Children part of the Holiday, Activity and Food (HAF) scheme in Pompey put on a fabulous lunch over the Easter break for Pompey in the Community’s Life N Chimes group.

The children got to practise their cooking skills alongside the Pompey in the Community team, in a full crash course that made sure they were prepared to serve the group a meal they wouldn’t forget. Our Life N Chimes group were served a hot lunchtime meal of cottage pie and pasta with mixed veg, along with a dessert of apple pie which went down a storm with everyone.

Pat and Margaret, two members of Life N Chimes who have been turning up on a Wednesday morning for over 8 years, praised the lovely atmosphere, explaining how “we all support one another”. Pat, who lives just over the road from the Pompey in The Community centre, said the food was “really really good”.

“They worked really hard, it’s more than most of us would normally have in a lunch hour!”, added Margaret. The two also attended a Christmas dinner in December and praised the Pompey in the Community staff for their dedication and support in the kitchen, with Head Chef Gavin playing a key role.  “Thanks Gavin, that was brilliant!”, they remarked as he strolled past with a beaming smile.

HAF is funded by the Department of Education, providing free holiday provision and fun activities for all children aged 5-16 who are eligible for free school meals on benefits schemes. Joel, a member of HAF who was a major part of the cooking today, explained that he cooks at home and thought everyone had enjoyed the meal he and his friends had made. “The team helped us a little bit,” he said with a grin.

Pompey in the Community’s Life N Chimes group meet once a week and work directly with those living with– or at risk of developing–dementia and people who feel socially isolated. The group take part in a variety of activities including visits to local theatres, the cinema, bowling alleys and the dockyard.

Margaret explained that “when it all started it was not only a group for dementia but for the people that were caring for their husbands and wives as well”. When members of the group sadly pass, many of the partners and carers choose to still attend, to give support to the rest of the group and share happy memories.

Life N Chimes is well renowned in the community for its lively and friendly atmosphere and is always accepting new members. For more information visit: