Queen's Birthday Honours for Lunch Club heroes | Connexus

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Queen's Birthday Honours for Lunch Club heroes

23rd October, 2020
Margaret holding flowers

Each year, the Queen’s Birthday Honours List recognises the achievements and services of extraordinary people. The national press celebrates the celebrity additions to the list, but this year Marcus Rashford, Mary Berry and the rest are joined by two esteemed Church Stretton residents who have made an undeniable contribution to their community for 30 years and counting.

Back in 1990, Church Stretton residents Margaret Hamer and Betty Lewis founded the Lunch Club, a place for local people to meet, chat and enjoy a delicious hot meal. During more normal times, The Lunch Club is held in the community room at our Ley Gardens Independent Living Scheme in Church Stretton, Shropshire. Up to 40 residents and members of other local community groups come together to meet, chat and enjoy a delicious hot meal.

Well, I wasn’t expecting that phone call! I couldn’t have done it without all my helpers – who have been fantastic – and Ley Gardens for giving us the use of this lovely room.
Margaret Hamer, Lunch Club
Lunch Club

Margaret and Betty are both now proud recipients of the British Empire Medal (BEM), awarded by the Her Majesty the Queen for ‘hands-on’ service the local community. The Lunch Club is just one of many groups and social clubs that have found a natural home in one of our Independent Living Centres’ community rooms.

"It's a place for people to come, meet their friends and reduce social isolation. Residents can come and have a hot meal, have some fun and link in with the wider community.". 

Michelle Hodnett, Independent Living Coordinator

Although currently suspended by Coronavirus restrictions, the Lunch Club was first set-up not just to feed local residents, but also to combat loneliness and social isolation by encouraging new friendships. Now rightfully recognised for their years of dedicated volunteering, Betty and Margaret just can't wait to bring everybody together again.