Forest Town & District

Welcome to Forest Town & District U3A

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2022 is the u3a's 40th Anniversary Year

To see the latest news and happenings click on this link: u3a - 40th Anniversary


Membership - we currently have 255 members and are open to new members.

To join our u3a download the membership application form by clicking on the link below:

Membership application form

Bring the form to our next General meeting or contact the Membership Secretary



The Forest Town & District U3A May 2022 newsletter and all previous newsletters are available to read on the Newsletters page.
To read the Newsletters and other .pdf documents on this website you will need Adobe Reader or Adobe Reader DC.
There is a download link to the Adobe website and guidance on the Computer and IT Group pages.


We are in the Chad

Click on this link: We are in the Chad to read the article


Christmas at Forest Town U3A

Forest Town U3A celebrated its first event since the Covid–19 affected everyone.

It was a packed event in the Forest Town Arena, Forest Town.
Martyn Wright and Mick Barton local Councillors were guests of the U3A and helped with the festivities, they have both been long time supporters of the U3A and its work.
During the morning ‘Turn Back Time’ provided live entertainment with a medley of Christmas songs and 60’s and 70’s music.
The U3A members played bingo, held a raffle, secret Santa, and a festive quiz all of which were great fun. Refreshments were served along with traditional mince pies.

Forest Town U3A now has 20 interest groups and are always looking for people to run new groups, group leaders, new members are always welcome. Why not come and visit, we meet on the 1st Friday of the month at the Forest Town Arena at 10.00am. You can meet our members, talk to our group leaders, and join our membership if you like what you see. You can visit twice free before taking out a membership.
During lockdown we introduced a ‘Buddy’ scheme when members volunteered to phone other members who were struggling with loneliness and isolation. It was a great success and lasting friendships were made.

The U3A is a national movement which supports people in their third age to continue their learning and interests in an informal environment. Its ethos is “It’s vital for people in their later years to keep their minds and bodies active”.

2022 is our 40th anniversary and we will be holding events celebrating this throughout the year. The U3A will be undertaking tree planting to celebrate this celebratory year.
Recent U3A national research – ‘Learning Not Lonely’ - demonstrated the impact of the U3A movement on wellbeing in later life in terms of confidence, combatting loneliness, feeling supported in new communities, learning new skills and perhaps, most important of all, feeling valued and enjoying life.
Chris Ward, Business secretary


Nationally, the U3A was founded in 1982 and has grown steadily since then.
There are now 1,000+ U3As in the UK with 10,000+ Trustees over 400,000 members.
The Forest Town U3A’s inaugural meeting was on 1st October 2015 and the U3A became a registered charity on 18th November 2019. The U3A Movement brings together people in their Third Age to continue their educational, social, and creative interests in a friendly and informal environment.
Members of each U3A draw upon their knowledge and experience to teach and learn from each other (peer to peer learning).
There are no formal qualifications or exams to pass and there is no age limit to join U3A; the only criterion to join is that you are no longer in full-time employment (you are in the third stage of your life) and have the time to take part in the activities and learning on offer.
For more information on the national movement go to or find us on twitter @U3AUK and Facebook @u3auk.


The launch of the Forest Town & District u3a took place in St.Albans church Forest Town in September 2015 when surrounding u3a's were full to capacity and had waiting lists, you can read How We Began further down this page.

We are a friendly organisation offering a range of informal groups to follow our hobbies and interests and to enjoy the companionship of others with similar interests, it is a good way to meet people and make new friends.

We have a general meeting in the Forest Town Arena on the first Friday of each month starting at 10.30 am.

We have a guest speaker or other entertainment at the monthly meeting, the meetings usually last about 2 hours, details of future meetings are listed on the Events page.

Currently we have 20 interest groups and 264 members and are open to new members, groups are lead or run by group leaders for the benefit of other members, if you have an interest or skill you would be willing to share, please contact the Groups co-ordinator Anita who would be happy to discuss it with you.
You may attend two of our General meetings before deciding to join.

Some groups are limited in numbers by the size of the venue or for other reasons, if a group you are interested in is full, please ask the Groups Co-ordinator to put your name on their waiting list.

Browse through our website using the links at the top of the page.



ForestTown A- Z Many months ago an idea for a book on the A-Z of Forest Town History was put to members of Forest Town and District U3A Local History Group as a joint project with the Forest Town Heritage Group.

The U3A group members immediately started to think of significant Forest Town history items for each letter of the alphabet. Members came up with ideas or researched relevant information over a long period of time.

Individual people in the wider Forest Town community and beyond, were also asked for relevant information and were keen to share their knowledge. The contents grew and not a letter was missed out, indeed some letters have more than one entry.

From allotments to the Boundary stone and Carnivals, to the White Gates, the Youth Club, and Zygabyte Computers this book is overflowing with people, photos, facts and figures covering Forest Town's glorious history.

The book - edited by Pauline Marples and Jenny Wright (U3A Group Leaders) - has now been published by the Forest Town Heritage Group. The book sells at £4.00 per copy or a special offer 3 for £10 (postage & package extra).

Please contact Pauline at: Forest Town Heritage to arrange a date and time to pick up a copy of this very interesting book.


You can now find us on FACEBOOK


Virtual U3A
There is a Virtual U3A website aimed at people who are housebound or cannot get to a U3A meeting for any reason.
If you have a friend, relative or neighbour who would like to be part of a wider, worldwide organisation, make new friends and take part in groups and discussions online - in a virtual U3A environment - direct them to this website: Virtual U3A.



The launch of the Forest Town & District U3A (University of the Third Age) successfully took place in St. Albans Church on Thursday the 3rd of September 2015. There were approximately 130 people in attendance which far exceeded expectations and there was a buzz of excitement as the meeting voted in favour of creating a Forest Town and District U3A.

The Launch meeting heard Michaela Moody, the U3A National Vice Chairman (formerly the East Midlands Regional Trustee), outline the workings of the U3A at local, county, regional and national levels.

A representative of Sherwood U3A explained the development of her branch of the U3A and others locally and about the benefits to be had as a member of the U3A.

After the presentations volunteers came forward to form a Steering Committee to plan the activities of Forest Town & District U3A for the first year.

The inaugural meeting of the Forest Town & District U3A took place in St.Albans Church on Thursday the 1st of October 2015.

The meeting was addressed by the Chairman of the Steering Committee Mike King.

"The purpose of this inaugural meeting of the Forest Town and District U3A is to enrol members and to give them the opportunity to sign up for the first series of interest groups.

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the U3A, it has been said that we are “A Youth Club for Retired and Semi-retired People".

The U3A provides educational opportunities for retired and semi-retired people to pursue their interests in a wide variety of activities as well as organising a monthly meeting and other events for all members.
No qualifications are required to join the U3A.

At this first meeting, l encourage you to join in order for you to sign-up to the interest groups of your choice and to come to the monthly meetings. These meetings will be held in St Albans Church on the 1st Thursday of the month.

Some interest groups are available to be joined today and more will be available as we progress.

The interest groups, from my personal observations as a very new member of U3A, is that they are the life blood of the organisation and are greatly enjoyed by members.

There is no requirement for you to have any qualifications to join the U3A or any of the groups nor do we hand out qualifications or diplomas. We all have experience of the school of life. You would be surprised by what you have learned over the years which can then be passed on to others, as indeed you will learn from them. That is what U3A is all about and you can use your experiences and knowledge to lead or help in the leading of interest groups ~ quite possibly you have an interest or hobby you would like to share with other people. Please let us know if there is any group you would like to see running and it is possible other people are interested in the same thing.
All interest groups have to be self-financing so you may have to contribute a small amount towards the cost of room hire and anything else associated with the costs of that group.

Whatever you do, enjoy the U3A ~ being a “Third-Ager" will change your life for the better". Mike King

What is the U3A?

The U3A is the University of the Third Age. - a nationwide organisation for people who are retired or semi-retired.
It is not a university in the traditional sense, members don't study for qualifications but they can join informal interest groups and share knowledge and experience.
By doing this people can enjoy taking part, meeting others and making new friends.

Founded in 1982, the UK U3A movement - based loosely on the French model - aims to encourage 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, the U3A focuses 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 early 1990s, a U3A was opening every fortnight, U3As grew in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and in 2008 membership was increasing by 11% every year, 2010 saw our membership hitting the quarter million mark.

At the end of 2016 the U3A movement reached the milestone of 1,000 U3As celebrated by a conference with speakers including Eric Midwinter – one of the founders of the U3A movement.

Today the UK U3A movement includes over 400,000 U3A members in more than 1,000 U3As and is continuing to grow every day.

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