The club began as a resource for asylum seekers to socialise and to gain support from volunteers. Organisers soon opened it up to anyone who wanted to come along. The club now has a diverse range of attendees, from all walks of life.
Between 40 to 50 people attend each week, ranging in age from teenagers to retirement age. Those who attend help to support the club, by washing up in the kitchen, helping to cook meals or setting up the tables and chairs.
Recent funding from the William Cook Charitable Community First Fund has enabled the group to cover core costs. This means they are able to continue the Monday club relied on by so many.
Sessional Worker, Katelyn McKeown said:
“One of our attendees, who is an asylum seeker, comes every Monday and brings absolute joy to everyone. Over the years his English has improved a lot and he has become a key part of the group. A part of what we do is provide catering and we recently catered a wedding. He loved it and worked so hard. We also do trips to museums, the seaside. He is always so happy to go and be at the centre of our group, bringing happiness to everyone.
“It is always great to see the people who come along becoming friends. Two regulars have become best friends even though they don’t speak the same language.”
The healthy hot meals and friendly atmosphere is as valued by attendees, as the reliability of the club being open every Monday. In the future, the organisers hope to be able to open the club more often. They also aim to continue to expand their activities and links with partner community organisations.