More time to learn

Gill Fletcher from Enfield U3A invites locals to get involved with the group

Enfield U3A members on a walk along the Thames Path in 2019
Enfield U3A members on a walk along the Thames Path in 2019

The first national University of the Third Age (U3A) day is being held on Wednesday 2nd June and we’re inviting Enfield residents to meet us to find out more about what we do.

We will have an information stall in Palace Gardens Shopping Centre on the day to help introduce local people to U3A.

U3A is a national movement which supports older people in their ‘third age’ to continue their learning and interests in an informal setting. Research has shown the benefits to older people of keeping mentally, physically and socially active in terms of confidence, combatting loneliness, learning new skills and, perhaps most importantly, feeling valued and continuing to enjoy life.

Enfield U3A members join up to continue hobbies and interests, or take up new ones, as they have more time after retiring from full-time work.

Over this last year during the pandemic, people have been learning new skills they perhaps didn’t plan for. When lockdown happened, the U3A organisation initially had to suspend all its usual group activities. Groups kept in touch by phone but face-to-face meetings were out of the question. Gradually, however, over the year more and more activities have moved online and members have got to grips with new technology.

Book clubs, history and language groups all took to the technology relatively smoothly. The museums and art galleries group took the opportunity to tour museums around the world rather than staying in London. As theatres began offering virtual performances, fringe theatre group members logged on. Groups unable to meet in person moved to online coffee mornings. Crafts, Scrabble and outings have had to wait a bit longer but will be starting up again as restrictions lift.

The regular monthly meetings are still held online using Zoom but it is hoped the normal in-person meetings at St Paul’s Centre in Enfield Town will be back in the summer.

Sandra, an Enfield U3A member, explains how the group has helped her. She said: “Some years ago after my husband died and I had given up my business I suddenly had too much time on my hands.

“A friend took me to a U3A meeting and my life changed. All the wonderful events and activities took me out of depression and gave me a reason to get up in the mornings.

“Thank you U3A. May you continue to grow and grow.”

To find out more:
Call 07925 123 763
Visit enfieldu3a.org.uk