Volunteer at Hayling Island u3a group is praised for helping others

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A group that helps older people to find new experiences is highlighting people who help its members during Volunteers’ Week.

The University of the Third Age – u3a for short – is for people no longer in full-time work and has 400,000 members, running classes ranging from rock music to archaeology. It is a collection of groups that run local and online member-led learning.

Anne Hollis is the president of Hayling Island u3a and is busy running five interest groups, including the thriving Walking Netball and Pickleball groups.

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Anne Hollis, pictured on the far right with the u3A walking netball teamAnne Hollis, pictured on the far right with the u3A walking netball team
Anne Hollis, pictured on the far right with the u3A walking netball team

Volunteering at u3a is a huge part of Anne’s life. She says: ‘Leading u3a groups has given me so much pleasure – making new friends, having fun, and learning new skills. I had never played pickleball before starting the group and hadn’t played netball since school. And I am self-taught in card making. I have never been so busy since I retired!

‘Walking Netball just seemed to tick all the right boxes for having fun, meeting like-minded people and taking exercise which will improve mental wellbeing while having a giggle!

‘Most of us hadn't played since school and I didn't know the rules, but fortunately one lady who joined at the start had been playing more recently and was prepared to help. This is how the u3a perpetuates the self-help ethos, which is wonderful.

‘Walking Netball is a lovely, friendly and very supportive group. During the time we have been playing there have been life-changing events for some and the group have been brilliant and rallied round. I feel honoured to be part of it.’

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Last month u3a held Off the Wall, a festival of learning, at Hadrian’s Wall. A short film was made there about the power of the movement and the impact of volunteering.

There is no lower age limit to join u3a and it costs, on average, less than £20 per year to join. There are more than 1,000 u3as across the UK with many hundreds of different interest groups – everything from Egyptology to crafting. You can also join our Interest Groups Online. To find out more, visit www.u3a.org.uk or www.haylingu3a.org