u3a - Workshops to support your u3a

The Third Age Trust has developed a number of workshops for u3a committee members, potential committee members, Group Leaders and Group Coordinators.  The online workshops have been designed to provide support, information and advice to u3as.  They have been developed in consultation with u3a members and are delivered by Trust volunteers. They bring their background and experience as Trustees, u3a Chairs and Committee members, to make the online workshops informal and informative with a unique opportunity to meet u3a members from across the UK.

Upcoming workshops  

zoom image  JULY

  • Running your u3a - Information for Trustees Wednesday 7th 10:00-12:15 REGISTER HERE
  • Recruiting and Valuing Volunteers Tuesday 12th 10:00-12:15 REGISTER HERE 
  • Keeping it Legal Wednesday 20th 10:00-12:30    REGISTER HERE
  • Growth Matters Tuesday 26th 14:00-16:15 REGISTER HERE
  • NEW **Equality,Diversity and Inclusion  Awareness  Thursday 28th 10:00-12:00 REGISTER HERE    


  • Growth Matters Tuesday 9th 10:00-12:15  REGISTER HERE
  • Recruiting and Valuing volunteers Tuesday 16th 10:00-12:15 REGISTER HERE 
  • Running your u3a - Information for Trustees Monday 22nd 14:00-16:15  REGISTER HERE
  • NEW ** Constitutions  - an overview Friday 26th  10:00-11:30 REGISTER HERE



  • Interest Groups Matter Wednesday 21st 10:00-12:15  REGISTER HERE
  • Recruiting and Valuing volunteers Thursday 29th 10:00-12:15 REGISTER HERE 


If your require Zoom sessions for your u3a or have specific zoom queries, please email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  and  title the email subject as Zoom Support . We have a dedicated team of Zoom tutors to support you. 


The workshops that are currently offered by the Trust 

Running your u3a - Information for TrusteesRS10626 pp

This session is aimed at Officers, Committee Members, and prospective members.

The objectives of the session are to: explore the guiding principles and terms of membership of the Trust; help you understand your role as a Trustee (committee member) and what makes good governance; to identify the support, advice and guidance available.   

The workshop provides the opportunity to share best practice and exchange ideas. It will give you clarity and confidence in understanding your role, your responsibilities and enable problem solving with other u3a members from across the UK.

"It was brilliant. To a new u3a'er like me the workshop filled in a lot of the cracks that I was encountering - and to be honest - afraid to keep on asking about for fear of showing myself up"  


"I am so new to the role , the workshop turned me to the right direction"

Finance  Matters

The session is aimed at Treasurers and any other Committee Members that need a greater understanding of u3a financial matters.

The objectives of the session are to: consider good financial practice within your u3a; discuss reporting requirements - what and to whom; give an overview of speaker fees and paid tutors, and to consider the necessary steps for claiming Gift Aid. 

 You will have an opportunity to network, share ideas and problem solve with others in a similar role.   

"The workshop gave a very good overview of the role of the Treasurer"

Interest Groups Matter

This workshop is for Committee members, Group leaders/Convenor, Group Coordinators and abowls group1u3a bowls groupnyone thinking of taking up these roles. The session will review the guiding principles, discuss the role and responsibilities of Group Coordinators and Group Leaders/Convenors and discuss challenges in running effective groups.

By the end of the session we hope that you will have some more ideas about how interest groups can be managed and run effectively.  

   "I enjoyed the breakout room discussions on various scenarios".


Growth Matters

The growth of the u3a benefits everyone. It provides a bigger pool of volunteers, more potential committee members, more interest groups and promotes the long term success of the u3a and means it thrives and grows – and will available for members for many years to come!. It also means there are more people to meet – more opportunities for getting to know new people, fun and learning.

The aim of the workshop is to help you grow your membership ​- this benefits your u3a; to share ideas to grow; to look at solutions to some of the challenges. 

The workshop  is aimed at Committee members, group leaders and group co-ordinators. and also for individuals who are actively volunteering within their u3a.

"It's given me lots of ideas to raise at our next committee meeting" 

 Keeping it Legal

The aim of the wotkshop is  to highlight the key areas which all u3as need to understand and implement; to identify practical steps should be taken to remain compliant; to identify sources of support. The core areas that will be covred are : 

  • Insurance
  • GDPR
  • Equality and inclusion
  • Safeguarding

This session is aimed at Officers, Committee Members, and prospective Commitee Members.

"It was comprehensive in bite size chunks - in plain language easy to understand ".

"Really excellent - I was daunted about how much time it  would take up but I found it very interesting  "

Recruiting and Valuing Volunteers 

Volunteers are integral to running a thriving u3a. In this session we will look at the best ways to develop a ‘culture of volunteering’. 

To understand the  smallchallenges of volunteer recruitment and identify solutions; how to atrract and motivate volunteers at your u3a and to identify sources of support. 





The workshop format - more information on times; structure and support


  • All attendees will receive pre-course and post-session materials.
  • The workshops are 2 hours 15 mins long ,  these are either an AM  session starting at 10:00-12:15 or a PM session  starting at 14:00-16:15.
  • The sessions are structured with a presentation; breakout rooms; a tea break and a Q&A at the end.
  • The sessions are filled with plenty of interactive group discussion; an opportunity to share best practice, and to exchange ideas, engage and learn with other participants.
  • The online workshops are interactive and are delivered by experienced Trust volunteer Trainers with lots of experience at local and national level. The delivery is designed to draw on the knowledge, interests and experience of attendees. 
  • At present all of the sessions are run on Zoom. If you require help with Zoom prior to attending the session, you can register for a zoom session below or email the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • The live captioning will be enabled during the presentation and if you require additional support, please do let us know.

Meet the Trainers - our team of expert Trust Volunteer Trainers from within the u3a membership

We are privileged to have a trusted team of expert Trust Volunteer Trainers within the u3a membership. Their shared u3a experience gained as local committee members and through national roles ensures a successful running of the workshops. 

Their first-hand experience at local u3a level, years of experience delivering u3a workshops, and professional background help the Trust in running of the u3a Trust training programme. With their support and we hope that the workshops will help develop your u3a knowledge and understanding in your roles to further support your u3a.  Meet our  u3a Trust Volunteer Trainers. 


I joined u3a in 2004 when I was working part-time.  I volunteered to help as Membership Secretary because I had database skills and the ‘Memsec’ was about be become Chair.  Four years later I became Chair and for a second time in 2017.  Our Network needed re-vitalising and I took on the job of Network Coordinator for some years.  Now the Network is flourishing and the next Coordinator is doing a brilliant job.  All through my u3a journey I have attended training courses and in my current role as Trust Volunteer I am able to present courses (live until Covid-19, but now via Zoom).  It’s all been fascinating and very fulfilling and I hope to carry on for some time yet."

Maria  ( Ravenshead u3a)

I retired in 2013 and immediately joined my local u3a because I wanted to refresh my bridge knowledge and skills. I got to know very many people and made a lot of new friends. In 2015 I was happy to be nominated and elected business secretary. This was a busy role as the name suggests and I was able to apply some of my previously acquired knowledge and experience of charities and committees. I found the role and responsibilities interesting, I continued to learn and it was rewarding working with two different chairmen and all committee members. Together we made some improvements to the way the committee and our u3a worked – we introduced induction training for new trustees, cloud computing, Beacon and the Gift Aid scheme all of which helped us run our u3a more efficiently. Four years later I became chairman and we continue to learn and improve.

When I became business secretary it was apparent that our u3a did not offer trustee induction so, because of my knowledge and previous experience as a trainer, I agreed to design and deliver trustee induction for our committee members and I have continued to do this every year. For this reason I was very happy to put myself forward as a Trust volunteer with a particular interest in training, something I have been doing since 2019.    


SE Region: support team member, regional trustee

Membership: 12 years – founder member of my own u3a

u3a committee roles:  trustee, secretary, vice chair, chair, newsletter editor.

Thames Valley Network roles:  committee member, vice chair, chair, events co-ordinator

National: member of various working groups over time. Currently vice chair Governance Committee, member of Governance Review WG and Recruitment WG.


A qualified accountant with a career at Board level in Medium and large commercial enterprises.

Treasurer for 6 years and Membership Secretary with a large u3a which doubled in size in that time.

London Region Trustee since 2017 and member of Trust Finance Committee. Additionally Treasurer and Beacon Administrator for Trust u3a, the online u3a.


I joined a newly formed u3a in January 2008 and became a member of the steering committee. Later I was elected Chair and since then have also chaired the local network and the NW committee. I ran interest groups, and subject themed interest days for the network and the region as well as delivering training events and opening new u3as.

Eventually I was elected to represent my region as their Trustee and served on the Board for four years where I was involved with the Development committee and the Standing Committee for Education, now replaced by the Learning Committee, with which I am still involved.

I am currently a member of the NW committee where I have been promoting peer-to-peer discussion groups, and am a regional contact volunteer to support our Trustee.


In 2007, I joined Portsdown u3a which was still in its infancy.

Became Treasurer in 2009 and Chairman in 2013, a post I held until 2018. During this time I was often doing both these roles which is allowed under Portsdown’s constitution, given certain conditions.

During this period, and with the help of the Business Secretary and the rest of the committee, we instigated an Annual Lecture, an annual debate with the local Grammar school and a major project on The impact of the Battle of Jutland on Portsmouth. 

I have been a Trust Volunteer for 5 or 6 years involved in assisting at conference, delivering face to face, and Zoom, training workshops. I am the main author of the presentations/videos on GDPR, Governance, Finance, Keeping it legal, and Interest Groups Matter. My advice on particular topics is often sought by other u3as, Trust Volunteers and occasionally the staff.

I am a member of the Trust Finance Committee. 


I joined u3a when I retired from my Training Consultancy and moved home some 7 years ago.

I discovered and joined my local u3a like many of us do – as a way of meeting new people.

After a few months I was encouraged to join the committee, also to start an interest group for local visits (a good way of finding out about my new hometown).

In time I took on more roles on the committee – Vice Chair and then Chair, and am  now Groups Co-ordinator and also regional  link person for our local Cluster/Network

I became involved with the national u3a movement:

  • As a Telephone Advice line volunteer back in 2017 and have continued to assist throughout Covid..
  • As part of the workshop delivery team – then as part of the training team developing and delivering online workshops.
  • And more recently I joined our Region Support team


In 2008 I joined a newly-formed u3a in my local area and over the years have been a member of other u3as, due to house moves.   I have been a Group Leader, Committee Member, Groups Co-ordinator, Chair of a new u3a and Chair of my local Network.   In 2015 I became Regional Trustee for the East Midlands and served three years on the board.

I have been a Trust Volunteer for several years, assisting in delivering face-to-face workshops and now part of the team delivering on-line workshops, with the hope that one day we can again deliver in person and have the opportunity to meet up a with other u3a members.

My main interest is in launching new u3as and I have been involved in preparing training materials for Trust Start-up Volunteers.

As a Volunteer on the u3a Office Telephone Advice Line, I am able to co-operate with the office staff to use the knowledge and experience I have gained over the years to help u3as and their members.