WITH the cold snap in full flow it is more important than ever to help the elderly.

That is why the Daily Echo’s Stay Warm campaign is urging people to give their elderly friends, neighbours and relatives a helping hand.

One group that is taking the lead in helping people is Age Concern Southampton, which held a lunch for 40 people at Ropewalk Community Centre in Derby Road – with funding from John Lewis.

Health and wellbeing development officer Phil Williams explained how important events like this are.

He said: “It is a way of getting older people together to share information, so during these lunch sessions we can advise them if they are feeling cold in the winter that there is a lot of help in Southampton to get them through these cold periods.”

Many of the people tucking into the lunch were from the Ekta group, which meets regularly at Ropewalk Community Centre.

The club is important for many people living in the St Mary’s area, like Nalini Lubha, 46, from Padwell Road in Southampton, who is disabled so cannot cook at home.

She said: “The lunch club and others in the city are important for me. I am disabled and sometimes because of my problems I cannot cook so I come here and they provide facilities for me to prepare a meal. It’s also really good to mix with other people.”