The backbone of any U3A group is its Course Leaders. These people give freely of their time to present courses exploring their interests and expertise with members who are keen to learn something new, or who may want to enrich what is already an interest. These courses – some of which may be a year long, others just a few weeks – offer a range of topics and activities that allow participants to interact in a stimulating environment. Naturaliste U3A has been fortunate to have leaders who offer a wide range of courses throughout the year, ranging from those looking at environmental issues, art for pleasure, learning new languages, various forms of writing, Mah Jongg, journeys into self-discovery, Book Club – the list goes on. Leaders are starting to find that interest in their courses is ongoing, even after they are formally finished, with a number of participants excited about following up their course with informal gatherings and discussions.

As with all groups, volunteers are a very important part of the successful running of our U3A. They carry out many of the day-to-day tasks involved in the running of meetings, provision of refreshments, arranging publicity, producing the newsletter and the numerous chores that lessen the load for the committee members and course leaders.

Joining Naturaliste U3A gives you the opportunity and an outlet to develop new interests – a vital thing for us as we start leaving the workforce and have more time to do all those things put aside for ‘when we retire’, or are semi-retired. It gives a starting point for making contact with people who have similar interests – especially important for those who have recently moved to our area. It can have a considerable social spin-off as members have the opportunity to make new acquaintances and develop friendships.

Apart from our courses we have several meetings per year which feature a guest speaker (‘Topical Talks’) as well as our Annual General Meeting. The Committee is always interested in finding out the needs of our members so that we can continue to develop as an interesting, stimulating and vibrant U3A group.