Wonderful food and great company


Peasmarsh Memorial Hall is the place to be on the first Monday of each month. Mouth-watering smells fill the air as people file in from the local area and beyond for the lunch club. When asked why they come to the lunches, the people sitting round the tables say that the reason is mainly social, that it saves cooking and that the food is always brilliant.

Peasmarsh monthly lunch club

One rather interesting fact is that they always (well nearly) sit in the same place with the same people and although they do socialise, it is often with the people who have become friends over these lunches. One lady proudly announces that she has met up with someone who she was at school with more years ago than she can remember. There is a warm buzz in the hall with smiling faces as they sit chatting before the meal. They have the opportunity to buy books from the book stall, seeds for their gardens and to take part in the tombola.

After the meal there is always entertainment which the participants really enjoy. It is something that they all look forward to and there were fifty-four people taking the opportunity to socialise on Monday March 6. These occasions also help to support the Hands of Hope Charity.

Sosi Kaskanian from Armenia started these lunches four years ago with James Doran, under the auspice of Hands of Hope Charity. “The lunches came first and then we acquired a derelict walled garden in Hawkhurst which is where we work on various projects including Get Growing which encourages people to get growing their own food at home. Our aim is to preserve, restore and develop the site into a sustainable all-inclusive community hub for all to enjoy. There are many projects which we want to start and we look forward to Rye News doing an article on the charity Hands of Hope in the future.”

Sonja and Sosi Peasmarsh monthly lunch club

The lunch club has no age restriction and attracts people from forty to over eighty; everyone seems to get on well with everyone else. Many people say it is the highlight of their month.

Sonja Colman joined the team in December 2021 and plans the menus to be a healthly as possible, but also a bit of a treat. With her background in nutrition, they are really well-balanced and enjoyed by all. The fruit and vegetables from the walled garden are used whenever they are in season, whether it is carrots and cabbages to go with the main dish, or strawberries for the dessert. She began as a volunteer, helping out with the lunches, but now cooks them with a team of helpers starting very early in the morning.

Peasmarsh monthly lunch club

“I absolutely love helping out at the lunch club. It is quite hard work cooking for around 60 guests and volunteers, but it is so much fun, and we have a great team in the kitchen. We have such lovely people coming along and it is wonderful to see everyone enjoying themselves and having fun.”



Image Credits: Kt bruce .

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