SHONA ROBISON MSP BACKS LEARNING LATER IN LIFE THROUGH U3A
LOCAL MSP BACKS COMMUNITY LED CLASSES FOR OLDER PEOPLE TO TACKLE LONELINESS
Shona Robison MSP visited the U3A in Scotland exhibition at the Scottish Parliament this week to show her support for the creation and development of U3As in her local Dundee City East constituency.
U3A is a self-help learning co-operative movement for older people no longer in full-time employment, offering fully and semi-retired people in Scotland a new way to learn about subjects that interest them while tackling social isolation. Knowledgeable individuals lead their groups in areas from art or architecture to opera or origami. In 2018, U3A in the UK published a report entitled: ‘Learning not lonely’. The key conclusions were that the U3A model of learning can reduce loneliness, assist skill sharing among the older population and contribute to the aging well debate. More than 1% of over 65s are now learning for fun in these local educational groups. Commenting, Shona Robison MSP said: “Older people have a lifetime of knowledge to share at a point when they also have more time to learn. The subjects that can be studied informally are purely down to the interests of local members. “I was surprised to find there are already 54 U3As operating in Scotland, with more are ready to launch. This is an excellent community resource for those in or facing retirement, and I would gladly support any new and established U3As in Dundee City East.” Chair of the U3A in Scotland, Kath Payne said: “We are keen to raise awareness among politicians of the full range of benefits that our voluntary lifetime learning groups can bring in later life. Our members too have a wealth of experience and expertise which is useful for policy makers to tap into. “We are delighted so many MSPs are pledging to support this lifelong learning phenomenon in Scotland.” ENDS
NOTES TO EDITORS: Photo (left to right): Shona Robison MSP and Roseanna Cunningham MSP at the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday 29th January 2019. U3As are autonomous but are affiliated to the Third Age Trust, a registered charity. The first U3A established in Scotland was in Perth in 1988. There are now 54 U3As across the country with 11,667 members (December 2018). For more information on U3A, please visit: https://u3asites.org.uk/scotland/welcome CONTACT DETAILS: Ed Link | U3A Regional Trustee for Scotland M: 07504 090898 Elizabeth Drury | U3A Communications Officer T: 020 8466 6139 M: 07778 103937