Over the past few months it has been clear that there is an appetite for a University of the Third Age in Duns, and on its launch day 120 people turned up.
Aimed at the retired, semi-retired and those not in full-time employment the U3A brings people together to learn about subjects of interest to them. Research shows that learning new skills and knowledge, sharing ideas through discussion and just being around people with common interests helps overcome isolation, loneliness and depression and can have a positive impact on mental and physical wellbeing.
A Heart for Duns trustees have been keen to encourage community learning in the area and a steering group hosted open meetings in the Volunteer Hall to see if there was indeed a demand for a U3A in the Duns Area. With over 60 people attending and expressing interest the steering group then began the process of gaining membership of the Third Age Trust, setting up the systems to manage the finance, membership and governance of the Duns and District U3A in preparation for the launch.
The doors opened on enrolment day, October 10, in the Volunteer Hall, Duns, and over 120 people became members and 15 groups were established.
The range of topics available covers everything from languages to Latin and classical studies, themed book groups, bridge, arts and crafts, local history, dancing, music, walking, history and painting.
A spokesperson for the group said: “There is, without doubt, something for everyone and in the coming months, new members and groups will continue to build on the early success.
“In addition to the interest groups, there will be free, open meetings with guest speakers on the second Tuesday of every month at 10am for 10.30am in the Volunteer Hall. The first of these is on Tuesday, November 13, when the guest speaker is David McLean whose talk is ‘The Farm Servants of South-East Scotland 1750-1914’.
“We encourage members and non-members to come along to the monthly meetings to get news and updates, hear interesting talks on a variety of topics and meet over coffee and cake.
“It is thanks to the support of A Heart for Duns and the people of Duns and district that the launch of Duns and District U3A has been a resounding success.”
For further information about the new Duns and District U3A, visit their web site dunsu3a.com or follow them on Facebook.