Our interest groups are run by U3A members, for members. There are no entry requirements other than a willingness to learn and to learn with others. Members can join as many groups as they like – non-members are welcome but will be invited to join the U3A after their first session.
Smaller groups will meet in members’ homes; larger groups will use a variety of local venues in Duns and surrounding villages.
Please email us if you have ideas for other groups you would like to join, or if you feel able to lead a group yourself. We stress that there are no special qualifications needed to be a group leader – just have a passion for your subject which you can share and be able to enthuse and guide others in their learning.
We are coming to the end of a very successful first year, and have great plans for 2019/20. Our enrolment day is Monday 9th September, so come along to the Volunteer Hall to meet the members and choose the sessions you’d like to become involved in. Our most popular classes will be continuing, and new ones added.
New groups started in January for French Conversation, the Middle East, Classical Musical Appreciation, Singing for Pleasure and Italian for Beginners
This list of our regular groups is being updated all the time:
History and Culture of the Middle East – commences on 4th February Southfield Centre. 1st & 3rd Monday from 10-12
The group will explore various aspects of the history and cultures of the Middle East. An overview of the region will focus on the many empires that rose and fell in the region: their histories, their art and architecture, religions and peoples. In addition, there will be opportunities to explore a range of contemporary topics that are of interest to the members of the group: ethnic and religious identities, Arabic literature and art, ways of life, the position of women, and current political issues.
Themed Book Group
Home based. First and Third Friday afternoon each month 2:00 – 4:30 pm
A book group with a difference. A theme is decided by group members and novels chosen from a shortlist. Examples are: country specific (e.g. South American, Irish etc), or genre (historical, detective etc) or prize winners (e.g. books shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2017). Such is the popularity of this group that a second group has been formed.
Turnbull Court. Thursday afternoon 2:30 – 4:30 pm
We have formed both ‘Beginners’ and ‘Improvers’ groups, meeting on alternate weeks.
Southfield Centre. 1st and 3rd Thursday morning of each month 10 – 12 am
The group will look at ways of researching family history, sharing information and ideas. We will also explore problems encountered in research to find ways around the “brick walls” of family reconstruction.
Latin & Classical Studies for Beginners
First and Third Tuesday of each month, 2-4 pm
An enjoyable and carefully paced introduction to the Latin language complemented by background information on Roman culture and civilisation.
Chapter and Verse
Meet in members’ homes. Third Thursday of each month 10-11:30 am
Exploring ways into descriptive writing and poetry through observation, memory and experience. Sharing and discussing our own attempts at writing. Structural and editing techniques to improve our writing.
Southfield Centre. Second Thursday of each month 10-12 am
The group will discuss what they would like to discover about the local area and then plan the necessary research online, in archives and in the field.
Landscapes, rocks and fossils: an introduction to geology
Whitsome Ark. First Tuesday of each month, 10-12 am
By looking at landscapes, rocks and fossils, we shall interpret past environments from deserts, to tropical seas and frozen plains. We will explore deep time and put the evolution of life and the development of our landscapes into context. We shall explore the exciting journey, over 400 million years, of the British Isles from south of the Equator to our current latitude.
Chirnside Community Centre. Commences Monday 14th January 3 – 4 pm
Planning to visit France this summer? This group will cater for those wishing to learn French or improve their conversational skills.
Scottish dancing, ceilidh and country
Southfield Centre. Fortnightly on Thursdays 9:30-11 am
Introduction to Scottish dancing for fun, fitness and friendship. Easy dances, all welcome, no partner needed – everyone mixes. Mostly dancing in sets, but also a few circle and round the room dances. Pointed toes are not required, just a willingness to join in and have fun! Good Scottish music on CDs.
Learning from the Past (to run for 8 weeks)
The Bible: What it is and how it came to us. An historical survey. Led by Dr Dane Sherrard.
Classical Music Appreciation
Exploring the works of various classical composers, illustrated by examples of their works and careers, together with background information on their lives. Email for details – a second group has now started to cater for the numbers interested.
Weekly Tuesday 10-12 am
This group welcomes anyone who would like to come along and learn Spanish, however limited their knowledge. At each meeting we will communicate on every day topics, listen to the language and learn about the culture of Spain in a relaxed atmosphere. This group will meet weekly from 16 April to 16 July. Venue to be advised.
Preston Village Hall. Weekly on Tuesday afternoon 2-4 pm
This is a self-help social painting group. We use any medium and share ideas. Bring along your own subject to draw/paint/model. Benefit from seeing other artists work.
Boston Court. Second and fourth Thursday of each month: 2 – 3:30 pm
Singing for pleasure – enjoy singing with others and build your repertoire of songs – with no requirement to be able to read music to join this group.
First Tuesday of each month: 1 pm (various start points – email for more details)
Local walks of various lengths on a monthly basis.
Beginners: Wednesday, 5 pm. Home-based, fortnightly
Conversation: Wednesday, 5 pm. Home-based, the alternate fortnight
A relaxed get together for people who might know a smattering of Italian or know only ‘yes’ or ‘no’ up to those who wish to use again their knowledge of the language. It is hoped the group will share their experiences of Italy; its food, culture and people. Meetings will alternate between Beginners’ Italian and Conversational Italian, commencing with the Beginners group on 9th January 2019.
Arts and Crafts
First and Third Wednesday of each month, 2-4 pm Whitsome Ark
An informal, inclusive group which is not focused on one specific craft but open to all whether you work in wool, fabric, felt, wood, beads or paper. We would aim to learn from each other, try new crafts, invite people to come and demonstrate and share ideas.