Temporary closure of lunch clubs
Since the temporary closure of the city’s many Lunch Clubs in March 2020, volunteers have found creative ways to keep in touch with their lunch club members, provide practical support and help maintain the social connections that are so important to us all. We know this has been really well received but we also know your volunteers and members are keen to get back to some sort of normality.
Sadly, the overarching advice is to not meet in social gatherings and the current national lockdown restrictions can be followed on the Government's website.
While we do not recommend restarting lunch clubs for older people, many of you have been asking for advice so you can begin to plan. We urge all groups to use trusted sources of information, the most relevant being:
- Official Government updates
- Official NHS advice
- Voluntary Sector specific support from VAS
- Local information and support
It is important that all clubs involve their venue management, lunch club members and volunteers in any planning to agree how to implement general safety measures and any guidance specific to activities that may take place in running a lunch club or social activity.
In considering this information, it might be that clubs decide not to restart or may adapt their activity to run on a reduced basis. In order to be able to keep to this guidance, some lunch club members and volunteers may feel uncomfortable returning to a lunch club setting and this balancing of risk will be something that different settings will need to take into account depending on their individual circumstances and in response to any further changes to Covid guidance and additional local measures.
Joining a lunch club
Voluntary Action Sheffield (VAS) run a city wide service to help match people up with local lunch clubs. The current situation means that until there is clear advice on how indoor social gatherings can operate safely, lunch clubs will remain closed.
VAS are therefore unable to process any requests to join clubs at the moment. VAS will review their position regularly and will resume making referrals when official advice indicates that it is safe to do so.
Other activities, organisations, information and services
Sheffield Directory has useful links to voluntary and community sector support during this time, including information on befriending services, help with shopping and practical support.
You can also sign up to news alerts from us about wider council activity and advice for people living in Sheffield.