Frequently Asked Questions

I am thinking of joining Bristol u3a - can I try a few activities before deciding?

Yes, you can attend up to three events as ‘tasters’ before deciding whether or not to join. Normally this would be a social group or the Bristol u3a monthly meeting. We hope you will then decide to join us. Incidentally, we do our very best to keep the annual subscription rate as affordable as possible and we hope you will agree it is excellent value for money in these expensive times!

Is it better to join/rejoin Bristol u3a online or by sending a cheque?

If possible please join online through our website. You should find this much easier, and cheaper, than printing and sending off an application form, cheque and stamped addressed envelope. It also means less work for our volunteers. Please don’t forget to tick the Gift Aid box, if appropriate. Just a reminder that our membership year starts and finishes on 31st August.

Once I have paid my annual membership are there other costs involved in joining interest groups?

Most activities will be free once you have paid your subscription. However, there are several exceptions. Activities such as bowls, snooker and table tennis incur a cost - details are usually found on the website but do check this with the group leader. Some groups attend the theatre or cinema and then members would pay for their own tickets. Some groups meet in a cafe or pub in which case there would be an expectation that members buy a drink and if a group meets in a private home they may ask for a small contribution towards refreshments. Although groups that meet in public venues do receive a subsidy, a small number of them also require a small contribution from their members to meet the venue hire costs. 

Is there any limit to how many interest groups I can join?

No, as long as there are places available, you can join as many interest groups as you wish. Most groups do expect a reasonably regular attendance, although with some groups it is fine to dip in and out. Do check this with the group leader. If you decide not to continue attending a group it is important to let the group leader know in case it enables another member to join from a waiting list.

I am interested in joining a group and have sent a message to a group leader through the website but haven't received a reply.

Firstly, do check your email spam folder in case a reply has ended up there. Then contact the groups coordinator for your area. The four coordinators support the interest groups in their areas (N/NE, W/NW, and South) with the addition of a language groups coordinator. They are there to help and advise members as well as group leaders. They can be messaged through the website and their contact details can be found in the Annual Bulletin sent out to all members in August/September each year.

I have been told that the group I am interested in is full.

The group leader may offer to put you on a waiting list. Groups coordinators try to keep an eye on waiting lists with a view to starting another group if enough people are interested so it is worth contacting one of them. All groups need a leader so do think about whether you would be willing to help run a new group as this would make it more likely that a new group could get off the ground.

Can I bring ‘guests’ to events?

Unless they are deciding whether or not to join Bristol u3a (see above), you can’t bring ‘guests’ along to events as this would not be fair on members who have paid the annual subscription.