The Driffield & Wolds U3A, was formed on the 27th February 1991 when the Adult Education Service contacted Dr. William McIntyre, who had recently retired, with a view to setting up a branch. About 20 people attended the first meeting held at the Bell Hotel, Driffield and the Driffield & Wolds U3A group was formed with Dr. McItyre as Chairman, several group activities were also formed which included Music, Local History,and a Pub Lunch group.
The U3A at Driffield took the name 'Driffield & Wolds U3A' as it draws members from a large area in East Yorkshire including the villages of Hutton Cranswick, Nafferton and Kilham. Since being formed the Group has grown steadily and has now around 380 members. There is a monthly meeting when the groups business is discussed followed by a guest speaker and refreshments to which all members are welcome. In addition there are now about 24 activity groups covering a variety of subjects ranging from Archaeology, Geology and walking to Dancing, Reading and many more. These meet in various location for which a small charge is made to cover renting halls and the use of various items, this is in addition to the Annual Fee of £10.00. There is a bi-monthly Newsletter for all members with the general news, list of officers and contact details also information on the monthly speakers, and the programmes of the various groups and their contact details. We are affiliated to the National body of the U3A who provide advice and support and regularly join with most of the other Yorkshire U3A's discuss problems, joint activities and projects.
The success of our U3A and as with the other U3A's is due to those members who are willing to coordinate and help run our various interest groups, plus the officers and the work they do to keep everything running smoothly.
We are always looking for new activities to provide and impetus for the club. We welcome suggestions from both old and new members for the activities and ideas about booking guest speakers.
We are now in our 28th year and still have with us a few of the founder members. Dr W. McIntyre, now the Life President, Mrs Hilda Kay, Mrs Jean Pickering and Mr. Trevor Pickering.
The U3A 'University of the Third Age started in France. This was because 'adults' of a certain age had a
minimum means of further education and so in 1973 a highly rated Gerontology (The Study of the Social, Psychological and Biological
aspects of ageing.) Course, run by Toulouse University of Social Sciences exclusively for local retired people, led to the formation of
the first U3A. the organisation 'Les Universities du Troisiemme Age' (University of the Third Age). This was to provide means for adults,
particularly graduates who wanted to carry on learning in retirement, and most of these groups were associated with local Universities.
In time the original focus on older people began to change and local government became involved so the outlook broadened to encompass many
aspects of life such as early retirees, housewives and the unemployed.
The movement started in England in the 1981 in Cambridge but the emphasis being on 'Self Help' basis, realising that experts of every kind retire, therefore there should be no need for the members to have to rely on paid or unpaid Second Age teachers except were specialist qualifications are needed. The idea spread throughout the UK, in England there are now over 1000 U3A's, over 200,000 members and at the same time it also went worldwide to countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Italy and many more and in 1998, U3A Online was the world-first virtual University of the Third Age delivering online learning via the Internet.