Introducing the thriving Cranleigh U3A
15 November 2021
The beautiful area of Cranleigh, soon to be home to our Renaissance Cranleigh Coves community, offers those who live there a sociable and independent lifestyle in the heart of one of England’s biggest villages. The vibrant village is also home to a flourishing U3A group. We sat down with Caroline Todman, Publicity Officer for the Cranleigh U3A, to talk about the clubs they offer, any upcoming events they have planned and how new members can sign up.
Could you tell us a bit more about the U3A and what it does?
The U3A is UK wide. It's a cooperative movement of people who are no longer in full time work who come together to continue their educational, social and creative interests in a friendly and informal environment. We have a bustling U3A group in Cranleigh; we currently have about 850 members.
What clubs are on offer for members?
We’ve got about 60 clubs altogether which range quite a lot. For example we have arts and crafts groups such as flower arranging, photography and needlework. Then there’s general interest clubs such as quiz, Sunday Lunch club, wine appreciation and history - which is very popular. Then there is sports and fitness, music and languages so there really is something for everyone. We’ve even got one called Active Club where members can go gliding if they want to, so we’re very varied with what we offer.
We also want to set up new clubs as often as possible, for instance this year we’ve set up a new cycling club and reinstated the gardening club. We’re always open to new ideas and we love nothing more than people sharing their interests. We’re very keen to recruit group leaders too, all the group leaders are within our own group really so if anyone has a particular interest that they’d like to share we’d love to hear from them.
What’s the best thing about being part of the U3A?
The U3A is great because you meet people and it keeps your mind active. You learn new skills and learn them with new people. We’ve had lots of lovely feedback from our group members, I think they enjoy being part of the Cranleigh U3A very much. Most of our members are well over 55 and some have been members for many years. We started in 1998 and we still have original members that joined back then, but new members join all the time too. This year so far we’ve had at least 50 new members join us.
Are there any upcoming events?
We do have quite a lot of outings as a group. We’re going to see Chicago soon and we’ve got a day out in London coming up. Next year is the U3A’s 40th anniversary, so there will be a lot of events and competitions coming up next year. For example, we’ve got a quilting competition where you can design a quilt to celebrate the 40 years and there'll be lots of other fun things coming up too.
How can people sign up to the Cranleigh U3A?
Signing up is very easy. You can visit our website or you can contact our membership secretary, Hilary Ball directly at [email protected] or her telephone number is 01403 823 343.
Our annual subscription at the moment is £16 for an individual and you can also subscribe to a U3A magazine that covers the whole of the U3A. We also offer something called the U3A Trust which is an online subscription that anyone who wants to can join and if you’re a member of the U3A the subscription is only £3. There are all sorts of talks and classes on there, it started during covid when the groups weren’t active and it’s remained popular.
Lastly, what do you love most about living in Cranleigh?
One of the best things about Cranleigh is you can get nearly anything you want here on your doorstep but we’ve also got lovely countryside around us and that’s a definite plus. There’s also a really good bus service so you can get to Guilford or Horsham easily and it's not far to drive to either. The community is really brilliant; I think that’s very important.
Comprising spacious one and two bedroom apartments and chalet bungalows, Cranleigh Coves will offer those who live there a sociable and independent lifestyle in the heart of one of England’s biggest villages. Contact our sales team to enquire now on 01483319034 or [email protected]. Prices start from £475,000.