u3a 40th Anniversary Blog

What a fantastic 40th year we’ve had

Published : 23 December 2022 Views: 749

Now as the year is drawing to a close, we would like to send a huge vote of thanks to every u3a member whose contribution really helped to put u3a on the map in 2022 and a special mention to Julie Travers, Special Projects Officer who helped bring it all together.

Our 40th has been an opportunity for us all to showcase the amazing things the u3a movement does and to create a lasting legacy for 2023.

We’ve been planting trees, taking part in picnics, battling robots, holding open days and parties as well as running conferences on Research, Shared Learning and Science. Thank you for everything you did to make 2022 such a landmark year for u3a. We were also fortunate in the fantastic press coverage we received in the national dailies.

Michaela Moody who led the 40th celebrations says, "This has been an opportunity to celebrate the 2022 vision for the u3a movement and to launch the next stage of the u3a journey. It was wonderful seeing all the ways in which u3as and their members celebrated. The wide range of activity really encompassed the learning, fun, active contribution and positive ageing that is the ethos of u3a."

The year’s events at a glance:

  • u3a 40th Anniversary Quilt was revealed at the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester on 17 June and is now on display at the Blanket Hall in Witney. The quilt was designed by members to showcase members’ activities and skills in 40 squares.
  • Picnic in the Park on 1 June was an opportunity for u3a to take advantage of the great British weather, the wide-open spaces and to embrace the great outdoors by holding picnics to celebrate not just our 40th Anniversary but also the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
  • Chef Alex from the charity 'Vegetarian for Life' gave a live online cookery demonstration with lots of tasty, interesting ideas.
  • u3a Science Network anniversary meeting on 26 July 2022 was a science-based learning event with presentations on Blowing Hot and Cold in the 1980s, the Carbon Imperative and Human Colonisation of Space.
  • Dance Exercise on Wednesday 21st September celebrated our 40th Anniversary with 40 minutes dance exercise to music from 40 years ago!
  • Online Bridge Tournament between 17th and 25th September saw members playing Duplicate or Chicago online or face to face. The 40 points in a pack of cards were just right for our 40th Anniversary!
  • There are no Strangers Here showed older people from across the UK taking positive steps to make a better future for themselves and others. Member ideas were translated into a short play challenging negative perceptions of older adults and the play was broadcast as part of the Events programme on 29 November.
  • Celebrating u3a Week from 17 to 25 September 2022 was an opportunity to celebrate our activities, our contribution to the local community and the innovative ways members had responded to the restrictions under lockdown. Every year from now on, u3a members will have a week dedicated to learning, staying active and having fun.
  • u3a at the RI 31 October saw the first post Pandemic hybrid afternoon of science talks for u3a members since March 2020: Mark Sumner talked about Electric motors and the future of our energy: Rebecca Smethurst about Supermassive blackholes and Dan Plane produced some Dazzling chemical demonstrations. There was a lot of colour, chemistry and the occasional bang.


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