From the Mourne Observer:
They were delighted last week to welcome their first group of eager participants from the University of the Third Age (U3A), who were all willing to “give it a go”.
The U3A is a unique organisation which provides life-enhancing and life- changing opportunities.
Retired and semi-retired people come together to learn together, not for qualifications but for its own reward: the sheer joy of discovery!
Some participants arrived on Thursday to avail of Tollymore’s modern residential facilities and were treated to a guided walk through the forest by Marian McGreevy from Shimna U3A and Noreen Boyd of Downe U3A.
The group dined together in Tollymore’s large but cosy dining area, which was followed by an engrossing talk about the Tollymore Forest Park by local man David Maginn.
On Friday 23 September Tollymore welcomed 32 members from different U3A groups from across Northern Ireland, ages ranging from 50 to 80.
Whilst some participants got geared up for mountain biking around the centre’s mountain bike trails, others got a taste of life afloat on Castlewellan Lake where open canoes were rafted and they journeyed across the lake before stopping off and enjoying some light refreshments, courtesy of the Kelly Kettle, and chocolate brownies too, courtesy of the catering team at Tollymore!
Another group preferred to keep their feet firmly planted on dry ground and after spending a few hours in the ‘classroom’, getting to grips with the basics of navigation, they headed off into the glorious Mournes for a few hours of orienteering and hill walking.
These sessions whetted the appetite of all participants, who left the centre determined to further develop their new found skills and vowed to return to the centre in the coming months.”