On Friday 11 May Councillors Karen McGowan and Denise Fox arranged for the School Council from Birley Spa Primary School to visit the Town Hall. They were shown round by the Lord Mayor Councillor Anne Murphy and they visited the Lord Mayors Parlour and the Council Chamber. Councillor Karen McGowan said “the children were so engaged, they asked the Lord Mayor some really good questions” and Councillor Denise Fox added “they were so well behaved they were a real pleasure to meet.” The school thanked the Lord Mayor and the Councillor for arranging the visit and for giving up their time.
Birley Spa lunch club is on the hunt for new volunteers so that it can continue providing twice weekly sessions to 39 local older people at Hackenthorpe Community Centre.
Birley Spa lunch club receives grant funding from the council and provides a hot, two course meal to its members twice a week. Those who attend enjoy the time to chat and meet friends, play bingo and go out on day trips together.
After years of running the lunch club, the current club organiser, who has volunteered their time freely until now, is stepping down at the end of May, welcoming a retirement from the role. The club has made a real difference to the lives of its members and all those that have been involved in the running of the club.
Unfortunately there isn’t a volunteer team to hand over the running of the club to and the last lunch will be on Wednesday 30th May unless new volunteers step forward. It’s an opportunity for the local community to get together and think about what they’d like to enjoy and run in their area.
Sheffield City Council has supported the development of more than 50 lunch clubs for many years, recognising the important role these clubs play in helping to reduce the social isolation that may accompany old age, frailty and bereavement. The majority of the clubs are independent self-help groups run by older people for older people. They offer an opportunity for older people to meet together, to share a meal and socialise.
If anyone would like to volunteer to set up a new club, Adele Hunt, Voluntary Sector Liaison Officer at Sheffield City Council can provide information on what’s involved in running a club and what skills and commitment are needed. She can offer information and contacts on a range of topics such as working out a budget, health and safety laws, membership referrals, fundraising, equipment needed, volunteer inductions, club constitutions, activities and record keeping. Although the current grant fund isn’t open to new applications, a new club in Birley could be supported with an interim grant subject to meeting funding criteria and having volunteers who can be financially accountable for funding.
Adele said: “We would love new volunteers to come forward with some exciting ideas. There is no restriction on which day of the week the club should run or what other activities they could provide to members. Everything is an option if somebody has the idea and commitment to make it happen.”
Jim Steinke, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Community Safety said: “Lunch clubs play an important role in our local communities and rely on volunteers to make sure that they continue. Feedback shows that the regular opportunity to meet and chat is one of the most important things members value and for some, the weekly lunch club is their only opportunity to socialise. We hope that Birley Spa lunch club stays open because of the difference it makes to its local community.”
Adele can be contacted on 0114 273 4631 by anyone interested in setting up a new club in Birley.