We are absolutely thrilled to announce that we have been awarded the
Best Health Project in the National Lottery Awards 2014!
On Tuesday 2 September we gathered at our Age UK County Durham Stanley Resource Centre expecting a small BBC film crew to come to make a short piece about our Come Eat Together project. Little did we realise that John Torode from Masterchef would make a surprise entrance carrying the award trophy hidden under a chef’s hat on a silver tray (and a great big smile)! He congratulated everyone and stayed for the day, chatting to everyone. He made our day and the trophy means a lot to us. Read on for more information and a short slide show of photographs to give you a flavour of our exciting day.
(Pictured above left to right are Christine Fletcher, Harriet Gibbon, John Torode, Margaret Jobson – front, Barbara Webb, Alice Penny, Judith Pert, Enid Dent, Sara Collins).
Masterchef Serves Up Surprise For a County Durham Charity
TV star and celebrity chef John Torode returned to the North East today to surprise staff and volunteers at Come Eat Together with the news that they have been named the UK’s Best Health project in the National Lottery Awards.
The MasterChef presenter tucked into mince and dumplings with local older people when he visited the Co Durham-based project earlier this summer. On Tuesday 2nd September, the Australian-born restaurateur returned to Come Eat Together’s East Stanley dining circle to serve up news of their success.
Age UK County Durham’s Come Eat Together project aims to improve older people’s ability to cook and enjoy healthy food together by developing new lunch clubs and dining circles. It received more than £1 million of National Lottery funding via the Big Lottery Fund.
It recorded an impressive 12,746 votes to be named UK’s Best Health Project in the annual search to find the nation’s favourite National Lottery funded projects – more than any of the winners in the other categories.
John Torode said: “Come Eat Together is such a brilliant project. It provides good food and great company for older people. I know from experience, the food is delicious and the project is making such a difference to older people by tackling loneliness and isolation. Age UK County Durham thoroughly deserve this National Lottery Award and I would like to congratulate everyone involved in the project.”
Harriet Gibbon, Chief Executive of Age UK County Durham, said “This is fantastic news. We are very grateful to everyone who voted for us – to know this award was decided by the public and so many people voted for us makes winning this award particularly special. Our Come Eat Together project aims to bring older people together with food to combat loneliness and social isolation while raising the awareness of the importance of eating well in older age and promoting good health. Winning this award will help us to publicise this important work. We are extremely grateful to National Lottery players whose support helps to make the Come Eat Together project possible.”
Jackie O’ Sullivan, from the National Lottery, added: “It is fantastic to see the tremendous work of everyone at Come Eat Together rewarded with a National Lottery Award. The sheer number of people voting for them demonstrates the project’s real and meaningful impact on the lives of older people. National Lottery players can be proud to have helped support and sustain such a brilliant project which clearly does so much good work in its community.”
Come Eat Together will feature on a special star-studded ceremony broadcast on BBC One on 19 September. They will also receive a £2,000 cash prize in addition to a coveted National Lottery Awards trophy.