Talking Point 10 July 2018

NIREC (Northern Ireland Regional Executive Committee) like to keep you updated with the latest news and we aim to send this out to you after each NIREC meeting, so we hope this will keep you informed. You can also keep on top of news via the Regional Website on, which will give you a much better idea of what goes on in NIREC.

Autumn Meeting

This will be held on Monday 29 October 2018 at Spires Conference Centre on the corner of Great Victoria St & Wellington St), with registration open from 10.00 for an 11.00 start (refreshments on arrival).  Our Guests will be Sam Mauger, CEO Third Age Trust and Liz Drury, Communications Officer, who will give their presentations in the morning followed by a Q&A session, with questions to be submitted in advance please, so that full answers can be given on the day, and there will be time for some spontaneous questions if time allows.  There will be a special guest panellist who will be confirmed later.  We anticipate finishing around 3.30.

Please keep an eye on our website for updates on this important U3A event.

Lunch will be provided.  As usual, each U3A may send ANY two delegates free of charge, all others at £10.00 to include lunch and refreshments.  Places MUST be booked in advance.

 Question Time please submit your questions to


Regional Activities

Plans are being made for an Inter-U3A Quiz, Songfest 2019 and a Bridge Congress.  Dates and venues will be forthcoming when arranged.

STOP PRESS: 2019 Bridge Congress is proposed to be held in the Lodge Hotel, Coleraine.  This will be confirmed soonest possible.

NIREC has received an offer to provide all our U3As with a series of free 6 week programmes of sport/ dance/ exercise classes, at different locations round Northern Ireland.  To hear more about this offer make sure you attend the Autumn Meeting on 29 October

Two workshops are in the pipeline; one for Beacon & Technology and the other for Group Convenors; likely early Autumn.  Details will be announced when dates and venues have been secured.

Focus Groups: there are several available which you can view by visiting either our website  or more information on


NI U3A Summer School 2019

Following on from the success of 2017 Summer School, Greenmount College near Antrim has been rebooked for 18 & 19 June next year (2019).  Full details will be released as soon as the event is ready to be launched.  Please make a note now though!

Pam Jones

National Chairman Pam Jones has been shortlisted for a Community Award for her work with the U3A movement promoting the benefits of lifelong learning.  Pam and the U3A needs your support to win this award. Please visit the link below to do so.

Summer18 Workshops at East Antrim

East Antrim are offering a series of one day summer workshops throughout the period Monday 16 July to Friday 24 August.  They are wide and varied subjects including: Holiday Languages (French, Spanish, Italian, German and Esperanto), Irish Culture & Music, Calligraphy, Colour Pencil Art, Cold Porcelain Flowers (can also be used in Sugar Craft), The world of the deaf and their language, Bridge Tournament, Canoe Taster day, Wet Felting Craft, Laughter Yoga, Spinning & Weaving, Tai Chi and Table Games.  Full details can be found on along with how to get in touch to book your space.  All U3A members are welcome.

PS many are full but there are a few spaces left.  Don’t delay, look & book today!

Website Presence

If you are a U3A without a website, our Regional Webmaster has offered to make you a page or two within the  website.  So please do get in touch with James, with the content of what you would like on your page, this should include information about your group activities and your monthly meeting as well as who people can contact to make further enquiries if they wish to join you.

News: Stuart Pollard, has been co-opted to act at Press Officer for NIREC.

Impact Report 

This report entitled “Learning not Lonely “, presented on 10th July in Westminster has been based on the findings of a literature review, together with the results of a member survey and a series of focus groups input from around the country. N. Ireland members, who participated, reported major benefits as well as sharing experiences and offers to work together where possible in the future. Report can be read on the National Office website via this link:

It was an enjoyable and enlightening experience.

Thanks go to Robin Masefield, Holywood U3A, who acted as chair and to all the members from around the region who participated.


Remember, we would love to hear your ideas of subjects and workshops you would like to do. If you or your members have any suggestions, we are open to listen.  Please ask them to email us

Who can help QUB with some research?

I am a research dietitian from Queen’s University Belfast and I am involved in a research study to promote the role of the Mediterranean Diet on the cognitive health of older adults. We are recruiting participants to take part in an educational intervention who are living within the community, are willing to learn about the Mediterranean diet and have noticed a slight decline in their memory in the past 12 months.

I was wondering if this would be something your organisation would be interested in promoting in order to facilitate recruitment for this study. I would be happy to speak with you, or your colleagues, to answer any questions you may have and chat to you about this research.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,


Andrea McGrattan, RD, MRSPH, PhD Researcher, Queen’s University Belfast, Centre for Public Health, Institute of Clinical Sciences B, Grosvenor Road, Belfast, BT12 6BJ


Your Events:

We would also love to hear from you about any events you are planning, and if you are interested in inviting other U3A members, then we could include it in future Newsletters like this one.

Your Contact details:

Please do keep us updated with any changes to your Chair or Secretary and their contact details.  We know that communication is King and we like to make sure that everyone in U3A is kept informed.  Also we would ask that you read this newsletter to members at your monthly meeting or include it in your own newsletters.

Remember that NIREC is there to represent you and the interests of all NI U3A members.  Help us to help you!

Finally, we would be delighted to hear from you with any suggestions you have for inclusion in future Talking Point newsletters.

NIREC  10 July 2018