Rushden group offering friendship and companionship goes from strength to strength

A thank you for Ann Kadiri at the Royal British Legion's Rushden branch's third annual Friends & Companionship Group Christmas lunch
A thank you for Ann Kadiri at the Royal British Legion's Rushden branch's third annual Friends & Companionship Group Christmas lunch

A group set up to provide friendship and companionship just two years ago now boasts more than 40 members.

The Friends and Companionship Group was started by the Rushden branch of the Royal British Legion.

It only had a handful of members at the beginning but since it was formed by Ann Kadiri, one of the branch’s welfare officers who has been a member of the Legion for 12 years, it has gone from strength to strength.

Last week saw the group have its third annual Christmas lunch at the Masonic Hall in Wellingborough Road, Rushden, with 52 going along to enjoy the festivities.

Special guests included Rushden mayor Kaye Rawlins and Rushden councillors David and Barbara Jenney.

Santa from Serve also made an appearance and he was joined by branch members, supporters from Home Instead Carers and Spire Homes.

Numerous raffle prizes were donated by local businesses as well as Legion members.

The branch’s parade commander Jake Baker said: “A special thanks from all concerned to Ann Kadiri for making this a great success.”

The Friendship and Companionship Group meets at The Athletics Club in Newton Road, Rushden, on the first Thursday every month and was started for those who find themselves on their own.

The group meets at 10am for two hours and has its own room where tea and coffee can be bought from the counter.

There is wheelchair access and car parking is available.

Mr Baker said the group has proved successful because of its mix of members.

He said: “The success of the group is due to the mix of members from young and old with or without partners, active, fit or have mobility problems.

“With so many people of varied abilities the group has become self-sustaining with friendships made and renewed, helping each other with transport when needed, a network of telephone buddies and just simply looking out for each other.”

Anyone who would like to join or who knows of someone who would benefit from the group can contact the Rushden branch of the Royal British Legion.

Anyone thinking of joining the Royal British Legion can go along at 7.30pm on the second Monday of each month at Rushden & Higham Football Club in Hayden Road, Rushden.

People don’t have to have been a member of the Armed Forces to join.