King Charles Coronation: Leeds club for Jewish elderly hosts coronation party with more than 200 guests
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Members of The Friendship Club currently meet once a fortnight for a meal and some form of entertainment, such as singing performances, helping to tackle feelings of loneliness in the community.
The club held an early coronation party earlier this week with more than 200 attendees to celebrate the new King. Irene Collins, who has been running the club for the past 13 years on a voluntary basis, said the club has grown in imaginable ways since it first began more than 40 years ago.
Irene said: “We started off with about 30 to 40 people. It's grown and grown and grown. I never in my wildest dreams have thought would get that amount of people coming to it.
"It's not just with assisted living people. It's just people that you know want to meet up and it's a social afternoon for them. They're not really bothered about what's on the screen or what they're getting to do. It’s meeting people that they haven't seen for a long time or people that are on their own that meet up with people – that's what it's all about for us.”
The event – which even required a waiting list – included talks on previous kings and queens as well as conversations with those who had received an MBE or and OBE. Irene said: “They all spoke brilliantly. They enjoyed doing it because they never get to wear them, the medals, and it was a really good insight into what goes on.”
Comedians took to the stage and a raffle was also held as the meal was served. Irene and her volunteers, all in their 70s, made sandwiches, cakes, pie and more to serve to the guests before the event came to a close.
“I've had so much feedback from it,” Irene added. “They were just still in awe of what was going on because they didn't know what to expect. Because I wasn't sure myself how I was going to do it. All in all, it was a lovely, lovely afternoon.”