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A social dining club which offers nutritious meals and social activities for older people in Goole held a special event on Thursday 24 October to celebrate the 90th birthday of lead volunteer, Nora Retberg. The event, which was also attended by the Mayor of Goole, Councillor Josie Head, gave diners, volunteers and Royal Voluntary Service colleagues the opportunity to thank Nora and celebrate her contribution to the club and her community.

Goole Social Dining Club was set up by Nora with the help of a team of volunteers, and provides a range of opportunities for local people to eat meals in the company of others. The programme brings people together to enjoy a hot meal, as well as a fun activity such as a quiz.

The club in Goole is just one of several projects across Great Britain that have benefitted from receiving a total of over £1m from the Asda Foundation since 2016, which has enabled the charity to tackle loneliness and isolation amongst older people by growing grassroots, volunteer led activities and services.

Laurence Quirk Project Manager – Social Dining and Community Development Operations Manager said: “Goole Social Dining Club has been a great success, largely thanks to Nora and her team of volunteers. We’re delighted to have been able to come together and celebrate Nora’s birthday with her, as well as thank her for all of the amazing work she does for her community. Without Nora, we wouldn’t be able to welcome 35 people to the club each fortnight. Thanks to our volunteers and the funding from Asda Foundation, we have been able to provide our members with nutritious meals and fantastic social activities that have a real positive impact, helping our participants to live happier and healthier lives.”

Alexandra Preston, Asda Foundation Manager said: “We are passionate about supporting communities, helping to improve lives now and in the future. We are delighted to reach our funding milestone of £1m with Royal Voluntary Service, enabling the charity to carry out this important programme of work helping to build connections and reduce social isolation, making a positive impact in communities throughout Great Britain.”

More volunteers are needed to run the club in Goole, which meets every other Thursday from 12:30pm until 2pm in the community room at the Junction Theatre, Paradise Place, Goole. Volunteers can help in the kitchen, serve lunch, or help by delivering activities or supporting diners during lunch.

Royal Voluntary Service is one of Britain’s largest volunteering charities with over 20,000 volunteers supporting thousands of people each month in hospitals, at home and in the community. The focus is on building confidence, improving well-being and keeping loneliness at bay through an array of social activities and more structured support. The charity is also one of the largest retailers in the NHS, with its network of cafes and shops providing a valued haven in hospitals.

To find out more about volunteering with Royal Voluntary Service, visit royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk.

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