Support served up for Bardney lunch initiative

Left to right:  Steve Dean, Chairman of the Bardney Community Group, with group members Mathew Sibley, Kirsten Sibley, Gloria Carter and Melanie Welburn, with Steph Tilley of Chestnut Homes, rear centre EMN-190124-122211001
Left to right: Steve Dean, Chairman of the Bardney Community Group, with group members Mathew Sibley, Kirsten Sibley, Gloria Carter and Melanie Welburn, with Steph Tilley of Chestnut Homes, rear centre EMN-190124-122211001

A community group which is bringing villagers together over lunch has been given a boost by a local housebuilder.

Steve Dean, 69, Chairman of Bardney Community Group, praised Chestnut Homes after he was handed a cheque for £250 to help fund the project.

The lunch club was started by the active and big-hearted Mr Dean - and his dedicated volunteers.

The idea of the club came from locals and after seeing the success of the website - thelittleredvan.org - Steve personally masterminded it to publicise everything happening in the community.

Steve said: “I could not have created this local facility without the help of the residents of Bardney, Bucknall and Stainfield.

“Support from the Bardney Group of churches, local councillors and donations from local businesses have given us a great start.

“Our Social Enterprise group has eight trustees who provide governance and we are currently forming a working group to manage the day to day operations.”

The first social lunch in the village was on October 25 and was attended by 16 residents.

There are now at least seven volunteers helping but they will always appreciate more volunteers to join the team.

Steve added: “Our aim is to sign up dozens of members of all ages as we host the lunch club on the second and fourth Thursday of every month.”

His community action brainchild has been backed by a £2,000 Lottery fund grant as well as financial support from Lincolnshire Community Voluntary Service which has helped Steve to buy vital cooking equipment.

Having taken out public liability insurance for the year, funds did decline so Steve asked Chestnut Homes if they would donate an amount to ensure the project was secure for 2019.

Chestnut Homes’ managing director David Newton said: “I am very impressed by the incredible work, effort and resourcefulness Steve has put in to setting up Bardney Community Group.

“This is an excellent cause to give our full support to.”