Popular lunch club serves up success on a plate
GOOD company and good food is the recipe for success in tackling social isolation in Startforth with the newly-relaunched lunch club having a waiting list of people to join.
The lunch club was begun by a group of volunteers in 2017 at the village’s community centre. When Covid hit, the club, like others, was forced to close. During this time, the former organiser Debbie Herbert launched a business and so was unable to commit to the club when restrictions eased. The Association of Teesdale Day Clubs stepped in and, with some funding from county area budgets through Teesdale Action Partnership (TAP), enabled the club to relaunch.
Additional funding from County Durham CCG and Pioneering Care Partnership’s Happiness Fund is ensuring residents will be able to enjoy the weekly get-togethers long into the future.
Leader Kim Weston said there were 31 regular attendees with a waiting list of more who want to pop along.
“It’s gone from strength to strength. It’s a very sociable group and they all enjoy coming,” she added.
Paying her first visit to a lunch club, Annalisa Ward, from TAP, said: “It is great to see so many people have returned to the lunch clubs after such a long time that they were not able to meet.
“The organisation is back up to full strength, which is great after a two-year break.
“We have supported the lunch clubs for some time, but felt it was particularly important supporting this year when organisations that haven’t been operating are recovering. It’s good to see it is busy.”
The Association of Teesdale Day Clubs now operate nine lunch clubs covering Barnard Castle and ten villages. For more information about the lunch clubs visit the website, www.teesdaledayclubs.org.uk or call 01833 695822.
Andrea Hobbs, from Teesdale Day Clubs, said the lunch clubs were well attended since the weekly get-togethers resumed last June.
She added: “We have had around 40 brand new members, which is fantastic. It is what people want and enjoy.”