Derbyshire Network

Welcome to the Derbyshire u3a Network

The u3a in Derbyshire

At the present time, there are 19 u3as throughout Derbyshire – each providing interest groups to cater for their members; they all also offer regular ‘Open Meetings’ to which guest speakers may be invited.

This site is a ‘signpost’ and if you click on the links to the various u3as on the Our u3as page you will see what each has to offer, usually under a page headed ‛Groups’. If one u3a does not offer what you want, you can look to see if other u3as would be more suitable.

If you have any queries, or want any further information, contact details of the U3A are given within their website so that you can get in touch with them directly.

This is the site for the u3as in Derbyshire but we are part of a national – in fact international – organisation, which has been going for many years. A ‘potted history’ of the organisation is given below.

The u3a Story

Founded over 35 years ago, the UK u3a movement (originally University of the Third Age, based loosely on a French model) aims to encourage groups of people in their third age to come together and continue their enjoyment of learning in subjects of interest to them.

From the start, the guiding principles were to promote lifelong learning through self-help interest groups covering a wide range of topics and activities as chosen by their members.

The 'third age' is defined by a time in your life where you have the opportunity to undertake learning for its own sake. There is no minimum age, but a focus on people who are no longer in full-time employment or raising a family.

Our founders envisaged a collaborative approach with peers learning from each other. The U3A movement was to be self-funded, with members not working towards qualifications but learning purely for pleasure. There would be no distinction between the learners and the teachers – everyone could take a turn at being both if they wished.

From its beginnings in 1981, the movement grew very quickly and by the end of 2016 the u3a movement reached the milestone of 1,000 u3as. Today, our movement includes over 400,000 u3a members in more than 1,000 U3As offering countless individual groups. It is continuing to grow every day.

Find out more information about the National organisation, the Third Age Trust

You can also see the activities in the whole East Midlands Region