Michaela Moody, Vice Chair of the Third Age Trust and coordinator of the 40th Anniversary talks about her experience being a volunteer and the importance of celebrating the 40th anniversary.
What is your favourite thing about being part of u3a?
I guess one of the things I’ve always liked doing is being able to help people. And there are so many ways once can help members in the u3a movement. I’m lucky to enjoy serving on committees which many people just won’t do! So I’ve been on committees of local u3as, on network committees and the board of the trust where I’m enjoying my second term as vice chairman.
What is your experience volunteering for the Third Age Trust?
I’ve been able to take part in starting new u3as – a really exciting experience – designing and running workshops, as well as providing advice to members. For this I’ve had lots of training because it’s vitally important that we give correct advice.
You are leading on the 40th anniversary: why do you think is it so important?
We are relatively unknown despite our 1000+ u3as and nearly 500,000 members. I think our 40th anniversary is a really important time to achieve more recognition as there are so many people in our demographic who simply haven’t joined us yet. We also embrace change which really helped is survive the pandemic when so many members embraced Zoom and carried on, albeit virtually.
How do you want u3as to get involved?
I want as many u3a members as possible to take part in national events but particularly in all the events local u3as are planning: Picnic in the Park in June and u3a day in September when we want to get the press writing up the many things we’ll be doing.
What are you most looking forward to in 2022?
Finding out that we’ve gained lots of new members who can then enjoy u3a’s many and varied activities – did you know that we’ve got more than 30,000 different Interest groups and that every u3a member is a Volunteer?
Where would you most like to see u3a in the next forty years?
As the best known organisation for like-minded people who enjoy learning new skills and taking up new interests and who want to join an organisation known for its status as Fit for the Future.
‘By the members for the members’ is how we work – we’re the only organisation for people in the third age demographic whose members actually run the organisation. Others are run by second agers for third agers so how do they know what we really want?
Find out more about the 40th anniversary on our website.