School dinner club sees pupils host Christmas lunch for pensioners

Pupils at Dunbar Grammar School serve meals and dine with older people in the community every week.

A school dinner club which sees pupils serve up food for pensioners before sitting down to dine with their guests says it’s been a roaring success.

Dinner at Dunbar Grammar School (DGS) aims to form intergenerational friendships between its members.

This week, the youngsters served Christmas dinner with music and Scottish country dancing to complete the experience.

Since forming in 2019, the weekly club has gone from strength to strength, with pupils even continuing to deliver food parcels to elder members during the pandemic.

Pupil support worker Kirsty McLuckie was the one to come up with the idea and said the number of guests has grown over the years.

She said the elders love “the affection”.

She said: “They miss getting a hug, so many of them are sitting on their own, living on their own.

“Many of them are saying this is the best bit of their week.

“Our oldest member Lily, she has a hairdresser go to her house every Wednesday to do her hair. This is her big night out, she comes to the dinner at DGS.”

Dunbar Grammar School hosts weekly dinner clubs for the local community

For the pupils it’s a chance to learn from older members of the community.

“They’re learning, all of these young people are learning skills for life,” she added.

“How to socialise appropriately with the older friends.

“Everybody in the community comes together and just helps out.”

Many former pupils still take part now after leaving school – some have gone into working in the hospitality industry after sparking a passion with the club.

Dinner at DGS also works alongside various other organisations, including local social workers, to get the most out of the initiative.

Social workers hope projects like this one can help show some of the innovative work that takes place across the sector.

For those involved in social work they feel initiatives like this are a shining light on what the sector can do.

The Scottish Association of Social Work hope others can take inspiration from Dinner at DGS.

Chair Jude Currie said: “We want to build trust in communities and it’s not all maybe what you see.

“Often you’ll hear the tragedies in the news or you’ll hear maybe certain stories or stereotypes.

“But this is just really important to show that there’s another side to it. A lot of it is about just wanting to make a difference.”

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