A SHIRLEY lunch club organiser is encouraging residents to get involved with a Tree of Light Campaign.

Jenny Pike , 53, who runs The Haven Lunch club at St Marks Church in Archers road is backing the campaign run by Communicare.

Communicare are a charity that aim to eradicate loneliness and The Tree of Light Campaign aims to raise money to ensure they can continue their work in the city.

As part of the campaign residents can sponsor a light for a loved one which will be illuminated at Woolston Millenium Garden on December 1 at 5pm.

Jenny who set up the lunch club 12 years ago works alongside Communicare who help to transport those who attend the club to and from the church.

Jenny said: "I started the the club because I felt that there was no community left in Shirley.

"I also wanted to enable people opportunities as I felt like elderly people and people with mental health issues have had their rights taken off them when it comes to volunteering.

"My heart is with the community."

The club is held every Friday from 11 am until 2:30pm, where guests can get a hot meal, pudding as well as tea and coffee.

There is also an every-one is a winner raffle and a yearly trip to Lee-on Solent.

Jenny said: "Communicare are a fantastic help, some of our visitors couldn't get here without the help from their drivers.

Margaret Cook,82, a retired pharmacy technician started attending the lunch club when her husband went in to care.

She said: "Communicare have been a god send, I have a regular driver who picks me up and brings me here.

"I like coming to the club as it's one less dinner for me to cook a week and the companionship is brilliant, I have made lots of new friends."

"I couldn't get here without the help of Commuincare.

"I have also used their volunteer drivers to help me get to hospital and doctors appointments."

Mavis Taylor, 85, a Shirley resident said: "I got in touch with Communicare in June as I wanted some support.

"The lunch club has been a great way to keep my spirits up.

"There are new faces every week and the company is lovely.

"Everyone is so warm and welcome and the staff from Communicare who also help out really look after us."

Jenny said: "I would encourage more people to volunteer and do what they can, we rely on the Communicare drivers to get our guests here and I know they are in need of more."

Follow link to find out details about how to get involved with Communicares Tree of Light Campaign