Supporting the u3a changes lives

u3a believes that learning can be life-changing. When members join u3a, they become part of a community – and through sharing their interests, they create new friendships.

Together, we can reduce loneliness and ensure everyone can learn, laugh and live.

The Great North Run

For the first time, a group of u3a members will be running in The Great North Run to raise money for The Third Age Trust. The race, which starts in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and ends in South Shields, will be taking place on 8 September 2024.

The funds raised will go towards creating more learning and social opportunities for members. It will help The Third Age Trust support existing u3as and facilitate the creation of new u3as in areas where they do not currently exist – ensuring that everyone has access to a u3a. 

Meet the runners:

Ashley Pinder - Great North Run

Ashley, Wokingham u3a

Ashley joined his u3a in 2023 and soon joined badminton, racketball and table tennis groups before starting a u3a running group. Although he joined the movement recently, his connection to u3a goes much further back.

Ashley first heard of u3a when his parents joined when Ashley was in his 30s. He says, “u3a means an awful lot – because my parents had such a good experience with u3a. I’m doing The Great North Run in memory of my parents.”

He continues, “The u3a has now become a major part of my life.  I have friends that I wouldn’t otherwise have met and have played sports at a competitive level that I would not have done if I had to join individual clubs to do so. u3a is very high priority in my life. I’m often talking to people and saying there’s got to be something of interest to you.”

Ken - Great North Run

Ken, Sidmouth u3a

2024 is the 30th Anniversary of Sidmouth u3a and, for member Ken, running The Great North Run as part of team u3a seemed like the perfect opportunity to mark the milestone and share how u3a has been beneficial for him.

Ken says, “We meet some really nice people – I’ve made some really good friends through u3a. We can have a laugh with people, that’s one good thing in life, when you can still have a laugh.”

Having lived in the North East before, this will be the ninth time Ken is running the Great North Run – but the first time in eight years. Ken says, “It’s special being able to run The Great North Run again – I don’t know how much more runs I have in me.” He continues, “running over the Tyne bridge, that is the most iconic bridge… you get quite emotional. It’s an amazing feeling, the whole race.”

Joyce - Great North Run

Joyce, Newcastle u3a

In the 1980s, the excitement surrounding the Great North Run's inception inspired Newcastle resident Joyce to discover her love of running. She is excited to be returning to the race representing u3a.

Speaking of her connection with the movement, Joyce explains, “I joined u3a about 10 years ago initially because I was looking for a book club. I am now a member of the book group  and also the Shakespeare, Film and Literature, Philosophy  and monthly Sunday Luncheon groups.”

She continues, “Above all, by running the Great North Run, I would like to get across the message that there is a full, interesting and stimulating life after retirement and in later days.”

Stephen - Great North Run

Stephen, Southport u3a

Stephen joined u3a after moving to Southport in 2016. He says, “As a single retiree; I needed to get out and meet new people.

So on a friend's recommendation I joined our u3a having never before heard of the organisation. By running this race and fundraising I can give a little something back and say thank you u3a for enriching my life.

Please support us with a donation

Supporting the u3a with a donation of any size secures our future. With your help we will continue to enrich the lives of our members, to expand our offering of online learning opportunities and to extend our reach. 

Together we can create a future where everyone has a community around them. With your support we will reduce loneliness and ensure everyone can learn, laugh, live.

Your cookie settings
We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. These cookies allow the website to function, collect useful anonymised information about visitors and help to make your user experience better. You can choose which cookies to accept. Declining the use of cookies, may affect your experience of our website.
Accept all
Decline all
Read more
Google Analytics uses performance cookies to track user activity on our website. This information is anonymous and helps us to improve the website.
Google Analytics
Google YouTube
To view YouTube videos