Popular lunch clubs for elderly Melton and Asfordby people under threat

Latest news EMN-170714-123527001
Latest news EMN-170714-123527001

Lunch clubs which have served hot meals and acted as a social meeting places for elderly people in Melton and Asfordby for 20 years could end because of a shortage of volunteers.

Two co-ordinators are desperately needed to take over next month because the current incumbents will no longer be involved, with one retiring and the other citing family commitments.

The sessions are run by the Royal Voluntary Service charity every Wednesday, with members paying £4.50 a week.

Lunches at The Cove, in Sysonby Street, and at the Bradgate Flats in Asfordby, regularly attract around 20 people each.

Natasha Mack, a senior service assistant with the charity, said: “We will do whatever we can to recruit volunteers for our lunch clubs and we would hate to have to make the decision to close any of them.

“Thankfully we are not at that point yet as some of our amazing volunteers and staff have stepped up as much as they can.

“However we are in desperate need for two volunteer coordinators and some helpers to take over the long term running of the clubs.”

She added: “If we do have to make the decision not to run them anymore it will mean some of our members losing the only hot cooked meal they have, as well as the chance to intereact with others and meet new people.”

One of the regulars at the lunch club organised at The Cove, called John, said: “The lunch clubs provide facilities to get elderly people out and away from their homes and the opportunity to meet people and have a chat.

“It breaks the monotony of living on your own, as I have done now for a number of years.

“I think the Royal Voluntary Service and the team are special people and have made my life better through their work.”

The charity serves 5,000 meals a year through its seven lunch clubs across Leicestershire, with the accent on providing nutritious food in a social setting.

Teresa Gibbs, operations manager for the county, said: “Many of the meals we serve are in some circumstances the only hot nutritional meal the older person will have all week.

“In addition to the meal, the club gives the attendees the opportunity to socialise with new and old friends, alike, and take part in different fun activities.

“We urgently need volunteers to come forward so we can keep these clubs running.

“Full training is given to new volunteers and no prior experience is necessary.”

For more information, email natasha.mack@royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk or call 0116 2667706.