Ongoing success for older people's education group (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Ongoing success for the Wanstead and Woodford branch of the University of the Third Age
A group which co-ordinates educational courses for older people has proved a big success since it was founded last year, its committee says.
The Wanstead and Woodford branch of the University of the Third Age (U3A) launched in January 2012 - with its inaugural meeting proving so popular that dozens had to be turned away.
The branch, which is part of the international U3A movement, helps organise courses held by and for its members in everything from dance to astronomy.
Now, 18 months on, it has maintained its popularity and currently has more than 400 members.
Chairwoman Maggie Pyne said: "I don't think any of us were expecting it to be quite so popular, but clearly there is a big demand for what the U3A are offering.
"We have a tremendous range of courses but it's also an opportunity to socialise."
The 'third age' refers to the time in someone's life when they retire and no longer have the same responsibilities of middle-age, such as caring for children.
Alongside its courses, the group has regular monthly meetings, talks, a newsletter and also plays an active role in community events such as the Wanstead Festival and Wanstead Arts Trail.
For more information on how to join contact Margaret Woolmer, who handles membership enquiries, on 020 8505 5018 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It costs £18 a year to join and there is no waiting list.
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