Credit crunch threat to luncheon club

PUBLISHED: 11:00 01 December 2008 | UPDATED: 11:46 17 June 2010

A SIDMOUTH lunch club which is a lifeline to many elderly people may be forced to shut as numbers dwindle in the wake of the credit crunch. Gillian Ivey, whose 92-year-old mother, Margaret, attends the luncheon club at Lymebourne Park, contacted the H

A SIDMOUTH lunch club which is a "lifeline" to many elderly people may be forced to shut as numbers dwindle in the wake of the credit crunch.

Gillian Ivey, whose 92-year-old mother, Margaret, attends the luncheon club at Lymebourne Park, contacted the Herald after hearing that if numbers do not rise the club will have to close after Christmas.

Gillian, 52, of Manstone Avenue, said: "It is a lifeline for her. It's not just about meals but they meet and chat.

"Not everyone has family near them and it's unbelievable that there are not enough people to keep it open."

"My mother was devastated when she found out it might have to close. She is totally housebound and it gives her something to focus on every day.

"It is really sad that something like that is going to close. With people being hard up it is such a good way of people getting out of the house."

Around 10 people attend the club on a regular basis but in order to keep the club running, numbers need to be boosted two fold.

Emma Adam, 30, who cooks the meals for the lunch club, is appealing for people to join the club.

She said: "I really don't want it to close. It would be a shame for the regulars who come every day.

"They really enjoy it and it is more of a social thing for them- it's a change and they can have a proper meal with friends."

Emma has advertised the lunch club by putting up posters and asking people to tell their friends but numbers are still too low.

She added: "We even moved the lunch time to 12.30pm from 12pm to encourage more people but that didn't seem to make a difference.

"I really enjoy going down there and seeing them. It's a nice friendly atmosphere."

Margaret Cawley, 63, a member of the club, said: "We live on our own and if we didn't come here we wouldn't see anybody.

"It's not just for the meal, we come for the social company and if it closes we have got nothing."

Members of the club meet three times a week, Monday to Wednesday and pay £3.50 for a two course meal.

Anyone who would like to join the lunch club can sign up at Lymebourne Community Centre or ring Emma on 07973818562.

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