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u3a Trustees share their thoughts on u3a One Movement

  • 22 September 2023

u3a week showcased 'One Movement' - how u3as are all connected together as one community. To celebrate, we asked Trustees of the u3a Board to share what the phrase One Movement means to them.

Liz Thackray, chair of u3a

A family comes to mind. We have a common lineage and have a family likeness, but we express ourselves in different ways and have different roles while being part of the same whole.

Allan Walmsley, vice chair of u3a

From my perspective, One Movement means a few complementary things:

When new members join their local u3as, u3a membership provides opportunities way beyond those provided by their local u3as, including network and regional activities, national Learning activities and national projects. One Movement also signals the help and support available to operationally independent local u3as through sharing activities, network and regional advice, u3a office advice.

It also enables all members to share the same ethos, mission and vision, delivered through various communication channels like Third Age Matters and newsletters.

A single movement also creates an opportunity for delivering a voice on issues.

Liz Ervine, Trustee for Scotland

Fun, friends, learning, book groups, walks, positive aging, wine tasting.

Margaret Fiddes, Trustee for Yorkshire and the Humber and u3a week Coordinator

It’s the things we are aiming to do together that make the u3a one movement for me.

[Looking beyond u3a week], u3a festival 24 will be a great example of the whole u3a movement coming together to celebrate all the many things that we do. Over 3 days next July members will join one another from all over the country to share activities, learn from one another and enjoy everyone’s company with one common aim – to enjoy life to the fullest at a point in their lives when they are able.

John Bent, Trustee

To me, the term One Movement sums up the vision the founders of the u3a had at its inception. A national, and international, organisation encouraging third agers to partake of self-help, lifelong learning through local u3as. Each independent but interdependent, and enjoying the profile and reputation that a movement of over 450,000 members (in 2020) warrants.

Derek Harwood, national Treasurer

Strength in being part of a UK wide organisation with local and national delivery.

Sandi Rickerby, Trustee for the North East

Membership of the u3a movement has given me the opportunity to learn all sorts of new skills, acquire information on a whole range of subjects, have new experiences, make many new friends and have lots of fun at the same time!

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