A mum has told how she launched an educational group in a bid to learn a new language so she could keep doing the activity she loves.

Jane Giffould, from Halstead, launched a German language group at the u3a in the town.

The educational charity aims to enable people who no longer work full-time to continue their interests, learn new things, and live life to the full.

Jane, who is an avid pilot, looked up the charity because she wanted to learn German.

Jane first took to the skies when her son gave her a flying lesson for her 50th birthday.

She said: “From that very first lesson I was absolutely hooked and I’ve been flying for almost quarter of a century.

“It was a mountain flying course in Germany that led me to joining u3a.

“I decided that before repeating such a course in Germany I would learn to speak the language properly, so I looked round for classes that would fit in with my busy schedule.

"I found a u3a near to me but they did not have a German group so I ended up starting a group and running it."

Jane’s story comes as a survey of u3a members found just over 80 per cent of respondents are motivated by helping others, while connecting with people drives 78 per cent, and 70 per cent were motivated by learning new things.

Members were also asked for their crowning moments since retiring.

Answers ranged from sailing a tall ship across the Atlantic, to cycling 1,000 miles for a cancer charity – a feat Jane completed last year, raising more than £1,100.

The u3a survey also found that since finishing full-time work, 37 per cent of respondents have become involved with a charity and 21 per cent have started learning a new language.

Sam Mauger, chief executive of u3a, said: “Through interest groups as diverse as kayaking and climate change, the u3a increases people's quality of life by boosting confidence, enabling a sense of purpose, and feeling valued.

“Our 430,000 members are vibrant, active, full of energy and have so much to offer.”