A friendship lunch is to take place every week in Sheffield after the first one was a roaring success.
The initiative is aimed at encouraging people who may feel lonely and isolated to come together and make new friends over a drink, hot meal and live entertainment.
Sheffield’s first friendship lunch at the Crosspool Tavern on Monday, August 8, was hailed as a major success by organisers after more than 30 people attended.
The pub is now inviting members of the public to attend regular friendship lunches held every Monday from 11.30am to 2.30pm.
Event organiser Kathy Markwick said: “We had a fantastic time at the inaugural friendship lunch.
“Chris Squire, pub manager, and his team undoubtedly pulled out all the stops to ensure that the event was a huge success.”
Those who attended were treated to music from singer Susan St Nicholas and special guests included the lord mayor and deputy lord mayor of Sheffield, councillors Denise Fox and Anne Murphy.
Kathy added: “Denise spoke passionately about how it was important to maintain friendships as we get older.
“She recalled being young and meeting friends in the park for picnics and said that these were very special times.
“She said as we got older it was still important that we keep in touch and socially active in order to avoid the feeling of loneliness.”
Others who attended included representatives from Sheffield-based Home Instead Senior Care, staff from Norrie Waite & Slater solicitors and Kath Horner, of Sheffield Dementia Action Alliance. In addition, Denise Bailey, partnerships manager for the Campaign to End Loneliness, travelled up all the way from London to join in the fun.
Kathy said: “She went away brimming with enthusiasm. We were delighted and honoured that she could join us and see for herself why these events are so enjoyable, successful and necessary.”
Richard Moorhouse, aged 37, kitchen manager at the Crosspool Tavern, said: “It was great to see so many smiling faces and we even had people up dancing.
“There were also plenty of people who made new friends and we have already got a lot of interest in the next friendship lunch.”
The friendship lunches were first organised at a pub in North Yorkshire.
Since then, the first friendship lunch in South Yorkshire, held at the Toby Carvery in Dodworth, Barnsley, last month attracted 22 older people.
Much like the Crosspool Tavern, the Toby Carvery is also now hosting the friendship lunches every Monday.
For more information about the friendship lunches call the Crosspool Tavern on 0114 266 2113.