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A new partnership has been created to support six lunch clubs across Burnley and generate new volunteering and training opportunities for the community.

Burnley Leisure Trust and the Bean Good Coffee Shop (a Calico social enterprise) have teamed up to work together to provide services to people who most need them.

In coming weeks, the partnership will be offering support to the local groups who host lunch clubs to help them adapt to the funding changes from beginning of April 2017.

Burnley Leisure chief executive Gerard Vinton said: “Funding pressures have meant we needed to look at making sure the luncheon clubs continued to be supported, but in a slightly different way.

“The clubs provide a very welcome service to local people and we’re very pleased an effective solution has been found so that they still receive tasty meals. It will also help create new volunteering opportunities too.”

Jill Webster, Bean Good manager for Calico Enterprise explained: “We’re really pleased to help ensure that lunch clubs continue to provide a great service for local people. We already provide a similar service in other areas such as Oldham, which work extremely well.”

The new proposals will see lunch club meals prepared at the Bean Good Café in the Chai Centre and distributed to luncheon clubs across the borough. A grant from Lancashire County Council is supporting the Chai Centre café in its first year.

At the moment meals are provided by a part-time cook and volunteers based at the clubs.

Meetings will be held in the next few weeks between the luncheon clubs, Burnley Leisure and Bean Good to discuss the individual requirements of each club.

Lunch clubs provide a vital service for older residents who rely on them for a chance to socialise, meet friends and have a hot meal without the need to cook at home.

Other independent luncheon clubs in the borough are not affected by these new arrangements.

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