Welcome to Colchester U3A 30Ann

U3As provide opportunities for shared learning and social activities for older people who are retired or semi-retired. This is the time of life to think about developing interests or learn new skills you did not have enough time for while working full-time.

The U3A is for older people looking for an active retirement, sharing many educational, creative and leisure pursuits. No qualifications are needed or awarded, so there are no teachers, students, classrooms or fees. Our friendly groups usually meet in informal settings to share learning and activities. "Learn, Laugh and Live" is our byword.

There are more than 950 U3As in the UK with about 350,000 members, under the umbrella of a national organisation, Third Age Trust. Colchester U3A was formed in 1985 and now has over 400 members.

Join us to participate in:

• Monthly tea and talks
Series of increasingly popular tea and talks held on the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 2.15 pm to 4.00 pm, at the Highwoods Community Centre (buses No 2, 8, 61, 65). People interested in joining can come to one of these meetings to see what U3A is about.

• Interest groups
We have an extensive range of interest groups, each co-ordinated by one of its members, with groups deciding what to study together. Co-ordinators share their area of interest or knowledge with like-minded members; they are not necessarily experts, just enthusiasts who respond to the wishes of the group. We are always looking to start new groups, so ideas are always welcome!

• Newsletter
All members receive a very informative monthly newsletter together with several copies of the National U3A magazine each year.

• Outings
We currently run several full day coach excursions during the year, as well as visits to local places of interest. We also arrange coffee mornings and lunch groups.

There are a number of U3As in this area and we co-operate with Stanway U3A, sharing interest groups where there are places and sometimes outings. Membership of Colchester or Stanway U3A is required to join any interest group where places are available. Only members may participate in U3A groups and activities.

U3As rely solely on volunteers to make things happen, so any member who organises an event or activity is a volunteer.

Annual membership costs £10 for email communications and £15 per year for communications on paper and runs from 1 September. Membership for new members joining after 1 May lasts for 16 months.

You can contact us through the 'Contacts' page.