Queen’s Park pensioners enjoy a lunch party

Event was put on to encourage older people to meet new people

A group of Queen’s Park pensioners who live alone raised a toast at a lunch party put on to encourage the older generation to meet their neighbours.

Mary Doherty, 78, of Kilburn Lane, Queen’s Park, hosted the afternoon celebration for a dozen residents of the neighbourhood – including one lady aged 106 – where she has lived for 40 years.

Ms Doherty said: “The idea is to enrich the lives of older residents and by doing it by ward they will have the chance to meet people who they may see again when they go to the shops.”

The group tucked into a lunch of fish and egg pie served with mashed potatoes and peas, followed by apple pie with custard and ice cream. They listened to old Irish and 1960s music.

Anne Mallinson, chairwoman of Age Concern Westminster, helped to organise the event. She said: “The idea is that if these people meet in the ward they may bump into each other in the street and make friends with their neighbours.”

It was the second in a series of lunches across the borough for older people who live alone, is funded by a grant from Voluntary Action Westminster, and included donations of food and drink from nearby traders.

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Those invited to the lunch have been identified with the help of local community and faith groups.