The Oundle Monday Munch Club offers a social gathering where people have the opportunity to chat and eat in a friendly and welcoming environment. The occasion usually falls on the third Monday of each month and is run entirely by volunteers.
The community lunch was created for the elderly and disabled members of Oundle and the surrounding area as an opportunity for them to socialise and involve themselves in communal activities. For only £4 per meal, the members receive a full roast lunch and pudding, which many would not necessarily ever cook themselves, especially those living alone. The meal is finished off with chocolates, tea, coffee and entertainment.
The club is held at Oundle Primary School and the pupils often put on concerts or performances as part of their lessons.
The idea to set up the Munch Club originated with a group of five volunteers, each with the desire to offer social opportunities for the elderly residents of Oundle.
‘We wanted to get this off the ground,’ said Sarah Lee, who has played a vital role in getting the club to where it is today. The club has now been successfully running for three and a half years, with many more volunteers stepping forward to help with the
Vern Stark is a regular volunteer who drives members of the club to and from the lunch. She said: ‘It brings a lot of joy and entertainment to a lot of lovely people.’
Terry Breach is one regular who comes every month. He became a member of the Munch Club after his wife passed away after a long illness three years ago. He was no longer able to attend the carers’ support club he had been a member of, so he found the club an
invaluable way to get out of the house, meet people and socialise.
Oundle Primary School makes a substantial contribution to the club’s success. It provides the venue and the catering team, which, after preparing and serving the pupils’ meals, cooks all the club’s meals, providing a valuable benefit to the greater community.
The club is supported by Age UK, which provides a generous annual grant, and is also supported by two local charities, The Oundle and District Care Committee, and Oundle Feoffees, a very old Oundle charity.
While the monthly meals cost £4 per person, the Christmas lunch was generously sponsored by Waitrose, who donated £300 to cover the costs.
‘The food was excellent!’ said Kath Arnett, who has been a member of the club since it started, and also enjoys coming for the company of her friends.
By Hannah Wakeford