Temporary closure of lunch clubs

Following government advice on avoiding non-essential social contact many older people’s lunch clubs across the city have temporarily closed.

We expect information to be constantly evolving and our message to all lunch clubs is to act on the latest government advice as it is announced.

We appreciate that for the majority of members, lunch clubs are essential for maintaining social connections and links to the local community. Decisions to close have not been taken lightly.

When advice on social distancing changes and lunch clubs feel able to reopen, we will publish a full list of groups that are running and information about how you can join.

Lunch clubs are a popular activity enjoyed by older people across the city each week. For those with limited opportunities to get out, they provide essential social occasions which can help alleviate feelings of loneliness and isolation.

When lunch clubs take place

Older people’s lunch clubs tend to run on weekdays and provide a two course hot meal at a reasonable cost. They are quite varied and differ in membership size, meeting time and whether they offer other activities. 

Unlike a café open to the general public, lunch clubs are for a designated group of people and run on a regular basis at a set time and day.

Find your nearest lunch club

The Lunch Club Directory includes a list of all clubs currently supported with a grant from us. There are other lunch clubs, coffee mornings and activities run by a range of groups, charities and businesses across the city. You can find out more by searching the Sheffield Directory or by looking out for notices in local shops and libraries.

You can also search our map using your postcode to find your nearest lunch club.

Search using a map

  • Each map icon displays the lunch club's name, address and a link to more information like when the club meets, the cost of a meal, and how to get there.

Join a lunch club

 Please don’t drop in on a club unexpected.

If you or an older person you know is interested in joining a lunch club, contact the Lunch Club Referral Service at Voluntary Action Sheffield (VAS).

The referral service is open Tuesday to Thursday each week between 10am and 4pm on 0114 253 6674 or you can apply online.

Volunteer at a lunch club

Older people’s lunch clubs are not run or managed by us. They are all independent and rely on the dedication and experience of volunteers. Whatever your gift or talent, it can probably be used at a lunch club!

There are lots of opportunities to get involved. Typically, volunteers help with:

  • cooking and serving meals
  • bookkeeping and finances
  • organising and general administration
  • transporting members
  • helping new people settle in and putting everyone at ease
  • activities
  • fundraising

If you enjoy the company of older people and are looking for a useful way to spend a few hours a week, why not volunteer to help at a lunch club?

Lunch club funding

Between April 2018 and March 2019, we awarded grants to 51 lunch clubs across the city from the Lunch Club Grant Fund. This was the second year of existing funding agreements. The clubs provided 49,409 meals over 2260, with many clubs also arranging quizzes, crafts, gentle exercise, talks and reminiscence activities.

The grants varied in size but contributed to three main areas of expenditure:

  • rent
  • member transport
  • some general running costs such as volunteer expenses and sundries

Other costs were covered by member contributions for meals and transport.

In addition to small grants for lunch clubs, part of the Lunch Club Grant Pot is set aside for a development support grant. In 2018 to 2019 Voluntary Action Sheffield (VAS) delivered this service, which offered support to any club in the city on a range of things from budgeting, volunteer recruitment, adult safeguarding, food hygiene, health and safety, and organisational development.

Over the year, VAS supported 52 lunch clubs across 27 wards and helped two clubs re open, creating 130 places. You can download their full annual report.

Contact Voluntary Sector Liaison Team