New Year New Start!

                                                                              New Year New Start!

SELFA Youth Council spent a day volunteering recently at the Skipton Baptist Church’s weekly luncheon club on the 2nd January. Our five young people arrived at 9:30am and spent the whole day preparing, cooking and serving a delicious meal for 27 local ladies and gentlemen.

Marielyn, who has run the luncheon club every Wednesday for over 20 years, kindly let SELFA take over her kitchen for the day, supervising the young people and helping them to prepare shepherd’s pie, carrots and peas and 6 fruit flans for desert. Everyone joined in and followed her instructions to the letter – peeling mountains of carrots and potatoes and setting out the tables and chairs. Everyone had a part to play and it was a brilliant exercise of team building.

When the guests arrived the Youth Council also had the responsibility of serving the meal to all the lunch club members. They did an amazing job of serving and chatted politely to the guests – making sure they had everything they needed and wishing them a Happy New Year. This was a new experience for most and they rose to the challenge superbly. After all the plates were cleared away the willing volunteers offered the guests tea and coffee and more conversations flowed.

It was a lovely occasion to be part of and several of the ladies and gentlemen came into the kitchen at the end of the meal to thank the young people and to say how much they had enjoyed the meal. This was a truly inter-generational event where everyone who came benefitted from the experience.

After the meal was finished and the ladies and gentlemen left there was still the clearing up to do. Everyone helped with the huge amount of washing and drying up; and then there were the tables and chairs to be cleared; as well as the kitchen floor to be swept and mopped. Finally, the carpet was hoovered brilliantly by Jo!

When the young people got to sit down and eat their lunch they had a chance to reflect on what they had enjoyed about their day:

     “It was the first time I’ve ever made a flan … and I was really pleased with how it looked … some people even asked for seconds!”

     “The food looked good … it was delicious – everyone enjoyed it”

     “I was worried about talking to the old people but it was fine in the end … I did it.”

     “It was so nice seeing everyone enjoy themselves … I bet some people were lonely at Christmas.”

SELFA really did appreciate the help and support from Marielyn and her team – they certainly gave the Youth Council the opportunity to shine.

As Rachel, Activity Coordinator, commented:

“It was lovely for our Youth Council to have the opportunity to get involved in their community in a new way, working inter-generationally and developing their life skills. They all tried something new, spoke to someone new and represented SELFA in the most positive way possible. It was great that the older people enjoyed their food and showed their appreciation which definitely built the young people’s self-esteem and confidence. I can’t wait to take them back!”

We all agreed that the event was so successful that we hope to build on this new partnership and become regular volunteers – SELFA have already offered to help in the Easter and Summer holidays. Watch out for future updates.


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