Easter Ross & Sutherland U3A




What is the University of the Third Age?

The word “University” in our title is used in its original sense of people coming together to share and pursue learning in all its forms. All U3As are members of the Third Age Trust which is their national support and advisory body in the UK.

U3As are autonomous, self-help organisations run by the voluntary efforts of their members. They are self-managed lifelong learning co-operatives for people no longer in full-time work.  Opportunities are provided for members to share learning experiences in a wide range of interest groups and to pursue learning for fun, not for qualifications.

Easter Ross & Sutherland U3A covers quite a wide area, basically from Evanton in the south up to Golspie/Brora in the north, encompassing Rogart, Lairg, Bonar Bridge, Edderton, Dornoch, Tain, Portmahomack, Seaboard Villages, Invergordon, Alness, etc. The Easter Ross & Sutherland U3A formed in April 2014 with just 20 members.  The aim is to form interest groups from the members and those interest groups are led by fellow members.  Some meetings are held in members’ homes and others elsewhere, i.e. the local history group may visit a museum and the art appreciation group may visit an exhibition.  There is no limit to what subjects can be catered for as everything is done by the members for the members.  We do not use professional outside tutors.

The individual interest groups make their own decisions as to how they operate.  From our current membership we have formed several interest groups but, as we grow, so then will the number of interest groups we can offer.  There is no restriction to the number of interest groups anyone can join.  There may be a small charge at some interest group meetings to cover entrance fees to museums, the cost of materials and suchlike, but otherwise the groups are free.

Because our members are retired or semi-retired, all meetings are held during the day time, some groups meet in the morning and some in the afternoon.  We know that a lot of people do not like going out in the evenings, especially in the winter.

We hold a general meeting on the 3rd Thursday of each month commencing at 2.00pm to give all the members a chance to get together over a cuppa.  We also provide a talk or demonstration of some kind during the first part of the meeting.  Because we cover such a wide area we currently hold our monthly general meetings in Tain, Dornoch and Alness.  Other venues may be added as membership builds in different areas.

In order to join the various interest groups it is necessary to be a member of the Easter Ross & Sutherland U3A.  The annual membership fee (from 1st April to 31 March) is £20 but this entitles you to join as many interest groups as you want.  We prefer people to join at the general meeting but you can join at other times if this is more convenient (such as by post or at an interest group meeting).  If you wish to come along just to find out what we are about, you are very welcome to join us at one of our meetings.  You are permitted to attend two meetings before having to join.  These can be either general meetings or interest group meetings.  Please feel free to bring somebody along with you.

The charitable aims of Easter Ross & Sutherland U3A are:

(a) To advance the education of the public and in particular the education of people no longer in full time employment;

(b) The provision of facilities for leisure time and recreational activities with the object of improving the conditions of life for those no longer in full time employment in the interests of their social welfare.

If you want further information or would like to join the Easter Ross & Sutherland U3A, please contact our Secretary, June Dingley, either by email – june.dingley@btinternet.com – or visit our website at wwwu3asites.org.uk/eras.