Newton Poppleford’s kitchen project nears completion
PUBLISHED: 12:30 05 May 2018
A £50,000 project to extend and refurbish Newton Poppleford Pavilion’s kitchen is nearing completion thanks to the ‘Dunkirk spirit’ of lunch club volunteers.
Project leaders David and Rosemary Zirker say they are making a final push to raise the last £1,100 and hope to have the new commercial kitchen in operation by the end of the month.
The Pavilion Lunch Club has spent the last three years trying to raise the money but has continued to serve hot three- course meals to hungry residents when it meets each month.
The original kitchen dates back to the early 1970s and has never really been updated. Volunteers also call it the ‘sorry kitchen’ as two people could not pass one another without apologising.
The Zirkers have been in charge since taking over from the St Luke’s Club in September 2011 and have to date served 3,175 meals.
They are supported by a team of volunteers, including Malcolm and Sue Burge and Di Hagger.
David said: “The main core of people who run the lunch club for the village elderly are all in their late 60s and early 70s themselves.
“When asked how we managed, we reply ‘the show must go on’. We have never thought we cannot carry on the lunch club.
“It is great to be almost there, it has been a long haul. We just need to order the equipment to make it into a modern commercial kitchen available to its users.
“A couple of more donations or fundraising events will get us there.
“We would like to thank all those supporters and some grant agencies for their support over the last three years.”
At its recent club, volunteers produced 38 hot three-course meals for guests despite its main cook Rosemary being out of action due to a broken wrist.
As works are nearly completed, volunteers were unable to wash up and had to resort to paper plates and disposable cups and glasses.
The lunch club meets on the third Friday of every month and also holds a Christmas dinner for those who are elderly and may be on their own during the festive season.
Any profits made goes towards the running of the pavilion.
To donate to the club or become a volunteer contact David Zirker on 01395 567430.