Newington Green pensioners’ lunch club facing cuts closure

A LUNCH club that has provided food and support to pensioners for more than 40 years is set to stop due to Islington Council cuts.

The Golden Oldies Senior Citizens and Disabled Group, based at Mayville Community Centre, Newington Green, received a �1,639 a year grant to help pay for lunch, social activites and exercise classes for older people in the area.

Now the council has told them that from April they will get no more money.

The group, which already relies on the work of of elderly volunteers, could then be forced to close.

Ann Robinson, committee member for The Golden Oldies Senior Citizens and Disabled Group, said: “The council seems to forget these are the people who lived through a war and kept this country going. Now they have outlived their usefulness, they are discarded like pieces of dirt.”

“We are not just a lunch club – we provide valuable support to our vulnerable members whose average age is 78. If they did not attend, they would be isolated and many would not cook a hot meal for themselves.”

Labour councillor Kate Groucutt, who represents Mildmay ward, said: “I’m sad to hear that Tory-Lib Dem Government cuts are hitting the Mayville Pensioners’ Club, but I’m happy to step in to get some money to the pensioners from our ward development fund in order to get them through this year so that they can find some longer-term funding.”

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Councillor Janet Burgess, Islington Council’s executive member for adult social care and health, said: “The truth is the harsh government cuts threaten many council services because our resources are now very restricted.

“We know lunch clubs and day centres are a lifeline for many older people so we are thinking about how to combine these services to make best use of the limited money available. In the case of the Mayville, a temporary solution has been found by ward councillors through their area development fund. In the longer term, we will be offering the pensioners all the support they need to maximise their income, for example, through grant applications.”