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u3a Blackmore Vale open afternoon in Henstridge

Thursday 19 August 2021, 16:15
By Susan Kidd

Table tennis at u3a Blackmore Vale

The aim of the University of the Third Age (u3a) in the UK is to give people who are no longer in full-time work, or raising a family, opportunities to develop interests, make new friends and enjoy themselves. It is basically a self-help learning organisation, that has no age limit and keeps those involved young at heart.

The coordinating body is The Third Age Trust, and all members receive the national magazine regularly as well as invitations to attend summer schools, study days and numerous online activities. In fact, several of our members are involved in an online u3a activity every day!

To put Blackmore Vale u3a on the map, it covers the villages bounded by Sherborne, Shaftesbury and Wincanton crossing the borders of North Dorset and Somerset. Publicity is by regular posters and articles in local magazines, websites, Facebook pages and of course word of mouth.

The annual membership is £15, which links into to all the Trust resources. Comedy script writing and the Gardens of The Newt in Somerset were some to the talks given via Zoom during lockdown and there is now a heady programme of speakers to look forward to in 2022 on subjects including amateur dramatic production and climate change.

u3a Blackmore Vale outing

Activities are run by group leaders wishing to share their knowledge with a responsive group of likeminded people and enjoy the friendship of being together. Tentatively, post-lockdown, garden visits, reading, table tennis and walking groups have restarted while ones like bridge may recommence in the autumn. The venue for group meetings is dictated by the group size; often in a pub, home, or village hall. The groups coordinator can be contacted on or 01963 548513.

A very proactive committee is readying for an Open Afternoon starting at 2pm in Henstridge Village Hall on 7th September. Bunting, leaflets and banners are being prepared and a glass of wine or a cup of tea will be served. Contact the membership secretary by email at or phone 01963 204318. She is waiting to hear from you.


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19th January 2016: What is the U3A? There’s a Group Near You!



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