CharityBauer XcelCookery, UK, Charity

Come Eat Together: Age UK project wins Lottery award

CharityBauer XcelCookery, UK, Charity
Come Eat Together: Age UK project wins Lottery award
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Up and down the country, you've been voting for the best use of our lottery funding. Winners of National Lottery Awards fall into several categories (including arts, education, heritage and sport) but the proud winner of this year's Health Award is a very deserving Age UK project, based in co. Durham.

Come Eat Together is run by Age UK volunteers. Its aim is to get older people back in the kitchen through a variety of different activities. Whether providing a meeting space and cooked meals, lessons on how to order groceries online, or simply herbs to grow in the garden for pepping up meals, the club is commited to reigniting pensioners' passion for food.

Masterchef presenter John Torode surprised the team with a visit earlier this month, to break the news that they'd won, and celebrate with a hearty meal alongside club regulars.

He says, 'This isn't just a lunch club. It's a network of shared information and everybody gets involved. This [meal] is the bit that everybody sees but behind the scenes there's much more going on.'

We asked him why he thought Come Eat Together was a worthy initiative. 'It stops people from being by themselves,' he says, 'and far from trying to be magical with food, the group is mostly about helping people who don't necessarily get out, who don't ever cook for themselves, and who don't have the facilities to get out and go shopping. It's brilliant.'

'They're putting a smile back on peoples' faces'

The project has previously received over £1m in National Lottery funding, and you can watch the moment when the team behind Come Eat Together receive their award this Friday night.

'Everybody's worked so hard,' says John. 'The award is really just a big thankyou to everybody who's been involved, but the most important thing is raising awareness. This idea can be taken far and wide, and I think there will be a lot of interest from other places in the UK, as it brings communities and people together.'

National Lottery Stars is on Friday, September 19, 10.35pm on BBC1.
To find out more about Come Eat Together, visit www.comeeattogether.org