What is this u3a thing anyway?

The Third Age: A time of creativity and fulfilment for older people.
What is the Third Age?
The Third Age refers to a period of time after the First Age of childhood dependence and the Second Age of full time employment and parental responsibility.
One in four of the population of the UK is in the Third Age.
What is u3a?
u3a stands for University of the Third Age.
u3a is a learning cooperative of older people which enable members to share many educational, creative and leisure activities.
Why are we called u3a?
A u3a is a university in the original sense of the word: a collective of people devoted to learning, with members not students, all of whom are in their Third Age
Who can join the u3a?
Anyone in the Third Age can join u3a and this includes people who are working part time. No qualifications are required and none are given. There is no lower age for membership.

Tell me about Christchurch u3a

The University of the Third Age offers a programme of educational and leisure interests for those in the 'third age', that is, when we are no longer in full time work, and when most of us need activities to keep our minds and bodies alert and active.
u3a is a worldwide organisation and celebrated its 25th Anniversary in this country in 2007.
Christchurch, formed in 1996 is just one of over 1000 u3as operating independently in the UK with almost 390,000 members nationwide.
All members of u3a are volunteers, including the Committee members and Officers, the Group Leaders, the office volunteers, and those who help at meetings and events.
"University" is used in its original sense - a place where every one can come to learn, and to enjoy the sharing of knowledge, interests and ideas.
You need no qualifications to join there are no exams and no certificates or diplomas are awarded. Our members can be both leaders and learners, following life-long interests or taking up new ones.
We meet in small groups during the daytime, weekly or fortnightly, in various venues around the area, and members can join as many groups as they wish, providing there are vacancies.
We hope that you will come and share the joy of learning with us in a social and friendly atmosphere, and if we do not cover your particular interest, we would be pleased for you to start up a new group.

As a member what are my responsibilities?

Please ONLY enrol in a group if you are able to attend regularly (allowing for illness, holiday, etc). There is no requirement to attend all sessions, but you are expected to come as often as you can.
As a matter of courtesy, please make every effort to contact the Group Leader if you are unable to attend a group meeting.
You may be asked to confirm that you want to continue attending a group after it has met twice, especially if it is over-subscribed. If you decide that the group is not for you, PLEASE SAY SO.
If you miss three consecutive sessions without advising the Group Leader, YOU MAY LOSE YOUR PLACE (which may be re-assigned to another member), especially if the group is already over-subscribed.
If you decide to withdraw from a group at any time during the year, PLEASE ADVISE the Group Leader, so that your place can be re-assigned. Please also advise the leader if you no longer wish to be on a waiting list.

So how do I enrol or re-enrol?

Enrolment Procedures
A paper copy of our current programme is available from our office at the Epicentre or in The About u3a section of our website and we trust that you will find it interesting. The same information can be seen on the Groups pages on this website. There is no limit to the number of groups you may attend - subject to spaces being available.
The procedure is to ring the Group Leader and enquire if they have spaces. If so, then you need to complete the membership forms and send to the membership secretary as soon as possible. Upon obtaining your membership no. immediately ring the Group Leader, quoting your membership no. to confirm your place.
You can join on-line or download a printable application form.
In order to comply with the requirements of The National u3a Insurance Policy it is a requirement of membership that your signature is obtained to confirm your acceptance of the waiver information set out below. You will find the declaration on page 2 of the membership form under the section: "Your responsibilities as a Member of Christchurch u3a".
Anyone participating in u3a activities does so at his/her own risk and is not covered by personal accident insurance.
Any injury to members or damage to personal property resulting from another member's omission or negligence is covered.
If classes are held in a private house, the same applies - injury or damage caused by a member's negligence or omission is covered. If injury/damage results from a defect in the property then the householder's insurance is responsible.

How do you look after my personal data?

Data Protection Christchurch u3a takes privacy of members personal information very seriously and conforms to the 8 'Principles' and 5 'Things to Consider' in the Third Age Trust advice to u3a's. Please follow this link

Why should I Gift Aid my subscription?

GIFT AID - will you please help?
If you are a taxpayer, Gift Aid is an easy way to increase your support of Christchurch u3a without costing you a penny extra, and helps us to keep the membership fee as low as possible. This makes an enormous difference to our finances and costs each of us nothing. (It has been estimated that without gift aid the membership fee would need to be about £5 per person higher.)
There are no catches - you won't pay any more tax; all you have to do is complete and return the Gift Aid Declaration form. The only personal information we pass to the Inland Revenue is your name and the fee you have paid. You can complete a declaration for more than one organisation.
If you have not previously submitted a form (or if you are unsure), and you are a taxpayer, please DO fill in and return the Gift Aid Declaration form when joining or renewing.
Jan Harris (Treasurer)
Eileen Lancaster (Mem. Secretary)

OK, I'm convinced, where is the membership form?

Membership Form
If you are a tax payer, please complete the Gift Aid part of the membership form.
You can join & pay online via Paypal (you do not need a Paypal account, use your credit/debit card) and receive your membership card by email thus avoiding all postage.
Click for an Online Membership form
If you prefer click the link below to download a PDF Form which will open in a new WEB page.
You can print the Form by clicking on the printer icon button on the left end of the PDF toolbar.
Click for a Printable Membership Form
(The PDF toolbar is either at the top of the form or floating at the centre bottom. If you can't see it, try moving the mouse to the centre bottom of the form.)