South East U3A Region

Interesting Stuff

South East Region Support Team

LATEST NEWS - S E Region Support Team April 2020
Autumn gathering will be virtual on November 4th 2020. For details see events page.
Spring Gathering 5th May 2020 has been postponed until Spring 2021.
National Office are posting lots of ideas for U3As at this Covoid-19 time. Have you checked them out and passed them on to your U3A members? See under U3A tab on this website.

There is a weekly quiz, a photographic competition, meditation and an art competition to name but a few. All U3A members are not on email so in order to include them are you able to set up a Buddy System to keep them informed or a weekly/monthly Newsletter perhaps to be delivered by post? They should not feel forgotten at this time.

Your Groups may be continuing virtually do you know how many are and what they are doing? Please let us know so that we can pass on good ideas to other U3As who may not have thought of them yet. The Subject Advisers are posting ideas on their sites and ‘Sources’ continues to be available to read on line on the National Website. Your ideas will be posted on the this website under ‘Isolation?’ tab, where there is already plenty of useful information – so please have a look.

Networks are a great way to keep in touch. Are you in touch with your Network? U3As can help each other, especially at this time.

Sam Mauger, Chief Executive Officer of Third Age Trust sends a Newsletter to those who request it. Have you signed up to receive the latest information? Why not go to the U3A website and sign up now.
The S E Region Support Team look forward to hearing from you – you can contact your local member from the S E Region Website. That will help to dissipate the pressure on the Trustee and his assistant. Feel free to contact them anyway.

Staying in Touch – the Third Age Trust

These are extraordinary times and national office staff and trustees have been working hard to make sure it’s business as usual with some changes in how we provide services and a number of additions.

National Office

From last night, following the government announcement, staff are now working from home. The phone lines have been diverted so the national office number 0208 466 6139 will continue to be answered by staff, as will email enquiries. Our current volume of ‘phone calls in normal periods is 2000 per month

Due to the limitations on office working , the national shop is not able to process merchandise orders; however publicity downloads are still available.


The U3A Learning offer continues to be supported. While the DVD library is closed until further notice, members are being signposted to other resources. These include links on the national website to Subject Advisers – who have many learning resources on their dedicated pages Those Subject Advisers who want a dedicated website to store material will be supported in setting up a Site Builder website to include their resources. We are hoping to develop some podcasts with Subject Advisers.

Members are being encouraged to take part in a UK wide living history shared learning project to document their experience during this unprecedented time. You can read more and learn how to get involved in this on the website.

More ideas and thoughts about remote learning opportunities will be added to this page in the coming days/weeks. Thank you to all U3As for sharing their ideas.

Currently the team are working on advice for interest groups on how to use platforms such as Skype, closed Facebook and the conference call facility Whypay to offer remote interest group opportunities for members.


The Trust is identifying key volunteers to work remotely in each region with Regional Trustees. The aim is to offer email and potentially telephone support to small clusters of U3As who may experience particular problems as time progresses or who may just want a progress update on how others in the region are managing. They will liaise with Regional Trustees and National Office staff.


During this changing time, we have postponed all National Office arranged events until the Autumn. U3A Day on June 3 is postponed until October 1. You can see more detail on the U3A Day Facebook page


We hope to put regular bulletins on the national website with the latest advice and guidance surrounding coronavirus – and specific advice and ideas for U3As. We will send these bulletins in regular mailings to U3A committees.

Sources Online – our learning blog will host creative ideas about how interest groups and U3A members are continuing to stay healthy, active and engaged during this time. Please send all your ideas and stories to the communications officer –

The national newsletter is a great way for the U3A movement to stay in touch with each other – please encourage all your colleagues and members to sign up

Elsewhere - a new Keeping In Touch closed Facebook page is very popular and interesting.

There will be information about managing U3As finance on the website, in mailings and newsletters, soon in response to queries from U3As.

These are unprecedented times and so there will be other changes that we will need to make in the coming days and weeks ahead. We will keep in touch via all appropriate communication channels to keep everyone informed.

The strength and resilience of this U3A community is exceptional. Thank you so much for your continued support and commitment.

Team LeaderHilvary Robinson
Vice Team LeaderSusie Berry
AdministratorSally Ingledew
Representing Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & OxfordshirePam JonesSusie Berry
Representing KentCarole Dickenson
Representing SurreyIan FunnellDoreen Raine
Representing SussexSue HowardMichael Hewens
Representing Hampshire & Isle of WightSusan SouthwellCaroline Sawers


Grants are available which must be applied for in advance from the S E Region Trustee
Bob Duckmanton. Please see the Grants Policy and use the Grant Application form.

£500 Grant if you wish to have a stand at an Exhibition or Agricultural Show etc.

£200 Grant for an Open Day Event where the General Public find out about U3A and is free.

£300 Grants for new U3As. All new U3As will receive a grant to help with setting-up expenses.

Discretionary Grants - apply to the S E Region Trustee'

Social Prescribing

An A5 leaflet/poster is now available from the Shop at National Office.
Go to the website - Resources - Shop and download it or request 20 copies for distribution to doctors' surgeries.

National Co-ordinator for Research Ambassadors & Research Co-ordinatoor

Carole Chapman -

Active Learning There are many opportunities for U3A members to engage in various types of learning activity.

Regional Survey Report 2019

This is the supplement to the 2019 Overview Report which contains information on Regional/Country variation of members gender and age. A full report on all questions by Region/Country should be available by the end of February.
4520 Member Survey forms were sent out to 202 randomly chosen U3As. The selection of large, medium and small U3As were chosen in proportion to the number of U3As in each of the nine English Regions and three Countries.

Yachting U3A - in Southampton area

U3A Yachting 1 This U3A Group of about 20 people are interested in sailing 35-38' Yachts and meet from November - April and discuss sailing topics. Then From May - October some join the Phoenix Yacht Club and sail with them whilst the others [who only want to do 1/2 days a year] get together and hire a yacht to go sailing sharing the cost.
If you are interested please contact Judith Hankey]

International Exchanges

U3As in Surrey have been conducting some very successful exchanges over the last seven years and would be glad to share their experience and enthusiasm with other U3As in the South East Region. Do look at this A4 report by Ian Funnell of Fetcham U3A on International Exchanges.

Members' Home Page Pictures - Challenge

The front (Home) page of this U3A South East Region website now displays pictures of the region which have been offered by U3A members. Please send your candidate pictures to

  • Pictures must belong to you
  • They need to be landscape format
  • We need to know your name and your U3A
  • We need to know what they are of
  • They will be displayed at 1024 pixels across - we can reduce them, but higher resolutions take longer to send.

U3A Plus

Aims to help, support and advise U3As to ensure that all their members can access the informal learning and the many activities in their U3As, regardless of impairment or disability. Click U3A Plus

Paid Tutors

The question of whether U3As should allow their interest groups to employ paid tutors seems likely to rage on for ever. Here is a downlaodable four-page discussion on the issue for the guidance of U3A committees.

Publicising your U3A

The grant for ‘showcasing’ your U3A to the public has increased to £250. Many U3As hold ‘Freshers Fairs or similar when they invite the public to see what U3A is all about and thereby hope to attract new members. Application to National Office.

Special Anniversaries

It would be helpful if any U3A celebrating a special anniversary could contact the Trustee as the NEC would like to be able to acknowledge these by sending an anniversary card.

Is your Logo legal?

The official U3A logo is on the national website. Please check to ensure that yours is legal.