Lunch Club volunteers pass on their experience

April 2013

Volunteers at work at Cuddy's Lunch Club

Parish and Community Enablement (PACE) volunteers are known for their warmth, compassion and willingness to help and that was no exception when our newly formed team of volunteers from Sunderland were invited along to the recently-opened Cuddy's Lunch Club in Chester-le-Street.

The teams met up to discuss the opening of the new Holy Cross Lunch Club in Sunderland and the Cuddy's club volunteers and guests were only too happy to share their experiences. Both volunteers and guests at Cuddy's spoke warmly about the difference the club had made to their lives, explaining how being part of the group had helped them to get to know others they had sat next to in church for many years, but never had the opportunity to spend time with.

Joan Johnson, one of the new Holy Cross Lunch Club volunteers, said, "Our group found the visit both helpful and inspiring. It really helps to be able to talk to volunteers who are already carrying out the role and to hear how much the guests enjoy their time. We are full of good ideas about how we can make our lunch club really enjoyable and we can't wait to get started."

Cuddy's Lunch Club is held every Wednesday between 11.30am and 2pm in St Cuthberts Coffee Shop in Chester-le-Street and Holy Cross Lunch Club, which opens on Wednesday, 8 May, will be held weekly between 11am and 2.30pm in Holy Cross Care Home, Sunderland.

St Cuthberts Care, working in partnership with local parishes, has enabled hundreds of volunteers across the region to open their own local PACE projects for the elderly, isolated or vulnerable. If you would like to find out more about either of the above Lunch Clubs, or are interested in opening a PACE project in your own local parish, contact Kathleen Urwin on 0191 228 0111 or email"