Full house at first lunch club

March 2013

LunchingWhen Cuddy's Lunch Club in Chester-le-Street opened its doors for the first time recently, a total of 38 people enjoyed all the benefits of having somewhere warm, inviting and welcoming in their own community to meet and socialise with others as well as enjoy a tasty, home-cooked lunch.

For many guests, Cuddy's provides them with their only opportunity to find company and companionship and everyone is really looking forward to getting to know each other and forming lasting friendships.

The weekly lunch club is run entirely by volunteers who give their time to prepare and serve lunch, organise entertainment, lead quizzes and help to create a warm and friendly atmosphere for everyone who comes along. As an extra, friendly gesture, a number of volunteers are also able to offer lifts to and from the lunch club, making it possible for those who are less mobile to enjoy some social time with others.

"It was lovely to see how wide-reaching our lunch club is going to be. Many of the guests and volunteers have never been involved in the usual parish activities, but are already keen to be involved in the lunch club" said parish priest, Fr John Reid.

"I have to applaud the resourcefulness of the volunteers who managed to provide a delicious, roast pork meal, with all the trimmings, and a homemade rice pudding for 38 people from a small kitchen without a hitch. But, it's not just in and out for a meal. Guests arrived at 11.30am, were able to take part in a fun quiz, have lunch then enjoy bingo and singing. The atmosphere was terrific."

Cuddy's Lunch Club is one of 14 Parish and Community Enablement (PACE) projects around the region to be set up with the support of St Cuthberts Care and local parishes. Each one is run by a team of dedicated volunteers to help and support vulnerable, lonely and elderly people in their own community.

Cuddy's Lunch Club is held every Wednesday between 11.30am and 2.30pm in St Cuthberts Coffee Shop on Ropery Lane in Chester-le-Street. If you or someone you know would like to attend or would like more information about the lunch club, please ring 0191 388 5588 or contact St Cuthberts Care's Community Services team on 0191 228 0111.