Interest groups are the life-blood of every U3A, run by volunteers, often meeting in members’ homes. Where more room or specialist equipment is needed, groups meet in local halls and facilities. Other groups get out and about, visiting cinemas, exhibitions, galleries, museums and other places of interest, or simply walking for the pleasure—not to mention the health benefits—of it.
What’s on Offer
We have over 70 interest groups, covering a wide range of topics, in the following faculties:
- Arts & Crafts
- Computers, Science & Technology
- Current Affairs
- Economics & Finance
- Fitness & Wellbeing
- Food & Drink
- Games & Puzzles
- History & Humanities
- Literature & Writing
- Music & Theatre
- Outdoor Activities
Where the information is provisional, it will be updated as soon as we can confirm details with the group leaders.
You can also see what’s on offer each day of the week. Sundays too!
Also let us know what else you’d like HGS U3A to offer. There’s a form on the Contact page to suggest new groups.
What It Costs
You must be a member of the HGS U3A to participate in any of the groups. The annual fee (£40 for individuals, £70 for two members living at the same address) covers insurance, a contribution to the Third Age Trust (the national body representing all U3As), and the administrative costs of the HGS U3A. In principle, it’s intended that the annual fee covers room hire, where the group can’t meet in a member’s home. However, in some circumstances, a separate fee might be payable, for example when a professional instructor is hired.
Where refreshments are provided, participants will be expected to pay a modest contribution (normally no more than £1) to cover costs. Some groups might also make a charge to cover transportation, entrance fees, or materials used during the session. Charges will need to be approved in advance by the HGS U3A Executive Committee. The purpose is not to make a profit, but to ensure that group organisers are not left out of pocket.
Being a Good Member of an Interest Group
U3As and interest groups are run by volunteers. Please take a moment to read our Member’s Charter to understand how to make participation in an interest group an enjoyable and beneficial experience for everyone involved. There’s a copy on the back cover of our Handbook.
If for any reason you cannot attend a session, please notify the Group Leader well in advance if possible.
Where a group involves physical activities, members must be sufficiently fit to participate. That doesn’t mean you need to be an Olympic athlete to join in — the emphasis is on enjoyment and fun. If you’re in any doubt, get in touch with the group leader to see if the group is suitable for you.
In some cases, such as Pilates and Yoga, participants will be required to fill in a confidential form disclosing any relevant health issues.
Lead an Interest Group
You don’t need to be the world’s greatest expert to lead an interest group. Passion about the subject and a willingness to organise meetings on a regular basis (weekly, fortnightly, or monthly) are what count. If you are interested in running a group, please fill out the form on the Contact page.