Third Age Trustee for Scotland

December 2019 Trustee Newsletter

It has been a very busy but enjoyable few months since I took over the role of Trustee from Ed Link.

The news from the Third Age Trust is that the development Plan is moving ahead. The idea is to raise the profile of the U3A and its role in positive ageing and encourage more people to join the movement. "Age with Attitude," as a friend said. U3A groups should be using the new logo which does not focus on the word university. There is evidence that the use of this word puts people off joining. There is going to be a U3A day on the 3rd of June, 2020. As many groups as possible are being asked to do something on that day which raises awareness of U3A. If you look on the Third Age Trust Facebook page you will find out what some groups are planning.

I have visited the flourishing Glasgow West End U3A and was impressed by their speaker who gave an informative and entertaining talk on the Scottish connection with Jamaica. The U3A is a great means of meeting old friends. The Chair of the Glasgow West End U3A and I taught at the same school in Easterhouse many years ago and another member of the committee was a good friend I had lost contact with. He was at my husband's stag do 45 years ago and still remembers it.

I met with the Chair and Vice Chair of Paisley U3A in what we thought was going to be a quiet venue, the cafe in Glasgow Concert Hall, but it was graduation day and crowded. Fortunately the graduates, families and friends moved into the auditorium and things quietened down. We enjoyed a coffee and I got an update on Paisley's progress. They are new but doing well. As well as having members from Paisley they have members coming from Bridge of Weir and Johnstone.

I also had the opportunity to meet with the Chair of Pitlochry U3A. I presented them with their 10 years certificate. Pitlochry is not a big U3A but they hope to relaunch the group in the New Year and attract more members.

I am hoping to form a Central Belt network and there seems to be a lot of interest in this. Networks are a good way to support one another and share ideas.

The Isle of Arran U3A is well on its way to being up and running. They are planning to have their launch in January. I had two wonderful trips to the island in sunny weather but have not managed one since because the ferries were cancelled due to strong winds. A new U3A in Blairgowrie is also making progress and I look forward to hearing from them soon. There are many more places in Scotland who have no U3A and one of my jobs is to make sure that they hear about us and start one up. If you are aware of somewhere I should be targeting please let me know.

I met with Tim Green from Age Scotland and he has agreed to give three talks next year on Mens' Sheds and how we could set them up. There is a demand from members for groups that do practical things such as wood turning and upholstery but we need suitable premises. I hope in the near future that the U3A in Scotland can develop a link with Age Scotland. I am sure that we have a lot to learn from one another. Keith Guy from Edinburgh U3A has taken on the role of SOPA representative for the U3A.

I am still finding my feet and discovering what the role of Scottish Trustee really is but so far I have found it to be a chance to learn, laugh and live, and travel by sleeper to London, a journey which I can recommend especially because they provide something to spray on your pillow which makes you sleep.


Ann Keating
Trustee for Scotland