A LUNCH club which has been supporting elderly people in Matlock for over 30 years is in need of more helpers to ensure its vital work continues.
The Mercury’s Lend a Hand campaign, which aims to get more people volunteering in the community and raise the profile of the area’s voluntary groups, is this week highlighting the plight of Denefields Lunch Club.
The popular club for older people is based at Denefields housing complex, in Matlock Green, and runs sessions every Tuesday from 11.30am.
It was set up by Christine Smith, of Matlock, who after having her daughter 30 years ago decided not to go back to work but wanted to help out in the community.
She said: “We would dearly love to find a few more helpers.
“It is an important club as it helps break up the week for many of the people that come along and builds friendships.”
The club has around four helpers but 30 members ranging in ages from 50 to 93 attend each week.
The day starts at 11.30am when members enjoy a coffee and a chat.
A raffle will then take place followed by lunch – which is always a traditional meal and pudding.
Then members enjoy a game of bingo and occasionally a speaker will give a talk to the group.
Trips to nearby towns, using the community transport scheme, also take place as well as a party at Christmas.
The club is reliant on grants, and in the past has received money from the county council, the Ernest Bailey Trust and North Derbyshire Voluntary Action, which has paid for transport and new cooking equipment.
Christine said without the grants and new members the group would not be able to keep running.
She added: “We would appreciate anyone with some spare time to help out but I think it would be lovely if we could get some younger people too.”
Sadie Packard, of Stakholmes, started helping out at Denefields 20 years ago.
She said: “It really is a nice feeling to help people.
“I do think it makes a difference that the helpers are happy and bright.
“We are looking for someone who is a hard worker and can talk, listen and build up a good relationship.”
She added: “Someone who can spare three hours a week would be ideal but it does not have to be every week, we can work with people as not everyone wants to be tied down.”
David Brown, of Darley Dale, joined as a helper after retiring from his job is social services,
He urged others to get involved and said volunteering was such a worthwhile experience.
He added: “It does give you so much. I would encourage anyone to get involved.”
Members pay £3 each week or £3.50 with the raffle.
To find out more about Denefields Lunch Club or to get involved contact Christine Smith by calling 01629 583512 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
n If you would like to be featured in our Lend a Hand campaign you can contact us by emailing us at email@example.com