Penmaenmawr and District u3a


What is the u3a?

u3a is a national organisation, with a thousand societies and nearly half a million individual members.  It began life as the University of the Third Age.  Penmaenmawr was one of the first societies.

It is a charity in its own right, and everyone, including the local committee and Group Leaders is a volunteer.

About the third age trust

The Third Age Trust is the national representative body for u3as in the UK. It is both a limited company and a registered charity. It underpins the work of local u3as by providing educational and administrative support to their management committees and to individual members and assists in the development of new u3as across the UK. It is managed by a National Executive Committee which consists of a Chairman, 4 other Officers and 13 representatives from designated areas in the UK. The Third Age Trust is funded mainly by annual subscriptions paid by member u3as on a per capita basis, with the occasional grant for specific projects. It has 3 full time and 5 part time staff and is located in Bromley.

Relationship between u3as and the third age trust

u3as are independently managed charitable associations with their own constitutions. Membership of The Third Age Trust is a requirement in order to use the u3a name and logo both of which are protected but once registered, providing the aims and guiding principles of the organisation are adhered to, local u3as are self-governing.

A u3a is a university in the original sense of the word: a collective of people who wish to learn and it is aimed particularly at older people. No qualifications are required and it has members rather than students. Every u3a is independent and arranges its own study programme but this may include talks, interest groups, guided visits and study days. In u3a groups, learning is a pleasure, not a chore and members decide what they want to learn and the pace they want to go at. There is no accreditation or validation and there are no assessments or qualifications to be gained.