Pensioner pals in Birmingham are being reunited for the first time in over a year as a lunch club restarts again following the lifting of Covid restrictions.
Older people are now meeting again at Shenley Court Hall in Selly Oak on Monday afternoons and Wednesday mornings for coffee and cake. It’s the first time many have been able to see each other since the first lockdown in March 2020.
Charity and community organisation Bournville Village Trust, which manages the Hall, was forced to temporarily close the centre and lunch club when Covid struck.
It launched a befriending service to compensate, making sure that anyone in the community who felt isolated or lonely received support and companionship.
However, many of the members of the club, which met twice weekly until it was halted, have missed seeing each other and the company the lunch club provides.
Barbara Karavelioglu, who works for Bournville Village Trust and helps to organise the lunch club, said: “We are so pleased to be able to reopen the lunch club again, we have missed seeing our members so much that it is brilliant to be able to welcome them back.
“For many members the lunch club is their only opportunity to enjoy an affordable meal with their friends, to socialise and enjoy the company of others.
“Sadly during Covid some of the members have lost their mobility and others have lost their confidence in getting out and about, so we’re taking things nice and steady by starting with coffee mornings and afternoon teas. We also have transport to help people get to the lunch club if they need support.”
The lunch club will start by providing Monday afternoon and Wednesday morning teas and coffee and cake sessions as it gears up to providing a full lunch service again from September.
It has also received a welcome grant from the Edgbaston Neighbourhood Network Scheme of £500 to buy new kitchen utensils and equipment.
Anyone in the area wishing to join the lunch club can call the Hall on 0121 475 7521.
Bournville Village Trust is a community-based housing organisation and registered charity. Its mission is to create and sustain communities where people can thrive. The charity provides services to 8,000 homes and 25,000 people in Birmingham and Shropshire.