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  • Writer's pictureAthena Poole

...What's on the menu today?

60 people enjoyed a gammon pie, mash and veg followed by pudding and refreshments today, all provided for free by Love Dereham.

Each second tuesday of the month Love Dereham hosts their community lunch in the large hall of Dereham Baptist church. They say if you're lonely and in need of some company then come and enjoy lunch in our friendly environment and make new friends. Or, maybe going out for a two course meal is something your budget can never allow for, then come and be our guest for free!

A team of 6 volunteers are on 'set up' and 'set down' and they make the hall look wonderful each month! Love Dereham coordinator, Athena Poole, heads up the day and makes sure things run smoothly.

It's non-stop in the kitchen with our team of 8 volunteers who make enough food to feed 60 + all the volunteers! It's two courses followed by tea, coffee and chocolates. And it's always delicious! Everyone pitches in, peeling, chopping, washing, laughing... and generally having a great time.

"Head chef" Susan Yaxley, with support from her team, comes up with the menu each month. She works out how to turn the donations we've received into a yummy meal and gives so much of her time and energy to the planning that goes into the event in the weeks leading up to it.

This month we were supported by Tesco and Co-op who kindly donated ingredients towards the feast. The Tesco Community Champion, Callie Skelton, even came to volunteer herself and did a great job serving up the food! Lidl donates surplus items to us via the Dereham Community Fridge and today we were able to give away 65 large packets of noodles!

It's a bit of a running thing that we always have a wordsearch on the table to keep you busy while you wait for lunch! This month the words were submitted by lunch-goer Gabby, who thought of 20 words on the theme of kindness. Here she is giving it the big thumbs up once she'd finished putting them out on the tables!

Every month we have an information table and a friendly representative to let folks know about services available to them in Dereham. Previous attendees have been Norfolk and Waveney MIND and Norfolk County Council Early Intervention. This month Morgan Cockbill, CAP Debt Centre Manager, joined us and was on hand to listen to any money worries or debt problems, and see how CAP's free support could help them sort things out.

If you need debt help, call 0800 328 0006 and talk to someone today.

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