THESE days more people retire or move from full-time to part-time work than ever before.

Bradford u3a is the ideal organisation if you wish to meet new people and sample new interests and activities.

The u3a is a national collection of groups that run local and online member-led learning. Bradford u3a is run by its members for people no longer in full-time employment and is now nearly 300 members strong.

There is plenty to do, with around 40 interest groups, ranging from sport to entertainment to card games to trips out.

Since the Covid pandemic, membership numbers have increased as people have gained more confidence in going out and about, meeting old and new friends.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: A Bradford u3a craft groupA Bradford u3a craft group (Image: Dave Marshall)

The u3a is for people in the Bradford district who have time on their hands and want to learn something new, or develop an existing skill. You will find a warm and friendly welcome.

Bradford u3a is not just waiting for people to come to them but is joining forces with other groups to become more outward-looking. Look out for u3a stalls in supermarkets, the Broadway Shopping Centre and at the Wool Festival at Bradford Industrial Museum on February 4. Members would love to see you there and have the chance to have a chat.

The aim of u3a is to create opportunities to:

* Share ideas, knowledge and enthusiasms in a friendly atmosphere;

* Learn, laugh and get the most out of life;

* Engage in mentally and physically stimulating activities;

* Explore members’ interests and give them the confidence to develop new ones;

* Meet up with old friends and make new ones;

* Be part of a community with local knowledge and opportunities in common.

Bradford u3a is developing partnerships with other organisations, including Kala Sangam (to be re-named Bradford Arts Centre from January 2025), Age UK, Barclays Digital Eagles and NHS Talking Therapies and Social Prescribing Teams. These links give greater opportunities for u3a members in IT support, health and wellbeing.

Bradford’s status as UK City of Culture 2025 is a spur for increased activity and an additional reason for the Bradford branch of u3a to grow its numbers and range of activities.

Bradford u3a also takes part in u3a activities across the region. The u3a National Festival, due to be held at the University of York in July 2024, is an example of this kind of opportunity for local members.

The Bradford branch holds monthly meetings with a guest speaker at The Bradford Club in Piece Hall Yard, off Hustlergate (near the Waterstones side of the Wool Exchange and the City Vaults pub). These meetings are open to visitors who are thinking of joining. We have coffee and chat from 10am followed by a talk from a visiting speaker.

Some members stay for lunch. Anyone considering joining u3a is welcome to attend one of these meetings. A place can be reserved by contacting the Membership Secretary on 07936 486573 or by emailing

Upcoming meetings are as follows:

* December 20: Christmas meal at the Bradford Club;

* January 17: Talk by Peter Palmer on Hannibal and the war between Carthage and Rome;

* February 21: Talk by Roger Browne on The Great American Songbook with live electric piano;.

Groups include: Sports and activities; Archaeology, History, Political History and Old Buildings; English language, Spanish at two levels and Latin; Theatre and Restaurant Visits; Gardens and Green; Help with Tech; Creative Writing and Poetry Appreciation. You are welcome to sample a group before joining.

The Bradford Club is the main venue for Bradford u3a indoor activities. The organisation also organises visits to places of interest, these are accessible by public transport, or transport is organised. A successful summer trip this year was to RHS Bridgewater Garden near Salford.

Bradford u3a chair Ros Garside said: “As people live longer, the period of life after working is a key phase of life. It should be filled with fulfilment, friends and activities. Bradford u3a helps people to make the most of their retirement years.

“We provide opportunities for people to explore new ideas, skills and interests. Our emphasis is on learning for pleasure, keeping ourselves active and adding to our interests with friends that make life enjoyable.”

Adds Ros: “We would be delighted to hear from anyone who would like to find out more about getting involved with u3a. Call 07936 486573 or email me at”

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