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The University of the Third Age – join the club

PUBLISHED: 14:26 11 June 2012 | UPDATED: 21:29 20 February 2013

The University of the Third Age – join the club

The University of the Third Age – join the club

Every month, we find out about a different club or society in the county and what they get up to. In the latest instalment, we hear about the diverse range of interests offered by the Reigate and Redhill branch of The University of the Third Age

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine May 2012

Every month, we find out about a different club or society in the county and what they get up to. In the latest instalment, we hear about the diverse range of interests offered by the Reigate and Redhill branch of The University of the Third Age (U3A)

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Name: Reigate and Redhill U3A
In a nutshell: Formed 30 years ago, The University of the Third Age (U3A) is an independent, national institution with local branches throughout the country. It aims to provide opportunities for those who are retired, semi-retired or no longer in regular employment to pursue and share skills, interests, knowledge and hobbies with each other.
Person interviewed: Pat Cockett
Role: Press officer
Been a member for: Four years
Joined because A friend spoke with great enthusiasm about the range of interesting and varied activities that she enjoyed as a member of U3A. So, when I stopped working full-time, I joined my local branch.

When was the club set up?
Started in 1986, the Reigate & Redhill U3A has over 80 interest groups. They are small, friendly and undemanding groups made up of about six to ten members who meet simply to enjoy being with others who have similar interests and to learn more about their chosen subjects. Monthly meetings, open to the whole membership, are addressed by a variety of lively speakers and a range of outings and holidays are organised each year for members. Membership costs 14 a year per person or 25 for a couple.

How many members do you have?
In the Reigate and Redhill branch, we have over 650 members.

Where and when do you meet?
We have a monthly meeting at Reigate Park Church for a talk on a wide variety of subjects such as The Treasures of the Tower of London, Battersea Dogs, Lady Mary Somerset and Korea. Each interest group meets once or twice a month, usually in members homes.

Whats the best thing about being a member of the club?
The opportunity to take part in interest groups ranging from family history, French, current affairs, wine appreciation and walking to photography, bridge, patchwork, jazz appreciation and gardening, as well as many more.

Do you find being surrounded by like-minded individuals inspiring?
Members have in common a desire to learn together and share their interests. What is always a delight, and perhaps a surprise at first, is to discover how different we all are and to find out about members diverse and often amazing life experiences.

Have you got links with other clubs as well?
We have links with the 27 other U3A groups in Surrey and 844 across the country through the website.

Whats the most interesting story from the groups history?
In 2011, our Silver Jubilee Year, one hundred new members joined us.

and the funniest?
On a U3A holiday in Amsterdam, a couple were in their hotel room getting ready to go down for breakfast. The door opened and a naked man walked into their bathroom, cleaned his teeth and left, without a word, stealing a coat on the way out!

Describe your club in five words...
Welcoming, thought-provoking, inspiring and fun.

  • For more information about joining the Reigate and Redhill U3A, call the membership secretary on 01737 359009 or visit the website at:

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