Not three names you would normally see together in the same sentence, an unusual trio, so what’s the common denominator? They are all involved as part of the Helping Hands lunch club, the brainchild of the trustees of Hands of Hope, a charitable organisation tackling loneliness in rural communities.
Loneliness is a bigger problem than simply an emotional experience. Rural areas have a unique set of circumstances that can exacerbate the social isolation felt by older residents leading to poor health, loss of independence and lower quality of life. Working alongside East Sussex County Council and Kent County Council, Hands of Hope run a number of projects to support our ageing population.
One example is Helping Hands lunch club, launched in 2019, set up to tackle rural isolation and run out of Peasmarsh Village Hall. This is an event which is really well attended and gives people who suffer from rural isolation the opportunity to enjoy a lovely lunch together complete with superb entertainment.
The Chefs in the Community project was also set up in 2019 to engage local restaurants to come to the village hall and help to deliver the lunch club for the 40-50 members. One of the primary aims of lunch clubs in local communities is tackling social isolation that often accompanies old age, frailty and bereavement. The Helping Hands lunch club programme aims to set up new clubs throughout the region, bringing people together to enjoy a healthy, nutritious lunch while socialising and making new friends.
Starting on Monday, February 3 Webbes Fish Cafe restaurant in Rye will be delivering a tasty two course lunch with live entertainment supplied by Hands of Hope in the form of Fred Gardner a superbly talented Frank Sinatra tribute act – https://youtu.be/47Kq6whd0Ig
Fred has toured extensively, he’s extremely popular and is in always in demand, and the quote from his site which reads “If you close your eyes it could be the real thing” is very accurate.
Hands of Hope is a community based charity targeting participants throughout Rother, Hastings and West Kent. Currently farming two acres of organic fruit and vegetables in Peasmarsh, restoring and developing a historical walled kitchen garden and 18 acres of AONB land in Hawkhurst. Their aim is to run programmes that teach people and their communities’ practical ways to sustain, conserve, protect and improve the environment and through education and training, improve people’s health and wellbeing using growing, cooking and the natural world.
Image Credits: Peasmarsh Memorial Hall , Hands of Hope .