Age Concern Eastwood, at the Colin Dyson Centre in Edward Road, is a non-profit service offering a place for over-60s to meet new friends and enjoy a hearty meal up to four times a week.
But trustee Josie Marsters said the last few years have been a struggle for the centre and that the funding, from Nottinghamshire County Council’s Covid-19 Partnership Social Recovery Fund, is a vital lifeline.
“We’ve been running at a loss since reopening last June, mainly because we’ve had to subsidise the running of a mini bus to bring members in,” Josie said.
“Seeing how frail some of them have become and with a lot of them walking with aides, although it is expensive it is entirely necessary.
“We used to serve 100 meals a week before Covid and now we’re down to about 60, which is a big drop, and running at a loss is not sustainable for a charity.
“We’re thankful to Nottinghamshire County Council, who love our service and believe in us.
“The alternative would be to close and that would be tragic – we feel providing this service is paramount."
Age Concern is always open to new members and Josie hopes that more people will start using the service as they re-build their social lives after the pandemic.
She said: “A lot of people have lost their confidence. But we want to reach out to all the isolated and lonely, bring them out, help them make new friends and give them something to look forward to.
“There’s no need to sit at home when there is a service here – use it.
“We’re very proud of this centre and the way it serves the community.”
The service is for residents of Eastwood and all surrounding areas and opens Monday to Thursday from 10am.
Members pay just £7 for a two-course meal and unlimited drinks.
Josie added: “We can offer a door-to-door service and pick you up so there’s no need to worry about getting there.
“There is also entertainment once a week and bingo – recently we’ve had line dancing which is good fun.
“Many of those who attend are widows who have found new companionship in life, and it really helps people connect socially.
“We invite all over 60s to come along, make new friends and share some good times.”
For more information, contact the centre on 01773 423100.