Success for Seaham Harbour U3A

Seaham Harbour U3A entered the 2013 RITA competition.

RITA [Research Ideas from the Third Age] is a regional initiative overseen by Newcastle University. The purpose of RITA is to develop a research culture within U3A’s in collaboration with local universities. By ‘research culture’ we mean a broad lay awareness and understanding of the importance and excitement of research across all areas of knowledge – arts and humanities, as well as science, medicine and technology.

We were delighted to be awarded a prize of £250 as third place winners. The title of the submission: To examine and compare the provision of lifelong learning in the two European twinned towns of Seaham, United Kingdom and Gerlingen, Germany. The two towns have an historic link as they have similar sized populations and have been twinned for 25 years.

We now have to look towards developing our idea. To begin we will need to explore research techniques for identifying what is already in existence in the two towns to support lifelong learning. A comparison will be made between that which is on offer to third agers alongside opportunities for young people. The intention is to incorporate a cross generational theme throughout our research.

As a result of our success Seaham Harbour have a Research and Development Group comprising a small number of interested members [anyone else would be most welcome to join us]. Our first meeting is imminent to begin work on this exciting project.

Sandra Wilkinson.

Chair Person. Seaham Harbour U3A.