Loyal lunch goers hope their club can be saved

John Hinchliffe, William Hemsworth, Chris Blakey, Vicky Wilkinson and Cynthia Jacobs at the Cartwheel Club, Huddersfield Road, Elland
John Hinchliffe, William Hemsworth, Chris Blakey, Vicky Wilkinson and Cynthia Jacobs at the Cartwheel Club, Huddersfield Road, Elland

A luncheon club for the elderly people of Elland may be forced to shut down after the number of visitors fell.

There’s also a shortage of volunteers at the Cartwheel youth and community centre, which on a Monday lunchtime provides people with a three course hot dinner for just £3.50.

The lunch club was set up almost four years ago with the aim of targeting elderly people who may be living alone and acting as a community hub where pensioners could meet friends while having a meal cooked for them at a bargain price.

But since an increase in competition in recent years, the lunch club seems to have been badly affected by falling numbers.

Vicky Wilkinson runs the club and said things seem to have got worse in the last few months.

The 62-year-old said: “At the moment I think we’re probably down to somewhere between ten and 15. We were up to the thirties going back 12 months ago - it’s just slowly getting less and less.”

She added that the centre was struggling in terms of staff as well.

Vicky, who lives in Greetland, said: “We’re struggling at the moment, there’s two or three of us. One’s a young chap fresh out of university - if he gets a job we’re going to be stuck.”

Vicky said the club was vital in terms of offering many of the people who come - most of whom live alone - somewhere to socialise.

Vicky said: “It’s one of those times that they get to meet people that they’ve perhaps known for a long time but don’t see them on any other regular basis.”