After nearly 30 years, and over 10,000 meals, volunteer cook/organiser Barbara Edmunds has reluctantly decided to call it a day. The monthly Byfield Lunch club has been an enormous source of companionship and support to many local older people over the years “but now it needs younger organisers to step forward and take over the running,” says Barbara.
The Byfield Lunch Club provided a delicious lunch, entertaining speakers, the occasional outing and, of course, the all-important raffle, to around 30 people at any given time. When Barbara started the club in November 1991 with the help of several volunteers, she combined it with her job as a dinner lady at the local school. She little dreamt that nearly 30 years later she would still be running it. “It has been fantastic and I have enjoyed every minute of it,” says Barbara, “We had some real characters at the club and most of the people who came to the club lived alone, so they very much appreciated the company. But it’s time for me to step down and retire. I hope perhaps the club will be able to start up again once the coronavirus pandemic is well and truly over.”
All funds remaining in the club kitty were split between the two organisations that had steadfastly supported the club over the years: Age UK Northamptonshire and the Village Hall Committee. On Tuesday 5th October Age UK Northamptonshire’s Honorary Treasurer Ann Battom said she was delighted to accept the kind donation of £200 but that it was a bitter sweet occasion as the club would not be carrying on. She thanked Barbara for all that she has done for older people in the community and wished her every success in her retirement.
To find out more about the services and support provided by Age UK Northamptonshire, or to get involved with fundraising activities that can help improve later life for everyone in the county, please visit www.ageuk.org.uk/northamptonshire or call 01604 611200.