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January 10 2014.

Rotary Club of Seaford President Mike Logan recently moved out of the Seaford comfort zone to present a cheque for £100 to the Meridian Forum’s Sunday Lunch Club.

Kate Davies, the chair of Meridian Mature Citizens’ Forum which covers the area from Newhaven to East Saltdean, is also now trying to attract more “lonely and vulnerable” people from the Seaford area to the Sunday Lunch Club which has been set up in the Newhaven Day Club on West Quay for three years now.

She contacted her Piddinghoe neighbour and Seaford Rotarian Bill Pierce to discover whether Rotary could help them cope with escalating costs and she discovered that her first port of call needed to be our friends at Newhaven Rotary as the Lunch Club, strictly speaking, operates in their “territory”.

Although only a small Rotary Club, Newhaven were still able to contribute £120 and Seaford were asked if we could provide any extra help on top of that – largely towards the expense of transporting Seaford residents to the Lunch Club. We were delighted to do so.

And now, with the additional funds from our club, it is possible that three or four Seaford residents can be taken by taxi to the lunch sessions for a while, although of course the money will run out fast.

Kate Davies said: “We set up the Lunch Club as a result of research done with the University of Brighton. Two key areas were identified in the lives of elderly people – the grimness of weekends, particularly Sundays, and poor computer skills.

“So we set up free computer classes as well as the Lunch Club and what it does is give a chance to elderly, sometimes infirm and, largely lonely people to meet now and then in a pleasant atmosphere.”

Lunch, however, has to be paid for –at £6.50 a head for a Sunday roast, dessert and coffee.

And although it was initially possible to offer free transport to the Club for the diners that is, sadly, no longer the case. The next step in a constant search for funding is to attract drivers who would be able to bring elderly people to the venue.

Kate explained: “We have 36 people on our books for the Lunch Club and the average attendance is 18 which is sufficient to cover the cost of the food, cooking and hall hire.

“Age, ill-health and immobility causes a huge fluctuation in attendance which is also a problem but mainly it is the expense of getting them there. Thanks to Rotary’s generous help we will be able to cope with transport costs issue through taxis for a while but really we would love people to come forward and offer their services as drivers, say, once a month.”

Kate can be contacted on 01273 516207 for more details or email her on  

Photo shows President Michael Logan with regalia, on his right are Kate Davies and chef