Volunteers’ Week 2021 – u3a Wigtownshire

It is Volunteers’ Week and we at u3a Wigtownshire are celebrating our first National u3a Day tomorrow (Wednesday).

Our committee and our members have worked hard to put together different activities to celebrate our amazing organisation, regardless of the difficult circumstances.

The u3a is a UK-wide, volunteer movement founded over 35 years ago. It brings people together to explore skills, new ideas and activities through different interest groups.

Wigtownshire u3a was set up in 2008 and has currently 189 members enjoying more than 20 different groups ranging from art to archaeology, table tennis to philosophy, and practical gardening to photography.

Recent times have affected us. Our committee membership fell to the minimum necessary to operate successfully. Since all u3as can only be sustained by its members, we worked hard to attract more people to join us.

2021 has been a challenging and surprising year. Our committee is starting to return to normality (as almost everything in Scotland) and now has members from different parts of the UK and also from all over the world including USA, The Netherlands and Guatemala.

We enjoy different personalities, consider all viewpoints and respect our diverse cultures. Working together in a tolerant and understanding environment fosters the development of long lasting relationships. It makes us realise that volunteering, helping the community, belonging to a group and being there for your neighbour is important everywhere in the world.

I grew up in a developing country, where basic things, that we in the West take for granted, are not freely available to everyone. At university, I realised how privileged I was, belonging to a minority, within only 0.2% young adults having access to higher education. That marked a decisive point in my life, when freely giving back was no longer optional. This influenced my decision to join Wigtownshire u3a as a Committee member recently.

No matter how much or how little you are able to do, making a difference in somebody else’s life is enough motivation to continue working hard towards a better future. To find out more about us, and consider joining us, visit u3asites.org.uk/wigtownshire or email sec.wu3a@gmail.com

Pictured: Committee members of Wigtownshire u3a from left – Moyra Breckenridge (Membership), Celia Heller, Gill Hay (Chair), Lesley Miller (Bus. Sec), Richard McElrea, Julie McGlashan (Webmaster), Julia Ortiz Echeverria (Minutes Secretary).