AUGUST is when the schools go back, quickly followed by colleges and universities.
Yet, throughout Scotland, local u3as are also gearing up for the return of their members.
These learning co-operatives are run by community volunteers.
Anyone no longer in full-time work can join in and have a go at new activities, hobbies and interest groups.
It’s a chance to learn for fun and meet new people; and, best of all, there’s no exams.
Ann Keating, the u3a trustee for Scotland, explains: “Many of us acquire new skills and expertise during our working lives. All this knowledge can be put to good use in a u3a.
“Local people set up groups on topics they enjoy so others can learn too.
“There’s really something for everyone with subjects ranging from studying architecture to wine-tasting. u3as can be called a school for life as we believe you’re never too old to try new things.”
In response to the pandemic, plenty of Scotland’s 54 u3as switched to offering sessions on Zoom when face-to-face meetings were prohibited.
Ann Keating also had the idea to create a virtual u3a called Online Across Scotland.
It means existing and new members can freely access sessions run on this dedicated learning platform no matter where they live.
With Covid 19 restrictions lifting, many local u3as plan to offer a hybrid model where people can choose to attend groups and activities in person or take part on Zoom.
To find your nearest u3a, and explore the sessions being offered this autumn, log onto https://u3asites.org.uk/scotland/home
Notes for editors:
- Currently, there are 54 Scottish community u3as (formerly University of the Third Age) in an UK-wide (and international) educational movement whose motto is ‘Learn, laugh, live.’ Local volunteers lead these self-help learning co-operatives for semi and fully retired people, or those who are unable to work. Popular hobbies and playing games are usually included in the choice of sessions run by each community u3a. Membership costs from £10- £20 a year for as many sessions as each member wants to do. To find your nearest u3a, visit: https://u3asites.org.uk/scotland/home
- U3a: Online Across Scotland started in 2020 in response to the pandemic. It now offers more than 20 online interest groups and activities. Members of community u3as can make free use of this platform as well as taking part in their local subject groups and events. It also helps anyone who prefers to meet online, where travel may be an issue, or if a local u3a does not yet offer a particular topic. Full details at: https://u3asites.org.uk/onlineacrossscotland/home
- For more information, contact u3a Scottish trustee: Ann Keating on 07757 976936 or PR advisor Allana Parker, on 07483 820027 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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u3a: Online Across Scotland contact details…
Contact: Ann Keating