Residents break bread and socialise thanks to soup and sweet lunches
23 February 2015
16-year-old Kathryn Churm is encouraging residents from a retirement housing estate in Basingstoke to break bread and socialise over a healthy bowl of soup and a dessert thanks to a volunteering initiative being trialled at their estate during Student Volunteering Week which takes place from 23 February to 1 March 2015.
The initiative is due largely to the efforts of Oakfield estate manager Karen Vallance who, with support from Kathryn and resident chef Ann Dyer, have made soup and sweet lunches a regular event.
Karen, manager of the Hanover Housing Association estate said: ‘Although many of our residents have a full and varied social life I realised that many weren’t quite so lucky, they no longer had the opportunity to share a meal with someone.'
Local student Kathryn Churm approached Karen and expressed an interest in volunteering on the estate.
Kathryn was in the final stages of completing her Duke of Edinburgh Award and felt that helping older people combat isolation and loneliness would be a rewarding experience and would help her achieve her goal.
Karen and Kathryn now regularly serve a healthy bowl of soup and a sweet for residents who are interested in sampling a healthy treat and making new friends.
Hanover resident 92-year-old Vi Phillips said: 'I really look forward to our soup and sweet parties, especially when Kathryn serves butternut squash soup with herbs and bowls of strawberry ice cream.
‘It’s also a great chance to catch up on all the local gossip.’
In addition to helping serve at soup and sweet parties, Kathryn supports residents with socialising through quiz nights, afternoon teas and special events.