Vale of Belvoir

Welcome to the Vale of Belvoir U3A

Registered Charity No 1111705

The University of the Third Age

Welcome to the Vale of Belvoir U3A website. Please have a look through our website to find out about both the U3A as a national and international organisation and the activities you can find at the Vale of Belvoir U3A.

Although U3A is short for ‘University of the Third Age’ we’re neither a university nor are all our members in their third age! What we are is a group of people who are interested in learning and living in our local community. We share our knowledge and interests in a social setting. Having fun and making new friends are a really important part of the U3A there are no restrictions on joining in the activities – all you need is an interest in taking part. Membership is not restricted to people who are in their ‘third age’ – the U3A is open to anyone who has reached a stage in life where they are not in full time employment. So, if you are taking a career break or have decided to address your work life balance by reducing the number of hours you work, or work part time, or planning your retirement, then you are welcome to join us.

If you would like to find out more about Vale of Belvoir U3A or would like to become a member, please feel free to contact our Membership Secretary Heather Ansell, whose details are on the Contact page of the website, or any member of the committee. Alternatively, you could e-mail us using the contact form with your details and we will be happy to contact you and supply any information you need.

A bit about Vale of Belvoir U3A

The Vale of Belvoir U3A was founded in 1994 and has more than 13 interest groups which meet on a regular basis in the village of Bottesford. In addition we hold monthly meetings for the whole of the U3A membership at the Bottesford Village Hall on the second Tuesday of each month at 2.00 pm. At these meetings there is a speaker or some form of entertainment. After this tea and coffee are served and members can meet existing friends and make new friends as well as having the opportunity to talk to group leaders about any activities in which they may be interested. We are always keen to develop new groups and if you have a particular talent or interest that you would like to share with the membership, we would be happy to talk to you and possibly start a new group! For more information on the interest groups just click the Groups link on the menu.

Every month we publish a newsletter to keep members up to date with what’s going on at the U3A’s Vale of Belvoir branch. Members of the Vale of Belvoir U3A can choose to access the newsletter in a variety of ways: by e-mail; collecting a paper copy at the monthly meeting; downloading it from the newsletters page of this website; taking a copy from the Bottesford Community Library or other community venues.

About the U3A

The U3A movement is a unique and vibrant organisation which provides life-enhancing and life-changing opportunities for members. Retired and semi-retired people come together and learn not to achieve qualifications but to learn about their interests with like-minded colleagues. Members share their skills and life experiences; there is no hierarchy in learning, the learners’ teach and teachers learn - there is no distinction between them.

The Principles of the U3A movement

The U3A is a movement that is non-religious and non-political and has three main principles:

The Third Age Principle:
• Membership of the U3A is open to all in their third age, which is defined not by a particular age but by a period of life in which full-time employment has ceased
• Members promote the values of lifelong learning and the positive attributes of belonging to a U3A.
• Members should do all they can to ensure people wanting to join the U3A can do so.

The Self-help Learning Principle:
• Members form interest groups covering as wide a range of topics and activities as they desire; by the members for the members.
• No qualifications are sought or offered. Learning is for its own sake, with enjoyment being the prime motive, not qualifications or awards.
• There is no distinction between learners and the teachers, they are all U3A members

The Mutual Aid Principle:
• Each U3A is a mutual aid organisation, operationally independent member of The Third Age Trust, which requires adherence to the guiding principles of the U3A a movement
• No payments are made to members for services rendered to any U3A
• Each U3A is self-funded with membership subscriptions and costs kept as low as possible
• Outside financial assistance should only be sought if it does not imperil the integrity of the U3A movement