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Stafford and Rural Homes | Big Lunch helps feed community spirit
Big Lunch pic

Big Lunch helps feed community spirit

A party to celebrate national Big Lunch and Carers Week campaigns has helped to strengthen community spirit at an Independent Living scheme in Stafford managed by Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH).

The event at Marston Court also attracted SARH customers from nearby schemes, including Hopton Court and Marsh Court and, during the day, around £100 was raised to help fund future community activities.

Guests enjoyed barbeque food and homemade cakes while taking part in a tombola and other party games. Meanwhile a bring-and-buy sale also helped to boost the scheme’s Community Fund.

Toby Horton, Independent Living Co-ordinator for Marston Court, explained: “It was fantastic to see everyone enjoying themselves and getting into the spirit of The Big Lunch, with between 20 and 30 people joining in.”

Part of the Eden Project’s The Great Get Together campaign, The Big Lunch aimed to encourage people to bring together friends, neighbours and others they don’t yet know for street parties, picnics, barbeques and bake-off competitions. It was also timed to mark the first anniversary of the murder of MP Jo Cox on June 16 last year.

The date also coincided with Carers Week, an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK.

“During our event, we heard about the work of the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Carers Hub, where volunteers provide practical advice and support for anyone who cares for a relative, friend or neighbour,” said Toby.

SARH itself offers a range of services to support both carers and the people who depend on them. For example, its You First Wellbeing Service can help with weekly shopping, driving customers to appointments, preparing meals and even dealing with utilities companies.

You First Independent Living schemes are also designed to provide additional peace of mind for those who wish to maintain their independence, as does the You First Telecare service that delivers round-the-clock emergency help, should it be needed.

Karen Armitage, SARH Chief Executive, added: “Once again it was fantastic to see our customers and staff getting together to show their community spirit and support for carers who play such a vital and often undervalued role in society. Events such as this really do bind neighbourhoods together.”

SARH customers Edna Scott, Patricia Mawn, Eunice Bishop and Eliz Banner join Toby Horton, Independent Living Co-ordinator for Marston Court, for the tombola draw during the Big Lunch.

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