How we are run


U3AC is managed by its Trustees, who form Council.

Members of Council are elected by the Annual General Meeting for a period of three years, after which time they are eligible for election for a further period of three years. The maximum number of Council members is 15.

The Chair is elected by the Annual General Meeting for one term of three years. In the event of a vacancy, Council may co-opt a Trustee until the next Annual General Meeting.

Council meets about four times each year to discuss the business of running the organisation. A member of the Office staff (usually the Office Manager) attends these meetings.

As it is not practical for Council to discuss and agree every item of business with which U3AC has to deal, there are a number of sub-committees (Committees) which report back to Council on the business discussed at their meetings. Council is made aware of any issues within their remit which need particular attention or require a decision to be made by the whole Council.

The Committee Chairs and other Council members with designated roles (e.g. Treasurer and Secretary)  are designated as Officers and regularly meet as a group to share issues that have arisen and to prepare for the next Council meeting. A member of the Office staff usually attends these meetings.


Tim Ewbank Chairman
Penny Carter Secretary
Margaret Kerry Treasurer
Maggie Balshaw Director of Studies (Courses)
Alastair Breward Director of Studies (Lectures)

Other Members of Council

John Abbott
Michael Atkinson
Sheila Bennett
David Burgess
Susan Cox
Michael Gibbs
Jane Stephens
Geof Tamulonis
Stella Weeds
Colin Whitworth


Our Patrons

Dr Nicholas Coni OBE, MA, MD, FRCP

Dame Sandra Dawson DBE, FAcSS

Professor Martin Rees, Lord Rees of Ludlow OM, FRS


Our Committees

Courses Committee

Function: Oversees the annual course programme.
Director of Studies (Courses): Maggie Balshaw
Committee: Mike Atkinson, Sheila Bennett, Judith Braid, David Burgess, Tim Ewbank, Geof Tamulonis

Courses Committee Operational Guidelines


Finance Committee

Function: Manages the U3AC budget.
Treasurer: Margaret Kerry
Committee: John Abbott, Mike Gibbs, Jane Stevens, Stella Weeds

Finance Committee Terms of Reference


Cultural and Social Activities Committee

Function: Organises a wide range of social activities for U3AC members.
Chair: Clem Messenger
Secretary: Janet Rallison
Treasurer: Gill Hodge
Committee: approximately six volunteers from among U3AC’s members.


Other groups

In addition to the committees that have direct representation on Council, there are a number of groups that are led by a small team of members. Chief among these are:

  • The Events coordinator, Pauline Grounds, manages a number of U3AC’s social events with the assistance of the Catering team.
  • The Environment group, chaired by Elizabeth May and coordinated by Leslie Miller-Bernal, promotes environmental awareness practice across the organisation and among its members.

Our volunteers

U3AC is an independent, self-financing organisation run by the members themselves (with invaluable support from its efficient Office staff). In addition to Council members and Officers who are responsible for the management of the organisation, U3AC relies on its volunteers to:

  • run our courses and other activities
  • act as receptionists at our Bridge Street premises
  • help in the U3AC Office on an ad hoc basis from time to time
  • act as stewards at our lectures and conference
  • contribute their culinary skills at our catered events
  • support the organisation in a multitude of other ways.

Please contact the Office if you are interested in volunteering in any capacity. Help is always needed.

If you are interested in running a course and becoming a tutor or course leader you can find more information on this website: Running a course.