|Badminton Group||Ukulele Group|
Note that information about interest groups is changeable due to continuing coronavirus restrictions.
Interest groups run from September until May each year, coordinated by a group leader. Meetings may take place in members’ homes or in public halls.
New groups are created in response to requests and the availability of a group leader and venue. If you have an idea for a new group, you can get in touch with the interest groups coordinators (see the Contact Us page).
Prospective members can view a sample interest group programme to get a rough idea of the programme (no login required).
Current groups are listed below, but note that this is an evolving list. Where there are several groups on the same topic, the name of the group is shown in bold. Click on the name of a group to expand or contract its description (where available).
- And Sew Forth (Crafts) We are a very sociable group where participants bring their own projects and crafts (knitting, crochet, tapestry) to work on in group meetings.
- Looking at Art Our aim is to develop an appreciation for art through meetings in members’ homes plus visits to art galleries and similar places of interest. The art includes paintings, sculpture and films (where appropriate).
- Art (Painting) We are very sociable, aiming to do painting at all levels of ability.
- Badminton We aim to play badminton and have fun. The group is for all ability levels.
- Board Gaming The aim is to have fun learning and playing a variety of interesting board games. These typically use a board or are built up from tiles. The games will appeal to a wide range of adult players and will involve some strategy and thinking. Typically a game will last about an hour. We do not normally play well-known games or ones largely relying on chance.
- Books We cover both fiction and non-fiction books as suggested by members. The books can be bestsellers, classics or ones that have come to our notice in other ways.
- Bridge Bridge is proven to sharpen the mind and improve memory. We play social contract bridge in an enjoyable atmosphere.
- Cinema Club (Informal) We have a social coffee meeting in the venue beforehand to give people an opportunity to chat, then watch the film or other entertainment in the cinema.
- Clash of Clans (Gaming) Download the app for your tablet or smartphone and play with other U3A members in a safe, secure and non-threatening environment. Some members of the Clan play live and meet up for coffee and a chat. We can help you to get started.
- Classical Music Appreciation We listen to CDs, combining this with short introductions to the music. Discussions and a tea/coffee break give us a chance to socialise.
- Coffee Club (Alloa) Informally known as ‘Clacks Chat’, we are a very sociable group who meet every Saturday morning in the Clackmannanshire area. This is a valuable social gathering for members in the eastern part of FVU3A. Attendance is informal, with people staying for a whole session or just part of it. This allows everyone to fit in coffee, tea and a chat.
- Coffee Club (Dunblane) We meet weekly and informally in Dunblane for coffee, tea and a chat.
- Coffee Club (Stirling) We meet weekly and informally in Stirling for coffee, tea and a chat. This is a great way to introduce yourself to other members and to find out more about FVU3A.
- Creative Writing We have warm-up exercises to increase our use of adjectives, etc. Then we read out our stories (500 words) to each other. This is followed by discussion and choosing the next writing title.
- Cross Stitch Everyone brings along their own project, with guidance being given to beginners. The more experienced people can share their knowledge. We have coffee, tea, biscuits and plenty of great conversation.
- Cultural Activities in Care Homes The CACH project offers music performances, reminiscence sessions and life-story work in local care homes for older people. We aim to provide stimulating activities, broadening the range of cultural and leisure opportunities available to older people. We include care home residents in meaningful activities, promoting learning among younger and older generations. We welcome new members who can help with these activities or with the general running of the project. See the separate web page for more information.
- Current Affairs Group members bring along subjects to discuss from newspaper clippings or TV programmes seen over the previous two weeks. We abide by the principles for a good discussion, and are developing new procedures to better serve members with hearing difficulties.
- Digital Photography The group meets at different locations (some nearby and others further away) to take photographs on a theme that varies each time. Afterwards the photographs can be uploaded to a website so that they can be viewed by everyone in the group. In the winter months we might have an ‘indoor’ meeting, together with coffee and cake, to discuss photographs taken during the year and what we would like to do in the future.
- Dining Club (International Flavours) We meet for lunch and conversation in different restaurants with an international menu.
- Dining Club (Tuesday Lunch Club) We meet monthly for lunch and conversation in various locations across the FVU3A area.
- French Conversation We are a group of enthusiasts with an interest in French language and culture. Meetings are informal and friendly, and we are always pleased to welcome new members. Members of the group organise a wide variety of activities in French that are fun and informative. The level is intermediate, and there is no formal instruction. Besides the main programme, there are conversation sessions for those who prefer something informal. See the separate web page for more information.
- Garden Visits We have visits to various gardens, often under the Scotland Garden Scheme. In the early part of the year we might go to see snowdrops, while from April to October we visit a number of other gardens.
- German (Beginners) Learn how to use German for things like counting, time, greetings, travel, food, accommodation, personal life, customs and songs. We try to do some games in German to help with the language. We follow a short, simple book with lots of cartoons. The emphasis is on speaking and reading.
- Golfing for Fun Our emphasis is on playing golf informally.
- Guitar for Beginners We aim to introduce the basics of guitar theory, supplemented by practical instruction.
- Guitar Playing for Fun Members should have a basic knowledge of guitar playing, and should know some chords and strum patterns. Members should ideally read ‘TAB’, with no need to read musical notation. We have beginner sessions for those without these prerequisites.
- History We have sessions on all aspects and periods of prehistory and history, with particular reference to Scotland. Topics are chosen and presented by group members.
- Home and Away Our aim is to organise holidays, short breaks and day outings. We aim to help people who do not wish to travel alone to enjoy the company of other members.
- Italian (Improvers) Being an intermediate group, we concentrate on speaking and writing in casual mode. We each keep a file, divided into three sections, that covers greetings, grammar and other topics.
- Karate Karate can be practised at any age as long as a person is relatively healthy. Older people may not be as strong, fast or flexible as someone in their 20s. However, they can still practise karate at their own pace and derive great physical and emotional benefit. Karate training builds strength, balance, flexibility, endurance and improved cardio performance. It also builds self confidence and self esteem and has been shown to improve cognitive ability.
- Languages Online Anyone in the U3A language groups can provide text in the language of their choice to the Languages Online leader. In return they will receive suggested corrections for their text.
- Libretti (Opera Appreciation) We research opera librettists and how they worked with composers. We read through the libretto in the target language while listening to the main opera arias.
- Mah-jong Mah-jong is a traditional Chinese game that is enjoyable and not too serious. We play games informally in pleasant company.
- Mandarin (Intermediate) We use books with CDs attached in order to help us with the pronunciation and tones.
- Out and About We visit places not usually open to the public, or go to a public location with something extra added that is not usually available to the public. Group members use their own contacts to submit ideas for interesting and different places.
- Philosophy (Be A Philosopher) We are a group of enthusiasts with an interest in philosophical questions. The format is flexible, but basically alternates between historical philosophical topics and lively philosophical discussions as suggested and led by members.
- Poetry Appreciation We read and discuss poetry, either a specific poet or a theme. Our range covers poetry from the 14th century to the present day.
- Portuguese Our main aim is to speak Portuguese and not worry about making mistakes. We each keep a file, divided into three sections, that covers greetings, grammar and other topics.
- Quintessentials We discuss a diverse range of topics that shed light on the human condition. Each meeting is led by a member who has researched the topic. Religion and politics are not out of bounds, so at times we have to show sensitivity and ‘disagree well’.
- Quizzing for Fun We organise light-hearted quiz sessions where individuals contribute ten questions that are answered by small groups of people. The atmosphere is not competitive and we aim to have plenty of laughs.
- Recorder We play recorder music mostly in one to four parts for descant, treble and tenor recorders.
- Scrabble We aim to have fun playing Scrabble informally.
- Short Story Appreciation Each meeting discusses two short stories that we have read during the previous fortnight. The stories are taken from classic collections by a wide range of authors and are chosen by the group leader.
- Singing for Fun We aim to be informal, covering songs of all varieties that are sung to a recorded accompaniment. We have a range of talent, so the ability to sing in tune is not really required! We cover traditional music from Scotland and beyond, musicals and songs requested by group members.
- Spanish (Intermediate) We cover greetings, discussion topics and grammar with the aim of promoting general conversation in Spanish.
- Table Tennis We have sociable play, mostly in mixed doubles.
- Tai Chi Tai Chi focuses on the body as a whole and uses slow, graceful movements combined with mental concentration and relaxed breathing. It is performed slowly and with minimum use of physical strength. No special clothes or footwear are needed. Tai Chi can bring mental, physical and energetic benefits. It achieves a natural state of relaxation, rejuvenates the body and harmonises the mind.
- Technology Help This is not the usual kind of group. Anyone can request help on technology-related matters such as getting photos from a camera onto a PC, setting up a smart TV, or using a microwave oven. There are no group meetings. Instead, individuals ask for one-on-one help as required.
- Travellers' Tales We usually have a presentation by one or two group members about their travels in the UK or abroad. The people giving the talk often host the meeting and provide the refreshments (possibly from the area being discussed). Talks can be illustrated by photos or videos displayed on a screen. However, a selection of photos and objects can just be passed around. This allows us to learn a lot about other countries in an informal setting with opportunities to socialise.
- Ukulele This is an established group with the confidence to play to an audience. Nonetheless, for most members the ukulele is their first ever musical instrument.
- Walking (Easy Walking) This groups does flat-route walks in good weather of 3 to 4 miles, not strenuous ones. We aim to finish off at a pub/eating place!