Frequently Asked Questions

My question isn’t in this list, what do I do?
Use the CONTACT Page and send your question to the most relevant person.

You can email a contact directly from a webpage where the contact name is in bold and a highlighted colour by clicking on the highlighted link. You will see an example of this in the following paragraph. The highlight colour varies according to the web browser you use.

If your question is about Groups and Activities then the individual Group Leader of the activity you are interested in could be the first point of contact, otherwise the Activities co-ordinator.

It’s called the University of the Third Age, yet I didn’t go to university so is it for me?
It is just a name and members are welcome with all levels of education. The Third Age is just a description of a point in life when our members want to move to a new stage, or learn new things.

Who can join the U3A?
The only prerequisite for joining the U3A is that you are no longer in full time employment.

Are there any age restrictions?
There is no age restriction, but most members are middle-aged and over.

How much does it cost?
The U3A membership year runs from 1st September and the annual fee is £10.00. However, if you join later in the year, for example July, you will still be liable for the full year’s membership fee and in September you will have to renew and pay the annual membership fee again. This fee covers your membership. However, depending on the activities you take up, you may have to pay an additional amount as your share to cover such things as hall hire, equipment hire, etc.

What are the benefits of joining the U3A?
The University of the Third Age is a learning co-operative of older people, which enables members to share many educational, creative and leisure activities. Activities are organised mainly in small groups that meet regularly, often in each other’s homes. Members, through sharing their knowledge, skills and experience, learn from each other.

There is also a Southport U3A Discount Scheme for Members offering reduced prices at certain local establishments.

When does the U3A meet?
Meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month at Christ Church, Lord Street at 10:00.

What happens at a monthly meeting?
The meetings provide an opportunity to learn about new developments, join groups and book places for events, and to talk to leaders of other groups. At each most meetings an invited speaker will talk about a topic of general interest or activity.

How do I join the U3A?
There are two ways to join the Southport U3A:

  • have a look at our MEMBERSHIP page where you will find out what you need to know about membership. You will also find a link to an Application Form (PDF), which you can complete and return. Your membership card will be sent to you as a receipt for your payment
  • alternatively come to the monthly meeting in Christ Church, Lord Street at 10:00 on the first Thursday of the month. At the meeting you will be welcomed at the door and shown to the Membership Table where you can become enrolled

Can I join other U3A organisations in my area?
There is nothing to stop you from joining as many U3A’s as you wish. But you must join each separately and pay their fee.

How do I join a group?
It is suggested that all requests for membership of one of the Activity groups be made directly to the leader of that particular group, and the contact details may be found on the group's page. Some of the groups will have immediate space for new members whereas others are at capacity and operate waiting lists for membership.

Can my partner come with me to a group activity?
Yes, as long as they are also a member of the U3A.

The group is full so what can I do?
Some groups operate waiting lists whilst others spawn another group with the same interest. Best to contact the group leader(s) or the Activities co-ordinator for more information.

Can I start my own group?
The formation of a new group is generally by the completion of an activity suggestion sheet, maintained by the Activities co-ordinator, where any member may suggest a different activity or leisure pursuit that they would like to see introduced. Once it is seen that there is sufficient interest, and there is a member prepared to lead, then the group is added to the list of groups within the Southport U3A.

I would like to start a group, but I am a bit nervous of what it might entail, can someone help me?
If you are able to lead any of the groups, or indeed suggest any other activities please contact the Activities co-ordinator who will also be able to give assistance on setting up a group and help with the hiring of premises where necessary.

How do I set up my group page?
It is up to you to decide what information to put on your Group Page. You can:

  • add pictures to brighten the page
  • include a logo at the top of the page
  • use sub-pages to contain additional information - a report and pictures of a previous activity perhaps or of new events coming up
  • provide documents for members to down-load
  • link to other relevant pages or web-sites

Webpages are created and maintained by the Web co-ordinator based on the content you provide.

How do I contact someone in the U3A about a problem?
Use the CONTACT page for an initial enquiry, and hopefully they will be able to resolve any issue. If not, then they will advise you of any further action you can take.

Can I bring an assistance dog to the meeting?
Yes, an assistance dog may be brought to the monthly meeting. However, where a particular group meets in a member’s home, then it is at that member’s discretion whether or not to allow an assistance dog. If the host declines to have an assistance dog, then this may exclude the disabled person from that group

Can I bring a carer?
Where a carer is needed, then that person must also be a member and pay any fees due to a particular group, if applicable, e.g. coach or entry fees.

What help is available for the disabled?
There is disabled access at Christ Church where the monthly meetings are held. Our members are not expected to act as carers or hand-on supporters of disabled members beyond the normal “good citizen” approach. Our members are not expecting to push wheelchairs for a disabled member. Where this is required a disabled member must bring their carer.

Is there a pick-up service for members who need help to travel to meetings?
No, there is no service like this. Members are expected to attend all meetings under their own steam.

How do I contact other members in the U3A?
There is no general facility for contacting other members other than group leaders and the Committee members. Any other member contact is a matter of mutual consent between you and that member. The U3A is not able to divulge details of individual members. You will, of course, meet other members at the monthly meetings and when you join groups.

What does the Welcome tab do?
Here you will find an introduction to the U3A and also a link to the MEMBERSHIP page. The main purpose of this is to keep members informed with up to date news about what is happening, for instance if a new group is being set up or any changes to existing arrangements.

What does the Groups tab do?
Gives you access to all the ACTIVITY, LEISURE AND LEARNING GROUPS being run. This will give you an introduction explaining how information about the groups can be accessed and how you can join one.

There is a long list of groups and you just need to click on a group name to access that particular group’s webpage. Where a particular activity has multiple groups running you will be able to identify which of these interests you, depending on your skills or experience. You can then email the group leader, using the link on the group's webpage, to enquire about joining. Each group may also have links to events they are going to host so watch out for them.

What does the Events tab do?
The EVENTS page contains information on meetings and events that Group Leaders have asked to be highlighted to members. These are primarily events that are open to all members of the U3A and not just group members. It also lists the speakers and topics at each of the monthly meetings.

What does the Documents tab do?
The DOCUMENTS tab takes you to a list of documents pertinent to the U3A such as forms, minutes of meetings, and any other document that may be used in the administration of the group.

What does the Contacts tab do?
This is where you will find a list of the people who can be contacted for various questions. Group Leaders are each listed on their relevant group page.

What does the Resources tab do?
The RESOURCES page is a list of external pointers to other web sites that may be of interest to U3A members. For instance, it provides links to the National U3A website. It also provides you with links to other Southport based organisations which we believe you will find useful.