• Alsop High School Educate Magazine Older Residents Club

Lunch club celebrates 10th anniversary

This month marks the 10th anniversary of the Older Residents Lunch Club, which meets every week at the Alsop High School, Walton.

The initiative, established in 2007, enables the school to reach out to residents in the wider community and break down barriers between Alsop students and older residents.

On a weekly basis guests are treated to, a choice of two delicious homemade soups, cakes and a hot drink. The lunch provides a meeting place where people can enjoy a friendly chat and play a game of bingo. Groups of young people assist with this inter-generational initiative.

This term the Year 7 SEND Nurture Group have been serving lunches, making hot drinks and washing the dishes. It is a simple way that students can complete a social action project to benefit community members. Students are now planning a Christmas party with entertainment from the Alsop vocal group and the performing arts department.

The lunch is prepared by, local hero, Mr David Clague, who is a member of St Aidan’s Church, David gets up at the crack of dawn every Tuesday to purchase the ingredients from Liverpool fruit and vegetable market. He then prepares two soups, before he serves them at noon. A particular favourite is his heart-warming scouse.

The Lunch Club was the idea of Alsop chair of governors, Mrs Marilyn Fielding, who said: “We are delighted that Alsop can serve the needs of members of our community. The initiative has encouraged many young people to take responsibility, build community and work together with older residents.

One older resident, Nancy, said: “I attend for the wonderful company and the lovely soup. The children who help do a marvellous job.”

Mr Bull, head of RE at Alsop High School, who has assisted with the initiative since 2007 said: “As a school we love opening the doors to the wider community. We feel privileged to host local residents on a weekly basis.

“It is great to see Alsop students learning from older residents. The lunch club breaks down barriers between young and old – it is a real life learning experience.”

The initiative is a partnership of between Alsop, churches of different traditions, local community organisations, the Archbishop of York Youth Award and Together for the Common Good.

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About Author: Alan Birkett