South East Region


What is the u3a?

Founded in 1982, the Third Age Trust is a UK-wide charity of locally run groups for people who are no longer in full-time employment who want to join others to develop their interests and continue their learning purely for the pleasure of it in a friendly and informal environment. Each individual u3a has a number of special interest groups covering a range of subjects and activities including gardening, crafts, wine tasting, walking, philosophy, cryptic crosswords, languages and anything else that the members want to do. Although every u3a is a member of the Third Age Trust, having signed an agreement when formed and renewed each year, they not branches of the Trust but are instead operationally independent organisations.

To find a u3a near you and to see details of their Meetings and Interest Groups and who to contact for more information check this list of u3as in the South East Region. To find a U3A further afield see this Map of u3as in UK. There is also a Trust u3a available online if that would suit you better. The annual fees are usually less than £20.

Most u3as also belong to local networks which enables them to discuss issues and share best practice and resources with neighbouring u3as.

About the South East Region

The South East Region is the largest region in the UK with 194 u3as and 9 Networks covering Southampton, Thames Valley, NW Hants and SW Surrey, Southwest Hampshire, East Sussex & Brighton, West Sussex Surrey, Hampshire South Central (SCN), Kent, Beds Plus, West Sussex Network. The u3as in each Network meet to exchange information, best practice, and to get the latest information from the Board and u3a Office. Networks also act as a communication channel between u3as and the Regional Trustee enabling the Trustee to have an overview of the whole Region. They also improve communication between the Trust and u3as via the Trustee and the Networks and have speakers from u3a Office to enhance understanding of roles, and the reaction by u3as to the work that they do. Although most Networks are affiliated to the Trust they are not a layer of governance.

The South East Region Support Team

The Trustee and Support Team members administer the 194 u3as in the Region. The Support Team helps the Trustee Susie Berry with the work across this large area. Their names and the county in which they are based are shown on the Contact page together with their contact details for help or support that may be needed by networks or u3as.

The Trustee is on the Board of Directors for the Third Age Trust, and is involved in several working parties which facilitate the smooth running of the u3a nationally.

Members of the National Executive, which is the Board of Directors of the Third Age Trust, are the officers (elected at the national AGM) who represent Scotland, Wales, NI and the ten regions of England who have been elected by their respective member u3as, plus the appointed CEO.