IDEAS - IDEA10
|We could support the development of a local U1A and U2A (or equivalent).
Our local branch of U3A **, 'The University of the Third Age', was established in 'Ewyas Harold & District' in 2013 (web site here). Its purpose is to provide social & educational stimulation for those in the Third Age of their lives. For this purpose, the First Age is normally defined as 'pre-career', the Second Age as 'career', and the Third Age as 'post-career' but branches operate as independent organisations and so not all keep strictly to that definition. Our local U3A is mainly for people who are retired or semi-retired. [For more on the U3A, see the Wikipedia article here.]
** Other U3A branches in Herefordshire are at Hereford, Ross & Ledbury whilst that in Hay is nearby. Do let us know if we have missed out anyone!
As there is a U3A, it is arguable that there could or even should be a U1A and a U2A. As pre-school children would be too young to participate in such a thing at their own choice, U1A would cover those at schools & colleges. [There are some Youth Clubs around that cover much if not all of this role already but we are not sure that they cover the whole of 'the Golden Valley and surrounds'.] U2A would cover those who are in work (including those whose work keeps them at home) or who are looking for work. Those who fall into the U2A bracket are often ignored, for social & educational purposes, because it is assumed that, if they have time to think of anything beyond work (or trying to find work), either they can look after themselves or there is enough around for them anyway. That is often the case ... but it is not always the case. Many people feel isolated for some of the time, others for much of the time.
Much of this Groups Initiative is about supporting our community-support groups. We would like to support ALL age groups in our community. We are not ourselves going to set up a formal U1A or U2A (or equivalent), that would breach our 'keep ourselves sustainable' code, but we would be happy to support any community-support group that attempts to do something like that. Note that "or equivalent" in the title of this Idea. We like the idea of helping people have a good social life and to have opportunities to learn what they want to learn. We do not care what form that takes. That is up to whoever runs with this! The idea of a U1A and/or U2A arose from an idea about something for U3A and then "why should it be only the older ones who benefit from this sort of thing?". We are open to suggestions that would develop this Idea even if in a way that bears no resemblance to U3A. It could be just a very loose network of social groups. However it is developed, we think the idea worth looking into. We would welcome suggestions.
Note. One of the issues often raised by community-support group leaders is the problem that, because voluntary work often takes time that people who are in the 'Career Stage' of their lives cannot afford, many of those groups are run by elderly people ... and that is not always the best way to be. It is possible that, through the establishment of a U1A or U2A (or equivalent), younger people could become involved in their communities in a more active but flexible way. Just a thought!