Royal Voluntary Service Cooks praised by MasterChef judge William Sitwell

Royal Voluntary Service Cooks praised by MasterChef judge William Sitwell

Volunteers and diners at the Royal Voluntary Service’s lunch club were treated to a very special guest visit, when MasterChef food critic William Sitwell turned up to join the diners and review the food served at the popular lunch club.

The volunteer cooks provide over 50,000 hot meals per year for older people in the community across 80 lunch clubs up and down the country. Sadly, for some of the diners, this is their only opportunity to enjoy a hot meal in the company of others, which is why their work is so important.

William was there to shine a light on the amazing impact volunteers in communities across the country have, and experience first-hand how coming together for a meal is helping to solve the loneliness crisis in Britain.

One volunteer, Tricia Hegde, 66, has been volunteering at the Mill End Lunch Club in Rickmansworth for eight years and appeared unflustered by William. She said: “Having William Sitwell visit felt no different. I’m used to cooking for a crowd, so one more wasn’t going to make much difference. Whether we’re cooking for a MasterChef critic or Kay who lives down the road, we will always put in our best effort.

“My shepherd’s pie and bread and butter pudding is always a hit with our lunch club members and we were absolutely chuffed with William’s rave review. It is fantastic a notable food critic like William has been able to try the lunch club for himself, experience the social atmosphere and gain an understanding of how vital they are to older community members.”


The lunch clubs meet regularly (some daily, some weekly, fortnightly or monthly) and are open to anyone over the age of 50, with attendees able to enjoy a two-course meal for £5.