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Sunday, 24 July 2022

University of 3rd AgeThe University of Third Age is 40

The University of the Third Age held an event on Saturday 16th July at Todmorden Central Methodist Hall, to celebrate the 40th Anniversary Event of u3a being formed in Great Britain.

Over a hundred people attended and were able to speak to 25 of our convenors and get a taste of what each group did first hand. Seventeen groups had set up stalls and displays, either illustrating or demonstrating what they did, and many results and examples of previous projects and other work.

A u3a 'corporate' table was set up, providing information about how to join u3a, and where our members could get more detail about what the organisation is about.

Nationally, it's described as 'A nationwide network of learning groups aimed at encouraging older people to share their knowledge, skills and interests in a friendly environment.', but our visitors had the opportunity to find out about special interest groups, their meetings, and the u3a Todmorden monthly meetings that include a guest speaker. The u3a you tube promotional video 'Do something brilliant today' could also be viewed.

In the same area, there were displays, and members providing information about our Walking, Poetry Appreciation, and our recently formed Walking Cricket Groups. This area was shared with tables and chairs for visitors to have a cup of tea and slice of cake, along with a welcome sit down.

The next room was shared by four of our groups: Creative Writing, Board Games, Mah Jong and Photography. The creative writing group displayed works of prose and poetry by its members, along with some material produced and used at each meeting for writing exercises.

The photography group displayed a number of striking and accomplished images, and an experienced convenor was able to answer some technical questions. The board games group had a number of visitors pitting their wits against our members at Scrabble and Querkle, perhaps one not as well known, and the Mah Jong table was still occupied at 4pm, when the event concluded.

A third area was almost fully taken up by three of our Art Groups, and our Craft Group where, as well as being able to see what members had produced, visitors were able to try out some craft techniques. Eleven 'Hedgehogs', made from pages of books were made by some of the visitors and four packages were taken home for yet more to be made.
Many examples of work by the three groups, including paintings, drawings, fabrics, and all manner of creations which drew great interest from the people attending – the room was almost full of visitors for much of the time. There was room though, for a member of our golf section who had set up a putting mat for the length of one wall.

We were pleased by the number of people who attended our event, and by the efforts of a number of our members who contributed in the planning and preparation for our celebration. It served to make many people more aware of u3a, and particularly the branch which serves our local area and what we have to offer. Over thirty people asked for more information about our groups, with four joining on the day of the event, and we look forward to an increase in our membership. More importantly it will mean more people being able – again quoting one of u3a's aims - to 'Learn, Laugh and Live'.

Not yet a member? You can attend one talk free by requesting an invitation to this zoom event. We're always delighted to welcome new members. Contact details: website at www.u3atod.org.uk or email at info@u3atod.org.uk.

Many thanks to Colin Sanson for this report


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