University of the Third Age invites new members

FOR THOSE who have a thirst for knowledge, along with a desire to increase their social circle close to home, a national education movement, with a base in Bexhill, called the University of the Third Age (UA3) may be just what is needed.

Chair of the Bexhill programme, Anne Lowndes, said UA3 is an independent organisation which is mainly aimed at people aged fifty plus who are no longer in full-time employment.

She said: " UA3 is an inexpensive way to learn new skills and make new friends because, apart from an annual fee of 12, there is nothing else to pay; unless you are in, say the art group, and need to buy materials."

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Within East Sussex UA3 currently has approximately 3,000 members and Anne describes the organisation as a "self-help group".

What is so unique about the UA3 organisation is that members within the group, who have certain skills, teach those skills to other members, or as Anne said: "Between us we learn from each other - those who know teach, and those who don't find out."

Currently there are thirty different groups available for people to join within the Bexhill area, which include music, history, poetry, languages, gardening, bridge, and a readers group.

Anne explained that the classes are mainly held at members homes, and there is no pressure to perform, as there are no exams to take, no qualifications are needed and none are given; people learn at their own pace while enjoying a lively social life.

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She said: "The important thing about UA3 is that people make friends. Our social side includes guest speakers at our monthly meetings, which are held at St Peter's community centre in the Old Town, and lunch clubs."

The group welcomes new members and for further information call the membership secretary Stella Underhill on (01424) 433034 or visit the web-site at