your questions and introduce you to other people. From time to time we hold coffee mornings for new members to help you get to know others and find out more about us.