I’d like to welcome you to the St Albans U3A website. If you’re not already a member I’d like to have the opportunity to welcome you to our U3A itself in the very near future. I’d like to dispel any rumours that this U3A is full; it is not – we are still accepting new members.
In this website you will find information about: who we are, our activities and how to join.
U3A stands for the University of the Third Age. It began in France in 1972, with the core of U3A starting in Britain in 1982. Our St Albans U3A was formed in 1987 and its 900 members celebrated its Silver Anniversary in October 2012. The vision of U3A is that older people have access to education by providing it for themselves. Membership of the U3A is open to retired and semi-retired men and women irrespective of race, religion or politics.
Everything in U3A is done by its members. There is a national organisation, the Third Age Trust (TAT), which is the national representative body for U3As in the UK. It is both a limited company and a registered charity. It underpins the work of local U3As by providing educational and administrative support to their management committees and to individual members and assists in the development of new U3As across the UK. It provides summer schools, conferences and a magazine to all members 5 times a year.
All the activities of St Albans U3A are provided by its members for its members. St Albans U3A is financially self-supporting and our members have access to those activities provided nationally by TAT.

Most of the activities are organised through about 100+ Interest Groups and School-based Classes which cover a wide range of topics and meet on a regular basis, usually in members’ homes. Each group is financially self-supporting and self-organised to suit its own objectives. Some groups offer open meetings to other groups and other U3As. There are also activities open to all members such as outings to the theatre and places of interest.
This website contains five pages which members and prospective members will find interesting:
Firstly the Groups page contains a list of all the groups and schools-based study that we offer together with information on vacancies. For many groups there is more information available on detailed pages. Our Groups Co-ordinator is identified should you want more information.
Secondly the Events page contains a list of all the events planned; these include our fortnightly meetings, any social events, outings and of course our formal events like AGMs.
Thirdly the Contact page identifies all of the Executive Committee (EC) and other members who support the organization with tasks such as Membership Secretary, Speaker Secretary and Newsletter Editor. This page also has a messaging facility through which you can send messages to any of these people.
Fourthly we have a Publications page where all our formal communications are held – our Constitution, Newsletters, Meeting Notices and Synopses of Committee meetings.
Finally, there is also a Non-U3A news page where non-U3A-run items of interest are recorded and a Links page where you will find links to other organisations’ websites that might be useful.
There are buttons at the top of each main page to navigate to the other main pages so please explore the website to find out more and feel free to contact us if you need more information.
At the Meeting on Tues 23 April I announced The Forum – an add-on to our website where members can discuss ideas about new groups they’d like to see, events and speaker topics and other ideas. Here’s the link to it: The Forum. There is now no request for a log-in, you will go straight to the Welcome page there.
Freda Chaloner
Chair, St Albans U3A


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