Bourne End and District u3a serves primarily the villages of
Bourne End, Wooburn Green and Flaxwell Heath in Buckinghamshire with
some members coming from High Wycombe and Cookham and further afield. We
had our inaugural meeting in March 2018 when over 250 people signed up.
Over 40 interest groups were started shortly afterwards and there are
now more than 50 operating, from improving languages to lace-making,
golf and bird watching. We currently have over 450 members and we’re
We have a constitution and a steering committee, which will be elected as a proper executive committee at the first anniversary of the formation of the u3a in March each year.
About the u3a
The University of the Third Age started in France in 1972; ten years
later the first u3as were established in the UK. The number of groups
have risen steadily over the years, to currently over 1,000. Group
membership numbers vary from 20 to over 3000.
The term “university” is used in its non academic original sense, a
group of people coming together to share their love of learning and the
only qualification to join the u3a is to be retired, semi retired or not
working. It has a set of core principles.
With the u3a you can expand your knowledge and skills in a wide
variety of subjects, while at the some time having fun and making new
Each u3a is self financing and sets their own annual fee. Our annual
fee is £15 in April 2021. It includes a capitation fee of £3.50 which is
paid to the National Office, to cover Insurance and overheads, and
£3.10 for a quarterly magazine ‘Third Age Matters’. The National Office
also provides advice on starting new interest groups, as well as
guidance and information on many group subjects.
Apart from the various interest group meetings, each u3a holds a
monthly meeting for the whole membership and pop up chats from members.
At these meetings, which are held using Zoom, but will post Covid move
back to the community centre. We are currently offering these meetings
online via Zoom and a catchup is occasionaly available via YouTube.
The u3a depends upon the enthusiasm of its members getting together
to form interest groups on any topic. Topics could be academic subjects,
languages, craft subjects, physical activities, the list is endless.
Besides being self funding each group requires a leader or a convener:
he or she does not need to be a subject-expert, the role is to organise
the group and liaise with the Committee. It is up to the members of the
group to promote the learning or other activities of the group.
Bourne End & District u3a is Registered Charity Number 1178428.