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A new U3A is being set up for the Palmers Green and Southgate area. An Open Meeting will be held on Wednesday 26th February at The Intimate Theatre, 521 Green Lanes, Palmers Green N13 4DH, starting at 2.30 pm. Doors will be open at 2.00 pm. This will be an opportunity to hear more about U3A and to find out about the interests of potential members.

u3a logo2U3A stands for University of the Third Age. It began in France in 1972 with U3As attached to existing universities. The core of the U3A in the UK, which started in 1982, is self directed learning. In the UK there are now over 900 U3As with nearly 320,000 members.

Nobody has to stop learning just because they have stopped working. The University of the Third Age is for people who want to keep active in mind and body. There's first age learning at school or college, followed by second age learning - the skills learnt at work. And there's third age learning when people learn whatever they want. That is what happens in U3A. People come together to study a subject they all find interesting.

Membership of the University of the Third Age is open to men and women who are no longer in full time work, irrespective of race, religion or politics. There is neither a lower or an upper age limit; no qualifications are required and none are given.

Each U3A is unique, reflecting the needs and desires of its members. However, most U3As have a monthly general meeting, where there might be a speaker and information on new interest groups and future events, as well as an opportunity to talk to others over a cup of tea. The general meeting is the focus of a U3A but its interest groups are its life blood.

Interest groups are formed when several people wish to pursue a topic. Most U3As have at least one language group, a walking group, a music group, a reading group, a science & technology group and a history group. Many U3As in the London area have groups that explore London, go the theatre and visit various museums. The possibilities for starting groups are endless. Social and cultural activities are also popular.

What makes U3A unique is the fact that everything is done by the members. Everyone is a volunteer. A group can be an informal self-supporting study group with contributions by the members, it could follow an online course, or perhaps be led by an "expert" within the group. Study materials are available to borrow from a national Resources Centre. The teachers learn and the learners teach.

If you're interested in joining the new U3A, visit this page or phone 020 8886 3773 or 07828 646431

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