Opportunity to join in U3A activities in Purbeck post lockdown

Covid restrictions have played havoc with social groups in Swanage, so now Purbeck U3A is aiming to entice new members to venture out and try something different.

The volunteer-led organisation, U3A – or University of the Third Age – is dedicated to promoting a variety of learning and leisure activities for those who are retired or semi-retired.

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U3A ukulele group
U3A

The ukulele group is very popular

Open mornings for new recruits

It’s holding two open mornings so potential new recruits can see what’s on offer.

The first is at Wareham Town Hall on Saturday 6th November 2021 and the second on Saturday 13th November 2021 at St Edward’s Catholic Hall in Swanage. Both sessions run from 10 am to 12 noon.

“People form lasting friendships”

Purbeck U3A has more than 500 members and activities range from e-bike cycling and boules to genealogy and poetry.

Meetings and events take place across Purbeck including Swanage, Harmans Cross, Corfe Castle and Wareham.

U3A sport activities
U3A

Plenty of sporting activities on offer

“We are all a bit ‘Zoomed’ out!”

Gill Calvin Thomas, chair of Purbeck U3A, said:

“It’s not only about keeping our brains active, it’s about keeping our bodies active too and people form lasting friendships through these groups.

“Covid was a hard time, especially for some people who were really quite isolated.

“We were using Zoom right through Covid and what it underlined for me was how important our groups were for wellbeing.

“But meeting on Zoom is not the same thing as meeting in person. I think we are all a bit ‘Zoomed’ out!”

Gill is a member of the Nordic walking group and is currently doing an advanced driving course.

U3A craft activities
U3A

Craft groups are popular

“I like to help people

People get involved for a variety of reasons and join one group or more. There is always a need for new group leaders too.

Jim McGivern, group leader for memoir and poetry, said:

“Older people want to leave something for their children to read and sometimes it helps resolve issues.

“Basically, I’m a group leader because I like to help people. I’m also curious.”

Patchwork squares
U3A

The patchwork and quilting group is very accomplished

“Enjoyable environment”

Chris Bonanni, group leader for gardening, said:

“When I joined the U3A I said I was interested in gardening and that had been my career.

“I started the gardening group because it was a way of keeping in touch with what I used to do and help interested people learn in an enjoyable environment.”

Gill added:

“I’d encourage anyone who’s interested to come to one of our open mornings, as it’s a great chance for people to see the variety of groups and to chat to quite a few of the group leaders and for them to explain what’s on offer.”

Further information

  • The open mornings take place 10 am to 12 noon on Saturday 6th November 2021 at Wareham Town Hall, and Saturday 13th November at St Edward’s Catholic Hall in Swanage.
  • More details are on Purbeck U3A’s website

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