Springtime is just around the corner, and what better time to get out and about with new friends? Say goodbye to the last of the winter blues and wave hello to a fresh start by joining a U3A – Becconsall’s vibrant group is just the place to begin.
Found in between Hesketh Bank and Tarleton, Becconsall U3A was formed in 2015 and currently boasts 153 members. Dubbed a ‘weekly tonic’ by member Joan McDaid, the group meets regularly to try new things, hear fascinating talks and take trips out. If you’re retired or semi-retired with a huge vitality and zest for life, a University of the Third Age membership could be just the thing to put a renewed spring in your step, and new members are very welcome no matter the season.
No qualifications are needed to join, and there are definitely no exams (although quizzers will be pleased to note, plenty of opportunities to test your knowledge during team trivia).
Becconsall U3A offers 12 main activity groups including Local History, Creative Textiles, Walking and Gardening, along with a series of pop-up groups such as Photography. Better yet, if you fancy starting your own group or have some knowledge you want to share with others, you’re sure to encounter someone with a shared passion for your topic.
‘Becconsall U3A is a self-help organisation which flourishes through the willingness of its members to share interests,’ says Mike Ellis, secretary of Becconsall U3A. ‘We provide many opportunities for learning and keeping the mind and body active. If you’ve never had a diary before, you’ll need one after joining Becconsall U3A!’
When Mike and Sue Ellis first moved to Hesketh Bank, they didn’t know anyone – but joining the U3A changed that completely. ‘We’ve formed some great friendships and learned a lot. Joining Becconsall U3A is the best thing we have ever done, and we would recommend it to residents old and new!’
As well as keeping members busy, joining a U3A is a great way of combatting loneliness in the community. Just by getting out of the house and in a position to socialise with others can help boost your mood – and the welcoming environment of the U3A ensures nobody feels left out. Plenty of people turn up by themselves and make new friends for life.
But activity groups aren’t all the U3A has to offer. Special events like wine tasting evenings and regular parties invite members to get together in a relaxed setting to celebrate the best of Becconsall, while trips have taken members to Cartmel Races, Port Sunlight and Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet.
If you’re interested in becoming a member, why not head down to a meeting at Hesketh Bank Community Centre? Meetings take place every Thursday morning between 10am and 12pm, and allow you to find out more about certain activity groups, meet group leaders and get answers to any burning questions. You can also try a free taster session with the groups you’re interested in before signing up! The U3A have plenty of interesting trips coming up, including a visit to Bodnant Gardens in April.
Membership to Becconsall U3A costs £15 per year. For more information, visit www.becconsallu3a.org or @becconsallu3a on Facebook.