Bexley U3A was formed in January 1992 and since then has grown so that we now have over 500 members. The core of our association is formed by both educational and leisure activities. We have 50 interest groups which are held during the day in the homes of members in a relaxed and informal way. These groups are led by unpaid but enthusiastic members who often have expertise in the subjects they have volunteered to lead. There are no examinations and no qualifications are required or awarded. The range of activities undertaken is not set, it continues year on year or changes to reflect the abilities of our various group leaders and the interests of our members whether they be academic, cultural, physical or recreational. The emphasis is on self-help, the pleasure of learning and the opening up of new horizons. Members are expected to play an active role in the running of our branch by bringing ideas, skills and enthusiasm to the organisation.We also run a range of social activities including visits, talks and walks. A monthly newsletter gives members up to date news about group activities and social events. In addition members have access to conferences, Summer Schools and Shared Learning Projects organised by the National Office, Third Age Trust which also provides legal and financial expertise and numerous other resources.Bexley U3A is part of a worldwide movement which began in France in 1972 where adults had never enjoyed the kind of educational opportunities offered by Local Education Authorities and other bodies in the UK. Legislation was passed in France which directed universities to make provision for more mature people. This close connection between universities and the U3A still applies today in France but the UK model is the one that we follow: self-directed learning without the distinction between teacher and students where group leaders simply guide the learning and the word ‘university’ is used in its original sense of people coming together to share and pursue learning in all its forms.