Questions & Answers

We've listed some of the questions people often ask us, together with our answers. Hopefully this page will help you decide whether you would like to join us, or simply find out more for later.
You can either click on the questions most relevant to you, in the list below, or simply scroll down to see the full list.

What is the U3A?
Which university?
What is the third age?
What does the U3A offer?
How about opportunities to socialise?
What activity groups are there in the Wetherby and District?
Where are the classes held?
How much does it cost?
If I join, can I also help in other ways?
Can I attend a group as a guest?
Will there be activities in the villages?
Is it just for retired people?

Q What is the U3A?
A The University of the Third Age - is an organisation that provides opportunities to learn or participate in recreational activities, for those who are no longer fully employed, helping them to get more from their leisure time, in a friendly social environment. There are no age limits.

Q Why is it called a university?
A The U3A in Britain is NOT connected to any college or university. There are no entry qualifications and no exams. We just encourage members to spend some of their free time exploring activities and subjects that interest them in the company of like-minded people.
The U3A is the university of life and we are all members.

Q What is the third age?
A It's the time after we leave full time work or after the kids have left home and we have some free time at last...... It's playtime!
It's the time in life when we can all begin to enjoy our hobbies and activities and explore new topics. Now we are free from the 9 to 5 lifestyle and all the worries about raising children or career prospects -it's time to have more fun. There is no lower age limit- just that you have free time during daytime. With changing life-styles, members can be almost any age.

Q What does the U3A offer?
A monthly public meeting with an interesting and informative speaker to which all are welcome. Most members join the U3A to enjoy various groups that will provide opportunities for regular study, leisure and social activities, meeting in a variety of venues in Wetherby itself and in the surrounding villages.

Q How about opportunities to socialise?
The social side is a key reason for the ongoing success and growth of the U3A network. At our monthly public meetings, we hear the latest news and developments and enjoy coffee or tea and biscuits while we talk, socialise and generally get to know one another.

Q What activity groups are there in the Wetherby and District?
You can see the 60 different acivity groups on the ACTIVITIES page. The list of activities has been growing over time, as more members join and tell us about their interests.

Q Where are the classes held?
We call them Groups and they can be held wherever the group members decide. For a small group of say 5 to 8, a home of one of the members might be an ideal and low cost option. Some groups move from home to home for their meetings. This might be in Wetherby itself, or in one of the nearby villages.
For larger a group of say 25 members, then we will help the group to find a suitable meeting room in a convenient location - like a local church hall or village hall.

Q How much does it cost?
A There is a modest annual membership fee of £12 a year (that's equivalent to less than 25p a week).
Once you are a member, you can join as many Groups as you have time for - provided the groups are not already full. Most of the groups also ask for a modest contribution of around 50p or £1 a meeting - just enough to cover their out of pocket costs for refreshments and maybe some printed materials. In a few cases, with larger groups, there may be a share of the hire costs for the meeting room.

Q If I join, can I also help in other ways?
Volunteers are always warmly welcomed. Your services could help us provide refreshments, or put out chairs for the open meetings or you can help organise and manage one of the many Groups.
If you think you might like to help in the running of a Group around a theme or topic that interests you, our Groups Coordinator, Jane Berry, is always happy to explore this with you.

Can I attend as a guest?
Certainly! Guests are welcome at the monthly Open Meetings and at most of the groups (by agreement with the Group organiser). If you like what you see and hear and then want to continue with the group activity, then you will need to join Wetherby U3A.
New members are always welcome at any time of the year!

Will there be activities in any of the villages?
Yes. It all depends on having enough local people interested in a topic - then we can pick a local venue, if that is more convenient for the majority. We currently have meetings in Boston Spa and Collingham as well as Wetherby. See the ACTIVITIES page for details of the current groups including where they meet.

Is it just for retired people?
Not at all!. We have members who are housewives, several disabled members and some who work part-time. Nor is there any age limit - our role is to provide social, recreational and educational activities in the community, for those who have free time during the day.

Local U3As are learning cooperatives which draw upon the knowledge, experience and skills of their own members to organise and provide interest groups in accordance with the wishes of the membership.

The teachers learn and the learners teach.