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Friday Lunch Club : real people, real feedback, real positive changes to lives….

Every week we hold a number of lunch groups that offer individuals the chance to have a hot meal in a friendly environment where they are able to socialise with other Irish people.  The Friday Lunch Group is held every Friday and offers a home-cooked lunch, bingo and raffles.  Many members have met old friends again after many years apart through the Friday Lunch Club as they have lost contact or moved locations. Many of the individuals that attend the Friday lunch club contact each other outside of the club and some even meet up/go on day trips together as they have made genuine friendships. One main aim of the Friday Lunch Club is to alleviate social isolation and it is stated that day services can play a vital role in combating both social isolation and loneliness- this being for both people living alone and people who live with others.

So that we can ensure we are offering the best possible service we regularly ask our service users for feedback and ask them what they get back from the club.  One service user stated that something they liked about the lunch club was the company as they live alone and they have no family or friends nearby.  Many service users say that they would not bother to cook similar meals for themselves if they were at home alone and for some it is the only time they will eat a home-cooked hot meal in the company of others.  Most service users stated that cooking for only yourself was  something that required a lot of effort and so many would struggle to make themselves a nice meal or find the motivation to do this each day/week.

In 2014, Leeds showed an estimated 37,000 lonely and socially isolated people living across the city and it is stated those most at risk are individuals who do not have their social or cultural needs fully met (for example the minority elders)  As many of the attendees are over 80 and the average age being over 75, we believe that the Friday Lunch Club is a perfect example of how to alleviate social isolation within older people. For some of the clients who attend it may be the first social contact they have had all week and for many it is one of the very few hot meals they will have that week. The Friday Lunch Club allows people to get out of their home and socialise with their friends or meet new people.

We would like to share some of the feedback we have received from a survey we carried out in May of this year.

“Until I started coming to the club I didn’t leave the house only to keep appointments. I wish I had come years ago”.

“It gives me company and gets me out of the house for the day as I am on my own”.

“Looking forward to Friday. Good to get out away from the TV habit”

“I have a good meal made for me and there is good company”

It is good for my mental health and I’m not stressed out and help me sleep better. I feel much happy in myself”.

“It changes my weekly routine”.

“Makes me very well”.

“It is nice to be with others”.

 “It gets me out of the house”.

“I enjoy coming, I wouldn’t miss it for the world, unless I’m on holiday”

“I am happy to come Friday and enjoy company and dinner”.

“It gets me out and meeting all my friends”.

“A big difference- gets me to meet lovely friends”.

“Meeting other people”.

“It gets me out of the house”.

 “It makes my life worth living” …

Every Friday from 12-3pm Montague Burton, Banstead Street West, Leeds, LS8 5RU.  Join us for a home cooked lunch, raffle prizes and a game of bingo meet new people and enjoy the cráic!