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Creating space for friendship and fun for Menstrie’s older residents

03 November 2017
lunch club

As a result of limited facilities and opportunities for elderly residents to get involved in social activities, many of the older people in Menstrie were feeling isolated. In March 2016 and with a modest £500 EDF-ER Burnfoot Hill micro grant, Menstrie Community Council trialled a Senior Citizens Lunch Club, bringing together the elderly residents together on a fortnightly basis and giving them an opportunity to socialise together. The lunch club attracted 30 volunteers and a similar number of participants. The volunteers organized the meals, arranged transport and assisted anyone with particular needs.

The Community Council then supported the regular attendees to constitute themselves as the Senior Citizens Lunch Club. They successfully applied for a £4220 grant from the main EDF-ER Burnfoot Hill Fund which is now ensuring the project’s continuation for the next three years. Every participant contributes £3.25 per meal so the grant helps with the additional running costs including hall hire and crockery and for an annual outing.

Caroline Crawford, Secretary, Menstrie Community Council is delighted to have helped establish the new community service: “Since the start of the Lunch Club last year it has grown in numbers and we now even deliver to a former member who is now housebound. This is something that we would like to expand on doing. It is very heart-warming to see the enjoyment the members get, not just from their lunch, but the social interaction it has created, most noticeably by the older men who come along.”

The participants themselves are celebrating this new opportunity to get out and have more contact with others:

"I love coming to the Lunch Club where I not only enjoy a lovely lunch but also meeting up with other local residents from all parts of the village and having a good chat. I never feel lonely since I have been here and it is the highlight of my week."

"I have been coming along to the Lunch Club since it started and never miss it because I enjoy it so much. Everybody is very friendly and the volunteers do a wonderful job waiting on us. Can't praise it enough."
Positive feedback has also come from volunteers, who enjoy assisting the elderly people and listening to the chat, which they say to be very rewarding.

The Senior Citizens Lunch Club has helped to bridge the gap of facilities for older people and has encouraged many of them to participate in other community events. Thanks to the volunteers and support of the EDF-ER Burnfoot Hill Fund, they have overcome challenges of mobility and isolation, enjoy a more active life and have the opportunity to socialize with others and enjoy the many benefits this brings.

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