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Local pubs are helping to prevent isolation and loneliness among older residents of Newcastle, by opening their doors early to host weekly lunch clubs for the over 55s.

The landlords of The Peacock and Lord Clyde pubs have teamed up with Lunch Links, a service commissioned by Newcastle City Council and provided by Mental Health Concern, to open early and provide lunch for groups of older people.

Mike, owner of The Peacock, commented:

‘I’ve really got to know the people who come along to attend the group, and to know their likes and dislikes regarding the menu–the main thing is that people are offered a choice. If someone comes in and doesn’t like what is on the menu that day, I always make an alternative to accommodate their needs. One of the men who attends doesn’t live that far away, and comes in to play darts now in the evening. It’s a real pleasure to see everyone when they come in on a Monday, and a pleasure to serve people in the local community.

There are currently a variety of weekly lunch clubs, meeting across Newcastle, giving members a wide range of opportunities for fun, friendship, and food, with regular lunch meet-ups. Joining Lunch Links also gives members the chance to meet up with friends and make new ones, by connecting with other people in their local area.

Kathleen Proud, a Lunch Links regular, said: ‘It makes me feel part of the community by coming here, and feels more like a day out.’

The Lunch Links meet-ups are a fantastic example of the Newcastle community adapting to meet the needs of its older residents. Sunday 1 October marks the International Day of Older Persons, a day of celebration and awareness of the older people in our society. Lunch Links is using this day as an opportunity to ask other Newcastle pubs and cafés to offer their establishments as meeting points for the weekly lunch meet-ups. Could your establishment help?

To find out more about Lunch Links, or to offer your establishment as a venue for a lunch group, call 0300 300 7070 (local rate) or visit the website at www.chainreaction-newcastle.co.uk.

–ENDS–

Notes for editors

For further information about Lunch Links or Chain Reaction, please contact Julia Perry at 0191 222 0324 or julia.perry@mentalhealthconcern.org.

  • Lunch Links is delivered by Mental Health Concern, a charity providing specialist mental health services across Tyne and Wear: mentalhealthconcern.org
  • Lunch Links runs alongside a project called Chain Reaction, which offers group activities in the community for the over 55s, such as art workshops and walking groups. Chain Reaction also offers one-to-one support to help older people to live independently, including financial and budgeting advice, help to make phone calls and deal with correspondence, and support with domestic skills such as food preparation. Chain Reaction is delivered by:
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