A LUNCH club that gives older people who live alone the chance to chat and socialise is celebrating a significant milestone. 

Volunteers who run Rainhill Lunch club are today (June 11) marking 60 years of serving a weekly lunch to residents who live in and around the village.

The lunch club was founded in 1964 by Harry and Margaret Whitfield, who were members of St James Methodist Church in Rainhill. 

Harry and Margaret set the group up because they wanted to do something positive for their village.

The lunch club is now run by Joan and Eunice. 

Rainhill Lunch ClubRainhill Lunch Club (Image: Submitted)

In those early years Joan, one of the lead volunteers along with Betty Nixon, remembers doing home deliveries of meals with her brother John.

Joan was working at the time but took time out in her lunch hour to deliver meals to those in the community who were housebound, even as far out as Whiston Caravan Park.

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Eunice who had been helping out whilst working full time for some years, retired in 2002 and joined Joan as a lead volunteer to run the club which is currently supported by seven other volunteers. 

Joan and Eunice who have been friends for decades met each other at the Girls Brigade in St James Church, Rainhill back when they were girls.

The Lunch club, based at Rainhill Village Hall, runs every Tuesday between noon and 1pm.

The group members shop every Monday to source the food in readiness for the Tuesday lunch. 

Rainhill Lunch Club is celebrating the anniversaryRainhill Lunch Club is celebrating the anniversary (Image: Submitted)

Currently there is a group of 24 people aged 65-plus who regularly attend the lunch. This is made up of mainly single people who live alone, and come along to the lunch club for some company and a chance to have a chat with others. 

It offers a chance for attendees to share a lunch and chat to others around the table when very often some don’t see or speak to people for most of the week.

To celebrate this special anniversary Joan, Eunice and the team will be joined on  June 11 by local representatives from Rainhill Parish Council, Rainhill Rotary, Rainhill Gala and Rainhill Co-op.

Joan and Eunice said: “Rainhill lunch club’s mission is to provide regular freshly cooked nutritious hot meals for older people in our community, promoting an opportunity to keep in touch with friends or make new ones”.