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Project information

Helping Hands Lunch Clubs

A community project located in the heart of the village tackling rural isolation and loneliness. A place for older people to meet new friends, socialise, enjoy a nutritious lunch, music, games & fun. Its more than just a lunch, we want older people to remain part of community life and feel included.


Charity information: Hands Of Hope

Hands Of Hope logo
  • Need


    For many older people, Christmas is a lonely time of the year. Living in rural areas brings a number of issues that can exacerbate the social isolation felt by older residents. For those with reduced mobility, may no longer drive and an absence of family living nearby can lead to poor physical and mental health, loss of independence, loneliness and a lower quality of life. Research shows that lacking social connections is a comparable risk factor for early death as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.


    Lunch Clubs become a crucial element of people’s everyday lives offering a nutritious cooked meal and meeting others. For many older people, attending a lunch club is something they look forward to as a main source of social interaction. For some this maybe the only time they leave their homes in a week and eat a cooked lunch. The clubs will be a place where older & vulnerable people come together for socialising, making new friends and have fun.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Reducing social isolation and loneliness in older people


    » Helping Hands Lunch Clubs
    » Christmas Party
    » Summer BBQ and cream tea
    » 2 outings a year

    What success will look like

    By the creation of 2 new lunch clubs in rural villages, reaching isolated older people experiencing loneliness

  • Impact


    1. Reduced Levels of Loneliness
    2. Improved Nutrition
    3. Improved Mental & Physical Health and Well being
    4. Creating Community Cohesion
    5. Developed a Community Support Network
    6. A Rewarding Volunteer Programme


    Reaching those that are most isolated and lonely. We plan to work with our local GPs, churches and Parish Councils to help identify those that may benefit the most from access to lunch clubs.

    Transport in rural areas is also a concern but we plan to utilise community transport schemes and volunteer drivers.

    We will continue to fundraise to ensure the long term sustainability of this project.


    Measuring the impact of our work to evaluate the success of the project is very important to us and has been embedded into our project planning. We will also use our website and social media channels to provide project updates and thank you to our donors and supporters.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £10,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £5,000 Lunch clubs Food costs, volunteer expenses, room hire, insurance and coordinator costs
      £1,000 Transport Community Transport
      £4,000 Other Outings, Christmas Party, Summer BBQ
  • Background


    Our lunch clubs will be located in Peasmarsh and Brede in Rural Rother, East Sussex.

    Rother has the highest proportion of population aged over 65 (30.83%) and also the greatest proportion of 75 year olds and over (16.99%). In Rother, about a third of older people do not have access to a car. Furthermore, by 2021 the number of older people is forecast to increase by 29% in rural areas, compared to 20% in urban areas.


    We welcome older people from both these villages and surrounding areas to our lunch clubs.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    For the last year we have been involved with the delivery of the Northiam Seniors lunch club. We have surveyed the current members to find out what they enjoy about their lunch club and what further activities would enhance their experience.

    We have sought advice from RVA and the local Parish Councils. We have good links with community groups in Peasmarsh and Brede who have taken an interest in our work and will help us recruit Lunch Club members and volunteers.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Rachael Wood

    Charity General Manager

    James Doran

    Chair of Trustees and Lunch Club Chef

    Mandy Doran


    Sosi Kaskanian

    Trustee and Project Bookkeeper