Danderhall Lunch Club has been running for more than 20 years, helping to reduce social isolation in the village.
The club organises transport through Lothian Community Transport Services to provide a door to door service, hot meals are produced by Midlothian Council, and entertainment and activities are provided every week – from bingo to curling to dominoes.
In April Red Cross and Midlothian Council Communities Team supported the group to move from Danderhall Leisure Centre to Danderhall Miners’ Club where they have been given the use of the lounge free of charge.
The lunch club is delighted to have welcomed new volunteers to support it. Volunteers help with the bus, serve the meals, do the dishes, help with the banking and support the users to enjoy the activities.
The club also benefits from two SQA volunteers a week as part of a community benefit scheme. SQA volunteer Trudy Thomson said: “When you are able to see the benefits of your volunteer work in the lives of others, there is no better feeling. Nothing is better than changing someone’s life, especially when they live right in your own community.”
Fellow SQA volunteer Suzanne Bullen said: “The volunteers welcomed us with open arms and showed massive appreciation for our help.
“We helped with the washing up and then had a wee chat and handed out the bingo cards. I then went on to shout the bingo numbers while Dawn was my glamorous assistant helping a fewer of the slighter slower ones cover their numbers. It was all a great experience for us and we can’t wait to go back!”
Dougie Pender from the miners’ club, said: “It’s great having the lunch club here, the lounge is a cosy relaxed area for them to enjoy their lunch and if the numbers keep increasing we have the flexibility of using the big hall.
“Having local volunteers and using our connections at the club has helped to boost the numbers and it has been great to have the support of the Red Cross and the council during the transition.”
The club was delighted to recently receive a donation from St John’s and King’s Park Church to enable it to buy some new equipment to expand the activities on offer, and is hoping to purchase a new age kurling set.
New members are always welcome at the lunch club, which re-starts in August.