Birley Spa lunch club on the lookout for new volunteers

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.

Get involved with the next Birley Blitz litter picking event

On Saturday 21st March the next Birley Blitz litter picking event will be taking place around the Birley Spa area. Volunteers led by your local Birley Ward Councillors will be meeting at 10am outside Birley Spa Primary School.

This will be the 7th Birley Blitz litter picking event to take place and all volunteers are welcome. The event will finish around 12pm and all equipment will be provided. If you’d like to get involved please contact Councillors Denise, Bryan or Karen, or meet us on the day.

 

What:  Birley Blitz litter picking event

When:  Saturday 21st March at 10am

Where:  Meeting at Birley Spa Primary School

Who:  You can join in with other local volunteers led by your local Councillors

How:  Contact Councillors Denise, Bryan and Karen for more information, or simply turn up on the day – all equipment will be provided

Easter Egg Hunt at Dyke Vale Road

Your local Labour Councillors support the Living with Nature programme at Dyke Vale Road and were joined today by over 75 people who took part in the Easter Egg Hunt. Councillor Karen McGowan said “it’s great to see so many young people and their families supporting this event and enjoying the area. Thank you to all those staff involved in organising today’s event”.

Living with Nature is a three year programme, funded by the Big Lottery, focussing on improvements to sites on Sheffield Homes land, which are all currently identified as Play Areas (although many have had old equipment removed in recent years). This is a partnership which involves Wildlife Trust for Sheffield & Rotherham, Sheffield City Council, the University of Sheffield, and Sheffield Homes.

The greenspace at the junction between Dyke Vale Road and Carr Forge Road is a designated play space, managed by Sheffield Homes. It is being re-developed to provide better and more exciting play opportunities, high quality public greenspace for all and improvements for wildlife and nature.

The aims of the programme are to improve the play value of the sites, and to increase their biodiversity and value to wildlife. This will be done through an intensive process of community engagement with local tenants and residents as well as existing community groups, to create a sense of local ownership of the completed facilities; increase social cohesion in the areas concerned; and to encourage people to be more involved in terms of the ongoing upkeep and positive use of their local community greenspace. For details of the site see http://www.wildsheffield.com/what-we-do/projects/living-with-nature