In 2009, following a launch meeting at Rayleigh Grange, which had been organised by Rayleigh U3A and the national office, several volunteers came forward to start a new U3A. Those volunteers – Lillah Akerman, Ann Rawlinson, Margaret Halloran, Julia White, Sue Mahoney, Alan & Viv McKeown, June Cross, Jacqui Butcher, Irene & Stan Reynell - met up on 13 March 2009 at the Hungry Horse in London Road, to form a steering committee and Rayleigh Grange U3A was born. Lillah became our first Chairman and the group of 11 our founder members.
The name Rayleigh Grange was chosen, as our monthly meeting is held at the Grange Community Centre, Little Wheatley Chase, Rayleigh.
The initial membership of 39 at our first monthly meeting has grown steadily and we now have just over 300 members.
U3A stands for the University of the Third Age but is not a university in the academic sense – no qualifications are required and none are given. The U3A provides an opportunity through self-help to widen our experiences and knowledge. There are now over 1000 local U3As all over the UK with over 425,000 members.
We are a lively organisation with members drawn from Rayleigh and the surrounding area. Our main activities centre around over 50 interest groups which draw upon the knowledge and expertise of our members. These are held in members homes and venues around Rayleigh and offer educational, recreational and physical activities for those who are retired or no longer in full-time employment.
Rayleigh Grange U3A is run by an elected committee of 15 members. Our AGM in July 2019 saw elections for a new Committee, new members joining those remaining to take Rayleigh Grange U3A forward for another exciting year of speakers and events.
Each local U3A is autonomous and develops its own distinctive features but is able to call upon national and regional parts of the organisation for help and advice.
Rayleigh Grange U3A is affiliated to the Third Age Trust and upholds its aims and principles.
Subscription is only £12 a year which includes:
- Entrance to our interest groups
- Monthly meeting with a Guest Speaker - held on the first Wednesday of each month (excluding January,July & August)
- Refreshments at the monthly meeting
- Five copies of the national magazine “Third Age Matters”
- A monthly newsletter or bulletin
Interest groups normally meet in the home of the leader or a group member and 50p is payable for refreshments. Additional costs may be payable when groups meet in a hall or if other fees are required.
Guests are welcome to attend our monthly meeting and the guest fee is £3.
Please see our Emergency Cold Weather Policy.
Rayleigh Grange U3A is a Registered Charity Number 1165092.