SOS issued for new cook to keep lunch club alive

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Officials at Horncastle Luncheon Club have renewed their appeal for a new cook amid fears the ‘lifeline’ service might have to close after Easter.

The News recently featured an appeal for new volunteers to help at the twice-weekly sessions. The club has been providing a three-course meal for local residents for around 50 years.

Former town business owner Peter Foster answered the latest appeal and helped out at the club for the first time last week.

He said: “It was a very rewarding experience and the club is certainly very popular.

“On the Wednesday, about 65 people attended and it was tremendous to see so many people enjoying themselves.

“It wasn’t just the lunch. It’s a chance for older and often lonely people to get together and talk to one another.

“There was a really positive and friendly atmosphere.”

Mr Foster confirmed the current cook was ‘hanging up her apron’ at Easter.

He said that without a replacement, there were ‘very real’ fears the club would have to fold.

He added: “It would be a crying shame because the club is obviously a lifeline to a lot of people.

“There are plenty of volunteers willing to help out with serving food – and the washing up afterwards.

“However, the club is in desperate need of a new cook.

“A lot of the volunteers could probably do the job but, of course, you need all relevant certificates and qualifications.

“I just hope someone comes forward because we don’t want to see such a worthwhile and very popular organisation fold.”

Club chairman Jean Norman admitted time was running out but said she was still hoping someone would come forward. Since the first appeal in the News, she said a couple of people had expressed an interest, but one of them was only used to cooking for a couple of people, and the other lived near Skegness.

Mrs Norman added: “We need someone who is used to cooking for more than 60 people

“Ideally, they wouldn’t have to travel too far because, in the winter, you wonder whether someone could get in from Skegness if the roads were bad.”

It is a paid position but Mrs Norman said that as the job is only for two lunchtimes a week, this could be a possible problem.