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Haverhill and District u3a celebrate 30 years

  • 16 January 2024

Barbara from Haverhill and District u3a talks about their u3a's beginnings in 1992 and how it has evolved over the last thirty years.

An group of people having a picnic

Members of Haverhill u3a having a picnic in 2022

Following meetings in the Haverhill Library in 1992 and 1993 Heather Driver and Enid Hill became founder members of the steering committee who, with the help of the Bury St Edmunds u3a branch, started the Haverhill and District u3a. This was registered with the national headquarters – The Third Age Trust on 2nd September 1994 and the membership at that time was 61.

The first meetings took place at the Haverhill Library and slowly the numbers increased. It was then decided to move the meetings to the West End Congregational Church Hall. As numbers continued to increase and in September 1999 it was decided to move the monthly speaker meetings to the Haverhill Arts Centre where we still hold them today.

In 2001 when the membership stood at over 150 the committee decided to apply for charity status which was granted.

One of the first groups to be formed was the Bridge Group and in 2005 won a top regional prize in a charity fund raising event helping the East Anglia area raise £5000.00. They were presented with a cup and their prizes at an event held at Ickworth House.

In 2014 the Creative Writing Group produced a book called “What’s that about”. It is a book of stories and poems for young children with beautiful illustrations by Eve Sorrell. The book was collated by Jane Waller and proof red by Fran Vanner. It was self-published and distributed free of charge.

During the Covid lockdown our monthly newsletter continued with articles, stories and cartoons supplied by the membership. In fact there was so much enthusiasm that the monthly newsletter became two weekly.

We currently have over 500 members and approximately 50 interest groups with waiting lists for some groups. The groups fall into several categories including: Art and Literature, Music, Games, Pastimes and Walking Groups.

Our celebrations for 2024 will include a picnic on the Great Meadow at Kedington with live music and entertainment and a Christmas Concert which in previous years has been very popular.

Chair – Haverhill and District u3a

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