AGM 2017: Live streaming


We are looking forward to welcoming many of you to the conference, and, for the first time, to give those who are unable to attend the chance to watch the AGM live on the internet. This live streaming will enable all you who wish to hear and see what is happening at the AGM, and to listen to the morning presentation before and the constitutional discussion after.

To access the AGM live stream, visit on 31st August. The whole day will be broadcast so tune in from around 9am to catch the morning speaker, Jo Coleman. The full programme is available at

This link is the first time we have tried to engage with members in this way, and we hope once we have learned the lessons of what works well and what needs to improve, to offer more accessibility to members in this way.

We are now settled into Lant Street, and have had our first visitor, and hope to see many more of you if you are visiting London.


The University of The Third Age (U3A) is a registered charity that exists under The Third Age Trust, to promote the well-being of older people who are retired or no longer in full-time paid employment.

Originally founded in Toulouse, France in 1972 as the Université du Troiseme Age, under the leadership of Pierre Vellas, U3A activities have spread far and wide and branches are now to be found throughout the world. Here in Carrick, where our membership of U3A Carrick is around 900 members, and still growing, we take our name from the nearby Carrick Roads, a large inland river estuary and natural harbour in Cornwall, between Falmouth and St Mawes.

The Aims of the Third Age Trust:

1. To encourageand enable older people no longer in full-time paid employment to help each other to share their knowledge, skills, interests and experience.

2. To demonstrate the benefits and enjoyment to be gained and the new horizons to be discovered in learning throughout life.

3. To celebrate the capabilities and potential of older people and their value to society.

4. To make Universities of the Third Age (U3As) accessible to all older people.

5. To encourage the establishment of U3As in every part of the country where conditions are suitable and to support and collaborate with them.

The Objectives of the Third Age Trust are to:

1. Provide national support to the Universities of the Third Age in the UK.

2. Provide support and advice to potential new member U3As and seek to start new groups in areas where the U3A movement is under-represented.

3. Raise the profile of the movement both nationally and internationally.

Third Age Trust on the web:

National Office have re-designed their National U3A website with a much expanded Members' Section. Please consider signing up and registering yourself onto this amazing new members' site, which is only available to registered members.

It's easy and totally free, but opens up a wide range of features available only after you have established a log-on and password for your name! Click on this link to open up a demonstration front page for their new site and check out the various offerings here!

Resource Centre:

Whilst you are logged into the Members' section, a further link allows Group Leaders to sign up to the U3A Resource Centre, with its extensive catalogue of materials, available on loan to support group activities. They have an online catalogue which may be consulted, once you are registered, from which items may be selected and reserved.

Sue Radford runs this very efficient and helful at the Third Age Trust offices in Bromley, Kent. They hold an extensive list of DVDs, CDs, videos and slides that may be lent out to Group Leaders in individual U3As. These include such subjects as Philosophy, History, Science, Gardening and Music. U3A Carrick has used these resouces to good effect over past months. Contact Sue to request a list from the Third Age Trust. Materials arrive by post and may be used for three weeks. The only expense is the cost of return postage.

Click here to find out more about the Members' Pages on the Third Age Trust web-site:

Online access via or by telephone to: (020) 8315 0199. If Group Leaders want to use this service and wish to know more about it, contact Tony Herring on (01872) 273678 who has wide experience of the facilities available!


Goodbye to the NEC - Nine Years' Service from Ian Searle:
I joined U3A Carrick in 1993. Eleven years later I was first co-opted into and then elected to various posts within the Third Age Trust. I am about to stand down at last from the NEC after nine years as a trustee. A few words seem appropriate.
In the past nine years I have been involved nationally with the work of several sub-committees. Apart from chairing the Standing Committee for Education I was involved with Finance, Staffing and several other activities subsumed by these. I spent hours travelling to speak to groups, large and small throughout the UK. As Vice Chairman and later as Chairman I had the privilege of meeting some extremely interesting and intelligent people both in the U3A movement and outside it. I remember many occasions; four days in Hong Kong to address a large conference on Later Life Learning, convened by the U3As there; on one occasion the Trust held its Conference on board a ship, cruising to France and the Scilly Isles, and I gave three presentations in two days. I remember chairing the last Conference in Nottingham, chatting to Eric Midwinter, John Bercow, Estelle Morris, professors galore in a range of disciplines from nuclear science to gerontology to medicine; travels round Northern Ireland where I gave a presentation on the Cornish Ordinalia (medieval mystery plays), a wonderful conference in Edinburgh, summer schools and other conferences in Cirencester, regional meetings all over the country, and a number of meetings, mostly in Westminster, of eminent politicians and NGOs to discuss policy matters for older people. I have had a very full life over the past nine years and made many contacts which will remain active by telephone and email for years to come.
Now what? Well for a start I shall have many fewer occasions to spend five hours on the train from Redruth to Paddington followed by a night in a Travelodge room. I shall no longer be closely involved in the two-monthly NEC meetings in London. I won't have to study several pages of a spreadsheet detailing how the Trust spends the more than £1.5 million every year, nor assist with the annual chore of preparing an Annual Report for both the Charity Commission and Companies House. Perhaps I shall no longer have to field indignant emails and letters from U3A members who protest about the actions of the Trust or of one another. I certainly don't want to return to any of the offices I have held over the past twenty years.
I have chosen to offer my services for the next year for one purpose only but I have also been asked to take on one other assignment which I cannot really refuse. That obligatory work is an update of 'Time to Learn', the book I was very much involved in writing for the Trust some five years ago. It outlines the way non-formal learning is carried out by U3As in the UK. We have so far printed and distributed some five thousand copies and the National Office is still asked for more. Time for a new edition, which three of the original writers, one of whom is me, will be working on in the next few months. The original edition was very well received by many agencies outside the U3A itself and it is probably the achievement I am most proud of.
I have volunteered to continue to supervise and be closely involved in the continuation of our online courses. So far we have originated about twenty such courses in the UK and there are others in the pipeline. I negotiate with the writers, tutors and even the editor before asking our webmaster in Bromley to upload the material, advertise it, and set up the mechanism to register applicants, then organise the means of running email tuition. This year we have introduced four new titles and revived two others. Next year there are at least three more in preparation, possibly a fourth. One of them is a very ambitious and involved course called 'All In The Mind', designed by a former Associate Professor of Psychology. I am deeply involved in its online design and will indeed be monitoring it next year.
One minor point before I close; I have been disappointed over the nine years of my trusteeship that U3A Carrick has remained lukewarm in its relationship to the Trust. The committee has failed to send anyone to attend the National Conferences or AGMs. As a trustee of the Trust I have been obliged to attend, though this year will be my last. It seems a little strange that even when I was national Chairman of an organisation comprising 320 000 people, no one on the Carrick committee thought to ask me to speak about the work of the Trust apart from one talk to about twenty-five members in Truro. Such apathy towards our membership of a significant national organisation, which has strong international connections too, is decidedly odd as well as disappointing. Are we really so parochial in our interests?
Ian Searle
August, 2013

West Cornwall Neighbourhood Meeting:

Twice a year, representatives of the ten U3As in West Cornwall get together to discuss matters of common interest. On 19th February, our newly elected South West Regional Trustee, Marion Clements attended our meeting held at Richard Lander School. There were U3A delegates from Wadebridge, St. Austell, Helston, Newquay, Carrick and Lands End groups.  These meetings are chaired by Duncan Tribute, who may be contacted on (01872) 260792.




Webmaster: Angela Shields