With an increasingly ageing population that is at risk of ill health, social isolation and loneliness, lunch clubs can be a way of integrating older people into the community, offering support and holistically enhancing their everyday life.

For many, lunch club is a crucial element of their everyday life and socialisation, and offers social support, activities, and benefits to health and wellbeing

Lunch clubs are usually independent self-help groups, run by a variety of volunteers and older people, which provide a two course cooked meal and company. Lunch clubs are an incredibly vital service for local communities, providing an opportunity for older people to meet others, enjoy a cooked meal, be active, and remain independent. For many older people, attending a lunch club is the primary source of social interaction in the week.

Lunch clubs tackle social isolation that often accompanies old age, frailty and bereavement. Social isolation is the absence of contact with other people whereby a person feels lonely, and has a similar impact on mortality to factors such as smoking and many other chronic health conditions.

For many people it can be the only time that they leave their homes to meet others, socialise and make friends, and is absolutely crucial for companionship. It can be the only social event that they attend; the only time to see other people, to interact, to laugh, and to listen to something other than their own thoughts or the ‘company’ and ‘background noise’ of the television.

Age UK Dorchester offers a lunch club on a Wednesday and Friday at 12.30pm, offering a two course lunch with tea or coffee.

If you would like to attend, please contact 01305 269444 or visit Rowan Cottage, 4 Prince of Wales Road, Dorchester DT1 1PW, to book your place.