University of the Third Age: Pontesbury and Rea Valley District

Since its formation on 24 March this year, the U3A has made significant progress. Total membership had risen to 88 by mid-June. Clearly, details of U3A and of the enjoyment to be gained from membership are being spread by word of mouth in the area.
For those not yet familiar with U3A, its main founding principles may be stated briefly as follows:
• The Third Age Principle. The promotion of lifelong learning for those whose full-time employment has ceased. The prime motive being enjoyment and the well-being of members.
• The Self-help Learning Principle. Learning is for its own sake. There is no distinction between learners and teachers.
• No qualifications are sought or offered.
In following these principles, the Committee of the Pontesbury and Rea Valley District U3A wish to stress their desire that all those in their “Third Age” shall be welcome and that no pressures will be put upon anyone regarding the extent to which they wish to participate in either the learning or teaching processes.
The sixteen or so interest groups established at mid- June meet on the following days of the week:
Mondays: Family history; Art history; Walking (<3 miles); Table tennis; History; Basic computer use.
Tuesdays: Local history; Painting and drawing; Bird watching/natural history.
Wednesdays: English literature; Geology; Gardening and garden visits.
Thursdays: Walking (>3 miles); Italian.
Fridays: Astronomy.
Theatre trips are arranged as appropriate. (The role of coordinator for this group is presently unfilled. Please contact the committee if you can help, even in the short term).
Ballroom dancing and line dancing (see below) are arranged separately.
To thrive, the organisation must grow. Straight forward arrangements are in place for new or existing members who may wish to join existing groups or form new groups – simply call one of the following committee members: Jane/792500; Merle/790028; Hugh/790430; John/790403.
General Meetings are held every two months, the next being on Wednesday, 30 August. A guest speaker or an event is arranged for each General Meeting in addition to a brief report on progress. Details are notified in advance in both the Pontesbury and the U3A Newsletters.
The U3A Newsletter for June was well received and contains much detail of the Pontesbury and Rea Valley District group. It is planned to issue the Newsletter every two months and these are sent by e-mail to members. For a copy, contact jbalmond@btinternet.com.
Please remember, this is your U3A. It can only be what you make it!
John Balmond

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