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Ilkley u3a celebrates learning, laughing and living

Easing of pandemic restrictions are being celebrated in style by Ilkley & District u3a as it marks the first u3a Day on Wednesday 2 June amid a week of local events.

Usually meeting face to face to expand interests and socialise, u3a members have been keeping in touch by learning to meet on Zoom, chat on Facebook and link via WhatsApp. But with the end of the virus roadmap in sight, they are taking the opportunity of the first u3a day to shout about what the organisation offers in any way they can. So, look out for music and town centre displays at the markets in Ilkley and Otley and online media projects.

A spokesperson for the group explains; "To celebrate u3a Day on 2 June, Ilkley & District u3a is encouraging its members to “bring a friend along” for free afternoon tea at the Clarke Foley Centre. You can also meet our u3a ambassadors at the Buttercross at Otley on Friday 4 June from 12noon – 2pm and at the Read Food Ilkley market on Sunday 6 June from 10am – 3.30pm. Come for a chat and find out more about the U3A, while enjoying musical entertainment provided by the Tuesday Tappers and other u3a musicians.

"The end of this week marks the last chance for the public to enter the free prize draw by voting for their favourite image in the online u3a Photographic Exhibition. Flyers explaining how to vote will be handed out at all the event venues in Ilkley and Otley."

Founded in 1982, u3a is a UK-wide collection of locally run groups that provide a wide range of opportunities for retired and semi-retired people to come together to learn for fun. With the motto of “learn, laugh and live”, members enjoy exploring new ideas, skills and activities together in an organisation that combats loneliness head on.

Ilkley & District u3a has been thriving since it started in 1997 and now has over 1600 members who participate in more than 140 activity groups, many of which have kept going via Zoom throughout the pandemic. Membership only costs £13.50 a year and is open to everyone who’s no longer in full-time work.

If you would like to find out about all Ilkley & District u3a’s activities, then come along to Otley Buttercross on 4 May, Ilkley Real Food Market on 6th May, or attend a Drop-in on the 1st and 3rd Friday morning of the month at the Clarke Foley Centre. For full details go to the website at and follow the links. They are also on Facebook: and Twitter @ilkleyU3A."


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