U3A is a non-religious and non-political self-help organisation promoting lifelong learning in a friendly environment. Local U3As draw upon the knowledge, experience and skills of their own members to organise interest groups that provide educational, creative and leisure opportunities. Learners and teachers are all U3A members and the prime purpose is enjoyment; there is no fixed syllabus and no formal qualifications to be gained.
Like other U3As across the country, Redbridge & District U3A is a charity in its own right but affiliated to The Third Age Trust. Our U3A was formed in 1995, has a membership of around 600 and is run entirely by volunteers. We have more than 80 groups covering subjects as diverse as art, languages, music, history, literature, crafts, games, discussion, exercise classes and walking, and there are always study days, theatre visits, outings and other events in the pipeline.
During the current crisis all physical meetings are suspended, but a large number of groups are meeting online instead.
On the last Monday of every month (except December) we have an Open Meeting with a guest speaker. These meetings are interesting, informative and often entertaining, providing a good opportunity to meet the Committee and members from other groups. If the last Monday happens to be a Bank Holiday, the Open Meeting is moved to the previous Monday. At the moment our Open Meetings take place on Zoom, the next one being on Monday 26th October at 2.00 pm.
Our magazine, Noticeboard, is published four to five times a year and the latest issue can be downloaded from the link on the right hand side of this page. In the months where there is no magazine, a newsletter is published via e-mail and on the website with a limited number of printed copies available at the Open Meeting. The latest newsletter can also be downloaded from this page, and the same applies to the latest issue of the national U3A newsletter.
In the current situation, however, the publishing of Noticeboard is suspended, being replaced by newsletters.
Membership is not restricted to a particular age but by the period in life where you are no longer in full time employment and almost all of our activities take place in the daytime. The annual (August-July) subscription is £25.00 per person which gives you access to as many groups as you like (space permitting), although there is sometimes a small extra charge for groups that have special expenses. We always have room for new members, and if you would like to join, please take a look at the Groups page and see if you find something of interest. If there is a subject we do not cover, you may consider joining and starting a group yourself. The current membership period has been extended until the end of October 2020, and new members can join for a fee of £5.00. The next membership period will run from November 2020 to July 2021 at a reduced rate of £15.00.
U3A is still functioning during the Coronavirus crisis. While we are unable to meet up face to face, physical meetings are suspended but more and more of our groups have moved to meeting online. Many of the meetings are taking place via Zoom — a video-conferencing software that allows you to virtually meet with others via the internet. More details on the Groups page.
Prospective members should contact our New Members Supporter, Silva Chamberlain by filling out the form on the Contact page.