Sunday 12th May – a lunch fit for a Royal!

May proved a slightly quieter lunch for us this month, for both guest and volunteer numbers. This is by no means a bad thing – we are delighted when our guests can’t attend lunch because they have family or friends visiting. Generally, this is family they haven’t seen for a long time, so it’s something we very much promote. The hilarious comments we get though – ‘they could have visited on another weekend; I’m going to miss my favourite lunch now!’. We are so pleased to hear you enjoy your time with us so much!

 

We had lots of happy callers this month however, phoning to not only book in but express how much they are looking forward to roast pork (and crackling of course!). For many, cooking a meal for one is hard enough but generally speaking, any form of roast meat is most certainly off the menu. I was astonished to learn it had been years for some of our new guests since they last enjoyed a joint of pork from their local butchers. I’m very pleased that each month since we started, we have had the most incredible support from our local butchers at Snowley Parade – Bob and Jan. They always give us the best service and have supported us right from the start. The meat tastes all the better for it! It’s always service with a smile. We also are happy to be supporting local!!

Another huge success this month was our ‘upside-down’ pudding, with ice cream. As everyone knows Mum makes the best sponge anyway, but quite honestly not a scrap came back. There proved room for seconds and thirds of both courses, so our guests were well and truly stuffed come the end of the afternoon.

 

I’m excited to say our application to East Herts Council to purchase a new oven will be moving onto the next stage in the assessment process. A new oven as mentioned in my previous post will enable us to cook for even more hungry guests! So, we are hopeful to secure this important grant.

Despite covering our costs month to month, with the reason increase in numbers it has been quite an expensive month for us. Some equipment has needed replacing (a new water urn) and we have needed to buy more crockery to ensure everyone has a plate to eat off! We also have month to month costs like venue hire, transport and ingredients to pay for so it’s a job in itself keeping on top of our finances. We are always looking for donations and support, as well as keeping an eye out for any small community grants we may be eligible for. If you see anything, please do let us know! Information on how to support us is available on the website.

On that note, don’t forget you can support us via East Herts Lottery! For just a £1 a week, you can support us and be in with a chance of winning £25,000 in return. Visit www.easthertslottery.co.ukfor more information!

Before I sign off, I couldn’t go without talking about a recent Royal visit that happened recently…

On Tuesday 21stMay, Mum and I were invited to attend one of Her Majesty’s Garden Parties in the grounds of Buckingham Palace. I was invited for setting up The Welbeloved Club back in August 2017 and took Mum along as my guest of honour.

It was truly an absolutely incredible, surreal experience. I will never ever forget it.

Walking through the gates of Buckingham Palace and into the grounds was mind blowing – how could we be so lucky? We walked into the grounds and stood patiently with the crowd. The National Anthem then played and we were given our first glimpse of The Queen, followed closely by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. We then realised where we were standing would mean we would be a matter of metres away from them once they walked down, a mistake I thought. Surely enough, after an hour, I was standing directly next to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – so close I could smell her perfume (it was lovely!). She is by the way, even more beautiful in the flesh. After switching sides, I was then just a few metres away from Her Majesty The Queen. Everyone was so graceful in the crowd, with everyone letting each other take turns in getting to the front so we could take photos.  It is something many of us could only dream of and here it was happening to me.

We then disappeared off to enjoy tea and various sandwiches and cakes provided by the Palace, all served of course on fine china. Sandwiches included cucumber and cream cheese, ham and mustard and carrot and cucumber. Sweets included carrot cake and mini strawberry choux pastries. So yummy! There was a fine brass band playing throughout the afternoon, with hits from Mary Poppins and The Great Escape. It actually made me really emotional!!

Once we left the Palace, as we waited for our lift just up the road we managed to steal a ‘private’ wave from the Duchess – she looked right at us and waved!!! It topped off what had been a truly amazing experience for us both.

 

 

It seems only fitting that our raffle money this month is going to the charity No Panic. Attending the Garden Party was never going to be entirely stress-free and easy for me, but I did it and with some help from this charity and their resources. They are a great little charity and I’m proud to support them.

Thank you everyone for your continued support, what a lucky girl I am to have you all sharing in this vision I had for The Welbeloved Club. Long may it continue!

Our next lunch is a quick turnaround as we head back to the first Sunday of each month. We’ll see you on Sunday 2nd June!

Sunday 14th April – a special Easter

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I can’t believe Easter is upon us! The time is passing so fast – I can’t believe we are at our fourth lunch of the year already.

Easter is an important time for us at The Welbeloved Club as like Christmas, we have many guests who are likely to be spending the occasion alone. Not everyone celebrates the Easter festivities, but we all reap the benefits – especially the long weekend! For some however, Easter just means more time on your own. Shops are closed, families and neighbours are away, and normal routines are disrupted.

Last year, nationwide charity The Silverline (who provide a 24-hour helpline for lonely older people) reported they received A CALL A MINUTE over the Easter weekend. I imagine this year was no different, with more people than ever feeling that sting of loneliness over the Spring time annual holiday.

With this in mind, we were determined to give our guests a lunch to remember and I hope we did just that. We hosted 92 guests this month – our largest number yet! We have had a further 6 people sign up so it’s time to purchase even more equipment and resources! We need to continue fundraising for vital supplies including equipment, ingredients, admin costs (older people prefer written communications!), transport, venue hire…the list goes on!

Money aside, the fact we are at capacity now each month is a testament to the hard work we are all putting in. Sure, Mum and I are doing the leg work month to month to keep the club going, but on the day it’s all down to the fantastic, generous, hardworking volunteers we have. Everything runs like clockwork on the day and the guests have a great experience from start to finish. One of our guests said, ‘it was so nice to have a room full of chatter, I don’t hear that anymore’.

I think as a team; we sometimes forget what our guests come away with. Yes, they have full bellies, probably more wine than they should and often a raffle prize or two. However, we must remember the very fact that, for 2-3 hours on the loneliest day of the week, we have provided a safe, loving, and welcoming environment for them to escape to. That alone goes beyond anything we could provide materialistically. We were delighted to see that Jean, one of our regulars, had been given a Welbeloved Club ‘gift voucher’ by her family! The voucher paid for three lunches as part of a birthday present. How wicked is that!

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Lunch this month was also a massive treat as it was of course, roast lamb. Many of our guests say anyway they don’t often have a hot meal anymore as it’s too much like hard work making it just for one person, but lamb is something they certainly don’t make for themselves! Our butcher Bob again did us a fantastic deal and provided the most delicious produce.

You would think a two-course meal would leave no room for extras, but you are wrong! Thanks to one of our super volunteers Felicity, our guests were also able to enjoy some homemade, personalised cupcakes to celebrate Easter. They were so yummy and beautiful; we really are so grateful. With her leftovers, Felicity took the rest into work and managed to raise a further £100 for The Welbeloved Club. Happy days! Thank you also to everyone who donated an Easter egg for our raffle, we had lots to give away!

I really must also thank our stand-in driver Jen who not only drove the bus this month but also stayed for the duration to help us out. What a lifesaver!

Behind the scenes, I have been working hard on applying for small and big grants to secure our future. With the help of work colleagues, I have submitted a grant to hopefully purchase a new oven. The new oven will enable us to provide even more lunches and who knows, even open a second club.

I also submitted a big grant in the hope I can secure a small salary for myself to again, expand the club. As you can imagine, the club has become so big I am now spending most evenings and every weekend doing admin and general outstanding tasks. I want to keep communication at the highest standard, and I want to now start networking and building relationships with the local community and schools. All of this requires time, time that I do not have while working full-time!

One of our volunteers Paul supported me with this large grant, and what a phenomenal support it has been! Not only does Paul travel back from Leicester every month to help on the day, he also worked really hard on this application. He works full-time as a University lecturer, so to find time to help me has meant the world. We won’t know until October, but fingers crossed something comes of it.

Just on a side note, I was delighted to receive my official invite from Her Majesty The Queen to attend one of her garden parties on 21stMay. The invite came with all sorts of information, and it just feels so surreal. I could never have imagined in my wildest dreams that I would be invited to Buckingham Palace for my work setting up The Welbeloved Club. It really will be one of the most special moments in my life to date!

Our raffle money this month is to Rape Crisis England and Wales, who do fantastic work in supporting victims of rape and sexual abuse. See you on 12th May for our next lunch!

Sunday 3rd March – Small acts of kindness

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We are three lunches in now, and 2019 is looking as busy as ever! Our March lunch was the first time we were really put to the test. Our very own cook (my lovely mum) had double booked her weekends, which meant she wouldn’t be with us on Sunday until much later! I knew this day would have to eventually come, but a year and a half in I felt much more prepared for it!

We had a lot of time to prepare, but I don’t think I was prepared for the outpouring of love and support from our amazing volunteers. This was proven when on the day, I arrived much earlier so I could ‘let everyone in’ but in fact was greeted by a car park full of volunteers! Everyone was ready to go and within minutes of me opening up, the well-oiled Welbeloved machine was in full swing. Volunteers in the kitchen were preparing, peelers were peeling, volunteers in the hall were setting up, it was truly amazing. It was in that moment that I realised this really isn’t my club anymore, it’s really now just a community and everyone’s property. It was truly humbling to look around and witness how much everyone loves and cares for the club as if it were their own, and cares so much about the success despite being a cook down. I in fact, didn’t need to be there! I’m beyond grateful – the club is in safe hands with or without me and mum and I can’t believe we are at that stage.

Has anyone ever had that weird feeling when getting married or hosting your own birthday party, you look around the room and think the majority of the people in this room all know me, but do not know each other. They would never have met if it wasn’t for me, yet they are getting on so well?! That’s how I feel at club now. The Welbeloved Club has always been about friendship, but this doesn’t have to stop at our guests. Our volunteers are making new friends, and it’s ever so clear when we are preparing in the morning. Everyone is chatting and laughing and having fun, with people they have met because of me and mum. There is so much love in the building from start to finish which defines what it means to be a part of The Welbeloved Club.

Anyway, soppiness aside! On the menu this month was a delicious roast chicken dinner, followed by bakewell slice and custard (all homemade of course!). Safe to say yet again, there really wasn’t much left! We also too had some more new faces, having heard lots about mum’s cooking and wanting to give it a try themselves. It’s thrilling to know that even after all this time, the new members signing up has not dwindled. We have on average 2-4 new members every month and are rapidly reaching capacity.

That leads me to my next bit of news. I have just completed a small grant to East Herts Council in the hope we can purchase a new oven! This will enable us to cook more food on the premises, and therefore cater for our growing numbers. The oven would be used at the hall we are currently in but will be fully portable and would be the property of The Welbeloved Club. We had lots of messages of support for this grant and received a number of endorsements from East Herts Councillors, so fingers crossed we are successful. Check back for updates!

Just before Christmas, I reached out to a charity called ‘Small Acts of Kindness’, who put together goody bags for older people to help them through the winter months and difficult times. The bags are almost like a ‘survival kit’ and have lots of useful information for people who live on their own and have a number of different needs. The charity so very kindly provided us with 80 bags, a number far greater than I asked for!! Based in Watford, two of our gorgeous volunteers (who happen to be my very good friends) went all the way over there and collected the bags for our guests. They travelled back absolutely drowning in the bags (having only travelled in a mini!) but safe to say, our guests really appreciated them. I too really appreciated the effort they went to just for me, especially as they both had to undergo a very brief unexpected safety assessment on arrival as they were going into a large warehouse. Sorry ladies! But also thank you so much.

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Our next lunch is Sunday 14thApril, just a week shy of Easter. The Easter holidays can be an incredibly lonely time for older people who live on their own, as the long weekend can prove even more isolating than most weekends. We hope to host an Easter lunch full of good company, laughter and love, but I hope you will join me in looking out for those most vulnerable, and perhaps offer an extra seat around your table this Easter.

Our raffle money this money went to Retune – a small CIC connecting creativity and music with positive mental wellbeing.

See you in a few weeks!

P.S. – Don’t forget you can support us via the East Herts Lottery! Details on http://www.easthertslottery.co.uk

Sunday 3rd February – news news news!

Our second lunch of the year and 2019 is off to a good start for The Welbeloved Club, with lots of new faces both guests and volunteers.

Lunch this month was a delicious roast beef meal, followed by apple crumble and custard. Safe to say as always, not a lot came back! It never gets old noticing the change in noise levels once dinner is served – the hall is full of laughter and chit chat, and practically silent as soon as the plates go out. It’s a testament to the fantastic food mum and her team are creating, all made with love and proper, fresh ingredients. It makes a huge difference, especially having a decent gravy!

This month for the first time, I was able to give out a newsletter thanks to the very generous Nick Murr. Nick’s mum comes to our lunch club, and he has said on many occasions how much she enjoys coming. As a result, Nick (A creative design company owner) has so very kindly printed all of our material for us completely free of charge. When the club first launched, Nick designed our posters and printed them for free, and a year later he put my news into a booklet for everyone to enjoy. We can’t say thank you enough and really appreciate all he has done for us.

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I had a lot of news to share with our diners this month, including our decision to put the price of our lunches up. We have had such a fantastic year, and now is the right time to charge a little more for our lunches so we can continue with high standards and meet growing demand. We are still providing a two course meal with unlimited refreshments (including wine!), but will now be charging £7 rather than £5. The small increase will mean we can continue to buy more equipment, potentially provide more transport, pay for our venue hire which goes up in 6 months and much more.

It also gave me a chance to tell our guests about East Herts Lottery! As mentioned in my previous post, The Welbeloved Club is now registered with East Herts Lottery, and for just a £1 a week, you could be in with a chance of winning £25,000! Of the £1 sold for every ticket, The Welbeloved Club receive 50p, 10p goes to other causes and the remaining 40p goes to East Herts Lottery. It’s a fantastic way to support us – we are nearly at £1000 a year raised! For a small charitable group, this will go such a long way in keeping us going. For more information and to buy tickets, visit http://www.easthertslottery.co.uk!

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I have another piece of exciting news to share with you all. I was delighted to receive a letter from the Lord Lieutenant in Hertfordshire, to ask whether or not I would like to be considered for an invitation from Her Majesty The Queen to attend one of her Garden Parties in May! When I first launched the club, who could have ever imagined just a year later I could be in with a shot of actually meeting a Royal or even our Queen. I think there comes a point where I need to stop just saying ‘but I don’t do it for reward’ and actually just sit back and enjoy the wonderful gifts the club has given me in return for all the hard work.

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It was Edie’s Butterfly Appeal to receive proceeds collected at our raffle this month, and I had a lovely message from Edie’s Mum Cate to say thank you. I’m so pleased the club can give back in this way, albeit a small amount. If it hadn’t have been for all the love we have been shown this year, we wouldn’t be able to give the love back to other worthy causes. We thank everyone for continuing to support our journey and look forward to seeing you next month.

Just on a side note, as I write this I have just heard that one of my oldest friends (16 years to be precise!) has had a beautiful baby girl. She has been one of my many supporters so on behalf of us all we send huge congratulations and love!

See you on Sunday 3rd March for lunch!

East Herts Lottery – buy your tickets now!

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I’m very please to announce we have registered with a new lottery scheme – East Herts Lottery. Do you purchase lottery tickets? Could you support us in the process?

Tickets cost just £1 a week, with 50% of the price coming back to us (should you choose us as your charity). It’s a fantastic way to support local causes, and a great way to support us with just a few clicks of a button.

All of the information you need (and to buy tickets!) is here: http://www.easthertslottery.co.uk

In return you could win up to £25,000 – with a 1 in 50 chance of winning a prize!!!

Good luck, and thank you!

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Sunday 6th January – Happy New Year!

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A Happy New Year from everyone at The Welbeloved Club! 2018 saw us launch our first lunch and expand in more ways than we could have ever imagined. We have met so many wonderful people (both guests and supporters) and hope 2019 will continue to bring us success and growth.

Our first lunch of the year I have to say was somewhat quieter than Christmas. As you know, our Christmas lunch saw us launch the first Bishop’s Stortford Independent appeal, as well as host a choir from Mandeville primary, give out presents and welcome new guests and volunteers. From my point of view, it was very full on! The whole afternoon was a bit of a blur, so I was pleased to get back into our normal routine this month. On the menu was roast pork (and crackling of course!) followed by ginger sponge. Safe to say it all went down a treat, with hardly any coming back! Mum definitely got the New Year off to a great start – I have no doubt it will continue.

Providing some entertainment at our lunches has been a regular thing since our lunch back in November. It seems to go down really well and is really well received by our guests. It appears to give them something to enjoy while having a tea or coffee, and for me it means our afternoons can continue on for a little longer. This matters to me as it means our guests can essentially stay out a little longer, and don’t have to go back to an empty house so soon. We only meet once a month, so it’s really important we give our guests an experience to remember.

I was delighted to welcome Tom Ryder to come and sing a few songs at our January lunch. Tom has volunteered a few times for us and is a fantastic professional musician! Tom has made a career of his music, as well as launching his own project, ‘Retune’ last year. Retune, like us, runs once a month and hosts an array of talented musicians in an intimate gig to promote mental wellbeing. I am a huge advocate for Tom’s work and am thrilled he could join us for lunch. We had lots of guests singing along!

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I want to clear up a little confusion about a small scheme I am running this year. The Welbeloved Club had so much support last year, so I wanted 2019 to be a year of giving back to causes close to my heart. I have taken the decision to donate our raffle money each month to nine different causes and/or charities that mean something to me, and are just as deserving as us. I think there had been some confusion about giving money away from one charity to the other, or simply giving away money that people are donating to us.

To be clear, any donations that are given to The Welbeloved Club will absolutely stay with the club, and will be spent as they are intended (venue hire, equipment, ingredients etc). Money obtained on the day from guests will also be put back into the club’s account and will be spent replenishing stock and ingredients needed each month. The money in question is additional funds obtained from guests when purchasing a raffle ticket. Our guests have been told this is where their raffle money will go, so they are well within their rights to not purchase raffle tickets if they choose not to. Raffle money amounts to around £70 a month, and I feel very strongly about the decision I have made to ‘give it away’ to other causes. Many of the causes are local, who benefit our local community and have a direct link to the area. I hope this clears up some of the confusion! The causes I have chosen to support with our raffle takings are:

The Apton Centre – The Apton Centre is a meeting place for over 55s in Bishop’s Stortford. They provide a space for older people to come and join in with lots of different activities and come for lunch regularly throughout the week. Just because she doesn’t cook enough for us, Mum also cooks part time down there and has really made the scheme a success (as if there was any doubt!).

Edie’s Butterfly Appeal – Founded by local Bishop’s Stortford Wilson family, this appeal funds research into childhood Ependymoma. Sadly, Edie Wilson passed away last year, but we have such fond memories of bumping into her and her mum Cate on dog walks around the lake. The appeal is doing so many wonderful things and we want to support in memory of Edie. http://www.ediesbutterflyappeal.com

Retune – As mentioned above, Tom founded this project to put positive focus and attention on the stigma of mental health. As a sufferer of mental health problems myself, it has been a joy to see my friend Tom give life to this project, and provide a platform for fantastic unsigned musicians. We feel very proud Tom is using a combination of his experiences and talent to pull this show off each month. http://www.retune.org.uk

Rape Crisis (England and Wales) – A very topical subject at the moment, and long may it continue. Supporting this charity reflects my passion for re-education of sexual misconduct, and my support behind the #MeToo movement. Supporting this charity is personally very important to me for more reasons than I can explain. https://rapecrisis.org.uk

No Panic – As someone who battles anxiety and depression every day, No Panic is a fantastic charity that supports people going through very difficult battles. I have used their services many times, and without them I don’t know where or who I would have turned to. https://www.nopanic.org.uk

Crohn’s & Colitis UK – My bestest friend in the whole wide world has Crohn’s and I want to support this charity. I have seen first-hand how her life has been changed by this condition, and I see every day the strength she displays to fight it. Supporting this charity might one day mean they find a cure for this awful disease! https://www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk

Waverley Care – Mum met CEO Grant and his partner Steve on a cooking holiday many years ago, and they continue to be great friends of ours! Based in Scotland, Waverley Care provides education, prevention, testing and support to individuals living with or affected by HIV or Hepatitis C. They do fantastic work and we know personally how hard Grant works to keep this charity going, and the huge difference they make!  https://www.waverleycare.org

The Silver Line – Now, this charity was what inspired me to launch The Welbeloved Club. I saw an appeal from them a few years ago on Sport Relief, and it planted the seed. The Silverline provide a 24-hour free helpline to older people in need of some support and companionship. I volunteered a few years ago with their befriending service and can’t tell you how valuable the service is for many older people throughout the UK. https://www.thesilverline.org.uk

Dignity In Dying – Of all the nine charities, I think this is the only one where I wouldn’t expect everyone to support it. It’s very much a preference of mine, but one I understand will not be shared by everyone. Having worked in end of life care a few years ago, the topic of assisted dying has been something I am very much in favour of. This campaign fights for the rights of people who are terminally ill to end their lives on their own terms, with complete control. My intention is not to start a debate (we could be here forever!), but just to state my reasoning behind supporting such a cause. https://www.dignityindying.org.uk

I’m excited to tell you we have also registered the club with the new East Herts Lottery scheme, where ticket sales are split between East Herts and ourselves! So, the more tickets we sell, the more money we have to fund more lunches! Watch this space for more information.

A huge thank you again to all of our volunteers who honestly work so incredibly hard each month. Some travel such a long way to help us and we are so so grateful. This month has been particularly stressful, having just moved to a new house. The support has been fantastic, with me relying on our volunteers more than ever this month while I got myself in order.

 

See you on Sunday 3rd February!

Sunday 16th December – Christmas!

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Some images courtesy of The Bishop’s Stortford Independent.

It seems only right that I start this post off by saying a huge thank you to you all for a fantastic year of lunches, support and kindness. Although not being quite yet a year of lunches, the year 2018 has seen us launch our first ever Welbeloved lunch and outgrow our original venue in record speed. It has seen me personally meeting many new faces, and building relationships with local businesses, organisations and individuals, as well as learning of the incredible work other local organisations are doing to combat loneliness in our community. I can’t lie, it has been very stressful and hard at times, but that has so been outweighed by the positive impact The Welbeloved Club has had on so many people, and the support I have received in return from both friends and strangers (who are now friends!).

As many of you will know, our Christmas lunch was provided entirely by the readers of The Bishop’s Stortford Independent. The campaign was the brainchild of Editor Paul Winspear and Editorial Assistant David James, who worked tirelessly all month to ensure the campaign ran as smoothly as possible. On the night of the launch, I don’t think David got to bed until gone 3am! The pledges were coming in so frequently, it was impossible to keep up with them. When Paul first came to me with the idea, I thought it was a fantastic idea, but worried his expectations were a little ambitious. If I’m honest, I thought maybe half our shopping list would be purchased, so I was more than ready to purchase the other half. The campaign went live at 8pm and less than 15 hours later, the whole list had been pledged, with more support coming in thick and fast. I couldn’t quite believe what I was seeing!

Not only were people pledging items, they were also pledging raffle prizes, money, time as a volunteer and general offers of help. I was absolutely blown away! It didn’t feel right to keep turning offers away, so we decided to invite readers to buy gifts for all our members, and provide a contact so guests could thank them personally. For many, this would be the only present they would receive this Christmas, so it felt right to launch this second mini campaign. We had gifts donated from Churchfield Primary in Enfield, NKD in London, Reed Recruitment in Harlow, Coco’s Bishop’s Stortford, and much more! We had individuals buy and wrap presents themselves, and even a present from a 9 year old ‘Tyler’ from Bishop’s Stortford.

I couldn’t possibly mention everyone individually, but I just have to hold my hands up and say I was totally wrong to doubt how well the campaign would do. We had companies like Hanbury Wealth pay for our turkey, Aaron Fennell of The Marne Inn give us 12 bottles of prosecco, Coco’s Bishop’s Stortford give us lots of gifts, Waitrose hampers provided by the lovely Tracy Whitfield, money donations from individuals, people offer to wrap presents and make up hampers, the list goes on and on! Thank you everyone.

I think it’s safe to say the lunch was a huge success. The hall was alive with chat, laughter and Christmas cheer, and not a scrap was left on the plates! We even had enough mince pies to offer seconds to those who still had room! Our volunteers worked so hard yet again, with more new faces to add to the team. After dinner, guests were treated to a set of beautiful Christmas carols, sang by year 1 and 2 children at Mandeville Primary School. The children had clearly practiced and put on a great show to a room packed with people. For me, it was a lovely example of bringing different generations together, and felt very topical given the success of the recent Channel 4 show, ‘Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds’.

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After the campaign launched, I had so many people get in touch for so many different reasons, one being about starting similar ‘kindness’ projects in schools. This is definitely something I would like to look into in the future, given the bags of evidence there is out there to suggest loneliness can be rapidly reduced by bringing generations together.

As the year draws to a close, I want to wish all our supporters a very happy New Year, and thank you once again for everything you have done in keeping The Welbeloved Club going. 2019 is set to be a really exciting year, and I hope to be writing to you all this time next year as a registered UK charity, and to perhaps have expanded even further. Who knows what the future holds! I hope the club has served as an example of what can happen when you invest time (and money!) into something you feel so passionately about. It honestly can be anything – all it needs is drive and a willingness to make a difference. It doesn’t have to be for 90 lonely old folks! The point is you can make a huge difference to something or someone just by putting yourself and your initiative out there.

Happy 2019 everyone, 2018 has been a blast!