Can you lend a hand and spare some time to over-50s club?

The Stacey Centre in Copnor needs volunteers to help run a lunch club. Regular visitors have some tea and cake, Margaret Butcher has a tea poured by Teresa Newton - centre manager, with chairman  Bob Gregory, chef Gary Brittle and lunch club organiser Kerry Smith ''Picture: Paul Jacobs (14927-1) PPP-140104-213841001

The Stacey Centre in Copnor needs volunteers to help run a lunch club. Regular visitors have some tea and cake, Margaret Butcher has a tea poured by Teresa Newton - centre manager, with chairman Bob Gregory, chef Gary Brittle and lunch club organiser Kerry Smith ''Picture: Paul Jacobs (14927-1) PPP-140104-213841001

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A COMMUNITY centre is calling for volunteers to help run a lunch club for senior citizens.

The Stacey Centre in Copnor plans to start a weekly lunch group for people over 50.

Centre manager Teresa Newton said the club was aimed at people who were isolated and faced difficulties getting out of their homes.

Ms Newton said volunteers were needed to help transport people to and from the club as well as to help run the events at the centre.

She said: ‘We come and pick them up, give them some entertainment, a home-cooked meal and a pudding for £3.95.

‘We’re desperate for volunteers who can come and help drive the guests.

‘We also need people who can come in and talk to them, set the tables, make the tea – all the things you would need to do in a lunch club.’

Ms Newton said prospective volunteers needed to be easy-going, reliable and friendly.

She said: ‘You definitely need a good sense of humour.

‘This is a wonderful place to be involved in, it’s a wonderful atmosphere.’

The centre runs more than 60 activity groups each week which include table tennis, short mat bowls, gardening and a class for people who have learning difficulties.

Ms Newton said there were plenty of other opportunities for volunteers at the Stacey Centre.

She said: ‘The centre is run by a committee and we’re always looking for new committee members.

‘We’re also looking for tradespeople or ex-tradespeople who can help with things like carpentry and painting.’

Ms Newton works part-time at the centre alongside financial administrator Kerry Smith.

She said the centre received a small grant from Portsmouth City Council each year but other than that it was self-funded.

‘We raise money by hiring out the halls for parties and exercise groups. We have to find the money every month to keep the centre running.

‘Every person who can volunteer a bit of their time helps.’

Ms Newton said the centre had been a ‘lifeline of the community’ since it was built in the 1960s.

‘We have some people who have been coming here for 30 years or more.’

The lunch club is on Thursday between 11.30am and 2pm.

To find out more about volunteering at the Stacey Community Centre, call Ms Newton on (023) 9261 7890 or visit staceycentre.org.uk.

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