U3A in Bath is an organisation for retired people who want to find purposeful activity, enjoyment and companionship. It is an organisation fully driven by its members who for a nominal fee are able to participate in a range of activities from the purely educational to the recreational. The only criterion for joining is that of being retired. Its philosophy is of self-help. Nobody is paid (except in a very few limited circumstances) and everybody is invited to contribute to and receive the expertise of the membership.
Thus activities are organised through groups which each have a directing mind or group leader. He or she will through discussion with the group members arrange events. Each member will at specified intervals take an initiative, for example, in the walking group each member will every so often plan and lead a walk; in a history group each will expect to give a talk or lead a discussion on an agreed topic. Each group will do whatever is appropriate to that group.
If members do not find the activity they require, or if existing groups are full, they are invited to set up their own group. To do this they will be able to call upon the advice of the Group Organiser who sits on the Main Committee and enlist the help of the monthly newsletter, and the website, both of whom aim to provide as much help as possible to groups.Although groups are the driving force of U3A in Bath, and they have a great deal of autonomy, there is a committee whose function is to provide a framework to enable people to interact with each other, to cover matters like insurance, the monthly newsletter, management of funds, publicity, the monthly lecture and hidden topics like data protection and liaison with the Charity Commission. In summary, the U3A in Bath exists for its members. Some members dip in and dip out while others spend a considerable amount of their time on its activities, but how much you participate is up to you. But for those looking for activity, involvement and companionship in retirement, there is nothing to beat it!
There are just over 1000 individual U3As in the UK, with a total of about 400,000 or so members. There is a National Organisation called the Third Age Trust to which we and other U3As are affiliated but each U3A is an autonomous organisation.
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View our accounts on the Charity Commission website.
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View the Third Age Trust website
The national body for U3As.
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