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30th Jun, 2022

Friendships and food aims to tackle loneliness in Stratford

A FRIENDSHIP Lunch Club aims to tackle loneliness in Stratford.

The scheme is being run by Stratford College for a second year at the college’s Brazz Restaurant on Thursdays from midday.

Hospitality students will seat guests at communal tables so diners can sit together for lunch and form new friendships. Everyone is welcome whether single or part of a couple or group. A £5.50 set menu will include two courses and tea or coffee.

Recent studies found 1.9 million older people in the UK often feel ignored and 3.6million older people live alone – more than half of who are over 75.

College spokeswoman Shelley McGonigle said: “It is generally accepted that a lack of companionship can have a very negative affect on mental and physical health, and that tackling this issue improves people’s wellbeing and quality of life. That is why we believe in the importance of our Friendship Lunch Club – it relieves loneliness by bringing people together in a friendly, relaxed setting.”

The idea for the project came from Shelley’s catering students who were eager to target loneliness and promote positive mental health.

Shelley added: “The students are to be commended for their commitment to the community and to helping the elderly in particular feel a sense of belonging. They are a credit to the college and I am immensely proud of them.”

To book a place call 01789 266245 or email

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