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Who we are
Founded in 1982, u3a* is a UK-wide movement of locally-run interest groups that provide a wide range of opportunities to come together to learn for fun. We explore new ideas, skills and activities together. There are over 1,000 local u3as with over 400,000 members; you can join if you are in your 3rd age - after both childhood, then full-time work or raising a family have permanently ceased.
Maldon and District u3a started in 1998. We have flourished into an enthusistic branch with approximately 400 members.
The u3a movement is non-religious and non-political.:
- Membership is open to all when their full-time employment and raising a family have permanently ceased, irrespective of their age.
- We promote the values of lifelong learning while having fun and enjoying life.
- Members form interest groups covering whatever topics and activities they desire. Subjects do not have to be academic!
- 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 the learners and the teachers, we are all u3a members.
You do not have to join any of the activity groups, but these groups are fundamental to the u3a way of shared learning and socialising. Activity groups are an excellent way to make new friends and to share experiences with like-minded people.
An activity group can be formed on any topic, but someone must be prepared to act as the group leader. Once sufficient members want to join a group, they decide where and when they want to meet. Most of our groups meet on a regular day and time each month. Some groups may choose to meet in the open air, such as a walking group or a bird watching group. Other groups with a small membership may choose to meet in a member's home, (often the group will meet in several members' houses in turn). Groups with larger memberships and special requirements will hire a room.
All activity groups are self-financing but if their turnover is at a level that they need to pay room hire fees etc. by cheque, they are advised to open a group account with the Treasurer to ensure that the payments are undertaken within the authority of the u3a.
- Each u3a is a mutual aid organisation, operationally independent but a member of The Third Age Trust, which requires adherence to the guiding principles of the u3a 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.
*originally called the 'University of the Third Age', now simply 'u3a'
Activity Groups co-ordinator
Webmaster: Tony Groves
Social Group Chairman: Michael Childs
AV Equipment Management: Mike Flack
Essex Association of u3as: Malcolm Case