Social action

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Thursday Lunch Club

The Thursday Lunch Club aims to provide a two course home cooked lunch for older people who live alone in the Headington area. The lunches are usually held on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month in Corpus Christi Church Hall, Margaret Road. Before lunch, from about 12.30 guests are served drinks and nibbles, lunch is served at 1pm and after lunch there is tea or coffee and chocolates. The guests have a free raffle and sometimes there is a short musical entertainment,  Birthdays are remembered and  guests get a card and small present. Lunch finishes by 2.30 pm.  The first lunch is free and after that there is a charge of £5.00  Christmas lunch is free for both guests and helpers.

The Lunch Club was set up originally eight years ago by the late Helen Foster. It is run by volunteers from churches in Headington. The majority of helpers come from either Corpus Christi or Holy Trinity but there are also those who worship at All Saints, Lime Walk and St.Andrew’s in Old Headington.   The guests live in the Headington area and most  have an association with one of the churches. Usually about 20 people attend lunch.

There are a number of jobs for helpers: putting out furniture, setting tables, providing flowers, greeting and serving guests, cooking, washing up and driving. The driving is greatly appreciated by those who are mobility impaired and find it difficult to get around.  There is a rota and most people help us once a month.

We are also very grateful for small gifts: chocolates, jams and biscuits are particularly popular as are soaps and lotions for the raffle.  If you have unwanted items and gifts of this kind, please think of us.

We have been supported by various organisations, charities and donations.  For example: Waitrose supports us as a local charity through the green token scheme. The Jackson Trust at Holy Trinity has given us a grant to pay for disabled taxis for those in a wheelchair.  Corpus Christi Church lets us use the hall and provides us with a cupboard for all our equipment. Oxford City Council and the Governing Body of Christ Church, Oxford have provided grants towards the running costs of the Lunch Club.

Our guests have been very supportive and enthusiastic about Thursday Lunch Club.  One told me that we were the friendliest lunch club in the area, another said that she wished we could do a lunch every week. Another guest said that given the quality of the food, he thought that there ought to be “people queuing to come in.”

If you have any questions, would like to help or know of anyone who might like to come to the lunches, please contact Katya Drummond. Tel: 01865 763161 or e-mail: katya@shotover.net.

Oxfordshire Uncovered

The Oxfordshire Community Foundation has published a report highlighting the inequalities in Oxfordshire. 

“Latest information published by the Office for National Statistics shows that the gap in life expectancy for men in different parts of Oxford city has increased by 11 years since 2007.

The wards of North Oxford and Northfield Brook (in east Oxford, next to Blackbird Leys ward) are just six miles apart, but reveal the huge disparities between people with different levels of privilege and deprivation in the city. This reflects findings in OCF’s Oxfordshire Uncovered report that there are 15 neighbourhoods in Oxfordshire ranked among the 20% most deprived nationally.

Whilst the figures for Northfield Brook have not changed, there has been a large increase in life expectancy in North ward, which encompasses Summertown, Walton Manor and Park Town – some of the most affluent parts of the city. In this area, men can expect to live until 90, and disability-free until 74; whereas men in Northfield Brook die on average at the age of 75 (below the national average), and fall ill from 59.” From Life expectancy differs by 15 years between men in north Oxford vs Northfield Brook

Read the report:

Oxfordshire Uncovered