U3A is the University of the Third Age, a self-help organisation for people no longer in full time employment. It provides educational, creative and leisure opportunities in a friendly environment.
The U3A approach to learning is - learning for pleasure. There is no accreditation or validation and there are no assessments or qualifications to be gained. 'University' is used in the sense of a group of persons devoted to mutual learning. However, like real universities we include group leisure activities.
There are local U3A's all over the UK which are entirely run by their members.
The U3A's are democratic, self-funding organisations that provide all types of educational and leisure activities for retired or semi-retired people at minimum cost, by making use of knowledge and skills of their members. The main emphasis is on participation.
History of University of the Third Age
The original concept of the U3A started in Toulouse, France in 1972. The U3A in the UK started by the creation of the Third Age Trust, a registered charity No 288007 and a limited company No 1759471. The Trust represents all U3A's in the UK at national and international level. It is run by a National Executive Committee democratically elected from the membership and offers a range of services to support and advise local U3A's.
There are now over 950 U3A's in the UK with in excess of 342,500 members. Northern Ireland has 23 groups with around 6,000 members.
Downe U3A was established by William Devlin with an inaugural meeting in 2006. The University of the Third Age (U3A) movement is a unique and exciting organisation which provides life-enhancing and life-changing opportunities for retired or semi-retired people to come together and learn together, not for qualifications but the sheer joy of discovery. Members share their skills and life experiences with others with a shared interest. The U3A movement is supported by the national organisation, the Third Age Trust.
Downe U3A, serving Downpatrick, Crossgar, Killinchy, Killyleagh, Ballynahinch, Strangford, Clough Killyleagh Ardglass and towns in between. Downe U3A is a vibrant group with a wide range of activities, there is sure to be something of interest for everyone, including bridge, play reading, table tennis, walking, painting, art appreciation, gardening and many more. As a member, you can become involved in as many activities as you like. There is also a monthly meeting, with the opportunity to catch up with other members over a cup of tea and listen to guest speakers who share their interest or knowledge of a wide range of subjects.
Registered with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC102502
To view our Constitution please click here.