Community grant puts lunch club on church menu

Shepherd's pie was on the menu for the first ever lunch club event at Grantham's Alive Church, cooked in a brand new kitchen partly funded by South Kesteven District Council's Community Fund.

A grant of £3,600 from SKDC cleared old kitchen flooring and outdated cooking facilities and units, and paid for new floors, electrics and windows, paving the way for a complete kitchen re-fit.

Volunteers first embarked on their fund-raising campaign 18 months ago. Their hard work, boosted by church members' contributions and a grant for new white goods from the Bishop of Lincoln's Social Justice Fund, resulted in a total of £20,000 raised.

"Our grant from the Community Fund was a real life-saver," said volunteer Alison Allenby. "We couldn't get any other funding to get that done."

Welcoming lunch guests arriving for the £3 three course meal, Alive Church pastor Jonas Eyles expressed his gratitude for SK grant funding.  "We simply could not host a lunch like this before as the kitchen just wasn't fit for purpose," he said.

"There is a national epidemic of loneliness and isolation, and we want to use the lunch club and other activities to tackle that."

The lunch club will run every Tuesday, joining an expanding agenda of events for the Alive Church, including a pre-school group, youth club and a knit and natter group.

The Alive Church is working in partnership with Age UK to engage with older members of the Grantham community, and invited Mayor of Grantham Cllr Mike Cook to open the facility.

Cllr Nick Neilson, SKDC Cabinet Member for Communities, said: "I am delighted to see such a positive outcome from our council Community Fund grant.  A kitchen is always the hub of a place, and it's clearly going to make a huge difference for the Alive Church engagement with its community."

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Picture caption: Lunch is served. From left, Jonas Eyles, Alison Allenby, church volunteer, Julia Sturley, lunch club coking co-ordinator, Susan Kellitt, Age Concern, Cllr Mike King

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