A grow to eat success that keeps on growing

The growing season has been a success for members of Come Eat Together

Our Come Eat Together project volunteers and workers have had great fun delivering plenty of Let’s Get Growing sessions all across County Durham over the spring and summer. We have been welcomed into community venues from church halls and community centres to pubs and restaurants. Older people tell us they have enjoyed the new Let’s Get Growing film, which stars one of our volunteers giving a step by step guide on how to grow your own produce easily in containers at home.

During the sessions participants can choose to have a go at growing their own fruit and vegetables at home. We have taken along seed potatoes to plant in bags and provide to opportunity for people to plant their own peppers, onions, and lettuce seeds and herbs.

The feedback from older people enjoying these sessions has been excellent, with participants commenting “the film showed how easy it is to grow your own vegetables”.

People have been back in touch to thank us so much for the session and to tell us about their success.  

One member told us “From two seed potatoes I have had a crop weighing in at 5 and a half pounds! I am absolutely delighted as I have never grown anything myself before. Not being a driver I even made the effort to get the bus to my local supermarket to buy compost to plant my potatoes in the bag you provided me with at the session. The potatoes are delicious and I have been sharing some of my crop with friends and my neighbours. Others in my Come Eat Together lunch group have also had great success and we all loved the session you provided.”

One group, the Happy Wanderers of Chester le Street invited us back to their group where they brought in examples of what they  have been growing. Others have even sent us photographs of their growing successes as is shown here. Thanks to everyone who has sent us a photo.

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If you would like to participate in a Let’s Get Growing session or for more information please contact the Come Eat Together Team on 0191 374 6577.

Posted in Activities, Age Uk County Durham, Growing food, Growing fruit and vegetables, Healthy Eating for Older People course | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Monday Lunch at Aycliffe Youth and Community Centre

Age UK County Durham’s Come Eat Together Team work in partnership with Newton Aycliffe Youth and Community Centre to bring people aged over 50 in the local area together with food.

Louise Haymer, Development Worker with the project said “Taking place monthly on a Monday, it is the perfect chance to treat yourself to a Roast Lunch followed by a dessert, with the added bonus of no washing up. However, it is not just lunch on offer; this is also about enjoying company. Meet new people and catch up over a tasty meal and a cuppa. Everyone is invited to relax with a variety of after lunch activities such as quizzes and bingo.”

People aged over 50 living in Newton Aycliffe and surrounding areas are invited to enjoy a two course meal with tea and coffee, followed by an activity for £5.00. The next lunch will be held on Monday 11 September at 12noon. Booking is essential. For more information and to book your place please contact the Come Eat Together Team on 0191 374 6577.

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Come Eat Together at Locomotion has a brand new look

Along with the Locomotion Museum, we have given a ‘New Look’ to our monthly Lunch Club for older people. The activity has moved to the Welcome Building on Soho Street rather than the Collections Building.

Louise Haymer Development Worker said, “This is the perfect opportunity to enjoy lunch with good company. We have a range of activities on offer including musical Bingo, historic talks and fun quizzes followed by a freshly made buffet lunch with refreshments. There’s plenty of chance for a catch up prior to lunch and the Welcome Building is a lovely venue which is easy to walk to”.

Anyone over 50 is invited to come along. The next lunch will be held on Monday 21 August. The activity starts with Musical Bingo at 11.00am followed by lunch with tea or coffee for the affordable price of £3.50.

For more information about this lunch or to book your place please contact the Come Eat Together Team on 0191 3746577.


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Volunteers needed to brighten up the day for older people in Durham

Doris and Betty at North Water lunch

We want to ensure that no-one has no-one and we wonder if you can help.

Age UK County Durham is looking for enthusiastic and sociable people, with a community spirit to brighten the day for older people who live alone and look forward to coming to a monthly lunch club in Durham.

Northumbrian Water opens the doors to their comfortable staff restaurant once a month to invite older people to enjoy a 2 course lunch for the charity’s Come Eat Together project.

Volunteers are needed to meet and greet lunch club members and help make the lunch a lovely activity.

Come Eat Together Volunteer, Sarah says, Volunteering with Age UK County Durham is the best experience I’ve had. The staff and people who come along to the different groups and clubs are lovely, and I have been made to feel nothing but welcome. I’ve also made new friends. It is a pleasure to give up some of my free time to be part or such a worthwhile project.”

If you can help us make sure no-one has no-one, please contact the charity on
0191 374 6577 or email cet@ageukcountydurham.org.uk  for more information.

Click here to see a short advert for the lunch club.

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Join us at the Green Tree – Lunch in an old English country pub

Post by Stephanie Esteris, Development Worker for Come Eat Together 

Come Eat Together is enjoying working with the manager and her team at The Green Tree Country Pub & Restaurant, a traditional English Country Inn situated in picturesque Tudhoe Village  to serve up  two course lunches exclusively for over 50’s.

Our lunch club is held on the 4th Tuesday of each month and is the perfect opportunity for those who live alone or need a break from caring to enjoy a freshly cooked meal in good company.

Our members receive a delicious, freshly cooked lunch and desert for £7.00. Last month we tucked into roast of the day, homemade cottage pie or tasty vegetarian options. Before the meal we will always have a sociable activity such as a quiz, bingo or guest speakers. We hope people will make new friends.

Murrie Venis, manager of The Green Tree told us
We are thrilled to be working with Age UK County Durham. We place a huge importance on promoting a sense of community at The Green Tree providing a place where people can meet as strangers and leave as friends”.

Come along and join us for a delicious meal, meet new people and enjoy great conversation. The next lunch will be held on Tuesday 25 July at 12noon.

Booking is essential, so for more information and to book your place please contact Come Eat Together on 0191 374 6577 or e-mail cet@ageukcountydurham.org.uk

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Come fly with us – Lunch on the Wing starts 26 July 12.00 – 2.00pm

Our Come Eat Together team are so excited.

Our new lunch clubs are bringing people together with food in the most unusual places. The delicious breakfasts at the Pulman Skoda in Belmont are the talk of the neighbourhood where the bacon and eggs are cooked to your personal taste by the chef whilst members peruse the papers and catch up on some local news.

Now we bring you a new very special lunch club that can take you anywhere in the world from a comfortable seat –

Lunch on the Wing comes courtesy of Icarus Simulation located in Langley Park near Durham City. The first session will be Wed 26 July 12.00 – 2.00pm and will then be held on the last Wednesday each month.

You are cordially invited to enjoy a great quality buffet lunch freshly prepared by the Durham and Darlington Fire Service catering team and have fun learning to fly a plane from the safety of a comfortable simulator.

We took a Men’s Group to be our ‘Test Pilots’ to see what they thought of the facilities and activity. They loved it.

George chose to fly a jet around the Lake District in Cumbria. He was amazed that when he accidently crashed into a mountain that a second later he was in the air flying again. He said “I love the Lake District and it was very special to fly around and see it from a different angle.” 

Fred flew around New York City, in between the skyscrapers and under and over the bridges across the Jersey River. He said “I have never been there and was amazed at how tall the buildings were. I held my breath when I flew under a bridge though!”

Our Project Manager Christine flew a small private plane around Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro, taking in the sites as she flew delicately around the city famed for its Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, the statue of Christ atop Mount Corcovado and Sugarloaf Mountain. She was entranced. She said “I have very busy days. it was lovely to fly slowly around somewhere exotic for a short while. Perhaps one day I’ll get there for real“.

The choices of location to fly around are endless and everyone will have a choice of where they would like to fly.

This lunch club has a maximum capacity of 8 people. This means that everyone receives some individual personal tuition from the highly qualified Pilot, Ed Jackson. The TV screen in the seating area means that everyone can see what is happening from the cockpit and can encourage the pilot to enjoy their flight.

We think this is a great lunch club to celebrate a birthday or special occasion. Come alone as you will meet other people or with other Come Eat Together friends.

It is available to all Come Eat Together members and we hope to give plenty of members the opportunity to take part.

The sessions are priced at £9.00 to include all refreshments and flight time.

If you are interested please contact the team on 0191 374 6577 or email us






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Nominated for Sainsbury’s Sedgefield Local Charity of the Year

We are so excited that Age UK County Durham have been nominated for Sainsbury’s Local Charity of the Year by the Sedgefield store.

If we win we will set up a Gentlemen’s Breakfast in the store’s café with the help of the staff team there.

Together we can combat loneliness and promote good health and wellbeing.

Please go to https://www.sainsburyslocalcharity.co.uk/ choose Sedgefield and please vote for Age UK County Durham.

We will be in-store on Friday 16 June 11am – 3pm with plenty of information about what we do. If you are in the area, please call in and see us.



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Shopping made easy with good company

Shopping is easier with a buddy!

Food shopping may be as simple as jumping in your car and heading to the local supermarket, but for some people over 50, this couldn’t be further from the truth. With a lack of transport and less choice in some areas, access to healthy food can be problematic.

In response to this barrier, Age UK County Durham’s award winning Come Eat Together project is making shopping for food as easy as possible.

Working with Shildon Community Bus and Spectrum Community Transport we are offering affordable shopping trips using accessible minibuses to help older people in the South of Durham access the supermarkets. The trips aren’t just a ride to the shops. Members get the added bonus of a door to door service, a wider variety of shops, help with heavy bags as well as plenty of time to stop off for a cuppa and a chat.

These regular trips to supermarkets are making a huge difference to older people who have difficulty shopping for food. Here’s what some members have to say,

We enjoy the trips and appreciated the help from staff and the driver. I would have struggled to get a lot of shopping otherwise”.

“I enjoy the trips. I had not been able to get to the supermarket in six weeks. I also received extra help with my shopping whilst in the store, which was much appreciated”.

A team of dedicated and friendly Come Eat Together volunteers are on hand to assist with all aspects of shopping. This can range from assistance on and off the bus and help lifting heavy bags, to support around the store.

Come Eat Together currently runs shopping clubs in Bishop Auckland, Newton Aycliffe, Shildon,  Crook and Willington and Chester Le Street.

Shopping clubs run fortnightly and cost £2.50 to £5.00. To take part in the shopping club, find out more for a friend or neighbour please contact the Come Eat Together team on 0191 374 6577 or e-mail: cet@ageukcountydurham.org.uk

Here you can see a short film about how they work


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Come Eat at The Saxon Inn

We love heritage and one of our new lunch clubs is at The Saxon Inn, located in the historic village of Escomb, is serving up delicious two course lunches exclusively for the over 50’s. Running on the second Wednesday of each month, it’s been the perfect opportunity to for those who live alone, or need a break from caring to enjoy a freshly cooked bar meal.

Paul, landlord of the Saxon Inn said, “Together with Age UK County Durham’s Come Eat Together Team we have worked with older people in the area to set up a lunch where people can enjoy good food in good company”.

Louise Haymer Development Worker added, “The lunch has been running for two months now and has proved very popular. It’s a chance to catch up with new and old friends over a delicious meal, with the added bonus of no washing up”.

Anyone over 50 living in the Bishop Auckland and surrounding areas is invited along to enjoy a two course meal with tea and coffee, followed by an activity for £7.00.

The next lunch will be held on Wednesday 10 May at 12noon, choose from homemade Cottage Pie, potatoes and vegetables or Scampi, salad and chips followed Jam Sponge with custard or Eton Mess.

Booking is essential. For more information and to book your place please contact our Come Eat Together Team on 0191 374 6577.

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Breakfast among the new Motors

Starts Wednesday 3 May 2017 from 9.30 to 10.45am

We have teamed up with the Pulman Skoda in Belmont, Durham to provide a brand new relaxed breakfast with a difference. Sam Gilholm at Café Dafte is delighted to invite older people to join her and her small team of café staff.

Join us for a full English breakfast with refreshments and peruse the Skoda garage forecourt at your leisure. Each month there is an opportunity to have a look over the new cars just in, chat to staff to have your questions answered or sit and read the newspapers.”

Kirsty King-Lough, Development Worker said, “It’s a great opportunity to get together and look at some new cars with the added bonus of enjoying a tasty meal. The project is about bringing together people aged 50 or older who may live alone, are caring for someone, or might feel lonely. There is always a warm welcome with Come Eat Together.”

Join us at Cafe Dafte, Pulman Skoda, Durham Belmont Ind Estate, Durham, DH1 1HP. Breakfasts cost £4 and the first one will be Wednesday 3 May 2017 from 9.30 to 10.45am. Breakfasts will then take place on the first Wednesday of each month.

For more information or to book a place please contact the Come Eat Together Team on 0191 374 6577 or E-mail cet@ageukcountydurham.org.uk

Posted in Activities, Age Uk County Durham, Big Lottery Silver Dreams, Breakfast, Cafe Dafte | Tagged , , | 1 Comment