Alphabetical List - September 2018

There are over 80 Groups currently associated with the Charnwood U3A. Below is a list of these groups together with a small paragraph about the purpose of each. This will be updated on an occasional basis.

When viewing this list of groups, please bear in mind the possibility that some groups may already be full and unable, for a variety of reasons, to take any more members.  Help is always available to anyone who would be prepared to start a new group.

You may use the letters below to quickly access a group if you know its name.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | L | M | N | O | P | Q | S | T | V | W|

Support Groups | Walking Groups


Group  What they Do 


Aerobics The group meets weekly under the instruction of a highly qualified teacher who can advise people with health problems, if necessary. The class is partly aerobics and partly strength exercises and stretching. The importance of the class is to maintain and improve bone, muscular and heart function and we also enjoy a coffee break after the class.
Archaeology This group meets monthly to learn more about sites one might visit while on holiday, like Petra, Hadrian’s Wall, Macchu Picchu or Pompeii, in order to plan visits or enjoy again ones already made. Meetings include illustrated talks by the group leader, outside speakers and members of the group. Visits to English sites and special exhibitions are arranged. The group has also had talks on Leicestershire archaeology and studied wider themes such as prehistory, the beginnings of metal-working, industrial archaeology and so on.
Architecture This group meets monthly. We are interested in all aspects of British architecture/architects - old and new. We aim to further these interests by inviting speakers to some meetings, watching and discussing DVDs/videos and by arranging visits to associated places of interest.
Art Appreciation This group aims to discover more about Art in a relaxed, enjoyable fashion. We follow our members’ interests through talks by members, discussions and visits to art galleries. You don’t need to be an expert to join us. We meet once a month at Quorn Church Rooms.



Badminton A lively and well-attended group meets weekly at Loughborough Leisure Centre. Tuition is available.
Books 1 We meet once a month at a member’s house in Loughborough. After some chat we settle to taking turns at talking about the book we have read, then general discussion about the book and finishing with a cup of tea. Our books come from Leicestershire Library Services with occasional classics interspersed.
Books 2 We read a wide variety of books, including non-fiction and poetry, from Leicestershire Library Service. Members take turns to host the meetings and discussions on our reading are usually lively with strong views being expressed on occasions. Opinions differ widely but it all adds up to some interesting and enjoyable meetings
Books 3 Why a Book Club? To read a good yarn? ... To expand our horizons? (exploring Turkey, the life of a Geisha, leprosy, lighthouses, are a few examples); to socialise over a cuppa?... All these apply and, although not all books suit everyone, most people persevere and find something to discuss. We meet in each other’s homes and choose the books jointly - from a Library Services Catalogue or from our local library.
Bowls - Indoor The Group meets weekly all year round at Charnwood Indoor Bowls Centre. Tuition is available.
Bowls - Outdoor The Group meets weekly throughout the summer at the Brush Bowls Club for a fun afternoon of gentle exercise with tuition and guidance provided. No previous experience is necessary and all equipment can be provided.
Bridge We meet weekly and new members of any standard are welcome. Beginners will be given extra help and will gradually integrate with the existing group. It is a very informal social group.



Calligraphy The group meets monthly at the leader’s home. The emphasis is on encouraging each other whether one is a beginner or an improver. The leader instructs and advises both beginners and more experienced people in the art of calligraphy.
Canasta 1 & 2 If you don’t like Bridge, you will love Canasta! The game is played with two packs of cards and can be played in pairs or singles any number of players from 2 to 4. Both groups cater for experienced players, novices and complete beginners who wish to learn from scratch. Group 1 meets weekly in a village hall and Group 2 meets on alternate weeks in a central location. Enjoy this easy-to-learn game in a relaxed and friendly environment and have a chat and a cup or tea or coffee whilst socialising with friends.
Chess A small group meets fortnightly to play chess together in members’ homes in rotation. We enjoy games of chess in a very relaxed atmosphere. Most members of the group have played previously, but not necessarily in recent years.
Classical Civilisation This group meets monthly and takes a thematic approach, using talks and discussions, looking at issues in Greek and Roman times and then relating their relevance to the modern world. In addition to ‘home’ meetings, visits are planned to enhance the theoretical perspectives.

Classical Greek
A small group meets once a month led by an experienced Classics tutor. The group is primarily for those with no previous knowledge who wish to learn Classical Greek. The aim is to progress through the structures of the language to aid comprehension by reading (including aloud). Word derivations will be noticed, and in due time the aim is to start reading simpler passages of Classical (and Biblical) Greek. A little Civilization material to provide a cultural context will also be shared. Anyone who already has some experience is welcome to join but currently the emphasis is on beginners.

Classical Music Enjoyment
This group meets monthly to enjoy the experience of listening to classical music from Baroque to 20th Century played through excellent equipment, with occasional forays into other fields. Monthly programmes are presented by members on a voluntary basis on a theme they have personally chosen. The group is not a discussion or music appreciation group. A small annual subscription is levied to cover the hire of the room.
Craft Group This is a new group and welcomes new ideas from its members.
Creative Writing All sorts of writing is welcomed - poetry, short stories, autobiographies, anything that means putting words on paper, or into the computer screen. The group is there to offer support and encouragement in what is sometimes a lonely path.
Cribbage 1 & 2 The group meets twice per month in the home of a member to enjoy playing this old traditional card game.



Dance Groups Social
Dance - Line/Tap/Ballroom
The main aim for both groups is enjoyment. A sense of fun and a desire to get active is all that is needed, you do not have to be able to dance. Most of our dances are of the ‘social’ nature not requiring any skill men and women, singles and couples are all welcome.
Dance Group 1 meets twice a month and includes English Folk, Line, Modern Sequence, Scottish Folk and occasional Old-time.
Dance Group 2 meets weekly. There are 3 one hour sessions covering Basic Ballroom, Line Dancing and Tap. Members can attend any hour(s) they wish.

Days of Interest
A leisurely coach trip out on a Saturday each month to visit somewhere interesting. We visit towns and cities, historic houses, museums, exhibitions, gardens and so on, usually within a couple of hour's travelling time. (We do not have a trip in December; in January we have a visit to the theatre and in February a meal together.)
Digital Imaging This group manipulates images and photographs using individual creativity. Members need access to a computer with appropriate software, a digital camera and broadband internet connection. Some basic knowledge of photo-editing and the completion of a digital photography course is an advantage.



English Parish Churches
1 & 2
Two groups meet monthly, indoor meetings with PowerPoint presentations from October to April, with visits to local churches and coach outings further afield from May to September. Topics include architecture, history, religious symbolism, how to “read” and understand our huge heritage of churches.



Family History Discussion
A small group meet in members’ homes. Some have been doing family history research for many years, for others it’s a new interest. We provide a warm and inviting atmosphere where everyone is welcome to share and learn from each other about the different resources available. Individual stories are described, online websites discussed and brick walls tackled.

Film Group
This group is an amalgam of several U3As in the Leicester area who meet one morning a month at the Phoenix Theatre to watch a preplanned programme of films of various genres which has been previously discussed with members. The start time is organised so that bus passes can be used for travel into Leicester, entry fee includes a cup of tea or coffee and there is time for socialising and discussion about the film being shown built into the programme.
French Conversation Members meet to practise and improve their spoken French. The bilingual tutor leads discussions about French life, politics, history etc, to widen members' knowledge of this fascinating country.

French Intermediate
If you already have some knowledge of French and wish to practise and improve your skills, this group may be right for you. Every two weeks we meet in a member’s home to converse, express our opinions and add to our knowledge of the language. We talk, we read, we write and have even been known to sing! Various materials are used, including a textbook.
Conversation (Francaise) This group meets monthly. This is a group for those who already speak French but wish to extend the range of their conversations.



For everyone interested in gardening and/or gardens, no matter what their level of knowledge and experience. The group can provide "Gardening buddies" for anyone considering themselves a novice. Our annual programmes are varied and include professional specialist speakers, visits to members and National Garden Scheme gardens, members’ meetings - to informally exchange ideas and information.
German Advanced The group meets twice a month for tuition by a native German speaker on topics of conversation, translation, videos from German TV, games and so on. German newspapers are available for members.
German This group meets twice a month in a member’s home. This group will suit anyone with some knowledge of the German language. It is all about freshening up a skill with lively chatting and discussion of a subject or theme. Help is available when needed.
Golf The Group meets weekly at either Shelthorpe Golf Course or Charnwood Driving Range, depending on the weather. Varying levels of skill, but not taken too seriously.

Gym Fitness
We meet weekly at Loughborough College gym, which is very well equipped. If needed, we get help to sort out a programme but you can do what you feel is most appropriate for you, ie, just general fitness and, if needed, a programme for stretching. Please contact the co-ordinator as you need an induction at the college before joining.



History 1 A wide variety of historical topics, subjects and ages will be covered. Monthly meetings will be half-day morning visits, with occasional allday visits to places of historical interest, and some home meetings with an invited speaker.
History 3 A group of enthusiastic and interested members dividing activities between talks and outside visits. Although mindful of costs, arranging speakers and visits to venues has not limited our historical interests, which remain varied.



Italian Conversation A very friendly group of “Italophiles” meet once a month to chat in general, then read, translate and discuss a modern prepared text. Enthusiasm is required, plus some (or, preferably, intermediate) knowledge of Italian.



Jigsaw Puzzle Exchange We exchange jigsaws (for members to complete at home) and views on the merits, or otherwise, of the ones recently completed. Over the years we have handled 682 puzzles that we eventually pass on to charity. Our families and friends know what to give us for Christmas – and they do!



Latin This is an on going course. Members will need to have a basic knowledge of Latin in order to join. Text books are provided.
Life Story Writing A small group of eight or so people, aimed at encouraging each other to make a start. The venue has wheelchair access.

Local History
The Local History group meets monthly, usually at Loughborough Library, when we invite a range of speakers, some being members of the group themselves who have a particular interest to share. We enjoy some time for discussion and refreshments. In the summer months, instead of meeting at the Library, we organise trips to various places of local history.
Luncheon Clubs 1, 2 Luncheon Clubs meet once a month at a local restaurant chosen and organised by members on a rota basis. Seating is random to encourage conversation with different people each month. The 2 clubs operate quite independently of each other.
Luncheon Clubs 3 Lunch Club 3 meets at Longcliffe Golf Club, Nanpantan every month.



Mac Users Forum This group meets monthly. The Mac Group is for users of Apple devices: iMac, Macbook and iPad. With simple ideas to make your use more efficient, more effective and more fun.
Mah Jong 1 We meet weekly at members’ houses. At its simplest, like rummy, players combine sets of tiles from a wall composed of four of each of three suits, four winds and three dragons onto racks. Mah Jong literally means “sparrows”, which is perhaps an allusion evoked by the chattering sound of the tiles during play. It is great fun, and can become addictive.
Mah Jong 2 We meet weekly at members’ houses. We are non-competitive and welcome beginners and offer tuition in this fascinating Chinese game.

Making Music
We are a new group and get together twice a month to make music. If you played an instrument in the past and would like to take it up again, or have kept up with your playing, come and join us. Our aim is to recreate the pleasure and satisfaction of making music together. Our motto is any instrument , any ability, from beginner to experienced. Making music is fun and making music together is much more fun! We are friendly, welcoming and have a very enjoyable time producing some beautiful sounds.
Meditation Meditation is an excellent aid to relaxation, and helps to develop serenity and personal insight in everyday life.  The meditation and associated relaxation procedures are easy to learn, suit most people, and do not involve anything strange - there is no chanting and we sit on ordinary chairs. No particular religious or philosophical beliefs are necessary.
Mini Tennis Mini Tennis is a truly easy game to learn, played on a badminton sized court with light short strung racquets and foam balls. Rules and scoring are simple and it is fun as well as being competitive and good exercise. Tuition is available.



Needlecraft 1 &2 If you would like to enjoy needlecraft in a relaxed atmosphere we meet at members’ houses where we share our enthusiasm for knitting, crochet, embroidery and tapestry etc. A small donation of 50p per person paid on the day for tea/coffee, biscuits.



Painting The Painting Group meets monthly, working mainly in watercolour but occasionally in other media. The year’s programme is chosen by the members who are encouraged to lead the group in a topic of their choice. We engage a professional tutor once or twice a year.

This group meets monthly in members’ homes for philosophy-based discussions. At some meetings we will discuss the works of a particular philosopher and how relevant their views are to contemporary life. At other sessions we will talk more generally about specific philosophical issues. No prior knowledge of philosophy is required.
Photography The group meets twice monthly, alternating between an indoor presentation/workshop and a trip out to take photographs. We welcome anyone wishing to improve their photographic skills.

Pilates 1 & 2
This weekly group is supervised by a professional instructor. Pilates was developed in the early 20th century as a physical fitness system, and is an exercise method that uses core muscles to develop strength, flexibility and balance. It combines mind and body awareness, and is good for mental and physical well-being.
Play Reading and Drama The group meets in members' homes to read plays. Members read consecutively or in character as decided at each meeting. Input from members of the group on choice of plays is welcomed. Occasionally the group performs a sketch or short play at a U3A members' meeting or Christmas Social.
Poetry 1 & 2 The members of this group each take an active part in presenting poetry of their choice on any topic or poet but this format can vary from time to time. The monthly meetings have two presenters/readers, with opportunity for discussion of the poems by all the members of the group.



Quiz A friendly group, meeting once a month, we usually have an enlightening afternoon. Members who wish take turns to host the group and prepare questions, otherwise we meet at the leader’s house.



Science and Technology 1
Meetings vary from half to full day, depending upon the nature of the meeting. The programmes are discussed with members and contain a balance of interest and activity. As well as in-house speakers, the group also visits places of industrial, scientific and environmental interest and museums. Members pay a small membership fee to cover administrative costs.

Science and Technology 2
The Group meets monthly in a church hall in Loughborough. Most meetings take the form of general interest talks covering all aspects of science and technology. While about 40% of members are retired scientists of various sorts, we take special care to recognise the non-specialist members so that everybody gets something out of the talks. The programme for the year is available and prospective members can make one visit as a “taster” but please make yourself known to the leader.
Scrabble 1 - 4 Scrabble groups meet once or twice a month in members’ homes to play Scrabble and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee together.
Singing for Pleasure The group meets monthly when members practise a variety of music such as songs from shows, part songs, rounds and carols. The ability to read music is not necessary to join. We have occasional small concerts but in the main it is simply Singing for Pleasure.

All members of the group have studied Spanish before, albeit at varying levels. What unites us is the desire to make progress and gain confidence by speaking, reading and writing the language. We use a text book, a variety of materials and we converse a lot. The classes are lively, highly interactive and enjoyable.
Spanish Conversation Spanish conversation for people with knowledge of the language and who wish to improve their conversation skills.
Sunday Lunch Club 1 & 2 These groups meet once a month for Sunday lunch at a local restaurant or golf club. Contact the Group Leader for details.
Supper Clubs 1 & 2 Members meet once a month for an evening meal at a local restaurant, chosen and organised in turn by members who circulate the menu and order the meals in advance. The cost is approximately £16 per person.



Table Tennis 1 - 8 We have 7 x 1-hour sessions each week, meeting at the Loughborough Leisure Centre. We are very friendly and the main aim is for laughter and friendship, although there is a strong element of competition between us! Anyone interested in joining please contact, in the first instance, the Table Tennis co-ordinator.

Tai Chi 1 & 2
These groups meet for one hour each week throughout the year under the supervision of a qualified instructor. The movements and postures practised are not too strenuous, but aim for greater flexibility, improvement in balance and a state of relaxation. A small fee is payable to cover the cost of tuition and room hire.

Textile Art
The focus of this group is to make fabric pictures or quilts for walls or beds using quilting or other forms of textile art which involves the use of sewing machines. We learn or practise how to do free machine work to add interest to the final piece; we add colour using fabric paints, crayons or oil sticks, using stencils or printing blocks or any ideas suggested by the members. We have some time learning new skills and some time on our own projects. The group meets monthly in Wymeswold.

Theatre Group
Theatre visits are organised at approximately monthly intervals, mostly to theatres in Derby, Leicester and Nottingham. We also visit Stratford, London, Birmingham and Kilworth House Theatre. Members may bring one guest, who must be a U3A member, to a performance, subject to a small supplement. We attend a variety of shows including comedy, drama, musicals and light opera. Members must register with the group and pay a small fee to cover administration and postage etc. A newsletter is published at 2monthly intervals, after which tickets can be reserved provisionally. They are then available on a first-come first-served basis.

Travel Group
The Travel Group is run by a Working Party, whose purpose is to organise, or facilitate others within the membership to organise, two or three holidays a year in the UK and abroad and based on ideas from the members. Meetings are held in alternate months and include updates on planned or proposed holidays and usually a presentation of past or future holidays. The group is especially beneficial to single members, offering the safety and enjoyment of being within a group of like-minded travellers. All holidays are arranged in compliance with UK law and Package Tour Regulations.



Walking Groups We have walking groups on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The groups walk at different speeds and cover different distances. See below for details

Wine Appreciation
The group meets once a month in a member’s house where the host provides buffet food to accompany a range of 6 or 7 bottles of wine, linked in some way. At the end of the evening everyone chips in to cover the costs. Occasionally we venture to other regions of the world of alcohol, for example, sherry and visits to a local brewery are being discussed. No previous knowledge is necessary, though enthusiasm for enjoyable evenings is a distinct advantage.


Walking Groups

All the walking groups welcome new members. Contact the Walking Groups Co-ordinator who will discuss with you the most suitable group for you to join.
Members joining walking groups are responsible for their own safety. They should make sure that they are suitably equipped for the walk as regards clothing and fitness.

Tuesdays Moat Road Strollers (first Tues)
Walking 6+ miles (third Tues)
Walking 10+ miles (first Tues)
(The 10+ group meet at 10.00am and finish at approximately 3.30pm with a pub stop around 1.00pm. Most walks start within a 20-mile radius of Loughborough, but occasionally we go to the Peak district.)

Thursdays Little Xtras 6+ (second & fourth Thurs)
Sportives 5 miles (second & fourth Thurs)
Strollers (first, second & fourth Thurs)
Amble (third Thurs)
Parish Walking Group (third Thurs)

Saturdays Walking 5+ miles (first Sat)

Support Groups

Welcomers At the monthly meeting three members work on a rota to welcome everyone and to look out for new members and visitors. When new members attend on their own, one of the team takes them to the check-in desk then offers to sit with them during the meeting. We answer questions about groups and where possible introduce them to relevant group leaders during the tea break.
New Members Liaison New members can expect a welcome phone call from David Fell and this is an opportunity to ask questions you may have about U3A, how to join a group, monthly meetings etc.
Projectors and Laptops Sets are available for groups to borrow when required for meetings. Contact your Group Leader for details.