By Rachel Cole, Projects Officer
In 2017 we applied and received a grant from Coalfields Regeneration for £10,000. This grant was to be used for the Thurcroft residents who were over 50 years of age to promote health and welling being. Part of the grant was used to set up a Lucheon Club for the over 50’s. A part time worker was employed to set up this up and run it every Wednesday from 11am until 2pm. This was run over a ten-week period and was free of charge to the residents. Numbers started low but by the end of the ten-week period they had almost doubled.
It was never the intention to continue the luncheon club once the grant had run out, however, residents didn’t want it to end and said they would pay each week if it meant it could keep running. It was agreed that to make the luncheon club more sustainable it would have to be run by volunteers and not have a paid member of staff.
I approached three ladies who attended the luncheon and asked if they would be willing to form a committee and become constituted to enable them to open a bank account, manage the funds and in time to apply for their own funding. At first they were very reluctant to do this as felt it was too much responsibility and commitment. However, they did agree to give it a try once I said I would support them throughout.
I wrote a constitution for them and went with them to open a bank account. Since then the luncheon club has gone from strength to strength and is ran completely by volunteers. Residents pay £5.00 a week and for this get a hot two course meal, two games of bingo and a raffle ticket for the weekly raffle. The committee have also raised over £900 from raffles in attending local galas, fayres etc for the group.
A trip to Skegness has been booked for July and this will be subsidised through the money raised. Approximately 50 people now attend every week and thoroughly enjoy it. The luncheon club is really important as it helps to stop isolation in the local community.
I have recently applied for up to £3000 from Tesco Bags for Help and hopefully this will be successful.