When we first came up with the idea for the ‘Thank You to the Volunteers’ campaign, a group like the Laurencekirk Lunch Club fitted the bill.
They are a group that we wanted to showcase and also help out.
The Lunch Club, which is run by entirely by volunteers, is held every Friday in Mearns Community Centre and is attended by over 30 elderly people in the community.
The elderly who come in are able to socialise and are given their lunch which is provided by the local primary school.
For many, this is a social event which any elderly person can attend.
Transport can be provided if necessary, some of the volunteers go to pick up the elderly personally, while some walk and others get to the centre by Mearns Community Transport.
When I arrived in the morning a couple of Fridays ago, I had no idea what I would be stepping into, My fears and nerves - I didn’t want to let any of the volunteers down - were alleviated as I was kept right all day.
Started almost 10 years ago, the group has around 15 volunteers who help when they can. Every Friday, five or six of these volunteers help serve lunch, desert, tea and coffee.
Keeping me right this particular Friday was Betty Petrie, Lily Barnett, Madge Duncan, Maureen Wadeson, Charlayne Aiken and Bill Tennant who drives the bus.
The Lunch Club volunteers are no strangers to raising funds as they have put on coffee mornings for charity in the past.
The elderly who attend the coffee morning are quick to heap praise on the volunteers for the work they do.
A couple that I spoke to, told me how they didn’t get out much and they looked forward to it every week.
One gentleman, over the age of 90, told me about his days out with the Mearns Walking Group and how he still walked to the community centre as it wasn’t far from his house.
One thing is for sure, the attendees are well fed. On the day I was there we had a chicken dinner which included roast tatties and carrots. For pudding we had an amazing iced sponge with custard followed by a cup of tea.
Returning to the office after such a hearty lunch became a predicament as I would much rather have gone for forty winks.
If you want to get involved with the Laurencekirk Lunch Club - and they really want to talk to any young person who mayb e able to help when they can - you can inquire by speaking to Mearns Healthy Living.
However, as much as I had fun helping and volunteering (or getting in the way) at the Lunch Club a few weeks back there is also a very serious side to the story. The community of Laurencekirk could lose a valuable meeting place for some of these groups.
The Kincardineshire Observer has been covering local concerns over the future of the Mearns Community Centre for the past six months.
The local authority, Aberdeenshire Council, intend to relocate several groups to the new Mearns Community Campus, which is due to open after the summer holidays.
The centre is currently home to 15 council groups as well as 12 independent bodies such as the Out of School Club, Girl Guides, and the Ladies Social Club.
The organisations say that the existing community centre is much better suited to their needs, and they want to stay where they are.
Some of the groups, like the the Out of School Club, have been a fixture of the centre for 15 years and have been told that they would not have a dedicated room at the new campus.
This would mean that their equipment - including a pool table, television, games, books and artwork - would have nowhere to be stored.
In my opinion, it would be a horrible injustice for the community groups to lose such a valuable resource.
For now, however, we want to say a big Thank You to the Laurencekirk Lunch Club for all they do for the community.