Since Easter 2013 Eternity Church Norwich
has been running a LUNCH Club
to provide a place for children to access a free hot meal when schools are closed.
On Friday April 11, 12-2pm
the LUNCH Club hosted its 1st birthday party to celebrate a successful year with over 40 children aged 5 – 12 now registered and enjoying the service.
The Lord Mayor of Norwich, Councillor Keith Driver
and Hilary Cox, Chairman of Norfolk County Council
cut a birthday cake and over 35 children enjoyed entertainment from Razz the Clown
and Auntie Pearl
who sang, danced, told jokes, performed tricks and gave away prizes.
The LUNCH Club, held at the Cadge Road Community Centre
in the North Earlham
area of the city, is part of a national initiative called LUNCH
. LUNCH, a project of the Grassroots Trust
, actively encourages churches to run free lunch projects to bridge the ‘holiday hunger gap’ which affects two million school children nationwide.
The Cadge Road LUNCH Club is open three days a week each school holiday - Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays - from 12-2pm.
The volunteer team from Eternity Church serve a hot meal and dessert, as well as providing activities such as crafts, football and games. Parents are encouraged to stay for a meal as well as a chat, to make friends, find support and enjoy a break for an hour or two.
At the birthday party Lisa Marshall-Nichols, the Project Leader from Eternity Church Norwich
told the children: “Thank you all for coming every school holiday and being such wonderful children. Your parents should be very proud of you. You are doing really well. It is a pleasure to open each holiday and to have you come.”
Having witnessed the need for, and the success of, the initiative Eternity Church Norwich are partnering with Norwich Foodbank
to promote the model and support other churches who would like to serve their local community with a LUNCH Club.
Two more churches across the city are now providing children with the opportunity to enjoy a hot meal in the school holidays, with interest still coming in from other churches.
If you would like to consider setting up a LUNCH Club please contact Lisa Marshall-Nicholls on 07505131760 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cadge Road, Community Centre, Norwich, NR5 8DF
Top photo: Lisa Marshall-Nichols thanks the children alongside Razz the Clown
Bottom photo (left to right): Hilary Cox, Chairman of Norfolk County Council, Lisa Marshall-Nichols and the Lord Mayor of Norwich, Keith Driver