The U3A is a growing nationwide network of self-help educational activities run for and by retired and semi-retired people. The first Université du Troisième Age was founded in Toulouse in 1972. The Universities in France made available their facilities and tutors to provide courses for older people. The UK University of the Third Age started in Cambridge in 1981. When the idea was progressed in the UK in 1982 the approach was different. It became a ‘Do-It-Yourself’ model with the term ‘University’ used in its original meaning where a group of people gather together to learn from one another.
The U3A is about involvement in learning new things, expanding horizons, sharing skills and experiences, making new friends, helping others to learn, accepting new challenges to show that age need be no barrier to learning or to helping others to learn, and to enjoy! There are now more than 798 U3As in this country with a total membership of around 252,000.
Founded in 1997, and affiliated to The Third Age Trust (the UK national organization), the Cheadle branch is now 950 members strong with 60+ activities for members to enjoy. We are part of the North West Area of the Third Age Trust. Cheadle U3A has a registered charity number 1072364.
It is organised by a Management Committee of volunteers, elected by the membership at the Annual General Meeting. Activity Group leaders are also volunteers who give their services to pass on their skills for the benefit of others. We learn from each other and help each other.
Our main base for groups is at the Cheadle Guild Hall where car parking is available to members only whilst their classes are taking place. Others meet elsewhere when more appropriate accommodation is needed, as shown in the Activity Programme.
You can influence the running of the U3A by contributing your own ideas or to volunteer as a group leader, the opportunities are proportional to the number of co-ordinators who can give their time.
To help defray the running costs of the branch, current annual membership costs £10 and each group session attended costs £1. Members can belong to as many groups as they wish.
Membership packs including application forms are available from Cheadle Library, Blythe Bridge Library and U3A Coffee mornings (2nd Wednesday of the month) at Cheadle Guild Hall, Cheadle Leisure Centre or click this link: Enrollment Details.