North Cotswold


Welcome to the North Cotswold U3A

‘Now I understand why the North Cotswold U3A is known as “The Friendly U3A’ (Freda)

‘My life can be divided into two parts, before the U3A and after the U3A. The “after” part is so much better’ (John)

‘I don’t know how I ever found time to go to work’ (Leslie)

‘Walking, reading, taking photographs, painting, improving my French, improving my cooking (not difficult this!) – the NCU3A fills my life with so much interest and pleasure’ (Margaret)

Never heard of the U3A then click on the What is the U3A link on the right hand side of this page to learn more.

The U3A movement began in France in 1972 in Toulouse with a summer school for retired people. The idea rapidly grew and the International Association of Universities of the Third Age was established in 1980. U3As are autonomous local organizations acting under the umbrella of the National Office in London

Our Mission Statement – The advancement of education and in particular the education of people who are retired from full time employment and living in the North Cotswolds and surrounding locality. This will included associated activities conducive to Learning, Laughing & Living which is the aim of the U3A movement.

Where are we?

Our members drawn from towns as far apart as Shipston on Stour, Blockley, Moreton in Marsh, Chipping Campden, Broadway, Evesham, Stow on the Wold and Winchcombe and the many villages within this area. We also welcome members from outside our immediate catchment area

As U3As go, we are not large, we have over 400 members belonging to 35 groups; but we are very friendly and, with our size (or lack of it) it is almost possible to know everybody in all the groups.

Why not fill your time with learning new skills and making new friends?

The North Cotswold U3A is in an area where many people from other parts of the country choose to retire and, consequently, has many clubs and societies catering for the more mature and experienced. We, therefore, have to try very hard to attract people and are justifiably proud of our thriving and energetic membership. Our walkers, dancers, skittlers, table tennis players etc are only happy when bathed in sweat and glowing like a beacon. However, if striding over rolling hills isn’t your idea of fun, there are lunch groups, a card making group, cookery groups, a French conversational group, a group which visits historic churches and there’s a choir. A full list of all our activities is elsewhere on the website.

Wouldn’t you love to share your knowledge and skills with others?

On the afternoon of the second Thursday of each month, we hold an Open Meeting in Willersey Village Hall when we are entertained and informed by a wide variety of speakers.

We hold Christmas events, have a regular summer outing, we often have a Summer Soirée with in-house entertainment followed by a meal provided by members – and it has been known for drinks to be involved! And, speaking of drinks, we annually celebrate Burns’ Night.

As you may have gathered, although exercising our ‘little grey cells’ is an important part of what we do, we believe that the social side of our U3A is important. While learning is a worthy aim, just as vital is the interaction between the group members. It’s all about friendship and support.

How our U3A works

Meetings are held during the day. We publish a regular Newletter containing the latest news, updates and group information and forthcoming events together with all contact details. It is very popular with more and more members receiving it online, although we are happy to post it to those colleagues who have yet to embrace the joys of the computer - more than you might think.

Like all U3As we have a Committee to guide policy and involve themselves in the day to day running of the organization, but the real backbone of the North Cotswold U3A is the Group Leaders. These are the people who prepare sessions, hire rooms and speakers and make our U3A what it is.

For people who would quite like to join, but are a trifle worried about signing up for something that has ‘University’ in the title, I would say this. The name can be misleading. We are not remotely like university students. We don’t sit exams. We are a group of people who no longer go out to work on a full-time basis, we have raised our families and we are now making the most of our Third Age. There is no stress involved, no competition, no wondering who is about to stab you in the back.

It’s all about friendship, keeping active in body and mind, and enjoying our leisure hours in ways that our parents would have envied.

Please spend a few minutes browsing through our website. It could be a life changing experience.