NEW members are being invited to join a burgeoning club in Evesham which is close to welcoming its 800th member.

The Evesham and District U3A is one of the most successful clubs in the area with its members able to make use of a wide and diverse range of interest groups, activities and day trips.

The University of the Third Age, or U3A for short, movement has more than 840 branches across the UK, with nearly 275,000 members among them. It is a group for people no longer in full-time work who wish to pursue learning about new subjects and keep active.

Evesham and District U3A recently celebrated its 10th anniversary and it continues to go from strength to strength.

It currently has 62 interest groups ranging from archaeology to yoga and new groups can be formed as long as there is a volunteer prepared to run it.

One of the U3A’s newest members is former leader of Wychavon District Council, Martin Jennings.

“It is very stimulating,” said Mr Jennings. “We are a lively bunch and there is a very good social side to it.

“The interest groups and open meetings are great. There is so much choice in terms of interest groups and a real openness which means everyone is made to feel welcome. There is no stuffiness about it.”

Mr Jennings was a very well known and respected face at Wychavon District Council where he served as leader for four years from 2005 to 2009.

He retired from the demanding role three-and-a-half years ago but says that he misses the day-to-day work he was used to for so many years.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Wychavon and I think it’s very important to keep active as you get older so the U3A certainly helps with that.

“Nobody realises just how big it (U3A) is.”

Meetings take place on the first Wednesday of the month, except in January, at Evesham Town Hall from 2pm-4pm.

All members and visitors are welcome to attend.

People interested in joining the U3A or learning more about the group can attend an open day at the town hall on Wednesday, November 7, at 2pm.