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Zest4Life Conversation & Laughter

Like many things, the weekly meetings of Zest4Life were halted by the Covid pandemic. Having relaunched in November 2021, they are hoping to welcome new people along for food and drink, conversation and laughter. The group is run by Martin Lawrence who tells us more.

What goes on at a Zest4Life gathering?

We are open to everybody and anybody. Although the core of our group is made up of older people, you can expect to meet all sorts of different people from many different walks of life.

Part of my reason for starting the group several years ago was to combat loneliness, something that many of us have become all too familiar with during the lockdowns of the past couple of years.

We meet at the Octagon Centre on Brook Farm Drive in Poolbrook every Wednesday morning. The building has ample parking and good disabled access including accessible WCs. The doors open at 10.15am and there’s a steady supply of hot and cold drinks before we serve your two-course meal. We charge a one-off payment of £5 per head entrance, no fee for food or drinks, our fund-raising just for fun raffle is £1 a ticket. There’s a great atmosphere and it’s a chance to enjoy the company of others.

Who runs the sessions?

We set it up in 2014, these days we have a small post-relaunch team of volunteers including myself, Dawn (ex-army cook) Neil, Ruth, Bev, Monica, Sue, and Rachael. The ongoing success of Zest4Life is all down to volunteers.

On Wednesday 29th December 2021 we served up a really special meal of slow-cooked Tomahawk Steaks with seasonal trimmings of butter and Dijon mustard chicken thighs, with cocktail sausages and mushrooms, complemented by roast potatoes and seasonal vegetables. Recently our puddings have either been homemade or top-of-the-range dishes.

Are there plans for Zest4Life in 2022?

So many of us have been alone and isolated during Covid, we would like to welcome people who haven’t been to Zest4Life before but are in need of some regular company, a framework to their life.  There is no need to book, you can just come along and you will be made very welcome.

We would also welcome contact from anyone who doesn’t live in Malvern but is worried about a friend or relative living on their own in this general area; we can welcome their friend, family member or neighbour to join us,  giving them a morning out of the home in good company, or even providing a birthday card and singalong to mark a birthday.

Another important part of our work is the ‘Doorstep Drop’. Our volunteers collect food donated by four local supermarkets. In addition to the food being given away at Zest4Life, it is also delivered directly to people in Malvern. We cater for people of all ages including elderly people and young families. Again, this is thanks to our selfless volunteers, thereby reducing food waste and helping connect food and people that can use it in the local area.

Zest4Life meets every Wednesday morning at The Octagon Centre on Brook Farm Drive in Poolbrook. It is £5 per head for entrance, but food and drinks are free (including takeaway for those that have too small an appetite for a large brunch). You are welcome simply to turn up, but if you’d like to get in touch with Martin, he can be contacted by calling 07505 053 175 or by emailing