Holy Cross lunch club moves a step closer

March 2013

Local parishioners joined volunteers from established parish projects in Hartlepool, Newcastle and St Mary’s, Sunderland at the recent Open Day at Holy Cross. They had come along to find out more about how they can help to set up and run a brand new lunch club in the former convent rooms.

As part of our Parish and Community Enablement (PACE) initiative, we are working closely with all of the priests in Sunderland to open the club, which will be available for anyone in the city who is elderly, isolated or lonely. 

Before signing up, visitors to the Open Day were able to chat to some of the volunteers already involved in one of the 14 established PACE projects operating across the region, gaining valuable insight into the role of volunteering and the many and varied rewards it provides. 

Visitors also enjoyed a buffet lunch and were able to view an exhibition of photos, comments and quotes from volunteers, guests and local priests involved in current PACE projects.

The lunch club will use two of the former convent rooms in Holy Cross; a cosy lounge area, where people can chat over coffee and join in bingo and quizzes, and a separate, bright and airy dining room. Lunch will be prepared by staff at Holy Cross, but volunteers will serve the meal, organise entertainment and quizzes and enjoy time chatting and socialising with the lunch club guests.

St Cuthberts Care’s Community Services Manager, Kathleen Urwin said,

"I’m always inspired by the warmth and generosity of parishioners who rally to help launch and run new PACE projects. We have had a good response from parishioners right across the Sunderland area, all with a special connection with Holy Cross. By joining together to help those with limited contact or conversation with others, the newly formed group will nurture and grow a safe and welcoming new community.

"A lunch club at Holy Cross will be welcomed by many lonely people who will have the opportunity to come to a lovely place where they can enjoy the warmth of hospitality offered by the team of volunteers. The rooms that the lunch club will be using are large, light and comfortable just waiting for guests to arrive."

The next step is to meet with everyone who has expressed an interest in becoming a volunteer and involve them in the development of the lunch club, which is scheduled to open in April.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer for the lunch club at Holy Cross or would like more information, contact Kathleen on 0191 228 0111 or by email at kathleen.urwin@stcuthbertscare.org.uk