A TENBURY day care centre has entered the final stretch of a fundraising campaign in a bid to launch a friendship and lunch club.

Called Food, Fun and Friendship in Tenbury Wells, Kyrebrook Day Care Centre has so far raised more than £26,000. It is aimed at giving socially isolated people the chance to make new friends, reconnect with old friends and rediscover confidence lost in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

If successful, the cause will offer a two-course lunch in a purpose-built warm and inviting venue, as well as free return door-to-door transport available within three miles.

This will aim to help remove any anxieties and obstacles for those hoping to make their first move back to being an active member of their local community.

Ludlow Advertiser: Kyrebrook Day Centre directors, Tina Bayliss (left) and Hilary LincolnKyrebrook Day Centre directors, Tina Bayliss (left) and Hilary Lincoln (Image: Rob)

A spokesperson for Kyrebrook Day Care Centre said: "The pandemic and its repeated lockdowns have created an ensuing pandemic of loneliness, which is having a serious impact on both physical and mental health and wellbeing.

"Social isolation increases the risks of a range of health conditions including cognitive decline, frailty, high blood pressure and depression. This project will help people to reduce their isolation, depression and lack of confidence that living in a rural setting can bring.

"We will create a safe and caring environment where everyone can relax, socialise and have fun. There will also be a deliciously balanced, nutritious meal in a family-style setting, encouraging conversation and a sense of belonging.

"The project is staffed by care professionals who are able to not only deliver a safe and caring service, but also recognise any gaps in support that attendees may have. We can signpost or help them to connect with other support groups."

The centre will open for a few hours on Mondays and Thursdays so that the lunch club can take place. Tenbury Transport Trust will provide free transport for people within three miles of Kyrebrook so they can enjoy a two-course lunch, tea, coffee, soft drinks, and activities such as board games, quizzes, singalongs and bingo.