Sunday 12th May – a lunch fit for a Royal!

May proved a slightly quieter lunch for us this month, for both guest and volunteer numbers. This is by no means a bad thing – we are delighted when our guests can’t attend lunch because they have family or friends visiting. Generally, this is family they haven’t seen for a long time, so it’s something we very much promote. The hilarious comments we get though – ‘they could have visited on another weekend; I’m going to miss my favourite lunch now!’. We are so pleased to hear you enjoy your time with us so much!

We had lots of happy callers this month however, phoning to not only book in but express how much they are looking forward to roast pork (and crackling of course!). For many, cooking a meal for one is hard enough but generally speaking, any form of roast meat is most certainly off the menu. I was astonished to learn it had been years for some of our new guests since they last enjoyed a joint of pork from their local butchers. I’m very pleased that each month since we started, we have had the most incredible support from our local butchers at Snowley Parade – Bob and Jan. They always give us the best service and have supported us right from the start. The meat tastes all the better for it! It’s always service with a smile. We also are happy to be supporting local!!

Another huge success this month was our ‘upside-down’ pudding, with ice cream. As everyone knows Mum makes the best sponge anyway, but quite honestly not a scrap came back. There proved room for seconds and thirds of both courses, so our guests were well and truly stuffed come the end of the afternoon.

I’m excited to say our application to East Herts Council to purchase a new oven will be moving onto the next stage in the assessment process. A new oven as mentioned in my previous post will enable us to cook for even more hungry guests! So, we are hopeful to secure this important grant.

Despite covering our costs month to month, with the reason increase in numbers it has been quite an expensive month for us. Some equipment has needed replacing (a new water urn) and we have needed to buy more crockery to ensure everyone has a plate to eat off! We also have month to month costs like venue hire, transport and ingredients to pay for so it’s a job in itself keeping on top of our finances. We are always looking for donations and support, as well as keeping an eye out for any small community grants we may be eligible for. If you see anything, please do let us know! Information on how to support us is available on the website.

On that note, don’t forget you can support us via East Herts Lottery! For just a £1 a week, you can support us and be in with a chance of winning £25,000 in return. Visit more information!

Before I sign off, I couldn’t go without talking about a recent Royal visit that happened recently…

On Tuesday 21stMay, Mum and I were invited to attend one of Her Majesty’s Garden Parties in the grounds of Buckingham Palace. I was invited for setting up The Welbeloved Club back in August 2017 and took Mum along as my guest of honour.

It was truly an absolutely incredible, surreal experience. I will never ever forget it.

Walking through the gates of Buckingham Palace and into the grounds was mind blowing – how could we be so lucky? We walked into the grounds and stood patiently with the crowd. The National Anthem then played and we were given our first glimpse of The Queen, followed closely by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. We then realised where we were standing would mean we would be a matter of metres away from them once they walked down, a mistake I thought. Surely enough, after an hour, I was standing directly next to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – so close I could smell her perfume (it was lovely!). She is by the way, even more beautiful in the flesh. After switching sides, I was then just a few metres away from Her Majesty The Queen. Everyone was so graceful in the crowd, with everyone letting each other take turns in getting to the front so we could take photos.  It is something many of us could only dream of and here it was happening to me.

We then disappeared off to enjoy tea and various sandwiches and cakes provided by the Palace, all served of course on fine china. Sandwiches included cucumber and cream cheese, ham and mustard and carrot and cucumber. Sweets included carrot cake and mini strawberry choux pastries. So yummy! There was a fine brass band playing throughout the afternoon, with hits from Mary Poppins and The Great Escape. It actually made me really emotional!!

Once we left the Palace, as we waited for our lift just up the road we managed to steal a ‘private’ wave from the Duchess – she looked right at us and waved!!! It topped off what had been a truly amazing experience for us both.

It seems only fitting that our raffle money this month is going to the charity No Panic. Attending the Garden Party was never going to be entirely stress-free and easy for me, but I did it and with some help from this charity and their resources. They are a great little charity and I’m proud to support them.

Thank you everyone for your continued support, what a lucky girl I am to have you all sharing in this vision I had for The Welbeloved Club. Long may it continue!

Our chosen charity this month to receive our raffle money is No Panic, a fantastic charity supporting those with anxiety, depression and anxiety attacks. I received a lovely thank you letter from them after making the donation.

Our next lunch is a quick turnaround as we head back to the first Sunday of each month. We’ll see you on Sunday 2nd June!