Wymondham u3a, is one of over 1000 (University of the Third Age) Branches in the UK. The premise of the u3a organisation is Learn, Laugh, Live. Each Thursday morning Wymondham branch members meet at Central Hall for a coffee, social chat, and participation in various activities, and there is a guest speaker every first Thursday afternoon of the month. In addition to the regular coffee mornings there are nearly seventy activity groups supporting hobbies, interests, and promoting physical and mental well-being for the members.
The branch continues to thrive and membership currently stands at 630. This is a net increase of 196 (45%) in the period from January 2021 to the end of December 2023.
The number and range of groups/activities has increased accordingly in the same period to accommodate the increasing membership. A recent new addition to the Groups is Lifelong Learning. In 2023 there have been several courses and seminars arranged on various topics with guest speakers and presenters and these have been well supported.
The Social Group runs regular holidays and day trips and organises lunches throughout the year. In 2023 there were four holidays to the Isle of Man, Isle of Wight, Northern Ireland, and Scotland that were all well booked. There were coach trips throughout the year including Norfolk country estates, River and Broads lunch cruises, Kew Gardens and Thursford Christmas Spectacular all either full or with very few spare seats . Three members’ lunches and one garden party were also organised throughout the year.
On Saturday October 21st the branch held its annual Open Day at Wymondham Central Hall for members, friends, and visitors. The event opened at 10:00 and there was a constant stream of people perusing the various group’s displaying, playing, and performing, in the Main Hall and two other smaller rooms throughout the day. During the morning there was a performance by The Line Dancing Group to entertain both members and visitors.
Open Day is also the day when the Social Group published the planned holidays, day trips, and other social events for 2024. There was a continual queue of people booking their places on the various options in what will be the tenth anniversary of the Social Group organising these popular events.
Visitors continued into mid-afternoon, and while the event was open, twenty-five new members were recruited from Wymondham and the surrounding area, and over eighty bookings placed for the newly advertised 2024 Social Programme of holidays, coach trips, and planned lunches.
The event was considered to be very successful. The key aim was to show what a thriving u3a branch has to offer local residents in its catchment area. The fact that twenty-five new members were recruited in one day is maybe a measure of that aim being achieved.