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About Us

We belong to the Third Age Trust and the NW Regional U3A organisation whose main purpose is to encourage lifelong learning and social contact for those no longer in full time gainful employment.

Any person from any walk of life is welcome to join - no qualifications are needed, and none are awarded, as we are not an academic institution. Our emphasis is on learning for pleasure. Don't be deterred - there are no exams or qualifications.

There is a modest annual membership fee and a small fee payable for each meeting that is attended. Together these cover the costs of running the organisation, including fees for hiring meeting locations.

If you would like to see what the U3A has to offer, simply come along to one of our General meetings (alternate Wednesdays) and introduce yourself as a visitor. There is a cover charge of £3 which includes coffee or tea. Our annual membership is £7 but you will not be expected to join immediately.

Our members can also take part in a range of interest groups. We can introduce you to any of the group leaders at one of our general meetings.

Our base is Whitehaven Cumbria, UK, just outside the Lake District National Park. Most activities take place in various locations in the town or surrounding villages.

We are a registered charity (No 1079934).

The University of the Third Age began in France. In 1972 in Toulouse, a successful summer school for retired people prefaced the very first Université du Troisième Age. This was quickly followed by programmes in other towns close to Toulouse and the notion spread rapidly, not only in France. Such was the take-up of the idea in other countries that an international body known as the International Association of Universitiés of the Third Age (AIUTA) was established as early as 1980.