Happy birthday to the ‘mad idea’ club

Deepings Forget Me Not Club celebrates its 32nd anniversary at Spalding Golf Club where (from left) June Wright, Thelma Beeton, Sheila Wilkinson, Janet Herd, Angela Bracewell, George Allen and Lillian Derrick cut the club's anniversary cake.  Photo by Michael Fysh.  SG230717-045MF.
Deepings Forget Me Not Club celebrates its 32nd anniversary at Spalding Golf Club where (from left) June Wright, Thelma Beeton, Sheila Wilkinson, Janet Herd, Angela Bracewell, George Allen and Lillian Derrick cut the club's anniversary cake. Photo by Michael Fysh. SG230717-045MF.
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At least 60 special guests have no excuses not to remember an 32nd anniversary party for a Deepings club that is priceless to its members.

The party, held at Spalding Golf Club, was to celebrate the continuing success story of Deepings Forget Me Not Club which has grown from what was a garden fete on a farm into a monthly lifeline for the elderly.

Club member Joan Hayes (90), of Market Deeping, said: “I’ve been coming for 15 years or more and it means a great deal to me.

“I’m a widow who never really used to go out a lot until my sister-in-law got to know one of the club’s committee members, June Wright.

“But it was when we all went on a holiday that June asked me to come to the club and it’s the most wonderful afternoon you can have.

“For three hours on a Sunday once a month, we have cakes and sausage rolls, bingo, tea and sandwiches, a raffle, quiz and then you are taken home.

“The people who run the club are so helpful, really caring and I don’t know what I’d do if the club closed down.”

June, who now lives in Spalding with her husband Don, said: “I had this mad idea of holding a garden fete at the farm I was living on in Deeping St James in the 1980s.

“There was such a good turnout and people asked me to hold them on a regular basis.

“Eventually, it was called Frognall Senior Citizens’ Club because we used to meet at a club in the village called The Rose Inn,

“Whem my mum decided that she didn’t want to be involved any more, I picked it up and combined it with the garden fetes we used to do so that it became the Forget Me Not Club.”

A regular element of the club’s activities is fundraising for Sue Ryder and St Barnabas Hospice, charities that have both played a part in June’s life.

She said: “My first husband was cared for by Sue Ryder before he died 20 years ago and my mum went in to St Barnabas Hospice before she passed away 10 years ago.

“We’ve lost one or two club members in the last few years, but we’ve had six new members in recent months.

“All of them say ‘we really enjoy it’ and they are a lovely crowd, so we try to give them back what they give to us.”