Wed. Jun 19th, 2024

Armidale’s University of the Third Age, also called U3A, will undertake a number of much-needed upgrade and maintenance projects on its Markham Street premises thanks to a grant from the NSW Government.

The University of Third Age is a volunteer run organisation with over 30 volunteers supporting a membership over 400 local people, mostly retired, who wish to keep learning. Each year they offer about 50 courses and activities providing a wide range of opportunities for ongoing learning, intellectual stimulation, social interaction and physical activity, all of which are free for members.

Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall announced the $190,248 grant from the NSW Government for U3A to dramatically improve its home base and accessibility for people with a disability.

“U3A has been keen to upgrade its headquarters, an 1880s heritage residence, to ensure that everyone, regardless of age and mobility, can easily access and move around the building,” Mr Marshall said.

The plans will see the construction of a new unisex disabled toilet, upgrades to the existing ladies toilets, provide replacement storage, as well as upgrade water pipes, and install automatic doors and new LED lights.

“The grant will help bring the premises into line with current access requirements for people with a disability as well as modernise other facilities for U3A’s volunteers, members and those attending courses.” 

“U3A does a wonderful job in the Armidale community, providing stimulated courses, workshops and other activities to keep older people engaged and together,” Mr Marshall said.

U3A Armidale’s Joint Course and Office Co-ordinator Penny Nicholson said that the organisation was thrilled to receive the funding.

“This grant will enable us to ‘future proof’ the building for many years to come in addition to providing accessibility and safety for all,” Mrs Nicholson said.

“We have a number of members with difficulty getting around who use walkers, walking sticks and wheelchairs – up until this time there have been non designated facilities for these members.

“We also had a water leak brought about by aging galvanised pipes.”

Local builders, electricians and other tradesmen have been secured to undertake aspects of the work, which will get underway shortly.

Top image: University of the Third Age Armidale committee members are pleased to receive an $190,248 grant to upgrade their premises, Bron Baker, left, Sue Cameron, Penny Nicholson, Doug Barber, Dianne Mitchell, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, Margaret Bain and President Ray Weston.

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