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Lifelong learning expands on Tyneside

Date 16 Jan 2007

An international organisation promoting the message that you’re never to old to learn is experiencing such success on Tyneside that it is now planning to set up a second group in one area to cope with demand. The University of the Third Age already has more than 4000 members across the North East and has run a group in Whickham for the past 12 years.

U3A doesn’t offer any official qualifications but it gives members the chance to learn new skills and widen their social circle. The Whickham group currently has more than 300 members and has a waiting list of around 40 people keen to participate and they now plan to launch a second group.

U3A say that there is no pressure to study for qualifications as members learn for fun, and anyone can join in as long as they’re not in full time employment. Members can pursue their learning and leisure interests which can be anything from Tai Chi, scrabble and walking to more academic subjects such as social history and philosophy. The members themselves decide on the activities and along with learning everyone has the opportunity to teach.

Anyone wanting further details about the new Whickham group in advance of the meeting can call 0191 414 3924 or 0191 496 1238, or they can email mitzi200. U3A is also looking to set up new groups in Hartlepool and Barnard Castle in the near future and is keen to gauge interest from anyone in rural Northumberland who may also want to start a new group. Anyone interested can get in touch at wwu3a or ring 0191 496 1238 and leave a message.

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