Mareham le Fen warm space opens

People looking for a place to socialise without worrying about keeping warm this winter are invited to come along to a warm space.

Mareham le Fen Parish Councillor Kelly Dean, Jacqui Loveridge and Martyn Foster.
Mareham le Fen Parish Councillor Kelly Dean, Jacqui Loveridge and Martyn Foster.

Mareham le Fen Community Centre will be hosting monthly soup groups this winter, where people can come and enjoy a warming bowl of soup in a cosy space with other likeminded people.

The centre’s Jacqui Loveridge wanted to create a warm space in the community centre, and set about trying to find a way to launch it.

She was soon met with help from Lincolnshire County Council’s Martin Foster, and the Lincolnshire Co-op’s county champion also got involved to offer fresh vegetables to make the soup from scratch.

Making friends at Mareham le Fen's soup group.

Mareham le Fen Community Centre is also offering the centre free of charge during the sessions, which will run from 12noon to 2pm.

Lincolnshire Co-op’s Community Co-ordinator Karen Holland said: “We’ve been working with Mareham Le Fen Community Centre to support its new ‘soup group’ initiative. We’ve been involved in the practical side of setting up the first event, and helping the centre build connections with other good causes in the area.

“With help from Coningsby Food Store, we’ve been able to donate fresh vegetables and bread to the cause. Not only is the centre a place where local people can stay warm and get a hot, homemade meal, it’s a safe space to connect with others and meet new people.

“As issues such as social isolation continue to worsen, causes like Mareham Le Fen Community Centre are needed now more than ever and we’ll be here to support them in any way we can.”

Angie Cotterill, Jacqui Loveridge and Pat Nugent aka the 'Soup Dragons'.

The first session took place on Tuesday November 2, with warm soup and books and quizzes for the guests to enjoy, and Jacqui said that more than 30 people turned up to their first session, and the tam wee really pleased with how it went:

"There were people there who I’d never seen people and people who had come alone were sitting and chatting to people they’d never met, it was lovely to see,” she said.

"We had put quizzes on the tables and that got people talking – there were four men sitting at a table who didn’t know each other chatting which was great.”

The next soup group will be held on December 13. After this, the soup groups will be held on the first Tuesday of the month, on January 10, February 7 and March 7.

Angie Cotterill, Jacqui Loveridge and Pat Nugent aka the 'Soup Dragons'.

Now Jacqui is hoping to gain funding to cover the heating and electricity bills of the centre, and wants to be able to provide some entertainment for the people who will attend:

"We’d like to provide some games and activities that will encourage those who use the space to interact with each other and not just sit there,” she said.

If anyone has any board games or decks of cards or similar they’d like to donate to the Mareham le Fen Community Centre for the soup group to enjoy, you can call Jacqui on 07534 497510 or visit https://marehamlefencommunitycentre.co.uk/