University of the Third Age, abbreviated to U3A, is a movement which brings together people in their ‘third age’ to develop their interests and continue their learning in a friendly and informal environment.

Sue Hogg, treasurer of the Fermanagh group Erne U3A, said: “It’s to encourage people to go on using their brains, enjoying life by extending activities and just making good use of their time.”

She continued: “We have a meeting once a month in Fermanagh House and at that meeting we have a coffee and a chat, a business meeting and then usually a speaker.”

“We then have different groups. All our groups are organised by our own members. We are very much an organisation for the members by the members,” added Sue.

Highlighting the variety of groups that meet under the umbrella of Erne U3A, Sue said: “We have a walking group which does walks around the county and also has a couple of walks further afield in Northern Ireland.”

She continued: “We have a choir which has had a very successful year the last few years. We sing on a Tuesday morning and we join in with all the choirs throughout Northern Ireland for a once a year ‘big sing’.”

Sue also noted that there is a poetry and storytelling group which meets twice a month, a film club showing ‘old movies’ and a health club attached to the Killyhevlin.

She added: “We also do lunches, a Sunday lunch and a weekday lunch.”

Although Erne U3A offer lots of activities, Sue explained that the organisation is also a “very important life line” for many people.

“There’s a great amount of talk about healthy mental health these days and I think one of the things we are very much there for is giving people a sense of belonging, somewhere to go,” shared Sue.

“Everyone looks forward to them and it’s not just trivial, it’s actually a critical lifeline for all sorts of people,” she added.

Erne U3A currently has 159 members and a committee which includes chairwoman Lorna Dane, secretary Rosemary Wylie and treasurer Sue Hogg. “People come from all over for our meetings and we are hoping this year that that will grow,” Sue added.

Meeting in Fermanagh House on the second Monday of the month, the group’s first meeting for the new season will be on September 9 at 10.30am. For more information on Erne U3A visit their website at

“We are always glad to see new people,” concluded Sue.