Dunholme Luncheon Club Have Helped the Community For 37 Years – Now They Need Your Help

Dunholme Luncheon Club was formed on the 24th September 1985 with 28 members. For the last 37 years its team have served up thousands of meals to hundreds of local residents in The Old School Room.

It was created as a voluntary run organisation that provides a hot home-cooked meal for senior citizens of the village, and surrounding villages, in a social environment.

The club currently have 40 members, the maximum they can take due to mobility of visitors getting around the venue and the limited number of chairs and tables available. “It has always been in The Old School Room” explains Theresa, secretary of 8 years, “which means it is nostalgic for some of them because they actually went to school there. It is so nice to hear their little tales!”

These organisations might seem to some as just a wholesome group, but they are a lot more important than that. We are living with an aging population, and loneliness is one of the largest issues facing our older generations. According to Age UK, more than 2 million people in England over the age of 75 live alone, and more than a million older people say they go over a month without speaking to a friend, neighbour or family member.

“There are so many people out there that are on their own and they’re lonely” Theresa says, “when they first come in and you hear the chatter it’s amazing. Some of them when they come haven’t seen anybody else in two weeks, so it just gives them something to look forward to and people to talk to.”

The club run fortnightly, excluding school holidays, and for £5 a hot home-cooked meal is provided which includes a traditional main such as meat and two veg, and a pudding such as treacle sponge or chocolate pudding. There is also a choice of juice or water, or if preferred they even offer a glass of sherry! All is finished off with tea or coffee with a biscuit.

They also host themed days; providing strawberries for Wimbledon, bangers and mash for Fireworks night and they of course put up decorations and dress up for Halloween as well as have a Christmas special.

The vital opportunities groups like these provide for our older residents are in jeopardy. With less volunteers and less community help, groups like these are continuing to close across the county every year. “It’s very very hard to get people to come forward and help.” Theresa says, “I don’t know if it is about getting the word out there or if people just don’t want to do it anymore, but it is such a shame. The Welton Luncheon Club shut down, the Luncheon Club at Nettleham shut down, the one in Fiskerton was going fortnightly but that now has had to go to once a month, so these things are going and once they’re gone, I don’t think you’ll get them back.”

This is why Dunholme Luncheon Club are calling out for more volunteers to help them run their sessions. They are currently short on help and if there are any absences in the team due to holidays or illness, they really struggle. “It is hard to cook meals for 40 people, take them out and do all the pots afterwards. It isn’t complicated work, but it is hard physical work that requires enough hands.” Theresa explains. With more people to help, each aspect would be made easier and quicker, lessening the burden and ensuring there are enough volunteers to guarantee this club endures for the next 37 years and beyond.

You can find them on Facebook by searching Dunholme Luncheon Club or if you are interested in helping you can contact Theresa on 07776 158944.