We are a group of volunteers who live in Kinghorn, Fife and since 2013 have organised a weekly Lunch Club for the older residents of the village to combat loneliness and isolation. The Lunch Club is a place where the members meet friends, socialise and have a nutritious, hot meal. We have a membership of 26. We arrange presentations from health and well-being organisations to inform the members of the services available to them and guidance on topics of interest (e.g. podiatry; energy saving & security/scam avoidance advice; information on Falls and Fracture prevention) as well as entertaining them with games/bingo, music, dance and local entertainment from all generations. We ensure that we celebrate the birthdays (particularly special numbers!) of our members and are delighted to have an age range of between 70 and 99!
The volunteers ensure the well-being of the Club members by contacting them weekly to find out how they are and if they are attending the Club. If they are not, we check if there is anything we can do to help. The Club helps keep the older community in touch with what is happening within their village (local coffee mornings; local concerts; local Gala and other community events) connecting them to other groups such as the local primary school and the Church throughout the year.
The Club volunteers also organise day trips throughout the year for the members as well as the weekly gathering. In the past the Club has organised trips to the theatre; the local supermarket café for high tea; a visit to the local Ecology Centre and tourist attractions such as The Kelpies.
The impact that the Lunch Club has on the members is that their weekly visit helps their mental health and combats isolation and loneliness as some may not see anyone else from one end of that week to the next.
We are always thinking of innovative activities for the members eg we have a monthly seated exercise session at the Club to enhance the members' health and wellbeing. In addition we always have a short stretching exercise sequence to music at the end of each meeting. This ensures that the members are not stiff after sitting for a couple of hours prior to being collected by the taxis to take them home. We introduce the members to new organisations and their campaigns such as the Marine Conservation Society and the 'plastics epidemic' so that they are connected to the global news as well as local.
The Kinghorn community is very proud of the Lunch Club and how we look after our older residents. We receive some financial support for the Club e.g. local Co-Op has done a sponsored walk to raise funds for the Club as well as having a regular donation can in their store for the Lunch Club; our volunteers raise funds by doing sponsored runs; and a local resident held an auction of their football memorabilia to give funds to the Club.
The members and volunteers pay weekly fees which cover the cost of the meals and hall hire. The committee fight to secure funding to cover all other costs i.e. transport to enable our less mobile residents to attend / insurances / speakers / trips / equipment. The securing of additional funding is vital to allow our members to enjoy the weekly social interaction with the intergenerational community which is vital to their health and wellbeing.
We believe that people will vote for our project because of the impact that our Club has on keeping the older residents of our village in touch with their community and the benefits that it brings to their mental health and wellbeing on a weekly basis.
£4,000 would keep the Club running for two years without feeling the pressure to raise additional funds over that time.