Countesthorpe U3A aim

The aim of Countesthorpe U3A is to enhance the lives of older persons in the locality who are not in full-time gainful employment. Our range of activity groups utilises members' own skills and knowledge to provide learning, creative, leisure and social activities in a friendly environment.

Your committee 2023/24


DAVID HEBBLEWHITE (Chairperson) was born in Kingston-Upon-Hull and is proud of being a Yorkshireman. He has lived in and around the Midlands since 1981, and is now settled in Blaby with his wife Maureen. After a career in Mental Health Social work, David became an ordained minister in the Anglican Church and retired (!) from parish ministry, ultimately as Area Dean and Vicar of Countesthorpe and neighbouring villages, in 2019. He is still involved in Diocesan and National roles in the Church of England. David joined the U3A in 2019 and participates in the Ukulele, History and Outings Groups. He enjoys 1960’s music, history, current affairs, DIY, walking and gardening.


JANINE TIBBLES (Secretary) was born in Essex and moved to Leicestershire in 1989, firstly to Croft and then to Thurlaston, with her husband Dave in 1994, where they had two sons, Harry and Charlie. After teaching in Cosby for 25 years, Janine retired in 2014 and worked as a Community Carer for a short time and an Examinations Invigilator at De Montfort University for three years. Her interests include reading, travelling, socialising with friends and volunteering for Age UK. Janine joined Countesthorpe U3A in 2018 and enjoys the monthly meetings, Fit For Life, Discussion and Literature groups, and loves the varied U3A day trips. She is now also joint Group Leader for the Theatre Group with Gill Brown.


DAVID HETTERLEY (Treasurer) moved to Countesthorpe in 2017 with his wife, Marthese, and has been a U3A member since 2019. After a spell with a bank on leaving school, he moved into the sports retail business where he was a manager, area manager and buyer. After 12 years, he moved on as a buyer in a small family wholesaling business where he worked for the next 23 years. He also taught at South Leicestershire College on two evenings a week for 13 years. He semi-retired in 2013, taking a part-time job on the checkouts at Waitrose in Blaby, until its closure in 2019. Interested in photography and a qualified scuba diver, he has attended the History and Walking groups.


BARRY HILLYARD (Membership Secretary) has been a member since 2006, a year before his retirement from teaching mathematics and IT. Married to Pat, he has lived in Countesthorpe for 40 years, and has been involved with the Methodist Church and the Scouts. His hobbies include computers and photography. He runs the U3A Carpet Bowls, Computer, Nordic Walking and Beginners' Photography groups, and also participates in the Birdwatching, History and Outings groups. He also leads on the Beacon U3A management system.


JUNE NORRIS (Groups Co-ordinator, Information and Publicity) lived in Countesthorpe for 39 years before her move to Blaby, and has been a U3A member since 2004. After retirement from her senior management post in 2008, and also running her own small business she now enjoys U3A Theatre, Outings, Creative Writing, Literature and Discussion groups and is also Group Leader for History. She maintains the website, produces the Newsletter, What's On, group activity information and the monthly slide presentation and is involved with the Beacon U3A management system. She edited and designed the five 'Creative Writing Miscellany' booklets. She also enjoys volunteering in the local library.


BERYL LISHMAN (Speaker Secretary) has lived in Countesthorpe for over 25 years. She has two, now grown-up, girls who attended the local schools and college. She is a retired primary school teacher who joined the U3A a couple of years ago when working part-time. She attends the Literature group, and the Tuesday meetings when possible and has been on several theatre trips. Apart from the U3A, she sings in the South Wigston Sing4fun choir, is a member of the Leicester Footpaths Association, and volunteers in the local library, as well as spending time caring for her grandchildren. She welcomes the opportunity for more U3A involvement by serving on the committee.


JILL CLAYTON and husband, John, have lived in Countesthorpe for 10 years; feeling encouraged to do so through enjoyment of their U3A membership when seeking to relocate from Braunstone Town. Jill has always actively volunteered in the community, having been a Youth Club Leader and a Town Councillor (also being appointed Town Mayor) as well as 33 years with a national listening charity. She now works with Community Harvest Whetstone and the local foodbank and is also an active member of St Andrew's Church. Jill organises the U3A Holidays group, and her greatest interests are family, travel, bridge, theatre and keeping fit.


GILLIAN BROWN was born in Kent but moved to Leicester with her husband, Neill, in 1986 to work at GEC in Whetstone. After moving to Cosby and having two boys, Kevin and Matthew, Gill became a teacher at Cosby Primary school for 15 years. She took up archery in 2014 and competes regularly in competitions, both individually and as part of the county team. Her other interests include gardening, swimming, trips to the theatre and a variety of crafts. Gill, who has been a member of U3A since 2018, enjoys the monthly meetings and day trips, and has taken on running of the Theatre group with Janine Tibbles.


DOROTHY IVATT is a ‘Lancashire Lass’ at heart, though has lived in West Yorkshire and up to 12 months ago, for 17 years in Norfolk. She now lives in Blaby with her little Cockapoo dog Charlie. She took early retirement as Headteacher of a large primary school in Norfolk 12 years ago and wonders where all that time has gone! Her interests include gardening, singing, reading and cooking. She is a member of both Leicester and Countesthorpe U3As, and was elected to the Countesthorpe U3A Committee in 2021.


DAVID NORRIS has been a resident of Countesthorpe since 1971, having relocated from North London to work within the Machine Tool Industry in Leicester. Happily married for 51 years with three children, and now a granddad six times over. He has been a member of the u3a for about nine years, initially as a member of the Science and Technology group, and more recently involved in the Cryptic Crossword group. More recently he has joined a number of groups, including CARE and SWANS walking, Discussion, Literature and History with its visits to places of interest. Being involved and meeting new friends has been of great value to him personally, and being a member of the committee will enable him to introduce others in the village to the u3a and its undoubted social benefits.


BARBARA TALBOT has lived in Countesthorpe for 11 years with husband, Steve. After 17 years’ service in the NHS she retired and subsequently joined the U3A where she now participates in several groups as well as becoming a committee member. She is currently President of Countesthorpe Women’s Institute. She enjoys socialising and meeting new people as well as spending time with her family, dog walking and gardening.

"Enhancing the lives of local people"

Through learning, creative, leisure and social activities.

What are U3A's all about?

U3A stands for the University of the Third Age, which is a self-help organisation for people no longer in full-time employment, and which consists of local U3As all over the UK. They are charities in their own right and are run entirely by volunteers.

They are also learning co-operatives which draw upon the knowledge, experience and skills of their own members to organise and provide interest groups in accordance with the wishes of the membership. The teachers learn and the learners teach.

U3As in general offer the chance to study a wide range of subjects in such fields as art, languages, music, history, life sciences, philosophy, computing, crafts, photography and walking - check out our own list of activity groups, below.

The U3A approach to learning is - learning for pleasure. There is no accreditation or validation and there are no assessments or qualifications to be gained.

The University of the Third Age

Over 30 activity groups to choose from...

at Countesthorpe U3A

"What a friendly lot they are"