Restaurateur saves Oakham Lunch Club

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The future of a lunch club that was just days away from closure has been secured, thanks to the generosity of a hotel in Oakham.

Volunteers at Oakham Lunch Club feared it would have to close as they could not find a business that was able to provide hot meals for its members.

The club, which is run by Age UK Leicester Shire and Rutland, was due to hold its last session on Wednesday last week. That was until Kevin Hill, of the Whipper In Hotel, in Market Square, saw the club’s appeal in the Rutland Times and decided to lend them a hand in providing the food.

The hotel has agreed to provide a two-course meal for £5 for the 25 club members from November 14. It is also allowing the club to hold its sessions in the venue’s restaurant, the George Restaurant. Members currently meet at All Saints Church Hall, in Church Street.

Group co-ordinator Sue Bamber said: “A huge thank you goes to the Whipper In Hotel and Kevin Hill.

“We were hugely disappointed at the thought of closing after more than 20 years but we are thrilled they have come forward to help us.

“We’re looking forward to working with them in the coming months.”

Kevin, who is chef manager at the George Restaurant, was delighted to be able to offer his services to keep the club running. Volunteers of the club and staff at the hotel are due to hold a meeting to agree terms on how long they can offer their services.

Kevin said: “I saw their appeal in the paper and I just wanted to help. I thought if I could offer them a hand then I would do anything I could.

“They are part of Oakham and to see something like this finish would be quite sad. We’re delighted to be able to help them. We’ll be serving the members hearty food, such as stews and roasts and we look forward to meeting them all.”

The club had previously been provided with food by Catmose College and Oakham School but due to other catering commitments, they could no longer offer their services.