THE Tweeddale branch of an international organisation has been saved after a “last ditch” plea for committee members.

The area’s u3a group, open to anyone no longer in full-time employment, has more than 250 members.

But it was struggling to attract volunteers to serve on its committee, when chair Sheila Jackson went “nuclear”, suggesting in an email to all it might fold.

Immediately her inbox filled with offers of help.

Five committee members – chair, secretary, treasurer, publicity and programme coordinator – were due to retire in September. As a charity it was vital the chair, secretary and treasurer posts were filled.

On Monday, Ms Jackson said: “We have had a committee meeting today and had responses from members willing to volunteer.

“A couple of current members of the group offered to change roles and we think we will have achieved a full committee.

“There is still some follow up to do but I think we can safely say that Tu3a is saved thanks to the work of the current members and very helpful responses.

“Some members expressed concern that the Tweeddale organisation may fold.”

u3a was founded in Paris in 1979 and came to the UK in 1982.

Tweeddale u3a offers a massive programme of daytime educational, creative and leisure activities in a friendly and informal atmosphere.

On average 43 people attend its regular monthly meeting, with many more at its regular special interest talks, such as Taylor Winyard’s about rowing the Atlantic and Stephen Scott on ‘The Mills of Tweeddale Project’ this January.

Interest groups are seen as the lifeblood of the organisation and, as well as numerous book gatherings, these include various walking groups, Mah Jong, film groups, lunch group, wine tasting and international affairs.

There is a bi-monthly newsletter by email, in the post and in some cases hand delivered, and a private Facebook group.

The monthly meeting, from October to June, is on the second Tuesday of the month at 2pm in the St Joseph’s Neighbourhood Centre, Rosetta Road, Peebles.

There is also an annual outing which is in July this year to Dumfries House.