Testimonials from Members in July 2021

Please see what our current members have recently said about the life benefits they have experienced as a result of joining the Plymouth u3a.

I would recommend u3a to any retired person who would like to learn and experience new things or resume learning in a friendly environment.
DM

Our reason for joining u3a was to widen our social circle by joining in a range of activities that we enjoy. This was particularly useful in helping to adjust from full time work to retirement, giving some structure to the week. Now, coming out of lockdown we are pursuing our individual activities within a safe environment.
JD

I joined the U3A in about 2008 and at that time only came to the monthly meetings. I had retired some time since. However, after my husband died in 2010, I joined one or two interest groups and It has been invaluable in providing the social interaction and making new friends. I have found my ‘new’ friends so important especially since there have been no group meetings over the last 18 months or so. I’m sure that this has had a detrimental effect on a number of people, especially those living by themselves.
OC

I joined the U3A recently after moving to Plymouth two days before lockdown as it was a very successful organisation in London where I lived previously.  I’ve had a warm welcome from the Plymouth division and I can’t wait to meet up with members when events re-start in September. Meanwhile, I have joined in some zoom meetings which were really most interesting, and there is another one today.
EM

For the U3A country dancing! For the first time in 30 years of being married, my husband danced with me because he was actually enjoying dancing. Previously it was only at my insistence, and a quick shuffle in the dark.
CO

Since becoming a member of the u3a I have enjoyed being involved with several group activities and as a result made lots of new friends. The monthly meetings are always both interesting and entertaining and again provide an opportunity to say hello to people who I have met previously. I would advise anyone to definitely give it a try, you’ll never look back!!
ML

I am very happy that I joined the Plymouth U3A nearly five years ago. I’ve enjoying meeting new people as well meeting old friends at the monthly meetings. I have found the monthly talks interesting & informative. Having joined the Art Appreciation Group I’ve made new friends with similar interests & have greatly enjoyed the summer outings to Art galleries as well as the monthly Art talks.
MW

I believe it is important to maintain an active lifestyle both physical, social and mental after retirement, and have found these aspects to be available through my membership of the u3a. The opportunity to act as a leader with expertise to share with others helps to broaden the number of subjects offered to members, gives one a sense of purpose which is so important at this stage of my life.
MS

My husband died 24 years ago. I had retired to look after him and then there was nothing. Luckily, I had heard from retired friends about a new organisation, the u3a.  I joined and it was a life saver for me. Now, years later, I thank heaven that I had the good fortune to join the U3A. I have enjoyed meeting people, found new interests, learned so much and it has made life worthwhile. Friends that I made then are still in my life and over time we have helped one another in many ways.
There are many groups on offer, often led by people who are willing to share knowledge they have gained during their working lives.  Often hobbies can now be given more time and you can meet with others who share the same interests. If you have a particular interest – see if there is a group that covers it.  If not, others are very likely to share your thoughts so ask around and set up another group.
SC

I joined the U3A after I was widowed in order to meet other people and make new friends.
I have loved the monthly talks and also being able to help with the membership renewals
Everyone is so friendly, and I have really missed this interaction during the past 18 months of lockdown.
KB

The best thing I did when returning home to Plymouth after more than 20 years working as an expat, was to join the Plymouth U3A.  A glance at the Website lists the numerous activities available.  There is something for everyone: Ancient History, Walking Groups to suit all abilities, to World Religion and Customs, with much more in between to explore with new friends. The Shared Learning Group opened the door of research for me, gaining experience in public speaking, which led to presenting talks at home and abroad. I haven’t looked back since and it is all thanks to the U3A
BT

My U3A group has continued during lockdown on zoom.  We have managed pretty well although one member has not been able to access it.  However, this particular member lives near me, and we have been walking together.  I tell her about the zoom meetings, thus keeping her in touch.  It is lovely to have made a new friend.
GB

I was recovering from a stroke just before lockdown and thanks to the IT tech guy who offered IT support to current members, he was able to install Zoom on my tablet enabling me to contact other current members by zoom thereby keeping in touch with people which saved my sanity during the long period of lockdown, and this has helped me so much.
LS

When I joined Plymouth U3A some years back, I had just retired after a very busy working life and was relatively new to Plymouth. I was looking for chance to develop and expand my interests, and also for stimulus. Although the monthly meetings that are open to the full membership, were a bit daunting at first, I soon found a couple of groups to try out, which had ongoing programmes and proved very welcoming. Through these, I met like-minded people who alerted me to events and activities in the area. I also felt encouraged to start a small group, with support from the U3A Committee, which has been able to meet outdoors through much of the past year.
In short, over time, my life has been greatly enriched through my membership.
JS

I joined the U3A 5 and a half years ago when I moved to Plymouth from the East Midlands. Apart from family, I didn’t know anyone so thought this would be a good way of meeting new people and joining interest groups. It proved to be a good decision as through the groups I joined I have made new friends and visited parts of Devon and Cornwall in good company, which I would not have done had I not become a member.
LG

In 2008 I saw an article in the ‘Herald’ inviting people to a U3A (University of the Third Age) open meeting at the ABC Cinema to hear a talk by someone from the BBC Natural History Unit.  It was very interesting, and the warm welcome encouraged me to join the U3A.  Since that time, I have learnt many things at the monthly meetings about subjects previously unknown to me and particularly enjoy being part of the friendly ‘Looking at Art’ group.
The U3A is for everyone, not just for those who have had the benefit of the University education.
FM

Having relocated back to the UK in March 2020, after a long period living overseas, I was encouraged by friends to join the U3A as a way to meet new people and integrate into the community. Although I was immediately faced with the lockdown scenario, my request to join was efficiently processed and I was quickly supplied with all the relevant information to begin my U3A experience. The U3A has continued to maintain contact throughout, and it was reassuring to know that this platform continued to unite people during this difficult time.
NL

I joined U3A a few years ago and was pleased that I did, because I met new people and was able to take part in activities I enjoy.
Country dancing being the main one which I hope will restart soon also my interest in history, maritime and military was re-kindled.
LE

I am so glad I joined the U3A, on recommendation from friends in other areas. It provides such a variety of interests to follow, and I have gained so many good friends which is a real bonus! Since joining the U3A, I’ve got to know, and enjoy the company of, people from different walks of life.
–  I am continually gaining knowledge of Plymouth and its surroundings through various U3A activities.
–  Playing board games with U3A members reminds me of the good old days when family members got together to do the same.
–  Sometimes, when I’m feeling a bit low, and don’t feel I want to attend a U3A activity, I force myself to go along because I know only too well that I shall return home uplifted.
EB

Retirement and moving to a new area, like many life-changing situations combines challenges with delights. For me, the question of how to combine an existing interest in art with companionship, was well met by joining the u3a group – Looking at Art. I was warmly welcomed into a group with new and established members, and found that the programme of monthly meetings, discussions and visits, the inclusion of all members, and the atmosphere of friendship and support just what I was needing and came to value.
Like all groups during Lockdown our group leader kept us together and informed with emails and phone calls.
Groups have not fallen apart, however some may just be just resting. With the resumption of face-to-face meetings and new programmes this is an ideal time for anyone to look at the extensive u3a list of groups and to get back to the joy of learning along with friends.
LT

Sometimes when the house gets a little too quiet and you no longer have the structure and purpose of dashing out to work, companionship of colleagues or looking after children, you might think –
• Well is that it then?
• What do I do next?
And the answer is that you realise that you now have lots of time to try new things that you have always wanted to do – and some you you hadn’t even thought of!
Being a member of any u3a gives you the opportunity to spend time with friendly people of a similar age and range of life experiences as yourself. You can join an interest group with no previous knowledge, skills or experience and just try something new, with lots of laughs along the way. You arrive at a group meeting for the first time knowing no one except the leader that you spoke to or emailed, but leave with the beginnings of a new group of friends.
Joining Plymouth u3a means that you have a choice of over 70 groups ranging from Active Outdoor Pursuits, through History, Crafts, Languages, Science and many more. You can join as many groups as you like or are able to fit in your newly busy schedule. At only £16 membership for a whole year, it is the cheapest hobby that I know!
AS

The U3A has given me a new lease of life. After the death of my wife loneliness set in big time and I felt that my life was over. Then I was introduced to the U3A where I met people of similar ages and circumstances. I Discovered a variety of new interests through them and am delighted that we are again able to meet in person.
A big thank you U3A.

The u3a has brought me into contact with interesting people who I would never have met ordinarily. This has allowed me to renew an interest in a subject that I had pursued when I was younger. I hadn’t realised how diverse a range of subjects and opportunities there were on offer in order to make new friends.
AS

Having retired in my late 70s I turned initially to volunteering for another rorganisation. This ultimately proved a little too arduous an activity but gave me the inspiration to look for alternatives.  My neighbour (also retired) suggested Plymouth u3a and while browsing a link to the u3a and an all things bread group popped up. I joined, learned a lot, and socialised. The experience was so good I volunteered as an officer on the executive committee for the Plymouth u3a.  I continue to learn live and laugh with Plymouth u3a and have also joined a gardening group.
AS

I joined the U3A quite recently after moving to Plymouth two days before lockdown as it was a very successful organisation in London where I lived previously.  I’ve had a warm welcome from the Plymouth division, and I can’t wait to meet up with members when events re-start in September. Meanwhile, I have joined in some zoom meetings which were really most interesting, and there is another one today.
AH

I had never heard of the organisation but when I was a volunteer for another organisation, a colleague told me about the U3A & said if I was interested to go along to the monthly meeting, held on the second Monday of the month. Since then I have never looked back! I retired in 2009 & was looking for something to occupy myself, so I joined several groups, including: Spanish, Medieval History, Singing for fun, Classic Films, Meditation, Myths & Legends. I have met some lovely people & made friends along the way & had some really good laughs, so I would recommend joining Plymouth U3A to anyone who likes to keep busy whilst having lots of fun.
MC

After retirement, losing my work mates left a bit of a hole in my life and one friend who had retired a few months before me invited me to join him at Plymouth U3a monthly meeting. I was made very welcome and introduced to a new group of friends and interesting and varied group activities. I became a member and hopefully will continue to be for the foreseeable future.
KH

During lockdown, my French and Spanish groups moved to meeting online. We had to do without our usual coffee and biscuits, but we probably learnt a lot more about the language and culture. And it was great to have plenty of social contact all through lockdown.
SN

Joining your local U3A is a great way to utilise all the skills gained during your work life and to benefit from those similar skills provided by others.
Retirement is just the beginning of a time to enjoy so many new hobbies/activities that a work life has prevented, time to please yourself instead of an employer.
Where else could you learn so many new things and make so many friends.
SR

I absolutely love U3A. I became a member after I retired from work and joined groups which were relative to my interests. I have made good friends and met loads of lovely likeminded people. It has, without doubt inspired me and given me great pleasure over the years. Also keeps my mind active.
RS

I had heard of U3A before I joined but was not really aware of what it did in any great detail.  I recall that I ended up on the Plymouth U3A website almost by accident. I was very surprised at how many activities/courses there were.  I enjoy photography, I speak passable French and I am learning German. Lo and behold there were three groups for me straight away!
I joined online immediately.  It is ironic, but it is likely that I would not have discovered U3A if it hadn’t been for lockdown as my diary is usually very busy.
Since joining I have attended some of the monthly Zoom meetings and I have really enjoyed the speakers. I have attended a photography group on Zoom.  Finally, the other day I went with them to Antony House. It was very good to meet members face to face and I was made very welcome. The photos pushed me to use my photography software as well.
I am very much looking forward to going to meeting people face to face and will probably have a go at some of the other groups on offer – just because I can. I think the subscription is very good value for money and I have encouraged some of my other friends to have a look at what is on offer.
GY

Just like the Olympics life is all about teamwork. Join the u3a to find new interests with likeminded new friends. I can’t guarantee a Gold medal but you will find plenty of groups to choose from. Who knows what new skills you could discover?
MN

I started working at the tender age of 15 years old and was very fortunate in being able to work through until the less than tender age of 68!   I had put a little thought into what I might like to do with all the time that I found was now available to me and did start to fill the hours with ‘stuff’.  However, I found myself looking for something else – something that I had perhaps started during my school days, but didn’t feature in my retirement, and I had spent a lot of my younger years in Amateur Operatic & Dramatic productions which were now well in my past.   Having attended one of the U3A introductory meetings I was amazed at the extent of topics and subjects which were available to me.  So, I signed up two classes immediately with options for more in the future and found myself learning once more.  Such opportunities for us, and a reminder that we are all still capable of being educated even after our school days are long behind us
JN

I originally joined the U3A following a personal disruption in my life. I was looking for something that would distract me from my problems & would also get me involved in a long-time passion of mine, i.e. History.
I initially joined the Medieval History Group for a short time but found the names & dates totally confusing – my fault, not the subjects !!!
Maritime History was an interest of mine and I subsequently joined that group, of which I am still a member.
I later became one of the founding members of the Military History Group which Tom King set up.
One of the biggest benefits for me for me was that through the U3A I became aware of the Dockyard Museum. As a result, I became (and still am) part of the Research Team at the Museum. If it had not been for the U3A I would never have even been aware of the existence of the Museum.
A further positive is that it gave me the confidence to do a presentation to both groups. I also have a second talk prepared for a future date.
PM

I joined Plymouth U3A about 10 years ago, after retiring from a demanding job as a Social Worker. I was used to being busy, which together with an aversion to housework, led me to look for ways of staying occupied and stimulated. Loving walking and history, I joined the Man’s Use of Dartmoor group and am still a member. Country Dancing, Wildlife and Looking at Art are the other groups I benefit from. There is so much to choose from!
LW

The U3A covers many subjects, one which I participated in not long ago which included Green Bowling – I’d never played the sport before, but I am now hooked. Thank you.
TT

I joined the u3a just before our first lock down. Due to being in isolation the group interaction was fantastic. I really enjoyed the quiz session.
Notifications and updates kept me informed about COVID as well as general chit chat about the group. With living alone and no family nearby, the group was a godsend.  I am not very computer savvy although I tried, could not get along with the zoom meeting (with people helping me). I know I am lucky to have internet access as some members do not have this facility, but u3a have been a life-line for me with lots of interesting talks via Zoom
I look forward to meeting all members again there are so many interesting groups to join and one will always be received by warm and friendly faces.
JJ

On my retirement, I joined the u3a to keep myself active and make new friends and it gave me a life full of activity, interests, and new friends.    The range of different groups is immense, and you can enjoy as many or as few as you like giving you the chance to follow existing interests, explore new ideas or simply join other people for a coffee and chat.   Being inactive or lonely is not an option!
AS

I have always had an interest in History, with an increasing bent towards medieval times. So the existence of a Medieval History Group within u3a has provided a further base from which to learn. It is especially gratifying that our Group Leader has kept us kept us going through the pandemic with his regular posts. Instead of a link going cold, we’ve enjoyed the regular contact immensely.
RT

The first group I joined as a U3A member was the craft group. I love anything that is handmade and love to learn new crafts and old crafts. The second group was knit and natter, and again anything new that I could learn I was delighted with. You meet new friends, look forward to the groups & catch up with people and also helping people that want to learn new skills (and vice versa).
SK

I have joined the U3A because I needed to find new ways of meeting and interacting with likeminded people. To tread new paths and stay well, mentally and physically. Looking forward to the adventure/journey!
KA

I was lucky, my employer ran retirement courses for employees and the u3a was one of the organisations discussed. I was immediately interested in the idea of meeting likeminded people and joining groups that were of interest to me. Finding new friends was easy and gradually I started to join learning groups: I have never looked back – the u3a helps me to lead a busy and fulfilling life.
PH

The U3A allows you to follow up and review any hobby or interest that you may have whilst mixing with other people of a similar mindset and age group, therefore creating a community.  Also, before lockdown, there were regular meetings and interesting talks on a variety of subjects.
SO

As you know I am new to Plymouth. I have now met eight people that I certainly would not have been able to do if it were not for the u3a.
NH   

During the years my wife had Alzheimers I joined a U3A group as I was interested in the subject. To my surprise there were few other men and I was a bit apprehensive. I need not have been: everyone was friendly and the talks interesting.
It proved a welcome diversion from my usual restricted domestic routine.
CM

I joined Plymouth U3A after my husband died, I didn’t know many people as I had been looking after him for ten years. U3A was an enormous comfort because I met lots of nice people and there are so many different things to do.
SD

I was told by a friend about the U3A so I decided to join that was 10 years ago and I am so pleased I did as everyone is so friendly.
I enjoy the Monthly Meetings and there are so many groups and Hobbies you can attend if you wish too.
I would recommend The U3A to all, and my daughter hopes to join next year when she is 55yrs.
AG

The key element of being a member of the U3A is the opportunity to meet and interact with people who are interesting, caring, young at heart (like me!).  Participation in groups is worthwhile, rewarding and fun.  The groups are run by experts in their particular field, giving them the chance to pass on a lifetime of experience and knowledge, for members who wish to learn new things.
GL

Having lived in Yorkshire all my life, after my retirement my husband and I decided to move to Plymouth.  We knew no-one here, so decided to join the U3A.  Thanks to this, we now know many people, all in our own age group, and all belonging to mutual-interest-groups, which have friendly, pleasant atmospheres.  We are looking forward to meeting up in person again and would like to thank everyone who has been who has been setting up Zoom meetings.
JC

Since I joined U3A I have a new circle of friends from the various groups that I joined. I have learned a lot about life in general and fun in particular and made lasting friendships.   I would encourage anyone to come along to our monthly meetings for a talk by diverse people and perhaps consider joining one of the many groups.   The general meeting is on the second Monday of the month at the Duke of Cornwall, so come and meet us you will be surprised and delighted –  I know that I was.
JT

At long last U3A is now open for business. Well, I can’t wait to see and meet up again with all my old – oops! – youngish friends again. As for possible new members reading this – stop dithering and join. It’ll be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made. You won’t regret it.
HD

I am retiring in two years and getting myself ready. I now work four days a week. I am off on a Thursday and was encouraged to join the long walking group. Absolutely fabulous, getting to see my local area walk with friendly people.  Feel part of the group and looking forward to expanding my activities.
Will be looking at learning a language and finding a hobby with U3A.
JC

I joined the U3A a couple of years ago at the request of a friend. I loved the General Meetings with the interesting speakers and diversity of subjects. As you know, during lockdown, your quizzes were a godsend and with that in mind, I appreciate that we were not abandoned at a time when we needed stimulus! I can’t walk far but will, when allowed, still attend the meetings. The different groups on offer must be an added joy for lots of people. Friendships blossom in these groups at a time when we most need it. Thank you to all the volunteers and behind scene workers that make this possible.
WC

We have found the U3A an amazing source of social contact as well as providing groups which cover pretty well every hobby you can think of and some others as well. And administratively, it is very well run. The monthly talks are very interesting and spark a lot of social contact as well. U3A is a primary source of activity for the retired. Thankyou and all the committee for running such a good organisation.
J&A M

My husband and I joined because a friend told us about the talks, from that my husband came across someone he worked with years ago so we joined the intermediate walks group and from there the wine group 4 of which I am now group leader with my husband’s help on technical things
I think the only difference is that we both have totally different interests and friends, so this is something we can do together, and from this we have made some new friends.
There are many groups people can join depending on their interest.
JP

I joined u3a several years ago now, encouraged by my sister. I belong to the Looking at Art group and the Music group which I enjoy very much. It’s a brilliant organization, bringing people together who otherwise might not have anything in their lives to look forward to every month.
LW

Since retiring from teaching in Higher Education and also moving from London to Plymouth, I have found the u3a to be an absolute blessing to my life here. Its ‘bottom-up’ rather than ‘top-down’ approach is enormously empowering. There is room for large groups and small. If there isn’t a topic covered already that you are particularly interested in, then you can initiate your own group. I’ve had an enormous amount of fun out of the u3a over the years – just as much or just as little as I want – tailored to my own needs. So thank you U3A.
SG

Being new in town, joining U3A opened up a world of interests and gave me a place to go and meet friendly people.
TC

Joining the U3A has given a sense of structure to my life, and introduced me to a great number of new friends.
JW

I have been a member of the u3a for a few years and I would recommend anyone not yet a member to join soon, and the membership annual fee is worth every penny. There are many interesting people one can meet, making new friends and joining the groups that meet regularly to participate in chosen activities. The u3a members have a general meeting once a month at a hotel but also every group has their own meetings in either a hired room or in each other’s houses (voluntary of course). In the past when I was in better health, I did the walks followed by a meal out at a pub or meet at a coffee cafe. There are all kinds of educational and entertainment activities to indulge in. Why not come along? You would be most welcome.
VN

My daughter and family live in Plymouth and I had had many enjoyable holidays here so when I retired, I thought it sensible to move here and join an organisation to meet new people.  My interests were walking, gardening and indoor games such as cards etc.  I live in a flat so no gardening but visiting gardens and Stately Homes covered that interest.  A Canasta group and other games kept my brain working.
I have met many likeminded people and found new friends thanks to the u3a.
JP

I became a member of the U3A to meet and correspond with people like me who are interested in writing and poetry. I have also just joined the gardening group.
BD

Joining the U3A 10 years ago has ensured I have a continuation of activities that is keeping my mind Active. It has also given me the opportunity to make many friends, as well as experiencing many new groups, which has been stimulating.
You are never too old to learn, and I have had many funny experiences, which has given me happy memories. The U3A is all good fun and not all serious as some people might think.
Plymouth U3A has been very active throughout the lockdown, with many groups meeting on zoom which was intuitive of our Group Leaders, who are all keen to ensure a very important service to our members has continued.
There is an exceptional Committee comprising of new and old members which is a good mix, and our chairman is very thorough and forward thinking.
Plymouth U3A is here to stay with the quality of activities and stimulating members, which we are lucky to have.
MH