Temporary closure of lunch clubs

All older people’s lunch clubs in receipt of a grant still remain closed.

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.

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 currently unable to process any requests to join clubs. They will review their position regularly and will resume making referrals when official advice indicates that it is safe to do so.

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.

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