Popular club in Gretton offers much more than just lunch

Gretton Lunch Club meets on the first Tuesday of the month
Gretton Lunch Club meets on the first Tuesday of the month

A lunch club which attracts dozens of people every month is proving to be a key date in the village calendar for bringing the community together. 
The first Tuesday of the month sees between 60 and 80 people meeting up at Gretton Village Hall for the lunch club.

They enjoy soup and bread with cheese followed by a selection of four puddings and a coffee.

The volunteers who serve lunch each week with PC Mark Walker and Suzanne Preston

The volunteers who serve lunch each week with PC Mark Walker and Suzanne Preston

Once the cost of the food is covered, the remainder of the ticket cost goes towards the running and upkeep of the village hall.

Liz Watt is chairman of the village hall trustees and one of a team of eight volunteers who give up their time to cook and serve the meals each month.

She said: “They get a home-cooked meal which they don’t have to prepare for themselves.

“It gets everybody together and gets them out of their homes.

“It obviously matters to them because they wouldn’t keep coming otherwise.

“It’s part of village life and for newcomers, it’s often the forum for getting to know what’s going on.

“We have a wonderful time, we have a cup of coffee and a good chat.

“None of us would do it if we didn’t enjoy it.”

While the event is held in Gretton, it regularly has people from Corby as well as Harringworth, Lyddington and other villages nearby.

It has a group of cyclists who organise their route so they are at the hall for the right time on the first Tuesday of the month, and police have also started attending the monthly club.

PC Mark Walker from Corby Safer Community Team said: “We use it as an opportunity to engage, the food is all home-cooked by volunteers and it really is a great social event bring people together from across the town and villages.”

And he added: “More and more people have been coming to us.

“Because it’s public, it’s a good opportunity to meet people.”

Liz said: “Having the visit every month from the police has proved very popular because people do like to bring things to your attention.”

As well as the police, Suzanne Preston who is Corby Council’s rural pride officer has been going to the monthly event to talk to residents and offer advice and information on community safety.

She described the lunch club as ‘a well-oiled machine’ and said: “The borough council and the police work closely together on community safety issues so we use this as an opportunity to engage with the local community and find out what their priorities are and what’s important to them.

“It’s all about building good relationships.”

As well as the lunch club, the village hall is used for numerous other events and groups, including theatre productions, indoor bowls, art classes, archery, scouts, wedding receptions, yoga, tai chi, tap dancing, Zumba, WI, bridge drives and private parties.