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Tasty £800 on the Menu for Luncheon Clubs

Mellor luncheon club
TASTY OFFER – Dilys Day and Stella Brunskill (right) with members of the Mellor Luncheon Club.
Published Wednesday, 22 July 2015

A tasty £800 is on the menu for Ribble Valley community groups to start or improve luncheon clubs.

The money can be used to start a new club, develop an existing one by buying new crockery or cookware, or providing activities. It can also be used to support other projects that engage older residents on a regular basis, such as coffee mornings and afternoon teas.

Luncheon clubs, sometimes called lunch clubs, provide older people with the opportunity to socialise over a regular hot nutritious meal. 

They can have a membership of a few up to dozens and operate in a range of venues, such as pubs, restaurants, community or church halls. 

Ribble Valley Borough Council’s partnership officer, Dilys Day, said: “Luncheon clubs keep older people engaged in local life, giving them a sense of involvement and belonging.

“They provide an essential service in rural areas, by offering a friendly meeting place for those who cannot readily leave their village and consequently suffer isolation and loneliness. 

“They also help in the identification of underlying problems that may contribute to a decline in health, thus helping to make the lives of older residents safer and healthier.”

The popular Mellor Luncheon Club has been meeting at the Mellor Methodist Church Hall for 10 years and receives annual funding from Ribble Valley Borough Council.

An enthusiastic team of volunteer cooks and helpers serve a hot two-course meal made from fresh local produce followed by tea or coffee every Friday.

For just £4, participants can enjoy a range of dishes, including salmon hollandaise with new potatoes and vegetables, followed by peaches and cream, or a club favourite, sausage casserole with Yorkshire pudding.

Cook Jean Walmsley said: “We have about 16 members, who really look forward to attending. They don’t just receive a hot meal, but get to socialise, too. They really enjoy each other’s company and get dressed up for the occasion. It’s a fabulous atmosphere.”

Mellor councillor Stella Brunskill added: “The Mellor Luncheon Club is an invaluable part of village life and the committed team of volunteers who run it are to be congratulated for providing such an essential and much-loved service.”

Community groups interested in starting or improving a lunch club are invited to a meeting in the Ribble Valley Borough Council Chamber in Church Street, Clitheroe, on Thursday 17 September from 10.30am to noon.

Further details are available from Dilys Day on 01200 425111.

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