A SCHOOL luncheon club which brings together students and local pensioners has been such a success it has seen numbers attending almost treble.

St Mark’s Primary School in Natland began a luncheon club with Age UK last September to help bring the younger and older members of the community closer together.

Now the club has become such a success it has seen numbers of visitors swell from 12 to more than 30.


The club sees local pensioners invited to the school once a term to enjoy a freshly-prepared meal.

The children at the school get involved in as many aspects as possible, like setting the tables and serving the meals, and at Christmas they even entertained their visitors with carols as part of the lunch event.

Orian Solutions, whose kitchen team prepares and freshly cooks the meals served at St Mark’s, are delighted with the success and that the wider community are enjoying the food, which is from the same menus the children choose from every day.

Account manager Helen Burnett said: “We’re thrilled that this has been such a success.

“Our kitchen team very much enjoys preparing the meals and bringing school meals into the community.”

Orian Solutions is a Cumbria-based facilities management company and provides more than 10,000 freshly-prepared school meals across the region every day.

“All the feedback I have seen or heard has been overwhelmingly positive,” said headteacher Peter Barfoot.

“The children have genuinely enjoyed each event, rising to the challenge of serving and gradually becoming more confident in conversation with the guests.”

And Sonia Mangan, chief officer of Age UK South Lakeland, said: “Having respect for each other in our communities is a way in which we all can live well whether we are young or old. We know the children and older people are having fun together and what is there not to like about that?”