I am prompted by your article on mental health in the current issue of Mature Times (which I picked up in the local library) to tell you my own story.
I have been retired for over 8 years and really missed my team at work, who were like family to me. For the first few years I could go for days at a time without speaking with anyone unless they were sat behind a till. I got rid of my TV as I found I was spending too much time sleeping in front of it and, anyway, there’s no point in spending precious time gazing at other people’s ideas when I have plenty of my own!
Then I joined the local U3A (University of the 3rd Age) and it has transformed my life! With 650 members and over 50 groups there is always something to do/learn/share, sometimes outdoors and sometimes in. I attend meetings on: Archaeology, Bird Watching, Country Walks (short, about 5 miles), Country Walks (long, about 9 miles), Creative Writing, Geology, Latin, Relaxation, Science, Singing and Topical Issues debates. There’s also a monthly general meeting with a guest speaker, the most recent being a Mr Paul Atterbury, an antique person who has a road show.
It’s not free! The annual subscription is £15 and you have to pay 10 shillings at each meeting, which covers room rent, insurance etc. It’s excellent value for money!
Chris Slade, Dorchester