Gillian’s last date at Sheffield lunch club

Gillian Cartledge at her last lunch club at St Williams Catholic Church where she has helped out for 30 years
Gillian Cartledge at her last lunch club at St Williams Catholic Church where she has helped out for 30 years
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PREPARING a Christmas dinner with all the trimmings is never an easy task.

But it’s one this particular lady has got down to a fine art – and we’re not talking about a festive feast just for the family.

This year Gillian Cartledge dished up a turkey treat for dozens of people – and she’s been doing it for donkeys’ years.

Gillian started working as a volunteer for the Greystones luncheon club – which was then held at the community centre – in 1984.

At that time she offered her services as a driver.

But in 1992 Gillian extended her duties into the kitchen where she prepared meals and helping out with transport.

The club transferred to St William of York Church on Ecclesall Road when the community centre was demolished.

And Gillian, a widow, made the move along with it to take up the position of chief cook and bottle washer.

Every week since she has planned for, shopped for and cooked a two-course meal for up to 20 people from the area.

Many of her grateful clients are in their 90s.

But now Gillian is set to hang up her apron and call it a day at long last – at the age of 83.

Luncheon club spokeswoman Barbara Last paid tribute to the stalwart chef who she describes as ‘incredible’.

She said: “We will all miss Gillian. And we’ll certainly miss her dinners!

“Gillian’s puddings are very popular, a favourite being apple crumble.

“But it isn’t only the food she provides that we will miss.

“She has kept a watchful eye on her customers and contacted family members if she thinks there is a problem or a deterioration in health.”