Stanway in Colchester

More about our Groups

Information about all our current groups can be accessed from the Groups button. The Stanway U3A booklet contains all the relevant contact details on Groups and Lectures and is sent to new members and all existing members when they renew their membership in July/August. New groups are regularly advertised and trialled in response to members' interests. Any changes or additions to the groups during the year will be highlighted in the monthly Newsletter, on the Noticeboard at Lecture Meetings and on this website. The January Update highlights any group changes, deletions and introductions; and is circulated with the February Newsletter.

The underlying principle of the U3A is that members share their skills and life experiences. If there is no group for an activity or subject in which you are particularly interested, we can advertise the activity to see if there is sufficient interest to start a new group. We encourage and help with the formation of interest groups; those who lead groups do not need to be experts in their subject, they just need to enjoy sharing their enthusiasm with others.

Group activities are available only to those who have paid the Stanway U3A annual subscription or those who hold a valid Colchester U3A membership card. During September/October a check of Stanway U3A membership cards is undertaken by group leaders to verify current membership. A visitor may attend U3A activities twice without affecting the U3A insurance, which covers all our groups, meetings and outdoor activities for incidents such as damage and accidents.

Although there is no charge for access to any group, many groups meet in members' homes and it is appreciated if members contribute 50p/£1 each per meeting to cover the costs incurred by the host, such as refreshments, heating and other incidentals. We are always very grateful to those who kindly allow us to meet in their homes; without them and the group leaders, the U3A could not function. Similarly, it is expected that a mutually acceptable sum be contributed by members who are being offered a lift to an event or a regular group meeting.

As group numbers increase, the possibility of expanding into larger venues can be explored. This in turn will allow new members to join the groups they are interested in without having to go on a waiting list. There will be a higher charge for a group which incurs any form of expenditure, such as the hire of a venue and/or a tutor, as each group must cover its own expenses. All our sports groups use outside venues and we have negotiated greatly discounted prices which means it is not expensive to keep fit and stay healthy.