Welcome to the website of HGS U3A, the University of the Third Age serving Hampstead Garden Suburb and adjoining areas. The purpose of the U3A, which is run by dedicated volunteers, is for retired and semi-retired people to come together and learn together, not for qualifications, but for its own reward—the sheer joy of discovery. It is a non-religious and non-political organization based on principles of self-help learning and mutual aid.

There are no restrictions on age or range of interests. The “third age” is defined as “no longer in full-time employment”.  Many interest groups meet in members’ homes, others are outdoor pursuits or are held in hired venues.

HGS U3A Annual General Meeting

Our first AGM will be held at Alyth on Tuesday 17 July. Please save the date. See the Meetings & Events page for details.

What our Members Like about HGS U3A*

  • “I’m doing things that I was too embarrassed to do before”
  • “Learning and social development”
  • “Expert teaching, caring and friendly leader”
  • “Camaraderie”
  • “Mentally challenging and meeting like-minded people”
  • “Professionally run. Charming and interesting people”
  • “Thoroughly enriching — am so pleased to have joined”
  • “Appreciate the time and effort organisers put into making the group event a success”
  • “Inspiration and commitment from leader”

* Taken from a recent Member Survey

New Privacy and Data Protection Policies

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect on 25 May 2018.  HGS U3A has adopted Privacy and Data Protection policies using guidelines recommended by the Third Age Trust. You can inspect the policies at any time by following the links at the bottom of every page of this website.

Call us

If you would like to talk to someone about our U3A please call  07734 252 045.  If it is not answered when you call, you can leave a message – please give your full name and a contact number.  We aim to respond within a day or two.

Join Us

From 1 March, you can join HGS U3A for the reduced price of £20.00 per person. This covers until 31 August 2018. Thereafter, subscriptions will run annually from September to August (the annual fee will be announced later). Much of the HGS U3A programme runs throughout the year without breaks (although individual groups are free to set their own schedules). There is no reduction for members of other U3As.

We can accept payment by cheque or BACS. An application form must be submitted by each member. Your Membership Card will be sent on receipt of your application form with cheque, or confirmation by bank of BACS payment and receipt of application form.

Membership application form (Click the link to load the form into your browser, fill it in online, and use the browser menu to print it out. Alternatively, right-click the link, and select Save As from your browser’s context menu. You can then print it out, and fill it in with a pen. If possible, please use two-sided printing rather than printing on two separate pages.)

Payment by cheque

Make out the cheque (£20.00 per member) to HGSU3A, and send it with your application form to the address shown on the form. Please write your name, address and phone number on the back of the cheque.

Payment by BACS

For security reasons, we have removed our bank details from the website. If you wish to pay by BACS, please call 07734 252 045 for details of how to pay.

New Courses Added

Our range of interest groups/courses continues to expand. To join any of these groups, you must be a paid-up member of HGS U3A. The latest additions include:

Joining a Group

You can join a group by contacting the Group Leader using your Members’ Handbook or you can sign up using the form on the Contact page, selecting “Application to join group(s)” from the Subject drop-down menu.  You will then be contacted by the Group Leader.  If there is a waiting list for a group you can still register your interest as a parallel or new group may be formed.


Events held at Alyth, Fellowship House, Golders Green Library, and the Free Church Hall are accessible to people with limited mobility and wheelchair users. However, many groups meet in leaders’ homes. If you have mobility, vision, hearing, or other accessibility issues, please check first with the group leader to see if the venue is suitable.

Members who cannot manage to participate in their chosen activities without help, may bring a companion/carer with them, who for the time that they are in attendance, will be covered by the liability insurance provided by The Third Age Trust. The only exception to this is a professionally employed carer who would have to be covered by an individual liability policy.

Leading a Group

If you would like to volunteer to run an interest group, please fill in the group leader application form.

Members on Their Own

On Your Own? Then MOTO is for you. HGS U3A has created a special group for members on their own (MOTO). If you live on your own, and would like to socialize with other HGS U3A members in a similar situation, please fill in the brief form on the Meetings and Events page.

Mislaid Your Handbook?

If you have mislaid your HGS U3A Members’ Handbook, use the following form to request a digital copy (1.5MB PDF file):

The Principles of the U3A Movement

The U3A movement is non-religious and non-political and has three main principles:

The Third Age Principle

  • Membership of a U3A is open to all in their third age, which is defined not by a particular age but by a period in life in which full time employment has ceased.
  • Members promote the values of lifelong learning and the positive attributes of belonging to a U3A.
  • Members should do all they can to ensure that people wanting to join a U3A can do so.

The Self-help Learning Principle

  • Members form interest groups covering as wide a range of topics and activities as they desire; by the members, for the members.
  • No qualifications are sought or offered. Learning is for its own sake, with enjoyment being the prime motive, not qualifications or awards.
  • There is no distinction between the learners and the teachers; they are all U3A members.

The Mutual Aid Principle

  • Each U3A is a mutual aid organisation, operationally independent but a member of The Third Age Trust, which requires adherence to the guiding principles of the U3A movement.
  • No payments are made to members for services rendered to any U3A.
  • Each U3A is self-funded with membership subscriptions and costs kept as low as possible.
  • Outside financial assistance should only be sought if it does not imperil the integrity of the U3A movement.