Influencing and Social Change

Influencing and social change encompasses all the work being done to support members, and the movement more broadly, to use our combined voices and get involved in our communities about issues that matter. 

u3a founders were clear that the movement should have a voice in public policy discussions:

“The u3a movement was originally conceived to play a number of roles – including to have a strong public voice and take action on issues of importance to members and people in later life more broadly.”

Eric Midwinter, u3a co-founder, July 2022

Help make an impact at a national level

What do you think a national u3a campaign should look like? How should we as a movement choose an issue?

We know that our founders always intended for the u3a to have a strong public presence and to use its voice on issues of importance. Now, it’s our chance to make this a reality.

Many u3as are doing great things and having an impact in their local communities, but members are also asking how the movement can have more of an impact at a national level.

We need your help to shape what this might look like by completing a short survey. There's also an opportunity to tell us what issues matter to you. The survey closes on 10 June.

Survey Now Closed - Findings available soon

A message from CEO of the Third Age Trust, Sam Mauger

In this video, Sam talks about u3as using their voices to take action on issues of importance to them. Sam touches briefly on the legal aspects and risks, and provides a couple of examples of what u3as might do.

Having a voice to influence and create positive social change is a key part of the u3a movement's strategic direction. 

Members of u3a standing in front of an electric bus where they held awareness raising workshops as part of COP26 in Glasgow, 2021

u3as Making an Impact

Getting involved and making a difference in our communities is not new for u3as.

Here are some examples:


Members want to have more of an influence on community and national issues. Our interactive training provides information about the legal aspects and risks of taking action, introduces the diverse ways to create change in our communities, shares some u3a examples and provides participants with the opportunity to exchange ideas and discuss how they might take action. To date, 82% of participants have rated this training as excellent or very good, so don't miss it!

Upcoming Training Dates

Information about the next introductory session will be added here once available.  

This introductory session is for u3a members who would like to have more of an impact in their local communities.

Request a workshop 

We are also happy to discuss organising additional online or in-person workshops where requested by a Region, Network or u3a. If you would like an in-person session, we request a minimum of 50 attendees and that the workshop is promoted widely and open for all in a local area to attend. As the session is 2 hours long it would work best as a session part of an already organised day. The Trust will cover travel expenses for the Trainers, however any additional costs e.g. room hire, refreshments will need to be covered by the host u3a, network or Region.  

To request a workshop please complete the workshop request form at the bottom of the workshops webpage.

A coffee cup with the words - what good shall i do this day?
u3a members joining Rubbish Friends initiative in the North West


Influencing and Social Change: Checklist for u3as

The issues u3as choose to take action on may be very diverse and range in purpose and nature of activities.

Taking action and working across the political spectrum with policy makers are all legitimate and valuable activities for the Trust and u3as more broadly to take part in. However, it is vital that we follow high standards of good practice.

This checklist provides a series of questions for consideration so that u3as can make an informed assessment for each activity.

Get in touch

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions about our Influencing and Social Change work, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

To stay up-to-date with everything we're doing you can sign up for our newsletter.

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