Welcome to Chelmsford u3a

Chelmsford u3a is an independent charitable organisation devoted to the advancement of education of people in their ‘third age’ that are no longer engaged in full-time employment or in bringing up a family. We believe in the positive attributes of lifelong learning and encourage our members to join interest groups covering a wide range of topics and activities. No qualifications are sought or offered. Learning is for its own sake, with enjoyment being the prime motive, not qualifications or awards. There is no distinction between the learners and the teachers; they are all U3A members.

Chelmsford U3A is a mutual aid organisation, operationally independent but a member of ‘The Third Age Trust’ who looks after all the u3as in the UK, providing educational and administrative support. There are now 1057 u3a’s across the UK with over 450,000 members. Our own membership stands at just over 400 (May 2021).

Originally formed in 1993 Chelmsford U3A now has over 30 Special Interest Groups covering a wide variety of subjects, from walking to reading, from science to the arts, from local history to family history, from gardening to Bridge. When times are ‘normal’ we have lunch clubs and arrange coach outings to London, to the theatre and to places of beauty and interest in other parts of the country. We even have a travel group that arranges holidays and short breaks in the UK and abroad.

During the Covid pandemic face-to-face meetings have had to be suspended but many of our interest Groups are continuing to meet virtually by Zoom or Skype. When restrictions are eventually lifted they will return to holding their meetings in members' homes or in community premises such as church and village halls.

Our groups operate on non-profit making basis but some will need to make a small charge to cover rental of premises, fees made to speakers/presenters and refreshment costs. Members may need to purchase books and any necessary equipment for study but costs are kept as low as possible.

We currently hold ‘All Members’ meetings twice monthly by zoom featuring a guest speaker or performer. When it is safe to resume meetings in person we have arranged to use facilities at the Church of our Saviour, in Chelmer village on the second Wednesday in each month.

In the meantime we continue to keep our members updated and informed of what is going on in our monthly newsletter. Members also receive a quarterly magazine called Third Age Matters produced by national u3a.