Dear Volunteers and Supporters

Our Summer Lunch Club for families who are either struggling to make ends meet, coping with children with very challenging and complex needs, feeling socially isolated, or experiencing some or all of these difficult situations in the school holidays, finished yesterday with a lovely happy buzz.

Mick and I were away for the first two sessions, but our great team of volunteers rose to the challenge and did a fantastic job… and it was brilliant to be able to keep in touch a little through the Lunch Club’s Facebook group.

It was really good to be able to build on last year’s event. In 2017 parents asked for more games together with their children (a really positive request) and Sidmouth Primary School kindly lent us some equipment for outside games. Tim Swarbrick volunteered to oversee outdoor play which meant that parents could relax a little more – and join in with the fun and games too. One mum with a daughter at Brownies happily led the parachute games one week – and I discovered what it means to go through the washing machine! Skipping was a particular hit, and by the end of the first week several children had learned this new skill. By week six several children were confidently skipping together with a long rope!

Another huge bonus this year was having lovely new tables and chairs to use. The tables were purchased through a grant from Sidmouth Consolidated Charities and the chairs were donated from The Salvation Army. St Francis Church also donated the crockery we used last year and this saved lots of time and energy in collecting and returning things. All these resources are stored at the Youth Centre and available for their use – it’s a real community effort. Thank you.

Large pots, pans and cutlery were kindly lent by the Catholic Church, and we splashed out on some plastic tumblers which saved on stress levels!

Our volunteers did a really fantastic job again this year. It was good to have a few new people on board, and Kitchen Crew Gill, Judy and Avril did us proud with their great cooking. It was brilliant to see one little boy licking his bowl clean after sticky toffee pudding and custard!

Attached are a few photos, and here are the numbers:

Last year we had 5 families attend; that doubled to 10 this year. Last year we welcomed 13 children; this year it was 30 – and all with just 2 more volunteers! In addition to this we were able to deliver a meal to one family with 5 children including a poorly baby, stuck at home – and one of our volunteers bought her some bread so they could have toast in the morning too :)

Salvation Army