Soup and sandwich club goes down a treat in Thornham

Jill Bowett and (R) Alison Harby at the soup club at Thornham Village Hall. Picture: Ian Burt

Jill Bowett and (R) Alison Harby at the soup club at Thornham Village Hall. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

A soup and sandwich club is going down a treat with senior citizens on the Norfolk coast.

Soup club at Thornham Village Hall. Picture: Ian Burt

Soup club at Thornham Village Hall. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

Villagers at Thornham launched a monthly lunch club after their new village hall opened in September. They expected 20 might turn out for the first metting.

But more than twice that turned up for the first event and numbers have now grown to nearly 80.

Thornham Village Hall committee chairman Colin Venes said one of the new venue's aims was to provide elderly people in and around the village with somewhere they could go to socialise.

'It isn't just for Thornham, we're trying to spread out and offer facilities more widely,' he said.


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'We thought we might do well if we got 20 people but we got 42 for the October Lunch, 62 for November and 78 this week.

'It's absolutely brilliant and the food is good. The intention is to provide a warm, welcoming space where people can meet friends and welcome new ones.'

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Mr Venes said volunteers from the village had rallied round to get the club off the ground, with food provided by Carolyn Barrett, Sue Warham, Sue Grout, Janet Needham, Angela Morris, Melanie Venes, Wendy Brooks, Belinda Davis, Helen Stafford, Lizzy Boal, Monica Clare, Lou Howell, Glynis Allen, Ann Staveley and the Yurt at Drove Orchard.

The monthly lunches, which cost £2.50, start with soup and include a choice of savoury and desert courses. The first three months were subsidised by Thornham United Charities.

The village hall committee has now obtained a £1,490 grant from the Norfolk warm and Well Fund, which will help buy equipment including a heating cupboard, slow cookers - and 80 more soup bowls.

Mr Venes said the grant application process, which is administered by the Norfolk Community Foundation, was quick and simple.

The £60,000 fund has been launched by the county council so communities can help keep vulnerable and older residents warm and well.

Grants of up to £5,000 are available for community projects including lunch clubs for the elderly, day centres, drop in and outreach services, and self-help groups.

To apply for a grant, call the community foundation on 01603 623958.

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