Five ladies with a combined age of 382 make a weekly lunch of soup and sandwiches for local people in Wallasey. They can be found every Friday – eleven months of the year (not August) – in the kitchen at St Alban’s. All their hard work is in aid of CAFOD.
On the day I visited the ladies and witnessed their tireless preparations, Mary, Mary, Pat and Louisa were in the kitchen from before 10am in the morning, preparing the choice of soups – cream of vegetable and mushroom – and the salmon and egg sandwiches. Jean was having a well deserved rest.
They told me that this lunch for CAFOD had been going for over 20 years and that they had raised £40,000 in that time.
Mary Buckley, seen here preparing the salmon, told me that although they ask for a one pound donation, people are very generous and usually give a lot more. She said: ” We usually keep the donations until we have enough to send off to CAFOD. In January we sent £1300.”
When I asked them why they do it, Mary Cox, unhesitatingly replied: “We enjoy it. It keeps us out of mischief and CAFOD need the money.” At which point Mary Buckley interjected saying: “We know the money will go to the people who need it”.
Pat Williams who is not a Catholic was roped in by a friend. Her friend brought her along a few years ago and now she is a regular contributor. Pat told me the other ladies look after her but ” at the same time they corrupt me!” She went on to say: “I was only coming for a time but now I don’t want to not come.”
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to stay and sample the delicious looking soup and sandwiches but I shall certainly return on another Friday. Not just for the food, but for the uplift, inspiration and fun I found in the kitchen. Thank you Ladies for your generous spirit and support of CAFOD. Long may it continue!