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Age UK Lunch Club

A weekly lunch club for the elderly in our local community.

Aims

The principal aim is to foster intergenerational contact, to be of benefit both to the elderly who join us, and to our pupils.

In addition, we are conscious of the fact that, according to the Kensington and Chelsea Foundation, 47% of homes in the borough have only one person living in them- the highest in the country.  Loneliness and isolation is a concern and our project seeks to engage with this.  

Background

The project began in 2012, set up by a former member of school staff, via a contact with Age UK.  It has been going ever since, despite the departure of the initator.  Some of our elderly visitors have been attending since its inception.  

Resources

Lunch is provided by our school caterers in a classroom for a regular group of 12-15 elderly people, plus workers from Age UK, plus approximately six pupils and a teacher.  

The room is set up and cleared by a member of the school housekeeping staff family-style so that everyone eats together.  The school cooks ensure that Thursdays are traditional lunch days likely to appeal to our guests.  The girls serve lunch and help with clearing up afterwards.  

The elderly people make a minimal contribution- the cost is principally borne by the School's fundraising activity.  School funds are also required for the mini hampers the elderly receive at Christmas and Easter.  

Impact

The informal feedback from attenders young and old is very positive:  it is a popular volunteering option amongst the Sixth Form and the school receives lovely thank you messages every year from the club attendees.  

Recent feedback from an Age UK staff member was that she "was lucky enough to go along to the fantastic lunch club you run"

Pupil Involvement

Pupils from Y7-13 have attended, but it is principally Sixth Formers who eat lunch every week, with larger numbers and other year groups attending the special events.  

Frequency

This is a weekly event which has been running for seven years.  

In addition to the regular lunches, we also host a Christmas dinner, Easter tea and summer tea dance, a real highlight.  2019 will see Tom Carradine inviting everyone for a singalong of old time London music hall and film favourites.