Haslingfield & Harlton Luncheon Club provides a monthly lunch to over 30 diners in Haslingfield Methodist Church.
It is run by volunteers who prepare the two-course home-cooked meal in their own homes, and serve it up in the Church building followed by tea and coffee. Volunteer drivers collect those who would otherwise be unable to attend. The club is open to all, providing a meeting place for old friends, as well as a chance to meet new ones.
When the Methodist Church building was extended the community was keen to make the best possible use of the improved premises. Although there were evening activities available in the village, there was nothing during the day and so the idea of a lunch club was born. There was an enthusiastic response to an initial meeting and the lunch club started up in 2003.
Volunteer cooks, drivers and helpers have been easy to recruit (‘In a small village, you know who to ask!’). People sign up as to when they can help.
Each month, one of a number of Team Leaders takes charge of organising volunteers, deciding the menu and buying and distributing ingredients. All the cooks have completed Food Safety courses, which the club organises from time to time.
Diners were easy to recruit when the club started up, and over the years new ones have joined. The average age has got older with more in their 90s, and fewer in their 70s than in the club’s early days.
The club is self-funding with a charge for diners covering costs of ingredients, a small rent for the rooms and public liability insurance.
The local Village Fund provided £200 towards set up costs, but the club was able to pay this back.
Care Network helped the group set up its constitution.
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