About University of the Third Age



The University of The Third Age Movement


The term "University" is used in its original sense - a group of people coming together to learn for the pleasure of learning. No academic qualifications are needed or given. The main aim is to enable creative and recreational activities to advance the education of mature people who are not in full-time employment.

The U3A movement, which began in 1982, is one of the fastest growing organisations in the country. There are over 996 U3As in the UK involving over 366,000 people, with more joining all the time. They pursue an amazing range of topics, some purely academic, others recreational. Most local U3As offer a combination of opportunities to study, create, socialise, and in general develop a fitter mind and body. U3A is the only national education organisation in the UK run entirely by its own members.


The Third Age Trust  (TAT)


Although all local U3As remain autonomous, they are members of the Third Age Trust, which is their national support and advisory body. The Trust is a registered charity and limited company providing support in the form of training, legal advice, a resource centre, public liability insurance and representing all U3As at national and international level. It is run by a National Executive Committee democratically elected from the membership.

 There are some national events organised by the Third Age Trust open to all U3A members. Some future ones which may be of interest, and which are accessible from our area are shown on the National U3A Events page

Haddenham U3A members may register on the website of the Third Age Trust by clicking on this link. This will provide access to news about U3A nationally, details of TAT-organised events / programmes and, most importantly, resources that are available for use by U3A clubs, interest groups and individual members.


 Haddenham U3A


Haddenham U3A was formed in 2001. It is non-profit making and its income comes mainly from members' annual subscriptions, currently at £16.00 per annum. Our activities can be broadly divided into three categories: General Meetings, Interest Groups and Visits.


  • General Meetings are held on the afternoon of the second working Monday in each month, and the meeting is repeated on the third working Thursday of the month. This applies throughout the year apart from in May and December when there is only the Monday meeting for the AGM and the Christmas Extravaganza respectively.  General meetings are open to all members of the U3A. Invited guests speak on a wide variety of topics. In these meetings we try to enable an increased awareness of our locality and our world and culture, with a balanced programme to meet U3A aims. We hope that members will enjoy and learn from all events. Click here to find the details of the forthcoming General Meetings
  • Interest Groups are a very popular part of the U3A movement. Groups can be as small as three people, or as large as 50 or more. Members of Haddenham U3A should register with Group Leaders if they wish to attend regularly. Leaders are volunteers drawn from the U3A membership, and require no qualifications other than enthusiasm and a desire to make the group work. Some groups meet in rotation in members' homes, others in larger rented venues in Haddenham. The Committee is always open to ideas for establishing new groups. Click here to find details of our current Interest Groups
  • Visits are also very popular. There is a varied programme of visits and outings for members throughout the year to events and places including, but not limited to, theatres, stately homes, gardens and museums. The Events and Outings Organiser runs the main programme and is again pleased to receive suggestions from members. Some of the Interest Groups also include visits in their own programmes. Click here to return to the home page where forthcoming events are shown.

 Haddenham U3A is a registered Charity; registration number 1165358

Haddenham U3A has a Constitution based on a model provided by The Third Age Trust. A copy of the constitution can be viewed or downloaded by clicking here.

If you would like to join Haddenham U3A, please click here for the application form.


  Local U3A Networks


The Haddenham U3A is linked in a local grouping with Chinnor, Thame and District, Greater Thame and Risborough U3As, collectively called CHATTR, which arranges some combined meetings.


The Thames Valley Network of 38 U3As runs an Annual Conference, Study Days and other events. 


There are some events run by the South East Region which contains 190 U3As, and there are national events under the auspices of The Third Age Trust which covers over 990 U3As with a total membership exceeding 366,000.


For details of their events and programmes and access to their website, go to the Local U3A Networks page.